Tony Abbott lecture on Freedom of Speech

Tony Abbott will give the Fr Gregory Jordan, SJ, Memorial Scholarship Lecture in Brisbane on 29 April 2016. The title of the lecture is: FREEDOM OF SPEECH: THE RIGHT AND THE RESPONSIBILITY. Details of the time and place can be found Here.

Fr Gregory Jordan was a much loved and respected theologian and former headmaster of St Ignatius Riverview. Both Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce were at St Ignatius during his headmastership. They attended his funeral in July 2015.

A favourite accusation of Abbott’s army of unappeasable enemies in politics and the media is that he is a religious zealot, eager to force the Australian population to convert – or else. It is one of the most serviceable parts of the Abbott persona they have created, and they keep hammering it.

Those familiar with his background, however, know that Abbott is considered by many orthodox Catholics to be on the liberal side, far from the dogmatic finger-wagging zealot of the manufactured image. Indeed, he fits the image of the modern Jesuit. In his book Battlelines, he gave a short account of his main (religious) influences.

Apart from my parents, the church was the biggest influence on my early life. From 1966 till 1975, I was at St Aloysius and then St Ignatius College, Riverview, in Sydney. The college mottos, ‘born for higher things’ and (roughly translated) ‘do as much as you can’, give a good idea of the Jesuit ethos at that time, which I thoroughly assimilated…

The Jesuits who taught me wanted to bring out the very best in their students but didn’t expect them to be saints. They weren’t dis­loyal to the Pope or subversive of the church but often seemed impa­tient with the ‘scold’ side to religious teaching. ‘Don’t bother giving up chocolates for Lent’, Father Emmet Costello used to advise, ‘but do something positive like going to Mass more often’. ‘We are all the prod­ucts of those who have loved us or failed to love us’, he often observed, quoting, I think, the American Jesuit John Powell. For me, the mes­sage was that God preferred big-hearted people who might sometimes make mistakes rather than robotic rule worshippers.

Tony Abbott’s actions as a politician bear that out. There are numerous ordinary people who give accounts of his generosity and compassion – a sympathetic word, a phone call about a sickness or death. Then there are the public demonstrations – his working with the SES, his yearly stay with the Aboriginal communities in the north, the pollie pedal, and so on. He shows his faith in his works rather than in his words.

The organizers of the Fr Gregory Jordan, SJ, Memorial Lecture have chosen well.


Confronting the Marxist campaign of subversion

The introduction of the $8 million Government-sponsored program Safe Schools’ that endorses students cross-dressing and other radical sexual concepts shows just how far the Marxist campaign to totally subvert Australian society has come. Let’s not be under any illusion. Whether you want call it Marxist-Leninist, Cultural Marxism, Critical Theory, the Frankfurt School, Political Correctness, Marxist theory is the foundation of the campaign to turn traditional Australian society on its head. The Safe Schools program is a massive open assault in the campaign and targets society’s most tender and vulnerable: children. The Andrews Government in Victoria, rushing at the head of the program of subversion, has won for itself the title as Australia’s first Marxist government, a government propped up by the iron fist of Marxist unionists. If one listens to the Andrews rhetoric one can hear echoes of Mexico in the 1920s and Spain 1930s when the Marxists began murdering Catholic clergy, the first target of all Marxist campaigns. When one observes one institution after another caving in (the feminizing and homosexualizing of the Liberal Party is well advanced under Malcolm Turnbull and his treacherous acolytes), one must think it would take a foolishly brave cleric to ride out onto a battlefield littered with the fallen amid the white flags of surrender. Yet there is such an unwise cleric. Below is a letter addressed to the members of a Catholic parish in Melbourne. Its author had no intention of addressing a public audience. But his fierce uncompromising stand and utter disregard of the consequences of standing up to forces that want to crush him without mercy make it an example for all those hanging back. It is reproduced here with the permission of the author. Continue reading

