Welcome to Quadrant Online | Login/ Register Cart (0) $0 View Cart
Menu
April 22nd 2017 print

David Archibald

Election 2016: My Tilt at Windmills

David Archibald thought he might have a chance to take the seat of Pilbarra, thinking he might run as an independent but eventually signing on as One Nation's contender.  Here's his memoir of bent media, mad taxes, fabricated outrage and, most of all, democracy warts and all

Yet Andrew Laming Still Lives

don quixoteI have had more than ten years before the mast fighting the global-warmers. Early on in that interminable campaign, when I talked to federal politicians on the subject their eyes would glaze over. I realized they had no interest in stopping the harm to the country.  In fact, when a Perth businessman hired a private room in a restaurant so that a few real scientists could give a briefing to Julie Bishop and Mathias Cormann, the response of those two was “Change public opinion and we will follow public opinion.” No leadership, no sense of right and wrong, no inclination to do the right thing for the country if it meant the slightest bit of effort on their part, or risking any of their political capital.

It became evident that the only way to improve the situation was to winkle out the bad politicians one by one. One of the worst of these is Andrew Laming, loony-left Liberal member of federal parliament for the seat of Bowman, southeast of Brisbane. Mr. Laming’s most notable act to date has been to pour oil over himself while seated in the House of Representatives. The cause of his angst was cruise ships docking at the Port of Brisbane. I have begged friends in Brisbane to roll Mr. Laming in preselection, along with all the other Liberals with a bad case of the doctors’ wives tendency. But my friends say that they are too busy making money or have some other reason for not serving their country. And thus it is torpor and inertia that keeps Australia-haters like Laming in place.

So, if I am to have any moral standing, I have to endure the unendurable and lead by example. I have plenty of time for politics because the recent Barnett government in WA buggered the onshore oil industry here. There is the usual heavy burden of red tape, black tape and green tape; but on top of all that the WA government’s hunt for money prompted them to increase the rental on exploration acreage some fourteen-fold. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It is one thing to fill out endless forms and go through the charade of meeting after meeting with social parasites, but then, after all that, to have to hand over great lumps of cash for no good reason – it took all the fun out of the business.

What has happened in WA is that ministers have had no interest in the running of their departments so the green/Labor-oriented public servants run amok. One example is the environmental clearances that are required before any work can be undertaken on the ground. For the oil industry, that means hiring a botanist and a zoologist to walk the path of intended roadworks – that is to bulldoze a track. The cocky on the property can bulldoze at will and mineral exploration permits don’t require such clearances. It is because of a perception that the oil industry has money that the public servants require that the industry hire their consultant mates in the environment scam. Similarly, on an Aboriginal heritage clearance, the Aboriginals might be happy to do it by helicopter in a couple of days but the anthropologist might require that weeks be spent walking the whole route – because he is paid on a day-rate.

Barnett, as Premier, was a socialist and statist who treated his ministers with justified contempt. Despite the fact that he was taking the State backwards, only one, Dean Nalder, had the gumption to try to knock him off.  The State debt kept rising. The public started to notice and got concerned. So, Brendon Grylls, the National Party leader and member for the seat of Pilbara in the State’s north, concocted a scheme under which the taxes on the two major iron ore miners, BHP and Rio Tinto, would be near doubled and the proceeds spent in electorates in the south of the state. His tax would have cost three thousand jobs in his own electorate. Not that his increased tax was going to balance the budget. It was to keep the spending momentum going – and debt would continue to rise. It was obvious that this wasn’t going to be the last tax rise. In the absence of fiscal rectitude, everything showing a bit of profitability at the time would be taxed – nickel, gold, copper and everything else coming out of the ground.  WA was on its way to Haiti, via Venezuela.

Brendon Grylls had taken the WA National Party towards the far-left. He tried to outbid Labor for the Aboriginal vote and preferenced the Greens in a number of seats. This tendency would no doubt continue until Mr Grylls was removed from Parliament. Thus it was important to knock him off in his own seat as an example to others.

Initially I was going to run as an independent, a quixotic and foolhardy notion.  Then a friend in Canberra phoned and told me that Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (PHON) was polling at about 30% in the seat of Pilbara. That sort of number was possible given that PHON was polling at 27.2% in Townsville. So I signed up as the PHON candidate for Pilbara. That was aided by the fact that the male half of the couple that had run PHON in WA for the last 20 years, Ron McClean, had bought all the books I had ever published, before he had even met me. I have a lot of respect for Pauline Hanson.  She is a latter-day Joan of Arc – saving her country from foreign invasion. She is also our Nelson Mandela – a political prisoner put away on trumped up charges. Of course there are a couple of points of difference with Nelson Mandela.  Our Pauline has never been recorded singing about killing white people.

The campaign slogan I came up with was “Jobs Not Taxes”. As well as being against something, in this case Mr Grylls’ new tax, a well-rounded candidate should also have suggestions of positive things to do. That was easy. A few years ago, because of my global warming work, a retired WA Works Department engineer by the name of John Lewis mailed me an original copy of a report he had written in 1964 of the dam potential of the Kimberley region.  It was the best report ever written on the subject, far better than the ACIRL report written three decades later. Such a nationally important document should be made publicly accessible, so I updated it with satellite photos and made a home for it on the net. Putting in those dams would increase Australia’s grain production by eight million tonnes per annum. By comparison, Australia’s wheat production is about 24 million tonnes per annum.

