There’s nothing edgy about ‘honour killings’

I can’t believe this needs to be said, but the choices of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas suggests it does.

Uthman Badar, spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir in Australia, will be speaking at the Festival on the topic “Honour killings are morally justified”.

How clever.

It has been many years since FODI has shown any desire to live up to its name. Their existences hinge on the flow of government grants, directly or indirectly through the units that make up the art establishment. It’s not here to disrupt the status quo. It is here because, as a Facebook friend snarked, “the whole idea of a Festival of Dangerous Ideas [is to be] some white–person wankery for inner–city latte drinkers to indulge themselves in a trip to the opera house and [provoke] the special feeling of belonging to that special part of society that attends ‘cultural’ events.

So whilst I am openly impressed that FODI has actually gone and proposed a dangerous idea in that context, as far as dangerous ideas go this is quite safe… which is what makes it so dangerous.

It is dangerous in the first instance because the material is justifying murder. Violence is generally accepted as dangerous.

For anyone who, say, might like to think of themselves as culturally enlightened, the barest of philosophical forays will lead you to the subjectivity of morality and/or its experience by the individual.

Armed with this, it is totally conceivable that people who commit what we call “honour killings” have reasons for doing so. It’s a scary rejoinder to the idea of monstrosity as other and seemingly perfect for a crowd seeking “danger”.

This makes it a safe bet. It’s destined to light up blogs like this, and papers and talkback tomorrow, and possibly the 6pm news from earlier this evening. Helen Dale – who has lit up the local media a few times, including this week – called the decision to give Badar a platform “the intellectual equivalent of streaking”, which is so right not just because it’s flashy, insubstantive, and guaranteed to get your eyeballs on the dangly bits, but also because it isn’t novel.

We know that attention will be paid because we have had these debates before. We have had these debates before because there are millions of people who believe murder is a prurient respond to the exercise of certain kinds of autonomy – but they’re other, safely ‘over there’, and the unbridled, uncritical acceptance of the other is how the worst sort of unthinking leftist gets their counter-cultural jollies.

It will be controversial. Why millions of people would hold values so far removed from our own always will be.

And thus we have Badar at FODI, surrounded by the latte elite, who have already started falling over themselves to demonstrate their open-mindedness by paying to listen to a man who fronts the national arm of an organisation that opposes the close-mindedness of a Western liberalism that would go back to stoning women if the culture wasn’t so close-minded.

If an open-mind is worth keeping on this issue this is still not a justification for FODI’s decision. The point of keeping an open mind is to think, judge, and close it eventually. If it never closes it is no great feat of mind, but the simple abrogation of critical thought. FODI is, by choosing to give this violent idea a platform, abrogating that responsibility in the name of whoring themselves out for attention. This is not an act without consequences; what we say in public sends a powerful message about (are you ready for this?) what is is acceptable to say and do in public.

They’re not concerned about that, nor are they actually concerned about whether we should kill slutty sluts for slutting. They’re concerned about how they can leverage Uthman Badar and the Hizb ut-Tahrir brand and the white guilt that creates the cultural relativism that baby leftists are injected with when they submit their first protest poster for assessment, in service of painting the Festival and it’s supporters as open-minded, critically engaged and edgy, and getting the attention that gets them paid. With taxpayer dollars.

If open engagement is what we desire there’s an endless supply of literature on the subject that could be privately consumed. Somehow I don’t think that’s what Hizb ut-Tahrir wants.

That is what I find the most dangerous – it’s lovely to have organisations like FODI that self-consciously hike their skirts and whore their stages in the pretence of glorying in liberalism while trying to undermine it. These ideas don’t deserve to be paraded on a platform as flimsy as amusement. There is no honour in giving a microphone to a man who doesn’t want to give the microphone back, when he will use it to promote a ban on microphones.

FODI sets its own agenda. They made a considered choice to offer the stage to a lobbyist for Islamototalitarianism to promote the murder of (mostly) women.

If FODI wants to truly be provocative, there are orthodoxies far better challenged than the secular, liberal, individualist democracy that permits people – including women – to pursue the free thought that allows them to consider and reject the killing women who exercise autonomy could be totally sweet.