Europe without borders threatens to end in disintegration

The piece below is a translation of an article by Afshin Ellian that appeared in the Dutch Elsevier online newsletter on 21 December. Afshin Ellian is an Iranian-Dutch professor of law, philosopher, poet, and critic of political Islam. He regularly blogs for Professor Ellian is forthright – to put it mildly – about the issue of open borders. This is a subject that is of vital concern to most Australian who believe our borders must be rigorously protected and are frustrated that the media commentary is mostly from those critical of the Abbott policy of protection. They see the policy still holding under Turnbull, but suspect the will is not there and the support is tenuous. Australians would be more confident about the security of their borders if there were more like Ellian in the media to tell of the ‘existential threat’ that open borders present. Ellian’s piece parallels the problems in Australia’s management of border protection and is in line with Abbott’s Thatcher speech. The translation is literal which results in a little clumsiness and stiffness that contrast with the well-written Dutch text.


by Afshin Ellian –

The migrant crisis of 2015 will continue without let-up into 2016. It is becoming a serious matter. That’s why people are speaking of a crisis on a European scale.

Of course, the movement of peoples is an ongoing process.

The migration and asylum flow was also happening in the last century. It began with the problem of asylum-seekers. The right of asylum was often used by people who were not political refugees. Thus the right of asylum formed a basis for migration.

In the 20th century we see a new trend: the displaced people fleeing war are no longer primarily seeking safety, but prosperity and a better future.

Continue reading

The fall of the West

Paris attacks: fall of Rome should be a warning to the West


I am not going to repeat what you have already read or heard. I am not going to say that what happened in Paris on Friday night was unprecedented horror, for it was not. I am not going to say that the world stands with France, for it is a hollow phrase. Nor am I going to applaud Francois Hollande’s pledge of “pitiless” vengeance, for I do not believe it. I am, instead, going to tell you that this is exactly how civilisations fall.

Here is how Edward Gibbon described the Goths’ sack of Rome in August 410AD: “ … In the hour of savage licence, when every ­passion was inflamed, and every restraint was removed … a cruel slaughter was made of the ­Romans; and … the streets of the city were filled with dead bodies … Whenever the Barbarians were provoked by opposition, they ­extended the promiscuous massacre to the feeble, the innocent, and the helpless …”

Continue reading

Teaching cultural self-loathing

University courses make student teachers hostile towards the West

Scott Morrison is right to describe Muslim school kids walking out on the national anthem as pathetic, but he is wrong to point the finger at teachers. The problem does not begin with schools but in univer­sities where budding educators are encouraged to embrace profound antipathy towards the West.

In universities across the Western world, students training to become teachers are commonly taught critical theory or postcolonialism as a part of arts degrees in education. Both subjects inculcate in students deep hostility to the Western world, its culture, creed and citizens. They were inspired by neo-Marxism, whose forefather Herbert Marcuse was a key figure leading the revolution against Western civilisation in universities and manufacturing the rise of radical minority groups to censor non-leftist thought in public life.

Continue reading

What did Burke say exactly about good men, bad men and the triumph of evil?

The quotation most frequently attributed to Edmund Burke is not something Burke said though it sounds like Burke. The correct quotation from the Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents, and found on the home page of this website, is different. Professor David Bromwich of Yale University explains why the difference is important:

‘When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.’ This great sentence is the germ of the most famous quotation wrongly ascribed to Burke: ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’ The sentiment extractable from the corrupt version is pompous, canting, and demonstrably false, for evil is not a disembodied thing; it has its origin in acts by specifiable agents. Nor is it true that ‘the only thing necessary’ for the triumph of evil is the inaction of good men. There must also be an extended occasion of public fears for bad men to play upon, and there must be a catalysing event. The bad men themselves must be unusually excited, active, conscious of each other’s presence, aware of the inlets for increasing power, and unimpeded by the indifferent mass of people. Burke’s sentence is careful to say flatly what the triumph-of-evil apothegm leaves mysterious. Bad men do combine but, as the word combine suggests, their alliance may be impersonal and almost mechanical, a reflex of ambition and appetite, or the product of a theory. By contrast, association, through constant intercourse with other persons, leaves room for correction and improvement in the corps and a concern for the public good. Yet it matters that the defence of principle, when its cost is high, should achieve a public notability, so that interim defeats may prepare for an eventual triumph. The sacrifice of a party is important because it is so visible, compared to the obscure sacrifice of an unconnected person. Consistency of opinion, which is both a cause and a consequence of regular association, makes all the difference between a contemptible and worthy struggle.