The Pilbara also has significant agricultural potential. Annual rainfall isn’t as consistent as that of the Kimberley though large areas have annual rainfall averaging 400 mm per annum, which is the same as the northern end of the WA Wheatbelt. The rain falls in summer rather than winter. By my calculations, the Pilbara could produce three million tonnes of grain per annum. The WA government started investigating the dam potential of the Pilbara in the 1960s, putting gauging stations on a number of rivers. But only one dam has been built since, the small and picturesque Harding River dam south of Roebourne. Development of the Pilbara’s agricultural potential would also even out the boom/bust cycle of the mining industry. That is written up here.

A member of parliament should also do what he can to right the wrongs inflicted by the regime upon members of the public. One of the worst examples of that in WA is written up here.

A friend in the mining industry lent me a Hilux 4WD ute so I could drive at night and handle the consequent interaction with kangaroos.  In the event, there weren’t that many kangaroos but there was plenty of flooding and water over the road. On 24th January, seven weeks before the election, I set off to Newman so that I could meet locals at the Australia Day function the following day. On the way north, I was interviewed on air by one Joseph Dunstan of the ABC Karratha office. When he asked what I thought of Pauline Hanson’s comments on Aboriginals a couple of weeks prior, I replied that I hadn’t heard them. When he, in turn, said the ABC was a reputable organization and I could trust his word that Pauline Hanson had said things that were not completely laudatory of Aboriginals, I countered by saying that the ABC promotes global warming, which is a big nonsense and therefore the ABC cannot be believed on any matter.

When I got to Newman, I received an email from one Arthur Stephen who said he was a PHON supporter. I replied that I would be at the Australia Day ceremony the following day.  Later that evening I was copied in on another email from Mr. Stephen in which he told a third party that he had misled me that he was a PHON supporter. The Australia Day ceremony was run by the East Pilbara Shire who had flown up from Perth a grey-haired part-Aboriginal with a PhD in sociology to be the guest of honour, no doubt at great expense.  Some of local Aboriginals attended, including the type of professional Aboriginal with quirky touches in clothing to demonstrate their individuality.

Then Mr. Stephen appeared and started shouting to the crowd that I was a climate change denier in the pay of the oil industry, and that I wanted to close down the Aboriginal communities out in the desert.  He had made his own little protest sign. Such attention right at the beginning of my campaign boded well. The CEO of the East Pilbara Shire stood nearby, concerned that his function might be marred by fisticuffs. But how to end the verbal standoff with Mr. Stephen? It was becoming tedious.  So I announced I needed a photo of my newest best friend and handed my phone to the CEO to capture the image. Mollified, Mr. Stephen waddled off. How did Mr. Stephen get my email address?  Most probably supplied by the ABC Karratha office.

The following day I attended the monthly meeting of the East Pilbara Shire Council and I was kindly lent a set of the accounts to read. The Shire owns Newman airport and charges for parking there. The annual profit from that is about $400,000.  The Shire also gives out grants of $5,000 to $12,000 at a time to Aboriginal artists, with this totaling some $300,000 per annum. So, most of the profit from the airport is, in effect, given away to individual members of the public.  At the same time councilors complain that the viability of towns in the Pilbara is sapped by the use of fly-in, fly-out workers to man the mines. But they inconvenience their own residents mightily but charging for parking at the airport, in a region blessed with boundless, useless desert that could be applied to free parking. Port Hedland and Karratha also charge for airport parking, also with the asymmetry of the funds raised not being worth the inconvenience caused to their own constituents.

The next thing that happened in my campaign is that the ABC did their best to get me dis-endorsed as a PHON candidate. Mr. Dunstan from the ABC Karratha office went through my published scribblings and found something that suited his purpose in a Quadrant Online article on lifestyles choices. As I point out in the article, these days we know what causes pregnancy and everyone who gets pregnant outside of marriage is a volunteer. There is no reason why any of the rest of us should pay for that lifestyle choice. Paying single mothers to be single mothers started with Bill Hayden in the early 1980s because he felt guilty that he didn’t do the right thing by a woman he got pregnant at university.

The ABC went to town on single mothers. A Washington-based friend emailed to say he had heard of the commotion. A friend in Sydney said that he was listening to the news on the radio – the first item was about Donald Trump, the second item was about me. The other media operations got in on the act. The couple house-sitting for me in Perth reported that Channel 9 had a woman sitting in car parked on the street in front of my house at 7.00 am the following morning. When she was approached, she said that “movement had been detected in the house”. Seven West Media is ideologically aligned with the ABC and has a product-sharing agreement with them. It is fitting that their share price has declined from $14 a decade ago to $0.73 now. But what juice they have left in them is spent supporting the Labor/green side of politics, and Seven West Media own most of the rural WA newspaper titles. For a conservative seeking election, one has to get over the fact that you have to buy advertising space in, and thus support, newspapers which have editorial content out to destroy you as a candidate.

