Essential Reading

Insights from Quadrant
Insights from Quadrant

Making work in
the Dept. of Grievance

The bureaucrat’s greatest art is generating further work and extending the empire. All do it, but perhaps none with such aplomb as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC), whose very existence depends on a steady flow of complaints about this slight or that. The table detailing last year’s complaints can be viewed via this link (see Appendix 1: Complaints data) and the numbers hardly depict a state beset by eruptive bigotry, general beastliness and burning crosses, which might explain VEOHRC’s latest gambit to keep its grievance packagers occupied and employed.

Here’s a taste of its current appeal to keep the work coming, the staff expanding and sob stories of intolerance on tap:

Reducing Racism is a new project that engages Victoria’s African and Muslim communities to help them understand their rights and how to exercise them and make it easier for them to report racism.

Our consultations with members of African and Muslim communities have revealed several recurring themes:

  • Racism is a significant issue
  • There are barriers preventing people from connecting with us
  • People don’t know enough about their rights and how to find help

We’ve worked alongside the Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network (VLGMIN) to promote the pilot of a new community reporting tool that makes it easier for culturally and linguistically diverse groups – particularly members of African and Muslim communities – to make reports about racism and discrimination to the Commission.

Build it, as they say, and they will come.

Insights from Quadrant

Abetz on free speech
and its enemies

The Tasmanian senator delivered these remarks on June 2 in the red chamber

Freedom of speech, belief and association of freedoms for which our forebears sacrificed. They understood the importance of nurturing these freedoms. These freedoms have allowed us to explore, develop and nuance ideas, philosophical, political, scientific and religious, amongst others.

Today, our society is in grave danger of losing this rich heritage, together with its attendant benefits. That is why I have taken this, the first opportunity the 46th Parliament has afforded me, to make a plea to defend our freedoms. To fail to do so is to squander the legacy bequeathed to us. Of late we have been witnessing elements, some arrogantly—most others I am sure are naively motivated, but to the same effect—silencing, punishing and intimidating people with whom they disagree.

Our universities, which should be the nursery of free speech, are often not only failing their own rich heritage in this regard but actively destroying it. From students to senior lecturers, there’s a growing list of shameful incidents. The contest of ideas and research methodologies should be encouraged, not punished. As Justice Vasta said in the Peter Ridd case:

Incredibly, the university has not understood the whole concept of intellectual freedom. In the search for truth, it is an unfortunate consequence that some people may feel denigrated, offended, hurt or upset. It may not always be possible to act collegiately when diametrically opposed views clash in the search for truth.

He also said that intellectual freedom:

allows academics to express their opinions without fear of reprisals. … And that, at its core, is what higher learning is about.

We see the same corrosion of standards in sport. Rugby Australia’s unprecedented and unprincipled dismissal of Israel Folau has become the latest ugly example. Mr Folau, our best rugby player, was sacked for taking to social media with a paraphrased quote from the Holy Bible.

Rugby Australia now claims it was the threat of the withdrawal of sponsorship which motivated them. That turns the spotlight onto the corporate bullying, while not excusing Rugby Australia’s cowardice. The abuse of corporate sponsorship to manipulate team selection, especially on religious views, is reprehensible. Trying the same corporate ugliness on Izzy’s wife, a sportswoman in her right, for supporting him, is reprehensible writ large.

In an exercise of Orwellian proportions, these sports stars were targeted for exclusion in the name of “inclusion” and discriminated against in the name of “tolerance”. You don’t have to agree with Izzy to agree with his right to express his religious views, or his wife’s right to back him. Today it’s Izzy’s religious views and his wife’s loyal support.

Yesterday it was the Professor Ridd’s scientific views. Tomorrow it might be somebody’s political view. The next might be someone’s environmental view.

This is a fight for freedom of speech which impacts us all.

The government must, and I am confident will, respond to the expressions of the “quiet Australians” on 18 May and ensure our freedoms, which were bought with the highest of prices, are not sacrificed and squandered on the altar of political correctness. As Sir Robert Menzies so articulately encapsulated in ‘We Believe’: ‘We believe in the great human freedoms: to worship, to think, to speak.’

Freedom is worth defending. Freedom is worth nurturing. Freedom is worth championing. As our National Anthem extols, ‘Australians all let us rejoice, For we are young and free’.

Let’s keep it that way.

 

 

Insights from Quadrant

July’s Quadrant
now on sale

Insights from Quadrant

Mad as a meataxe
climate scientist

Kim Cobb is a US climate scientist and one of many who did not take well to the election of Donald Trump. Mother Jones reports sympathetically on the poor woman’s parlous mental state and that of many, many of her similarly afflicted colleagues.

Cobb entered what she now calls “an acute mental health crisis.” Most mornings, she could not get out of bed, despite having four children to tend to.

She would sob spontaneously. She obsessed about the notion that the US government would take no action to address climate change and confront its consequences. “I could not see a way forward,” she recalls.

“My most resounding thought was, how could my country do this?

“I had to face the fact that there was a veritable tidal wave of people who don’t care about climate change and who put personal interest above the body of scientific information that I had contributed to.”

Her depression persisted for weeks. “I didn’t recognize myself,” she says.

Eventually, when climate hysteria passes from front page to the padded green cell inhabited by phrenology and eugenics, those other discarded aberrations of science, the medical dictionaries will likely list Doomsday Dementia Syndrome as an example of transitory mass delusion. It will be illustrated by a wind turbine, a rich and rolling-in-it rent-seeker and a stupendously inflated electricity bill.

