A number of features are run each issue. These features are archived here.
Order of the Red-Back Spider- for distinguished disservice to Australia. Readers are invited to nominate Australians, dead or alive, for this award, either for a single meritorious action or for consistent performance.
The red-back spider usually lurks in wood heaps and outback dunnies. Bush lore has it that it bites just when you make yourself comfortable. Rarely fatal. but a real pain in the bum.
The Bull Ants' Nest
The Australian bull ants fiercely defend their territory and can deliver a powerful sting to intruders. This column is named the Bull Ants' Nest because it will defend Australian values and traditions and deliver a verbal sting.
Who Said That!
Outrageous statements, mostly from those 'ashamed to be Australian'..
Well said quotations
This section of the site is still being built
Winter 2010 issue No20
ORB Award. Christine Nixon, too trendy and too soft for the job.
An ORB is awarded to Christine Nixon, ex Commissioner of Police in Victoria.
Miranda Devine gave a scorching review of her performance in the SMH 24 April 2010.
'And the media adored her. She was progressive! She took part in the gay and lesbian pride march [and paid the marchers for it]! She was a woman! She was consultative! She relaxed uniform standards! She recruited women and minorities! She answered emails, had lots of meetings and set up myriad committees. She was the nana feminist, who humbled the most masculine, testosterone charged militaristic symbol of the patriarchy itself.'
But, as Devine details, come Black Saturday she didn’t seem to know what to do, when she was supposed to be in charge. She busied herself with getting her hair cut, talking to her biographer, going to the Emergency Response Emergency Coordination Centre to put in an appearance and then going off to dinner at a gourmet pub restaurant. [Looking at her unhealthy size, perhaps not an uncommon occurrence.]
Congratulations to Devine. But note that only a woman could have got away such a criticism, any male writer would have been denounced as a sexist pig.
Andrew Bolt has added that she was responsible for obliterating ethnicity from police records, even in appeals to the public for information.
To top it off she seems to have‘misled’ the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission in order to try to save her reputation. It seems to have been forgotten quickly by the media in among the reporting on the trivia of her appointments for the day.
Nixon gets the ORB for the misleading and for the incompetence. (If incompetence was the only criteria then Peter Garrett would be out in front.)
We expect high standards from those who are part of the law and Nixon failed. Fish rot from the head.
BULL ANTS - laments Australia Day has lost its meaning.
Not that long ago Australia Day was a Monday holiday in most States. There was no great razzle-dazzle; a low key affair. Around the time of the bicentenary in 1988 the States moved to standardize on the 26th January.
Since then celebrations on the day have expanded. There have been protests from the Aboriginal community that it should be renamed Invasion Day and one can see their point of view. Unfortunately for them, ‘winners write the history’.
In practice it is becoming Multicultural Day. Every speech re-iterates how Australia has benefitted from a diverse collection of immigrants. TV shows naturalization ceremonies where people acquiesce to the least demanding pledge one could imagine. What does
‘I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people’
actually mean when the pledgees are allowed to keep their original citizenship as well? Regrettably the all embracing multiculturalism religion is taking over from the original intent of a founding day.
Bread And Circuses
This phrase comes from the satires of Roman poet Juvenal (circa 100 AD). Roman politicians devised a plan in 140 BC to win the votes of the poor. By giving out cheap food and entertainment, politicians decided that this policy of ‘bread and circuses’ would be the most effective way to rise to power through populism.
There is a story that at an ALP caucus meeting somebody suggested that the populace wanted bread before circus, to which PM Hawke responded ‘I’m not so sure’.
The biggest Australian circus was the Sydney Olympic Games, which consumed so much cash to build the facilities that NSW has been behind on infrastructure ever since.
Each year the Victorian Government puts about (actual not revealed) $40m into running Melbourne’s Grand Prix, a fly-in fly-out circus that involves no local sport.
The Rugby World Cup held in Australia in 2003 received $14m Government funds, no new facilities.
This is a bagatelle compared with the demands of soccer. Soccer has ben given $46m to fund a bid for either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup. Initially they were given $25m to fund the campaign (probably hardly enough for bribery). The bid involves the building of three new stadiums. ($billion?) Ours is a country who has only ten A League teams, who mostly only get a crowd of 10-15,000.
The major driver behind the audacious bid is Frank Lowy. Lowy is the founder of Westfield and Australia’s richest person, worth around $5bn. Australian winning the hosting of World Cup would give him the chance to star in the limelight. He could pay for the costs concerned from his pocket money without bothering the taxpayers, who are being slugged to feed Lowy’s ego.
