Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category
Over the last weekend I thought I would give up writing this blog. It has been an interesting couple of years. Some 1200 posts, half a million words.
This Winter has been difficult. Constant personal issues involving health and family for the last five years have begun to drain my emotional energy – and it does take emotional energy to force yourself to sit down and think, I mean really think, and then write, about the issues of the day.
The real problem has been time. There are fewer tourists, and local people have less money to spend. This has meant working longer hours to try to cover the costs of staying in business. And I do need some time just to switch off and relax, and some time for family and friends.
Maintaining Qohel was beginning to look like a very low priority.
But after yesterday’s Federal Court decision, it is increasingly important to persist, and to insist on the importance of free speech.
I find many of Tim Lambert’s blog posts offensive, both because of his personal attacks on people he disagrees with and because of his determined resistence to facts. But I still link to him, and would be very disturbed if it was seriously suggested bloggers who hold his views or write in the way he does should be forced to modify their thinking.
Democracies work because people are informed. They come to be informed through considering a variety of viewpoints and theories. Free speech is essential to effective democracy. The fewer restrictions on free speech, the better a democracy will work.
Even David Irving and Mahmoud Imanutjob have the right to speak. They cannot insist on any right to force us to listen. But forcing people to hear particular views and only those views is only a short step behind the silencing of others.
Democracy and freedom of speech are incompatible with an imagined right not to be offended. Attempts to establish such a right, and especially to give that right to particular groups, will create, and always has created, obstacles to the exchange of facts and ideas, and just as importantly, will create divisions and resentments which undermine respect and trust.
If you only read or watch or listen to Australian news sources.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has cut trade and diplomatic relations with Israel, is increasing naval activity close to Israel, has threatened to attack Cyprus if US company Noble Energy proceeds with plans to drill for gas near its Leviathan field (between Israel and Cyprus), and has announced plans to visit Gaza.
This confirms Turkey’s resurgent desire to become the leading power in the region as the ‘Arab Spring’ weakens long standing regimes. Turkey seeks to re-establish its credibility with the Arab/Muslim world by repudiating its former close relationship with Israel. This is, or should be, a major security concern for Israel and Western nations.
Russia is rebuilding a railway line to a previously unsuccessful special economic zone in North Korea. The DPRK hopes that easier access to the zone, around the port city of Khasan at the North-East corner of North Korea, where the borders of North Korea, China and Russia meet, will revitalise its trade and economic development.
More open trade could bring new and much needed openness and prosperity to the DPRK, or it could be a sign of a worrying coziness between North Korea, China nd Russia.
Russia under Putin is reverting to dictatorial centralist government.
China will need to weigh its relationship with the DPRK against its very important economic links to the US and Australia. But China may very well feel that its hand in those relationships is so strong that it can do what it likes.
Monsoonal floods in southern Pakistan have killed over 100 people, and severely damaged rice, cotton and sugar crops.
The West will come to their aid again, and it is right that we should do so. But these seasonal floods are regular and predictable. Why does Pakistan’s government not build appropriate infrastructure to mitigate their effects? Perhaps any future defense aid to Pakistan could be tied to measurable efforts to protect its people from predictable natural events.
Finally, just six months after the devastating earthquake and tsunami, Japan has been struck by the most damaging typhoon for the last seven years. Over 100 have been killed, and thousands are still trapped or missing.
May God bless and protect them.
Not if by ‘intellectual’ you mean someone who is capable of considering events and evidence, and coming to reasonable conclusions, a person capable of careful and objective analysis.
His article in the Sydney Morning Herald on September 2nd was called ‘A Pressing (ha, ha, I’m sure he felt very clever about that) Case for Standing Up To Rupert Murdoch’s Bullying.’
News Ltd owns 70 per cent of the circulation of major newspapers in Australia. If Rupert Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, were an apolitical or a distant figure, this might not matter, but he has a powerful set of ideological beliefs and is determined to maintain tight control over the political line of all his papers on issues that interest him.
That may be news to many of Murdoch’s editors, to judge from the diversity of opinion expressed in their editorial pages, and their public support for different parties at the last election.
There is no evidence in Murdoch papers of bullying, or even ‘tight control.’ Nor is there any reason to think that a family of papers in which such a diversity of views are welcome could have the nefarious effect on public opinion that is causing Professor Manne so much worry.
Maybe he is frustrated that only 30% of Australians read papers which share his views:
The company’s domination of our newspaper market poses a real and present danger to the health of Australian democracy.
Really? Murdoch started a long way behind the pack, with just one Adelaide paper. Now 70% of Australians prefer to to read a Murdoch paper. That sounds to me like democracy in action.
Compare the variety of opinion in Murdoch editorials with, say, The Age or the ABC.
The ABC is supposed to be our ABC. We pay for it. But there is no programme on the ABC in which my views are regularly aired or considered. As for The Age, any thought of diversity of opinion in the pages of Professor Manne’s favourite paper is a joke.
