August 20, 2003


John Howard’s wicked racist agenda continues to ... er ... boost migrant numbers:

Bureau of Statistics figures show that, far from falling, net migration has been on an upward trend since the Howard Government's first year in office, 1996-97.

In 2000-01 it reached a peak of 136,000 - its highest level in 12 years. The following financial year (the last for which we have figures), it stayed high at 134,000.

Guess what? There isn't a predominance of white faces. In 2001-02, a third of people came from North-East Asia (particularly China and Hong Kong), 17 per cent came from South-East Asia (particularly Malaysia and Indonesia), 8 per cent from South Asia (particularly India) and 5 per cent from the Middle East (particularly Lebanon and Turkey). That's the best part of two-thirds.

Meanwhile, George W. Bush’s blinkered small-government mindset is ... um ... increasing the size of government:

By maintaining high levels of domestic federal spending, intervening cautiously in the country's continuing cultural conflicts, and waging a war to remove the threat posed by Saddam Hussein that was also consistent with the imperatives of ``humanitarian intervention,'' Bush has governed in a manner that should not leave progressives foaming with rage.

Bush seems to have more or less made his peace with a New Deal-style welfare state. With Senator Edward M. Kennedy, he supports extending federal oversight of public schools; in line with the hopes of many Democrats, he proposed in his 2003 State of the Union address an additional $400 billion over 10 years to strengthen Medicare; and going beyond Clinton administration rhetoric, he also asked Congress to commit $15 billion over the next five years to fight AIDS in Africa.

When will the horror end?

Posted by Tim Blair at August 20, 2003 05:18 AM

I'm afraid we'll have to suffer a WMD attack before people wake up. 9-11 didn't really upset anyone on the left in the US. I'm thinking if we have a 6 figure casualty list the sheeple may awaken. I'll suffer big government and fighting liberals at the ballot booth, rather than have tens of thousands die.

Posted by: cincysux at August 20, 2003 at 09:47 AM

Um ... err ... Bush lied, people died?

Yeah, that's the ticket.

Posted by: Dave Weigel at August 20, 2003 at 09:48 AM

Hmmm . . . is not the danger in devoting all of one's energies to attacking one's opponents that you end up standing for nothing else?

I mean, Tim, really, genuine conservatives and liberals (in the classical, rather than U.S. sense) are horrified at the way Bush has expanded government (at the same time as revenues are falling, leading to terrible budget deficits).

But here you are, trumpeting the news, merely because it lets you apply your paddle to yet another straw man.

Do you actually believe that reckless expansion of the size of government is a good thing? What do you believe?

Posted by: Mork at August 20, 2003 at 10:20 AM

I agree with Mork

"he supports extending federal oversight of public schools"

That's a good thing?

Dave are you related to Terri?

Posted by: Alex Hidell at August 20, 2003 at 11:10 AM

Whatever happened to economic rationalism?
I thought we elected conservative governments to cut spending and lower taxation; the Republicans in the USA and the Liberals in Australia make drunken sailors seem parsimonious.
I have no problem in spending money to shoot nasty foreigners, but sell off public "assets" to some-one who can make them work, for shits sake.

Posted by: Habib Bickford at August 20, 2003 at 11:34 AM

As the Globe article states, the issue here is 'partisan caricature'.

It's one dimensional and doesn't stand up to scrutiny. It's not about who's conservative and who's liberal.

Caricature used to be confined to the cartoon. Now it's in the news columns.

The equivalent argument is that Bill Clinton was a bad President not because of his White House antics and his foreign policy but because as a Democrat, he failed to screw the economy.

It's so annoying when politicians won't read the script.

Posted by: ilibcc at August 20, 2003 at 12:29 PM

I suspect that with dumb-down left policies dominant in urban US schools systems, it is not as simple as spouting ''small government good, big government bad,'' regarding federal controls. Unless there are federal standards, as should be enforced in Australia, what's to stop "progressive'' educationalists at regional and state level from enslaving further generations in illiteracy and innumeracy?