Bull Ants believe that fully professional sport should not be subsidized, which is mostly done indirectly, by building facilities. The WA Premier, Colin Barnett, is to be congratulated on his refusal to help the wealthy AFL to replace the existing Subiaco ground with a mega-stadium. However cash strapped NSW and Queensland find money for the AFL expansion stadiums. Most bizarrely, the AFL receives $200,000 pa to help spread Australian Rules in South Africa. Is this foreign aid? If so, there are better ways of spending the money.
Government support for sport should be at the grass roots level, to involve the numbers of teenagers drifting around with nothing to do, getting into vandalism and violence. This can done through supporting junior sport plans by the sporting bodies.
WINTER 2009 ISSUE NO 18
ORB AWARD. What is it about the Left-wing that they always wish to suppress free speech?
In the Spring 2008 issue (No 17) Jon Faine was awarded an ORB for suggesting the Herald Sun get rid of conservative columnists following on the election of the ALP government. Now Professor Robert Manne receives an ORB for similarly trying to stifle free speech. He attacked The Australian for giving too much space and prominence to articles by those people not convinced about man made global warming. An example of what happens when you question the latter was provided by ex TV producer and presenter David Bellamy in The Australian (25 November 2008). Since he joined the ranks of nonbelievers the BBC refuses to discuss programs with him. No reasons. Manne would approve.
Manne has further enhanced his totalitarian reputation in the case of The Monthly, a magazine owned by Morrie Schwartz, a real estate developer. Manne was chairman of the board and the editor, Sally Warhurst, departed in acrimonious circumstances over Manne’s interference. Noteworthy was his veto over publishing a Peter Costello article in response to the Kevin Rudd effort in The Monthly to convince the electorate that he had converted from the economic conservative that he portrayed himself pre-election.
Manne has told his side of the story, but she has made little public comment (probably being afraid of being blackballed by the left mafia who control the media). It is clear that by appointing a relatively inexperienced (in publishing) editor Manne was looking for an advanced office girl to do all the basic chores. Now he has appointed an editor who has never held a job outside academic studies and has to delve into his schoolbag to bolster his cv.
PS. There has been a lot of publicity on the Justice Gzell tongue lashing (23 April 2009) of the James Hardie board over the asbestos liability case. In case you were wondering about their eligibility, the board has already received a collective ORB in the Summer 2004 Issue No 4.
THE BULL ANTS NEST - Two falls from grace.
Two high profile individuals were prominent in the media recently. One was Marcus Einfeld, now in jail, and the other Richard Pratt, now dead.
What did they have in common?
• Both were successful in their chosen vocation.
• Both held an Order of Australia, removed from the former, and voluntarily surrendered by the latter. However Einfeld continues to hold his Order of the Red-back Spider, awarded in Spring 2006, Issue 10.
• Both were prominent in ‘good works’, Einfeld in legal matters, particularly concerning asylum seekers and an Aborigine settlement, and Pratt in donating to a variety of charities and in support for the arts. Pratt always made certain that journalists knew all about his generosity.
• Both were liars and cheats (in Pratt’s case on his wife as well). So much has been written about Einfeld’s lies, in this magazine and elsewhere, that there is no need to go into it again. Pratt practised a sophisticated form of robbery, a little snip each from a lot of people by cooperating in price fixing of cardboard containers. Every time you purchased a Cadbury product or cereal or fruit you made a donation to a charity with Pratt taking a commission.
• Both were ardent supporters of multiculturalism. Paul Sheehan (Sydney Morning Herald, 23 February 2009) checked Einfeld’s record in immigration cases. Sheehan’s analysis showed that just 9% of appeals against Federal Court decisions were made by the government, but this soared to 67% in cases heard by Justice Einfeld. The appeal judges were scathing about Einfeld’s lack of regard for the facts. Pratt was a immigration booster at every opportunity. He was the prime mover in setting up the 2002 Population Summit - Australia in 2050, although the front man was the now disgraced Steve Vizard. This was an exercise in justifying high immigration and multiculturalism by nearly all the speakers. Robyn Spencer has written an excellent summary exposing the farce (published in Issue 1,2002, of The Independent Australian).
• Although the media, concentrated on the recent offences - driver deception by Einfeld and the price fixing by Pratt - both had previous form. A very detailed history by Alan Fitzgerald of Einfeld’s transgressions was published in the Spring 2006 Issue No10 of The Independent Australian. Pratt was involved with John Elliot in the 1980s in company deals. One who suffered (loss of $70,000 in today’s money) in 1990 from a Pratt venture reminded readers of The Age in a letter to the Editor (1 April 2009).
What drove them? Self aggrandisement, the desire to receive approbation from their fellow men seems to have been a major factor. Their careers were a vehicle to that end.
Einfeld received sympathy from some supporters, suggesting a suspended sentence was appropriate.
