Tuesday 16th of July 2024

libertatem dinosaurus pristinus....

Controversial American talking head Tucker Carlson is heading to Australia after a surprise invite from a high-profile local figure.

Tucker Carlson, a former Fox News host turned divisive freelance journalist, will headline a series of ‘freedom conferences’, Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer has announced.

Carlson will appear at events in Cairns, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne between June and July this year. 

Tickets are already on sale and start at $203.

In a statement issued by Palmer’s United Australia Party on Monday, the businessman said the tour is aimed at “waking up Australia and encouraging people to join the fight to protect the future for themselves and their families”.

“Through his Tucker Carlson Network and other hosting roles with some of the world’s largest news outlets, Tucker has long advocated that news coverage in the west can be wrongly used as a tool of repression and control,” Mr Palmer said.

“He believes democracy cannot function properly in a society such as this and the only solution to ending the propaganda spiral was by telling the truth about things that matter without fear.

“I’m a proud that Australia will have the opportunity to hear from Tucker and our other esteemed guest speakers first hand through this upcoming national tour.”

Now broadcasting via Elon Musk’s social media platform X, Carlson runs his own media outlet called The Tucker Carlson Network, with videos that frequently clock up hundreds of millions of views.

He has previously commented on local politics, including criticism of Australia’s gun laws and Covid response.

Earlier this year, the journalist became the first from the West to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin since the invasion of Ukraine.

Of his upcoming Australian visit, Carlson said: “I’ve admired Australia all my life and watched carefully from across the world as its government became authoritarian during the Covid insanity.

“I could hardly believe it. I still can’t. I know many Australians feel the same way, and I’m excited to meet them.”

In 2023, Palmer launched a $300 bllion lawsuit against Australia, alleging that the Commonwealth is responsible for a Western Australian law that prevented him from seeking damages for a rejected mining project.

Carlson abruptly left Fox News in 2023 when the broadcaster and its star host “agreed to part ways.”

The departure came less than a week after Fox News agreed to pay $787.5 million to Dominion Voting Systems in order to settle a defamation lawsuit over false election claims.





a liberal dino....


Among opposition leaders, Peter Dutton is a miracle survival story. But is he about to nuke himself with women voters?


By Annabel Crabb


Peter Dutton is a freak of nature. Politically, that is.

Think about it: this is a man who has just completed his second year as Liberal leader, after a shocking election loss in which the House of Menzies was burgled for its richest electoral jewels.

Under normal circumstances, a new Liberal leader by this stage of the cycle is in Dante's ninth circle of hell, pleading for mercy while factional enemies armed with petrol-soaked rags on sticks conduct live press conferences chanting his personal failings.

Two years in, Dutton is not only still in office, but nobody inside his own party — or even in the National Party — is trying to blow him out of it. It is a truly extraordinary achievement.

His public popularity remains firmly in negative territory, according to Newspoll. So why isn't this translating into the customary seasonal orgy of backstabbing?

Two reasons.

The first is that there really isn't, ahem, any alternative.

The 2022 election's principal damage to the Liberal Party was the wiping-out of its leadership hatcheries. Wentworth, Kooyong, Warringah and Higgins, "safe" Liberal seats which over the years have incubated the Turnbulls and the Menzies and the Abbotts and the Hewsons and the Costellos and so forth, are now flushed of Liberal fingerlings and occupied by female independents who don't – in the main – harbour ambitions to be PM. Leader-in-waiting Josh Frydenberg is gone.

The closest thing to a challenge Dutton has now is from shadow treasurer Angus Taylor, and even he's not up to anything, and that's mainly for the second reason.

Which is: Peter Dutton is broadly thought inside his party to be doing a good job. Not because everyone in the party shares all of his views. It's more because he tends to listen to colleagues, doesn't get angry or paranoid, or bolt out on TV when silence is a more prudent option.

"I've never seen him lose his shit," says one colleague.