Posted by: slatts at August 20, 2003 at 12:55 PM

I look forward to Howard campaigning hard on a 'More Immigration Now!' ticket at the next election then, Tim. Wilson Tuckey could be his policy point man, say. Oh, that's right, he won't be around...or will he?

Mate, those favourite Lefty scarecrows you so love to make and destroy are just so many little straws blowing in a hot wind, now. Clutch, clutch, keep right on a-clutchin', y'big goose.

Shurely only a masochist Collingwood supporter would stick with this embarrassing lot now. Odorous? Talk about salt&shit farm in a stiff sou'easter eh, Tim?

Such tenacious loyalty is an exhausting thing to maintain, presumably. As Costello is doubtless musing about now. Another 'Free' Market, 'New' Liberal, Melbournite 'Friend of the Western Suburbs Battlers', Tim. You and Pete, peas in a pod.

U snapperhead. That flash learner really sucked your brain out and replaced it with Tory dogshit, didn't it.

Posted by: Jack R at August 20, 2003 at 01:37 PM

No, make that 'opportunist' dogshit.

If your lot were real Tories, at least we'd know where they stood.

Posted by: Jack R at August 20, 2003 at 01:47 PM

Jack, is this one of those jokes which only three people in the world understand?

Posted by: Alex Hidell at August 20, 2003 at 01:59 PM

It's one that people laugh at without actually understanding.

Posted by: pooh at August 20, 2003 at 02:24 PM

"That government is best, which governs least" - Thomas Jefferson.

Yeah, 'compassionate conservatism' is the ultimate oxymoron.

Posted by: Roger Bournival at August 20, 2003 at 02:36 PM

Jack perhaps didn't read my piece in the Weekend Australian (no link available). An extract:

We could do with an opposition that actually opposed
the government’s grim slide towards 1976, but most of
the ALP frontbenchers seem obsessed with the detail of
Howard’s machinations rather than the larger, sadder
picture. (As well, the ALP left supports protectionist
philosophies, putting them in broad terms alongside
Howard on this issue.) But there’s no devil in the
detail of the government’s ethanol deal -- or at least
very little that might yield political advantage.
Quite the opposite. The devil co-signed the
legislation, right out in the open, last September.

Posted by: tim at August 20, 2003 at 02:37 PM

I'm a sour Leftist, Alex and Poo. Any reference to your decadent Western 'humour' is a provocative root cause. I spit on your decadent Western etc etc.

Re: the weirdo post, yeah, sorry about that. Pissing blind into a long, speculative (and stinky) historical wind, probably. The story is that I'm f*&^ing blagged at Blairelzebubista Oz types - blue collar scum done good & gone elite - for pretending they haven't at all. It's a long and probably boring story, and a very Oz disease.

'Elites' is the class-cleaving term of the moment down this way. You guys (presume u r Yank) call them 'liberals'. So what. If Blair and me (and you and everyone else who ever posted on this site) were honest with ourselves, we would both describe ourselves as 'liberal elitists', anyway. We could only do that honestly nowadays 'cos we both got lucky (in more or less the same place & time), but via different mechanisms - me via a 'public quid pro quo' arrangement, him 'cos some posh private school teacher wasn't embarrassed or reticent about kicking ratbag Oz kids' arses until they strived to be as elite as they could.

My waffling point is that if Blair retained any of the balls he used to have back before he turned into Julie Burchill Lite (and Late) ie back when fruitcake pro and anti-Hansonites were trashing his (crap) cars, he would be calling this cynical 'anti-elitist' gov. of ours down here every name under the sun of which he could think, on account of their transparent exploitation, and hence paralysing, incentive-removing, defacto 'oppression' of the next generation of people like him and me.

Still there? Don't mind me, I gabble.