FODI has the right to offer the PR flak for totalitarian organisation a space on its platform, and its secular “cultural establishment” type audience is mature enough to consider the idea without accepting it (the way the Murdoch-media-swilling general publicans apparently cannot, no doubt). Minds aren’t likely to slip out from under the warm, prosperous blanket of liberalism for the rock hard reality of whatever backwards logic makes it okay to kill for a contorted derivative of honour. 

The day the Premier resigned

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has been found to have received a $3,000 bottle of 1959 Penfolds Grange as a gift, which he failed to declare, and failed to admit to ICAC, conveniently suffering from memory failure, and has accordingly resigned this morning.

Before all thoughts move to who will move on up into the top spot, our anti-lockout friends at I’m Not The Problem Barry – No Lockouts NSW have been taking advantage of this scintillating story to have a bit of a laugh. The full gallery is here, but some of my favourites are below!








The Power of the Parti Quebecois Compels You!

FrontKeith Topolski examines the latest bout of xenophobia to spew forth from Quebec.


The most memorable line from the classic film Forrest Gump was about a box of chocolates being compared to life. The second most famous line, to my mind at least, was ‘Stupid is as Stupid does’.

 The Government of Quebec, headed by the famously anti-anything-that-isn’t-French Pauline Marois, recently demonstrated it’s intellectual bankruptcy by finding a way for a province in one of the strongest Western economies, indeed global economies, to shed 30,000 jobs in a single month.

 Now, the non-stupid response would have been to try and deregulate, maybe cut taxes, open up the economy to business. Nice try, this is the Quebec Government we’re talking about after all.

 No, THEIR response was that the problems are all caused by those evil God-believers, Allah-believers and, well, believers in ANY omnipotent being which has power over us.

 The best way to rescue an economy that makes Greece look stable? “..ban veils, kippas, turbans and other symbols from government offices, hospitals, schools and any other place that receives public funding”! Isn’t it obvious?!

 Of course, Quebec geared up for this attack on freedom of expression by banning the clearly performance enhancing turban from all soccer matches played within Quebec. Well, maybe not performance enhancing, but we can’t have a show of cultural diversity, so there!

 Well, actually, Pauline Marois claims that Quebec is a vibrant, tolerant province and, in order to protect that diversity, it must suppress that diversity from the public square. I kid you not, to protect religion, the Premier of Quebec says it must be suppressed.

 In suppressing religion, some have argued that a discussion needs to be had over the promotion of religion within the public space. This is a legitimate debate, but the Quebec Government decided to skip around that point because, well, the Quebec Government’s house is just a special exemption to this cause, while its employees are not, ok?

 This brainless act by Parti Quebecois has even been attacked by the teacher’s unions, who have stated that they will support any teacher sacked for wearing a religious icon, on the basis mainly that the Government are a bunch of filthy hypocrites. Freedom gets a run in there somewhere, sure, but hypocrisy is the main beef.

 Perhaps the union might like to make the point that, should this law be passed, Quebec might also run into a small problem of having a lack of luxury items like doctors and nurses.

 Whoops, the Government clearly didn’t think of that, so maybe they might allow for a little bit of leniency in some areas of life, like those pesky doctors and nurses who don’t do anything important. However, with all these exceptions, it will be a great way to create an extra 30,000 jobs in the bureaucracy to deal with the ‘administrative chaos’ this would cause.

 This attack on public employees, not because of their performance, but because of their religion smacks of the most flagrant sectarianism one could possibly come across, and it is quite right that people living in Quebec should challenge the Government on the question of whether the Government views certain citizens as being ‘Quebec’ enough.

 Of course, identity is a huge issue for Federal NDP leader, and Quebecer, Thomas Mulcair, whose opposition to these new proposals is due to religious discriminationinfringement on freedomslack of tolerance the possibility of targeting Muslim women.

 Newly elected Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, also from Quebec, also took the chance to condemn the laws. Such condemnation from Non-Quebecers (!?!) led to a demand from Bloc Quebecois leader Daniel Paille (whose party is travelling so well, their own leader doesn’t have a seat in Parliament) to allow Quebecers to have their own discussion on the laws. All those Albertans (commonly referred to as Canada’s answer to America’s deep south) like Trudeau and Mulcair getting in the way must really peeve Quebec.

