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How the Left invaded and trashed a different legislature

The Capitol invasion was foreshadowed in 1996 by an invasion and riot at The Australian federal parliament in 1996. Media handling of each – very similar – event is enlightening.

What a mystery! Pundit Laura Tingle on the government-financed Australian Broadcasting Commission TV’s 7.30 program last night (January 11) showed 13 seconds of clippage from 1996 of a crowd surging towards Parliament House in Canberra. We got glimpses of blokes pushing and shoving at the doors and at police lines, and then half a dozen police and blokes wrestling inside the foyer. She explained, after bagging President Trump for allegedly inciting the Capitol Hill riots,[1] “It is not as if Australia has not witnessed its own physical attacks on its Parliament.” Cut to 1996 Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) secretary Bill Kelty saying, “If they [LNCP conservative coalition] want to fight, if they want a war, we will have a full set.”

Tingle says that Kelty “rightly” feared a new Howard government would represent “an assault on union power”. The union anti-Howard campaign led to a rally at Parliament House “that turned ugly”. After our 13-second glimpse of the ugliness, Tingle lined up Howard plus Opposition Leader Kim Beazley later condemning the violence – although Beazley in fact had revved up the crowd at the time. With concerned frowns to suggest ABC gravitas, Tingle wrapped up her historical excursion thus: “But there is a difference between an assault from outside the system [What? The ACTU and the federal Opposition are outside the Australian system?] and one encouraged by the man [Trump] at its very heart.”

Tingle next incited the cancelling of inconvenient MHRs George Christensen (Nats) and Craig Kelly (Lib). This renewed campaign by the taxpayer-funded broadcaster is not actually my topic here but the 7.30 attack is so viciously deceptive and authoritarian that I feel obliged to set it out for you. Then I’ll get back to those mysterious 1996 clips about unionists invading our own Parliament.

Tingle starts with some journo asking PM Morrison , “Will you condemn conspiracy theories being promoted by members of your own government?” When Morrison defends free speech, Tingle pivots to what she calls “concerns” (whose concerns, exactly) about Craig Kelly and George Christensen’s “social media activities” which have been “peddling everything from misinformation about results of the US elections to dubious claims about COVID-19.” She finds it anomalous for the government to defend the pair’s free speech, when at the same time the government “is pushing for action against social media abuse as well as its earlier push against terrorist-related hate speech.” She then shows Treasurer Josh Frydenberg condemning “publishing of that sort of terrible content” – i.e. China faking pics of our troops cutting a kid’s throat. Nice comparisons, Tingle! Let’s censor and cancel Christensen and Kelly straight away!

The nominal ethics of 7.30  require, or so one would like to believe, that evidence be shown to viewers about how despicable the pair’s media posts have been. Tingle flashes up on the screen, for all of five seconds (at 13.55mins), four supposedly incriminating posts by the pair. No viewer has time to read them, and that’s the point. One Christensen post in fact refers to a real-time video showing an apparent Antifa provocateur breaking Capitol Hill windows and Trump supporters throwing him to the ground. See it for yourself here. Pity the ABC doesn’t show such clips. Christensen’s other post makes the valid point that Biden’s vote patterns defy normal statistical patterns and laws. As for Kelly, he writes in one post that invading the Capitol is “completely unacceptable and they should all be arrested.” So what’s Tingle’s problem? Kelly then asks, “Is this [Capitol fracas] a greater threat to democracy “than a social media giant censoring and shutting down the account of a democratically elected President?” Fair point. His other post quotes a peer-reviewed and randomised trial study about Betadine and COVID-19, and he puts in capitals, “BUT ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR.”

Any 7.30 viewer with knowledge of history will spot the resemblance of this taxpayer-funded authoritarian deceit with its equivalent from Soviet era broadcasting from Moscow or the TV diet fed to East Germans by Walter Ulbrecht and Erich Honecker.

NOW back to 1996. They say history doesn’t necessarily repeat, but it does rhyme. And what a close rhyme there is between that mob invading Parliament House, Canberra on August 19, 1996, and the mob of mainly Trump supporters that broke into the Capitol last week.

Both incursions were indefensible: violent behaviour is bad, and worse when directed at any nation’s legislative chamber. Of the thousands of Australian “progressives” who stormed and looted our Parliament on that August 19, 1996, fewer than dozen were charged. I’m hanged if I can find out if any were convicted or fined, let alone jailed. On the other hand, I hope, like Craig Kelly, that all American demonstrators who committed offences in or around the Capitol get their legal desserts, and especially the Antifa thugs who ran false-flag operations there.

The Australian rioters and looters at Parliament were part of a national “cavalcade” to Canberra of some 25,000 unionists and supporters organised by the Australian Council of Trade Unions and backed by the Opposition, students peeved about their shrinking government stipends[2], Aboriginals by the hundreds peeved about reductions to their ATSIC money,[3] rent-a-ferals and drunken agitators.

