Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Out of bounds on the full

Eddie McGuire, who is a good deal older than 13 years of age, was amongst the first to denounce a child for  a barrackers' comment she didn't know might be construed as racist. Adam Goodes was pushed to the brink of a nervous breakdown by the remark and the even more shocking thought that someone does not share his subjective view of what constitutes racist language, with much sooking for the cameras.

Now, by his own standards, McGuire has uttered an offence far more foul.

Eddie must resign, submit to counselling, and then banish himself forever from the public stage.

Anything less would be hypocrisy.

It will be fun to watch all Eddie's mates, so keen to put the boot into a Moe teenager, finding excuses for not replicating that earlier outrage in regard to their pal.

UPDATE: McGuire has a sorry history of racism. He needs to be burned at the stake.
"...your 17-year-olds, who'll be sick of living up in the land of the falafel in western Sydney playing in front of a 12,000-seat stadium that's still not put up," McGuire said.
further proof, this time of his intolerance for Muslims:
McGuire has declared his next "crusade"
and he sees a light complexion as synonymous with intelligence:
any fair-minded person would say no.
asked to take part in a celebrity game, he refused, as the Telegraph noted:
"McGuire rejects invitation to play in Blacktown"
This man needs to be dragged in front of Judge Mordy, who knows what to do with the monster who said this:
"I'd love to interview Adolf Hitler"
Most damning of all, sheets just like these have been observed in McGuire's linen closet. Indeed, he is even said to sleep between them:

Thanks, Eddie, for spoiling the Indigenous Round, which was going so very well.

Good work if you have a mate who gets it for you

THERE are still some pockets of probity in Australia's fine institutions of higher learning, and it is to be hoped that one of these yet survives at Macquarie University, new employer of Margo Kingston. If so, here are a few questions that need to be placed before the university administration:

1/ By what process did Margo come to be granted access to Macquarie's funds?
2/ Was the position advertised, with desired qualifications listed and other candidates interviewed. If so, who and how many?
3/ Has anyone else ever been engaged via the same process, whatever it may have been, that added Margo to the payroll?
4/ How much will Margo be paid?
5/ Who will vet her timesheets, expenses etc?
6/ Was the relationship between Margo and Catharine Lumby known when the former's appointment was confirmed?.
7/ Who approved the appointment other than, presumably, Lumby?

and finally,

8/ Are Macquarie University's ethical standards as high as those of the woman it has just engaged?

In September, 2005, Margo Kingston's Web Diary published an article under the byline of Catharine Lumby. At the foot of the article, this disclosure appeared (emphasis added):

Catharine Lumby has worked as a print journalist for two decades in Australia and the US. She is the Chair of the Media and Communications Department at the University of Sydney. Her most recent book, coedited with Elspeth Probyn, is Remote Control: New Media, New Ethics published by Cambridge University Press.

Disclosure: Catharine is a friend of Margo’s and former Fairfax colleague.

Was a similar disclosure made when Lumby, presumably, engaged Margo? If not, why not?

UPDATE: Macquarie University helpfully provides a code of ethics to guide its staff in the conduct of their duties. The section reproduced below comes to mind (underlines added for emphasis):

Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of interest are inevitable in modern universities and do not, of themselves, imply impropriety. A conflict of interest will arise, however, where a staff member engages in activities or advances personal interests at the expense of the University's interests or the interests of other staff members or students. In these circumstances, the staff member must declare the conflict to their supervisor and take immediate steps to resolve the conflict of interest.

Staff are to avoid any financial or other interest or undertaking that could directly or indirectly compromise, or appear to compromise, the performance of their duties. Staff faced with a potential conflict of interest must seek advice from their supervisor or other senior members of the University.

The following situations are provided as examples of where a potential for conflict of interest exists:

A. Financial Interests
B. Personal and family relationships between staff members
C. Personal and family relationships between staff members and students
D. Research.......