 Of course, when a real Albertan, like Muslim Mayor of Calgary Naheed Nenshi, calls the charter what it is, it’s all a conspiracy by the ‘pathetic anglo media’ to portray Quebec as a province that is intolerant of the other. Yeah, like the Anglos from outside Quebec are the only people calling this Government on its bigotry.

 However, some are Quebecers are simply giving up. English school enrolments are dropping so fast the system is in danger of collapse, Universities and families of returned soldiers are under attack, and we’ve already touched on the 30,000 jobs gone in July alone.

 What is most galling about this is how, if such an attack on a religious or ethnic minority occurred elsewhere in the Western world, it would be called out for the bigotry it is. And it did and it was.

 The Government of Quebec likes to declare itself a tolerant nation (yes, Quebec is apparently a nation, although how it squares that away with claiming Canadian equalisation payments is beyond me), full of diversity, but it doesn’t like that diversity being on display. However, perhaps we have misjudged Ms Marois’ intentions, so we’ll let her speak for herself. So, what does Ms Marois want to say, directly, to the minorities and believers of Quebec?





I figured as much.

(DISCLOSURE: While baptised a Catholic, I now identify as agnostic).

Keith Topolski is a regular contributor to Menzies House, with a particular focus on Canadian politics.

A Cat at a Dog Show

Certain gay rights advocates are calling for what they call ‘marriage equality’, or same-sex marriage, writes Justin de Vere 

National governments in New Zealand and France, as well as certain other countries and states, have recently passed laws legalising this. In doing so, the governments of these places now consider a marriage of a man and a woman to be the equivalent of a similar ceremony ‘marrying’ two men or two women.

The desire for marriage equality, while superficially a call for justice and an idea whose time has come, is actually a hurtful, destructive, selfish desire which speciously defies logic, abuses ordinary people’s sense of justice, and will cause damage to an ancient social custom that predates government and civilisation and has nothing to do with homosexuality. The politicians who would effect this change would do so not in the best interests of the country they serve, but in the short-term interests of the party they serve.

Read More:

Let’s open up the books at the Reserve Bank

Henry Ford, the American automobile manufacturer, once said that “It is well enough that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system for, if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning”, writes Sukrit Sabhlok.

Indeed, if there’s one thing central bankers have been successful at, it’s using obfuscation and jargon so the public finds it difficult to understand what exactly it is they do.

Even when experts try and figure out what central bankers do, a range of legal barriers prevent a complete accounting of their activities. When former Congressman Ron Paul tried to audit the US Federal Reserve System a few years ago, for example, he faced opposition from a range of economists and politicians keen on preserving the Fed’s secrecy.

In Australia, the opaqueness of the Reserve Bank’s discretion doesn’t seem to trouble many people. But it should, because the RBA wields a significant power that influences the level of prices in the economy and consequently affects the hip pocket. The inflation it creates hurts the poor – and if more people knew the RBA was the culprit behind rising prices, and that much of the erosion in purchasing power we have seen over the past 100 years was unnecessary, there is little doubt that there would be protests on the streets.

The RBA’s aversion to scrutiny can be seen in the way that it shies away from the media spotlight, preferring instead to stage-manage the appearances of its officials in carefully scripted testimonies before parliamentary committees. The agency also enjoys significant exemptions from freedom of information legislation, and furthermore, doesn’t provide reasons for its decisions in a way that allows the public hold individual board members accountable for their views (one can contrast this to the Bank of Japan where individual board members’ votes are recorded).

Perhaps most troubling is the Reserve Bank’s budgetary processes, which are ‘off-the-books’ in the sense that the Bank just prints the money it needs to carry out its functions without needing to seek parliamentary authorisation for its spending. Although legislation does specify that the RBA is to return profits to the Treasury, the process is removed from other departments or agencies of the state.

How does the RBA justify its lack of accountability? The organization’s defenders have typically pointed to the doctrine of ‘central bank independence’ which rose to popularity in the 1990s. The doctrine aims to remove political considerations from central banking by insulating the technocrats at the RBA from transparency so they can carry out their work in the ‘best interests of the community’.