Nurses, firefighters, and public servants earlier in the day were chanting, ‘What do we want, [Prime Minister] Howard’s head. How we gonna get it? Tear it off!’

Don’t imagine the rioting was just the scuffles shown by Laura Tingle. Weapons used by the rioters included rocks, sticks, cans, paint bombs, a sledge hammer, a wheel brace used to smash glass partitions, a steel shop-trolley, diluted acid, and most fearsome of all, Paul Kelly’s 794-page tome The End of Certainty, stolen from the gift shop and lobbed at the police lines like a mortar round. One rioter tried to trigger the fire sprinkler system with a lighter. Ninety police and Parliamentary security people were injured — lacerations, sprains, and head and eye injuries. At least a couple were hospitalised. Academic thesis-writer Luke Deer commented, “This was inevitable as two tightly packed groups of several hundred rammed against each other for nearly two hours.”[4]

The then-deputy opposition leader Gareth Evans afterwards described the protesters as “crazy, self-indulgent bastards” adding that “what happened yesterday was ugly, un-Australian, stupid and indefensible.”

Nurses treated about 40 of the injured, amid blood spatterings on the marble floor and walls, maybe rhyming with the famous first-aid scene in Gone With the Wind. The nurses were aided in their ministrations by Trish Worth (Liberal MHR, Adelaide) and a woman, probably with a nursing background, who had been showing off the Great Hall to her doubtless-bemused American guests.

The rioting was to the distant accompaniment of Solidarity Forever and the Internationale, sung by the ACTU choir at the official demo a little down the road.

Constable Rachel Benthein said the protesters she faced had violent motives: “Most of those involved in the assault weren’t there to demonstrate against John Howard — they were there to cause destruction and, on the second day, to have a conflict with police.” Constable Corey Heldon was part of the police group swept away by the initial charge toward Parliament House: “We ended up against the wrong side of the front doors. The mood was very aggressive, very angry. I’ve never seen anything like it … They tried to pull me into the crowd but I was pulled back by fellow officers, otherwise I might have been swallowed up by the crowd.”

A female officer was allegedly abused and kicked on the ground. Another female officer collapsed as she was crushed between the wall of protesters and police. A security officer also said that at least two female protesters collapsed in the crush. One was passed over the police lines, the other over the protesters.

ACTU Secretary Bill Kelty said the Cavalcade was ‘the most successful rally in the history of this country in Canberra’. According to Deer in his thesis, Kelty did not have a detailed knowledge of the events when he made his comments.

The battle was a day before the Howard government brought down its annual budget in a session targeting industrial relations changes. The union armies’ transport included a Sydney train re-christened the “Spirit of Protest” — a half-witty play on the venerable Spirit of Progress — and 47 buses just for NSW members of the AMWU.

The rioters, including a high proportion of women,[5] were led by full-time paid union organisers, as named and depicted later in the Sydney Morning Herald’s front page. As if that heinous assault on our most sacred democratic institution the Parliament were not enough, Aboriginal activists rioted further the following day at Old Parliament House. If you were an adult in 1996, but can’t recall those twin riots, I’m not surprised because bad behaviour by leftists and protected classes goes straight down the media’s memory hole. The 7.30 report last night was an exception, driven, I’d say, by the need for some action footage.

On that evening in 1996, ABC TV news held its nose as it pretended to report the vandalism and violence by its political mates. Of that 4.40 minutes coverage, their ABC tribe was  more preoccupied with disputing the newly-elected Howard’s policies, and petitions against the policies, than describing the trashing of our billion-dollar democratic edifice and injuring of 90 police and guards. As the ABC’s then news pundit Jim Middleton put it mildly, “It was the demonstration that got away … the Opposition’s concern is that today’s wild scenes have played into the government’s hands, diminishing broader public concern about tomorrow’s axe-wielding budget.” ACTU President Jennie George was quoted, “I regret anything that has occurred but I certainly don’t bear the responsibility for it. Thank you.” Contrast that with the ABC TV’s rabid reporting last week of the Capitol violence, preceded by an ABC placard, “Day of Shame.”

After the local riot, Senate President Margaret Reid told the House on August 20 1996 that the “disgraceful and totally unjustifiable” ugly and violent display was “one of the most shameful in this nation’s political history.” A peaceful demonstration around Parliament against industrial relations changes had been authorised, with the ACTU taking responsibility for its orderliness.

The protest rally remained peaceful until about 12.20 p.m., when a separate group of marchers entered the parliamentary precincts. This group refused to accept police direction, forced a breach in police lines and ran towards the main front entrance of Parliament House. Unfortunately, it was apparent that some of these demonstrators were affected by alcohol. This group was supported by participants from the more general demonstration who were incited to join those involved in riotous conduct by a speaker from the official platform. 

