September 01, 2003


Paul Sheehan pays out on progressives:

When the Herald's literary editor, Malcolm Knox, came back from last week's Melbourne Writers Festival, he said he was stunned by the event's conformity, its dominance by a self-reinforcing, self-congratulating insular consensus which allowed only token dissent.

I'll take his word for it, especially as Knox is by no means someone who could be tarred with the epithet "conservative" and the festival's keynote address was delivered by Tariq Ali, one of the great apologists for dictatorships, another example of the peculiar moral relativism of the progressive side of politics.

Also in Sheehan’s line of fire: Robert Manne and Michael Moore.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 1, 2003 10:14 AM

Festi-val \Fes"ti-val\, n. A time of feasting or celebration; an anniversary day of joy, civil or religious.

If that's their festival, I'd hate to go to their Annual General Meeting.

Posted by: pooh at September 1, 2003 at 12:44 PM

Heh. The lefties didn't seem too tolerant of token dissent when I turned up to run a single-handed counter-protest at their campus wankfest on wednesday. They were protesting in favour of the Union, the Sports Union and SRC's supposed right to claim $500 or so from each student in union fees every year, and against the idea that students should actually have some sort of choice over whether they join the Union, the Sports Union and the SRC or not.

In a bizarre, Mugabe-like twist, the Union, which has an effective monopoly on food service on campus, closed all its outlets over lunchtime and held a free barbecue at the protest itself, thus ensuring that the only way you could eat lunch was if you turned up to the protest.

I turned up with a "NO MORE UNION FEES; WE WANT VSU" t-shirt and a similar sign. Within a couple of minutes, I'd had my sign stolen and ripped up. Later I had lemonade poured on my head and was beaten with the pole of a Socialist Worker flag (which broke... bwa ha ha!)

So anyway... those whose token dissent the left allows should consider themselves lucky: some of us are being beaten with sticks for expressing a contrary view.

Posted by: Jorge at September 1, 2003 at 01:19 PM

Great, a new sub-faction: the lemonade left. For those too young to buy chardonnay?

Posted by: slatts at September 1, 2003 at 01:35 PM

Funnily enough, it was Sprite, a product of the oh-so-evil Coca-Cola company. The beloved Union has made a deal with Coca-Cola to ensure that only Coke-branded soft drinks are available on campus.

Posted by: Jorge at September 1, 2003 at 01:58 PM

I hope the Socialist Worker at least had the common decency to use his or her now-mastless flag to mop up the lemonade.

Posted by: pooh at September 1, 2003 at 02:11 PM

There you go again Tim - paying homage to a chickenhawk like Sheehan. Go on Tim, give Paul a quick call this afternoon and arrange to meet at the ADF office in Pitt Street and the two of you can signup for your turn at the front. Maybe Miranda will send you each hand knitted socks for the coming winter in the mountains of Afghanistan.

Just remember Tim, as you down another bottle of expensive wine - while someone's else son is on the frontline - that you are a chickenhawk and a hypocrite.

Posted by: Big Hawk at September 1, 2003 at 03:30 PM

Just remember, Big Hawk, that you have only one thought in your tiny little head and you are boring, not challenging.

Posted by: John Nowak at September 1, 2003 at 03:37 PM

"...the coming winter in the mountains of Afghanistan"

That wouldn't be anything like the "harsh Afghan winter"?

brrrr - sounds cold

Posted by: Mike Hunt at September 1, 2003 at 04:27 PM

Just out of curiosity, is the person calling himself "Big Hawk" really on the front lines? Does he have any intention to go there? If not, one wonders why he calls himself that. And if he is on the front lines, one wonders why he should resent support from the folks back home, and why he thinks people can simply pop off to a recruiting station and "sign up" for a turn at the front anytime they want to, I mean given the fact that the Commonwealth of Australia has professional armed services, and wouldn't be accepting middle-aged journalists even if it had mass conscription.

Posted by: doyne dawson at September 1, 2003 at 05:12 PM

More than that Doyne, what's with the assumption (from big hawk) that laughing at lefties means you want to go and fight a war?

Posted by: EvilDan at September 1, 2003 at 05:19 PM

Sad to hear of Jorge's experiences above, but the left are so predictably unreasonable that one might have warned Jorge that he shouldn't protest. Just like I decided aginst putting my 'Give War a Chance' bumper sticker on my car: there are thousands of 'No War in Iraq' stickers out there, and I don't trash their cars, but it seems unlikely that the same courtesy would be extended to me expressing the contrary view.