But a degree of latitude from intervention by politicians, while a noble objective, has become a code-word for secrecy. The need for free and frank discussion outside of the democratic realm is cited by central bankers as a reason for not releasing transcripts of the open market committee or for keeping hidden agreements with foreign central banks and governments.

This should be viewed as the self-serving tripe it is. The High Court as the nation’s highest court exercises equally important responsibilities yet its judges provide detailed reasons for their decisions so the public can hold them accountable for their views, and also has a budget authorized through the parliamentary process. It is doubtful that the RBA, as the custodian of the nation’s money supply, is so special that its individual board members should not have to justify every cash rate decision made.

In practice, the much vaunted ‘independence’ of the RBA is greatly exaggerated, so the doctrine of central bank independence fails to persuade in any case. Appointments to the board, which are made by the Treasurer, have been politicised, undermining its so-called independence. It makes sense that Treasurers would take into account more than just merit when making appointments: they are likely to select someone that already agrees with Cabinet’s own policy preferences. A blatant example of this was the appointment of Robert Gerard – a donor to the Liberal Party who had contributed $1 million to its coffers and was said to be a supporter of low interest rates – by Peter Costello.

The board itself is a coalition of vested interests populated with representatives from lobby groups and commercial entities who are heroically asked to set aside their sectional interests and prioritise the ‘public good’. The current board comprises powerbrokers with links to Walmart, Origin Energy and other major firms. Even the only academic member of the board, Professor John Edwards, was formerly employed by HSBC Bank and was an advisor to Prime Minister Paul Keating – a detail that would’ve been looked upon favourably by the Labor government that appointed him.

Consider also, that the RBA seems to accommodate its political masters through its reluctance to raise interest rates before elections. Ian McFarlane himself admitted in Australia’s Money Mandarins that "[the 2001 election] did have some small weight in our decision. If there was a really strong case to do something, we would always do it regardless of the election campaign. But it would have to be a pretty strong case". Since it gained ‘independence’, the Bank has only raised rates once before an election, and that was during the 2007 campaign.

It’s little wonder, then, that between 1991 and 2007 Australia was a high inflation country. Investor Chris Leithner points out that monetary aggregates rose at a rapid rate: M1 increased 404%, at an annualised compound rate of 10.2%. Naturally, this has significantly devalued the currency in Australians’ pockets and reduced standards of living – and all the while the Bank has continued to keep a lid on information that could be crucial in evaluating its performance.

Although it has been argued by central bankers that their role requires secrecy, they are overstating their case. To the contrary, when markets get more information, this can be expected to reduce uncertainty, bolster confidence and improve economic outcomes. Economic historian Robert Higgs, for instance, has shown how lack of investor knowledge about the government’s expected policy actions delayed recovery during the Great Depression. Similarly, studies have shown that greater transparency is often associated with less inflation variability.

A monetary system consistent with the rule of law – where accountability and transparency is the norm rather than the exception – demands opening up the books at the RBA. The public deserves to know.  

Sukrit Sabhlok is a Masters candidate at Monash University and editor of the Journal of Peace, Prosperity and Freedom

Of blame deflected


Waleed Aly says our responses to terrorism are not about the loss of innocent life—we only think it is.  He also claims terrorism is just a perpetual irritant. Aly would have us believe that while terrorism is an inconvenient pain in the butt, it kills relatively few people and is not any kind of existential threat. Such thinking conveniently ignores the London bombings, the killing of over 3,000 innocent people at the World Trade Centre, the two Bali bombings and a string of terrorist bombings and thwarted terrorism threats here in Australia.

Aly, is an Austraian-born Muslim who thinks multiculturalism doesn't lead to parallel societies, or isolated sub-cultures, as he calls them.  He doesn't believe there is any link between multiculturalism and terrorism.  This claim, of course, dismisses the experience of countries such as France, Holland, Belgium, Spain, and lately England, all of which are either legislating, or about to legislate, the end of multiculturalism. Aly completely ignores the words of Lee Kuan Yew, the father of modern Singapore, who said that only Muslims refused to be integrated into the Singaporean society.