The times have suited Peter Dutton of late. He's been able to campaign on some of his favourite patches – crime and immigration – and has even been able to knock them together thanks to the High Court-sanctioned release of detained immigrants who have gone on to commit crimes.

Last year, Dutton resisted internal pressure to make an early call opposing the Voice to Parliament like the National Party did. His decision to remain uncommitted for months, then send send Jacinta Nampijinpa Price out to take the lead in opposition to the referendum, is now cited with admiration by colleagues.

Being thought a tactical genius by colleagues is a nice feeling. As is being broadly electorally competitive just two years after a terrible defeat.

All of the above makes Dutton much a much more dangerous opponent for Anthony Albanese than is commonly assumed.

But there is one risk associated with this unseasonably warm bath of internal approbation. The risk is that you start drinking your own bathwater. And in one area, one wonders whether Dutton isn't taking a discreet sip.

Of the policies the opposition leader has announced so far, most are designed to respond to already-existing anxieties within the population. Cutting the immigration rate, for instance, while explicitly linking high immigration to housing shortages.

But his decision to pursue nuclear energy as a principal policy decision is a much more high-risk call, as a new piece of research — supplied to the ABC — makes clear.








cultural war....


The IPA, Tucker Carlson and Murdoch media plot to keep coal and gas burning

    by Michael West


Spearheaded by the IPA, Murdoch media and Trump cheerleader Tucker Carlson the far-right is keeping the culture wars over fossil fuels and energy raging. Michael West reports on the latest tactics.

Emboldened by a report from pro-coal right-wing think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, the Murdoch media is now claiming bizarrely that renewable energy “is likely to be 5 or 6 times as expensive as what we had (coal).

This, hard on the heels of Energy Minister Chris Bowen’s first 6GW tender which was 7 times oversubscribed with 40GW of investor proposals. This after a decade of irrefutable evidence that the cost of building new solar and wind energy is cheaper than the cost of building new coal capacity.

In fact, the plunge in the price of building new renewable energy, which became cheaper than new coal almost 10 years ago, has surprised even RE’s most ardent advocates. The IPA, which somehow enjoys charity status, claims that it advocates for capitalism and free markets.

Yet, while the Labor Party and Chris Bowen are busy ‘crowding in’ enthusiastic private investors into their renewable energy tenders, the IPA is spruiking nuclear power, and that the taxpayers pick up the bill via its recent reportThere is a Respectable Economic Argument for Nationalised Nuclear.

Inflation, what’s that?

The IPA analysis on energy also fails to grasp that the reason electricity prices are so high is inflation and the failure of successive governments to bring in a Domestic Gas Reservation Policy. 

The Institute of Public Affairs clap-trap from Stephen Wilson about the coincidence of higher

share in the NEM and higher electricity prices when we all know it is due to hyperinflation of fossil fuel prices,” says independent energy analyst Tim Buckley of Climate Energy Finance.

“It is critical that Australians realise the number one reason for the hyperinflation of domestic energy prices is the hyperinflation of fossil fuel commodity prices. Methane gas prices in Australia (& LNG prices globally) rose 1,000% in 2022. 

Asian traded thermal prices, and the coal price Origin Energy pays to keep the largest taxpayer subsidised coal-fired power plant in Australia open at Eraring, saw their commodity prices rise 1,000% in 2023. Oil prices trebled in 2022.”

“This wasn’t due to a massive change in energy demand, it was the global geopolitical implications of sanctions against Russia due to their invasion of Ukraine, the number 2 fossil fuel exporter globally. Fossil fuel reliance massively undermined EU energy security.”

These basic facts appear to have eluded the IPA and the News Corp media. At stake is the energy transition, the global shift from fossil fuels to renewables; a shift made even more urgent in light of the record temperatures and the threat to climate. 

Australia though, thanks to its media, remains mired in cultural war over climate change and energy which has undermined the transition to cheaper and cleaner energy for more than a decade.