The intellectual Life of Edmund Burke: From the Sublime and Beautiful to American Independence, David Bromwich, pp. 175-176

Furor Abbottus – a reality sapping mental and emotional disorder

Furor poeticus is Latin for ‘poetic frenzy’. The term goes back to the Ancient Greeks and refers to a poet’s being transported to a state in which he would channel the gods’ thoughts and feelings. During his Trinity College days, with some humour, Edmund Burke borrowed the term to describe his youthful fixation on poetry and history. He called those phases his furor poeticus and furor historicus.

The idea of a frenzied psychological state came to mind when I read a report on with the headline: Bureaucrats refuse to reveal Abbott’s alcohol preferences despite FOI request. It seems that all this year Labor Senator Penny Wong has been after an account of the brands and types of alcohol Tony Abbott drank while prime minister. After the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet was forced by a Freedom of Information request to come up with a pile of receipts, Wong’s desired information was blacked out. She ‘likened this lack of transparency to an episode of ABC comedy Utopia.’ Continue reading

Some leftist pairs

Bill Muehlenberg has posted a piece – The Media, the ABC, and Leftist Propaganda – on his website that expresses views that most conservative have long had about the Left and their control of the media. Among true and useful information is the following list of media/politics pairs which (he says) he has referenced from Larry Pickering’s website.

Perhaps Pickering can get out his investigative trowel and give us a list of the Left’s ever-changing relationships. For example, we know that Julia Gillard has teamed up with at least three men of the Left. It would be interesting to know what sort of standards the Left maintain in their ‘romantic’ relationships:

Greg Combet (Labor) partnered to Juanita Phillips (ABC).
Gai Brodtmann (Labor) married to Chris Uhlmann (ABC).
David Feeney (Labor) married to Liberty Sanger (guest commentator on ABC).
Barry Cassidy (ABC) former speech writer for Bob Hawke (Labor) from 1986-1991 married to Heather Ewart (ABC).
Maxine McKew (ABC) married to Bob Hogg (former ALP national secretary).
Virginia Trioli (ABC) married to Russell Skelton (The Age).
Mark Kenny (Fairfax) married to Virginia Haussegger (ABC).
Christine Wallace (ABC & Fairfax) married to Michael Costello (former Chief of Staff to Labor’s Kim Beazley).
Annabel Crabb (former Fairfax journalist now with the ABC).
Tony Jones (ABC) married to Sarah Ferguson (ABC). Coincidentally Jones took over the Lateline role from Maxine McKew (from ABC presenter to Labor politician).
David Penberthy (journalist) married to Kate Ellis (Labor).
Paul Kelly (former Fairfax journalist) formerly married to Ros Kelly (Labor).
Kerry O’Brien (ABC) former press secretary to Gough Whitlam.
Mark Colvin (ABC) married to Michelle McKenzie (Leichhardt deputy-mayor and Greens Councillor).
Denis Atkins (ABC Insiders regular) married to Melanie Christensen (ABC Canberra).
Paul Barry (ABC) married to Lisa McGregor (ABC).
The lamentable Mike Carlton (formerly Fairfax) and Morag Ramsay (ABC).
Andrew Fraser (Fairfax) and Catriona Jackson (formerly Fairfax and Labor press secretary).

Gerard Wilson

Crooks and corruption

Larry Pickering is evidently not afraid of being sued. His piece on Slater & Gordon makes interesting reading:

… crooks need the best crooked lawyers

Labor and corrupt unions’ favourite corrupt law firm, Slater & Gordon, is under an ongoing ASIC investigation concerning a, a’hem, “book-keeping error” totalling $90 million. Read on here.