Are you a “blue collar worker” in Australia?

Are you worried about your job security or wages growth relative to your domestic outgoings?

Did you vote Labor (sic) at the last general election?

If you answered “yes” to both of those questions, consider the possibility you’re a bit of an idiot.

Don’t get me wrong, my opinion is that voting is a diversionary tactic to prevent us from forming lynch mobs and distributing instant righteous justice to politicians.

However, voting for a party that was always going to open the immigration spigots just as the country was hitting 40 year highs in inflation is nothing short of an act of self-harm. Do you practise bulimia too?

Perfect economic storm to hit Australia 2023.

To be fair, the article is written by Leith van Onsolen, a man even more famous than me for predicting 17 of the last zero housing crashes in Australia, so caveat emptor. The difference between us is, the economy isn’t my career expertise unlike LvO.

At the same time as the economy will slow in response to the RBA’s aggressive monetary tightening, Australia’s labour supply will grow sharply in 2023 on the back of record-high net overseas migration (NOM).

A key reason why Australia’s unemployment has fallen to its lowest level since 1974 is because Australia lost hundreds of thousands of migrants over the pandemic. Therefore, many of the jobs created went to unemployed Australians rather than migrant workers.

Record high net overseas migration is going to cause economic stress for Australian workers?

If only there was a lever someone, anyone could pull to influence that. Bueller, anyone?

Bill’s Opinion

Since becoming an Australian citizen, I have never exercised my right (legal duty, actually) to cast a vote. I’ve simply not appreciated the false choice offered me.

The “unaparty” choice became all the more apparent in Covid time when the only difference between the two major parties was who would lock us down earlier and harder.

If I were to vote though, I’d be highly suspicious of a party claiming to be for the working class whilst overseeing a return to immigration at exactly the same time a four decades record slowdown and interest rate shock arrives.

There is one member of the Australian left who gets it though; (National) Socialist, Sally McManus, head of the ACTU.

Covid near-culpa

The half-pologies are coming in thick and fast.

This week, it’s Josh Szeps’ turn. His podcast here, is where you will find his near-culpa.

I have some time for Josh; although there are many aspects to his world view I can find disagreement with, he’s one of the few podcasters on the political left, or in fact, Australian podcasters (but I repeat myself), I feel is capable of thought deeper than a hashtag.

Some of his contemporaneous views can be found on this Twitter thread. He got some stuff right (libertarian principles about border closures), but others wrong (acceptance of the pharmaceutical press releases).

Today’s podcast goes somewhere towards an apology, but he can’t quite get there.

To be clear; if, since January 2020, you have at any time expressed the view or been silent when the policies were announced, that we should keep people in their homes, close schools, force people (either by law or by employer) to take a medical treatment or wear a face mask, then you need to apologise.

It needs to be an apology that’s sincere, and therefore doesn’t contain the word “but” in the sentence.

Until you do that, we’re going to view you with deep suspicion for the remainder of our lives together.

Actually, let’s be honest, we’re going to view you with deep suspicion forever. But we might be able to have some kind of relationship based in civility.

Josh admits to being wrong on two counts; he totally swallowed the lie that the vaccine prevents transmission AND that it was 90% effective at preventing hospitalisation.

He also is halfway to accepting the risk of heart issues in healthy young people is greater than the disease itself.

BUT….

(“Everything before the word ‘but’ is bullshit”)

Josh believes he was wrong but for the right reasons. That is, his epistemological method was correct, while the conclusion it reached may have been incorrect.

More on this later.

The last ten minutes of the podcast are where we hear the real “sorry, not sorry” near-culpa. Apparently, “you weren’t a genius to have feared that and not taken the jab”, for example.

Well, my precautionary principle told me I shouldn’t take it. Yours, on the other hand, tells you not to take the 4th one. I don’t need to claim genius status, but mine isn’t the position that’s changed.

There is also a very telling line; “shut the fuck up because we are in a pandemic”.

Bill’s Opinion

Shut the fuck up? Really?

Shutting the fuck up is what we should do when experiencing actual authoritarianism?

We all have to do some personal accounting for the last three years.

If you took your school age child to get a couple of shots of a medical treatment that you didn’t know was safe, I cannot trust you again. I will have to treat you with extreme caution forever. Your judgement is faulty.

When I say, “didn’t know was safe”, I mean COULDN’T have known was safe. There hadn’t been enough time. It matters not whether the evidence now is it was or wasn’t safe; you took a risk based on a damn lie, “safe and effective”.

At the time, that was unknowable. Your epistemology did not put enough weight on that fact.