It is reasonable for a paper to have a consistent editorial line on political matters. Some Murdoch papers do this.
It is less reasonable to refuse to allow the expression of alternative views in opinion columns or letters pages. No Murdoch paper does this.
Refusing to publish news which is unwelcome to one side of politics means that a paper has ceased to be a reliable news source and has become a party rag. The Age does this. This morning’s edition is a perfect example.
Rupert Murdoch seems to be a global warming believer, so it is difficult to see how The Australian’s regular publication of dissenting views, despite Manne’s angst about this, does anything other than disprove Manne’s assertion of megalomaniacal control.
The mild dominance of Murdoch papers in the Australian market is not evidence of Murdoch bullying, or of rigid editorial control, but rather of ordinary Australians’ preference for news sources which report the news fairly, and in which their views get a fair hearing.
Professor Manne’s problem seems to be that he simply cannot understand why most Australians don’t share his opinions. Since he is right about everything, this can only be because there is some dreadful conspiracy. Or because the rest of us are stupid.
I think John Howard is a little too enthusiastic about Indonesia, where there is still a troubling level of Islamic violence against minority religious groups, and about the so-called Arab Spring.
There is reasonable concern that movements interpreted by the West as movements for democratic reform in Arab nations will only be democratic until Wahhabist governments are installed. Democracy is antithetic to Wahhabist thought since the obligation of Muslims is to work for the implementation of Sharia, while democracy places the opinions of men (and even kaffirs) above Islamic law.
Hence protests like this in Western democracies:
Nonetheless, Howard is right both to identify many positive changes in the world over the last ten years, and to assert the need for continuing effort and care.
I am not a US citizen (though my wife is), so I can’t vote in the US presidential election anyway. And I support the death penalty in very limited circumstances.
But I could not vote for Rick Perry, much as his conduct and policies are admirable in other areas, because it seems to me likely that in order to appear tough on crime, he allowed to be executed at least one man he knew, or ought to have known, was innocent.
I remember seeing the film Judgement at Nuremburg when I was a child. Even at about eight years old, I was struck by an exchange between the American judge and one of the German prisoners (former judges under Hitler).
I may be remembering it incorrectly – it was forty-five years ago – but what I remember is the prisoner saying “I never thought it would come to this,” and the judge responding “It came to this the first time you sentenced an innocent man to death.”
If you allow a man you know is likely to be innocent to be put to death, you are not someone who should be leading a state or nation, no matter how strong your economic credentials.
Pastor Martin Niemoller, who spent seven years in Nazi prisons, wrote:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.
And now they are coming for the fat kids. Who will be next?
Or at least, a government that does very little, would be a pleasant change. Evidence suggests that the more government does, the worse off people are.
The problem with the Gillard government is not that is has accomplished nothing. The problem is that it has accomplished nothing at such great expense.
Five minutes after I posted the previous article about global warming alarmists losing debates and resorting to insults, an article by professor of psychology Stephan Lewandowksy appeared on the ABC’s Drum website.
It starts off well enough:
Science is self-correcting.
In the long run, occasional errors that slip into the peer-reviewed literature are ironed out.
Errors and mistaken assumptions cannot persist because publication of a peer-reviewed paper is only a first stage of peer review: The subsequent, even more rigorous stage of peer-review occurs after a paper’s publication and involves the scrutiny of scientific work by the entire field.
All good. Scientific papers are subject to peer review before they are published, and their publication leads to further research, discussion, and possibly refutation. This is how knowledge grows, through a kind of Hegelian dialectic. Which is just a fancy way of saying a discussion in which various points of view come to the fore, are discussed, modified, and then replaced with ideas that build on those that came before.
Sadly, Lewandowksky’s article then immediately lapses into the kind of name calling that characterises alarmist debate.
The pretext for his article is the resignation of Wolfgang Wagner as editor of the journal Remote Sensing. Wagner’s resignation followed the publication, after peer review, of a paper by Roy Spencer and Danny Braswell.
Wagner describs his reasons for leaving:
…In other words, the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents. This latter point was missed in the review process, explaining why I perceive this paper to be fundamentally flawed and therefore wrongly accepted by the journal.
OK. But if the concern is that the arguments are poorly made, or have already been rebutted, or are just plain wrong, why not simply call for responses? In other words, why not address the preceived errors?
But the paper WAS precisely addressing the scientific arguments made by our opponents, and showing why they are wrong! That was the paper’s starting point! We dealt with specifics, numbers, calculations…while our critics only use generalities and talking points. There is no contest, as far as I can see, in this debate. If you have some physics or radiative transfer background, read the evidence we present, the paper we were responding to, and decide for yourself.
