Critical Comment

5. Jul, 2020

 

In the early hours of Tuesday, June 1944, the Allied invasion of Europe commenced. Operation Overlord, the landings at Normandy, was the immediate prelude to the defeat of the Axis forces in Europe and the end of World War II. Codenamed Operation Neptune and often referred to as D-Day, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history.

Fast forward 76 years to the day and in what state do we find the Western civilisation – a civilisation that so many brave men and women were prepared to defend?

A recitation of the manifold and obvious failings of our society would be both lengthy and tedious. If readers cannot discern these themselves they should perhaps stick to reading their Hello magazine or the TV Times.   

On 6 June 2020 some 27 countries around the world aped the United States of America in expressions of social dysfunction. I am not going to enter into the ethics of this question – again to do so would be tedious. But I am going to detail my views in the specific Australian context on the sheer and complete nonsense the demonstrations have made of the legal and ethical structure of our society.

The mimetic Australian aboriginal protest industry, unable to deliver unto itself its own protest character, quite cheerfully leached onto another nation’s grievances weaving their own therein. Joining these trans-state protests with alacrity were of course the usual suspects with their own agendas. But that again is not the purpose of this essay.

The purpose is to question why, in the context of the strict lockdown protocols to which our society has been subject, were the demonstrations held? What about social responsibility in times of a pandemic? Who authorised the various and deliberate flouting of the law? Why did they thus authorise? What does it tell the remainder of the community?

In an endeavour to answer these matters I draw your attention to the following extracts and quotations:

On 11 May 2020 a number of Melbourne protesters and conspiracy theorists opposed to the coronavirus lockdown have been accused of putting at risk Australia’s gradual easing of restrictions.

Ten people were arrested as protests outside Victoria’s Parliament House in Melbourne turned ugly on Sunday afternoon. People held signs demanding “freedom” and some also called for Bill Gates to be arrested, blamed the virus spread on 5G and questioned whether it was all part of some kind of cover-up. A number of anti-vaxxers were also participating in the protest.

When asked about the protests on Monday, Dr Tony Bartone, president of the Australian Medical Association, told The Today Show those involved were putting the community at risk.

“It's incredibly disappointing, really bizarre, in fact,” Dr Bartone told the program.

“What they're putting at risk is the progressive unyielding of those restrictions.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday mapped out the national cabinet's planned three-step easing of restrictions and Dr Bartone said if one person in the protest group tested positive to COVID-19 the community would take “a backward step”.

“If we have to isolate again and [reintroduce] those measures of social distancing right from the beginning it's actually going to be even harder and much more prolonged the second time round,” Dr Bartone said.[1]

 [26 May 2020] AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said today that the National Rugby League (NRL) plan to have crowds of fans back watching live NRL Premiership matches at suburban grounds by July is a huge risk to public health and should be abandoned.

“Put bluntly, this absurd and dangerous idea belongs in the sin bin,” Dr Bartone said.

“The NRL should be satisfied that it has its competition back in action, but it is unfair and unwise to put the health of the game’s fans at risk. They must first monitor the health and safety of the players and officials who will be involved in the thick of the on-field action.

“Australians have done exceptionally well in flattening the COVID-19 curve, and we are not too far away from relaxing more restrictions.

“Now is not the time for sporting codes to be considering having crowds at games. They must wait until the medical experts advise that it is absolutely safe to do so – and that will not be as early as July.

“The AFL and other sporting codes are adopting the right approach, which is to wait for the expert medical advice before allowing crowds back to watch games.

“We have to be consistent in our public health messaging.

“Decisions on the safety of holding mass gatherings should be made by medical experts in consultation with the National Cabinet, not by rugby league administrators.

“Of course, we all want to see sport return with fans in the stands barracking for their teams. We also want to see theatre, dance, live music, cinemas, and other entertainments open to the public.

“But the public health must come first. Getting beyond the COVID-19 pandemic is bigger than rugby league - it is about the safety of all Australians.”[2]

[6 June 2020]At the last moment the NSW Court of Appeal overturned the Supreme Court decision and declared that the march was a lawful assembly.