When Blair has sprogs - erk! - you can guarantee he won't allow a whiff of racism to sully their pristine mini-Blair waking consciousnesses. Yet the same guy claims to support a PM - viz. in this very post - who has done more to unleash and whip up that ugly impulse in the last nine years, all by sly opportunistic political proxy, and in us all, we hundreds of thousands of would-be/may be/probably-now-won't-be-mini-Blairista self-made elites. Deny it all you like, Tim, but even his mate Melham agrees he's a dogwhistler. He's played just about all our base instincts like a f*&^ing pianola - ie someone else sticks the dirty tune's sheet music in the slot, and away he pedals, not even having the guts to pound the keyboard for himself.

Sneering at the 'bad' elites as he pedals furiously away, while you few 'good' elites stand back and applaud his pedalling ability, while completely ignoring the tune he's actually sending out. Or at least the dance it arcs up.

You honestly don't think there's a casual connection between the PM of a country sooling the SAS onto a boatload of Muslim reffos, and 7000 hate letters out in the Western Suburbs leading to the banning of a tiny little Muslim prayer centre?

Get real, mate.

This is what F*&Ks me off about this whole 'anti-elitism', 'anti-liberal' bullshit riff - the hypocrisy of it all. You 'anti-elites' are all chickenshit, is the problem. The Glorious Masses out there have got you spooked. 'Public Opinion' scares you. You're all too wimpy to say boo! to anyone in a Jackie Howe with dirt under their fingernails, lest you hurt their feelings and said Glorious Worker calls you names.

Fuck 'em, I say. Both Howard and Latham's 'Battlers' can kiss my puckered Balmain arse, for all I give a shit. (Howard lives on Kirribilli waterfront, and a million bucks'll barely buy you a lock-up in Werriwa now anyway, so who's the fucking 'elitists' here?) Besides, the Working Scum get a vote just like anyone else; they don't need intellectuals like Blair or me to ram our posturing tongues up their dates in transparent mock-empathy.

Priveleged elites (like Blairista) who suck-hole to said Filth and pretend to be matey are laughable. Like, it's OK for Lachlan Murdoch to a) go to Princeton and write his thesis on Kant and Hegel, b) inherit a billion bucks, c) marry a supermodel, and d) run a newspaper empire by thirty...but he'll sneer at any 'elitist' like me (broke, unemployed, failing) if we should ever deign to criticise the views of the 'battlers' out there - those Red-Top readers whose base tabloid instincts he and his oikish chums so coldly and cynically exploit and stoke and pump-prime, all to keep their sixty-footers on the water.

People exactly like Blairista ought to be screaming at these twats, and especially at this bunch of self-serving charlatans we have running our country (and Bush and Co, too - more born-to-rule 'Workers' Heroes'.) 'Cos thanks to neo-conservative governments and businessmen like them, it's actually getting harder and harder all the time for people like him and me to do what him and me pulled off twenty years ago. Aspire to something better, and get some of the way there.

The hypocrisy of this government, Tim. 'Individual aspiration', work hard, self-improve, strive, intellectual excellence, better yourself...UNTIL you become an elitist thorn in the goverment's side, at which point you cease to be Australian, and become an inner-city wanker.

So my floundering point in hijacking this joint, Alex & Poo, is to point out that the worst political snake to watch out for is the one who claims that he is the 'People's Politician', as routinely does our lovable JWH. Bush and Co. are the same. Blair, Anthony, especially. Arnold S springs to mind now, too. And Adolph H - yeah, yeah, a naughty little segue, I know, but justified on grounds of Arnie's expressed views on Kraut malleability ('Vizout an Austrian to organise you, you Chermans are nuzzink') - and, of course, the family tree. His father being a Nazi. And indeed his Grandfather-in-law, too. Half the current generation of rapists, drunks, miscreants, thieves and very bad night-pilots too, by the sound of things. That's jinxed genes for you, I guess. (Where are the eugenicists when you really need them, I say.)

So where was I? Oh yeah, getting beaten up by Blairista 20 years ago down The Bridge Hotel, back when we were both still malleable working filth, when we should have been sending our fists in other directions. (Or maybe it was an elbow in the back of the head behind play. I played in the centre, Tim. That WAS you, wasn't it?) Whatever.

