It’s time for Labor to become a broad church

It’s time for Labor to become a broad church, by Paul Kelly.

Over a generation, the Labor Party has been transformed by its embrace of progressive ideology. It is now a fusion of middle-class, tertiary-educated, progressive ideo­logues and old-fashioned social­ democrats tied to a union movement devoid of industrial power.

The problem for Labor is that progressive ideology is electoral poison. Its purpose is to subvert the values of nation and society and elevate those of group identity and individual self-realisation or narcissism. …

The more progressive Labor gets, the more its primary vote sinks. … Since 1996, Labor has won one out of nine federal elections as a majority government….

Labor bene­fited from the Whitlam revolution 50 years ago by expanding its ­support base but the party is now the prisoner of progressive special interests. Anybody who doubts this should read the ALP platform. It is a dismal, turgid document riddled with social and cultural rent-seeking. …

Progressivism … has been recast as a movement dedicated to radical climate action, identity politics and dismantling traditional cultura­l norms of behaviour and values….

Because much of the political media is progressiv­e, it cannot comprehend the problem with progressivism and cannot comprehend Labor’s defeat.

Progressivism has many manifestations: it wants individuals to change their lives and become virtuous­ to save the planet and repudiat­e the climate deniers. It is internationalist, wanting government to honour the human rights of non-citizens and asylum-seekers and deny border protection based on national sovereignty. Its historical vision is that of immoral Western societies founded on invasion­, racism, sexism and patriarchy that dictates a dismantling of existing cultural norms. And it champions identity politics where people should identify accordin­g to race, sex and gender, erecting a power structure of “victim­” and “oppressor” and creati­ng almost impossible patterns­ of community conflict. …

Progressivism has marched into the party’s culture as old working-class cultural­ conservatism is driven out. …

Because progressives seek to redefine what constitutes virtue, they unnerve and divide the community. Their message is: change your thinking and values. …

Australians have typically been pragmatic and incremental about change. But progressivism offends this outlook because it is self-righteous, self-obsessed and intolerant and, as a consequence, invariably divisive.

Intolerant progressivism will kill Labor as a majority party if it gets a tighter grip. It will narrow Labor’s cultural base but make that base more obsessive and utopian. It will win misleading praise from elites and media while expanding­ the number of hostile “quiet Australians”.

The Greens are the purist progressive party but they have hit a voting ceiling.

The problem is [the progressive] ideology and insistenc­e that people change their beliefs and their notion of a moral life. For many people, this is profoundly offensive. The harder progressives push — and they won’t stop — the more certain the grassroots backlash.

Too many Labor MPs, staffers and members are progressives. The party rank-and-file and its identity are entwined­ with progressive faiths. This is supposed to make Labor more successful but Labor is becomin­g less successful. At the recent election, the richest 20 per cent of seats swung to Labor and most of the rest swung to the Coalition­, evidence of Labor’s identity betrayal.

The progressives have lost Paul Kelly, who has been inclined to go along with political correctness and most leftist causes. In other words lefties, slow down.

As progressives, we got it wrong, says Labor’s Clare O’Neil

As progressives, we got it wrong, says Labor’s Clare O’Neil, by Clare O’Neil.

Labor frontbencher Clare O’Neil will call on the party to push back against political correctness in light of the May election defeat, saying progressives are too quick to dismiss people with ­opposing views as “obviously wrong, probably stupid and possibly sub­human”.

While saying she does not like being on the “same side of an ­argument as Alan Jones”, the ­opposition innovation spokeswoman will on Thursday say she was dismayed during the election campaign to discover lifelong Labor voters felt “progressives were talking down to them”. …

“When … Labor people of a lifetime tell us they feel they are not allowed to question new ­social standards that seem to be reset every other week, I think we need to listen,” she will say, ­according to a draft copy of the speech.

“There is a culture developing in the progressive movement where membership is granted with a box of ideas. And if you don’t accept one of the ideas in the box, you do not merely have a different opinion, you are ­obviously wrong, probably stupid and possibly subhuman.

“Not everyone with a concern about the immigration rate is a bigot. Not everyone with a hesitation about changing gender roles is sexist. Not every social change is inarguably a good one.

Maybe they are getting it. A loss is good for them.

A sniff of victory, though, and all this soul searching will be forgotten in an instant, as competitive virtue signaling drives them on to new ideological extremes.

Why the Australian party of the workers has a problem with working people

Why the Australian party of the workers has a problem with working people. By Luke Walladge.