Police formed a protective line along the perimeter of the Great Verandah which was subsequently forced back to the main doors. The police line was withdrawn from this area due to the level of violence being experienced by officers, and was redeployed to an area inside the front doors in support of parliamentary security personnel. This deployment stabilised the situation for a short period. 

However, demonstrators using increasing force broke through the first line of doors. Once inside this area, demonstrators used weapons, including a large hammer, a wheel brace, a steel trolley and a stanchion torn from the external doors to break open the internal doors. Simultaneously, a second group of demonstrators used other weapons to break into the Parliament House shop, but were held at the internal doors. 

The shop was ransacked by demonstrators and major damage was caused by persons who subsequently occupied the area. After some two hours, the demonstrators were finally repelled from Parliament House and driven back onto the forecourt area and, shortly afterwards, they dispersed. In addition to the events which took place at the front entrance to the building, incidents also occurred on the Members Terrace, the roof of the Great Verandah and the Queens Terrace. 

There were 197 Australian Federal Police on duty at the start of the demonstration, in addition to the Australian Protective Service officers and parliamentary security personnel. A further 60 Australian Federal Police reinforcements were called out under established contingency plans. 

The outrageous events which took place yesterday resulted in not only financial but, more importantly and lamentably, human costs. So far about 90 personnel have reported injuries—including lacerations, sprains, and head and eye injuries. I understand one person required hospitalisation. 

An initial indicative estimate of the damage to the forecourt and the foyer is up to $75,000. The full extent of looting and criminal damage which resulted from the occupation of the Parliament House shop has yet to be determined. 

Finally, I want to apologise most sincerely to the Australian people and those from overseas who were visiting Parliament House and were unfortunately involved, inconvenienced, frightened or shocked in any way by this deplorable incident. To them I say: what you witnessed here yesterday is not typical of Australia or Australians. And I believe I speak for all my colleagues when I say: we hope and pray it never will be. 

Local Trots and ferals were unimpressed by such sentiments. One wrote in a feature in Marxist Left Review: “As long as capitalism exists, the exploited and the oppressed will fight back in one way or another. Riots will not go away. They are an elemental form of revolt that needs to be supported by all those who hate the current rotten system.”

When Jennie George of the ACTU was asked by Nine’s Sunday TV show about allegations that union organisers, “paid by the union movement”, participated in the riot, she claimed they ‘were on their own’. Deer concludes, “The effect of news footage and reports of Jennie George’s concerns about the riot reinforced the view that the Government was correct in its condemnation of the ACTU and the labour movement generally.” But his own view is, “The ACTU chose to condemn the rioters, rather than the Government for creating the situation.” Two years later, Ms George was gonged as one of Australia’s “100 living treasures”.[6] She was parachuted into a safe seat (Throsby NSW) in 2001 and got her AO in 2013.

Deer in his 1998 Honors thesis called the riots “the most forceful physical attack on the Federal Parliament in Australian history.” He was then at the ANU Political Science Department. Despite some of his Marxist-theory pontificating, one can get from him many gems of fact about the affray.[7] Deer makes the fine distinction that the attack was not against the country’s key democratic institution, the Parliament; but just against the building which housed the Government (President Trump ought to adopt this line). He relates how the first column on the Commonwealth Avenue ramp was led by a “prominent Aboriginal land campaigner” and his contingent, followed by the CFMEU and students.[8]  

Against the authorised plan, they moved in towards the Parliament against riot police opposition. “At that point ACT CPSU Secretary, Catherine Garvan [Community and Public Sector Union], called out on the public address system on the main stage that the police were trying to block the Aboriginal protesters from reaching the main demonstration and started a chant to ‘Let them through’. Protesters from the main rally began to stream towards the point of conflict.”

The police had left the Parliament forecourt vulnerable and backed off to protect the entrance. Think Isandlwana and the Zulu hordes, as the police retreated further to the redoubt behind the main doors. Deer writes:

[My editor needs clicks to keep his job so click and read more of this scintillating piece here

50 thoughts on “How the Left invaded and trashed a different legislature

  1. What is Cliscep? A platform for an Australian journalist arguing about the “Left”. What has this got to do with the sloppy science of climate alarmists?

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  2. Tony, would be grateful for any EVIDENCE you have that Antifa protesters invaded the Capital Building and did all the damage, or is it based on the claims by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla), which is hardly an unbiased source?. Of all those charged to date not one denies it nor supporting the President. Are the FBI and police forces that are involved in rooting out the perpetrators hiding the Antifa? Gosh, first it was all the Courts supporting Biden supporters and a rigged election, now it’s the police.

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  3. Stephen Mcintyre has been posting interesting tweets on the Capitol riot, making comparisons with the ones commented on rather more favourably in the Western press in Ukraine in 2014.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, I’ve read this RUMOUR before. But the so-called Antifa guy hasn’t, AFAIK been identified, or even had his Antifa status confirmed. I asked for EVIDENCE, not rationalisations explaining how good, red-blooded patriots couldn’t possibly be responsible for any damage.

