Passing bull 67 – The school choir, gibberish, and hypocrisy at The Australian

In The Australian of  24 September, three writers sang as a choir after the Prime Minister made a speech in New York that they liked on a subject that has many Australians very upset.

Greg Sheridan

Malcolm hits his stride with refugee barriers

Turnbull’s clear, strong statements in New York in defence of the Howard – Abbott – Turnbull policies on immigration and asylum seeker policy represent vindication of the distinctive Australian approach.

The effective conversion of the British and German leaders, Theresa May and Angela Merkel, to a similar approach demonstrates the soundness of our policy.

Turnbull sounded this week like the self-confident leader of a centre – right government, moderately conservative but tough-minded, pragmatic and compassionate, who has come to grips with one of the most wicked policy dilemmas in contemporary life.

That is his best register.  It is the hope of his government and to some extent of Australian politics.  It represents a Turnbull liberation from the gruesome shackles of political correctness.

Chris Kenny

Promising signs of good governance as Turnbull’s team sharpens its performance

The split-second volatility of modern political commentary – like the computer-driven peaks and troughs of modern markets – has an ill-defined but undeniable influence on outcomes.  One of the reasons political leadership has been so unstable in recent years is that the media has jumped en masse to polls and prodding, and this has spooked impressionable politicians…

After seizing the job a year ago he [Turnbull] invited upon himself  four significant burdens: a lack of legitimacy because of how he attained the job; inflated expectations as the public and the media invested their hopes in him; the imperative to deliver on economic reform; and the need to retain power by winning an election.……

Post-election, the legitimacy issue no longer lingers (although many conservatives will never forgive his treachery)…

Certainly his rhetoric on border protection in New York this week suggests the Prime Minister is no longer worried about sounding like an Eastern suburbs version of his predecessor…[There is a clear message from Turnbull regarding ‘people smugglers.’]   Staying strong on such issues reassures not only the public but also the conservative MPs in his own party.

To assert leadership and offer comfort to the broader electorate he is also going to have to speak more openly about the issues of domestic Islamic extremism and Muslim integration.

Dennis Shanahan

Look who has rediscovered his mojo in words of unabashed conservatism

Across time, Turnbull has learned to balance his natural lesson-than-conservative nature and real commitment to encouraging social harmony with the hard words that reassure the broader public on border protection and the threat of Islamist terror.…

‘The public are entitled to expect their government will control their borders’, he said after he publicly adopted John Howard’s fundamental line on determining ‘who comes to our country’ as the basis for a strong humanitarian program.

Turnbull doesn’t see the apparent development and correctly says he was always comfortable with the policy of tough border protection.  Of course, and he acknowledged this past week in Parliament, the present success stands on the achievements of Howard and Tony Abbott.

Well, guess which team these boys play for. There is no doubt about what faction of the Liberal Party these three subscribe to, but what do they mean by the word ‘conservative’?  Where did we get this obsession with border protection and Islam and political correctness?  And does anyone on this earth really believe that people like Angela Merkel or Theresa May are influenced by John Howard or Tony Abbott?

All this may be bullshit, but that can hardly be said of these two extracts from Jennifer Oriel.



There is something rather dangerous about the gay marriage debate – and it is not homosexuality or marriage.

It is the view widely held by our political Left that liberal democratic precepts can be overridden whenever they interfere with politically correct ideology.

Not content merely to deny the democratic mandate of millions who endorsed the same-sex marriage plebiscite by voting the coalition into power, Labor is sowing civil hatred as social order.

The abysmal and divisive new ethos of Labor is the audacity of hate.…

It is reframing the plebiscite debate by exploiting fear and manipulating emotion.  In one short week, labour has succeeded in reframing the founding principles of liberal democracy as manifestations of hatred – all in the name of love, of course.

In Labor’s grand lexicon of doublespeak, public reason, active citizenship, and the human right to free thought and speech, freedom of association and religion are mistranslated into forms of hatred.  And the citizen who seeks active participation in democracy by advocating for the same–sex marriage plebiscite is, by extension, hatred personified.

Increasingly it is the case that whenever a question of social reform arises, the political Left reverts to the audacity of hate to coerce people into conformity.

Its default position is to mob and vilify dissenters.

It acts as though Australia were a country under democratic socialism rather than liberal democracy…

During the last week, the Socialist Left position on gay marriage has been promulgated by Labor, the Greens and the state media institutions that consistently prosecute the Left party line: SBS and ABC.


The US presidential race is a tale of two philistines whose common promise is a descent into darkness.  Each has rejected the animating spirit of the traditional Left and Right – the God of reason and the God of grace – whose unity gave birth to the modern West and the free world.

In the place of enlightenment, Hillary Clinton champions emotionalism, unreason and the barbarian fetish for supernatural rule over the sovereignty of liberal democratic people.  Donald Trump rises on a reactionary platform typified by an oppositional stance to anything establishment.  Neither champions reason.  Neither champions the form of freedom.  Neither promises the redemption that America so desperately needs.…

Rather, Trump’s America is a counter-revolution in waiting.  We know what has preceded it: the neo-Marxist march against Western civilisation whose gross dilation finds form in state-sanctified minority supremacy and the political correctness that sustains it.  But no one knows what might proceed from a Trump presidency except a counter-revolution against P C Left culture by the progressive dismantling of its government agencies, the media, the activist judiciary and universities…

Neither Trump nor Clinton augurs the restoration of American greatness.  But Trump is brash and arrogant enough to lead a counter-revolution on the premise of American exceptionalism.  The brutal lesson of Trump’s ascendancy is that to battle the philistines, sometimes you have to act like one.

That is just gibberish.

But the prize for bullshit in hypocrisy goes to Janet Albrechtsen.  She says that an American commentator on Trump ‘understood what so many conceited commentators don’t get.’

Chatting among like-minded people is the surest way to close your mind to reasoned debate.  It inhibits the gathering of knowledge and intellectual honesty.

It fairly takes your breath away.

Poet of the Month: Verlaine




The moon is red on the misted horizon;

In a fog that dances, the meadow

Sleeps in the smoke, frogs bellow

In green reeds through which frissons run;

The lilies close their shutters,

The poplars stretch far away,

Tall and serried, their spectres stray;

Among bushes the fireflies flicker;

The owls are awake, in soundless flight

They row through the air on heavy wings,

The zenith fills, sombrely glowing.

Pale Venus emerges, and it is Night.

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