Just 22 per cent of Australians hold a tertiary degree, with a slightly higher number having completed at least some post-secondary education. Yet within the active and activist ranks of the party, maybe 70-80 per cent would have a tertiary degree; fully 90 per cent of Young Labor is sourced from and organised on university campuses. You won’t find too many apprentice plumbers at your average AYL meeting. …

The average Labor staffer, activist, MP or even member tends to be — compared to the Australian mean — younger, university-educated, socially liberal, higher-income and to live closer to the inner city. They tend to be single more so than in a relationship, if they’re in a relationship more likely to be de facto than married, less likely to have children and less likely to be religious. …

A large proportion of Labor’s elite look, sound and think like Greens. …

Labor’s MPs and candidates are drawn overwhelmingly from a demographic that votes Green and indulges in post-materialist politics. So when Labor voters look for candidates and parties who look, sound and live like them, who do they see? Pauline Hanson, Ricky Muir and Jacquie Lambie. …

Educational attainment — often driven as it is by economic and social opportunity — has been mistaken for political merit. Paul Keating, Mick Young and Peter Walsh would not be amused.

Just like the ABC. Not a coincidence.

Beware a Faltering China: Beijing’s Assertiveness Betrays Its Desperation

Beware a Faltering China: Beijing’s Assertiveness Betrays Its Desperation. By Michael Beckley.

In March 2007, at the height of a years-long economic boom, then Premier Wen Jiabao gave an uncharacteristically gloomy press conference. China’s growth model, Wen warned, had become “unsteady, unbalanced, uncoordinated, and unsustainable.” The warning was prescient: in the years since, China’s official gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate has dropped from 15 percent to six percent — the slowest rate in 30 years. The country’s economy is now experiencing its longest deceleration of the post-Mao era.

A growth rate of six percent could still be considered spectacular. … But many economists believe that China’s true rate is roughly half the official figure. …

Practically all of China’s GDP growth has resulted from the government’s pumping capital into the economy. Subtract government stimulus spending, some economists argue, and China’s economy may not be growing at all.

The signs of unproductive growth are easy to spot. China has built more than 50 ghost cities — sprawling metropolises of empty offices, apartments, malls, and airports. Nationwide, more than 20 percent of homes are vacant. Excess capacity in major industries tops 30 percent: factories sit idle and goods rot in warehouses. … China’s debt has quadrupled in absolute size over the last ten years and currently exceeds 300 percent of its GDP. No major country has ever racked up so much debt so fast in peacetime.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, the country enjoyed expanding access to foreign markets and technology. China was nearly self-sufficient in food, water, and energy resources, and it had the greatest demographic dividend in history, with eight working-age adults for every citizen aged 65 or older.

Now China is losing access to foreign markets and technology. Water has become scarce, and the country is importing more food and energy than any other nation, having decimated its own natural endowments. Thanks to the one-child policy, China is about to experience the worst aging crisis in history, because it will lose 200 million workers and young consumers and gain 300 million seniors in the course of three decades. Any country that has accumulated debt, lost productivity, or aged at anything close to China’s current clip has lost at least one decade to near-zero economic growth. How will China handle the coming slump?

When fast-growing great powers run out of economic steam, they typically do not mellow out. Rather, they become prickly and aggressive. Rapid growth has fueled their ambitions, raised their citizens’ expectations, and unnerved their rivals. …

Labor protests are on the rise, elites have been moving their money and children out of the country en masse, and the government has outlawed the reporting of negative economic news. President Xi Jinping has given multiple internal speeches warning party members of the potential for a Soviet-style collapse. The government has doubled internal security spending over the past decade, creating the most advanced propaganda, censorship, and surveillance systems in history. It has detained one million Uighurs in internment camps and concentrated power in the hands of a dictator for life. State propaganda blames setbacks, such as the 2015 stock market collapse and the 2019 Hong Kong protests, on Western meddling. These are not the actions of a confident superpower. …

If China’s growth slows further in the coming years, as is likely, the Chinese government will probably double down on the repression and aggression of the past decade. …

Perhaps in a few decades, Chinese power will gradually mellow. Now, however, is a moment of maximum danger, because China is too weak to feel secure or satisfied with its place in the world order but strong enough to destroy it.

China’s president’s daughter is at Harvard. That’s a big warning sign.

China’s president’s daughter is at Harvard. That’s a big warning sign. By David Archibald

President Xi’s daughter, having graduated from Harvard in 2014, is now back there. And that it is likely for her own safety. …

The communist regimes in Russia and Eastern Europe lasted about 70 years before they burned out, and it has been wondered if the 70-year rule will also apply to China. The communist party in China recently celebrated 70 years since its founding, and it looks as if burnout is happening on cue. The princelings are jealous of the fortunes made by China’s entrepreneurial class and have started to take their fortunes from them, starting with the likes of Jack Ma, who had founded Alibaba. Another Chinese billionaire, Miles Kwok, has predicted that Jack Ma will be either in prison or dead within a year [Ma since “resigned”].  Once started, expropriation will work its way down through the economy, and it will be a profound productivity-killer.