In light of all we know about radical Islamists it is amazing that Aly can say “the reason that the far enemy is conspiring against the Muslims to keep them divided is because there exists a vast global conspiracy against Muslims everywhere. They just don’t like Muslims.”  Being an apologist for Islam he says that the reason Muslim Mohammed Bouyeri murdered Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh in a terrorist attack was because Bouyeri didn’t like that way that Dutch politics was finally waking up to Muslims and had deported 20,000 of them back to where they came from.

Aly says that we are intent on punishing illegal immigrants; he calls them asylum seekers. Is that because they are Muslims?  His one-eyed view of Muslims in Australia completely dismisses the fact that they entered this country illegally without documentation, lied to authorities, and have established Muslim enclaves in our major cities.  They refuse to integrate, and some community leaders are demanding Sharia law replace our legal and judicial systems. Aly seems to ignore that 88.5 per cent of illegals are still unemployed after five years in Australia and the so-called ‘moderate’ Muslims make little if any effort to separate themselves from the radicals amongst them. 

Television footage of the Sydney riot did nothing to improve West’s disrespect for Islam. Supporters of thuggish, anti-social behaviour seem to think that respect should be given but provide no hint that they understand respect must be earned.

Efforts to integrate Muslims into the Australian way will stagnate and dry up while we have politicians such as the Attorney General, Mark Dreyfus who defended radical Muslim cleric, Sheik Feiz Mohammad an Australian born Islamic preacher of Lebanese origin whose radical videos inspired the Boston bombers. 

Amon Ross, a concerned resident of Sydney, said of the events and radical elements of the Islamic community within Australia:

“They’ve rioted in our streets and assaulted our police officers. They’ve raped our women and said they deserve it. They laugh at and in our courts. They’re shooting up the southwest of Sydney. They’re advocating for Shariah. Every time we fly on a plane, we’re reminded of what they have done to the world.

“They’ve told us that our culture and way of life is inferior to theirs. We’ve caught home grown Muslims plotting to blow up our military bases and power plants. We now have a special police squad dealing with Middle Eastern Crime. Many make no effort to be Australian or surrender the culture of their old home. … And our politicians refuse to acknowledge there is a problem.”

Recent plans for a special police squad to target Middle East crime gang violence on the basis of escalating shootings in South West Sydney were immediately criticised by Muslim spokesman Keyser Trad on the basis of it being insulting to Muslims because there were bikies involved in the shootings too.  What Trad didn't say was that they are Lebanese bikie gangs and other bikie gangs with a high Middle Eastern membership.

(Name provided but withheld.)

Can’t beat Hollywood, may as well join them

The Australian government’s support of Hollywood blockbusters is defeating the purpose of building a sustainable local film industry says Jason Kent, in a piece that first appeared in Encore.

Oz star

One of the biggest hurdles for Australian
filmmakers is competing with the big budget American studio films. Indeed, this
is one of the reasons the government gives for subsidizing Australian films.
However, it seems to be at odds with the support given to American films like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

They fund films to help us compete against the American films,
and then they turn around and fund the American films as well. It kind of
defeats the purpose.

They’re basically buying filmmaking jobs from the
US to keep filmmakers and the electorate happy but the trouble is, when the
short-lived jobs end, all of the film’s profits go straight back to the US.

If we were to focus on making our own films, we
could create jobs as-well-as profits and the profits could be turned into
future jobs. It’s a far more sustainable model.

Unfortunately the Australian government has found
it largely impossible (even with hundreds of millions of dollars to spend) to
make commercially viable films. They blame filmmakers but it’s really their
fault. They’re the ones who pick and choose which films are made and often
which scripts are developed.

Now they’re picking American scripts. Maybe they
figure if you can’t beat them join them. But is it even possible for the
government to import a ready-made film industry from the US and turn it into a
sustainable industry here? I doubt it.

McDonald’s gave us the McOz Burger but it’s hardly
Australian and anyway, do we really want to become a sweatshop for American
studios? Is that the best we can do? It might seem like a fast track, but
there’s a limit to how large and how fast such an industry can grow, especially
if it’s pegged to subsidies.