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  5. John Sullivan, videographer and founder of “a group for racial justice and police reform,” posted a video on YouTube on Jan. 7 that shows him entering the Capitol building in Washington with a group of Trump supporters.
    https://yournews.com/2021/01/09/1986899/left-wing-activist-encouraged-intruders-inside-capitol-urged-police-to-leave/
    Politifact rates the claim Sullivan was antifa-affiliated and inciting the riot as “mostly false”.
    https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2021/jan/09/facebook-posts/facebook-posts-wrongly-claim-left-wing-activist-an/
    Careful reading of Politifact’s material suggests to me that Sullivan is indeed a very shady character and a central figure in the riot and the opposite of a Trump fan. Other readers may differ.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So Tony, your statement implying that you hope that “American demonstrators who committed offences in or around the Capitol get their legal desserts, and especially the Antifa thugs who ran false-flag operations there” is not based on any evidence whatsoever. Just one identified person that in some one’s writings in your opinion might be “dodgy”. Reference to Jo Nova must be a joke, surely.

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  7. PM610310:

    What is Cliscep? A platform for an Australian journalist arguing about the “Left”. What has this got to do with the sloppy science of climate alarmists?

    The first three words constitute a fair question. Tony’s provided a number of well-written pieces on a variety of topics, which have been appreciated by many. He’s definitely a climate sceptic. In this case Alan Kendall hasn’t been impressed by what he’s written. Can’t say more than that really. But right from the start we’ve been concerned with more than “the sloppy science of climate alarmists,” including the sloppy engineering, economics, politics, propaganda and social science downstream of, or supporting, what is called, for simplicity, climate alarmism.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Whether or not it was Antifa or Trump supporters who invaded the Capitol building is one issue. Another, more important, is whether Trump incited an ‘insurrection’ with his speech at the Capitol. I don’t think his speech can be interpreted as ‘incitement’ and I certainly do not think that the ‘invasion’ of the building constituted an insurrection. I have also seen videos of police allowing ‘protestors’ access through barriers and of the guards at the Capitol entrance just waiving people through, which doesn’t exactly fit with the concept of a violent forced entry.

    But anyway, apparently Gab completely backed up Trump’s Twitter account before they banned him and have now resurrected the President on Gab. That’s some top trolling of the Big tech opponents of free speech I feel!

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  9. Judith Curry being pretty balanced on the incitement to violence issue:

    Many have argued that while Trump’s statements were reckless and wrong, his speech does not meet the definition of incitement under the U.S. criminal code and his statements would be considered protected speech by the Supreme Court. Here is the concern. My take on the incitement to violence can be illustrated by analogy with falsely crying ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater (the canonical example of speech that isn’t protected). Person X spends two months effectively talking about a theater that wasn’t safe, and could burn to the ground for a concert on a specific date that featured a rival. He then effectively tried to coerce the theater owner (analogy to Pence) into cancelling the concert. When this didn’t work, X organizes a rally to protest the concert, with an implicit wink and nod that fire would be ok. Further, X arranged for the expected theater security not to be present. Fire ensues. IMO, while not as explicit, this is in many ways equivalent to someone spontaneously crying “Fire.” But here is the problem with what Twitter did. They suspended Trump’s account permanently, “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” What role should the ‘precautionary principle’ play in terms of freedom of speech (in this instance, beyond Biden’s inauguration)? And why are the Antifa and BLM related twitter accounts allowed, which are more explicit about violence? So is this really about politics, and not ‘violence’?

    Her whole piece is worth a look, especially on the power of Big Tech. And Al Jazeera has published the full transcript of Trump’s speech just before the loony coup did its thing.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Gab is so slow at the moment I can’t get anywhere with it really. No doubt through squillions more joining up lately. What are you an Gab, Jaime?

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  11. They’ve now impeached Trump for a second time, this time for inciting a violent insurrection. It’s almost comical. The Left are clinically insane. God help America when they take control of government. How did we let a violent Adult Toddler take control of the most powerful nation on earth?

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  12. The response to the Capitol tragedy, by those who forced the last 4 year’s nightmare, is looking more and more like another attack on a government building, the Reichstag fire of Feb, 1933.
    Goebbels never had this level of coordination of media faux outrage and selective memory in his woldest dreams.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. RICHARD DRAKE

    So this is a forum for climate sceptics, even those that subscribe to irrational nonsense and self serving lies peddled by the soon to be former POTUS. The only reason for Tony’s piece was to contrast the Capitol riot with Australian Unions (supported by the Australian Labor Party) invading and transgressing the Australian Parliament.

    Why? To justify the White supremacist and neo-fascist Trump supporters crimes? What has this got to do with the climate?