There is plenty in my scribblings for the ABC to froth at the mouth at. But they settled on single mothers. I got plenty of free advertising and name recognition as a result, for which I am duly grateful. But I still believe that the ABC and the SBS should be wiped from the face of the Earth, including the rural service. Nothing must remain. Prior to the 1996 federal campaign, some ABC staff were going onto contracts so they would have to be paid out if Howard closed them down. Now they treat the conservative side of politics with complete contempt. They are unafraid of any consequences for their behaviour, because there are none.  But, in case they remain with us, and if you are an aspiring conservative politician, it could be useful to leave something in print that the ABC can froth at the mouth at and generate all that free publicity.

The Australian isn’t any better. That organ sent one of their journalists, Andrew Burrell, and a photographer to the Pilbara. I was one of those interviewed, for two hours plus another half hour of photography. What was written up was selected quotes to make me look like a self-important loon. It was not necessarily malicious, as an ABC profile would be, but everyone must conform to their allotted stereotype. It saves thinking.

The ABC campaign burnt out with me remaining an endorsed candidate. It backfired on them in that, as a result of their efforts, the limits of what is publicly acceptable have been pushed out. When we get a federal government that actually, really wants to balance the budget, the single mother payment will be on the table. Another thing on the table will be the enormous waste in the Aboriginal industry. Australia has been spending some $30 billion a year on Aboriginal welfare, more than what we have been spending on defence.  As there are some 300,000 declared Aboriginals, that works out to $100,000 per head. Yet many live in abject poverty, in communities with rubbish spreading in all directions. Seemingly that is a contradiction but it is easily explained. The waste and stupidity in keeping communities way out in the desert is mind boggling.

For example, if a householder in a housing commission dwelling in Marble Bar reports a defunct lightbulb, two employees of the contractor engaged by the state government to fix housing will set off from Port Hedland on the 250km journey to Marble Bar. Employees aren’t allowed to travel alone in remote areas now for supposed safety reasons and that is why there are two in the vehicle. When they get to the front door in Marble Bar and knock on it, the householder may or may not be home. So, the WA taxpayer spends $1,000 to knock on the door and possibly replace a $2 lightbulb. That is the mentality that runs these departments.  Another example – the WA Aboriginal Affairs Department flew a planeload of toys up to Newman from Perth just before Christmas. It must have been an emergency airlift because they eschewed the much cheaper option of road transport.

Another example – a helicopter pilot who was flying across the desert was attracted to something shiny below. He landed at an abandoned settlement of three houses and found the generator still running. It would only stop when it ran out of fuel, months later. Then the cylinders will have glazed up from running at idle and it will be replaced by federal or state taxpayers at a cost of $20,000-odd. Contract air services are engaged to run supplies and a taxi service to Aboriginal communities in the desert. Broome, Katherine and Alice Springs airports buzz like hornet nests each morning with Cessna 102s taking off. The most profitable run for these pilots is when a community runs out of playing cards and tobacco.

The Aboriginals of the northwest may have poor health on average but that is not because they are underserviced. On the contrary, there are plenty of health services devoted to Aboriginals and they compete for customers, to the point of advertising on radio for clients. They get paid per service performed – so they advertise free needles for drug addicts, for example. Of course, in doing so, they are facilitating a debilitating lifestyle choice. But there is money to be made, even if it is on the backs of black people.

The big thing in an election campaign is getting the polling booths manned by enthusiastic volunteers on election day.  Our Marble Bar booth was manned by a bloke in his eighties who has been a Pauline Hanson supporter since the mid-1990s. He lives in an open steel shed at the back of the pub. Yes, Marble Bar is as hot as its reputation with temperatures during the campaign in the low 40s. The coast was just as hot but with more humidity. In the rest of Australia, flies settle on your back and are evenly distributed around the rest of the body.  In the northwest, they land mostly on your face. The sound they make when they crawl into your ears is unsettling.

There are plenty of wrongs to be righted in the northwest if the local member, state or federal, were interested. When I drove into Port Hedland, at the western end of the peninsula near the port, I wondered why the place was so decrepit after 10 years of an enormous boom. It looks like East Germany before reunification. The reason is that BHP used the excuse that dust from its operations might harm health to have an amendment made to local planning regulations. This is Amendment 22 which does not allow any new housing other than for single occupancy – no families allowed. This has greatly suppressed private property values. BHP is now the owner of a large number of properties at the western end of Port Hedland. To have allowed BHP to monster private property owners using a make-believe health scare reflects poorly on all concerned.

Similarly, in 2011 the state government jacked up lease rentals on the port facilities and land at Point Samson, trying to get in on the offshore oil and gas boom at the time. There used to be 15 fishing boats at Point Samson, now there are only two. The town has never recovered and won’t recover until rates are lowered to what they should be. The state and federal governments can go on about northern development until they are blue in the face, they can allocate billions of dollars to the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, but they are not serious until they fix the problem at Point Samson. In the meantime, just as Venezuela is a useful reminder that socialism doesn’t work, Point Samson serves as a reminder that all tax increases have the effect of suppressing economic activity.

