Sunday, August 20, 2017

Hanson's burqa stunt revealed political establishment's disconnect from voters

Without a doubt Pauline Hanson did us all a great service the other day with her burqa stunt. Yes it was brutal. But it was also brutally effective. By provoking Brandis and other Government Senators into a grotesque orgy of virtue signalling with the muppets in Labor and the Greens it showed just how seriously disconnected the political establishment is from the values of mainstream Australia.

George Brandis sooking up about her disrespect for the misogynistic garment (and thereby Islam itself) was much like Piers Morgan ordering Tommy Robinson to respect the Koran. Just afterwards George and his erstwhile opponents who applauded him probably thought their impassioned display of cultural sensitivity would persuade the plebs to their way of thinking (or rather, feeling).

IMHO it did the complete opposite. Brandis showed that he'd been swallowed by the monster called political correctness. He was now just another one of the Islamists' bitches. (Sure, we already knew that about the Greens and Labor. But for Brandis, who'd previously cast himself as a warrior for Western values and free speech, this was a revelation.)

It was interesting to see the media reaction to Hanson's stunt. Of course you'll always get a contrast between News Ltd and Fairfax. But on Friday it was particularly pronounced.

The Daily Telegraph could see what it was all about. Her "crazy brave" stunt was effective in keeping the nation focused on her agenda.
Alan Jones also nailed the pomposity of Brandis.

The tragic hand-wringers at The Sydney Morning Herald did what they usually do, which was to look down their noses at Hanson and sneer up a storm about bigotry and white men.

They really haven't the slightest clue.

My initial thoughts on the stunt, the day after it occurred:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Martin Place empty again after "tent city" saga

I've found this saga of the Martin Place homeless camp quite fascinating. It has illustrated how so much of what we consider to be objective news is actually highly manipulated, and that activists and politicians will happily exploit the misfortune of others to lift their own profiles and further their own agendas.

That's not exactly a revelation, of course. But when something unfolds in front of your eyes it becomes a whole lot clearer than it was before.

The entire episode was a bit like when the circus comes to town. Obviously, it was not a happy circus! But it was still a clumsy kind of production full of colourful characters, with various sideshows going on.

And if you go to a site that a circus has just vacated, you're left with a jarring sense of desolation. All that colour, movement, and human activity ... gone!

That's what it felt like when I went there last Saturday, the day after the homeless camp had been dismantled. It was pretty much back to what it had been before. But it seemed eerily empty because of all that had transpired there in previous weeks.

Clearly, I wasn't alone in finding this an intriguing phenomenon. Someone who seemed to be a serious photographer was also documenting the site on that day, getting arty with angles for shots.

All that remained of the graffiti that pretty much covered those walls was the odd smudge here and there.

The ephemerality and incoherence of the protest was further highlighted by the presence of a granite based seat nearby.

This is a memorial for commando squadrons and special forces who died in World War Two. It's been there since 1982 and constitutes a far more succinct and enduring statement than any of those made by the activists, politicians and media commentators in relation to "tent city", I've gotta say ...

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Martin Place "tent city" dismantled. Images from the final day

Sure you've all heard that the so-called "tent city" in Sydney's Martin Place has been removed. I don't think I'm alone in saying I'm glad this episode is finally over.

That's not just because of the camp's physical existence, mind. Didn't seem to be any kind of public health threat. And I walked through it many times and was never hassled for money.

That said, I can understand why the NSW State Govt pollies were so infuriated by it. It was like a bloody great middle finger plonked right on their doorstep.

And it was the political exploitation of it that annoyed me most, I've gotta say. Clover Moore, in particular, was pretty dishonest in the way she handled the issue. She could have nipped this problem in the bud but chose not to. She let it fester and milked it for a while. Then when the simplistic narrative she and her fellow travellers were pushing slowly collapsed (in major part due to its "Mayor" Lanz Priestly being revealed as a less than savoury character) she finally acted.

Anyhoo, I managed to lob there a coupla times on Friday and took some photos.

Interesting how even in a makeshift homeless camp, women end up doing the laundry ... Bloody patriarchy is everywhere, innit!

In this world of false narratives and fake news, I thought the placement of this camera was quite apposite.

Speaking of fake news, this "reporter" interviewing the "Mayor" was from their ABC ...

So, while I didn't hear what was said in their little chat, I suspect it was composed of the usual compassionista questions meant to elicit bolshie boilerplate about society's indifference to the downtrodden, etc.

Also, I'm willing to bet there were no hard questions of Lanz about his criminal record. And let's face it, including at least one or two would have been what a real newshound would've done, surely.