If some scientists would like do demonstrate in their own peer-reviewed paper where *anything* we wrote was incorrect, they should submit a paper for publication. Instead, it appears the IPCC gatekeepers have once again put pressure on a journal for daring to publish anything that might hurt the IPCC’s politically immovable position that climate change is almost entirely human-caused. I can see no other explanation for an editor resigning in such a situation.
But that is not good enough for Professor Lewandowsky. The scientists who wrote this heresy, and anyone who thinks like them, must be discredited. Instead of addressing any issues of fact or methodology in the Spencer/Braswell article, he simply resorts to the customary alarmist insults:
Although most so-called climate “sceptics” prudently avoid peer review – preferring the internet as an outlet for their pseudo-science – very occasionally a “sceptic” paper does appear in a peer-reviewed journal.
In a dramatic turn away from what has been the normal method of scientific advance, those who question the currently popular view are not to be considered scientists. They are not even sceptics. They are pseudo-scientists, who are cunning enough to avoid exposing their views to review by other scientists.
Wrong. For example, the CO2 Science website has a report in which the most common alarmist claims are countered with references to over 600 peer reviewed articles, all of which question some aspect of the anthropogenic global warming schema. The 2009 NIPCC Report is even more comprehensive, quoting thousands of peer reviewed articles and concluding that there is no credible evidence of dangerous human influence on global climate.
This is despite the best efforts of people like Phil Jones to ensure strict controls are put in place to stop sceptical papers appearing:
From Phil Jones To: Michael Mann (Pennsylvania State University). July 8, 2004
“I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”
The next step in Lewandowsky’s oh so prediuctable diatribe is to imply that sceptical scientists are corrupt, making the claims they do because they have been lured into pseudo-science by bribes from oil companies. Some scientists’ research has been funded in part by oil companies. Most acknowledge this openly. So what?
As Jo Nova has pointed out, government funding for climate alarmist research is approximately 1000 times oil company and other private funding. On that basis, there should be 1,000 times more questioning about possible alarmist bias for financial gain or job security than for sceptical science.
Lewandowsky finishes with this extraordinarily insulting dismissal of climate researchers who do not share his views:
Ideology, subterfuge, and propaganda. That is all there is to climate denial.
Tell that to leading and internationally recognised scientists like Roy Spencer, Timothy Ball, John Christy, Freeman Dyson, our own Ian Plimer and Bob Carter, and thousands of others.
In the end, what matters is evidence. The key question is ‘Is there any evidence of correlation between human activity and changes in global climate.’
The answer is ‘No.’
Perhaps a more interesting question for a professor of psychology would be why the ‘experts’ (ordinary people seem a bit more resilient despite the best efforts of the legacy media), fall so readily for each successive costly and eventually falsified scare campaign (Y2K, SARS, DDT, the population bomb, etc, etc), and why those same experts so quickly demonise any dissent.
PS. The reason the alarmists are desperate to discredit Roy Spencer is that he is so widely recognised as a leading climate scientist:
Roy W. Spencer received his Ph.D. in meteorology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981. Before becoming a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2001, he was a Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, where he and Dr. John Christy received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites. Dr. Spencer’s work with NASA continues as the U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite. He has provided congressional testimony several times on the subject of global warming.
Dr. Spencer’s research has been entirely supported by U.S. government agencies: NASA, NOAA, and DOE. He has never been asked by any oil company to perform any kind of service. Not even Exxon-Mobil.
That is the bio from Dr Spencer’s website. His blog has a useful summary of the issues addressed in the Remore Sensing paper.
I don’t usually repost entire articles from other sites, but Geert Wilders speech in Berlin yesterday (Saturday) touches on so many things of importance to Australia – bureaucracy, multi-culturalism, loss of national identity, democracy and hope – that it is worth reading in full.
Via PI News.
The Threat of Europeanization and the Need to Defend the Nation-State
Thank you for inviting me to Berlin. It is an honour to be here in this beautiful city of Berlin. When I was here last year I emphasized how important Germany is for all of us. We all benefit from a healthy, democratic, self-confident Germany.
(By Geert Wilders)
Much has happened since my last visit. In the Netherlands we were able to achieve many amazing things. We have successfully started to roll back the process of Islamization in the Netherlands.
We have done so in a peaceful way and through the democratic process. Recently, a deranged narcissistic psychopath from Norway committed a horrible crime. In cold blood he murdered nearly eighty innocent fellow citizens. The assassin pretended to be a concerned European. He said that he had committed his atrocity because “It is meaningless to participate in the democratic process.”
But he is wrong! The mass murderer from Oslo murdered and maimed, and he justified his heinous crime by denying – I quote – “that it is remotely possible to change the system democratically.” – end of quote.
But he is wrong! The Oslo murderer falsely claims to be one of us. But he is not one of us. We abhor violence. We are democrats. We believe in peaceful solutions.
