ISSUE – NO. 624

24 February 2023

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Last night, Jackie’s (male) co-owner was about to take the said canine on her third and final walk for the day when he observed a discussion on Sky News’ The Great Debate  which airs at 10 pm.

The self-declared great debaters were Caleb Bond, James Macpherson and Liz Storer.  Discussion commenced on the subject of the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – designed at conquering the entire nation.  Let’s go to the transcript where your man Macpherson, who appeared to be acting as chair of the great debate, invited Ms Storer to express her opinion. And then she commenced this rant as she channelled Russian leader Vladimir Putin:

James Macpherson: Liz? What are your thoughts?

Liz Storer: …I think NATO started this war, they knew exactly what they were doing.

Caleb Bond: Why?

Liz Storer: They started flirting with Ukraine. This came about because Ukraine was going to join NATO, this was, this was a conversation and they knew that that was poking the bear. And sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. This war is between NATO and Russia, Ukraine is simply stuck in the middle.

In disagreeing with her fellow great debaters, Storer described Russia’s leaders as wanting “to reclaim ground they genuinely think is theirs”.

Turn it up.  In her rant Liz Storer implied that NATO (which includes Germany that sucked up to Russia for eons) sought to wage war with Russia.  And she overlooked the fact that Russia invaded Ukraine, but that NATO did not invade Russia.

Well it certainly was a debate.  But it wasn’t great.  Except for members of the Putin Fan Club.


Without question, the media highlight of the week occurred when the leftist activist journalist Patricia Karvelas interviewed the far-left activist politician Senator Lidia Thorpe on ABC Radio National Breakfast on Thursday 23 February.

Highlights occurred when Thorpe complained twice that PK (as she likes to be called) had described the Albanese government Minister Linda Burney as a legend – but had not called her (Thorpe) a legend.

After accusing the Australian nation of engaging in a continuing “genocide”, the senator from Victoria accused PK of being a mere “white progressive”.  Thorpe insisted that PK desist from interrupting her – and she backed off.  PK did not challenge Thorpe’s exaggerated claim that 60,000 people marched in Melbourne in support of her Invasion Day protest.  Here’s how the interview ended not with a mild Karvelas whimper but with an almost inaudible one.

Lidia Thorpe: I don’t hear you calling me a legend. I hear that your tone is very different when you interview me. Um, and that’s gotta change, you know … You know, you’ve got to stop setting black women up against one another and allow the truth to be told in a way that your listeners get a fair and accurate account of what black people are saying in this country.

Patricia Karvelas: That’s why you’re invited on the show, to hear your perspective. Thank you so much for joining us.

Lidia Thorpe: Thank you PK. Have a good day.

It’s unlikely that PK had a good day.  But it was certainly memorable radio.

Can You Bear It?


Thanks to the avid reader who drew Media Watch Dog’s attention to the article in Crikey by its investigations editor – a certain David Hardaker – about honours in the Order of Australia. The date was 24 January – just before the announcement of the Australia Day awards on 26 January.

For his part, Jackie’s (male) co-owner has no particular position on gongs. Except that he believes that Phillip Adams AO, AM, Hon DUniv (Griffith), Hon DLitt (ECU), Hon DUniv (SA), DLitt [sic] (Syd), Hon. DUniv (Macquarie), FRSA, Hon FAHA needs an upgrade from AO AM to AC AO AM – plus a few more honorary doctorates from a university or two.

But MWD digresses. Writing in the leftist Crikey on 24 January 2023 – under the heading “Should we abolish Australia Day awards?” – your man Hardaker asked this question: “Is it possible to rehabilitate the Order of Australia awards?  Or should they be put out of their misery, written off as another Coalition monument to political cronyism.”

You see, Comrade Hardaker believes that too many political conservatives get gongs under Coalition governments.  This despite the fact that the awards of the Order of Australia are determined independent of government by a process which is presided over by the Governor-General.