I know one Australian screenwriter who has written
a period seafaring adventure, not dissimilar to Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but unfortunately for him it’s an
Australian film not an American film. In our government’s desperate attempt to
pick winners, it’s turning its back on the very reason it claims to be in the
film business in the first place: to promote the Australian culture.

At least The
Great Gatsby
has an Australian writer-director in Baz Luhrmann and Craig
Pearce, and if anyone can lure US money to fund truly Australian films, they

Of course there are benefits to American films
being made here, but we shouldn’t confuse American films made in Australia with
Australian films made in Australia. There’s a big difference.

is the founder of Pure Independent Pictures

story first appeared in the weekly edition of Encore available for iPad and
Android tablets. Visit
for a preview of the app.

English Speakers Not Welcome in English Speaking Nation


Keith Topolski discusses how being an upstanding citizen is being turned into a crime in Quebec.

Ever since the French and English fought over the new continent actually discovered by an Italian, there has been tension in Quebec over who is dominant: Anglophones or Francophones.

Although it has long been established that, for the Anglos, Quebec is the one place in Canada where you are not in the majority on this question, it has not been until recently that Anglophones have been made to feel unwelcome in their own homes.

Bill 101 has been law in Quebec for many years, and it designates that French shall be the predominant language in Quebec. No complaints so far.

However, with all the good intentions of preserving a piece of Canadian history, Quebec went too far by instituting the language police. Lest this site be accused of discrimination by Dear Leader Marois, the Office québécois de la langue française, to be precise.

The role of this office (Stasi might be a more appropriate term) is to ensure that all business conducted in Quebec is done in the official tongue.

This has included, in the past, efforts to demonise Anglophones whose only crime has been to give English and French equal billing.

This carries within it a debate over official bilingualism and whether one official language should have right of way over another official language. That’s a debate we can have another day.

What is more disturbing is that there needs to be a set of police on the beat, telling people what language they can and cannot speak.

Indeed, the new Parti Quebecois Government is introducing legislation to the Quebec Parliament, known as Bill 14, which would, among other things:

… amend a host of Quebec laws, including the Charter of the French Language, the Quebec Human Rights Act, provincial immigration legislation, municipal charters, the Quebec Labour Code and the Educational Childcare Act. It would oblige businesses with more than 25 employees to operate in French (previously, the requirement applied only to companies with more than 50 employees). It would make it more difficult for Francophone students to attend English colleges. And it would make it harder for municipalities whose anglophone population falls below 50% to continue providing services in both languages.”

This is an unambiguous effort to drive Anglophones out of Quebec, along with anyone else who has had the misfortune to not be born a native Quebec Francophone.

This clear effort at playing ethnic wedge politics is a bit rich given it is the Parti Quebecois who are waltzing around comparing the rest of Canada to Nazis.

Now that the Quebec Government has set about cleansing itself of English businesses, it has moved on to Anglophone Universities, with budget cuts which do not apply to Francophone Universities. Education cuts can be debated without rancour in mature forums, but when the cuts apply only to Anglo establishments and not Franco ones, it gets beyond the pale.

These cuts are especially interesting given these evil Anglo institutions turn out role models so unfit for Quebec society that they became Parti Quebecois Cabinet Ministers.

This is on top of cuts which target primary/elementary schools, so that Quebec can remove such treasonous troublemakers as children of returned Canadian soldiers.

These attacks on Anglophones even stirred concern among a minority of the Francophone population, who believed the cuts had gone too far.

That minority was then, however, and this is now. Even just a few weeks down the track.

Now it is an invasion of Italian restaurants which has the Quebec Stasi up in arms, for daring to publish the word ‘pasta’.

I kid you not. PASTA is now the target of the Quebec language police.

This expose of the neo-fascist enforcement of language laws has divided the hardcore sovereigntists in Quebec. On the one hand, some are saying they will ‘review’ the enforcement procedures, while others complain it is more Quebec bashing.

Finally, perhaps finally, the may be an opportunity for reason to prevail in this debate. Oh, yes, I do get the irony of wanting reason to prevail in a debate of language identity when issues such as health, education, law and order and the economy take a back seat for the duration of the journey.