With respect to Karratha, the town planners who laid the town out thought that the good peasants should be happy living on 300 square metre blocks while surrounded by millions of hectares of desert. So each house has a single-car carport. But most houses seem to have three cars and a boat which consequently spend their lives out in the weather. When I arrived in Karratha, the town was building what it called a “Red Earth Art’s Precinct”. You can imagine how I felt about that. About a week before the election day, the word “Art’s” was cut out of the signage around the building site and new signage with the correct spelling of “Arts” replaced it.

The shires in the region hire consultants to advise them on how to attract tourists. Reports are produced but nothing seems to get built that tourists can use.

Car hire is a major impediment.  What might cost $30 per day in Perth costs $135 per day in Port Hedland. The then WA Minister for Agriculture, Mark Lewis, visited Karratha during the campaign. No rental vehicles were available so he had to charter a plane to take him to Exmouth where there was a hire car available. With expensive and unreliable car hire, most of the tourists that come through are grey nomads. Grey nomads just need a place to pull up with some shade that is next to water.  There are plenty of opportunities to provide shade next to the roads in the northwest but little has been done. Roebourne has a big sign made from steel plate on the way into town proclaiming that it has been going 150 years. But there isn’t much more shade now than there was 150 years ago. In fact, the quality of building in Roebourne seems to have peaked in 1865.

But one community in the northwest knows the importance of shade and has done something about it. In our Christian past, public works might have acknowledged our shared faith. Now people must seek what comforts them. So, in Port Hedland, shade along part of Wedge St is provided by steel plate cut to show images from a fertility cult. Fortunately it is a female fertility cult so what appears on the footpath underneath as the Sun shines through are images of vaginas, lots of vaginas:

david wedge 1

 

 

Footpath on Wedge St, Port Hedland – the ascendancy of the local fertility cult

Christian observance and ritual continues in the northwest of course; the region hasn’t completely reverted to pagan customs. On one Sunday morning I encountered Seventh Day Adventists in Bible study after their services. The males were outside the church, in shade, wearing suits and ties while their women folk were inside, in the air conditioning. True gentlemen. Just over a kilometer away was an outpost of the 3C Church, a prosperity-gospel establishment run as a franchise operation. Instead of an organist or the like, this place had a DJ and a stage with three performers who led the singing. Instead of hymnbooks, the words about how good you felt about yourself were projected onto a screen. These people didn’t muck about with what might be rendered unto Caesar. Each seat had on it a form upon which you could inscribe your credit card details. Karaoke in church is a promising development, but I don’t think the likes of the 3C Church is going to get many orphanages, hospitals or retirement villages built.

The people of the northwest are a heavily tattooed people. Back in a more innocent time, say the 1970s, they might have been the subject of a National Geographic article. Because it is so hot at that time of year, some wear very little indeed.  One lady of a certain age attended early voting wearing a backless dress made from half an ounce of cotton. On her back there was a tableau of the images of her dead relatives, down to the small of her back.  If she keeps outliving her relatives, one can imagine that the tableau will eventually extend down past her buttocks to the thighs. In our post-Christian society, some people revert back to fertility cults, others to ancestor worship. An anecdote about Joe Francis, the Minister for Corrective Services in the Barnett regime, illustrates the attitude to tattoos in the northwest. Joe Francis had a close relationship with his pet Alsatian. When it died, he had it cremated and incorporated the ashes into some tattoo ink. He used that ink to have dog paws tattooed over his heart. When I told that story in the northwest, the reaction was “Yes, people can become very fond of their pets.”  We can assign Joe Francis to the worshippers of animal spirits as his tattoos are of animals, not people. Upon losing his seat in the election, Joe Francis demanded that Barnett quit his seat of Cottesloe so that it could be handed to him.

If the OODA loop were applied to my campaign, we didn’t get past observation and orientation. Suddenly, there were just the three weeks of early voting remaining before the election day of 11th March. It was expected that 20% to 30% of the electorate might opt for the convenience of early voting so it was necessary for the polling places to be manned. A friendly scrap merchant had offered to put me up in a donga at the back of his scrapyard in Roebourne so I spent the last three weeks of the campaign living there and manning the booth in Karratha. The temperature got to 42° most days. Despite being in shade, there was a breeze which made it seem hotter. I admit that I found this wearying. In the end, 26% of voters opted for early voting.

Then came election day. The Nationals put in an enormous effort with transportable fencing and much signage. Labor also made a big effort, largely run and staffed by unionists. A high proportion of voters eschewed taking a how-to-vote card. Prior to election day, there was no indication of how it might go. But on election day it was evident that the race was between the Nationals’ agrarian socialists and Labor’s urban socialists. In the middle of that afternoon, a journalist from the West Australian phoned me. Amongst other things, she asked if I regretted what I had said about single mothers. My reply of “For Christ’s sake, get over it.” was accurately reported in the Sunday Times the following day. She followed that question with the statement that so far I had said something derogatory about just about everyone except the Jews (yes, really). As my one Jewish friend said, she was trying to bait me. This is what journalism in this country has degenerated to: baiting conservatives. My reply that she had just demonstrated how revolting she was did not make it into her report in the Sunday Times.

