Expenses by MPs
We seem to have been experiencing a lot of talk about domestic issues which are scarcely of the top order. Number one is the expenses incurred by Speaker Bishop, who as I have previously suggested acted irresponsibly. Her failure to acknowledge this and to apologise straight away, and Abbott’s failure to ensure that happened and to announce a review of the expenses provisions (it appears that Labor’s front bench has “over-spent” too), has put the Coalition in damage control and will likely lead to a further decline in polling (see article below Labor boats deals pose challenge for Tony Abbott)
As Parliament resumes the week after next there is still time for Abbott to change Speakers and make a statement on global warming which draws attention to the cost of adopting Shorten’s policies on this matter, including the costs of resorting to additional renewables (currently, an almost incredible belief appears in the media and from the Opposition that a move to renewables would not add to costs). Such a statement should indicate that Australia will not increase its target for reducing emissions unless an independent inquiry establishes beyond reasonable doubt that the costs of adopting less efficient energy sources will produce a benefit and, if so, that the benefit is almost certain to make the additional costs worth bearing.
Neither of the major parties has addressed this question in any substantive analysis and it appears from a recent public statement that the Abbott government is relying on advice from outside the public service. But if this is so, why hasn’t it long ago published a substantive analysis using this source.
To date there is no indication that existing emission reduction policies are producing any benefit. Applying the temperature test, there has been no increase for 18 years and no explanation of why this has occurred when emissions have been growing quite rapidly. Historically, the same thing happened from the 1940s to the 1970s and the subsequent small increase in temperatures to 1998 was reflected in natural causes. It is time both major parties explain why they have policies which involve costs but show no sign of producing benefits.
I have previously referred to the mistaken scientific/statistical analysis used by believers in the dangerous warming thesis and I am currently attempting to publicly outline that analysis.
Racism in Australia?
I leave aside the debate over the behaviour of Aboriginal footballer Adam Goodes and the reactions to that behaviour. Here again Abbott might have helped by drawing attention to the assistance that has been provided by the Federal government to improve the economic and social situations of Aborigines. And to the considerable improvements in the situations of the majority of them. Football crowds tend to criticise players and teams regardless of their racial origins but over 70 Aborigines play Aussie rules and Goodes received two Brownlow medals. Racist?
Crises Being Ignored
Relevant to the current paucity of debate here in Australia are articles by the head of the US armed forces complaining of the failure to recognise the looming crises if insufficient action is taken to deal with current problems. Note that he refers to 120,000 peacekeepers attempting to deal with such problems in 16 different locations.
Note also the article on Obama’s visit to Africa and his failure to indicate any US leadership there.
The Threat from Islam
A welcome development for Australia is the announcement of the official recognition of the Australian Liberty Alliance as a political party and of another visit by the leader of a Dutch political party Geert Wilders (see article below New Aussie anti-Islamic party guns for 20 per cent of the vote). Let us hope that, unlike its predecessor, the Abbott government will at least provide security for the visit of a leader of a Dutch political party. It should be doing much more in outlining policies to reduce/eliminate extremism here.
I have attended a meeting of the Q Society (and made a small donation to it), which is the supporting body of ALA and which seeks to expose Islamic policies which are contrary to western values and beliefs. I have previously referred to a protest by Reclaim Australia (not associated with Q Society but of similar views) and the attempt by a group (not it seems an Islamic one) to stop that protest by using violent means (see Anti-Islamists Savaged).
Also in the same attachment is a worrying analysis of the US/Iranian deal by a former US Director, Strategic Defense Initiative, the acquisition executive of US ballistic defence systems, and chief negotiator at the Defense & Space Talks with Soviet Union. He argues that Iran and N Korea have the capacity to detonate an electronic pulse (EMP) over the US which would shut down electric power in that country. He says they could do this by approaching from the South Polar region because the US ballistic missile defense does not currently prevent such an attack from that region.
The attachment also has an article by Colin Rubenstein, CEO of AIJAC, arguing that no deal would have been much better than the one concluded.