Quebec has often set itself up as the protector of all that is good about the French presence in Canada, and to hell with anyone who gets in their way.

For many years non-Francophones have been complaining about how they have been getting so badly screwed.

Well, some Anglophones won’t have to fear that any more given that the Office québécois de la langue française have now targeted sex aids for the wrath of the language police. Yes, if you want to drop your pants and do what comes naturally, Quebec’s language police want to have a word with you first.

For such an embarrassing overreach of Government authority, is it any wonder when people compare Quebec to a socialist dictatorship?

From education to food to your bedroom, there isn’t a place that Quebec’s language cops won’t go to ensure your cultural and linguistic purity.

Keith Topolski is a regular contributor to Menzies House, with a particular focus on Canadian politics.

Anzac Day hijacked by Poilitical Correctness

A. EsseryAllan has hit the nail on the head with this article. It is our ever controlling leaders and bureaucrats that seek ways to cause complaint. Nearly all immigrants couldn't care less what Australians celebrate. Why do they hate Australians so?

According to a report by the Department of Veterans Affairs, ANZAC Day commemorations are a risk to multiculturalism and a source of “unexpected negative complications.”  The report that says of the ANZAC commemorations, “Commemorating our military history in a multicultural society is something of a double-edged sword.  While the 100th anniversary commemorations are thought to provide some opportunity for creating a greater sense of unity, it is also recognized as a potential area of divisiveness.”

How very true, and the division it is creating is between an arrogant interfering bureaucracy and the Veterans who march in remembrance of all Australians who didn’t come home and for those Australians who would like to commemorate ANZAC Day on the former battlefields of WWI.

The Government squandered $370,000 so that Veteran’s Affairs Bureaucrats could finance a number of ‘Focus Groups’ to develop still more political correctness and tell us that ANZAC Day commemorations were “unpopular with younger people” and offend recent Islamic immigrants.   Someone forgot to tell the focus groups about the increasing numbers of young people that are attending dawn services and other ANZAC Day commemorations around Australia, at Gallipoli and other memorial sites on the battlefields of WWI and recent immigrants are offended by everything Australian.

The Government then spent another $105,000 to measure the impact of ANZAC Day on recently arrived Islamic migrants and to tone down the commemorations by not mentioning the current and recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq as Muslims may be offended.  What consideration was give to the offence that will cause the survivors and/or families of those Australian servicemen killed or maimed in those conflicts?

Each year we have Allies and former enemies gathering side-by-side to commemorate those battles that stole so many young lives around the globe.  Polish, German, Turkish, Japanese, British, Vietnamese, South African, Canadian and others gather to show respect and remember those that didn’t make it back home.  There doesn’t seem to be any problem there, but it does appear that there are some immigrants who take offence at ANZAC Day as they do with Christmas and Easter and must therefore be placated to preserve the illusion that is the failed concept of multiculturalism.

From one Veteran’s group came the following comment, “We seem to be able to acknowledge war is not a nice thing and that people on both sides lose out – and we have never had to spend $300,000 combined, let alone in one year.”  It is in fact almost $500,000.

In past years battlefields tour companies have catered adequately for those Australian and New Zealanders who wished to attend the dawn service at Gallipoli and other WWI memorials throughout the various former battlefields.  Tour operators of long standing say that the Gallipoli site could easily manage up to 20,000 visitors, but experience also tells them that there is an average of only 8,000 ever attend because of the inconvenience in terms of travel and accommodation and also because many visitors are choosing to go to the other WWI sites where more comfortable transport and accommodation arrangements exist.

Tour operators had been offering places for the 2015 Centenary Dawn Service at Gallipoli for some time until the Minister for Veteran’s Affairs, Warren Snowden, decided that the Australian government should lead the way and convince the New Zealand and Turkish governments that there needed to be strict government management (interference).

They have decided to overlook the tour operators and limit the number that can attend to 6,000 Australians and 2,000 New Zealanders and deciding just who will be allowed to attend by ballot.  Paul Murphy, chief executive of Military History Tours, who has been leading visits to Gallipoli since 1989, said he believed the beach could safely accommodate 20,000 visitors.

