Tim Blair


New Criterion



Thursday, August 28, 2003
JUST TURN THOSE TANKS to the right a bit, George, before the Israelis nuke Iran.

A confidential United Nations report says inspectors found two different types of highly enriched nuclear particles at facilities in Iran that are not needed in civilian atomic programs, a Western diplomat said.

"The discovery of enriched uranium is particularly worrying," the diplomat said.

"IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] inspectors found two different types of highly enriched particles - you do not need that to make nuclear power," he said.

Or we could invite Auntie's commentators to tell us the easy way out. Like nuking Washington and Tel Aviv so the Islamists don't have to bother.

AUNTIE'S PEONS ARE REVOLTING against the suspension, without pay, of Stephen Crittenden.

At a stop-work meeting yesterday they resolved to take industrial action if Crittenden is not re-instated.

Have they realised that Crittenden's problems are a blowback from Auntie's lack of professional standards in political commentary, or is this just an industrial reflex?

Hard to know. Henny's story treats it as a picture caption side-issue to the main event, Alston vs. the Board. So we aren't told how many staff participated or what any of them said. And none of it is webbed. Auntie's news service hasn't been told about it yet.

Henny's wrong. Crittenden now is the main issue.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003
TWO GOOD PEOPLE on opposite sides of the barbed wire fence about what follows from where a man puts his dick.

Or are they? I suspect they know how to disagree on this.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

If Uncle's pension depended on the proportion of emails in favour of my position on Hanson then my poverty would be even more pitiful.

It boils down to three main points, the supposed technical nature of the offence, the contribution Hanson has made to stiffening John Howard's political spine, and the way the scoundrels forming the Greens and Democrats feed off public funding although despised by a far greater proportion of the population.

I can go some way with the latter two points. But 'technical' fault, I think not.

Unless I have completely misread the issue, there was method behind One Nation's breach of the electoral regulations. The Hanson cronies wanted the financial benefits of having a political party without the nuisance of members who might threaten their ownership of the assets. Not only were they too valuable to risk at election for party office, so was the money.

The public funding of parties is bad enough, but trying to collar this money, without playing the political game of controlling a membership before they control you, is a rort too far.

One Nation cronyism makes Labor factionalism look positively healthy by comparison.

Three years? One year? Parole? That is a technical matter, but if you look at the comparisons in my previous blog it's hard to find a basis for conspiracy theorising.

And why are the nasty media picking on that public-spirited Tony Abbott?

Later. At the end of the 7.30 report tonight, mouthpiece Kerry O'Brien concedes that the footage they have been playing, of Abbott denying his involvement in funding legal action against Hanson, was shot before the fund was established. Oh dear. But it's all Abbott's fault for not providing them with the contradiction of their invention before they had invented it. Well done, Auntie.

AUNTIE'S DOUBLE-STANDARDS enforced with an axe.

I can imagine no clearer proof of the depth to which Radio National has sunk than the impending sacking of talented Auntie God-botherer, Stephen Crittenden by his boss, the Head of National Talk Radio, Mark Collier.

Crittenden's offence? He wrote an article, published in the Henny Herald of July 19-20, of which someone disapproved. I haven't read it but, since Crittenden has occasionally posed a question to the talents appearing on his Religion Report about the qualities of militant Islam, it is not hard to imagine who might have been offended. According to Henny today, Crittenden had commented on Samuel P. Huntington's "contentious" (equals 'controversial') book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order, which raises some hard questions about the political direction of Islam.

In case you're thinking that Crittenden was running some kind of bigot's circus at Auntie's expense, observe this interview with the moderate and modernising Islamic scholar Ziauddin Sardar.

As Henny recounts the tale (unwebbed, but on page 5), and none of the principal players are talking, Collier demanded to be shown a copy of the article before publication. Crittenden complied, but Collier declined to respond by the deadline for Henny's publication.

An internal enquiry into Crittenden's "serious misconduct" followed, Crittenden was suspended and will, apparently, be sacked unless higher management (which is what the ABC calls employees on higher salaries) decides to disagree with Collier.

So, ABC presenters require prior permission of their immediate bosses to speak publicly on "sensitive issues".

Where does that leave Philip Appropriator Adams, Pastor Terry Lane, and all the other presenters and serial commentators who appear regularly in print and in left pulpits around the land?

Untouched, brothers and sisters, protected species, sacred cows.

Gerard Henderson uses his column today to point out some of the wilder outbursts of hatred by the Gastropod and the Pastor that have, in effect, been endorsed by Mr Collier as a logical consequence of his sacking of Crittenden.

Henderson calls Auntie's conduct "timid and censorious", an evaluation so understated as to mislead.