    All of the contributors here who subscribe to the Trump cult either lack critical thinking skills or are able to put this on hold while they accept the Trump lies. This was not a competent or effective Presidency, the only good thing has been the clarity it has provided on the flaws of its outdated Constitution.

    There was no steal (See Bill Barr and the many other Republicans who certified the results), there were no antifas in the capitol on Jan 06 (just ask House Minority leader McCarthy), and no ammount of mental gymnastics can find a way to argue that Trump did not play a major role in organizing, promoting and inciting the events.

    So what is this forum about? Identifying and articulating the flaws in the arguments of climate alarmists or defending a corrupt megalomaniac, who has damaged every cause he’s associated with.

    I have a lot of respect for Tony’s writing over the years in Quadrant and elsewhere, being another Aussie and opposed to the socialist left. On this however, the Trump cult is just as bad, if not worse, as the morons who idolise Thunberg, and just as damaging to any attempt at rational discussion.

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  14. Richard, I guess you’re right that a climate blog shouldn’t be diffused with extraneous political stuff that vexes those of opposite political persuasions.
    My motives for putting some of my recent non-climate work here included:
    # Highlighting the untrustworthiness of the media, which now openly abandons impartial treatment
    # Highlighting the hypocrisy of the Left, eg Biden begging for “unity” while Dems impeach Trump
    # Putting in my tuppence-worth to the earth-shattering controversies that have been roiling the US for four years and which have reached white heat in recent months
    # Indirectly, noting that victories of the Democrats in the US are defeats for rationality on climate, eg Biden’s early priority is to re-sign to the Paris treaty and embark on the Green New Deal
    # Fear that free speech is under unprecedented attack, led by the Media/Tech giants.
    These issues all embody but dwarf the climate issues (previously, one would find that unimaginable).
    Anyway, on first principles I’ll stick to climate posts hereafter.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Jaime. Do YOU have EVIDENCE for any involvement of Antifa in the invasion of the Capital Building (names of culprits might help) other than adding unsupported social media claims from deluded souls? I believe many invaders have been charged, some for criminal damage, but not one is Antifa. Many appear proud of their efforts. This accusation of left-wing involvement seems to be a claim that right of centre climate sceptics want, for some unknown reason, to support. Your scepticism that invasion and trashing offices in the Capital Building must have involved left-wing elements seems doomed to failure. Furthermore climate activists can point to it as evidence of bias and a striking ability to accept implausible “truths” (sarc). It seems to be a self inflicted wound.

    BTW who is “we” in your sentence.
    “ How did we let a violent Adult Toddler take control of the most powerful nation on earth?”?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. “How did we let a violent Adult Toddler take control of the most powerful nation on earth?”

    I assumed that was a reference to Trump. Was it not?

    On the impeachment proceedings, though, I’m with Simon Jenkins in the Guardian:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/11/democrats-impeach-donald-trump-exile-base

    “The wiser move would be to let Trump drift into exile, not stoke the sense of grievance among his base”

    With just days of the Trump Presidency left, and no prospect of him being successfully impeached, there is no point to this procedure, other than to score political points. As Tony says, this is hardly in line with Joe Biden’s declared aim of uniting the USA. I think what the Democrats mean is that they want to unite their supporters and the media, which isn’t exactly the same thing.

    Earlier in the Presidency, impeachment might have made sense. Now? None at all. What’s the point?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Mark. I have read and heard that a second impeachment (or is it a successful impeachment?) would disbar Trump from running for office again. A disbarment would mean that the GOP would have to reform, bringing back into their fold the huge Pro-Trump base.
    Whatever the outcome, we can kiss goodbye to any future resistance to climate change legislation, not only because the majority of Democrats are for this, but because Republicans will be fractured and scrapping for position. As far as I can judge, Trump was never really a climate sceptic, his avowed aim was to put America first and thus not entangle it in international treaties that would put America in a competitive disadvantage or which might diminish advantages it has. That’s why he pulled the USA out of the Paris Agreement. His promise to put in place an investigation into climate science predictions (the Red Team-Blue Team approach) was never really serious.

    BTW Adult Toddlers are identified as socialists, so it can hardly apply to Trump.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. PM610310:

    So what is this forum about? Identifying and articulating the flaws in the arguments of climate alarmists or defending a corrupt megalomaniac, who has damaged every cause he’s associated with.

    It’s the former. But we haven’t proscribed subject limits for individual contributors and I’m against doing so. Meaning I don’t think there are any easy answers.

    I have a lot of respect for Tony’s writing over the years in Quadrant and elsewhere, being another Aussie and opposed to the socialist left. On this however, the Trump cult is just as bad, if not worse, as the morons who idolise Thunberg, and just as damaging to any attempt at rational discussion.

    I too have a lot of respect for Tony’s writings. Thanks for saying that.

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  19. Tony: That’s a very good comment – cogent and helpful – but you have my own opinion wrong.