I didn’t understand why anyone would want to vote for the Nationals or for Labor. The former are a form of legally sanctioned mafia in which productive elements of society are shaken down to enrich members of the club, not just for buying votes in rural electorates. For example, there is a cattle yard in the northwest that was closed down on a technical pretext so as to remove competition from a National Party-associated cattle yard in the district. There was more than a whiff of National Party thuggery and standover tactics in the Karratha region. It should be different now that there is no longer a National Party local member who can pull strings in other ministries. When Brendon Grylls became the local member four years ago, one longstanding member of the Liberal Party in Karratha switched his allegiance to the National Party. He rationalized that to me as getting with the strength, but what he was after was crumbs from the table of the thugs and standover merchants.

Another case which illustrates the corruption is Lumsden Point in Port Hedland harbour. Five years ago, the WA government spent $5 million on a study of making Lumsden Point into a general cargo wharf. Currently, cargo ships from Asia sail past Port Hedland and Karratha to Fremantle where they are unloaded. The cost of carrying a shipping container on a semi-trailer from Fremantle to Port Hedland is $3,000. Apart from that saving, if cattle and grain are ever to be exported from Port Hedland, thus allowing the agricultural development of the region, a general cargo wharf will be required.

A Port Hedland businessman with plenty of experience in project development wants to develop Lumsden Point, but the WA government made sure he didn’t get his hands on the report. Knowledge is power and knowledge can be sold. The new minister for regional development, Alannah McTiernan, has a reputation for getting things done and so Lumsden Point might now make progress. If the Nationals had remained in power in WA, there was good chance that Lumsden Point would have ended up as another Chinese development.

There is a Chinese-owned cattle property at Pardoo, northeast of Karratha. It is one place where there is artesian water at 200 metres, allowing irrigation by centre-pivots without the expense of pumping water from the subsurface. Pardoo Station may end up with 60 centre-pivots at a cost of $0.5 million each. Pardoo Station is a pastoral lease. The reason why cattle properties in northern WA seem undeveloped, with a lot more gates than cattle grids for example, is that the owners do not have long term security of tenure. So, capital improvements aren’t made that would raise productivity. Brendon Grylls, prior to losing power, was making noises about how persuasive the Chinese owners of Pardoo were in being given freehold title over the property. Now the Chinese will have to start all over again with Labor.

With respect to Labor, it is the political wing of the union movement. And because the union movement is another mafia-like shakedown operation, the philosophical component is outsourced to the greens.  At early voting one day, the Karratha polling place was manned for Labor by a husband and wife team of union officials.  They had nearly spherical bodies from force feeding themselves with grain products – for lunch they hunched over to grapple with some Subway sandwiches. They were greeted at one stage by another union official whose body bulged from the effects of ingesting fermented grain products – not as repellent somehow.

There were 14,144 valid votes in the seat of Pilbara.  The first preference results for the major candidates are:

Liberal                         15.25%
Shooters and Fishers     9.55%
Labor                           31.02%
National                      27.29%
PHON                         11.34%
Greens                           4.11%

The Labor candidate for Pilbara is now one of 41 Labor members of the lower house, so the seat’s needs will be neglected amid the clamour of so many voices.

I got along with the Liberals and the Shooters and Fishers like a house on fire. Both invited me to their after-parties. I attended the Liberal one wearing my orange One Nation T-shirt. The Nationals, in green, turned up uninvited, probably because their own party was so boring.

The Liberal, Shooters and Fishers and PHON votes added together amount to 36.14%. There is nothing philosophically precluding these tribes coming together. In fact, there is an enormous vacuum on the non-left side of politics which is aching to be filled by something. There is a good chance it won’t be the Liberal Party which in WA is now in worse condition than in 2009. The Liberal Party is now run by people so stupid that it would be impossible for them to comprehend how divorced from reality they are. But they do understand that they are headed for a wipeout federally in WA. There is talk that Julie Bishop will retire as member for Curtin and be given some sort of role in New York. Christian Porter would then resign from the seat of Pearce and be given Curtin. This is an attempt to save some of the furniture. For the Liberal Party to save itself, the people responsible for the problem would have to stand down, and that is not going to happen.  Instead, they are doubling down on stupid with talk of Danielle Blain, one of the witches of Curtin Division, being touted as the next federal president of the party.

GST is a now a big issue in WA, with the state permanently disadvantaged. Witness this graphic of what has happened to GST distribution since 2001:

david chart 1Let’s put aside the case for SA and Tasmania getting more than their fair share, why does the super-clean and pampered ACT get more than they put in? Barnett ended up being completely loathed in WA. Now that he is gone, that loathing will transfer to anyone not wanting to fix the GST system.

