Letter to The Editor - Constitutional amendment is not needed at all "to ensure indigenous voices are heard."

To The Australian        Damien Freeman asserts that "it is unfair to conclude that indigenous people make demands that are endless and can never be satisfied" ("Wyatt on right track for recognition of indigenous people in constitution", 4-5/1). However, during past decades ample evidence has accrued from the published statements of indigenous leaders and their non-indigenous supporters to refute Freeman's wishy-washy idealism. Kow-towing to the Uluru Statement is seen by many key players as just the first step towards enabling indigenous people to reclaim most if not all of this continent for themselves. Freeman's phrase "a constitutional anchor" sounds reassuring, but, in fact, if enacted, it would become a constitutional fetter on Australians seeking to maintain the traditional political order of our nation. Furthermore, constitutional amendment is not needed at all "to ensure indigenous voices are heard." They are being loudly heard everywhere, with the assistance of financially powerful supporters. Finally, neither former chief justice Murray Gleeson nor anyone else has been able to show that constitutional amendment would not fatally strike at the principle of equity (fair treatment) for all Australians.
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic

Letter to The Editor - A renewed sacred movement of reform within Christianity might work wonders

To The Age         Perhaps Waleed Aly is too pessimistic in his doom-saying prognosis of a coming "public hell" due to "system breakdown" ("A new decade of public hell", 4/1), but he may be right to focus on a growing "disillusionment with democracy itself." Australian society, like that of other nations based in Western European culture, appears more and more clearly to be oligarchic in structure despite its self-promotion as "liberal democracy"; and to many people that oligarchy appears to be too well entrenched to be able to be successfully challenged. That, apart from the seductions of technological inventiveness, may be why people are turning inward and withdrawing from participation in the forums of "public space." Aly, in exhibiting a distaste for renewed movements of nationalism (why?), asserts that "globalisation isn't about to be undone." It depends what you mean by globalisation. A renewed sacred movement of reform within Christianity might work wonders; but one means reform and not a superficial revival based on flawed church authority or a simplistic insistence that "the Bible is the Word of God."
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic

Letter to The Editor - Let 2020 be a year when Australia returns to its traditional roots

To The Age        David Wilson suggests (30/12) that "the monarchy is no longer relevant to contemporary Australia", but in fact its importance for our future well-being grows stronger by the day. We live in challenging and even threatening times and our response to these will be wiser and firmer if it is based on adherence to royalty and its divine basis. Republics are sometimes needed for a while if monarchies go bad, but such is not the case for us. The House of Windsor, whatever the personal failings of some of its members, possesses a noble record of public service and dignified contribution to government and public affairs. Let 2020 be a year when Australia returns to its traditional roots, those on which our great nation was built.
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave

Letter to The Editor - Quality of culture easily trumps longevity of tenure

To The Australian        Noel Pearson has compared the "65,000 years of presence" of Aboriginal peoples on this continent with the "250 years of British dominion" ("Ministers present but voice muffled", 28-29/12), evidently believing that this contrast of numbers justifies the campaign for Aboriginal constitutional recognition. He should ask himself which of those passages of time has contributed more to the flourishing Australian nation in which we live today. The answer is that quality of culture easily trumps longevity of tenure. In any case, we cannot return to yesterday and should not try to. The present Australian nation has now lasted long enough to justify its constitutional hold on this land. Pearson purports to "rehearse the main grounds for objection to positive recognition", but ignores many of the most important, such as the need for internal stability, national security and equity for all Australians. Perhaps Paige Taylor could now give us an article of similar length reporting in depth on the whole range of arguments against constitutional recognition and the key persons advocating them.
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic

Letter to The Editor - The bitterness and sorrow of human life is acknowledged

To The Australian         You are right ("Seeking comfort in the mystique of Christmas", 24/12) that "the season's theological underpinnings run far deeper than sentiment." Even deeper than theology is the metaphysical reality about which theologians discourse. However, your statement that "at its heart, Christmas is mysterious and bittersweet" is surely only half right. It is mysterious because it symbolises the penetration into our everyday world of a higher understanding, something that can come when one has been "born again" (as Jesus explained to Nicodemus). That revelation is fundamentally joyous. The celebration of Easter, of course, is a different matter. There is where the bitterness and sorrow of human life is acknowledged, but also its ultimate overcoming by that which in our deepest depths is eternal.
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic

Letter to The Editor - She is not a "foreign monarch" but Queen of Australia in her own right

To The Australian        Unlike the Australian Republic Movement, I'm glad that our armed services personnel and politicians are required to swear loyalty to the Queen rather than to the Australian people or Australia ("Diggers 'serve us, not the Queen'", 23/12). Her Majesty is a person, not an amorphous abstraction or a geographical location. What's more, she has been trained from childhood to assume royal responsibility and has acquitted herself as monarch magnificently. Even more importantly, she has accepted her role as a trust given by God to whom she dedicated her life in humility and wisdom. So our loyalty to her is also a commitment to align our lives with the guidance of divinity, not with current political correctness or ideological fashion. Moreover, she is not a "foreign monarch" but Queen of Australia in her own right - one of us by legislation and in reality.
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic

Letter to The Editor - The government has hitherto, in this context, shirked its duty to govern for all living Australians

To The Australian        Paige Taylor's full-page and thoroughly one-sided discussion of plans for an Aboriginal voice to be enshrined in the constitution ("The voice of reason", 20/12) could more aptly be titled "The voice of treason". This campaign makes no sense unless it is understood as a semi-clandestine attempt to prepare the way for the division of Australia into two nations. Marcia Langton, a very privileged person who has been the recipient of government largesse, wrongly claims that Australians having Aboriginal ancestry have been "consistently excluded" from their citizenship entitlements. If we are thinking reasonable entitlements, this view has been amply exposed as false by Keith Windschuttle and other commentators. The government's senior advisory group is unrepresentative of the views of Australians as a whole. The sooner it is disbanded the better. The government has hitherto, in this context, shirked its duty to govern for all living Australians, not just a few whose right to claim special treatment has been hotly contested and rightly so.
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic

Letter to The Editor - Perhaps we need to review our whole philosophical orientation

To The Age        It is well known that too much of a good thing is not good at all. Waleed Aly has correctly diagnosed this problem as manifesting in current modes of the presentation and digestion of news within our political order ("News and the apocalypse", 20/12). He notes that news too readily becomes disposable entertainment, even a sedative when really a wake-up call is needed. He laments a consequent public loss of meaning, loss of the ability to effectively comprehend and act on major political problems. An important solution he touches on is the need for a slowing down of the whole process. Traditional societies understood that it takes a very long time for a human person to acquire the wisdom that is needed for fruitful management of new challenges to public security and national well-being. These societies were hierarchical and aristocratic, not egalitarian or democratic. Perhaps we need to review our whole philosophical orientation.
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic

National Parks are Bushfire Havens By Viv Forbes

     Too many recent headlines say: “A fierce new bushfire is burning in the XYZ National Park. Nearby residents should prepare to evacuate.” Neglected, overgrown, weed and log infested, un-grazed, unburnt, government-protected parkland is a danger to all neighbours. All it needs is a fire-bug, a fearful neighbour attempting a too-late back-burn, or a lightning strike, and a wildfire is inevitable, especially when the weather is hot, dry and windy. Wild-fires will not stay in their National Park. Never before in Australia’s long history of black and white occupation have such large areas of bush been quarantined from annual burn-offs, cultivation, slashing or grazing. Four policy changes are needed to fix this problem: Firstly, a reduction in the area of land locked in national parks and reserves, and an end to “protected” vegetation on private land. Secondly, repeal of the sneaky state/commonwealth conspiracy that created the Kyoto protected “forests” on private land. Thirdly, regular cool-season burning of all national parks and private bush. If it will burn in the cool season it should be encouraged to burn at appropriate times. Otherwise it will support a fierce un-planned wildfire once the hot dry winds blow. Fourthly, greater local autonomy on pre-emptive burns or back burning. Only experienced local landowners and fire wardens can say:
“Today after 3.30pm is our best chance to have a burn-off with reasonable safety.” Most of the huge bushfires that burn homes and kill forests are man-made national disasters, fed by excessive fuel loads, magnified (but not caused) by drought, and turned into wildfires by hot dry winds. Trying to blame carbon dioxide, a non-flammable plant fertiliser, for today’s wildfires is yet more Flannery fiction.

Letter to The Editor - Life will be safer and more pleasant if their nations readopt a sensible conservatism

To The Age         What Peter Hartcher discusses as the contemporary success of "right-wing populism" ("The pragmatic populists", 17/12) can perhaps be better seen, on a much greater time scale, as the beginning of a return to public order. The thousand year rule of Catholic Christianity was gradually overthrown by a reform movement that began with Protestantism and ended with a Marxist collectivism that rejected the sacred completely. Unfortunately, while the reform movement freed us from an inquisitorial "orthodoxy" that contained major misunderstanding of the Jesus story, it also unleashed a variety of modes of selfishness that have greatly damaged human society. It has also been utilised by financially powerful globalist elites intent on extending their influence. In the face of this disaster ordinary people are beginning to recognise that daily life will be safer and more pleasant if their nations readopt a sensible conservatism, which will include a wisely articulated moral code based on awareness of the sacred underpinning of all human history.
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic

Brexit Done – Now for Clexit By Viv Forbes

     Thanks to Boris Johnson, Brexit will now occur. And thanks to Donald Trump, the US will exit the destructive Paris Climate agreement. And the UN alarmists made little progress at the big climate-fest in Madrid. It’s now time for Clexit (Climate Exit) - the great climate escape from all UN/IPCC alarmism and entanglements. Australia should join this rush for the exits. Australia is a huge island continent whose prosperity was built on mining, farming, grazing, transport, hydro-carbons and cheap reliable electricity. Australians have much to lose from the UN/Paris shackles, carbon taxes and globalist agenda. The war on coal, oil, gas, diesel, cattle, exploration and mining has harmed Australia’s backbone industries resulting in reduced prosperity, lower tax collections and more Aussies on welfare. The Kyoto forest lockups have sterilised useful private land and the promotion of unreliable wind/solar energy is destroying industry, jobs and electricity reliability. Sensible Australians will suddenly revolt and, like Jeremy Corbyn, the Turnbull/ALP/Green/ABC climate alarm choir will find they are singing the wrong tune. Like Brexit, Clexit is now inevitable. The burden of climate alarm costs and energy disruption ensure that western democracies will dump it. The sooner it is scrapped, the lower the cost.

Letter to The Editor - The European Union of jailing Holocaust revisionists is an affront to the principle of free speech

To The Australian          Janet Albrechtsen sounds very authoritarian in her criticism of Jeremy Corbyn's attitude to Jewish interests ("UK rejects descent into chaos", 14-15/12). Opposition to an alleged Jewish "banker cartel" and disagreement with the currently accepted understanding of the Holocaust do not necessarily involve hostility to Jews generally. These attitudes may be justified as rejection of high-level self-interested manipulations by extraordinarily powerful financiers and reassessment of the nature and extent of Nazi Germany's mistreatment of Jewish persons between 1933 and 1945. Albrechtsen's reference to a definition of anti-Semitism that is "globally respected" can also be challenged. There is very considerable intellectually based opposition, worldwide, to the current trend of treating the Holocaust as a kind of ersatz religion whose dogmas may not be challenged. Moreover, the present practice in the European Union of jailing Holocaust revisionists is an affront to the principle of free speech, yet Albrechtsen ignores this wickedness completely.
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic 

More Water Bombers? No - Fight Fire with Fire

     In a furious firestorm with high winds, extreme temperature and big loads of dry fuel, water bombing is usually just wasting water and avgas. In hot winds, water will evaporate quickly, embers will start glowing and blowing, and soon the fire will be raging again. And with few dams getting built, and much stored water released to irrigate the oceans, where will they get the water? Too often they will steal it from private dams, leaving prudent landowners with inadequate water in a drought. Water can extinguish house fires, and protect homes and towns, but is useless for raging forest fires. The only solution here is to fight fire with fire – back burning from the wide cleared tracks which should protect every park, forest and property. The best fire insurance is to keep tracks and firebreaks clear and conduct regular cool-season burn-offs, especially in National Parks. And stop creating fire hazards by locking up more land. Don’t blow money on more water bombers – we need more back-burning, more boots and tyres on the ground and more graded tracks. And we should build more dams.

  Viv Forbes, Washpool, Qld 

Letter to The Editor - The "constitutional recognition" situation could be laughed off as Gilbertian if it were not also a sinister assault on our hitherto successful political order

To The Australian          Aboriginal Mick Gooda claims that "you can't have a treaty unless it's based on the truth" ("Fears for treaty if LNP takes control: Gooda", 9/12). Well, the truth is that all current attempts to establish treaties with Aboriginals are ethically built on sand and are clearly against the interests of most Australians. Another truth is that the so-called "eminent panel" of which he is a member is in no way adequately representative of Australians as a whole. Mr Gooda also wants a "truth-telling" operation whose outcomes are to become "an essential part of the school curriculum". Whose truth, I wonder. It sounds more like a propaganda drive such as the Soviet communists used and George Orwell satirised so memorably. In Victoria only 2,000 Aboriginal Victorians out of 30,000 who were eligible participated in the state's improperly constituted elections for the "First People's Assembly". Meanwhile Mr Gooda wants "multiple treaties" as well. The "constitutional recognition" situation could be laughed off as Gilbertian if it were not also a sinister assault on our hitherto successful political order.
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic

Republicans Now Seek to Bypass People’s Voice

     The new proposal by republicans to void the referendum process and have the state and federal parliaments vote on the succession when the Queen passes (Annika Smedhurst Telegraph 8/12/19) is fraught with legal complexities and will not work. The proposal, promoted by Labor MP Julian Hill, is typical of the sort of system that will exist under a republic where the voice of the people will be muted with politicians reigning supreme.

