1. Fraser Anning pours fuel on the flames
And some would say, vomits on the body politic.
You would have to be living under a rock if you didn’t hear about Fraser Anning’s maiden parliamentary speech, wherein he called for a return the White Australia policy, excluding Muslims and returning to Europe as the main source. The holocaust was evoked by a call for a “final solution”, being a referendum on immigration policy. From his speech:
- We as a nation are entitled to insist that those who are allowed to come here predominantly reflect the historic European Christian composition of Australian society and embrace our language, culture and values as a people.
- The final solution to the immigration problem is, of course, a popular vote. We don’t need a plebiscite to cut immigration numbers; we just need a government that is willing to institute a sustainable population policy, end Australian-job-stealing 457 visas and make student visas conditional on foreign students returning to the country they came from. What we do need a plebiscite for is to decide who comes here.
His list of wants include coal-fired power, the Bradfield Scheme of turning northern rivers inland, Galilee basin coal mining, a string of ports every 60 to 80 kilometres up the Queensland coast. Nation-building stuff that Bob Katter has been banging on about for ages.
- More broadly…what we need is a cultural reconquest of our own country to take back Australia from Gramsci-inspired left-wing elites that have subverted the very basis of our society…
Seems it all went wrong with Whitlam, so he wants to turn back the clock to see
- the defeat of the cultural Marxists and their ilk and a rolling back of the subversion of Australian culture and values that they have wrought.
news.com.au did a factcheck on many of the claims, finding many false and identified the speech writer as Richard Howard who was a former staffer of One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts who says he was “fascinated with Nazi Germany and authoritarian approaches and decisive rulers”.
Paul Karp says the speech was straight from the Goebbels handbook, says Pauline Hanson reckons Richard Howard was a former military propaganda specialist. ON had sacked him and warned Anning about him. It may in fact be why she shut him out when he arrived in Canberra.
If Bob Katter didn’t approve the speech, he supported it 1000 per cent and claimed that 90% of Australians did too.
- “A magnificent speech! Solid gold!”
So what is going on?
It’s simple really. Bob Katter is 75, and is probably good for at least three more terms, if he’s upright. His party has little money, but picks its targets. Three KAP members now sit in the Queensland parliament to ON’s one. Katter wants to supplant One Nation in the Senate by harnessing the Hansonite sympathies across Queensland and perhaps jag an extra member or two in the Reps. He’s hoovering up One Nation votes, and Fraser Anning needed something dramatic for people to know that he was even there.
In provincial Queensland, expect the vote to be split four ways. The Greens are irrelevant, so it will be LNP, Labor, KAP and ON. In the end the battle is likely to be between Labor and KAP.
That is unless all parties conspire to preference KAP last after this little effort, and voters follow party preferences, which they well may not.
Katharine Murphy says The Coalition has been playing with fire on race, and this is their inferno.
A line has been crossed, but there has been plenty of dogwhistling from the Turnbull government’s front bench, which she details.
In Parliament Bill Shorten revived a Hawke-era motion condemning the White Australia Policy.
There you will see Anne Aly cry, and this:
It was Shorten who reached across the divide, and Turnbull responded. A political nanosecond later it was as though that moment never happened.
By the way, my wife and I shared what is a I think a common view that Katter was descended from an Afghan camel driver. Turns out not so, his grandad immigrated as a Lebanese Maronite Christian, and Katter was raised a Catholic. As Phillip Coorey pointed out on Insiders, Christian Lebs were not automatically seen as Australian back in the day.
2. Defending the banks
Unbelievably, one person stuck his head out last week and defended the banks. His name was Elmer Funke Kupper, who says that Happy bank customers will bear brunt of royal commission. He points out that the average Australian has two bank accounts (I have accounts with five) which makes 40 million accounts in all.
I know that the big banks are proud of their customer satisfaction ratings, which stand at around 80 per cent, a fact confirmed by Roy Morgan research. So 15 million Australians are satisfied with the service they are getting. Kupper says:
- The major banks employ more than 150,000 people. The vast majority do a good job serving customers. Anyone who has ever dealt with banks overseas knows that we are relatively well served.