Something of an angry metaphor for the way self-declared 'Workers Hero' governments down the years have always divided and ruled the scum masses beneath them to their own advantage, whether it be benignly or brutally. Invariably they use the self-made 'liberals' and 'elites' (of differing opinion, natch) to open up the wedgey cracks in society, into which the convenient scapegoats of the day tumble, swept and poked in by the primed, angry, resentful Filthy Glorious Masses. In our case, reffos.

Keeps 'em busy so they don't see how the other one-twenty-fifth is living.

That's why shit like stoking up a Capital Punishment 'debate' is so low, Tim. Howard hasn't got an intention (or chance) in hell of ever changing the law. Not a remote intention in hell.
All he wants is for you and me to lead the exhausting argument over it 'in principle', get the Talkback Masses fired up, and then step back in like Lord Muck and calm things down in a way that makes him look reassuring and fatherly and omnipotent and blah blah blah.

That's not a 'debate', mate. It's just another populist cock-tease. JH has whipped out his 'Hard Man' chopper so many times without following through now, it's a wonder they don't call him Mr Floppy. He's a fake, mate. He's a bullshit artist and a con. Kennet's the only bastard who ever described our PM with anything approaching accuracy.

Sorry to ramble, Alex and Poo. You want cryptic posting, we got more in lumps out the back.

Posted by: Jack R at August 20, 2003 at 05:08 PM

Nah, I did read that. And it was predictably myopic. (Actually, I thought it would be Kelly who would write that weekend 'spoiler' piece, so you must be moving up in the world.)

Let me see...Howard's actual actions turn out to have thoroughly shitcanned (as usual) his own professed (in this case economic) 'convictions' yet again, and on this occasion in the name of a grubby and pathetic piece of opportunism...and all you can do is lash the opposition?

And BTW, it's not 'Howard's machinations', mate. It's lies. Serial lying. The guy & his government don't set policy and debate issues on merit anymore - they do it by oportunism, and then just lie about it if it gets awkward afterwards.

Stats show that, in fact as was predicted by the ALP, fewer poor kids ARE now going to Uni? No probs - you just cut those bits of info out, then, don't you. Snip, snip, into the memory hole.

Not 'machinations', Tim. Outright bullshit now.

This = danger territory. Howard's all clapped out, mate. Time to call it a day. He's already shat utterly on Keating, anyway.

He'd want to get out while the going's good, in my view, too, ie if he's smart, which I thought he was.

Posted by: Jack R at August 20, 2003 at 05:26 PM

Geez Jack, I only contributed to this thread because I thought Dave Weigel might have been related to Terri Weigel and was hopeful that he could put me in contact with her.

Posted by: Alex Hidell at August 20, 2003 at 05:32 PM


I think you may have some unresolved hostility issues.

Posted by: Gilly at August 20, 2003 at 05:53 PM

Way to go Jack R.

That's how to answer all the secondhand dogwhistling on this site. Show 'em a dirty great pair of dogs balls.

Yep, funny how all this trendy left/ABC bashing and cries of "elitism" always comes from tertiary educated, overpaid (for the work they do), well connected people with easy access to mainstream media soapboxes.

But of course they're not an elite, just plainspeaking folks who know what's right for "their" battlers.

Posted by: Elitism For The People at August 20, 2003 at 06:41 PM

They get in with the humans.

Posted by: Razor at August 20, 2003 at 07:03 PM

I personally don't have an issue with elitism. What's wrong with setting high (elite) standards and trying to achieve them? Many of the greatest things in human history are the result of elitism, whether that be academic, spiritual, commercial, sporting, artistic or political. Elitism is good. As oppose to snobbishness or arrogance, both of which appear at all levels of society in all fields of endeavour.

And Jack R - start your own freaking blog if you've got so much to say.

