The Australian’s 50th B’Day
The celebration of The Australian’s 50th birthday is well justified on many scores. Most importantly, on its contribution to Australia’s move down the road to free enterprise and free speech in the face of opposition by those who claimed to be “progressive” but were too often protecting vested interests. Personally, I greatly valued Murdoch’s encouragement after I resigned from Treasury in 1987 (including through his support of the then struggling Institute of Public Affairs) and the maintenance of a newspaper that created hope for the future. It is a pity that, despite his unprecedented risk-taking and achievements in the most competitive society in the world, Murdoch himself has failed to be recognised here as a great Australian.
The rejection by Hamas of a ceasefire to which Israel had agreed has led to some recognition that Hamas is the initiator, although the ABC continues to present it as a party to a conflict which is seeking “concessions” and Israel as the trouble maker which is killing children. A disgraceful 7.30 report questioning of an (excellent) Israeli spokesman was based on that assumption.
Kerry is reported as condemning Hamas but only because it did not agree to a ceasefire.
Meantime, extremist Islamic activity continues in Libya (where the US did intervene to help get rid of a different type of dictator) and in Syria, and a report from Indonesia provides further evidence suggesting that the extent of extremism there is greater than previously thought (see below). Note that, while recognising that they are on a one way ticket, some still become extremists.
Palmer’s Appeal Fading?
The continued mis-behaviour of Palmer is leading some Parliamentarians to speak out publicly about him. Hedley Thomas expresses the hope (below) that “when PUP’s senators work out they can draw a taxpayer-funded pay cheque, be constructive in public life and vote in the Senate without having to put up with Palmer pulling their strings and yelling it will be all over”. Palmer’s decision to change his mind and support the Future of Financial Advice regulatory changes in the Senate might be an indication change, although he has a thick hide.