Essential Reading

Insights from Quadrant
Insights from Quadrant

Making work in
the Dept. of Grievance

The bureaucrat’s greatest art is generating further work and extending the empire. All do it, but perhaps none with such aplomb as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC), whose very existence depends on a steady flow of complaints about this slight or that. The table detailing last year’s complaints can be viewed via this link (see Appendix 1: Complaints data) and the numbers hardly depict a state beset by eruptive bigotry, general beastliness and burning crosses, which might explain VEOHRC’s latest gambit to keep its grievance packagers occupied and employed.

Here’s a taste of its current appeal to keep the work coming, the staff expanding and sob stories of intolerance on tap:

Reducing Racism is a new project that engages Victoria’s African and Muslim communities to help them understand their rights and how to exercise them and make it easier for them to report racism.

Our consultations with members of African and Muslim communities have revealed several recurring themes:

  • Racism is a significant issue
  • There are barriers preventing people from connecting with us
  • People don’t know enough about their rights and how to find help

We’ve worked alongside the Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network (VLGMIN) to promote the pilot of a new community reporting tool that makes it easier for culturally and linguistically diverse groups – particularly members of African and Muslim communities – to make reports about racism and discrimination to the Commission.

Build it, as they say, and they will come.

Insights from Quadrant

Abetz on free speech
and its enemies

The Tasmanian senator delivered these remarks on June 2 in the red chamber

Freedom of speech, belief and association of freedoms for which our forebears sacrificed. They understood the importance of nurturing these freedoms. These freedoms have allowed us to explore, develop and nuance ideas, philosophical, political, scientific and religious, amongst others.

Today, our society is in grave danger of losing this rich heritage, together with its attendant benefits. That is why I have taken this, the first opportunity the 46th Parliament has afforded me, to make a plea to defend our freedoms. To fail to do so is to squander the legacy bequeathed to us. Of late we have been witnessing elements, some arrogantly—most others I am sure are naively motivated, but to the same effect—silencing, punishing and intimidating people with whom they disagree.

Our universities, which should be the nursery of free speech, are often not only failing their own rich heritage in this regard but actively destroying it. From students to senior lecturers, there’s a growing list of shameful incidents. The contest of ideas and research methodologies should be encouraged, not punished. As Justice Vasta said in the Peter Ridd case:

Incredibly, the university has not understood the whole concept of intellectual freedom. In the search for truth, it is an unfortunate consequence that some people may feel denigrated, offended, hurt or upset. It may not always be possible to act collegiately when diametrically opposed views clash in the search for truth.

He also said that intellectual freedom:

allows academics to express their opinions without fear of reprisals. … And that, at its core, is what higher learning is about.

We see the same corrosion of standards in sport. Rugby Australia’s unprecedented and unprincipled dismissal of Israel Folau has become the latest ugly example. Mr Folau, our best rugby player, was sacked for taking to social media with a paraphrased quote from the Holy Bible.

Rugby Australia now claims it was the threat of the withdrawal of sponsorship which motivated them. That turns the spotlight onto the corporate bullying, while not excusing Rugby Australia’s cowardice. The abuse of corporate sponsorship to manipulate team selection, especially on religious views, is reprehensible. Trying the same corporate ugliness on Izzy’s wife, a sportswoman in her right, for supporting him, is reprehensible writ large.

In an exercise of Orwellian proportions, these sports stars were targeted for exclusion in the name of “inclusion” and discriminated against in the name of “tolerance”. You don’t have to agree with Izzy to agree with his right to express his religious views, or his wife’s right to back him. Today it’s Izzy’s religious views and his wife’s loyal support.

Yesterday it was the Professor Ridd’s scientific views. Tomorrow it might be somebody’s political view. The next might be someone’s environmental view.

This is a fight for freedom of speech which impacts us all.

The government must, and I am confident will, respond to the expressions of the “quiet Australians” on 18 May and ensure our freedoms, which were bought with the highest of prices, are not sacrificed and squandered on the altar of political correctness. As Sir Robert Menzies so articulately encapsulated in ‘We Believe’: ‘We believe in the great human freedoms: to worship, to think, to speak.’

Freedom is worth defending. Freedom is worth nurturing. Freedom is worth championing. As our National Anthem extols, ‘Australians all let us rejoice, For we are young and free’.

Let’s keep it that way.

 

 

Insights from Quadrant

July’s Quadrant
now on sale

Insights from Quadrant

Mad as a meataxe
climate scientist

Kim Cobb is a US climate scientist and one of many who did not take well to the election of Donald Trump. Mother Jones reports sympathetically on the poor woman’s parlous mental state and that of many, many of her similarly afflicted colleagues.

Cobb entered what she now calls “an acute mental health crisis.” Most mornings, she could not get out of bed, despite having four children to tend to.

She would sob spontaneously. She obsessed about the notion that the US government would take no action to address climate change and confront its consequences. “I could not see a way forward,” she recalls.

“My most resounding thought was, how could my country do this?

“I had to face the fact that there was a veritable tidal wave of people who don’t care about climate change and who put personal interest above the body of scientific information that I had contributed to.”

Her depression persisted for weeks. “I didn’t recognize myself,” she says.

Eventually, when climate hysteria passes from front page to the padded green cell inhabited by phrenology and eugenics, those other discarded aberrations of science, the medical dictionaries will likely list Doomsday Dementia Syndrome as an example of transitory mass delusion. It will be illustrated by a wind turbine, a rich and rolling-in-it rent-seeker and a stupendously inflated electricity bill.