Notably, this group seemed to be the only organized political one present, at least when I was there at about midday.

Again, women do the dishes while the men stand around lazily waving flags. Where's the AHRC when you need 'em!

I returned later in the day when the crowds were gone and council workers were doing the final cleanup.

These trucks did have City of Sydney logos, by the way. So why didn't Clover Moore send them in much earlier? Fact that she didn't does not reflect well on her IMHO.

Media still there! Gawd, they're such parasites, aren't they? Just hanging around until the bitter end, milking it for all it's worth. (Though I suppose that includes yours truly, too. Posts like this prolly qualify me as a "citizen journalist" or something ...)

Lanz was still there, holding court with the local constabulary ... If you look closely at that shot you'll see he's actually got a can of Rockstar energy drink in his hand!

That gives me a laugh. He certainly emerged as a compelling, central figure in all of this. And I think it's likely we'll see another similar production with him in a featured role down the track.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Martin Place "Mayor" Lanz Priestley's past punctures PC narrative

So it looks like the homeless camp at Martin Place is finally being dismantled after all. That's a relief. It's also surprising because it looked like it was gonna continue indefinitely. It really was a soap opera ... without the soap.

Obviously things have been happening behind the scenes that have brought this about. I suspect one contributing factor was the recent reporting on the unofficial "Mayor", Lanz Priestly.

Some assiduous journos looked into this guy's past. If that's any guide to a man's character, and it usually is, then he's a long way from the "salt of the earth", "man of the people" that he purports to be.
This is significant. The whole saga was a war of narratives as much as anything else. The story that the activists wanted to promote was that all the tent city's citizens were there by no fault of their own. And goodhearted Lanz managed to bring them all together to create this warm, friendly, fully functioning community in which the members helped each other out.

The graffiti on the walls reinforced this narrative. It's all about love, altruism, generosity and compassion. And it's very easy to accept this if you don't know much about what's really going on.

To be honest, that's what I did at first. I walked through there a couple of time and was actually kinda charmed by the place.

But as the political argy bargy continued over the last several weeks it became clear it was not just a simple tale of the poor have-nots coming together to create a community and demanding that their human rights be respected. It's been engineered and manipulated by certain individuals and groups with their own agendas. And I don't think any of them have been entirely honest!

Clover Moore, for example, said she didn't want to have the plods come in and move the homeless because that would've been cruel. But that's bollocks. She used the situation to embarrass the State Govt. She leveraged it to try to pressure them into building more "safe spaces" for the homeless. That's not a bad thing in itself, sure. But she was still being disingenuous.

And you've gotta wonder what Priestly's ultimate goal was. Maybe it was just ego gratification more than anything else?

So, there were a whole bunch of submerged stories going on here. As with any political issue, most of what you saw was theatre. The truth was never quite what it appeared to be on the surface.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Intensity in tent city: Clover Moore gets Sirius!

This conflict over the homeless camp in Martin Place is getting more and more intense. It's a battleground between two levels of government, neither of which wants to do anything decisive about it.

Basically, it's a grudge match between Lord Mayor Clover Moore and Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Clover and the City of Sydney seem to be quite enjoying the fact that many NSW State Government pollies have to plod through this squalor everyday on the way to the "Bear Pit". It's right near Parliament House on Macquarie St, after all.

I suspect they might feel very different if the camp were located right outside Town Hall, where the City of Sydney offices are housed.

The fact that it's not there is telling ... Now, I'm not saying that Clover had a hand in this from the beginning. But it certainly suits her agenda, which is to push for more social housing.

She wants the Sirius Building, now nearly empty, to be re-opened, along with more social housing. This striking structure was slated for demolition a while ago to make way for massive apartment blocks. Then it had a reprieve, so there's been this almighty push to keep it there, and honour the spirit in which it was originally built. 

Now, I know that greedy developers have been the scourge of NSW politics for ages. Still, I sympathize with the State Govt on this issue and understand why they don't want to fill it with the homeless.

The site just has waaay too much earning potential! Right next to the Coat Hanger in The Rocks, it's gotta be one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in all of Sydders! It'll be a shame to see it go. But capitalists are gonna win there eventually, I suspect.

But at least for now, Clover's kinda got Gladys cornered. By not removing the Martin Place homeless camp herself she makes the Sirius option more likely. The State Govt don't want to send in the plods to clear the campers out because they know all the local lefties and their fellow travellers in the media will cry "fascism!"

That's why they've been trying to nudge members of the community into taking up offers of emergency housing elsewhere. So, it's not like they've been flint-hearted about this. (Got this shot of some FACS people there a few weeks ago.)