The reason why we reject Islam is exactly Islam’s violent nature. We believe in democracy. We fight with the force of our conviction, but we never use violence. Our commitment to truth, human dignity and a just and honourable defence of the West does not allow us to use violence nor to give in to cynicism and despair. We cherish the tradition of Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, Jelena Bonner, Lech Walesa and Ronald Reagan. These heroes defeated a totalitarian ideology by the power of their conviction and without firing a single shot. As the ex-Muslim and Islam-critic Ali Sina said in a reaction to the Oslo atrocity: “We don’t raise a sword against darkness; we lit a light.”
So it is. We lit the light of the truth. And the truth will set us free.
The truth is that Islam can be successfully fought with democratic means. We do so in the Netherlands. You can do so, too, in Germany! Let me tell you what we have achieved in the Netherlands since my last visit to Berlin, less than one year ago. It will encourage you. What can be done in the Netherlands can also be done in Germany.
My party, the Party for Freedom, which has 24 seats of the 150 seats in parliament, supports a minority government of Liberals and Christian-Democrats. We do this in return for measures to restrict immigration, roll back crime, counter cultural relativism, and restore our traditional Western freedoms, such as freedom of speech.
The Party for Freedom has been in this position for less than a year, but we are achieving great things.
We have achieved that the Netherlands will soon ban the face-covering Islamic burkas and the niqabs!
We will restrict immigration from non-Western countries by up to 50% in the next four years!
We are going to strip criminals who have a double nationality and who repeatedly commit serious crimes, of their Dutch nationality!
The Party for Freedom is bringing a message of hope to the Netherlands.
The new policies will place more demands on immigrants.
Integration will not be tailored to different groups anymore.
There will be a tougher approach to immigrants who disobey the law.
Those who lower their chances of employment by the way they dress, will see their access to welfare payments diminished.
We have also achieved that anti-Israeli activities will no longer be funded with Dutch taxes.
So-called humanitarian aid organizations that directly or indirectly support anti-Israel boycotts, divestments and sanctions and that deny Israel’s right to exist will no longer get government funding.
The Dutch government will boycott the United Nation’s Durban III meeting against racial discrimination because it has been transformed into a tribunal for accusations against Israel.
The government will strengthen our political and economic relations with Israel. Investment rather than divestment will be our policies towards Israel.
We stand with Israel. We love Israel. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Israel is part of our civilization.
My friends, what the Party for Freedom has achieved, shows that it can be done. To borrow a phrase from President Obama: Yes, we can! We can stop the islamization of our societies. The Dutch example shows that we can win. David can defeat Goliath!
Last July, the Dutch government even did something which not a single nation has dared to do before. It spoke out firmly against the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. The OIC is an international organization of 57 Islamic countries, most of them barbaric tyrannies. This OIC constitutes the largest voting bloc in the United Nation. It had criticised the fact that Dutch judges had acquitted me of all charges of group insult and incitement to hatred and discrimination. But the Dutch government made it clear to the OIC that freedom of speech will not be muzzled in the Netherlands. It told the OIC very bluntly: “The Dutch government dissociates itself fully from the request to silence a politician.” – end of quote.
We will never submit to the Islamic OIC bullies!
As you probably know, for almost two years I went through the ordeal of being a suspect in a criminal case. I was dragged to court in Amsterdam on the accusation of hate speech crimes. Last June, this legal charade ended with a full acquittal.
The Dutch people learned through my acquittal that political debate has not been stifled in their country. My acquittal was a victory for freedom of speech. The Dutch people also learned that they are allowed to speak critically about Islam. They learned that resistance against Islamization is not a crime. They learned that there is hope and that liberation is near.
My acquittal marks the turning of the tide. Not only in the Netherlands, but in the whole of Europe. It is the first breach of the dyke. We have started the roll-back operation. We have sent a message to the ideologues of Islam: Don’t tread on us!
My acquittal has a significance which far surpasses the Netherlands. It has a meaning for the whole of Europe and the free world. My acquittal marks the end of an evolution whereby our civil liberties in Europe are constantly being restricted in order not to offend Islam and anger Islamic fanatics.
My acquittal legitimizes criticism of Islam. It does so also in Germany and everywhere else.
Indeed, why should you Germans not enjoy the same rights as the Dutch! If peaceful and democratic resistance to Islamization is not a crime in the Netherlands, it should not be a crime in Germany either.
So, here is my message to you: Continue your fight for freedom and freedom of speech!
Do not let your politicians and judges grant you fewer rights than the Dutch!
Do not let yourselves be intimidated by Islamic or leftist opponents who shriek and yell. Do not let yourselves be intimidated by media who claim that a murderer who has lost his belief in the democratic process has anyhow been influenced by us.
My friends, when I visited you last year, even in my wildest dreams I could not have imagined that we would have been able to influence government policies in the way we have done.