A lot of China’s managerial class now has at least part of its fortune offshore and has sent its children, often only one child, to foreign universities.  Some of those children have been told, “Never come back to China.”

Xi Mingze at Harvard means that a coup is possible in China.

Obama Blasts Woke ‘Purity’ and the Cancel Culture

Obama Blasts Woke ‘Purity’ and the Cancel Culture, by John Nolte.

Former President Barack Obama derided the political left’s woke purists and the overall cancel culture during a talk Tuesday at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois:

“This idea of purity, and you’re never compromised, and you’re always politically ‘woke’ and all that stuff, you should get over that quickly. The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws,” Obama said. …

“Like, if I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right, or used the wrong [pronoun] … then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself. ‘Cause man, you see how woke I was? I called you out.’”

“That’s not activism,” Obama added. “That’s not bringing about change. If all you’re doing is casting stones, you’re probably not going to get that far.”

Before we put a MAGA hat on President Bitter Clinger, what’s important to keep in mind is that if the Fascist Woketard Movement was effective at furthering the left’s agenda, does anyone doubt Obama would be all for it?

Listen, this guy lost a brutal re-election campaign in 2016. No, he wasn’t on the ballot, but make no mistake, he was out there next to Hillary promising America a third Obama term, and lost to a man he personally despises, a man who promised to reverse Obama’s entire legacy. …

Obama understands that one of the primary reasons Trump won was due to a backlash against increasingly stifling political correctness, which has only gotten worse while Trump has been in office.

Obama knows how unattractive this movement is, how it turns off most Americans, and that it plays into the hands of the political right. …

Woke is what happens when a large part of our culture rejects the Judeo-Christian ideals of tolerance, a path to redemption, and forgiveness, and instead embraces a secular religion that demands rigid conformity, celebrates intolerance of dissent, and punishes individualism and intellectual diversity.

Again, the message to lefties is to back off on the politically correct tactics, ‘cos they are not doing the left any favors when it comes to winning over hearts and minds. Too early for those tactics, comrades …

Who Are The Four Greens Politicians Speaking At The Mining Conference Riot in Melbourne?

Who Are The Four Greens Politicians Speaking At The Mining Conference Riot in Melbourne? By Lucas Rosas.

Four prominent members of the Australian Greens are due to speak at the Socialist Alternative organised blockade of the IMARC mining conference in Melbourne over the course of the next few days.

The Australian Greens support for this violent display of organised mass lawbreaking has gone unmentioned by Australia’s mainstream media. You would think the fact that the third largest political party in Australia is supporting an illegal blockade organised by a revolutionary Marxist group might have been newsworthy.

Federal Greens MP Adam Bandt, Victorian Greens Leader Samantha Ratnam, Former Greens Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly Lidia Thorpe, and Former Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon.

Adam Bandt

It means the Greens are no longer even vaguely worried about cosying up to their Communist comrades anymore.

Back when the Greens were founded Bob Brown organised it so that various Trotskyist groups (specifically the Democratic Socialist Party) were expelled as a condition of the state parties coming together as one federal apparatus. Old Stalinists in the NSW party like Lee Rhiannon were tolerated as they were considered isolated, powerless and for the most part irrelevant in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union. …

Despite the best efforts of the more moderate factions, the Australian Greens are getting ever more comfortable associating with people whose stated goal is overthrowing the government and implementing a totalitarian state.

The reason for this is simple, their friends in the media have never made an issue of it. Because their friends in the media don’t see anything wrong with it.

Read it all. The riots against the mining conference are clearly anti-capitalist, pro-communist in nature. The climate change excuse is a thin fig leaf.

Brexit: Will Boris Johnson’s election gamble actually pay off?

Brexit: Will Boris Johnson’s election gamble actually pay off? By Steven Swinford.

Boris Johnson has finally – on his fourth attempt – succeeded in getting the election he has been pushing for. MPs voted by a huge majority of 418 this morning to hold an early poll on December 12.

Johnson’s strategy:

The prime minister wants to fight a “people v parliament election”, arguing that MPs have done everything they can to frustrate Brexit.

He insists he has delivered a good Brexit deal while Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, wants two referendums — a second vote on Brexit and another independence referendum in Scotland.

Mr Johnson is relying on evidence suggesting that Brexit has broken down traditional party loyalties.