Fear overcame and killed your libertarian principles.

What’s missing from Josh’s current view is the accounting for how he got it wrong. It seems just out of reach for him to realise his government lied to him. Not just once, but multiple times on multiple subjects. He’s in Plato’s Cave and he can see the shadows but can’t turn around to see their source.

In 2022, we all now know which side of the barbed wire fence we would have been on. I’m afraid Josh Szeps is due an uncomfortable conversation with himself about which side he would have been on.

Write about what you know

…is the famous advice offered all nascent writers.

But what if you don’t know very much at all?

You become a self-obsessed female writer, churning out the same words, just in a different order, once a week, that’s what.

There’s a few examples kicking around. My favourite is Kate Mulvey, who Desert Sun has written about a few times, pointing out the repetitive and yet inconsistent bollocks she throws out every few weeks (click the link while it still works – he recently told me he has a huge gender reassignment surgery bill was due, so won’t be renewing the web hosting contract).

We also have Jenna Hates, who writes Dear Diary style columns about annoyances most of us don’t have time to be bothered with.

We have a newcomer to the Gonzo-churn ™ genre; Mary Madigan (and a new category for this organ).

Mary’s output is starting to pick up speed now. The problem is, she’s got nothing to write about but herself. Let’s give this problem a name:

Kevin Rudd Disease; (genetic) – an inability to compose more than two sentences without using a first person singular pronoun. Prognosis: fatal tedium.

Today, Mary comments on Jennifer Aniston’s infertility by telling us we shouldn’t comment on Jennifer Aniston’s infertility (yes, I know). Except before she‘s travelled more than halfway though her column, she’s turned it around to be about Mary:

I’m not famous, and my hair isn’t nearly as lovely or iconic, but once you’re a woman over 25 and you have a partner, there’s no escaping the interest in your fertility. Suddenly, everyone in your family behaves like a tabloid journalist and you are treated like a celebrity, but unfortunately, still asked to wash up the dishes.

Forget being asked, how’s the weather? People go directly to: So, when will you have kids? Do you want kids? Have you had your fertility examined? Would you freeze your eggs? Do you make enough money to have a kid?

One can see how that line of questioning would grate. How annoying for Mary.

That’ll be the same Mary Madigan who authored this introspection about her future fertility and ability to financially support a family, right?

The moment I realised I wanted to become a mother was also the moment it occurred to me that I wasn’t in a financial position to afford a baby. In some abstract way, I’ve always figured I’d eventually have a baby. But it’s only been recently, as I hurl towards the end of my twenties, that I’ve felt that longing.

Bill’s Opinion

Jennifer Aniston tacitly signed the deal with the devil when she took the massive coin from show business; privacy was the price. She knew that. It’s been the deal since the silent movie era.

Mary Madigan wants us to stop talking about the thing she got paid to talk about 6 months ago.

Next month she’ll write a column about how we need a national conversation about it, or some such similar bollocks.

Apparently, she earns $65,000 a year for her brand of Gonzo-churn. That’s not a bad effort, but she’ll run out of combinations of the same words to use before she reaches retirement age, so will probably need to find someone else to write about.

If you’re reading this, Mary, Kate Mulvey recycled a few ex-lovers, changing the names around each time. Just a suggestion.

Health experts warn of a new wave of….Covid hysteria

Or, “please believe us and let us be relevant and important again”.

A scan across the headlines of the Australian mejia indicates there is a new wave of covid hysteria building.

Obviously, the betwetters at the Sydney Morning Herald are leading the way:

But News are not going to be outdone:

The ABC crayon-users have been deployed too:

The ABC invokes Betteridge’s Law of Headlines; no, it very definitely isn’t a time for people to get a fifth dose. None of the previous ones did any good, so what magic fairy dust do you think they have sprinkled on the latest one?

For aesthetic and blood pressure reasons I’ve saved you from viewing yet another picture of Kerry “please wash your hands, even though I’ve known it doesn’t spread that way since March 2020” Chant, but take it on trust that she’s back behind the microphone.

What the fuck is going on?

Bill’s Opinion

Anyone in 2022 with an IQ above room temperature must surely know by now, the news media doesn’t report current affairs objectively. Realistically, they never did, how could they?

But the concept that news occurs and is then reported to you is also a busted flush. They decide on the narrative and then commission articles to support it. The 1619 Project being simply a version hiding in plain sight.

A small number of Australian editors have decided we’re not scared enough about the sniffles and a summer cold so they’re going to ramp up the reporting.

The stupid thing to do is to attempt to work out the reason why. Remember, that way madness lies.

….but doubling down as the narrative of their safetyism, lockdowns, ineffective and dangerous medical interventions collapses would be a reasonable guess.

Dial Triple Zero for the Free Speech Brigade

Free speech is a difficult concept for some to grasp.

As a paid up member of the “Free Speech Brigade”, I’m here to clarify the concept for you.

Let’s start by some definitions of what it isn’t.

Things people say that you agree with.

It’s very easy to defend the speech rights of somebody you like and agree with, isn’t it?

Things people say that are uncontroversial.

That’s just “speech”.

Things people say that other people disagree politely with.

That’s just called “an argument”.

The corollary of these statements is where we’ll find the definition of Free Speech. Don’t expect anyone employed to write for the Sydney Morning Herald to understand that though.

For example, Jack Whelan thinks the netball players have had their free speech rights impacted.

If you recall, they briefed the press about concerns they had with a potential sponsor, who subsequently withdrew the offer of free money. Some idiots then suggested the sponsor should be forced to say some words to earn the right to donate money.

What were the negative consequences of this free speech? None; the People’s Republic of Victoria bailed them out with taxpayer’s money.

Other examples given as free speech issues include the Wendyball players who criticised Qatar but are still going to take the big pay day rather than boycott the competition.

A third example is a cricketer negotiating with his employer for more input on potential commercial deals.

Bill’s Opinion

The one notable example not offered by Jack Whelan, our Sydney Morning Herald champion of Free Speech, is the Israel Folau debacle.

The Sydney Morning Herald was so keen on Izzy’s freedom of speech, they called for him to lose his job.

I think we can guess the Herald’s definition of Free Speech.

Jack Whelan is a barrister barista and adviser to player associations.”

Oh yeah? A strong cappuccino, please Jack.

Do editors have a duty of care?

Remember Mary Madigan, the “writer” for Mammamia who was upset someone managed to lose excess weight, then posted pictures of herself in lingerie and was further upset by the response by rude strangers?

Well, she’s been busy and written another quality column, this time suggesting people with dogs need equivalent time off from work as parents.

In our previous post about her, we suggested the editors were encouraging mental health problems for the purpose of macabre public entertainment:

…..the editors of the publications paying for these columns are encouraging negative health outcomes by printing it. Perhaps the editors are analogous to the circus ringmasters introducing the freak show exhibit.

This hypothesis is firming up to be a strongly-held view.

What on earth do you think the public response is going to be to daft OpEds like Mary’s current offering?

Anyone who has ever met a human or logged on to social media could predict the heap of abuse that is going to be piled on to her from angry parents and people who strongly feel she should have her personal faults criticised.

The consequential cost to her mental health is not zero. Has the editor factored this into their decision to commission and publish her article? How robust is her personality?

Bill’s Opinion

Just because it’s possible for everyone to write their innermost thoughts and emotions for the world to read, doesn’t mean we should encourage it.

So far, the only articles Mary has managed to get published all have the common theme of her exposing ridiculous opinions devoid of reality. She’s being allowed to publish a diary of mental health issues for our entertainment, in effect.

It might be argued she’s a conscious agent provocateur, like Richard Littlejohn or Katie Hopkins, and she has a robust enough sense of self to cope with the opprobrium. Take a look at the comments section beneath today’s offering if you dare.

But what if she’s not? This seems like a dangerous game Kerry Warren is playing, let’s hope nothing goes wrong for her.

Wendyball’s revealed versus expressed preferences

As I regularly tell my kids, don’t listen to what people say, pay more attention to what they do.

The Wendyball World Cup is about to kick off in Qatar. Millions of dollars will be spent on mysteriously expensive, nasty nylon replica national shirts, manufactured on the cheap in Asian factories.

If the merchandise supply chain of the competing national sporting bodies has no modern slavery issues, perhaps we might look at the labour practices of the host nation, Qatar.

According to the Guardian, reprinted by SBS, perhaps 6,500 foreign workers died in the construction of the stadia, infrastructure and general upgrades in the country.

To be fair to Qatar for a moment, the Guardian wouldn’t be my go to media source for any story involving integers greater than ten, as they spent the last three years trying to convince us a bad cold had a case fatality rate equivalent to the Black Death.

So let’s split the difference; say, about 3,000 died. What did they die of? Cardiovascular and respiratory issues. i.e. heatstroke. Unsurprising considering it’s still 35 degrees in the middle of the night there.

Also, the Qatari labour laws give employers rights over the workers that would make a Medieval king blush. Employers can prevent immigrant labourers from switching jobs and can cancel residency permits. Don’t like the working conditions? How about I send you home to Bangladesh tomorrow?