There is not a moment to lose in getting the non-left side of politics organised. Despite Labor’s large majority in WA, there is a good chance they will lose the next election due to their usual stupidity and ineptitude, just as they would have been a one term government mid-last decade if it hadn’t been for Barnett’s canal-from-the-north stupidity in the 2005 election. But lose to whom? It always helps to have the right policies of course, but symbols count more when you want to build momentum early. My recommendation is to repeal the bicycle helmet law straight up. Bicycling should be able to be spontaneous and joyous.  But now in NSW, riders are fined if they don’t carry photo identification. Of course the bicycle helmet law kills more people (through skin cancer) than it saves. It should be followed in repeal by the laws on recreational fishing, bag limits on herring, boating licences etc.

The bicycle helmet law may be a little thing but it means that you are serious about reform, and that all the other needed reforms will follow. Similarly, if anyone in federal parliament wants to be taken seriously, introduce a private member’s bill to repeal Howard’s last dark deed, the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act of October, 2007. The corollary also holds true – if a federal parliamentarian does not want to repeal that act, then he understands nothing and is useless.

Did I have an effect on the election in the seat of Pilbara?  The Liberal and Labor parties, and the Chamber of Mines and Energy, adopted my slogan of “Jobs Not Taxes”. The Labor Party variant was “Local jobs not mining taxes”. The Chamber of Mines and Energy printed signs with “Jobs Not Taxes” and put them on top of the pallet of Liberal signage they sent up from Perth. I will count that as a yes. Would I do it again? Yes. It was great – drive 1,400 km north, do battle with the evil ones, meet lots of wonderful people, live in a scrapyard for a while. Then, getting home, I drove 1,700 km in 22 hours. Next time, join me and also serve. Politicians don’t take any interest in a matter until their seat is threatened. To paraphrase Churchill – fight them in preselection, fight them on the hustings, never give in. Our civilization depends upon it.

David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments [16]

  1. Warty says:

    Reading this article was a bit like a trip down memory lane, having been to many of the places David Archibald mentioned. I worked up at Mt Newman in 1971, when it still had a mountain and before it was reduced to a bloody big hole in the ground. I worked an air track drilling rig, putting holes in enormous boulders the main blast hadn’t demolished, so that others could blow them up again. My youngest brother went up there thirty plus years later, when it was indeed Newman.
    I had worked and sweated and drank through so many of the other unique places, like Marble Bar and Kalgoorlie, Coolgardie, Sandstone and others I’ve since forgotten. The rank smell of the Walkabout hotels, a chain that may or may not still exist, but the inner workings, the political machinations were deep buried and unknown to a young man with travel and adventure on his mind.
    I’d come out from Rhodesia, and had experienced great distances. But being out there at some diamond drilling rig, in the middle of nowhere, seeing a very light arch up into the sky in the early hours of the morning, rammed home just how great distance can be out there, and desolate, frightening. We never found the individual/s who’d fired off the emergency flare, though six or eight of us had gone out in search. But we came across a Kombie camper van with a family inside. Two of our vehicles pulled up alongside, and we eventually ‘roused’ a terrified male, the father, and I suspect he thought he was about to become a Peter Falconio, before a Peter Falconio had even been born, if you know what I mean. We simply wanted to ask him if he’d seen anything, but going by the look on his face, I suspect he thought he was going to meet his maker. His family only popped their heads up when they realised we were not a threat.
    I’ve never forgotten the incident, because it rammed home just how frightening ‘tyrannical’ distance can actually be: a family could disappear without trace up there and some have, as you know. It actually makes Sydney seem almost friendly

  2. ianl says:

    > ” … Julie Bishop and Mathias Cormann, the response of those two was “Change public opinion and we will follow public opinion.”

    And there we have it – the bleeding obvious for over two decades now. The MSM, in all its’ despicable treachery, controls the public megaphones to decide the public agenda. The majority of people believe what they are told and deep down refuse to perceive their own gullibility. Perhaps they even prefer Fake News since reality is so … icky. Celebrity gossip is a must.

    Whenever I’ve asked why this belief in the MSM supplying reliable information, the answer (with some variants) has been “Why would they lie to us ?”. The obvious answer – power – is dismissed as too painful, too cynical, to accept. Perhaps the most disheartening prevalent attitude is the view that the most valuable step in the Scientific Method – empirical testing of hypotheses – is disregarded because it may give the “wrong” answer. This attitude allows no objective analysis.

  3. whitelaughter says:

    The obvious question regarding the wheat production possible with these dams: how much C2O would be absorbed every year by the crops? When you are talking about millions of tonnes of wheat, the answer must be close to Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Pointing this out would show the hypocrisy of those using climate change as a stalking horse for more regulation, and allows those of us who regard climate change as a real problem to work in tandem with those of you who don’t.

  4. Bill Martin says:

    Do we ever need an Australian Trump! Sadly, there isn’t anyone even likely on the horizon. Besides, even Trump, in spite of all his bombast and right intent is finding it increasingly difficult to drain the swamp. He could even end up being swamped by it. It is obviously the same most everywhere all over the world. The political class, irrespective of their declared political colour and the media are almost all self serving yet not very bright, unprincipled morons, with the only skill of gaming the system and they don’t even do that particularly well. Most disheartening.