[6 June2020] "Mass gatherings where people are close together are high-risk for spreading COVID-19," said Pat Turner, CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in particular are at greater risk of COVID-19, especially those aged 50 years and over, and those who have a weakened immune system.

"The specific advice of all health authorities is that while COVID-19 remains in Australia that everyone should take precautions including the social distancing and hygiene practices," she said.

Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said the advice from medical professionals remained that large gatherings posed an unacceptable risk for the spread of COVID-19.

"A mass gathering, even if people try to make it safe by trying to practise distancing and hand hygiene, is inherently dangerous," Professor Murphy said.

"It would be very foolish to sacrifice … many of those gains by uncontrolled large gatherings."[3]

Despite the foregoing argument and professional advice, demonstrations occurred across every state in Australia with the explicit sanction of the authorities. In the light of medical opinion there is only one question to ask - Why?  

I would wager my family fortune that if I gathered all my mates together to bring their teddy bears for a few beers in the park I’d be in the slammer quicker than Christopher Robin could say ‘Gosh’! Mind you, I suppose the boys in blue might well be justified in being concerned about a bunch of elderly men playing with teddy bears in a public space?

The point made however. Two laws, double-standards, hypocrisy, utter nonsense, administrative and political cowardice – call it as you will. Whatever one considers it to be, one cannot deny that it makes a complete mockery of the law, a mockery of the restrictions we have all been subject to over the past months and, unless we are all brain-dead stupid, it should make us extremely wary of ever trusting the integrity or credibility of our various governments again.

As many of my readers know, I am writing a treatise on the history, decline and future of Christendom. In this treatise I describe that failed political instrument we were once proud to call liberal democracy. My detail foretelling the future of that particular beast is short.

3. Jul, 2020

Here’s a headline the Liberal Left ‘WOKE’ community might appreciate - that is If they have time to spare from looting and tearing down their material cultural heritage:

 81 killed in bloody Boko Haram attack in Nigerian village

By Bukola Adebayo and Isaac Abrak, CNN

Updated 2044 GMT (0444 HKT) June 10, 2020

 The accompanying story is pretty horrific too:

 Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)At least 81 people were killed in an attack on a village by suspected Boko Haram militants in northeast Nigeria, the Borno state government said in a statement released to CNN Wednesday.

Residents said the men attacked the village in armored tanks and trucks filled with guns, according to the government's statement.

Seven people, including the village head, children and women, were abducted from the Faduma Kolomdi community, described as a nomadic town in northern Borno.

Residents reported that the men gathered the villagers on Tuesday morning and started shooting in the incident which lasted several hours.

One of the villagers who survived the onslaught told the authorities that the attackers came under the cover of being Islamic teachers.

"They gathered us and said they wanted to deliver religious sermon to us. They asked us to submit whatever arm we had. Some villagers gave up their ... guns, bow, and arrows.

"Suddenly, they started shooting at will. Even children and women were not spared, Many were shot at close range," the man, who was not named, said in the statement.

"We have buried 49 corpses here while another 32 corpses were taken away by families from the villages around us.

"The insurgents abducted seven persons, including our village head. They went away with 400 cattle," the man added.[1]

 Well that's the real world people. Ain’t life grand!

 ...............

30. Dec, 2019

and the answer is… ‘Yes!’  [Originally Posted 15 Dec. 2019]

In the rain, the snow and in the sleet; and in the dark over-hung mid-December gloom, the peoples of Britain finally had their say – and they roared unequivocally, “Yes!”

But Yes – to what?

In the case of England and Wales the people gave themselves a massive vote of confidence. They emphatically rid themselves of the procrastinating, bedwetting nappy-masters who for too long had had the gall to call themselves their political representatives: moreover, they showed that they wanted sound and decisive leadership and, most significantly, they demonstrated that they were unafraid to take the next step of destiny in their proud history.