This is now to be official ABC doctrine: to conduct jihad against the US, to hate liberal capitalism and the social values it has made possible, to call the great majority of your fellow countrymen racist bigots and to excuse their murder as politically reasonable, all this is permitted, both on the ABC and in other media. To question the role of Islamic values in Islamic terrorism is a sackable offence.

It's also OK to import into Auntie's schedules the outpouring of left-biased pulpits around the country. The ABC gives blanket coverage of all the non-stop fiestas of pc writing and left ideas that emerge, and allows her employees to play leading public roles at them. This week, for example, our Gastropod is filling his entire schedule with the product of theBrisbane 'Ideas at the Powerhouse Forum'.

Tonight you can listen to massacrist historian Henry Reynolds talk about the future of democracy. This afternoon there's the repeat of the views of a European human rights lawyer. On Thursday the Rev. Tim Costello joins in for a chat on multiculturalism. Then there's the views of activist Gary Foley. You get the idea? A good balanced program, if your purpose is to exclude anything right of left.

Uncle suggests you tell Mr Collier and his boss Sue Howard what you think about their politics, their idea of freedom of expression and their hypocrisy.

If you're too disgusted by all this to converse with these people, just ask Minister Alston why he's spending your money on it.

Later. As of today, Crittenden has been suspended for five weeks, without pay. If he were being paid at the Gastropod's rate that would buy him an apartment on Circular Quay.

Sunday, August 24, 2003
IT'S TAKEN UNCLE ALL WEEKEND to absorb the sight of all these otherwise intelligent people rushing to Pauline Hanson's defence.

A Unity Ticket of Howard, Carr and Natasha Stott-Despoia!

At least we can rationalise why those three wanted to take flowers to Hanson's political funeral.

Howard has always worked hard to pick up her constituency, a good part of which came over from Labor.

Carr is a master of the art of handing out symbolic concessions to those whose lobby he will never support. Like supporting Kyoto while building more freeways than any other NSW government.

And Princess Tashy, as a femino-narcissist, is so close to Pauline in spirit she has to dye her hair blond to be distinguishable.

But what about the rest of you?

Three years too much for trying to walk off with half a mill of tax-payers' money! You must be joking.

If the ATM, through a 'technical error', made that much money available to Uncle, and he took it, not for personal gain mind you, but to build a wine-cellar of truly nationally-significant quality, how many of these bleeding hearts would be rushing to my defence?

Would my idiocy be a sufficient defence?

Former WA Premier Brian Burke was gaoled in 1994 for two years for claiming more than $17,000 in travel expenses he was not entitled to.

In 1997 he was sentenced to three years for stealing $122 000 from the Labor Party, an act many would regard as a public service.

Where were you latter-day Hansonites then?

The hapless Jo Valentine - remember her, the former independent green senator? - got seven days for not paying a $320 fine for trespass at Jabiluka. She's the right sex, and just as dippy as Hanson. How many of you fired off a letter to the editor on Jo's behalf.

Of course Hanson's hard-core supporters, and cores don't come any harder than theirs, will treat her as a martyr.

It doesn't matter. Unless she wins her appeal she'll never stand for Parliament again.

REDEMPTION SPREADS this Sunday, firstly to Background Briefing, where the Pre-school's Gerald Tooth presents a feature on modest mega-philanthropist Charles Feeney without a trace of spleen or spite.

There is not even the suggestion that the money would have been better taxed out of Chuck's pocket and spent by some benign government on even better causes, like HREOC, or Auntie.

This Tooth should be withdrawn from the Pre-school and allowed to play with the grown-ups.

IT APPEARED THAT THE PASTOR was also seeking redemption for his appalling dealing with the South Australian Constitutional Convention last week.

It turned out otherwise, as Terry Lane was merely attempting to give some credibility to his attempt to impose on that suspect construction his passion for citizen-initiated referenda. CIR are the darling idea of the lunar right and Mr Peter Lewis, Speaker of the South Australian Parliament.

Despite the fact that the Convention met only because Mr Lewis made it a condition of his supporting the Rann Government, and the fact that he spoke in its favour in every plenary session, only a minority of the Conference's working groups gave the idea a high priority for action.

That's just playing with figures, barks the Pastor, when President Ron Roberts of the SA Legislative Council points it out. Then he quotes his own figures, showing how many groups had the wacky idea on their list, somewhere.

Then he calls in the crafty entrepreneur behind these rorts oops deliberative polling exercises, so she can assure us that those attending were as representative as Newspoll could make them, and as good as a random sample any day. So there.

It's funny that the Pastor, who used to preach to real people, seems never to have seen a group dynamic in operation. Perhaps his congregations all went to sleep.

On this occasion the dynamic flowing at the South Australian Convention defeated his preferred option.

A truly Gastropodian performance from Auntie's favourite preacher. I doubt he'll get to heaven now.