Comrade Hardaker was particularly miffed by the fact that the highly qualified Dr Bernadette Tobin received an AO in 2016.  Hardaker’s whinge was explained by the fact that “Tobin is the daughter of right-wing Catholic royalty B.A. Santamaria”.  In fact, Santamaria – who had three daughters, not one – died in 1998.  But to Crikey’s investigations editor, Dr Tobin’s gong was part of a Catholic conspiracy of some kind or other.  In spite of the fact that there is no Catholic royalty in the Anglo-Celtic world.

Now for some facts to counterpose against Comrade Hardaker’s theory of a Catholic clerical fascist conspiracy with respect to awards.  Here’s MWD’s little list of leftist recipients of gongs during or shortly after the most recent Coalition government: Richard Ackland AM – 2016, Mike Carlton AM – 2020, Judith Brett AM – 2023, Jenny Hocking AM – 2023, Robert Manne AO – 2023 and Norman Swan AM – 2023.

Needless to say, your man Hardaker has gone quiet on his conspiracy theory about Order of Australia awards and since 26 January 2023 has not condemned the recent elevation of Comrades Brett, Hocking, Swan and Manne.  Can You Bear It?


While on the topic of Dr Norman Swan AM – who presents as Australia’s most trusted doctor despite the fact that he hasn’t practised medicine for some four decades – did anyone see the ABC’s in-house doctor on ABC TV’s 7.30 on Monday 20 February?

It would seem that your man Swan has rested – for a while at least – his COVID-19 catastrophism and embraced ice-pack medicine.  How else to explain that 7.30 viewers (if viewers there were) saw Swan filmed on an Eastern suburb Sydney beach early one morning immersing himself in an ice bucket for a whole two minutes?  This is how he explained his actions:

Norman Swan: The fast-growing trend of cold water immersion has been pioneered by Dutch entrepreneur, Wim Hof. He’s known as the Ice Man and has become such a phenomenon that next month he’s coming to Australia on what no doubt his sponsors hope will be a sell-out event.

Well, it just might be – with a little help from free publicity from the taxpayer funded public broadcaster. Broadcast by your man Swan in his Cult of Personality Mode.

It’s not at all clear as to what the medical benefits are of ice baths for individuals who do not engage in competitive sports. Even Comrade Swan AM acknowledged that, for types like him, “the reality is most people seem to be coming for the psychological effects”.  He interviewed Dr Paul Goods, a researcher who studies the impact of cold immersion on the body. Dr Goods said that the main risk is the “potential for a sudden cardiac event”.  That’s all, folks.  Otherwise, the psychological effects lead to an increase in morale – or something like that.

Now here’s what MWD discovered, at around Hangover Time, about Wim Hof and all his works and all his pomps.

Wim Hof is a Dutch motivational speaker, sometimes called “The Iceman”, who developed the pseudoscientific “Wim Hof Method”, a health regimen based around breathing techniques and exposure to cold temperatures. Your man Hof claims this method can treat a vast array of ailments and has promoted it by participating in various stunts like running a half-marathon barefoot on snow or partially climbing Mount Everest in shorts.

In recent years his method has become a popular trend, largely due to endorsements by Oprah Winfrey, Gwyneth Paltrow and other celebrities. He currently stars in a BBC TV show called Freeze the Fear, in which minor British celebrities participate in cold-based competitions under his supervision. There are several reported deaths by drowning which have been connected to the Wim Hof Method.

MWD is not aware that Mr Hof has any scientific or medical qualifications.  But, apparently, his feet are remarkably clean.

The good news is that your man Swan survived the occasion – and will continue to provide great copy for Media Watch Dog when it is put together at Hangover Time on a Friday morning.

On the morning before his ice bath performance, Comrade Swan foreshadowed his experience during his regular Monday slot on ABC Radio National Breakfast. Here’s how the segment concluded:

Norman Swan: Shelby Trainor, who’s the Health Report producer, was on – was on the prom [promenade] at this beach in Sydney interviewing passers-by. And she couldn’t find – this was at 6 in the morning – she couldn’t find a passer-by who hadn’t tried an ice bath.

Patricia Karvelas: No.

Norman Swan:: Yep. So, this is the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, so it’s –

Patricia Karvelas: Yeah.

Norman Swan:  – a selected population. But it was – this is really popular.