That is why I tell you: Never give in to the bullies! Never give up hope. Never despair! You can still turn the tide! One can always turn the tide!
It is true: Germany has been less fortunate than the Netherlands.
When I was here last year, Tilo Sarrazin had just published his book “Deutschland schafft sich ab.” Sarrazin’s book was a bestseller. It hit a nerve. It sold over one-and-a-half million copies. This shows that German society is ripe for change. But politically Sarrazin’s book has changed nothing yet. On the contrary, the German political elite raised the speed of Islamization in Germany. Bundespresident Wulff said “Islam is a part of Germany.” Chancellor Merkel said that multiculturalism is an absolute failure, but she continues to defend Turkey’s entry into the EU. The spread of Islam continues unabated in the German class rooms, on Germany’s streets, through the construction of new mosques, etcetera, etcetera.
Your situation has worsened because you do not have a party – yet – with enough electoral support to influence German politics for the better. Germany needs a rightwing party that is not tainted by ties to neo-Nazis and by anti-Semitism, that is decent and respectable, but also firm.
René Stadtkewitz is working very hard to make Die Freiheit as successful as the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands. René, we are here to help you! Because Germany deserves better than what it gets today!
My friends, your country is the political backbone of Europe.
Germany is the most populous country in Europe. Germany is the economic motor of Europe. If Germany is sick, we are all sick.
Last year, I urged you: Stop being ashamed of Germany. It is unfair to reduce German patriotism to national-socialism, just as it is unfair to reduce Russia to Stalinism. Be proud of your country. Only if the Germans have pride in Germany, they will be prepared to stand for Germany and to defend Germany. And you must stand for Germany, just as the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands stands for the Netherlands. We must all stand for the survival of our nation-states because our nation-station states embody the democratic liberties which we enjoy.
Without the nation-state there can be no real national political freedom. That is why we must be good patriots. Patriotism is often branded as fascism. But patriotism is no fascism. On the contrary. Every democrat and defender of freedom must by definition be a patriot. A soul needs a body. The spirit of political liberty cannot flourish outside the body of the nation-state. The nation-state is the political body in which we live. That is why we must preserve and cherish the nation-state. So that we can pass on the liberty and the democracy which we enjoy to our children.
Without a nation-state, without self-governance, without self-determination there can be no security for a people nor preservation of its identity. This was the insight which led the Zionists to re-establish the state of Israel. Theodore Herzl said that there had to be a Jewish state because – I quote – “what we want is a new blossoming of the Jewish spirit.”
Dear friends, we urgently need a new blossoming of the German spirit. For decades, the Germans have been ashamed of themselves. They preferred to be Europeans rather than Germans. And they have paid a heavy price for it. We have all paid a heavy price for it.
Europe is not a nation; it is a cluster of nations. The strength of Europe is its diversity. We are one family but we live in different bodies. Our cultures are branches of a common Judeo-Christian and humanist culture, but we have different national cultural identities. That is how it should be.
Uniformity is a characteristic of Islam, but not of Europe. Islam eradicated the national identities of the peoples it conquered. The Coptic identity of Egypt, the Indian identity of Pakistan, the Assyrian identity of Iraq, the Persian identity of Iran, they were all wiped away, cracked down upon, or discriminated against until this very day. Islam wants all nations replaced by the so-called Ummah, the common identity of the Nation of Islam to which all have to be subservient and into which all national identities have to vanish.
Islam tried to conquer Europe, but never succeeded so far. That is why we Europeans were able to develop our different identities as nation-states. If we want to hold on to these we must stand together against the forces which threaten our identities. Today we are confronted by two dangerous forces: Islamization and Europeanization.
When I was here last year, I spoke a length about the threat of Islam. Today, I want to draw your attention to the threat of Europeanization. By Europeanization I mean the ideology which posits that our sovereign nation-states have to submerge in a pan-European superstate.
The European Union’s Founding Fathers held that in order to avoid a future war in Europe, Europe’s nations, and especially Germany, had to be encapsulated in what the Rome Treaty called “an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe.” Robert Schuman said that the EU’s aim was – I quote – “to make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible.” – end of quote.
The Eurocrats think that nation states in general – and especially Germany, Europe’s largest nation-state – are the problem. They are wrong. The real cause of the Second World War had not been the German nation state – it had been Nazi totalitarianism.
There is nothing wrong with Germany. The cause of the war was the Nazi ideology. The remedy against totalitarianism is not building a superstate. The remedy is introducing more direct forms of democracy at the lowest possible levels. Instead of depriving Germany and other nation-states of their sovereignty, the post-war leaders should have introduced a Swiss-like system in our countries. Small units should have a large degree of local sovereignty. The individual citizen should be given a direct democratic say over his own fate and that of his community.
Instead, the peoples of Europe were robbed of their sovereignty, which was transferred to far-away Brussels. Decisions are now being taken behind closed doors by unelected bureaucrats. This is not the kind of government we want!