B. Personal and family relationships between staff members

  • Where staff are working with family members or with persons with whom they develop close personal relationships or such relationships exist with prospective staff they must be aware that this has the potential to create a conflict of interest if one staff member is:
    • involved in a decision relating to the selection, appointment or promotion of another;
    • in a supervisory relationship to another and is responsible for employment related decisions. Such decisions could include the provision of opportunities and resource allocation for research, conferences and staff training and development; and referee reports, or annual performance development reviews.

 UPDATE II: Catharine and Margo, these gals are tight!

...and, boy, are these gals tight...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Oh, the joy to come

YOUNGER readers might know Margo Kingston only as a legend from blogging's early days, and perhaps some suspect their elders have exaggerated those madcap antics. Put that thought to rest, please, for here is the proof to settle any doubts.

Thanks to Macquarie University, careful steward of the education dollar, the fun begins all over again.


LIFE just gets better and better. With September 14 drawing closer, all the enemies of intelligence, decency and fairness are doing their utmost to lay before the incoming Abbott government highly individual case studies in their specific varieties of corruption and institutional degeneracy. Consider the gifts they are bestowing:

The ABC hires Young Mister Summers to run the Drum in place of Jonathan Green, who is promoted to Radio National despite costing the taxpayers' dear in libel suits and embarassments.

More recently, another of ABC current affairs panjandrum Bruce Belsham's lefty mates, Russell Skelton, gets chosen as the national broadcaster's "impartial" fact-checking guru, despite having made his political sympathies startling clear at Fairfax.

More recently, on the arts front, the inbred luvvies at the Australia Council are spending public monies on a poo fest. Worse, when asked to explain why the exercise is so "powerful", they decline to make any comment.

And now, via Tim Blair,  the tertiary sector has come to the party by slinging job and cash at Margo Kingston -- yes, the same Margo Kingston who claimed Australia joined the crusade to liberate Iraq in order to gain access to the Yank's (sic)  anti-gravity machine. The poor dear became such an embarrassment even Fairfax wanted nothing more to do with her, which is saying something.

Friends, rejoice! The left's arrogance has reached critical mass and is about to explode in its face. Even your wettest Liberals won't be able to shrug off the above demonstrations of the need for reform.

And one last thought. When questions are asked about Margo's relationship with Catherine Lumby, who appointed her to cover the election for Macquarie University, this query should be first:

Do Margo's teeth still sleep in a glass by your bed?

The doctor is in, but perhaps not Ng

ANDREW Bolt is justifiably upset today at being verballed by Peter Gebhardt in an opinion article published in the Fairfax press. The column cites the former judge's protege, Ryen Diggle, as lamenting, on the strength of an annoying but innocuous  conversation with a random idiot, that "people only see me as an Aboriginal." While his account of that waiting-room encounter speaks of his interlocutor's garrulousness, there seems to have been nothing pejorative about it. Yet Dr Diggle finds being identified as "an Aboriginal with whatever negative connotations that may bring in their minds" is hurtful and racist and, well, you name a grievance and the Indigenous intern can probably be counted upon to find it amongst the various chips piled up on both shoulders.

Well here is the funny thing: Dr Diggle has done quite nicely out of being seen as Indigenous, with Gebhardt swearing he is "very Aboriginal in his physiognomy". Indeed, had he been a member of some other oppressed minority, he might not have made it into the school of medicine at Melbourne University, where entry requirements are very tough. The 2013 ATAR score for biomed is 98.8 and it would not have been that much different in 2006, when Diggle graduated from Darwin High School. Here are the Territory's top 20 young scholars from that year, with several of his classmates figuring prominently. We can assume Diggle's score was less than 92, the lowest of 2006's listed best.

He is mentioned in the NT Education Department's end-of -year summary, but only as his school's leading Indigenous student (one hopes he would not take offence at "only").

Now here is the thing: If his Darwin HS classmate Winnie Chen, who scored a remarkable 100, had been out of sorts at one or several exams, would the Parkville Asylum have slipped her into that year's intake under, say, a Menstrual Issues Rectification Scheme or a Bad Case Of The Flu clause? The answer is probably no, which all means that Diggle, for all his bristling at "the negative" of being seen as Aboriginal,  is quite happy to be regarded in no other light when there is an advantage to be seized.