    Richard, I guess you’re right that a climate blog shouldn’t be diffused with extraneous political stuff that vexes those of opposite political persuasions.

    Four days ago Geoff wrote this:

    For years I considered climate hysteria to be an eccentricity that had somehow infected the left. But it’s turned out to be merely a symptom of something much weirder. To be “on the left” nowadays means to be afraid – of Trump, of Putin, of the weather, of a virus. Afraid, and nasty with it. My musings are an attempt to understand that.

    I happened to return to reading Cliscep pretty much at that moment. (I’d been dealing with some nasty disruption to my life caused by Covid and the UK government response and in all honesty I didn’t find this place conducive to the equanimity I was looking for!) I liked what Geoff had written very much and said this in response:

    I feel we have to interpret our remit as being permitted – maybe compelled – to discuss such matters. My brief comments in ‘Despair’ were about the inevitability of losing commenters and lurkers when we depart from climate and energy. (And see how energy isn’t in our name but surely has to be seen as central – perhaps even more central than climate?) Anyhow, that pessimism didn’t mean I felt we could easily narrow our field of vision. It just meant that realism and pessimism are sometimes inescapable bedfellows.

    One person liked that comment but as it was Geoff I was happy. My opinion isn’t the only one that counts, of course, nor is that of Monsieur Chambers. The constitutional arrangements for Cliscep may also need some attention in 2021, like the rules for US elections.

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  20. Reading out of country comments on Trump and his supporters is a revelation of just how well President Trump was objectified by the coup/resistance.

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  21. pm,
    You have no idea what you are talking about.
    You should stop sounding like an empty can with a bean inside.

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  22. This debate about whether climate hysteria is left or right wing seems to miss the point: it is rapidly becoming pervasive in places that have generally been apolitical, such as the world of finance and investment. The Financial Times, for example, used to be a business journal. It is now more like a lifestyle magazine without the glossy pictures and is just as bad as the Guardian at covering the climate disaster. As is its stablemate, Investors’ Chronicle. The latest issue shows how the fund management industry is starting to wage war on businesses. I will give some examples to show how pervasive and threatening the rhetoric is becoming. If you have investments in pension funds or any savings, these thugs are coming after you.

    “Every government, company and shareholder must confront climate change,” said the head of BlackRock, Larry Fink, in his annual letter to chief executives last year.” Fink by name, imbecile by nature.

    “Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) is currently facing a landmark legal case in The Hague through which activists are seeking to force it to cut its carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 versus 2019 levels”. Do these activists use toothbrushes, anything plastic, synthetic materials?

    “It’s not just energy companies but those who finance them as well. HSBC (HSBA) is currently Europe’s second-largest fossil fuel financier, and while it has pledged to reduce financed emissions from its customers to net zero by 2050, some shareholders are unimpressed by the lack of detail. Ahead of its annual general meeting, 15 institutional investors have filed a climate resolution calling on the bank to publish a concrete plan for reducing its exposure to fossil fuel assets.” Perhaps they should levy higher charges on these dolts.

    ” “The lack of information leaves companies and investors vulnerable to major losses,” says businessman Mike Bloomberg, who chairs the global Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). “Financial markets are still operating largely in the dark when it comes to climate change, which is one of the biggest risks facing the global economy”.” Note the name. Is there a correlation between massive wealth and massive stupidity?

    Because of the maniacs in power in the UK,” Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced last year that by 2025, publicly-listed UK companies will have to disclose their climate change risks in line with guidance from the TCFD.” If it is any better than think of a number and square it, I will be surprised.

    Obviously, hypocrisy is rife: “But calling on companies to report their risks is very different from demanding they take action. This area is rife with hypocrisy and BlackRock is one of the top offenders. For all Mr Fink’s rhetoric, the asset manager voted against the majority of climate-related shareholder proposals filed with S&P 500 companies last year and, in addition, a recent report from Reclaim Finance and Urgewald suggests that a year after pledging to exit investments in thermal coal, it still has $85bn-worth of assets invested in coal companies such as Glencore (GLEN).”

    Even worse are the wanna-be Extinction Rebellion clones: ” Still, all hope is not lost. The Investor Forum – which represents shareholders with £695bn invested in UK equities – has thrown its weight behind the ‘say on climate’ initiative that is being spearheaded by billionaire hedge fund manager Sir Chris Hohn”.

    Note that weaselly introductory sentence. What rational person hopes that companies will do this stuff? What really disturbs me is that “climate action” is morphing insidiously into action against pollution and vice versa. There might be an interrelation but it never seems to be spelled out. I wonder how the venn diagram for the set of climate actions and the set of pollution actions would actually look. Maybe we should speculate on this while the world’s largest companies are destroyed by the ninnies of the investing and financial worlds

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  23. “It is now more like a lifestyle magazine without the glossy pictures and is just as bad as the Guardian at covering the climate disaster.”