    • Warty says:

      Things may have to get significantly worse before such a leader emerges. Several commentators have expressed the belief that a full term of a Shorten might be sufficient to sought out the deep party room divisions, or perhaps two terms. The problem is that there is a lack of urgency, and a tendency to focus on the short term rather than look ahead.
      There are major problems with regards to preselections, particularly in NSW, and there has been an influx of politically correct MPs swelling the centre left base, for instance Julian Leeser in my own electorate. This means one cannot go to one’s local MP and expect to be seriously listened to. The Liberal Party in Victoria is dysfunctional, but nobody has been able to alert them to the fact that they have little chance of displacing a truely appalling Labor government there.
      Many of us feel a growing sense of resentment sweeping Europe and America, and yet Australia seems to be blithely ‘business as usual’. Little wonder 2GB and SKY News frequently talk about the swing to the minor parties.
      I think I may have got out on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

    • Bill Martin says:

      May I hasten to add that, by and large, people very much deserve the polititians and the government they get. Few have the faintest idea of issues that matter and even fewer ever make the effort trying to find out. It’s much more interesting to follow the footy, celebrity gossip and all those blasted cooking shows. That’s just the way the ruling elite like it. “Give them bread and circuses …”

  5. en passant says:

    David,
    I wanted to repeat a comment I made about a year ago, but as I cannot find it, I have to rewrite it as it fits the outcomes of your experience perfectly.
    “Some years ago I read an obscure book – the name escapes me now. It was not particularly profound, but one small paragraph has remained with me. The rebels had been finally defeated and had become vassals of the victorious barbarians. Morale is at an all-time low. One of the despairing generals goes to their king and asks: “Master, all is lost. They completely control everything and we can do nothing. How can we defeat them ever again?” The Master replies: “Give them everything they want – everything – and they will defeat themselves.”
    Is this not the case of the economic museum that is Tasmania (Give them their independence, I say) and the eco-loons of South Australia? They are leading the world to voluntarily become ‘The Dark Green States’ – with dark being the operative term.

    Agenda-30 is the roadmap of the treasonous and the stipid, but implement the whole thing with absolute rigidity – no exceptions. An example of this is vandalism of closing the Hazelwood coal-fired power station in Victoria. This act of green-inspired nihilism will result in a severe shortage of electricity on the eastern seaboard during peak periods.

    The good news is that fortunately this will lead our young to an enriched understanding of the delights of poverty, rationing of everything and shortages of essentials. With luck, it may lead to a shortage of food (as has happened in super-rich Venezuela). To the sound of loud cheering, this will be followed by the closure of all productive manufacturing, resulting in economic collapse, rationing of essential items, critical shortages and the centralisation of all power in the hands of the royal political elites. Nirvana for the indoctrinated who sneered at you.

    When the jobs disappear in the Pilbara and the mines are taxed out of existence, Rejoice! It is what the people of Oz want. Let them have it, I say.

    • Warty says:

      If memory serves me correctly, you recently told us you’d fled to safer realms, with affordable electricity prices, lower taxes, but heaven knows what sort of government (I don’t remember you discussing that aspect). So little wonder you are committing us to the mayhem you seem to be invoking.

      • ianl says:

        > “So little wonder you are committing us to the mayhem you seem to be invoking.”

        Warty, he’s doing absolutely none of that – simply describing a real possibility from a prudently aquired refuge. Your envy is obvious.

        Apart from mimicking Pollyanna, suggest something of practical use. Too hard, I know.

        • Warty says:

          Would I dispute what en passant says about the descendants of the Wilderness Society and their ravages in Tasmania? I think not. Would I rebut his statement regarding the ‘vandalism’ involved in closing Halewood? Definitely not: it was closed ahead of time and the French company was ‘jack’ of the whole thing because of the increasing number of restrictions and costs put in the way of profitability (something politicians of all persuasions seldom speak about). But it is the rising crescendo of his penultimate paragraph, followed by the coda about jobs disappearing and the people of Australia rejoicing in a post apocalyptic landscape that provoked my response. Do I envy his flight? Well, not really. For a start he hasn’t told us precisely where he’s holed up (it could be Malaysia and wild stallions would drag me there. It could be Singapore, but the heat and humidity would kill me).
          The second thing is, I think it would be better to remain here and fight, which I intend to do despite the accumulating ailments that accompany growing antiquity. Fifty, seventy years ago I would have been dead twice over, the fist time being at the ripe old age of 35. But God gave me a second and third breath so I could fight the sons of bitches and I will indeed until my dual chamber pace maker gives out.
          Practical use? Aye, join Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives.

          • en passant says:

            Warty,
            Let me answer your points: Tasmania is an economic basket case that sucks the lifeblood of the temporarily ‘productive’ states. Its mining has been killed off, dams cannot be built and forests are now havens for feral possums and cats. Tasmania is sucking 1.7x as much from the public purse as it puts in – and this will NEVER change. They are parasites with an alms bowl.
            South Australia is actively following suit and adopting energy policies that ensure industry flees the state, followed by the people – and then they enter a population death spiral along the lines of Detroit. So, having caused the problem, disputing he did it and now Jay is planning to spend $500M to build new facilities to replace those he blew up. What a masterful plan from the Jay Joker. Now all he needs is borrowed Federal funds to pay for it. Umm, how is the Treasury going to find the money? Oh, let’s borrow it – and on and on.