So, there you have it. Dr Swan and his producer rocked up at a beach in Sydney’s affluent Eastern suburbs at 6 am and found that 100 per cent of passers-by were into ice baths.

A selected population? You bet. But one of interest to the remote inner-city types at the ABC’s inner-city Sydney headquarters.  Can You Bear It?

Dr Swan up to his neck in ice performance


Ice guru Wim Hof (right), as seen on 7:30


Jackie (Dip.Wellness, The Gunnedah Institute) Provides This Health Report: Do Not Re-Use Ice Bath Ice as a Base for a Gin & Tonic.



Sure, it was MWD fave Samantha Maiden, political editor of who raised the issue first.  But David Speers (presenter, ABC TV Insiders) and Patricia Karvelas (presenter, ABC Radio National Breakfast) weighed in immediately.

The reference is to the RN Breakfast  politics segment on 17 February – when Patricia (“Please call me Professor PK”) Karvelas discussed the week’s events in Canberra with David (“Please call me Speersy”) Speers and Samantha (“Please don’t call me zany”) Maiden.  Discussion soon turned on the performance of Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe.

There was a general consensus that the RBA governor had performed well before the Senate Estimates Committee in a difficult environment.  But Ms Maiden raised the issue of what she termed  Dr Lowe’s “nervous giggle” and “nervous twittering”.

This seems something of an exaggeration to MWD.  But soon the ABC comrades weighed in.  Comrade Speers referred to your man Lowe’s “nervous giggle” and Comrade Professor PK concurred that it was precisely this – stating: “He does do that, doesn’t he?”

Now, MWD is not aware of any causal link between interest rates and the RBA governor’s facial demeanour.  However, MWD believes that this discussion is relevant to The Guardian/ABC Axis.

How is this? – MWD hears readers cry.  Well, look at it this way.  Katharine (“Malcolm calls me Murpharoo”) Murphy appears on RN Breakfast (every Thursday) and Insiders (every now and then). It so happens that Murpharoo is possessed with what might be termed an artificial laugh.

It would seem that the PK/Speersy Axis is willing to discuss Philip Lowe’s alleged “nervous giggle” on the taxpayer funded public broadcaster. But neither has mentioned in public Murpharoo’s artificial laugh – which is invariably directed at right-of-centre types with whom she disagrees.

A double standard, don’t you think? More importantly – Can You Bear It?


Media Watch Dog recalls a time when Jenna Price was a (relatively) mild-mannered reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald – then controlled by Fairfax Limited, now owned by Nine. In more recent times, Comrade Price is a columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald.

On 15 February, SMH readers might have come across a column titled “Bedroom secrets that might help the housing crisis”.  In this piece, after declaring herself to be living in an inner-city street in Sydney – around, it seems, Glebe (Quelle Surprise!) – Jenna Price:

  • Argued that the state should seize control of vacant bedrooms as a way of easing the housing crisis. (Comrade Price told readers: “By my count there are 34 spare bedrooms in my street.”  How would she know this?)
  • Maintained that governments “should immediately” nationalise our 13 million spare bedrooms” throughout Australia and
  • Suggested that “maybe, instead of spare bedrooms, we should seize those empty shops (which, apparently, are vacant somewhere circa inner-city Glebe.)

Many journalists like filling up their columns by writing about themselves.  And so the reader learned that (i) Ms Price has been guilty of hoarding bedrooms, (ii)  her offspring have long since flown the nest and (iii) her “lovely spouse does not want to downsize yet”.  There was more. Dr Price (for a doctor she is) and her lovely spouse have “housed a bunch of people who needed a room”.  One was an evangelist who lectured about sexual morality – and another “drank a bottle or two of wine each night”.  [Is that all? – MWD Editor.]  And then the kids moved back. And – Groan. Does anyone really care?

At least Jenna Price does not oppose urban development in her area as a way of reducing the local housing crisis – unlike so many of the sandal-wearing luvvies who live in inner-city Glebe and its surrounds.