Not quite their summer of love

WHEN politicians and social engineers remake a society, enlist academics to justify it and pay bureaucrats to prosecute those who disagree, this is what happens:

The English Defence League on parade -- an extraordinarily long parade. Some 45 years ago, Enoch Powell warned of this. But he was a racist and not to be heeded.

Deja-boom all over again

DO you ever get that feeling we've seen it all before, the way things play out after every latest bombing, head-lopping and thwarted plan to blow up the MCG* or Holsworthy? Well don't worry, you aren't going mad because you really HAVE seen it before.

In 2010, Mohamad Abdalla of the Griffith Islamic Research Unit wrote at length for the ABC of the visiting Ayaan Hirsi's false witness against Islam.

Three years later and this time it is Paul Sheahan who has erred by making note of the blindingly obvious. Quick to counter, Abdalla reached into the Soul-Glo beard that inspired such admiration at its recent appearance on Q&A, plucked out a copy of that earlier sermon, did a Hirsi=Sheahan find-and-replace, added a bit about Anders Breivik and lopped off whatever was left over.

Then Abdalla sent it off to the Silly, where it was published without delay.

The long-standing sympathy of the Greens for Islam has long been a bit of a mystery, the best explanation to date being that it is to be expected the party of Sarah Hansen-Young and Mrs O'Gorman would enjoy a natural affinity with followers of a fellow who heard voices and owned a flying horse. But no, it seems recycling is their common cause.

* It is understood a "Goodes Amendment" is being prepared in Victoria's parliament to make the crime of blowing up the MCG a genuinely serious one. If the bombers are heard to cry "Sons of apes, death awaits you!" normal penalties will be doubled and a no-parole period of at least three years imposed.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Poo-bahs of the arts: Part III

ON the eighth hole this afternoon, a long and straight par-4 to an elevated tee protected by escarped bunkers, Doctor Yowie lifted his head (after the stroke, of course) and exclaimed that the $600,000+ given to Balletlab and poo guru Mikala Dwyer should prompt a criminal prosecution. He is a broad-minded fellow, so it was not the act of public defecation that bothered him so much as the chief luvvies' claim that a performance centred on bowel movements is something new and radical.

"Haven't this lot heard of Luis Bunuel?" he wondered.

And then the penny dropped, which is not the same as spending a penny.

Of course, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie! The film was made in 1972,  and here is the final scene:

In The Age, which has a known affinity with crap, the director of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Juliana Engberg, is quoted thus:
''When Mikala brought this idea of a performance and film dealing with material transformation and ritual to us, we evaluated it as a key and bold move in her practice, one that links to a long artistic legacy looking at alchemical transformation and magical performance. The work, while challenging taboos, never becomes sensational or gratuitous. It's wonderful, powerful work.''
That "key and bold move in her practice" is 41 years behind the times. At the Billabong's local video store you can rent Bunuel's flick for $3, a good deal less than the sums pocketed by ACCA's Empress of Excreta and her taboo-challenging Queen of the Commode.
Doctor Yowie has a point. In claiming they are on the cutting edge, Dwyer and Engberg are guilty of fraud and misrepresentation. Lock 'em up, and don't bother with making sure there is a toilet in the cell.
These provincial tossers wouldn't use it anyway.

Poo-bahs for the arts: Part II

FURTHER to the post below, guess how much public money has been poured (flushed?) into Balletlab, the dance company whose work in six movements is causing a big stink? Click on the image for a larger view, tot it all up and be amazed:

That amounts to $527,126 since 2008.

It seems the artistic director's name is Phillip Adams, which cannot be a good sign. Perhaps he should change it to something more appropriate -- Perry Stalsis, for instance.

UPDATE: Do vist the Ballethub site and see what else that half a million-plus buys by way of artistic endeavour. While the slide show on the home page is most instructive, it does raise a few questions -- like, for example, why did the company need to visit the Mojave Desert in order for a chubby-chops to put some sticks in the ground and go for a naked stroll?