Contrast that with Pratt. As he lay dying, like some medieval king in his castle, the rich and powerful came to pay him homage. No doubt John Howard went to thank him for generous donations to the Coalition. What was the unctuous Kevin Rudd doing? On the Andrew Bolt blog it was alleged he had the Defence Department heads waiting for two hours while he visited.
And then the State funeral with an oration from Premier Brumby about what a great Australian Pratt was. The obverse is that honesty is unAustralian!
The most disgraceful aspect was the smear attack on Graeme Samuel, head of the ACCC, which was launching a criminal charge against Pratt following on his conviction in the civil case. Samuel, a member of the same Jewish community as Pratt, was accused of pursuing a personal vendetta against Pratt by Pratt apologists.
ORB SPRING 2008 ISSUE NO16 - authoritorian views on the ABC
Jon Faine, currently on sabbatical, morning presenter on ABC 774 is awarded an ORB for openly displaying his authoritarian beliefs on air. Faine is a denizen of the inner city. Over the years he has promoted their values, but in a carefully calculated manner, as expected from a lawyer.
Like so many of his ilk, he could hardly hide his triumphalism at the election of the Rudd government. He challenged Bruce Guthrie, editor of the Herald Sun to look at his stable of conservative columnists in view of the election result.
Guthrie: ‘I guess that it comes down whether you think newspapers need to be in step with the government.’
Fine: ‘Oh, no, not with the government, with the electorate. (Faine obviously thinks that a 5.5% swing represents a major shift). Does the result of the election mean you rethink any of the component parts that make up your weekly diet?
Guthrie: ‘It’s very hard to contribute a column on a weekly basis over a very long time so we are forever monitoring that.’
Faine: So you are not going through a cleansing process?
Guthrie: ‘Definitely not.’
The use of the word cleansing is ominous; it is word used by totalitarian governments throughout the world. Of course, Faine was not the only offender. Guy Rundle and Robert Manne expressed similar views.
Faine has taken leave from the ABC to trundle across Asia in a 4x4. His ego was getting in the way of good presentation anyway. We just hope he finds employment elsewhere when returns.
BULL ANTS NEST - paedophilia becoming less condemnatory than racism
In Issue No !4 it was suggested by Bull Ants that these days in the lexicon of words carrying social condemnation paedophile wins as the most odious, but only just, from racist. Pornographer, wife beater, homosexual etc. are well back.
It would appear that in certain left-luvvy artistic circles paedophilia is being promoted; so that it is only a matter of time before racism is left as the word carrying most social condemnation.
Photographer Bill Henson has a following in the art world. Not all of his photographs are controversial and some hang in public galleries without comment, but he has a fixation on photographing girls in their early teens naked.
“Creepy’ is one comment from an art critic and it seems most appropriate.
Even Phillip Adams concedes that Henson’s photographs would be pin-ups for the paedophiles.
‘But having talked to Henson in the past I’ve no reason to question the moral purpose of his work, though there’s little doubt that among those who crowd his exhibitions, camouflaged by sophistication of the setting, are paedophiles. Of course, the high arts have always aided and abetted voyeurism. (The Australian 27 May 2008).’
All the furore inspired Menzies (of cleaning contractor fame, see p. 8), to post on his auction house site a Henson photograph of a naked girl on her back on ruffled sheets, legs spread out apart. One for the paedophiles to down load. Menzies is of the auction house whose standards of doing business has come under fire in Four Corners and other places.
In all this Prime Minister Rudd got it absolutely right when he immediately described the Henson and other photographers’ similar works as ‘revolting’ (and has used the same word again since). Then again:
‘A little child .cannot answer for themselves about whether they wish to be depicted in this way. Frankly I can’t stand this stuff.'
The left intelligentsia set were taken aback. People like Cate Blanchett, vocal supporters of the ALP prior to and after the election were muted. A year ago Howard would have said much the same thing and they would have felt comfortable in shrill abuse. But fanatics like David Marr did not resile from claiming that Rudd had ‘killed Camelot’.
However, Malcolm Turnbull was equivocal about artistic licence. It has become increasingly obvious that Turnbull is a ‘liberal’ in the American use of the word. He is a product of his inner city electorate, Double Bay rather than Balmain, but similar social attitudes. ‘Conservative’ is not a word to be associated with Turnbull, the Liberal Party is now moving towards libertarian.
Controvery flared again with David Marr’s revelations that Henson toured school grounds, trawling for models. The school principal at one such school, in a trendy area of Melbourne, was defended by ‘celebrity’ parents, such as Trevor Marmalade, the resident comedian on the Footy Show, which includes lowlifes such as Sam Newman. The Education Department is still considering the principal’s case.
Turnbull now shifted ground, saying it was ‘astounding’ that such a visit occurred. Not quite Rudd’s unambiguous stance on the same matter. The Prime Minister is at his best when he speaks unvarnished commonsense, rather than longwinded dissertations.