Any reader who managed to get to the end of the Price column might wonder what became of the idea that governments should not only acquire spare rooms but nationalise them. The answer lies early in the column where it is written: “If the state seized control of those bedrooms, we could ease the housing shortage. I haven’t quite figured out the best way to make it happen – sticks or carrots – but we must act.” So there you have it.  Comrade Price has a you-beaut way to end the housing crisis.  But she doesn’t know how to make it happen.

How to explain this?  Well, these days Comrade Price is a social science academic.  A visiting fellow at the Australian National University – to be exact – where many an academic declares the need for governments to implement plans which they themselves have not quite figured out how to implement. Can You Bear It?

Media Watch Dog’s Five Paws Award was inaugurated in Issue Number 26 (4 September 2009) during the time of Nancy (2004-2017). The first winner was then ABC TV presenter Emma Alberici.  Ms Alberici scored for remembering the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 23 August 1939 whereby Hitler and Stalin divided Eastern Europe between Germany and the Soviet Union.  And for stating that the Nazi-Soviet Pact had effectively started the Second World War, since it was immediately followed by Germany’s invasion of Poland (at a time when the Soviet Union had become an ally of Germany). Over the years, the late Nancy’s Five Paws Award has become one of the world’s most prestigious gongs – rating just below the Nobel Prize and Academy Awards.


The ABC TV Insiders program tends to be somewhat boring of late as – usually a group of usually Canberra based journalists appear who usually agree with each other on usually everything. Or something like that.

In view of this, Jackie’s (male) co-owner is not always awake when the Insiders’  “Talking Pictures” segment, presented by The Guardian’s Michael Bowers, comes on around 9.50 am (AEDHT – aka Australian Eastern Daylight Hangover Time) each Sunday. In this segment, the left-of-centre Comrade Bowers invariably talks to a left-of-centre comrade among the toiling masses of cartoonists, photographers and those who (in Barry Humphries’ terminology) identify as comedians.

And so it came to pass that, on Sunday 19 February, Comrade Bowers did the “Talking Pictures” gig with Zoe Norton Lodge – who has written for and performed with The Chaser Boys (average age 481/2) along with the ABC’s The Checkout (led by the 46 year old Chaser “boy” Craig Reucassel). The topic was the Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to increase interest rates.

This is how the segment commenced:

Mike Bowers: Zoe, there were high rates of interest in Senate Estimates this week, as the RBA Governor, Philip Lowe gave them the low down. And there seems to be a lot of animosity towards the Governor.

Zoe Norton Lodge: It’s – it’s all a little bit baffling, isn’t it? That it’s like the only way to kind of, like, control things is to cripple everybody –

Mike Bowers: Controlling inflation, yeah.

Zoe Norton Lodge: – pretty brutal. Like, I don’t know anything about economics, but there has to be another way.

Now avid readers, of the uncharitable kind, might be of the view that someone who does not know anything about economics should not be fanging the RBA Governor Philip Lowe for trying to “cripple everybody” and acting in a “pretty brutal” manner with respect to setting the RBA’s cash rate.

But this is not MWD’s view.  At least Comrade Norton Lodge ‘fessed up to not having a clue about economics before declaring  that “there has to be another way” about something or other.

Zoe Norton Lodge – Five Paws for Intellectual Honesty Outshining Mere Ignorance.


As avid readers are well aware, a certain William (Bill) Thompson – a Melburnian who identifies as the ABC’s Southbank Correspondent – set up the “Outside Insiders” video segment some years ago.  This is a print edition of the Bill Thompson initiative to report on the ABC TV Insiders program.


If it is announced that a leading politician did an early morning TV interview on a Sunday, it would be normal to ask: “Which channel?”.  Meaning, Sky News’ Sunday Agenda  (which airs at 8 am) or ABC TV’s Insiders (which airs at 9 am). But not on Sunday 19 February, however.

Adam Bandt, the Greens leader and Member for Melbourne, was interviewed in the Sky News Melbourne studio in Southbank by Sunday Agenda’s Kieran Gilbert who was based in Sydney. Then your man Bandt headed via a bridge over the Yarra River and down to the ABC’s Southbank studio – where he was interviewed by David Speers.

It’s not clear whether Insiders (executive producer Samuel Clark) agreed to be second in the queue of two on this occasion.  Or whether Comrade Bandt did not advise Comrade Clark that he was double dating (in the media sense) on this occasion.

There was a time when your man Speers gave the Greens leader oh-so-soft interviews. No doubt to appease the ABC’s large Green Left audience which is growing as a percentage of its total audience at a time when ABC news and current affairs ratings are in decline.  This was not the case on 19 February. However, Speersy (as he likes to be called) let the Greens leader off the hook on a number of occasions.

For example, the Insiders  presenter said nothing when the Greens leader claimed that the Albanese government could relieve some of the cost of living pressure on people by doing things like a national plan to freeze rents and getting dental [care] into Medicare.  The Commonwealth government has no power over rents in peace time and it is not clear that extending Medicare coverage to dentistry would have much impact on the overall cost-of-living increases.

Also, Speers remained silent when Adam Bandt referred to the need to bring down “pollution from coal and gas”. He referred to pollution in this context on numerous occasions. The reference should have been to carbon dioxide emissions – not pollution.

Bandt’s comments are part of a global trend among leftists away from referring to “carbon emissions” and towards the more sinister-sounding term “carbon pollution”. This trend is partly driven by a legal dispute in the United States. In June 2022, the US Supreme Court’s conservative majority delivered a decision which limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to regulate carbon emissions.

The ruling held that, in moving to regulate carbon emissions, the EPA had exceeded its legal authority granted by Congress. In response the (then) Democrat-controlled Congress inserted a provision into the August 2022 Inflation Reduction Act defining carbon emissions as air pollutants, allowing the EPA to regulate them.

In short, the Greens leader’s word usage in this instance is yet another example of the derived nature of the Australian left.

Likewise, Speers was (unusually) silent when the Greens leader declared that the Albanese government’s (alleged) low target for reducing emissions is going to “mean the end of the Barrier Reef”. Absolute tosh.  Australia produces just over one percent of the total global emissions.  If the Great Barrier Reef is destined to die due to climate change –  as Bandt claims – there is nothing that Australia can do about it.  This is also the case with respect to the Greens leader’s claim that Australia can stop “floods in Lismore” – which is built on a flood plain and floods on a regular basis.  Even if Australia closed down, the Lismore area would still flood.

The result for the morning’s encounter was Bandt: 2; Insiders: Zip.


In recent times – following the controversial publication of Louise Milligan’s Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell by Melbourne University Publishing – MUP decided to install a standard befitting of a university press.  This came into place at around the time Louise Adler left MUP for another publisher.  As MWD readers know, Milligan’s Cardinal contained errors – and the author refused to account for her scholarship, or lack of same, in her work.  Milligan simply refused to engage with critics.  Gerard Henderson’s critique is documented in his email to Milligan dated 20 May 2017 which can be found in Appendix 1 of his book Cardinal Pell, The Media Pile-On & Collective Guilt.  Milligan did not reply to this letter and passed it on to Adler. And Ms Adler effectively told Henderson to desist from criticising Milligan’s work.

These days, under the new publisher Nathan Hollier, MUP has set up a system whereby its books are checked and approved before publication by two (anonymous) referees.

MUP has recently released a 540 page book on – wait for it – itself. Namely, MUP: A Centenary History written by La Trobe University adjunct professor Stuart Kells. It will be a while before Gerard Henderson wades through the dense volume on MUP.  But, while glancing through Kells’ magnum opus – or is it opus magnum? – he came across this passage at the end of Chapter 34 concerning the High Court decision in George Pell v The Queen.

In a unanimous judgement handed down on 7 April 2020, the High Court of Australia overturned Pell’s conviction, finding the evidence could not support a guilty verdict.  At the time of writing, the father of one of the victims has launched a civil case in the Supreme Court of Victoria against Pell and the Catholic archdiocese of Melbourne.  The father is seeking compensation for psychological harm he suffered as a result of the sexual abuse of his son.

This is hopelessly wrong – which suggests that MUP needs a new batch of (anonymous) referees. It would appear that Professor Kells has scant knowledge of the law.  There are no “victims” of the late Cardinal Pell since he was found not guilty of historical child sexual abuse.  There was one complainant – who was referred to as “A” in the High Court.  The other person whom Pell was charged with abusing was named “B”. The late  “B” never made a complaint about Pell. Moreover, the District Court of Victoria found that “B” told his mother before he died that he had never been sexually abused.

It is true that B’s father has been reported as having taken a civil case against Pell and the Archdiocese of Melbourne.  But it is wrong to claim that “B” was a “victim” and that he was sexually abused by Pell.  No legal entity has made such a finding.

Moreover, neither the Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions nor Louise Milligan have ever been able to explain how the alleged crimes could have taken place in a crowded Cathedral at the time of a Solemn Mass.

Nathan Hollier, Stuart Kells and MUP’s (anonymous) referees would be well advised to read Sir Richard Henriques’ review of the London Metropolitan Police Service’s handling of cases of historical child abuse which was published in October 2016.  Sir Richard, who was formerly a judge of the Court of Justice in England, stated emphatically that it is simply inaccurate to use the word “victim” in a situation where a guilty verdict has not been determined.

This is a serious error and should be corrected by MUP – initially as an erratum in any unsold copies and in the text of any reprint.

In MUP’s very own Q&A with the author of MUP, Stuart Kells comments: “In the present era of post-truth politics, I hope the book conveys the importance of university presses as sources of authoritative, peer-reviewed content.”

Talk about a lack of self-awareness.  Professor Kells seems so infatuated with the leftist notion of post-truth that he overlooks his own lack of knowledge of the law.



As MWD recalls, both The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald  used to declare that they were “Independent. Always.” before they were acquired by Nine.  In any event, the tradition continues.  However, Nine Newspapers are not independent always when it comes to what they report. And, on the evidence available, treat complaints about historical child abuse in government schools quite differently from how they treat similar complaints with respect to Catholic and other Christian schools.

Take the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, headed by Peter McClellan KC, which ran from early 2013 until late 2017 – for example.

As MWD has documented, the Royal Commission focused on Christian – primarily Catholic, followed by Anglican, followed by Uniting – institutions.  It paid almost no attention to government schools, youth detention centres, prisons, hospitals and the like – or, indeed, the media.

The Age, among other media outlets including the ABC, gave huge coverage to the Royal Commission hearings and findings which focused on the Christian churches.

But The Age  has all but ignored the Royal Commission’s failures – especially with respect to State and Territory government institutions.  All up, the Royal Commission undertook 57 Case Studies – not one of which involved a government school anywhere in Australia. Not one.  This despite the fact that around two thirds of Australian children attend government schools – rather than private or independent schools.

Take Tasmania, for example. In Tasmania, Mr McClellan and his fellow commissioners conducted two case studies. They examined the Hutchins School (which has a connection with the Anglican Church) and the Church of England Boys’ Society.

In recent years, the Tasmanian government has had to establish commissions of inquiry into government schools, a hospital and a youth detention centre – which were places of historical child sexual abuse. All of which were completely overlooked by Peter McClellan and his fellow commissioners.   A manifest failure on any analysis.

And now there is Victoria.  On 29 January 2023, The Guardian ran a story titled “`Tip of the iceberg’: hundreds of victims allege sexual abuse in Victorian state schools”. Written by Benita Kolovos, it commenced:

Almost 400 civil claims have been made against the Victorian government for historical child sexual abuse in state schools in the past 12 years, with more than half settled out of court, documents obtained under freedom of information laws show. Since 2010, 381 claims have been made for abuse that occurred in Victorian state educational settings between 1960 and 2018, including primary and secondary schools, specialist schools, early learning centres and after-school care. Of those, 212 have been settled out of court with a payment made to the complainant, two went to trial, 136 claims are ongoing and 29 have been discontinued, while the outcome of two is unknown.

These figures were provided to the office of former Justice Party MP Stuart Grimley under a Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted before the November State election in Victoria – in which he lost his seat.  Mr Grimley also requested information about the number of non-disclosure agreements entered into concerning these claims with the Victorian Government. This information was not provided.

Stuart Grimley, a former Victoria Police sexual offences and child abuse detective, has said that the figures are likely to be a conservative estimate of how many victims there have been in government school settings.