Poo-bahs of the arts

When Andrew Bolt and Tim Blair this morning noted the remarkable dance performance choreographed by Sydney University's Mikala Dwyer, who encouraged her players to empty their bowels on stage, the reaction at the Billabong was not shock so much as a warm nostalgia and hope for the future.

You see, many years ago, when the Professor was a youngster heavily into anarchic leftism and punk (and meaningless euphemisms as well), a particular hero was an American rocker, GG Allin, who was known only from reports in the underground zines and newspapers available via outlets like Euphoria Records and the Third World Bookshop. Allin certainly sounded just the shot to outrage bourgeois sensibilities, which is what being young and stupid is mostly about, as his party piece involved beating up random audience members and then voiding his bowels on stage.

American authorities were in the habit of arresting Mr Allin, the original scat singer,  who eventually took his own life and thereby missed seeing the fruits of the revolution he inspired. These days, exponents of the brown arts can get themselves on the government teat, where the lactations are very rich indeed. Ms Dwyer's grant -- one of them -- is on the bottom line:

For those whose eyes work not so well as once they did, the entry reports that Dwyer scored her $90,000 for promising to "create series of works that extend investigation into material responses to conceptual frameworks".

Apparently that translates as choking a darkie in a perspex bucket.

The first reaction of most will be outrage, but that would be a mistake. The arts community will trot out all sorts of dills, many in bow ties, to assert that the majority of their countrymen are philistines and cannot appreciate the transgressive beauty of a fresh-laid log. Our nation will become a laughingstock, they will continue, if hip cadres cannot afford to extrude meaningful works. Mind you, the Italian sculptor Adriano Cecioni manage to cover this territory without benefit of grant more than 130 years ago. That's his sculpture at the head of this post.

Well let them say all of that and more, and let them continue to snaffle their grants until a new government sets to work on both the arts and the ABC. In the meantime, and clearly inspired by the likes of GG Allin, we must urge the transgressive elite to take the next step and begin beating the daylights out of their black-clad audiences. Two-fisted luvvie-on-luvvie action, with elbows, man-bags and poo buckets flying everywhere! Black eyes and bleeding scalps all over the shop -- and no doubt worth at least another $100,000 or so in tax dollars. Won't that be fun.

For those interested, poo-art pioneer GG Allin explains his oeuvre below:

UPDATE: The Age, where shit for brains is a pre-condition of employment,  gives Dwyer's exercise in "material responses" a predictably sympathetic gloss.
ACCA director Juliana Engberg said the centre exists to support each exhibiting artist's vision. ''Of course, contemporary art is sometimes very challenging, but ACCA's role is to work with challenging ideas,'' she said.

''When Mikala brought this idea of a performance and film dealing with material transformation and ritual to us, we evaluated it as a key and bold move in her practice, one that links to a long artistic legacy looking at alchemical transformation and magical performance. The work, while challenging taboos, never becomes sensational or gratuitous. It's wonderful, powerful work.''

ACCA did extensive public and occupational health and safety risk assessments.

The transparent seats were covered at all times during the performance and exhibition opening. They were partly emptied, disinfected, sealed and returned to the gallery after the performance and no staff handled them.

The exhibition runs until July 28.

The Age digs its grave, not a tunnel

THOSE who reside in less fortunate parts of our great nation, which is to say everyone who does not live in Melbourne, may not be terribly interested in this post, which concerns one of those parish-pump issues whose ability to raise hackles diminishes in direct relation to observers’ distance from the epicentre of fuss. That said, quite a few universal truths are crystallising in the darkening blue over the Napthine government’s plans for an inner city East-West road tunnel, insights directly relevant to all who must live with the consequences of what the project’s opponents like to present as enlightened urban planning. This involves more bicycles and buses, needless to say.

The first insight to be gained from the current flap is the need to revamp the social sciences’ hierarchy of rubbish disciplines. Formerly, it could be assumed that the prime purpose of social work, at the very bottom of the heap, was to calm the career anxieties of those too dim to become teachers. The escalating tunnel spat has now demonstrated that town planners occupy an even lower rung, and a more political one, than both of those tax-gobbling sources of excuses for failure and diminishing returns.

