Australian Notes

Australian notes

19 May 2018

9:00 AM

19 May 2018

9:00 AM

Want to know how low the commitment to free speech has sunk these days? About a week ago the White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly, had this to say about immigration: ‘The vast majority of the people that move illegally into the US are not bad people. They’re not criminals… But they’re also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States into our modern society. They’re overwhelmingly rural people in the countries they come from – fourth, fifth, sixth grade educations are kind of the norm. They don’t speak English, obviously that’s a big thing. They don’t integrate well, they don’t have skills. They’re not bad people. They’re coming here for a reason. And I sympathise with the reason. But the laws are the laws. But a big name of the game is deterrence.’

I defy anyone to point to a factual error with any of that, and I mean in statistical terms not by pointing to some n=1 exception here or there. But the left side of politics in the US just went crazy with multitudes of journalists and others screaming ‘racism’ at the top of their lungs. But that is plain out a lie; leaving aside that truth ought never to be silenced for party political goals by screaming abuse. In a modern economy those with little education, poor English skills and a dislike of the open competition of ideas will do poorly. We have the evidence. We know this is true.

By the way, nowhere did John Kelly say this reflected on these would-be incomers’ moral worth, in fact he explicitly made clear it did not. And that’s patently true too. But unless you believe that rich countries owe more of a duty to non-citizen poor people in the Third World than they do to their own citizens – and let’s be clear that many on the GetUp! wing of left-leaning politics most certainly do believe this, however much a good chunk of that cohort keep quiet about it – then not admitting this makes for bad immigration policy. It’s as simple as that. And screaming ‘racist’ at everyone who points out these facts is just a form of political blackmail. The remedy is to stand up to it. The Trump administration does that. It actually knows how to fight and not cave in at the first sign of some Twitter outrage or social media confected (or otherwise) outrage. Most of this country’s Coalition government does not, and certainly not the GetUp! wing of the Liberal party. They couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag. Of course, maybe this Coalition government is just so desperate for a massive immigration intake to keep GDP figures up (remembering, of course, that GDP simply measures economic activity and so will always go up if you have the world’s highest per capita immigration intake) that it wants the whole topic off the ‘what is acceptable to talk about’ table. Maybe that’s why you never hear Mr Morrison talk about GDP per capita growth in Australia, which since 2007 basically stinks, and at best is no better than a country such as Japan that takes in next to no immigrants.

So who then benefits from this Ponzi-looking scheme? The current crop of politicians. Yep. The poverty-fleeing immigrants? Yep. Those at the top of the economic pie, the corporate elites on seven figure salaries, who get cheaper labour and most of the benefits but bear few of the costs? Yep. Who else?

Leaving all this aside, why precisely can’t we talk about this issue? Of course at the end of the day, truth will out.

 

A fortnight ago my wife and I were in the UK. One thing that’s plain is that there is an elitist cesspit in that country doing all it can to stop Brexit, or at least to water it down to such a degree that Britain becomes basically a vassal state. It’s appalling. And the rot most definitely is there in the Tory Party itself. Remember, at least 75 per cent of Tory MPs voted Remain (Labor more so), while 52 per cent of voters opted for Leave. Meanwhile, most of the newspapers, a huge preponderance of university academics and lawyers and top civil servants, virtually every single BBC journalist and head honcho, all but a handful of the corporate elites, probably the vast preponderance of judges, all of these favoured remaining in the EU. Theresa May herself was a Remainer. They lost. And now we’re seeing the rearguard action. Such is the power of democracy, and the obvious truth that the Conservative party will be destroyed if it doesn’t deliver an actual Brexit, that I’m still optimistic. But it isn’t a pretty picture right now in the UK. What you realise is that some of these elites only favour democracy when it delivers outcomes they like. Another obvious example of this is the reaction by the media and the Democrats to Donald Trump’s election victory. A recent comprehensive survey found that Trump had received 91 per cent negative press coverage since being elected. That makes the former Pravda look balanced. And to put that in context, this is at a time when unemployment is at its lowest ever since measurements began for black Americans. And Hispanics. It’s at a time when energy is incredibly cheap (in some places half what we now pay). North Korea has released US hostages and looks more amenable than at any time during the Obama era. Average wages are up. And yet the press can’t find anything at all good to say. It reminds you of the ABC during the Abbott years.


 

There we were in the magnificent Wren library of Trinity College, Cambridge. On display were first editions of Newton’s Principia, Darwin’s Origin of Species (with handwritten notes from one who couldn’t accept the argument), a Milton, A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, and more such treasures. Up on top of the bookshelves were busts of some of the greats of Western civilisation (and if you work for the ABC I’ll explain what that means to you later).

 

And one of those along the left-hand wall was a certain Marcus Aurelius. I paused. I looked all around. Where was Ross Cameron? Surely he must be nearby. Ross, any weekday from noon to 2pm you can enter this magnificent Wren Library, free, and worship at the feet (or at least upper midriff) of your intellectual hero. I’m surprised we missed you.