We want less bureaucracy! We want more democracy!
We want less Europe! We want to hold on to our sovereignty. We want home rule! We want to remain independent and free! We want to be the masters in our own house!
In December 1991, the Maastricht Treaty called for a single European currency. The Dutch guilder and the D-mark were sacrificed on the altar of European unification. Helmut Kohl sold this project to the German people as – I quote – “a matter of war or peace.” – end of quote. The euro was presented as “an angel of peace” which the Germans had to sponsor by giving up the mark. During the past six decades German politicians have told the Germans that the nation state, and especially Germany, was so dangerous that it had to be emasculated. The Germans had to become Europeans instead of Germans. To achieve this political project, national and monetary sovereignty was relinquished. Economic and national interests were sacrificed on the political altar of so-called Europeanization.
All the countries which joined the euro lost the power to adjust their currency to their own economic needs. They have all suffered as a consequence. The currency of some countries is undervalued, the currency of others is overvalued; they all have to share in carrying the burden of other countries, even if the latter are suffering from self-inflicted policies, corruption or fraud. The European monetary system has allowed some countries to get a free ride at the expense of others, while those who cheat are in a position to blackmail those who have to foot the bill. This charade has to stop!
The European monetary system is deeply flawed. It is also immoral. As Theodore Herzl said “The character of a people may be ruined by charity.” This applies for those at the receiving end of charity, but also for those who donate it. The so-called pan-European solidarity is literally ruining us! Germany has paid enough for Europe already!
The same applies for the Netherlands. Our citizens do not have to pay the debts of others!
My friends, your party Die Freiheit embodies the best hope for Germany. Because your party is the only party in Germany which has the courage to state loud and clear that countries which cannot pay their debts should leave the euro. I fully agree.
My friends, time is running out. We have to act for the sake of democracy and the future prosperity of our children. The former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky warns that rather than preventing war, the European project makes conflicts more likely. He draws a parallel between the EU and the former Soviet Union which also suppressed feelings of national unity. When economy reality defeated the Soviets’ political project, the suppressed feelings of national identity bounced back with a vengeance and destroyed the Union. Bukovksy fears that if we do not stop the European moloch from expanding the same thing might happen in Europe.
The European leaders state that the only way to solve the current crisis is more European governance. They advocate more powers for Brussels. They are wrong. More Europe only makes matters worse. We have to oppose their attempt of further centralization.
We do not want more Europe! The EU lacks democracy, accountability and transparency. That is why we reject it. We want less Europe! Let us hope that next Wednesday the German Constitutional Court protects national sovereignty.
As a national legislator in the Netherlands I experience day by day how little we still have to say about our own fate. We are expected to rubberstamp laws which have been made by the EU Council of Ministers. The 27 EU commissioners convene behind closed doors with their colleagues. They negotiate in secret and then emerge to announce their agreement and present it. That is how the system works.
Recently, your Chancellor, Frau Merkel, went to Paris. Together with President Sarkozy she announced plans for an economic government of the eurozone.
We oppose this. We want the national parliaments to decide about our economic policies. We do not want to spend our taxpayers’ money on eurozone countries, such as Greece. Let those who have cheated us, who have mismanaged their economy or who have foolishly lived beyond their means, take care of themselves.
Moreover, the EU treaties forbid bailouts.
The Party for Freedom opposes every bail out. The Dutch minority government will never be able to count on our support in this regard. Today its wrongheaded euro policies are supported by the europhile leftist parties. I repeat: We will never support the Dutch government’s approval of the bailouts, not even if the government would lose the support of the left.
We have voted, and we will vote, against every plan to bail out other countries. Sovereign countries have to take care of their own needs. That is what sovereignty is about: freedom and the ability to take care of oneself.
Our peoples resent the fact that they have to pay for others. Our peoples resent the permanent alienation of power from their nation-states. They care about their nation because they care about democracy and freedom and the wellbeing of their children. They see their democratic rights and their age-old liberties symbolized in their national flag.
But there is more. National identity also ties an individual to an inheritance, a tradition, a loyalty, and a culture. National identity is also an inclusive identity: It considers everyone to be equal, whatever his religion or race, who is willing to assimilate into a nation by sharing the fate and future of a people.
My friends, we need to give political power back to the nation-state, in the name of democracy, in the name of freedom, in the name of human dignity. By defending the nation-states we defend our own identity. By defending our identity we defend our liberties. By defending our liberty we defend our dignity.
I urge you: Stand up for the nation-state. Be proud of your country!
In his Farewell Address as American President, Ronald Reagan said that the thing he was most proud of in his presidency was – I quote – “the resurgence of national pride that I called, ‘The New Patriotism.’” – end of quote.