The peoples of Scotland also roared Yes – for or to what, no one, least of all themselves, is quite sure. Perhaps for long-held grievances against all things English; or some Quixotic notion of Rob Roy and Braveheart, hand-in-hand, skipping merrily with swirling kilts and skirling pipes across the misty heather; or perhaps, most likely, they just demonstrated a marked and continued disinclination to wean themselves off the comfortable teat across the Channel? That they would be happy to exchange democratic government from Westminster with tyranny from Brussels is logic defying. But then logic and an excess of nationalism never made good bedfellows. Whatever their reasons at least they roared in parochial unison.

Which is more than did the odd-bods across the Irish Sea. The party that refuses to sit in Westminster garnered more seats than the party that does. How does that work exactly? Is that a Yes? Yes I mean No.

But overall the result is a triumph of reason, a triumph for representative democracy and a tremendous slap-down for the political elites that tried so hard to deny ordinary Britons their birthright – the right to say how they are governed. It is to be hoped that this result will go a long way towards helping dispel the curse of class distinctions that has plagued British society far too long.

Thankfully, the public names of yesteryear – was it only last week – who were rabbiting on about second referendums, about revoking Brexit, re-nationalisation blah-blah are now confined to the trash cans, along with their billboards, posters, their supreme arrogance and their puerile dreams. The prize for the most perceptive journalism must surely go to Russia Today who observed that those who were promising a second referendum failed to realise that this election was the referendum!

The peoples of England and Wales will stand together and face a new future – a new uncertainty and a host of new challenges. They were a formidable team in the past – on Thursday 12 December 2019 they gave notice to the world that they are back!

15/12/19

..............

15. Dec, 2019

Those treasonous Berkos[1] are at it again?

[Originally posted on 24th October 2019]

 

The sorry slurry of nonsense pouring out of Westminster this week [24 October] confirms the complete and utter collapse of Britain’s once famed informal constitution. It also clearly marks the beginning of the end of political liberalism in the world. It is perhaps both ironical and appropriate that the country that gave the world the most open, democratic and successful concept of government known to man should be the first country to throw it away.

The behaviour of Britain’s politicians in the three years since the Brexit referendum is little less than public farting in the face of the British people. For this alone they should be arraigned and individually led out in chains from St Stephens Entrance to the Commons and publicly excoriated. 

As pleasing as such a notion sounds, we should remember that the maggots in the rotting corpse of Parliament dug far deeper – let us not forget the abhorrent period of New Labour under the baton of the odious WMD Blair and his luckless-lackey Gordon Brown. Moving on past this pile of excrement, who can forget the stench of the monstrous absurdity that was the Conservative-Lib-Dem dung-heap under the masters of sleaze that were Cameron and Clegg?

In the interests of their particular and immediate political purposes, the combination of the foregoing succeeded in wilfully tinkering with Britain’s long-established political processes to breaking point.   

 The Supreme Court is immediate case to point. Formally established on 1 October 2009 and authorised by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, this legal [and suspiciously American sounding] pustule was formally established as a direct consequence of New Labour ‘reforms’. Its intent was to assume the judicial functions of the House of Lords. However, that this elite should effectively tell the Queen to get stuffed is beyond belief! The precedent has been set authorising this non-elected body to tell the government of the day how to conduct its business.

The watching world was under the impression that the role of the monarch under Britain’s revered constitution, evolved and refined over the centuries, was to serve as the ceremonial Head of State and also as the legitimising authority of government. The fact that a court, and an only recently constituted court at that, has effectively told the current monarch to pull her head in has ripped the guts out of the carefully nurtured complexities of Britain’s prized political heritage.

Government by lawyers – the way to go lads! Well done Britons for that. When in doubt, copy the Yanks. Sadly, it serves you all right for not standing up to your politician’s years ago. 

Now, having allowed the political establishment to well and truly shaft you thus far, why not bend over a little more? Let’s hear it for the Sturgeonisation lobby and give the hairy-arsed Scots another go - after all, was it not the Bruce himself, from the dank depths of his gruel-sodden cave, who uttered the immortal words: “if at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again!’

Therein, lays the all-defining metaphor for twenty-first century referenda.

 


[1] Berko (a): one who is Berserk;   (b) Illness afflicting Members of Parliaments [{esp. Speakers}; characterised by bouts of megalomania; personality disorders and severe delusions of self-importance.

Berk {Aust. colloq.} Unpleasant person.  

*******

11. Oct, 2019

CHINA – an Appraisal

In the early 1980s I raised the spectre of the Spratly Islands as being a serious potential crisis point in international Sea Lines of Communications.

My representations were treated with ignore. I have since that time continued to press the point and, with grim un-satisfaction, I can now point to China’s unilateral militarisation of the South China Sea and, since 1995, fortress construction on the island atolls. China has dropped thousands of tons of sand and concrete on some seven coral atolls in the islands. Mischief Reef now accommodates a military-grade runway and port facilities and, only late last year, missiles were added to its fortification.

In July 2016 the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea or International Court of Justice ruled that China was in illegal occupation of this man-made fortification.[1] 

The ruling by a tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) pertained to case brought by the Philippines against China’s sweeping assumption of maritime sovereignty over the South China Sea.

The Panel found that China’s claims of historic rights in the South China Sea were without legal foundation. In a sweeping win for the Philippines, the Panel concluded that China’s activities within the Philippines’ two-hundred-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), such as illegal fishing and environmentally ruinous artificial island construction, infringed on Manila’s sovereign rights.[2]

Significantly, the Panel determined that the Spratly Islands are not islands in the legal sense, but rather, rocks or low-tide elevations. This naturally obviated any claims to exclusive economic zones.

It is instructive to consider this question in its historical context.

Next Tuesday will be the 70th Anniversary of the Peoples Republic of China [1st of October 1949] consequent to the Communist victory over the Nationalist Forces of the Kuomintang. Today that sad county is still in the process coming to terms with its internal problems and its position in the broader geopolitical picture.

China’s assertive projection of naked military power and its militarisation of the Spratly Islands would, at first glance, appear strangely at odds with its geopolitical and cultural history.

However, seen in the context of President Xi Jinping’s ambitious One Belt, One Road initiative it becomes readily explicable. Launched in Kazakhstan in 2013 this is one of China’s boldest ever foreign policies initiatives. It supposedly harks back two millennia when China’s Han Dynasty traded with Asia, the Middle East and Europe through the “Silk Road” of trails and caravan routes. Xi Jinping’s initiative plays upon that purported heritage with an ambitious plan for a new era of trade with the countries along the transport routes, extending from China through Central Asia into Europe. This route will commence in Xi’an and terminate at Rotterdam in Holland. This overland route is to be augmented by a 21st century maritime ‘Silk Road’ passing through Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East and onto Venice in Italy.

As ever, foreign policy can never be considered without at least a critical look at the domestic situation. In my long-held view, China’s miracle economy belies domestic volatility. China is home to several intransigent racial and cultural minorities anxious to throw off Beijing’s heavy hand. The economy is overheated and grossly uneven in its spread; expenditure on military hardware and adventurism disproportionate; China now finds itself engaged in a trade war is cannot afford and, as part of the international community, China has now made global economic commitments from which it cannot readily withdraw. 

What should be of far greater international concern is the fact that China is led by a dictator presiding over a clique of self-serving and powerful politicians, bureaucrats and military leaders under the guise of ‘communism’.

Considered to be China’s "paramount leader" since 2012, Xi Jinping officially received and assumed the title of "core leader" from the Communist Party of China in 2016. Naturally, broad visionary and emotional strategies suit his leadership interests – evoking the ‘glorious ghosts of Silk Road economics past’ is seemingly sound politics. However, he and the rest of the international community, would do well to remember that the slippage of the inglorious Mandate of Heaven brought a sticky-end to many an Emperor.   



[1] https://www.cfr.org/councilofcouncils/global_memos/p38227

[2] loc.cit.