Was it Robert Dessaix in the media recently lamenting the absence of a 'space' for intellectual debate in Australian society? I suspect he was more thinking of more government gravy train stuff, more writers' festivals, more 'Big Ideas gabfests' etc. The problem really is that the left are so intolerant: they will shout you down, call you evil, racist, redneck etc, even as they advance positions which are plainly intellectually flawed, and proven by history to be so.

So the problem isn't that there is no 'space' for debating ideas, its that the left shuts down debate before it gets started.

Why can't they be tolerant? Why can't the left accept that some of us are well-meaning Australians who want to achieve just and good aggregate and individual outcomes, but we don't accept their presciptions for how to do so?

Posted by: GeoffM at September 1, 2003 at 05:23 PM

Because they live on Planet Left and no-one else is invited.

Posted by: ilibcc at September 1, 2003 at 05:33 PM

The Left is as much about religious belief as it is about politics.

If you don't agree with them, you're not just wrong -- you're evil. And thus, they can justify to themselves any action they take to suppress you.

Posted by: Evil Pundit at September 1, 2003 at 05:51 PM

Re: the intolerance of the tolerant Left...I can't remember where I first read it but somebody astutely observed, "The Right looks for converts, the Left looks for heretics".

Personally, I looked into signing up for the US military after September 11th but was told that at age 38 and no prior military service, (plus family and sundry sports injuries to both shoulders) I was four years past my sell by date. Now maybe I can't swing on the monkey bars like the al Qaeda boys we see in their training videos but I figured I could do something to help the Cause. Alas, no deal. But I support them and Bush, Blair, and Howard. It is the right thing to do.

There are myriad reasons why people of Tim's Ilk (tm) can't or don't serve. We can't all be firefighters or cops either but we can support them and cheer them and still be opposed to homes burning down and criminals running riot.

Big Hawk: "If you want that orphanage fire put out then why don't YOU get on the ladder with the hose, pussy?"

But it is readily apparent that Big Hawk is really more obsessed with Tim than in supporting the military. Just for laughs, say Tim and Big Hawk did join up together and Tim got to be BH's commanding officer...hilarity ensues.

Posted by: JDB at September 1, 2003 at 07:04 PM

So, Jorge. You were the idiot who thought he was funny running around shouting bullshit and wearing a stupid tall orange hat?

Wow. You must lead such an interesting life.

On the up side, you provided much entertainment as we ran odds on who was going to punch you first.

Posted by: Andy at September 1, 2003 at 07:15 PM

"we ran odds on who was going to punch you first."

Sounds more like one of the anti-war peace protesters than a unionist (anti-war peace protestors are usually the more violent of the two)

Posted by: Richard at September 1, 2003 at 08:33 PM

... and these stupid thugs wonder why nobody believes their lies about "peace" and "tolerance".

Posted by: Evil Pundit at September 1, 2003 at 08:39 PM

In cannon fodder wars it doesn't matter how old the fodder is. Even the ADF could find some use for a fat lazy wannabe journalist like Tim Blair.

He's an expert at spin and cares little for the truth making him perfect for some desk job pumping our press releases for Rummy's dumb arse war.

And remember those of us that didn't want the war don't have to go anywhere near a recruiting office, whereas those that worked overtime to bomb the shit out of Baghdad have a moral obligation to put their fat arses on the line, and stop expecting other peoples sons and daughters to fight their stupid wars.

Face it brownshirts - it's your war so quick step now down to the recruiting office and show us how brave you all really are.

But that's right, just like VP Cheney you all have other priorities making money and keeping your sorry arses as far from danger as possible.

And let's not forget the big brave Tim Blair has had a lifetime to join up, but alas he always had other priorities.....

Posted by: Big Hawk at September 1, 2003 at 09:10 PM

But of course people like Big Hawk aren't really worth joining the military to defend. And I'd be very careful about who you call a Brownshirt as well.Apart from the fact that no one here is one, it also trivialises what the victims of the real Nazi's had to go through. But then, somehow I doubt B.H likes Jews.

Posted by: Gaz at September 1, 2003 at 09:50 PM


Posted by: BIG ARSE at September 1, 2003 at 09:55 PM

Oh I don't like Jews. What a stupid uninformed comment. I've spent a lifetime with Jewish friends. Moreover I'm part Jewish. So don't try and mock me Gaz, as I know what the likes of Tim Blair were doing all those decades ago when it came to helping Jewish refugees.

Just like today they were the first to want to push the boats back from our shores - saying go back go back. Stay in your first port of call - ie France where the Jewish refugees could be put on cattle truck back to Germany.