Philip Benwell
National Chair
Australian Monarchist League

Man-made Wildfires in Australia By Viv Forbes

     No one should be surprised that our bush is ablaze and our cities are smothered in smoke. For decades now we have been locking up land, banning burn-offs and encouraging eucalypt fire-trees. On a hot day, the blue haze on distant timbered hills is highly-flammable eucalypt oil vapour, waiting for a spark. The Australian landscape of open forests and treeless grasslands was developed and maintained under an aboriginal regime of continual small fires. This was followed by planned cool-season burn-offs by European graziers. But a few decades ago this safe black and white fire regime was replaced by green-worshippers who continually expanded the area of locked-up protected parks (now over 11% of Australia). Then they peppered private land with protected-vegetation fire havens, and hampered undergrowth clean-ups and burn-offs. This created many tinder boxes of eucalypt fire-trees waiting for a spark. The spark could be a fearful landowner seeking fire protection with a risky/belated back-burn, a thrill-seeking arsonist, a dry-lightning strike, a careless cigarette butt, a power-line problem or high-flying burning embers - and an unstoppable fire storm is inevitable. Centralised management of bush-fires and National Parks has failed totally. Locals and neighbours are better at managing fires and park land. Posturing politicians and uniformed fire generals should confine themselves to posing for photos, baking scones and boiling billy tea for fire-fighters. And Greens should serve on the fire front.

Recent comment in this post
Steven von Moger

Fix dumb decisions that have b...

Well said.
Monday, 06 January 2020 12:02

Clintel = “No Climate Emergency” By Viv Forbes

     This week Clintel attended the Heartland COP 25 conference at the Marriott Hotel in Madrid. The hotel was full of champagne-drinking COP delegates who were clearly enjoying themselves (‘climate business model in action’). To be sure they were not disturbed by demonstrators, Clintel had a recording room somewhere at the back and we heard about its coordinates on the same morning. Guus Berkhout was the first speaker at the event that was live-streamed from the Marriot Hotel. It was not an official COP25 event but a Heartland side-event with the aim to sound a different message to the world. Heartland had arranged several excellent speakers, such as Will Happer (who for the past year worked as an adviser in the White House), Lord Monckton, Anthony Watts, Douglas Pollock (our Chilean Clintel ambassador), Tom Harris, Stanley Goldenberg and a fascinating young German girl, Naomi Seibt, who gave an impressive speech about contentious issues such as climate change and the immigration crisis. The whole event was available online at  https://climaterealityforum.com/  and a record 76,000 watched.

A few conclusions:

1) The world should move from mitigation panic to intelligent adaptation (Guus Berkhout)

2) The economy of Chile is ruined by climate policy (Douglas Pollock)

3) The energy prices in Germany are vastly increasing (Wolfgang Müller)

4) New scientific insight shows that future climate sensitivity for CO2 is not more than 1.5 degrees, probably significantly smaller than 1.5 due to saturation effects (William Happer)

5) Climate models are immature and unfit for making policy (Christopher Monckton)

5) There is no evidence that global warming causes more natural disasters (Stanley Goldenberg)

6) Homogenisation of measurements lower the temperatures in the past (Anthony Watts)

7) The killing of birds and bats by wind turbines is much higher than reported (Tom Harris)

8) School children are massively brainwashed (Naomi Seibt)

Continue reading

Letter to The Editor - If artists and patrons could be kinder to right-wing views, a centre-right government might return the favour

To The Age        Jason Steger is right ("The arts are vital to everyone", 7/12) to remind us that our artists are "just as important in telling the world about the nature of Australia" as our sports stars. Thus it is reasonable for him to question what seems a diminution of government support for them in the PM's "rejigging of the federal public service." On a wider scale Steger expresses puzzlement at our nation's "fraught relationship with the arts." That their value "is not fully tangible" may indeed be part of it. The arts direct our awareness beyond the mundane and the merely logical to regions not currently in fashion with outdoor hedonists or money-makers. Yet a significant number of culturally alert Australians still do value them for the "intrinsic quality they bring to society." What is omitted in Steger's analysis is the close link (for good as well as bad) between the arts and left-wing politics. If artists and patrons could be kinder to right-wing views, a centre-right government might return the favour.
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave   

Letter to The Editor - If in the UK a "huge disparity" exists between private and public schools, then redress the balance to a fairer ratio

To The Australian        Frank Corrigan's review of Robert Verkaik's book Posh Boys: How the English Public Schools ruin Britain (Review, 7-8/12) certainly conveys that author's hostility to private education but also seems to share his one-sided approach. What is forgotten is that society needs to reward high achievers and a major way of doing that is to have them able to secure the best education they can for their children. It sounds awful, but is not: posh people deserve to have available posh schools. Equity, not equality should be the principle invoked. Toss out "equality of opportunity", but replace it with "a fair go for the less privileged." If in the UK a "huge disparity" exists between private and public schools, then redress the balance to a fairer ratio. As to the claim that "posh hustlers make disastrous political leaders", this seems to result from a blinkered and prejudiced approach. Jacob Rees-Mogg provided much evidence to the contrary in his recent book The Victorians.
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic