Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Yet another waltz with the Bergian IPA denialists, and yet another News Ltd scandal shaping up nicely ...

(Above: click to enlarge)

Apparently Senator George Brandis has a completely convincing explanation of why there are no Australian male tennis players moving into the second round at Wimbledon.

It's the carbon tax.

This also explains why Cadel Evans won't win the Tour de France, and the London Olympics are going to be a disaster for the down under team.

Already Senator Brandis is assembling a team of experts to consider what has rapidly become known in athletic circles as 'carbon tax jitters' or 'carbon tax anxiety', which it seems undermines performance by as much as 22% (in much the same way as the $11 price of a packet of mince might well soar by a whole shocking one cent, here).

Speaking of climate change, it seems there is good news. It seems that adaptation is now the best way to adjust to the phenomenon.

We owe this tremendous insight to Chris Berg, pounding away yet again in The Drum with Another year, another failed climate summit.

I argued in The Drum last month adaptation is now the main game. For green groups, this ought to be the take-home message from Rio. And if they focus on adaptation, they might find surprising allies.

Surprising allies? Indeed.

It comes as a complete surprise to the pond that we need to adapt in any way to a phantom menace, a non-existent event, an hysterical over-reaction in the heads of a few addle-brained greenies.

The IPA and its cohorts have for years argued that climate change science is a myth and a nonsense, a delusion and illusion, and perhaps the greatest hoax of all time. And now we have to adapt to a myth and a nonsense and a hoax?

It reminds the pond of the great days when Senator Nick Minchin understood that the best way to deal with passive smoking was adaptation. If sooks and nancies just took a little bit of smoke as collateral damage, all would be well, and there'd be no need for the draconian persecution of cigarette companies:

Two Liberal dissenters, Senator Minchin and the former West Australian senator Sue Knowles, opposed many of the recommendations, claiming the tobacco industry was over-regulated.
But Senator Minchin went further, distancing himself from scientific facts that are now accepted as medical orthodoxy.
"Senator Minchin wishes to record his dissent from the committee's statements that it believes cigarettes are addictive and that passive smoking causes a number of adverse health effects for non-smokers," the committee's minority report says. "Senator Minchin believes these claims (the harmful effects of passive smoking) are not yet conclusively proved. . . there is insufficient evidence to link passive smoking with a range of adverse health effects." (here, may be paywall affected).

Yes Nick Minchin is the sort of scientist you'd be proud to feature in a documentary about climate science. A medical expert and a fiend at climatology, and so exceptionally well placed to participate in I Can Change Your Mind About ... Climate.

Some might think it passing strange that Minchin hasn't caught up with the IPA-certified news that climate change is real and happening, and we must now spend all our energy adapting to whatever its consequences might be ...

Or perhaps we should just let it rip, and work out what to do whenever the worst happens, whatever and wherever the worst might be, so long as all the IPA's sponsors can keep on going like bats out of hell, without any need to mend their climate-abusing ways.

The pond isn't the only site to note How the ABC spreads doubt about climate change science.

Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the “body of fact” that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.
~ “Smoking and Health Proposal”, 1969, Brown & Williamson (former subsidiary of British American Tobacco).

The IPA, and its writers like Berg, have been spreading doubt and generating controversy, and Berg's shift to 'adaptation' is perhaps the cutest rhetorical device in a long line of IPA FUD activities. Best of all, there's no real need to spell out how adaptation might work, because after all, climate change will have all the power and impact of a passing spring shower ...

Now that's how you resolve the contradiction with past rhetoric and dubious claims. Keep on making them, just shift the ground ...

Oh it's yet another jaffas in the IPA aisle day, with the more interesting question why the ABC routinely provides the IPA a public platform without any qualification or cavil, and without at any point seeking to establish any conflict of interest that might be at work between the IPA's activities and their carefully concealed, hidden, murky, shadowy anonymous sponsors ...

Surprising allies? Sure, Mr. Berg. Name them ...

Speaking of murky, shadowy matters, the Slipper affair bubbles along nicely, as reported today in Slipper diary 'was sent' to LNP rival, but it comes to an unhappy conclusion:

Mr Brough, Mr Lewis and News Ltd declined to comment.

If an average punter heads off to the Daily Terror for more background, there's a stony wall of silence on the front digital page.

How wonderful they should respect sub judice matters, in much the same way as they showed in such exemplary fashion with Craig Thomson.

Breaking news? Explosive? According to Michelle Grattan with a series of remarkable spin-offs. Started off sensationally, and got even more sensational.

Startling, shocking, front page news?

Not in the Terror's world, not a bo-peep, and bugger all sheep. Now there's a vision of the future if Fairfax is captured by Rinehart ...