    Moral tyrants are like the stereotypical evangelical Christian. They are so desperate to save you from yourself, they are compelled to use every opportunity available to do so. That means inserting their politics into every available niche.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. DaveJR: CS Lewis has never been called a stereotypical evangelical Christian but I think he nailed a difference between a truly Christian view of the individuals we run into and persuaders of the climate kind:

    There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit.

    The Planet is also mortal after all. And, in practice, do you feel valued by the climate persuaders or the climate censors? (You may not have felt valued by a Christian either. But I repeat that I think Lewis got it right. There’s a html version of The Weight of Glory here.)

    Like

  25. HUNTERSON

    If you think I am bean in a can, out of country, or don’t know what I am talking about, you’re entitled to your opinion. In any event, I joined this forum because of like minded souls amazed at the stupidity of the climate cult. Not that climate change is that big of a problem, which I have proven so many times at “The Conversation” that no body tries to argue with me any more.
    https://theconversation.com/climate-change-is-resulting-in-profound-immediate-and-worsening-health-impacts-over-120-researchers-say-151027#comment_2403041

    So its nice to have some body to argue with, and even if I agree with you about the Climate cult, I think its fine to push back against false, illogical and irrational points of view, even if I know it probably won’t change your mind.

    Much more important are corrupt politicians, hypocrisy, incompetent and inefficient governments etc. I guess you are from the US, where I’ve lived and worked and paid taxes (probably more than you and your dear leader combined). The so-called greatest country in the world, except for almost everywhere else that speaks English plus another dozen or so places. I’ve been here for over 2 years, and it makes Australia look like a well oiled machine. So you just keep spinning around in your make believe world where up is down and white is black and I’ll get on with making America above average again.

    Like

  26. There have been many invasions of democratic parliaments. In Hong Kong they trashed their parliament, wrote “Mandarin Pigs” on the wall and waved the British colonial flag, and the Western press called them “pro-democracy demonstrators.” Last year in the mother of parliaments Extinction Rebellion mooned at MPs from the public gallery – which is surely more disrespectful to our sovereign rulers than putting your feet up on the Speaker’s desk. Congresswoman Ocasio Cortez said that during the Washington invasion she thought she was gong to die. Imagine the poor thing’s psychological state if she’d been faced with Roger Hallam’s bare bottom.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Wow, look, an actual conspiracy, not just a theory!

    Any word from the Trump haters here?

    “Since the weekend, major bombshell revelations already have substantially revised the initial story of a spontaneous mob overrunning an unsuspecting Capitol police force.

    The FBI admitted Tuesday it received information ahead of the Jan. 6 tragedy suggesting some participants were planning a “war” on the Capitol, including killing officers and distributing maps of the complex. It alerted Washington D.C. law enforcement through the joint terrorism task force alert system. It also “disrupted” the travel plans of some of the suspected trouble-makers.

    “We developed some intelligence that a number of individuals were planning to travel to the D.C. area with intentions to cause violence,” Assistant Director Steven M. D’Antuono said. “We immediately shared that information, and action was taken.”

    The New York Police Department is reported to have given the Capitol Police similar intelligence warnings of impending violence.

    The chief federal prosecutor in Washington declared Tuesday he is pursuing conspiracy charges, signaling the attacks on the Capitol involved multiple acts and multiple conspirators working in concert with each other. The prosecutor talked about the planting of carefully constructed IEDs as one such act. In other words, there was pre-planning for some elements of last Wednesday’s chaos.

    And the official timeline of events constructed by the New York Times through videos shows protesters began breaching the perimeter of the Capitol a full 20 minutes before Trump finished his speech.

    This new evidence raises the first compelling question that remains unanswered. How could Trump incite an attack that had already been pre-planned and was in motion before his speech ended?”

    https://justthenews.com/government/congress/three-critical-questions-about-capitol-siege-remain-unanswered

    Liked by 2 people

  28. For those dismissing the talk questioning the riot narrative:
    https://www.bizpacreview.com/2021/01/15/lets-burn-this-st-down-leftist-activist-charged-in-capitol-riots-release-damning-fbi-affidavit-1016659/?utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_source=Get+Response&utm_term=EMAIL&utm_content=Newsletter&utm_campaign=bizpac

    Once again, President Trump stands falsely accused. the media / democrats / coup show themselves to be the ones lacking judgement, integrity, due process.
    The attack on the Capitol is the American Reichstag.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. As actual evidence emerges, it is clear why the democrats held an impeachment with no hearings, no evidence, no discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. “Go home, you lovely, special people”.
    Oh, the stern and powerful rebuke of POTUS to his followers who were busy invading the Capital Building, and, let us not forget, killing a guard with a fire extinguisher.

    If the invasion was known before Trump’s speech and measures were already in place to prevent certain persons/groups coming to Washington, isn’t it strange that Trump said nothing to urge his supporters not to demonstrate in all of the 70 minutes of his delivery?