Too bad if you were planning on going to Gallipoli to remember and honour a family member who didn’t make it back, because if your name doesn’t come out in the ballot then you won’t be welcome.

However, there is one thing that you can be assured of and that is that there will be a small army of meddling bureaucratic ‘organisers’ and politicians spouting their insincere platitudes while smiling for the cameras.  They will be milking this little ‘jolly’ for everything it is worth at taxpayers expense and taking up places that should rightly go to ordinary Australians and New Zealanders.

Allan is retired from active RAAF duty. In civilian life he was a
pilot and flight instructor.  He was also the commander of an Royeal
Volunteer Coastal Patrol maritime rescue unit on the South Coast of NSW
and senior officer for the Far South Coast.  He fights for a fair go for
ex-servicemen and women and is a harsh critic of the government's
treatment of serving and ex-service personnel.


When the Nanny State Starts Attacking Nannies


Bill Muehlenberg says we live in an age where we see evidence of cultural decline, the erosion of values…

OK, just a very short and sweet post here. I have written before about the nanny state and how big government feeds on itself, getting bigger and badder. Bureaucracies mushroom, egos expand, and freedoms lessen and shrink. The ever-increasing state gets more and more irrational as it thinks it must intrude into every area of life.

The trouble with soft totalitarianism is that it soon mushrooms into hard totalitarianism. Today’s bureaucracy on steroids becomes tomorrow’s Stazi or KGB. So keeping the state in check is an on-going work, one which must constantly and doggedly be engaged in. Or as has been said before, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance”.

So here is another example of bureaucracy gone mad, and the nanny state going ballistic. The story comes out of Western Australia, and begins as follows: “A young mother was issued with a $250 fine last year for talking on her mobile phone while pushing a pram along a footpath. Police have confirmed the woman was issued with the infringement as she walked along a Mandurah footpath on April 21 last year.

“Police Inspector Bill Munnee said today the infringement was issued by a Senior Constable from the Peel Traffic office to the woman for using her mobile phone while she was in control of a pram as she walked her child on a footpath. The fine, understood to be $250, was withdrawn within 24 hours when the Senior Constable’s boss realised the massive error.”

OK, so it is just one small example. But unfortunately it is not unique. Such madness is happening every day, and it looks like this errant statism shows no signs of bottoming out. Plenty of social observers and political commentators of all varieties have pointed out the dangers here. Let me cite just a few of them:

-“The bigger the Big Government, the smaller everything else: In Sweden, expressing a moral objection to homosexuality is illegal, even on religious grounds, even in church, and a pastor minded to cite the more robust verses of Leviticus would risk four years in jail. In Canada, the courts rule that Catholic schools must allow gay students to take their same-sex dates to the prom. The secular state’s Bureau of Compliance is merciless to apostates to a degree even your fire-breathing imams might marvel at.” Mark Steyn

-“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” Groucho Marx.

-“Individual liberty exists in inverse proportion to the size of the state. The bigger the government/state, the less liberty the individual has. The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.” Dennis Prager

-“Every step we take towards making the State our Caretaker of our lives, by that much we move toward making the State our Master.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

-“Most bad government has grown out of too much government.” Thomas Jefferson

‎-”Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” P. J. O’Rourke

‎-”Now I am one of those who believe that the cure for centralization is decentralization.” G. K. Chesterton

-“In politics, the great non sequitur of our time is that (1) things are not right and that (2) the government should make them right.” Thomas Sowell

-“A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master.” George Washington

Getting fined for talking on the mobile while pushing a baby carriage is one thing. Allowing the state to keep getting worse in this regard is another. A free people will always get things wrong. We will often endanger ourselves, and sometimes others. But the paternalistic state is not the answer.

Mark Steyn again: “Freedom is messy. In free societies, people fall through the cracks – drink too much, eat too much, buy unaffordable homes, fail to make prudent provision for health care, and much else. But the price of being relieved of all these tiresome choices by a benign paternal government is far too high. Big Government is the small option: it’s the guarantee of smaller freedom, smaller homes, smaller cars, smaller opportunities, smaller lives.”

Bill Muehlenberg is a Melbourne based author who lectures part time in ethics, theology and philosophy. He has an interactive blogsite called CultureWatch