Matthew Goodwin, a professor of politics at the University of Kent, highlighted a recent finding by the British Election Study which found that nearly half the country voted for different parties in the last three elections. …

Corbyn’s strategy:

On Brexit, Labour will offer a second referendum, which they usually call a “public vote”. This would be between a “sensible” Brexit deal which they believe they can negotiate within three months, and Remain.  …

Since Boris Johnson became prime minister, Labour have tried to cast the Conservatives as an elite — their conference slogan was “people before privilege” — while also trying to draw parallels between Donald Trump and the prime minister.

Lib Dems:

They will campaign relentlessly on Brexit. They made the controversial decision last month to vow that in the unlikely event they win a majority they would revoke Article 50, cancelling Brexit altogether. The Liberal Democrats made this move not because they expect an overall majority but because they wanted to flaunt their Remainer credentials compared with Labour. …

Nigel Farage:

The Brexit Party will be key if the Tories are to make gains in Leave voting seats, especially as Brexit has yet to be delivered. The Brexit Party are hoping to wipe out Labour’s heartlands in the northeast of England and Wales, but senior figures in the party have indicated they may not stand against incumbent Tory MPs. However until Mr Johnson makes a move toward an electoral pact, the party will campaign for a “clean break” Brexit where the UK leaves all EU institutions and then negotiates a free trade deal from outside the bloc. …

Polls:

The Conservatives have a huge lead in the polls. Recent Yougov polling puts the Tories on 37 per cent and Labour on 22 per cent, with the Liberal Democrats on 19 per cent. …

Some Cabinet ministers think that the Tories will have lost 30 seats before voters even go to the polls. The Liberal Democrats are expected to make significant gains in the southeast and southwest, and the SNP is expected to pick up Tory seats in Scotland.

It’s almost another referendum on Brexit. I’m curious to see what happens.

Melbourne mining conference delegates tell of abuse by climate change protesters

Melbourne mining conference delegates tell of abuse by climate change protesters, by Nick Evans.

Conference delegates have told of being abused by protesters on their way into International Mining and Resources Conference at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Tuesday.

Some attendees, which included thousands of global delegates, reported being chased by individual protesters filming delegates entering amid shouts of “shame” and “murderer”.

Victoria Police have now arrested 50 people at the protest outside the conference with Acting Commander Tim Tully saying police have “shown a hell of a lot of discretion, a hell of a lot of tolerance”.

Commander Tully said the majority of offences related to obstruction of the footpath or obstructing an emergency service worker. …

Capsicum spray was fired into the crowd, with officers yelling at protesters to “get back” as attendees attempted to enter the conference. …

Commander Tully said four police officers had been injured while making arrests with three taken to hospital for injuries including a dislocated finger and minor head injuries. …

Protester Emma Black from the Blockade IMARC Activist Alliance said … she had been hit with a police baton on her right arm which was extremely swollen. She said her arms were raised and was trying to get out of the way when the officer hit her. …

More than 7000 delegates from about 100 countries are attending the three-day conference and organisers say the protest action is based on misconceptions about the mining industry. …

Mining was vital for the production of electricity, solar panels, electric car batteries, pacemakers and medical apparatus and public transport, they said. This year the conference will consider the importance of battery minerals, used in the emerging electric car market, and the growing importance of ethical investment for resource companies.

Meanwhile, everyone loves the Greenies in Melbourne:

The problem seems to be that in order for a protest to get attention, it now needs to be disruptive. In Washington DC, surely the most protested place on Earth, there are two public protests per day on average. No one takes any notice.

So, expect more of this.

PS: Are these demonstrators red or green?

US Navy admiral: A 355-ship Navy may not be attainable

US Navy admiral: A 355-ship Navy may not be attainable, by Ed Adamczyk.

“Will we get to 355 ships?” [Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Robert Burke] asked at the Military Reports and Editors conference in Arlington, Va. “I think with today’s fiscal situation, where the Navy’s top line is right now, we can keep around 305 to 310 ships whole, properly manned, properly maintained, properly equipped, and properly ready.” …

Currently, about 30 percent of the Navy’s destroyer fleet can leave port on schedule after repairs, and six of 11 aircraft carriers are under repair; one is the USS Harry S. Truman, whose electrical problems forced a cancellation of its deployment to the Middle East in September.

Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., told a Navy official during a House Armed Services Committee meeting on Wednesday, “If you cannot take care of a 290-ship fleet, so maybe you shouldn’t build more.”

Stephen Green:

The country has tens of millions more people than we did in the ’80s, we’re vastly richer, we’re more reliant on trade than ever, and yet we can only put to sea a fleet barely more than half the size it was under Reagan.