The Qatari treatment of the Wi-fi password people also falls well short of the western standard of acceptance and celebration. It’s illegal to be homosexual in Qatar.

So, as you can imagine, the international outrage has been intense and the coordinated responses have been significant and tangible, in line with earlier precedents such as those against the 1980 Moscow Olympics following the Russian invasion of Afghanistan or the global response to South Africa’s Apartheid regime.

A reminder of those two precedents; 66 countries boycotted the Moscow Olympics in 1980 and South Africa had pariah status on the international sports stage for several decades. In fact, the boycott gifted New Zealand their first rugby World Cup win in 1987.

So, as we’ve mentioned, equivalent boycotts are currently planned in response to, effectively, working to death several thousand dirt poor men from the sub-continent and jailing gay men and women.

Well, when when say boycotts, what we mean is the cities of Barcelona and Paris aren’t going to put up a big screen in a park. Spain and France are still sending their teams.

Australia have gone much further than most countries though, as you would expect from a country never shy to bask in the cheap glory of virtue signalling; the team made a video condemning Qatar.

Some commentators have described this as “powerful”. Obviously, it’s not as powerful as staying home and sitting the competition out, but we are sure the next batch of Bangladeshis to be worked to death this month appreciate the thought.

Although it’s fair to accuse the Australian wendyballers of not really caring enough about dead Asians or jailed homosexuals to skip a World Cup, they at least can’t be called hypocrites; it looks like Football Australia haven’t yet got round to filing a statement declaring their supply chain is free of slavery issues. (To see quite how pointless the register is anyway, read our previous post about it).

Interestingly, the domestic football code, Australians Rules Football, has filed one. It’s obviously a lot easier to be sure you’re clean if you don’t get to play overseas.

FIFA is headquartered in Switzerland. My preferred search engine isn’t showing a Swiss government modern slavery register. Hands up who isn’t surprised.

Bill’s Opinion

Remember all those players kneeling on the ground in countries around the world after the death of Saint George Floyd? That was because something something black lives.

What colour are Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Nepali and Indian construction workers after a 12 hour shift in 50 degree heat?

We don’t take directions from the moral compass of soccer players for a very good reason. They are happy to spend a hashtag here and half an hour to make a video there, but missing out on a pay day is a cost they aren’t prepared to pay.

Oh, and ironically, Football Australia has a policy and protocol about playing in extreme heat. Shame it doesn’t apply to the building of the stadia the team plays in.

It’s 2022, perhaps “the science” should take a long holiday

The end of ‘just eat less’? Science doesn’t see being fat as a ‘choice’

Many members of the public have come to believe that being fat is a choice. But scientists hold a radically different view.

ALL scientists or just the lardy ones?

Magda Szubanski knows she is overweight. She has tried to eat less and move more. Because that’s what society says to do, and because she is “not a stupid person”.

Not a stupid person. Anyone who’s read her Twitter account might have a word or two to say about that assertion.

Her new TV series, Magda’s Big National Health Check, explores the damage done by “diet culture” and the limits of individual responsibility for health problems.

Paging Sailor’s First Law of Female Journalism, can Sailor’s First Law of Female Journalism please report to the office?

The obesity epidemic’s root cause isn’t individuals going, ‘I’m going to lie on the couch and eat delicious food’,” says Jane Martin, president of the Australia New Zealand Obesity Society. “What’s happened is people are being shaped and nudged every step of the day.”

Standby, we’re about to find out it’s someone else’s fault.

Rather than individual choice or a collective collapse in willpower, modern science points to the effect our environments have on warping our food and exercise choices – away from health foods and towards highly processed, highly profitable junk. Some scientists are sceptical we are truly making “choices” at all.

Wonderfully circular, that argument, probably like the person who first thought of it. We don’t have individual choice because our environment has an effect on our choice? I’m still hearing “choice” in there.

And there’s growing recognition that treatments that focus on the individual, such as diets, are not the full answer.

Ok, so what’s more likely to get you to shed a few kilos, taking individual responsibility or waiting for the entirety of society to make a pivot for you?

The “individual choice” narrative does suit one group in particular, says Martin: food companies, which have spent years pushing it. “Those big corporations love to put it back on the individual,” she says. “It suits them, because where are the solutions? Not with the individual, but with government.”

Lobby group reliant on government funding thinks the solution to their problem is in the hands of the government.

Where does The Australia New Zealand Obesity Society get its funding?