Posted by: Razor at August 20, 2003 at 07:17 PM

See Tim, Jack R is another reason you shouldn't be against euthanasia.

Posted by: Gary at August 20, 2003 at 07:25 PM

Gilly - Hostility? That lot? Bloke never even got out of second cog, dollybird.

Razor - tried it, blogged away, ditched it. Kept running out of medication, for one thing. Anyways, why slum it on three hits a day when y'can hump Blair's mighty leg for zip?

Posted by: Jack R at August 20, 2003 at 08:14 PM

"he also asked Congress to commit $15 billion over the next five years to fight AIDS in Africa."

What a sham that is.

Posted by: Adam at August 20, 2003 at 09:08 PM

Ooh. Jack's fake bluecollar comment kung fu is the best. Except: we need more colorful Aussie™ references to the male organ of pleasure. I'm making a list.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 20, 2003 at 09:11 PM

'Chopper' is EnglishTM, you daft provincial bint.

Posted by: Jack R at August 20, 2003 at 09:58 PM

Don't call me a bint, you dickless assbead.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 20, 2003 at 10:22 PM

Jack, the evil wedge politicians would not be able to divide the "scum" at the bottom unless said "scum" had a reason to be annoyed at their purported champions. If the ALP were serious about reconnecting with their heartland, they would recognise that the economics and the culture are equally important. What I mean is that people like Medicare, but are sick of all that bleeding heart (ie black armband) "shame on us all" crap.

Posted by: Steve Edwards at August 21, 2003 at 01:30 AM

Steve E - Yeah, fair point. I'm no great fan of Gough's chardonnay revolution myself. But chattering Labor-latte apparatchiks colonising the 'working class' electorates is no excuse for the Libs sneaking in and milking latent racist impulses, either. This used to be a loosely bipartisan accord in Oz. We've all got our ugly bigoted instincts that can be tweaked - anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism as much as anti-Asian and anti-Muslim. But the latter especially is a dangerous card to play when you're fighting Muslim sacrilegious nihilists, even if it's only a domestic-political 'bluff'. Bush's Administration hasn't gone down this route; he's taken huge pains to (try to) avoid alienating the US mainstream Islamic community with cheap political dog-whistling, PRECISELY so that he can introduce prudent and sensible, albeit tricky and line-walking, stuff like racial profiling at airports. (And he's got both his own Southern Belt puritans AND high-profile whackos like Farrakhan & HIS whopping constituency to be going on with, not merely minscule damp squibs like Hanson and a few angry young street gits from Lakemba.) You notice that he spends half his bloody time in Mosques these days. I'm sure he's not there for the polite chat and nibblies.

Tony Blair hasn't played ugly race-split games either (and he's probably got far more 'justification' to do so, given the number of genuine extremists apparently fermented in some of the Brit mosques.)

But Howard in my view has since Tampa; short-sightedly, stupidly and recklessly, and for opportunistic political gain. It's especially cynical since, as Blair pointed out, the hard numbers make a mockery of the wide 'battler' perception that his is a 'racially-selective' government on matters immigration. Even more cowardly, he's in a far better position than a wanker Balmain basket-weaver like me to 'sell' the racial harmony & tolerance etc line where it's most needed. Sure, he talks the talk, but keeps right on pressing the bleak sneaky buttons. If anyone should be hitting the mosques big time, it's him, I'd argue.