The second – and this does not need to be mentioned, come to think of it – is that the Fairfax press will always allow its writers to filter and distort their reporting in accordance with personal prejudice and preconception. Let us take today’s reporting by Age state political editor Josh Gordon as an example. Notice the ellipses he has inserted in the passage below:

In its November 2011 submission to Infrastructure Australia, the government suggested that the road link would significantly benefit motorists using Hoddle Street, allowing traffic banked up along the Eastern Freeway to flow more freely.

''The east-west link … is aimed at … reducing traffic on Melbourne's inner urban arterial roads, especially at the Hoddle Street exit on the Eastern Freeway,'' the submission said.
Well here, in full, is what the report actually says. The bits in bold represent the few words Gordon chose to use:

The East West Link, in combination with other transport network initiatives, will support the longterm sustainable growth and development of Melbourne, and have state-wide benefits. The project is aimed at:

  • providing an alternative to the M1 corridor (Monash Freeway – CityLink Tunnels – West Gate Bridge – West Gate Freeway);
  • reducing traffic on Melbourne's inner urban arterial roads, especially at the Hoddle Street exit on the Eastern Freeway;
  • linking industry in Melbourne's north, east and west with national and international markets via the Port of Melbourne, and Tullamarine and Avalon Airports; and
  • enhancing urban renewal and commercial development opportunities to the north and west of the CBD.
Contrary to the impression the Age’s account seems determined to create, that document does not pitch the East-West tunnel as the solution to Hoddle Street’s woes, which can be very woeful indeed at peak traffic periods, but as a remedy for the bottleneck that develops every morning when five lanes of vehicles from Eastern Freeway pour into the narrow, cyclist-infested streets of North Fitzroy.  The picture below represents any typical morning on Alexandra Parade, into which the Eastern Freeway empties.

 Gordon does note that, even so, a study supervised by Sir Rod Eddington estimated that the East-West tunnel would reduce Hoddle Street congestion by as much as 20 per cent, some 18,0000 vehicles a day, which might strike the unbiased eye as a worthwhile improvement. To Gordon, however, it is “only” 20 per cent and to be mentioned merely in passing.

Some time ago, a professional journalist dropped a line to the Billabong to note that space is an issue on the published page and that telling details sometimes fail to make to the cut for no reason more sinister than a lack of space. Point taken! But surely, as he selectively assembled his case against the sensible proposal to link one freeway, the Eastern, with another, the Westgate, Gordon could have noted the existence of those other arguments for a tunnel, even if he lacked the space to describe them in full. It would have required only a few words, something like "...while other arguments for the tunnel have been advanced...."

Instead, readers were treated to a double helping of ellipses and another example of why, in tabloid form or broadsheet, The Age cannot be trusted to report the truth.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

First-person plural possessive

COULD it be that there is still someone inside Fairfax with a little wit and a sense of puckish mischief? Here's the headline on Nicholas Reece's opinion piece in today's Age:

And who is Nicholas Reece, you may wonder?

Why, he's "a former senior adviser to Prime Minister Julia Gillard and premiers Steve Bracks and John Brumby"

That certainly explains the "our".

Coming soon, the AFL's Wog Round

THIS weekend is the AFL's Indigenous Round, which will have to suffice until Andrew Demetriou can get the Gay Round off the ground. If precedent is observed, spectators will then be treated to all-male Rockettes in bottom-less chaps doing high kicks without benefit of a Sherrin, love of musicals being a revered tradition amongst same-sexers. If the goal umpires were to dress as Judy Garland and the umpires in nuns' habits, another proud tradition, that would be just perfection and a treat for all.

And after that, why not a Greek Round?

This would need to feature Demetriou in a multi-pleated, little white kilt and whatever bowyangs are called in Greek. The AFL boss has an Hellenic name, so surely that defines him -- and all anyone will ever need to know about him.

Demetriou would be up for it, of course. Why should he be any different from the black players the AFL is so keen to perform native dances and chant authentically made-up "indigenous" war cries?

There used to be an England

These are the new rules, if we want to live by them:

Goat-bothering mullahs can fill acolytes' skulls with such poison that they go out and lop the heads of strangers and nothing happens to them.

A couple of kids write on the Facebook pages that they're not too keen on all this mayhem and the Muslims behind it and they spend the night in jail.

The last of his tribe

THERE has long been doubt that Rupert Murdoch is an Aborigine. Sure, he looks like one, if we are to go by the members of the Litjus-Mordie tribe, as does everyone else these days. Anyway, all doubts are now settled and we can be sure he is an Aborigine, albeit a naughty one.

How do we know? Because Martin Flanagan in The Age, a paper once prominent in Melbourne, has written a column about him, and Martin only ever writes about Aborigines and their wonderful, magical powers to kick footballs while the Rainbow Serpent does the umpiring and the power of Country pulses upward through their boot stops. Actually, that’s not right. Sometimes he writes about his dog, but it is very easy to get confused about the subject matter because the tone of indulgent condescension is very much of a piece.

Actually, that bit about the dog is also wrong, because if Bowser gets crook, off to the vet! When an Aboriginal player (no need to mention names) was newly arrived at a certain Melbourne club and inspiring Flanagan to cascades of gushing superlatives, the fawning and expressions of admiration for the recruit's tribal initiation scars were non-stop. How authentic! Surely he must know better than any how to snap a goal, that being one of those  Indigenous instincts, akin to possums finding your rose bushes in the dark. That nonsense stopped only when the club doctor took a closer look, diagnosed ringworm and ordered up an immediate course of treatment.

Patronising wankery is the sort of stuff Flanagan serves up week after week, habitually asserting in The Age, where farce and fact are interchangeable, that Aborigines not only inspired the invention of football but play it better because they are masters of time, space and place, whatever that means. They also make better TV shows because, well, being Indigenous means the panelists cut straight to the team line-ups, as Flanagan seems to think only a blackfella can.

Anyway, King Billy Murdoch is in trouble. Apparently owning media outlets that succeed offends Flanagan, who is grateful that the world has other great wits who can stick it to the old bugger. From his column:
But you knew Murdoch was prepared to walk through fire when he responded to the campaign to get rid of page 3 girls by thundering: ''Is anyone complaining about Page 3 pix a reader? Enough of this elitist nonsense!''

Many of the responses were predictably earnest. Then up popped Nad-I-Am: ''Rupes, I need to know the size of your testicles before I can engage with you. Come on, mate. 20p for a shot of your balls.''

Nad-I-Am is Nadia Kamil, an Iraqi-Welsh comic, and, as we say in sport, she had come to play. She bombarded Murdoch with demands that, as a man of conviction, he put his privates on the line:

''come on, a photo of your bollocks. All shaved & nicely lit. With a speech bubble next to them with some facile news. 20p.'' When Murdoch ignored her, she upped her demands - ''I WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOUR BALLS THINK ABOUT POLITICS'' - finally offering to settle for a similar photo of one of his sons.

All of which, in my opinion, is fair and reasonable comment on Murdoch's tweet….

All of which, in any sane person’s opinion, is a fair and reasonable indication that Fairfax, like Bennelong’s people,  will go to its grave without ever quite appreciating the reality that has invaded its cosy, isolated little world of dreamings.

UPDATE: Spoke to soon. A further flick through the Age website reveals that Flanagan has published a second column, as always ooh-ing and awe-ing about the race-based wonderfulness of Indigenous players. Today, he thinks it a fine thing for Adam Goodes, a superb player and thoroughly modern man, to be leaping about as part of some ersatz, concocted-yesterday approximation of Indigenous tradition.

Goodes was the subject of a racial taunt while helping the Swans cream Collingwood last night. That was nasty, but being recruited to make an exhibition of himself for the amusement of the world's Flanagans is the greater insult. He had just better hope all the white architects of the Indigenous Round don't try for even greater authenticity by encouraging sub-incision.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Nymphs of the green

It is far too fine a day to waste at the keyboard. Off to the golf course, where Doctor Yowie is waiting, in the hope that Suzann Pettersen is setting fashion trends for young and firm associates.

Mind you, the Professor's poor putting of late really doesn't need any further distractions.