Grace Wilson, from the law firm Rightside Legal, told The Guardian: “Unchecked abusers in positions of authority leaving a trail of destruction across generations is not a problem that’s confined to the church. The state and other institutions are also reckoning with their own similar legacies.”

The Guardian Australia (20 January 2023) also reported that the Victorian Department of Education has never apologised to known victims of child abuse despite Victorian premier Daniel Andrews being on record as saying that he believes all complainants are victims.  In spite of this, according to The Guardian, the Victorian government is defending some civil cases brought by complainants.

The avowedly leftist The Guardian has reported the growing number of cases of historical child sexual abuse in Victorian government schools and institutions.  The story has also been carried in Victoria by the Herald-Sun and even (once only) by ABC News Online.  Also, reports have appeared as far away as The West Australian and as obscure as the Mercatornet website.

However, The Age has not covered the story. Nor has it put pressure on socialist left Victorian premier Daniel Andrews to issue an apology to victims of child sexual abuse in Victorian government institutions. Including the victims of the pedophile ring of teachers at Beaumaris Primary School – two of whom have been convicted and one of whom is deceased.

As Shannon Deery reported in the Herald Sun on 8 February 2023:  “At least four known offenders have been identified as working together at the [Beaumaris Primary] school in the 1970s…Sources close to the police investigation say the alleged offending was an open secret and multiple complaints were made about the teachers at the time.”

Peter McClellan’s Royal Commission cost some $340 million over five years and employed hundreds of staff at any one time. Yet it totally failed to look into the fate of children who attended government schools – and The Age seems indifferent to the Royal Commission’s abysmal failure in this instance.

Nine’s Shane Wright has risen without trace (as the late Kitty Muggeridge once said about the late David Frost) to become the senior economics correspondent for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald – not having published anything of note apart from newspaper articles and columns plus the occasional essay. Even so, you would expect a person in such an elevated position to know about the international energy market.

It’s only a few years since your man Wright ridiculed anyone who said that coal had any future as a part of energy supply – even in such markets as India, China and Indonesia.  He declared on ABC TV Insiders  on 11 June 2017 that “coal is like candlesticks” and compared those who said that there is still a demand for Australian coal exports with members of the Candle Makers Union circa 1870 who (allegedly) argued the case for candles over electricity. Now read on.


Avid readers have requested an update on the state of the prediction of Shane Wright – the senior economics correspondent of Nine’s newspapers – that coal in the early 21st Century is akin to candlesticks in the late 19th Century.

Not too well, it seems.  This is what your man Wright said on the ABC Insiders panel on 19 February.  Discussion turned on the Greens’ demand that there be no new coal or gas developments in Australia.  Let’s go to the transcript:

Shane Wright: Closing down coal and gas would cause pain to all those communities that rely on those [industries] for jobs or rely on those industries that are direct – that need the feedstock of gas or need the feedstock of relatively cheap energy.

So, Comrade Wright appears to concede that, right now, the Albanese government does not regard coal as akin to candlesticks – and nor should it.

And on 23 February in the Australian Financial Review, Mark Ludlow commenced his article titled “Coal’s to stay beyond 2035 if renewables fall short” as follows:

Coal-fired power will remain in Queensland’s energy grid beyond the Palaszczuk government’s self-imposed 2035 deadline if pumped hydro and renewable energy can’t provide reliable power, a senior bureaucrat has told an energy summit in Brisbane.

The frank admission by the most senior energy bureaucrat in Queensland has outlined the challenges of attempting to wean the state off coal-fired power, which has formed the backbone of the state’s power grid for decades.

Director-General of the Department of Energy and Public Works Paul Martyn admitted the state’s energy and jobs plan – which is aiming to have 80 per cent renewable energy by 2035 – was ambitious. He said the challenge to transform Queensland’s energy grid was one of the things that “keeps me up at night”. “We certainly don’t underestimate the challenge of the job before us,” he told the Queensland Energy Summit to deliver this transformation on a low-cost pathway.”

When Mark Ludlow filed his report, coal accounted for 68 per cent of the Queensland energy mix. Candles accounted for zero.


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Until next time.

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