Europe needs new patriotisms. Europe needs dozens of new patriotisms. We need True Finns, and True Danes, True Frenchmen, and True Irishmen, True Dutchmen, and, my friends, we need True Germans!
Reagan said that we had to teach our children what our country is, what it stands for and what it represents in the long history of the world. He said that Americans need – I quote – “a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions.”
Reagan’s words apply to us, Europeans, too. We need a resurgence of national pride, a love of country and institutions. Our national parliaments are our democratic institutions. We must defend them.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, I have said enough. It is time to act. We must make haste. Time is running out for Germany, for the Netherlands, for all the other great nations of Europe. As Ronald Reagan said: “We need to act today, to preserve tomorrow”.
Here is a short summary of five things which we need to do in order to preserve our freedoms.
First, we must defend freedom of speech. It is the most important of our liberties. Second, we must end cultural relativism. Our Western culture is far superior to other cultures. Third, we must stop Islamization. More Islam means less freedom. There is enough Islam in Europe already. Immigrants must assimilate and adapt to our values. Fourth, we must restore the right to decide about our own money. We should not pay the debts of others. The survival of the euro should not be used as an excuse to reward countries which have shown that they were not worth to belong to the eurozone. Fifth, we must restore the supremacy and sovereignty of the nation-state. Our nations are the legacy which our fathers bestowed on us and which we want to bestow on our children. We are the free men and women of the West. We are the true men and women of the West. We do not stand for a superstate. We stand for our own country.
You stand for Germany. I stand for the Netherlands. Others stand for Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, France, Spain, and all these other beautiful freedom-loving nations of Europe. Together we represent the nations of Europe. Together we stand.
We will stand firm. We will survive. We will defend our freedoms. We will remain free.
Thank you very much.
Everyone can relax. The whole Craig Thomson thing, it was all just a misunderstanding.
He thought the union said it was buy-sexual friendly.
In a natural follow up to the story below, where a bunch of toddlers attempt to pretend something does not exist, the UK government and the BBC pretend something does exist – cheap renewable energy.
What is the maddest thing going on in Britain today? There may be many competitors for that title, but a front-runner must be what the Government has made the centrepiece of its energy policy, to ensure that our lights stay on and that our now largely computer-dependent economy remains functioning. Last week, the BBC ran a series of reports by its science correspondent, David Shukman, on the Government’s plan to ring our coasts with vast offshore wind farms.
The nearest thing allowed to criticism of this policy came in an interview with the Oxford academic Dieter Helm, who we were told had “done the sums”. What, Shukman asked, had he come up with? The only figures Helm gave were that the Government’s offshore wind farm plans would, by 2020, cost £100 billion – scarcely a state secret, since the Government itself announced this three years ago – plus £40 billion more to connect these windmills to the grid, a figure given us by the National Grid last year.
Helm did not tell us that this £140 billion equates to £5,600 for every household in the country. But he did admit that the plan was “staggeringly expensive”, and that, given the current extent of “fuel poverty” and the state of our economy, he doubted “if it can in fact be afforded”.
Even shorter on hard facts, however, was Shukman’s report on a monster new wind farm off the coast of Cumbria, where a Swedish firm, Vattenfall, has spent £500 million on building 30 five‑megawatt turbines with a total “capacity” of 150MW. What Shukman did not tell us, because the BBC never does, is that, thanks to the vagaries of the wind, these machines will only produce a fraction of their capacity (30 per cent was the offshore average in the past two years). So their actual output is only likely to average 45MW, or £11 million per MW.
Compare this with the figures for Britain’s newest gas-fired power station, recently opened in Plymouth. This is capable of generating 882MW at a capital cost of £400 million – just £500,000 for each megawatt. Thus the wind farm is 22 times more expensive, and could only be built because its owners will receive a 200 per cent subsidy: £40 million a year, on top of the £20 million they will get for the electricity itself. This we will all have to pay for through our electricity bills, whereas the unsubsidised cost of power from the gas plant, even including the price of the gas, will be a third as much.
It is on the basis of such utterly crazy sums – which neither the Government nor the BBC ever mention – that our politicians intend us to pay for dozens of huge offshore wind farms. In a sane world, no one would dream of building power sources whose cost is 22 times greater than that of vastly more efficient competitors. But the Government feels compelled to do just this because it sees it as the only way to meet our commitment to the EU that within nine years Britain must generate nearly a third of its electricity from “renewable” sources, six times more than we do at present.
The insanity does not end here. The Government talks of building 10,000 windmills capable of generating up to 25,000MW of the electricity we need. But when it does so, it – like the BBC – invariably uses that same trick of referring to “capacity”, without explaining that their actual output would be well below 30 per cent. (Last year, onshore turbines generated just 21 per cent of their capacity.) In other words, for all that colossal expenditure – and even if there was the remotest chance that two new giant turbines could be built every day between now and 2020 – we could only hope to generate some 6,000MW. This is not only way below our EU target, it is only a tenth of our peak demand during those cold, windless weeks last winter, when wind power was often providing barely 1 per cent of the power we needed.