Council members and ANZOS sub-committee members receive no remuneration for their work on behalf of ANZOS, and a large proportion of the operating costs for the ANZOS is derived from members’ subscriptions. The work of the Secretariat and the large-scale national projects conducted by ANZOS are funded by donation. Donations are accepted as educational or research grants and all financial contributions are subject to defined regulations and audit procedures. Financial support is solicited from a variety of health, community, government and commercial organisations.

“A large proportion” is from members’ subscriptions? Really?

However; The Society has over 250 members throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Region. Full membership costs $165. I bet the $41,250 a year barely covers the pastry bill at the annual conference they hold.

It’s funded by government grants.

We digress. The article has the usual arguments about genes and metabolism being a factor. And then there’s this doozy:

A careful study shows we are just as active as people living in the 1980s. If anything, we’re using more energy to move because we weigh more.

Brilliant. Fat people aren’t lazy because they have to carry more weight around than the rest of us.

Let’s give the last word to Jane Martin:

“What you see from the industry is it’s all put back on the individual,” she says. “This is how industry has shaped the discussion because it works for them to put the individual in the frame.”

Bill’s Opinion

“Officer, it’s not my fault I was speeding; Big Automobile and Big Construction conspired to make the car pleasurable to drive and the road flat and scenic”.

Buying luxury beliefs on a credit card

Luxury beliefs”, according to Rob Henderson, are those that “tend to be disastrous for poor and middle-class communities (and) have become the modern equivalent of buying expensive clothes or hiring servants. It’s a way of showing off your wealth and signaling your status to fellow members of the upper class.

This only works, of course, if one has the wealth to flaunt in the first place.

If your salary relies on continuing working for an organisation already crippled by debt, luxury beliefs are surely some of the first expenses to be ditched, along with the premium Spotify account and those two takeaway coffees every morning?

Netball Australia lost $7m over the last two years and was facing down $4m in loan repayments at the end of this year that it was unlikely to be able to make.

Australia’s richest person offered a $15m bail out, which would have solved the major problems and kept dozens, if not hundreds of employees secure.

The problem is, Gina Rinehart’s father expressed an offensive opinion in the 1980s.

Gina didn’t say it, Gina most likely doesn’t feel the same way at all. Gina’s father said it. Gina’s father died 30 years ago.

A week or so of negative stories in the media about players being “uncomfortable” with the new sponsorship resulted in the sponsorship offer being withdrawn.

Unless a replacement sponsor is found, support and administration employees will be fired. Grassroots resources for children’s sport will be cut.

Because of some words said by a dead person.

Of course, there was a simple solution to all this unpleasantness; Gina Rinehart could have simply said the words she was ordered to say, then she would have been allowed to donate fifteen million dollars of her own money to a sport.

She (Gina Rinehart) could have apologised for her father’s comments, distanced herself from them and told us that she doesn’t believe those things. Instead, she pulled her money out.”

Say the words, Gina. Say them, now.

Bill’s Opinion

I’m pretty sure one or both of my parents said a racist thing once in 1976.

I’m not apologising on their behalf.

I also don’t donate to charities if they reward me by negatively briefing the media about my family.

It’s funny how incentives work, isn’t it?

Welcome home

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.” ― Charles MacKay

Slowly but surely people around us are coming back to their senses. Topics that only 6 months ago would have labelled as conspiracy theories are now being accepted as mainstream opinion.

Venal pond life such as Piers Morgan are channeling their inner Keynes (no, not the pederast bit) and claiming to change their minds when the facts change.

Public figures are suddenly wondering whether, in the face of awkward all cause mortality statistics, lockdowns and universal vaccinations were perhaps not worth the long term cost.

The trigger for each volte face is unpredictable. This excellent article listing all the things Australian politicians said about vaccines preventing transmission to justify their authoritarian and immoral new laws, for example.

The temptation from our side of the argument is to welcome these victories for common sense and move on. But there’s a reckoning to be had first.

A slip of the tongue by a Pfizer exec in a Brussels parliamentary hearing doesn’t seem a credible reason for people to suddenly notice the vaccines didn’t prevent transmission.

When 90+ percent of Australians are vaccinated and yet everyone you know has caught the disease, simple observed reality should have been enough for any conscious human to notice.

Bill’s Opinion

As each individual returns to sanity, they need to justify to themselves their past decisions. They therefore need an inflection point they can state was the moment the facts changed, demanding the change of thought.

Those of us who didn’t spend the last couple of years in denial of reality and with a healthy distrust of official narrative know that this justification is pure bollocks, of course.

Nevertheless, welcome home. It’s a shame it took you so long though.

Perhaps we could start with one of us offering some sort of an apology?