There is a report in The Australian, Peter Slipper plot linked to top of Liberal National Party (may be paywall affected), but that's one of the few signs of myrmidon Murdochian life:

News Limited, which also publishes The Australian, stood by Lewis. "The matters in question cover serious allegations against one of Australia's most senior politicians - the Speaker of our national parliament," News said. "It is entirely legitimate that news organisations should investigate and report on such allegations."
The statement rejected claims that News Limited had access to the Ashby legal claim before it was lodged with the courts, noting that the document was obtained by News Limited through the court and that this could be demonstrated through receipts.
It is understood News Limited will refuse to respond to subpoenas before a July 23 hearing in the case, according to a source citing confidentiality.

Ah, I see, News Ltd declined to comment to anyone, except one of their own.

Uh huh. As to the matter itself, and access to the claim, James Ashby's Federal Court application was lodged April 20th - you can get it here in pdf form - but things had been brewing long before that, as outlined in the pdf of the second respondent's points of claim:

31. From on or about 2 April 2012 Ashby was in communication with Lewis with a view to assisting Lewis in his inquiries into Slipper's alleged misuse of travel entitlements, and with the object of inflicting damage on Slipper, conduct which Ashby deliberately concealed from Slipper at all times until the commencement of proceedings. In the course of those communications, on or about 9 April 2012 Ashby unlawfully communicated and sent, or caused to be communicated or sent, extracts of Slipper's private diary to Lewis knowing that to do so was contrary to Slipper's interests.
At present Slipper intends to rely on the text messages and telephone records between Ashby and Lewis and Doane set out in the spreadsheet, and in particular, on the following text messages identified by reference to the number assigned to each message on the spreadsheet
• 15176 from Lewis to Ashby dated 4 April 2012 in which Lewis stated that "We will get him!!"

4th April! We will get him!

Well that's not so much access to a claim, as crusading for a cause.

Meanwhile, jolly Clive Palmer, speaker at the Black Hand dinner, has had his name dragged into proceedings:

Mr McIver told The Australian that before Mr Ashby's lawsuit was filed, Mr Brough had contacted him and possibly Mr Palmer, about finding a job for a female staffer of Mr Slipper. He said he could not recall the name of the woman, but Mr Brough had said she would soon be leaving the Speaker's office.
Mr McIver, who received a resume of the woman from Mr Brough but did not find her a job, said he was not asked to find a position for Mr Ashby, although he had been made aware there was trouble in Mr Slipper's office.
"Brough rang me one day and said there was a problem with Peter Slipper and to stand by, it would have been around Easter," Mr McIver said...
...It is understood that among messages found on Ms Doane's mobile telephone is an April 12 text from Mr Brough in which he allegedly tells the staffer the "matter" could not go forward before "Clive" returns from overseas.

Of course Mr. Palmer denies knowing anything about anything, and it seems everybody is standing behind everybody in relation to the matter, but it has to be said that the matter is shaping up nicely, even before matters hit court, and might yet get up there with the Gordon Grech affair.

That's what happen when you make a big song and dance about a story, as noted by George Megalogenis back in April:

In the first five days after the speaker of the federal parliament was accused of rorting his travel entitlement and sexually harassing a staffer, the name “Peter Slipper” appeared in 356 articles in the major metropolitan papers.
In the first five days after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the term “global financial crisis” appeared 207 times in the same publications. (here)

Happily the Daily Terror has now re-balanced its coverage by striking the dread name Peter Slipper from the record.

Why it wouldn't say boo to a sub judice goose these days ...

It makes the news that Chairman Rupert is thinking of hiving off his newspaper division all the more titillating. (News Corp planning to split off UK newspapers). The story varies as to which newspapers might be involved - the story began here in the Wall Street Journal, and then turned up all over the place, including The Guardian, Murdoch considers splitting up News Corporation.

If and when the split is made, the ability to sell off old media - as opposed to profit-making audio-visual media - will be much enhanced, in the same way that Alan Joyce, in the process of driving Qantas into the ground, has put the international division first in line to face the hammer.

The biggest winner in all this? Craig Thomson, or perhaps the HSU, as they become last week's scandal ...

A French politician had a phrase for it:

Les journaux, ça va, ça vient, et puis ça finit par emballer les poireaux

But instead of wrapping leeks, some might prefer the English phrase, today's news and scandals, tomorrow's fish and chip wrapping ...


  1. DP can you call Jeeves as we need a note delivered to Mr Berg immediately. And please ask him not to spare the horses.

    The question for Mr Berg is, could one not argue that by pricing carbon, we are in fact "adapting" to climate change in order to be more efficient with energy and focus more on renewable sources?

    Or was Mr Berg thinking that we are better off not adapting our energy usage and sources and saving ourselves the 1c on the mince, and instead we should be focusing on adapting to food supply issues, coastal land erosion, economic refugees (the list goes on)?

  2. 'Tis no man you see Trippi Takka, 'tis a relentless typing machine. What point weighing inaction against action, when the sponsors plead for inaction ...


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