Just seems to me that Oz politics is getting dirtier all the time, is all. Same deal with the Capital Punishment mischief, which, considering Carr's Laura Norder & Muslim rapes angst of recent times, now risks coalescing a whole lot of to-now latent and disparate instincts into one seriously snowballing 'anti-Islam' riff. (And as Grattan wrote the other day, a terrorist attack on Oz soil would have a catastrophic effect on daily life in places like Lakemba, I fear.) Yet with the real possibility of such an attack on our soil growing, we need our leaders to foster DEEPER interfusional mainstream links with the local Islamic community (as our first-line defence), not pump-prime any exacerbation of a 'cultural stand-off' - because this is exactly how murderous extremists get the 'elbow room' to manouevre murderously. Devine recently wrote a good bit about that 'former' ratbag al-Hillaily, and how he's finally - apparently, maybe - doing his Oz 'Mufti' job, which should be to act as an uncompromising and credible internal brake on the nuttier Muslim young angries. BUT, every time JH (or Carr for that matter) blows the cheap dog-whistle, inadvertently or not, they surely make that task harder for him. Hillaily's got his constituency too, y'know. To me being super-generous to a few thousand desperate reffos (even if some are opportunists) is a small 'price' to pay for showing the local and international Muslim community you're fair dinkum about stuff like HR in Iraq, and fighting religious-nut al-Qaeda/Talibanesque oppression. The Iraqis we've STILL got locked up in Baxter are among the ONLY imprisoned-for-no-crime Iraqis on the planet now. Real dumb. And our 'not-so-decent-and-tolerant-after-all' knickers are starting to show internationally, too. I'd reckon, anyway. Perception does count, and it could just be that our HR shit does stink after all, even if only a bit so far.

Anyway, a big open heart to those who come here by sea is also the right and decent Oz tradition, ain't it? Again, as Greg Hywood pointed out the other day, 'even' Bush's America remains deadly serious when it says: "Give me your poor, huddled masses...and put 'em to free market work." This in a time of unprecedented 'border protection' tension and strain over there.

And it's better to have leaders like Hillaily and his media-savvy off-sider (whose name temporarily escapes me) inside the Oz tent pissing out on the relatively-few Islamic nutters, than outside the tent pissing half-heartedly in 'alongside' them (albeit pissing in on more benign 'issues' like refugees, rather than the need to wipe out Jews and Christians, say. The risk, after all, is always that these 'impulses' can start to 'coalesce' too, if we're not stringent about forcing/encouraging/helping the Oz Islamic community to parse them ruthlessly.) Or even to have them inside the Oz tent 'not pissing at all', ie mildly shut out of mainstream debate. In fact, if he was serious about local security, JH and his team could and should be working guys like these two relentlessly hard. Lock arms with Hillaily for the cameras - with a cold Man of Steely JH smile if necessary - and condemn each latest terrorist outrage - whether in Iraq, Jakarta or Jerusalem - in two-step Oz multicultural 'harmony'.

That's the way ahead, surely. But JH seems not to want to 'queer' his Tampa-electoral pitch by too much public hanging about with such blokes. I may be a little ungenerous, but the proof surely is in the pudding? Me, I'd be out there bragging about my bleeding-heart immigration-numbers track record, knocking down the Dentention Centres and putting a Murray River-rescuing shovel in all these aspiring Oz Citizens' hands a la the 60s Snowy schemes (especially the very few 'economic opportunists' among them), while simultaneously 'encouraging' the mainstream Mosques to be the very loudest Oz voices when it comes to condemnation of terrorist lunacy.

The last thing we need right now is more contrived domestic division on 'mouse poo' matters like the death penalty (which we're NEVER going to reintroduce, much less re-activate, not even for terrorists, and every MP from Howard down knows it, not to mention every bleeding heart High Court jurist and HR activist, too.

Or contrived division over 'mouse poo' like a few thousand scared and desperate Islamic refugees. What with so many truly dangerous nutters oozing into the woodwork worldwide. As the bipartisan tears in Parliament yesterday showed, we're all supposed to be in this fight together, right?

Again, as Hywood pointed out: it's called 'leadership'.

Andrea - sorry for calling you a bint. Withdrawn with dickless apology, acutely wounded. (Small, but perfectly formed, as they say.) Will presume 'assbead' is AmericanTM, and wear metaphorical set all day in pleasurably-stung penitence. Mmmmm...

Blair, didn't we argue all this shit out years ago?

Posted by: Jack R at August 21, 2003 at 10:58 AM



Didn't read.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 21, 2003 at 09:54 PM