Nothing has changed and now today it's people like Blair and his brownshirt mates at the clubhouse of hate that want the refugees pushed back from our shores to anywhere but here.

And you pretend to be helping the people of Iraq. So tell me why does your hero John Howard look up children in wire cages in our deserts. Does it make you feel safe to know that two year old's are in wire cages safe from Saddam, while wackos like Ruddock go to court to make sure they stay there.

Posted by: Big Hawk at September 1, 2003 at 11:00 PM

ooohhh, the "brownshirts", gee, that one will give you some street-cred at the next lesbian puppet theatre workshop.

Its funny, did you read Paul Sheahans article? When you start talking about "brownshirts' as a an ill informed label all you do is lower yourself.

Posted by: nic at September 1, 2003 at 11:19 PM

Big Hawk - get off my f--cking obstacle!

I'm amazed. Sheehan discusses the state of progressive thought, Tim comments on it, and Big Hawk starts going "You bastards all want war and hate reffos." Talk about jumping to unrelated conclusions! Maybe, Big hawk, we can talk about the state of progressive thought? THATS what its all about...

Posted by: EvilDan at September 1, 2003 at 11:57 PM

If Big Dork is an example of "progressive thought", then that's their problem, right there.

Posted by: Evil Pundit at September 2, 2003 at 12:52 AM

I've been reading the comments posted variously, and am frankly amazed by Big Hawk's recurrent obsessions--"ilk, brownshirts" etc., and his (?) inability to use punctuation except for a full stop. But that "two-year-old's in wire cages" has me stumped. Some kind of obscure reference to Gitmo?

Posted by: ushie at September 2, 2003 at 01:11 AM

If I wanted to try and mock you I could do a lot better than that. I would have thought that being part Jewish and having Jewish friends would make you more sensitive to trivialising one of the most evil episodes in history. You've got every right to express your opinion, but casually calling someone a brownshirt is just low. And apart from anything else, resorting to emotional historical comparisons doesn't make your argument any more solid.Remember your reaction to Bush's Axis of Evil speech? Didn't really convince you did it?

Posted by: gaz at September 2, 2003 at 01:39 AM

By the way, I like refugees. I think they've shown a great deal of courage and resourcefulness.

Posted by: gaz at September 2, 2003 at 01:47 AM

The last bastion of the defensive..."But some of my best friends are Jewish!"

Man, do I feel sorry for them...

Posted by: Jerry at September 2, 2003 at 03:20 AM

Big Hork: If you can't take a joke, don't be one. Oh, and kiss my arse too, goof.

Posted by: Mike at September 2, 2003 at 09:19 AM

It's 8.07am on the dial and the challenge remains for the big brave Tim Blair to put his big balls where his big mouth his and get down to Pitt St bright and early where he can present himself to the ADF recruiting office and sign up. Maybe you can get Paul to hold you hand.

ps: there is nothing to discuss here, just an opportunity to throw a few of your own grenades back. Blair is a fraud and his fan club here is mostly made up of MEN who are only interested in promoting Blair and his fellow traveler's version of the story. Anyone else with a different opinion is going to be attacked no matter how moderate their views are, or how politely they try to discuss issues. Blair is the very definition of an upstanding member of middle class Germany in the 1930s. Hence the charge of brownshirts.

Posted by: Big Hawk at September 2, 2003 at 09:25 AM

Oh, and Jorge, if you actually went to Sydney Uni (which I doubt) you would know that if you went to Wentworth you would find many non-union food outlets, such as the sandwhich and muffin place and donut king on the third level, all those shoddy take away places on the 2nd level and the cafe with good coffee on the 1st, right at the back.

And to the other person there, trying to set fire to a NUS flag is not a smart move.

And I can't stand the Socialist Alliance.

Posted by: Andy at September 2, 2003 at 10:00 AM

So Big Hawk, on the basis of your incredibly stupid argument (if one can dignify your ravings with the term "argument"), no-one can call for the law to be upheld, without immediately rushing out and volunteering to join the police. Similarly, I expect you would tell us that we can't argue that a fire should be extinguished without being ready to enlist in the fire brigade.

Everything with you is based on feelings isn't it? Thinking doesn't really come into it does it? If a line of action "sounds all nice and touchy feely", it must be right, is that how it goes? If just about every "progressive" policy or idea has caused serious harm to the poorest and nost vulnerable in society whilst enriching the apparatchiks, it doesn't really matter, as long as you continue to SAY how much you care. Ah, the certitude of youth!! Some day you will grow up mentally and learn like most of us that solutions are to be found in thinking through the issues, not in feeling through them.