Kupper does not deny the bad behaviour uncovered by the Commission, but he says it is mainly in pockets related to wealth management. He says;
- The decisions that affect large groups of customers are made by relatively few senior executives. Perhaps a few hundred individuals. They decide things such as product design, pricing, incentive structures and credit policies.
These executives should be held to account in ways they have not been before. Fix their behaviour through a much tighter accountability process, and simplify their remuneration and we are 80 per cent there.
I would highlight incentive structures which seem to me have been designed to encourage bad behaviour.
In general I supported the royal commission, because it was the only way the truth would come out. I’m not optimistic about embedding watchdogs, but the gubblement claims such schemes have worked overseas.
Meanwhile the banks face headwinds, including requirements to keep more capital, which will cost them. They also face disruption from other lenders. I look at this prospect like the opportunity to self-manage superannuation. The best of luck, but no sympathy from me if you get burnt.
3. Germany and Spain reach a deal on migrants
- Spain this year has become the main destination for refugees and migrants trying to reach Europe from Africa, amid a crackdown by Libyan authorities and a more hardline approach to immigration in Italy since the inauguration of its new government.
Last week, the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, said 23,500 people had arrived in Spain by sea, compared to about 18,500 in Italy and 16,000 in Greece.
Under the deal between Germany and Spain, according to Deutsche Welle:
- people arriving from Spain can be returned there within 48 hours of arrival at the German border.
The CDU/CSU and the SPD are currently governing Germany in a grand coalition. German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer is a leading a member of the conservative Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) and has been at variance with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Seehofer wanted immigrants turned back at the border. Seehofer now says he wants to draw up similar arrangements with other European countries. Negotiations are underway with Greece and Italy.
Merkel and Spanish leader Pedro Sanchez are on a unity ticket within Europe, urging other countries to take their fair share from the initial contact points, and strengthening Morocco’s ability to deal with the issue before the immigrants get on a boat. Only 14 km of sea separates Morocco and Spain.
4. How Australian politics got into a mess
Chris Uhlmann gave this year’s Manning Clark Lecture Secret City: Fact, fiction and Australian politics‘ replayed on Big Ideas. I’d agree with the blurb:
- Chris Uhlmann offers exceptional insights into what’s going on behind the scene in Canberra – and he says that we have to find a piece of common ground again.
Except the last part. Not sure the main thing ios finding common ground. It’s more about our political leaders behaving decently – addressing policy rather than personalities and political gain, treating each other and the people with respect.
Uhlmann does an excellent job detailing how politics went wrong, beginning with Turnbull getting rolled by Abbott over climate change, Rudd just waliking away from the moral challenge of our generation, the knifing of Rudd by Gillard, the white-anting of Gillard by Rudd, the ostensible betrayal involved in introducing a carbon tax, the negativity of Abbott and breaking a string of promises in the disastrous 2014 budget, the ludicrous knighthood for Prince Phillip, the return of Turnbull, who promised a return to decency and honesty but disappointed.
That doesn’t do it justice. I recommend spending the time to listen to Uhlmann’s exposition.
On radio the one-hour time-slot was then filled by Laura Tingle, who pointed out that Turnbull was always a lousy politician – think of Gordon Grech. Why would people think he would be better the second time around?
She was just warming up when the time ran out, and they suggested we listen to the rest on the podcast.
Problem is there is nothing there on the site. I think it may have been an excerpt of her November 2016 piece, Do we expect too much from governments? a broadcast of her Politics, memory, and the Good Society, part of the 2016 Cranlana Programme Alumni Speakers Series, 4 October 2016. I haven’t had time to listen to it all, but the point she begins with is that after the deregulation of the 1980s and 1990s governments are no longer able to do what the once did, but our expectations remain that they can. John Howard, the apologist for small government, ironically assumed he could make a difference, and did so by spreading middle class welfare hither and yon.
5. Speaking of no regulations
Take a look at Vietnamese traffic:
Apparently if you want to cross by foot, it’s best you close your eyes and just walk.