            Of course silly people are rejoicing at the closing of industry and the loss of their jobs or they would not continually vote for the politicians of all shades (of green) who support these cons, scams and insanities. They are not taught at school or the University of Propaganda to relate cause and consequences. I have this repetitive discussion all the time. They are cultists who cannot connect the dots. When I lived in PNG there wer several ‘cargo cult’ incidents in which the natives destroyed their garden food supplies and then prayed for the ‘big bird’ to endlessly drop them food – that they did not have to work for. We had to mount urgent famine relief efforts – which in their mind reinforced the righteousness of their action! The Australian Micawber beliefs that if we close our industries and coal-fired power stations a miracle will happen. Intellectual evolution has not come far at all …

            It is no secret where I am – and it is all I have said it is. I came back to Oz to cash in and move more assets, see the family and take a trip to NZ – and will return overseas in three weeks for 5-months. Temperature ranges from 18C-26C all year, the streets are safe, fresh food from the market or wharf is bought daily and I have over 25 European restaurants (if I feel the need). My expenses to live well run to $2,000/month (Hydrocarbon generated electricity, as I have said, is about $500/year), but we like to travel and take trips up country and internationally, when it takes our fancy. I have 45 ‘international’ TV and movie stations, reliable internet and my bank account earns 6% tax-free. You have heard all this before. I have turned down a job in Oz as I would rather get going as planned.

            As I have no intention of involving myself in local politics their system is their concern. If it became oppressive, I would leave, but there has been no sign of that.

            I was an active member of the Liberal Party for 31 years, but resigned three years ago when I realised I was still a conservative, but they had been infil-traitored and were some grotesque light green slime. I joined Cory’s ACM and offered to stay on in Australia and organise one of the States for him. I was outspoken at their lack of progress and inability to harness the keenness of their new base. Cory told me I was ‘too rude’ and he would not be needing my help. My wife was relieved and booked my (business class) flight the very next day. Cory is not the Trump Messiah we were all hoping for. Having always been part of the ‘machine’ it appears Cory has no idea how to actually organise and LEAD a new party. Pauline and ON have done it much better.

            As I said, you have to know when to fold when you cannot win and change the course of your life. I have better things to do than try to save the voter cultists in Oz.

            By the way, Sweden already deserves everything it is getting as a poll said 35% of them said they were going in the right direction. If Marine Le Pen does not become President of France (for all her faults) then they too can smell the roses on the graves of their slaughtered people.

  6. lhissink says:

    David, your sense of the understatement is profound – it’s accuracy is compelling. I lived in Kununurra for a while and was branch secretary for the Liberal Party – and everything you write here is spot on. Unfortunately the public service and bureaucrats are infested with socialists and greenies, and they are hell bent on implementing their agenda, come what may.

    I retired from the mining industry in 2013 when risk capital dried up. At the time I realised that my generation was witnessing the end of an era. A clincher was one lady who arrived at the office offering field staff. She seemed a few snags short of a BBQ, and when she told me she was qualified geologist, graduated from the Joondalup University, an Enid Blyton University if there ever was one, I realised the industry was stuffed. Even the AIG has become politically correct.

    So I watch with bemusement, from my rural retreat near Bega amidst the neighbouring greenies, the implementation of utopia.

    • pgang says:

      Couldn’t agree more. The desecration of the industry’s knowledge base in 2013-14 was profound. Added to that is the futility of trying to fund risk in Australia in a new age of almost certain failure, thanks to bureaucratic red tape and sovereign risk.

  7. pgang says:

    Best article I’ve seen on QOL for a long time.

  8. pgang says:

    Also agree about the bike helmet laws, although I don’t think it is a small issue at all. This has always represented to me the beginnings of the nanny state and I think repealing it would send out a huge message to the nation.

    By the by, you can cop a fine in NSW for not having a bell on your bike too. In some ways I do sympathise with that one. The lycra lobby has become so strong in taking over the roads with their selfish antics that I think now that any bike on the road should be registered an insured, except for kids’ (and parents with them) and bmx’s.

  9. Warty says:

    en passant, you’ve lost your ‘reply’ button. But, a more than interesting response.
    I couldn’t agree more with your comments regarding Tassy and SA. The former is hauntingly beautiful, but that’s just the scenery, whilst the latter works happily enough as a land for mad hatters.
    I didn’t know you’d moved to New Zealand, but good luck there. I too offered to help Cory set up regional support groups here in Sydney, having had some experience in that area (RSGs, that is) but received no response at all, nor to a couple of other emails I’d sent him. I gather he intends to tread carefully and vet potential candidates more carefully than PHON, so I suppose silence more or less represents caution. I’m prepared to remain patient, because the Liberal Party, as you indicate, is quite dysfunctional: I cannot for the life of me understand why Tony Abbot persists with it.
    We are starved for options when it comes to genuine conservatism in this country, but having escaped Mugabe land, before it became so, I know what hideous repression and genuine anarchy looks like. For want of a better cliche, it is not a good look.