Another data point showing that the abilities of the West are slipping, under an increasingly  incompetent ruling class more interested in diversity and importing third world votes than meritocracy and looking after their native population.

California Can’t Keep the Lights On

California Can’t Keep the Lights On, by Rich Lowry.

Decades of misgovernance and misplaced priorities have left the state fighting fire with . . . blackouts. …

California governor Gavin Newsom, who has to try to evade responsibility for this debacle while presiding over it, blames “dog-eat-dog capitalism” for the state’s current crisis. It sounds like he’s referring to robber barons who have descended on the state to suck it dry of profits while burning it to the ground. But Newsom is talking about one of the most regulated industries in the state — namely California’s energy utilities, which answer to the state’s public utilities commission.

This is not exactly an Ayn Rand operation. The state could have, if it wanted, pushed the utilities to focus on the resilience and safety of its current infrastructure — implicated in some of the state’s most fearsome recent fires — as a top priority. Instead, the commission forced costly renewable-energy initiatives on the utilities.

Meanwhile, California has had a decades-long aversion to properly clearing forests. The state’s leaders have long been in thrall to the belief that cutting down trees is somehow an offense against nature, even though thinning helps create healthier forests. Biomass has been allowed to build up, and it becomes the kindling for catastrophic fires.

As Chuck DeVore of the Texas Public Policy Foundation points out, a report of the Western Governors’ Association warned of this effect more than a decade ago, noting that “over time the fire-prone forests that were not thinned, burn in uncharacteristically destructive wildfires.”

In 2016, then-governor Jerry Brown actually vetoed a bill that had unanimously passed the state legislature to promote the clearing of trees dangerously close to power lines. …

California’s overriding goal should have been safe, cheap, and reliable power, a public good so basic that it’s easy to take for granted. The state’s focus on ideological fantasies has instead ensured it has none of the above.

Another example of the incompetence of today’s ruling class.

Their belief in ideologically-inspired, politically-correct fantasies at the expense of reality is costing everyone.

California power lines spark wildfires and prompt blackouts. Why not just bury them?

California power lines spark wildfires and prompt blackouts. Why not just bury them? By Janet Wilson.

It costs about $3 million per mile to convert underground electric distribution lines from overhead, while the cost to build a mile of new overhead line is less than a third of that, at approximately $800,000 per mile, according to a section on PG&E’s website called Facts About Undergrounding Power Lines.

PG&E, the state’s largest utility, maintains approximately 81,000 miles of overhead distribution lines … Undergrounding 81,000 miles of distribution lines would cost $15,000 per [electricity] account.

Even burying the power lines would only delay the problem. The forests, mismanaged by Green ideology, are still accumulating tinder, ready to go off. The spark that sets it off is inevitable — if it’s not power lines it’s lightening or arsonists or sparks from machinery, etc.

Texas Luring Jobs Away From California With Promises Of Electricity

Texas Luring Jobs Away From California With Promises Of Electricity. By the Babylon Bee.

California Governor Gavin Newsom was dismissive of Texas’s claims, though. “They’re making false claims of being able to deliver electricity 24/7,” Newsom said, “but it just can’t be done.” Newsom was also dismissive of the Lone Star State’s other claims, such as affordable housing, plenty of water, cheap gas, plastic straws, and not constantly being on fire. “It sounds made up,” said Newsom. “I don’t even think there is a Texas.”

Denial of reality, a specialty of the modern left.

California plans to fight back. It’s now working on a wall to keep people and jobs from leaving California. The planned wall should extend along the entire California border, except for the southern part.

Satire — or is it?

California: maybe prescribed burns once every 500 years are not enough?

California: maybe prescribed burns once every 500 years are not enough? By Joanne Nova.

In Western Australia (WA) we have incendiary gum trees, regular droughts, and humidity so low that sometimes the clothes dry in the washing machine. Far be it for me to tell Californians how to manage their forests, but thought it worth a mention that Western Australian State govt do managed burns on 8% of the forest each year, and our top experts say it should be twice as much.

Compare that to California, where the rate of prescribed burning is now around 0.2% of the forest or so. Not the same type of fire-loving trees, but still the flammable kind…

Apparently some Californians have been burning off since practically the end of the last ice age. It’s just university educated Californians who don’t seem to have the hang of it yet:

The native communities across California have been practising traditional, controlled forest burning techniques for 13,000 years….

In dry climates such as Australia and California, people learned thousands of years ago if you don’t burn off at least once every ten years then you eventually get a devastating, dangerous fire. Much better to burn off. Now our idiot Greens have to relearn that message (in both Australia and California), at our cost.