Want to know how low the commitment to free speech has sunk these days? About a week ago the White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly, had this to say about immigration: ‘The vast majority of the people that move illegally into the US are not bad people. They’re not criminals… But they’re also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States into our modern society. They’re overwhelmingly rural people in the countries they come from – fourth, fifth, sixth grade educations are kind of the norm. They don’t speak English, obviously that’s a big thing. They don’t integrate well, they don’t have skills. They’re not bad people. They’re coming here for a reason. And I sympathise with the reason. But the laws are the laws. But a big name of the game is deterrence.’

I defy anyone to point to a factual error with any of that, and I mean in statistical terms not by pointing to some n=1 exception here or there. But the left side of politics in the US just went crazy with multitudes of journalists and others screaming ‘racism’ at the top of their lungs. But that is plain out a lie; leaving aside that truth ought never to be silenced for party political goals by screaming abuse. In a modern economy those with little education, poor English skills and a dislike of the open competition of ideas will do poorly. We have the evidence. We know this is true.

By the way, nowhere did John Kelly say this reflected on these would-be incomers’ moral worth, in fact he explicitly made clear it did not. And that’s patently true too. But unless you believe that rich countries owe more of a duty to non-citizen poor people in the Third World than they do to their own citizens – and let’s be clear that many on the GetUp! wing of left-leaning politics most certainly do believe this, however much a good chunk of that cohort keep quiet about it – then not admitting this makes for bad immigration policy. It’s as simple as that. And screaming ‘racist’ at everyone who points out these facts is just a form of political blackmail. The remedy is to stand up to it. The Trump administration does that. It actually knows how to fight and not cave in at the first sign of some Twitter outrage or social media confected (or otherwise) outrage. Most of this country’s Coalition government does not, and certainly not the GetUp! wing of the Liberal party. They couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag. Of course, maybe this Coalition government is just so desperate for a massive immigration intake to keep GDP figures up (remembering, of course, that GDP simply measures economic activity and so will always go up if you have the world’s highest per capita immigration intake) that it wants the whole topic off the ‘what is acceptable to talk about’ table. Maybe that’s why you never hear Mr Morrison talk about GDP per capita growth in Australia, which since 2007 basically stinks, and at best is no better than a country such as Japan that takes in next to no immigrants.

So who then benefits from this Ponzi-looking scheme? The current crop of politicians. Yep. The poverty-fleeing immigrants? Yep. Those at the top of the economic pie, the corporate elites on seven figure salaries, who get cheaper labour and most of the benefits but bear few of the costs? Yep. Who else?

Leaving all this aside, why precisely can’t we talk about this issue? Of course at the end of the day, truth will out.

A fortnight ago my wife and I were in the UK. One thing that’s plain is that there is an elitist cesspit in that country doing all it can to stop Brexit, or at least to water it down to such a degree that Britain becomes basically a vassal state. It’s appalling. And the rot most definitely is there in the Tory Party itself. Remember, at least 75 per cent of Tory MPs voted Remain (Labor more so), while 52 per cent of voters opted for Leave. Meanwhile, most of the newspapers, a huge preponderance of university academics and lawyers and top civil servants, virtually every single BBC journalist and head honcho, all but a handful of the corporate elites, probably the vast preponderance of judges, all of these favoured remaining in the EU. Theresa May herself was a Remainer. They lost. And now we’re seeing the rearguard action. Such is the power of democracy, and the obvious truth that the Conservative party will be destroyed if it doesn’t deliver an actual Brexit, that I’m still optimistic. But it isn’t a pretty picture right now in the UK. What you realise is that some of these elites only favour democracy when it delivers outcomes they like. Another obvious example of this is the reaction by the media and the Democrats to Donald Trump’s election victory. A recent comprehensive survey found that Trump had received 91 per cent negative press coverage since being elected. That makes the former Pravda look balanced. And to put that in context, this is at a time when unemployment is at its lowest ever since measurements began for black Americans. And Hispanics. It’s at a time when energy is incredibly cheap (in some places half what we now pay). North Korea has released US hostages and looks more amenable than at any time during the Obama era. Average wages are up. And yet the press can’t find anything at all good to say. It reminds you of the ABC during the Abbott years.

There we were in the magnificent Wren library of Trinity College, Cambridge. On display were first editions of Newton’s Principia, Darwin’s Origin of Species (with handwritten notes from one who couldn’t accept the argument), a Milton, A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, and more such treasures. Up on top of the bookshelves were busts of some of the greats of Western civilisation (and if you work for the ABC I’ll explain what that means to you later).

And one of those along the left-hand wall was a certain Marcus Aurelius. I paused. I looked all around. Where was Ross Cameron? Surely he must be nearby. Ross, any weekday from noon to 2pm you can enter this magnificent Wren Library, free, and worship at the feet (or at least upper midriff) of your intellectual hero. I’m surprised we missed you.

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