That ‘renewable’ energy (in fact it is no such thing) needs such enormous subsidies is a sure sign that it is a rampant waste of taxpayer money.
If you can’t produce something without subsidies, this means you cannot produce it it at a price people are willing to pay. If you can’t produce something at a price people are willing to pay, you shouldn’t be producing it.
Subsidies hide the real price of a product. They discourage investment and inventiveness.
For example, the cost of the NBN to each household in Australia is about $6,000, whether they connect to it or not.
There is no business case for the NBN. If there were, business would be doing it. The NBN can only survive at huge cost to the taxpayer, and by sabotaging competition from existing copper wire networks and developing high speed wireless technologies.
The NBN will discourage research and investment into alternative internet technologies – just as massive subsidies for currently popular green energy schemes will discourage investment in other energy research. Who can compete when the government is throwing billions of dollars at your less efficient competitors?
That the government choice of technologies is less efficient and more costly, whether in power generation or internet transmission, means our costs are higher and consequently our industries are less efficient. So inevitably we are less competitive, we make less profit, and wages, employment and tax income all suffer.
Which means more people are unemployed, and there is less company profit going into superannuation funds, which means even greater burdens on social services, and less money available to support them.
Which means lots of misery.
But that’s what you get when ideology trumps reality.
Julia’s toddler team is certainly entertaining.
Australian politics have not been so interesting since the days of Joh and Russ.
Of course, ‘May you live in interesting times’ is a well known curse, and this government has certainly been a curse for Australia.
This afternoon Julia sabotaged Question Time by simply getting up and leaving. Another thirty or so of the toddler team did the same.
This was in response to Tony Abbott’s questions about Gillard’s continuing support for Craig Thomson.
Why would the Prime Minister do something that confirms the general view that the current crop of Labor politicians are immature, arrogant and self-serving?
I guess because the alternative would be to answer the question. And answering the question would show the Labor Party in an even worse light than acting like a bunch of spoilt two year olds.
The end is nigh!
Dominique Strauss-Kahn is the former head of the International Monetary Fund. Whatever happened in his New York hotel bedroom on May 14th, prosecutors are right to drop rape charges against him.
“The nature and number of the complainant’s falsehoods leave us unable to credit her version of events beyond a reasonable doubt, whatever the truth may be about the encounter between the complainant and the defendant,” the motion states. “If we do not believe her beyond a reasonable doubt, we cannot ask a jury to do so.”
Among those falsehoods was that she had been gang-raped by soldiers in Guinea.
Prosecutors said that at one point when she was confronted with untruths, “she dropped to the floor and physically rolled around while weeping” before saying she did not know the answer to their questions.
Even her insistence that no one could “buy” her, and that she had no interest in earning money off the case, was greeted with suspicion by prosecutors.
“The complainant had a recorded conversation with her incarcerated fiance, in which the potential for financial recovery in relation to the May 14, 2011, incident was mentioned,” the document says. “Although there is nothing wrong with seeking recovery from a defendant in a civil suit, the complainant’s disavowal of any financial interest is relevant to her credibility.”
The sad thing is that she may very well have been raped. But her history of lying about sexual assault, and her myriad changes of story in this case, put prosecutors in the position where they were no longer certain beyond reasonable doubt, and consequently, could not put the case to a jury.
Before the accusations, Strauss Kahn was considered the leading Socialist Party candidate in the next French presidential election.
How the heck does a socialist become head of the International Monetary Fund?
Andrew Wilkie wouldn’t recognise a pimple on his own nose. But Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor just might. This is what they should be saying:
After the general election I believed the interests of my electorate, and the people of Australia, would best be served by a Labor government.
I was wrong.
This government has been the most inept in Australia’s history. Its major projects and policy announcements have been a series of expensive and embarrassing failures.
Whatever you may think of the carbon and mining taxes as policy, the government has no mandate for them, and in the case of the carbon tax, can only introduce it by breaking a clear pre-election promise.
The government’s reluctance to act over allegations involving the member for Dobell have made it clear that the leadership of the Labor Party is more concerned with holding onto power than with justice, or the rights of ordinary Australian workers.
Anthony Albanese’s description of hundreds of truck drivers and their families and supporters as ‘the convoy of no consequence,’ demonstrated the contempt the Labor Party feels for the concerns and aspirations of Australian families and small business owners.
A government can only function fairly and effectively if it governs with the consent of the people. The Labor Party has lost the right to claim that consent.
As a result, I have to announce that I intend to support the Leader of the Opposition in a motion of no confidence in the government.
Not only would Oakeshott and Windsor be doing the right thing, and earning the gratitude of the entire country, this is the only conceivable way their own political careers have any chance of continuing past the next election.