Back later, when backlogged comments will be posted.

Goodbye, Ford. Now scrap the ADRs

Despite Canberra's largesse, the Ford Motor Company is apparently about to announce an end to  manufacturing in Geelong and Broadmeadows (not yet confirmed). That it lasted this long is the wonder, not that it is ending. How many other nations of 23 million souls can support two manufacturers, plus local assemblers? Not many, as Sweden's Saab recently demonstrated by falling over and expiring. (This was poetic justice, by the way. No company that builds its engines in reverse, with the exhaust manifold at the front of the block and directly behind the radiator, deserves to survive. But back to Ford.)

The question now is just what this government and its successor might suggest to "save" the car industry. More money, no doubt, as what is another $100 million or so to keep Paul Howes' dues-payers at their posts. An Abbott government might even choose to take the same route, especially if September sees it takes the seat of Corrangamite, where many Ford workers reside.

Let us hope someone who likes cars has the ear of PM Abbott, because this would be a splendid opportunity to re-work the industry for the general good, especially for the benefit of those who actually like motoring and cars. In addition to subsidies, Ford and GMH have been protected from competition by the army of bureaucrats which spenda its flexi-ytimed days working, re-working and forever expanding the Australian Design Rules. Import an interesting vehicle from overseas and, before you can give it the stick, expect to jump through hoops in order to bring sun-visor specifications up to government-mandated snuff. Yes, there are public servants who do nothing but regulate the shape and anchoring of sun visors.

If the industry dies, the ADRs should be buried with it, opening the way for an after-market auto industry. Many jobs would vanish, but so would subsidies -- and whatever remains and is rebuilt might actually be able to pay its own way.

And we could just see fine vehicles like this on our nation's roads.

Zero to 60mph in 4.6 seconds, with a top speed of 130mph -- and not an ADR-specified sun visor to be seen.

* apologies for using that horrible and debased word.

The Southbank Quisling

DOWN here in Melbourne, Jon Faine has just taken to the air on Their ABC, starting his programme with reference to the "inexplicably horrible" murder of a London soldier.

No mention of attackers' religion so far.....

....Now he has a Pommy accented reporterette, Barbara Miller, filling him in on the latest details....

Still nothing on the animals' creed....

...Faine wants to know what these ambulatory arguments for capital punishment  meant by "our country"....

....reporterette is puzzled, alluding to "much speculation" about their nation of origin... Golly gosh, they're both stumped, absolutely baffled. Two media geniuses, and neither will announce the obvious: the killers were referring to, you know, Muslim lands....

Miller has toddled off after the conversation's first reference to the Prophet's disciples. It wasn't the London murderers, however, but an utterance freighted with foreboding of what prejudice and devilry the English Defence League might perpetrate in London's "Islamic areas". 

"Whether or not it falls within the definition of terrorism is beside the point," Faine opines of the soldier's slaying ...

... Now it is a tame Melbourne Muslim who is ushered to the microphone. Much concern about what the attack will do to spoil the public image of Islam. There will be much beard-wagging in the mosques tonight as the faithful contemplate how best to endure the unenlightened view that Muslims are more likely to kill without reason than adherents of other faiths.....

First caller, Fred from Williamstown, wonders why anyone should be surprised... "We've been bombing the crap out of them for years" ... goes on to mention that Americans dropped "2000-pound bombs" on "crowded restaurants" in an attempt to kill Saddam's sons.

Next caller, from Altona, explains that English-accented Muslims killing English soldiers on London Streets is entirely predictable because "we" inflict  terrorism on them and no lists of those killed by the West's bombers are ever published.....

.... finally, a female caller urges listeners to read the Koran and absorb the obvious truth that Islam is a violent creed....

Faine keeps interrupting, observing that "the Bible is full of violent passages too" and that there is something unsettling about all religions' texts.

By later today, Faine et al will have settled on their narrative: Once again, as always, the real perpetrators will be the victims.

UPDATE: Faine once again quoting Fred from Williamstown, "If we continue dropping bombs we can expect some blowback," he says, before moving on to the next topic.