Another thing I don't like about the camp: Activists have been pushing this line that it's just kinda sprung up organically. It's supposed to be an inspiring example of the ingenuity of the oppressed.

To be honest, I originally thought this was the case myself. I wrote a blog post about it a few weeks ago, remarking on its seeming self-sufficiency. But lately I've come to the view that there's little that's truly organic about it.

Whether it's been engineered by the Occupy Sydney crowd or not, it is certainly reminiscent of their tactics. Also, if you look closely at the graffiti there, it's pretty clear that much of it has been written by activists, not the homeless themselves.

Also, consider the context. This is now Homelessness Prevention Week. Timing is perfect, innit?

Sydney's Lord Mayor herself even claims she's not being political, while including the hashtag for that actual campaign!

Completely shameless, eh?

And another thing: Not so long ago the City of Sydney placed terrorism prevention barriers right near where the camp is located, basically on the next block down.

My question: If Clover was so concerned that this area was likely to be a target for vehicular terrorism, why no new bollards to protect the tent city specifically?

True, there's no point in putting them at the western end of the block, since it's protected by stairs.

Still, on the Macquarie St side it's remarkable that there are no concrete barriers. Yes, there are a coupla telegraph poles there already, but there's still easily enough room for a truck to drive through! And surely a bunch of homeless people in tents would be far more vulnerable to such an attack than pedestrians, right?

If, as her fellow traveller Sam Dastyari says, you can judge a society by how it treats the most vulnerable, then surely this omission reflects poorly on her, doesn't it?

Anyhoo, that's my two cents ... For a closer look at what it's like in the camp here's a video I made a few days back.

UPDATE: Decision has been made to dismantle the camp, starting tomorrow.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Opportunist Sam Dastyari swoops on Martin Place homeless camp

Sam Dastyari is surely Australia's most shameless media tart. Remember his cameo in The Killing Season, in which he actually played himself taking an ominous phone call about Kevin Rudd?

He's obviously got lots of MSM chums, particularly at their ABC. He just appeared on Australian Story in what many have said was a puff piece to help him flog his book

Without a doubt "Dasher" is one halal of an opportunist!

Given how much news coverage the Martin Place homeless camp has been getting lately it's no wonder he's tried to milk it for sanctimonious cool points. He lobbed there recently and made an excruciatingly self-serving and disingenuous video. 
In it, he uses the usual fraudulent leftist tactic of misrepresenting his opponents, casting them as cruel, heartless bullies. For example he accuses conservative politicians and commentators of "kicking the shit out of" the homeless.

What absolute bollocks! They're not blaming the victims; they're arcing up at Clover Moore because she, not unlike Sam himself, seems to be exploiting the situation to further her own agenda. 

Without irony he says the camp itself is "offensive". Alright for him to use such a description. But if a righty were to do so I'm sure Sam and his fellow travellers would be quick to cite this as evidence of their meanness. 

Needless to say he offers no detailed solutions, just mouths some meaningless motherhood statements to make it look like he gives a shit. 

Oh, well, at least he wasn't the only scavenger there. There was also this guy, who was just more honest about his intentions ...

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Central Station, platform 19: seeming false alarm ... What was it about?

Just got home on the train from the city. While I was on platform 19 at Central Station (5.30-ish) something interesting happened.

A bunch of policemen had assembled on the platform, including what looked like special riot cops (you know, the ones in dark blue gear, who tend to look bigger and tougher than most). There were at least ten of them, maybe more. 

A few minutes before the Homebush service arrived, they waved dozens of passengers back from the centre of the platform. At first I thought they were closing down the whole thing, but no. They were just clearing out a section of it. I assumed this was because there were some unruly passengers on the approaching train they had been warned about and they were ready to apprehend them.

Anyway, just before the train actually arrived they disbanded and left the platform. So, it appeared to be a false alarm.

My suspicion was confirmed because as the train went through the next couple of stations an audio message, accompanied by text, played repeatedly. It basically warned passengers not to make false emergency calls, and that if this was done it could "result in a fine".

This is the only time I have ever heard (and read) this message ... So, seems likely someone was just pulling a prank. If so, they must have made a pretty serious claim. Otherwise, why so many cops? (If it were just some bogans being arseholes, then surely only a few officers would have sufficed.)

Given that several people have just been arrested here over a truly terrifying terror plot, I couldn't help thinking this might have had something to do with it.

I might be waaaay off, of course. But it will be interesting if any mainstream media coverage of this incident follows -- and if so, what it was all about.