Posted by: Toryhere at September 2, 2003 at 10:31 AM

There actually is some quite useful discussion on the site, Big Hawk.

And not everyone agrees with each other. It only turns nasty when someone starts trolling for abuse.

That's all.

Posted by: ilibcc at September 2, 2003 at 11:34 AM

Andy: You doubt I go to Sydney Uni? You reckon I'd bother to go out and protest against Compulsory Student Unionism at a university I don't even attend? Hell, ordinarily I wouldn't have bothered to show up, but the downright nastiness and dishonesty of the Union's campaign got me totally pissed off.

Yes, BB's Cafe and Donut King on the third level of Wentworth are not Union-operated: you can tell, by the fact that the food there is edible. (The takeaway places on level 2 are union-operated, and the union shut them down too.) But this hardly matters, since the Union's thugs set off the fire alarms in all the Union buildings (plus many other buildings) for the duration of the protest, forcing everybody out. So you couldn't have bought a donut from Donut King anyway.

Somebody tried to burn an NUS flag? That was dumb. But at least it's better than hitting someone with it. Still, it sounds like the union (+ SRC + NUS etc) have a whole lot of people very pissed off. Perhaps they need to ask themselevs "Why do they hate us?"

Posted by: Jorge at September 2, 2003 at 11:52 AM

Mr Blair's stock in trade is trolling for abuse.

Why else did he create this site, and write his columns of hate.

I'm just sick of letting fucks like Blair live in a room full of adhoring fans without a good spray back again.

When Mr Blair starts to actually engage in reasonable debate then I'll respond in kind. But we all know Mr Blair has no intention of saying anything reasonable but will continue to sprout his uninformed rubbish as long as men like Packer or Murdoch will pay him for it.

Enjoy your little clubhouse patting each other on the back with your latest attack against the left. As Billy Bloggs said the left needs frauds like Blair to remind us why it pays to read more than one book in your lifetime.

Posted by: Big Hawk at September 2, 2003 at 01:02 PM

Priceless letter in today's SMH from plagiarising serial liar Helen Darville whining about how these PC boys killed her career. (Humblest apologies for going back on-topic.)

Posted by: Ferg at September 2, 2003 at 02:01 PM

>Enjoy your little clubhouse patting each other on the back with your latest attack against the left. As Billy Bloggs said the left needs frauds like Blair to remind us why it pays to read more than one book in your lifetime.

If you've read more than one book, why is it that you're the only one here who is incapable of more than one thought?

Why is it that you're the one chanting the same lines over and over, like a deranged robot?

Posted by: John Nowak at September 2, 2003 at 03:33 PM


The Left: "Cuba is a great place to live." The Right: "So why don't YOU go volunteer to live there, then? Huh? Huh?"

The Right: "Iraq is a great place to send in an army." The Left: "So why don't YOU go volunteer to fight there, then? Huh? Huh?"

Posted by: Uncle Milk at September 2, 2003 at 09:20 PM

Don't have a problem with compulsory student unionism (hey, you Lockeans, if social contract theory can justify the state drafting and imprisoning youas well as taxing you, it can certainly justify SRCs basically taxing you for services consumed ...* -- and you've got a lot more choice about whether you attend Monash or Latrobe than whether you're born, or even naturalised, Australian or [say] Belgian), but I do have objections, damn' strong ones, to compulsory student leftism. The tearing down of posters, the insouciant attitude to bashing up political opponents, the cavalier helping of oneself to union funds, the Campus Bus, etc, etc. You know who you are. But the remedy isn't opting out, it's using the rights you've got to vote the rorters out and vote more honest candidates in. Don't burn the house down until you've at least tried rat-poison first.

* What's that you say? You don't want to pay for student services because you don't use them? Ah, but of course you would say that, wouldn't you. Read some Mancur Olson about the "free-rider" problem --or pretty much any economist about the rightfulness of charging people for public goods.

Posted by: Uncle Milk at September 2, 2003 at 09:34 PM

I don't consider myself rightwing and I enjoy the site (I find it quite funny and true at times). Mr Hawk, if you are going to get this riled at a bit of a wind-up on the web, my lord, you have a lot of sites to visit. May I suggest a quick trip to Little Green Footballs? You will find fertile ground and opponents as madly monocular as yourself.
For the rest of Blair's correspondents, I would suggest people stop feeding this particular troll if they want it to slope off.

Posted by: Dave F at September 2, 2003 at 09:54 PM