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Alan: FYI I’ve liked your and Geoff’s latest comments. My position on the ‘failed coup’ is that we don’t know and it’ll be a long while till any kind of clarity can be achieved. So I’m glad to have two such voices still extant on this thread. And I’m glad that Tony kicked off the discussion. (You don’t have to agree with me on that – or indeed on anything!)

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Richard, I’ve actually changed my mind following your reasoning about the inclusion of non-climate topics. Tony’s recanting of the 1996 ACTU riot at Parliament is well worth considering. It came at a time after the ALP had managed to govern almost competently during the 80s and the Australian Union movement had been trying to rehabilitate itself from decades when many unions clearly met the definition of organized crime and were some of the most dangerous criminal groups in Australia.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. 26,000 troops in DC. Who put them there? Why? We all know that it’s Antifa/BLM who present the real violent threat to democracy. But why would they be rioting at the inauguration of their ‘President’ who stole the election with the help of the left wing media, Big Tech and the corrupt Democrats. I expect them to be celebrating. Mayor of DC didn’t put them there. National Guard don’t self-deploy. So who is responsible for their presence and what are they there to protect against?

    https://uncoverdc.com/2021/01/15/whos-really-putting-all-the-troops-on-the-streets-of-d-c/

    Like

  34. BILL BEDFORD
    That’s a good report from an interesting site which claims to be objective while quoting extremists from both sides. One rule when trying to assess what’s going on in violent events which take on huge significance is to judge it on the first reports, before the interpretation starts. I watched it on CNN, which is as biassed a source as you can find, but they had a hard job turning the live images into the narrative they wanted to tell.

    Commentary has largely mirrored commentary here in France on the first stirrings of the “gilets jaunes.” What was obviously a spontaneous outbreak of fed-upness by “deplorables” got interpreted first as a rightwing movement, on the basis of some anti-immigrant comments overheard at roundabouts where they were camping. Commenters (mainly of the centre left Guardianista kind) went on about a dangerous populist front for the “Front National” for months, despite dozens of interviews with activists called Mohammed, and the fact that one of the main leaders was a black businesswoman.

    The common factor in all this is a general ignorance of history. For this reason alone Tony’s article is well worth its place here. I’m happy to concur with his criticism of the ABC for their hypocrisy in going soft on leftwing rioters, though I imagine I wouldn’t agree with him politically on much else.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. I always feel I’m doing something right when I’m the only person to retweet something, despite the person I’m retweeting having far more Twitter followers than me.

    I thought that was a reasonable and very polite question from David. But silence – both in terms of reply and any other retweets. The UK climate sceptic ‘community’ (of which both David and James are surely part) seems to a large degree, on Twitter at least, to have become the Delingpole cult on Trump, Covid, vaccine and the rest. A reasonable question from someone who would have been considered a stalwart ally even a year ago is completely blanked.

    And 18 hours ago the same thing happened. But this time the man I retweeted was a part of the gender critical crowd – those who question transgenderism. As do I. And Michael did the unspeakable. Not question the sainted James Delingpole but examine himself, having given the finger to a young supporter of Donald Trump. That kind of self-criticism, of course, cannot be allowed the oxygen of publicity.

    I thought both tweets were very good. And I think Twitter is a really bad influence. Tribalism central. Not that we ever have anything like that on Cliscep.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    Liked by 1 person

  37. On the day of the changeover, it’s worth remembering the positives. Rand’s father Ron Paul would surely appreciate both these emphases.

    Like

  38. Jaime: “For all those who wanted Trump out, you’ve got a world dominated by China to look forward to. Enjoy.”

    For all my loathing of Trump, I’ve always given him credit for having the correct instincts about the problematic nature of the rise of China. But after 4 years of Trump Presidency, he hasn’t stopped it, nor (if reports are to be believed) does Biden intend significantly changing the official US approach to China.

    The world dominated by China will be because of what China does, not what the US does or does not do to try to stop it. To suggest that China will now dominate the world because Trump is no longer POTUS (which is the inference I draw from that comment) is something of a non-sequitur, IMO.

    Like

  39. But Mark, Bidet’s first action as Illegitimate President, even on the day of his inauguration, has been to hand back to the Chinese the route to complete economic dominance (which they will ruthlessly exploit to attain political dominance also – they already have, in many countries), by signing back up to the Paris Accord. That’s probably the single most important reason why they are happy that Trump has gone. Trump was determined to ensure a level playing field for US industry to compete fairly with China. He was determined that jobs and manufacturing came back from China to the US. The Democrats will make sure they don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Jaime at 9.48am – on that point you and I are in complete agreement. In re-joining the Paris Agreement, Biden is simply being Xi’s useful idiot, IMO. His virtue-signalling will cost his nation dear, and will do nothing to “deal with” “the climate crisis”.

    Liked by 2 people

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