You must be drinking right-wing Kool-Aid

March 27, 2014

From James Paterson

Apparently being in favour of freedom of speech means you’ve “drunk the right-wing Kool-Aid”, at least according to one (anonymous) member of Tony Abbott’s cabinet. Well, they can count me, my colleagues and the IPA’s almost 4,000 members as proud Kool-Aid drinkers.

On Tuesday we welcomed Attorney-General George Brandis’ proposed reforms to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. John Roskam analysed the changes in detail in this email sent to IPA members on Tuesday night. Also on Tuesday, Chris Berg appeared on ABC TV to defend the reforms, and wrote this article for ABC’s The Drum on why a full repeal of 18C is still needed. And Simon Breheny was interviewed by ABC’s 7.30 on the proposals.

Yesterday Simon debated the human rights lobby on ABC’s News Breakfast, which you can watch here, and made the case for reform on Sky News:

Watch the two best speeches on 18C made by Liberal MPs (who also happen to be IPA members), Victorian Senator and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education Scott Ryan, and Western Australian Senator Dean Smith. And you will be amused to watch George Brandis being asked about the IPA in Senate Question Time yesterday.

Remember how the Human Rights Commission was moaning about its measly $25 million annual budget? Well, perhaps they could examine their spending on events. As John Roskam told the Herald Sun on Monday, “On the one hand they say they can’t fund the salary for a commissioner, but on the other hand they can spend $60,000 on an exclusive cocktail party.” And as Andrew Bolt points out, they should also be careful they aren’t violating the very laws they campaigned to impose on us.

Is David Cameron about to privatise the BBC? Sort of, as Dan Hannan explains.

Libertarianism is on the rise in Australia, according to The Australian’s Adam Creighton. And boy do we need it – it’s not even legal to drive your motorised esky full of alcohol after you’ve had a few drinks!

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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The worst mistake humankind ever made? Are our children really being taught this?

March 20, 2014

From John Roskam

Thanks to Julia Gillard’s National Curriculum Australian 13 year-olds are now being taught that ‘some historians speculate’ that ‘one of the worst mistakes humankind ever made’ was to shift from being hunger-gatherers to the settled life of farming.

Wow. Of course what do you expect when every education minister in the country (even the Coalition ones) thinks that ‘sustainability’ should be a key theme of what students learn. Yep – we’d be a lot more sustainable if (as our 13 year-olds are told): ‘Men would hunt for small and large game while women and children foraged for fruit, berries, nuts and other foods, such as eggs and honey.’ At least there’d be no need for the federal government’s paid parental leave scheme.

It’s all from this Year 7 textbook. You can read the about how good life was for hunter-gatherers here:

This is just one of the reasons why the IPA thinks the National Curriculum should be abolished. You can read the IPA submission to the government’s curriculum enquiry here and here is the press release about it and here is the story in yesterday’s The Australian about it.

This sort of hunter-gatherer/Gaia is good/’set the dolphins free’ stuff in textbooks is exactly what Michael Gove, the British education minister wants to get rid of. Here’s a wonderful portrait of Gove by the brilliant James Delingpole from Breitbart on Monday.

Talking of hunter-gatherers…last weekend there were protests about, well, everything really. Andrew Bolt had a great column about it today. And Tim Blair had some suggestions for them.

And of course no protest in Australia would be complete without the obligatory anti-IPA placard.

This sign about the IPA from Gosford Anglican Church is better (and has proved to be the most clicked link of the year in Hey.)

This is a terrific piece from last week’s The Atlantic on why there’s no conservative comedy TV shows. It mentions this hilarious two minute clip from the now-defunct Colin Quinn program. (Don’t make my mistake and watch it on public transport – or else you’ll have all these people look at you while you’re laughing out loud.)

Back in 2012 in the IPA Review we featured the 20 greatest pro-freedom movies ever. Disney is now making a sequel to the movie we ranked Number 3.

Bookings are now open to see Dr Pat Michaels at the IPA in PerthMelbourneSydney, and Brisbane in April and May. Pat is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington and author of many books including The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the MediaThis piece from Cato a few weeks ago by him on what the IPCC didn’t tell us about is excellent.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

  

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Institute of Public Affairs | Level 2 | 410 Collins Street | Melbourne | Victoria | 3000 | Australia

 

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What do One Direction and Jeffrey Sachs have in common?

March 13, 2014

From James Paterson

This week is the 70th anniversary of the publication of Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to SerfdomOn the ABC’s The Drum yesterday, the IPA’s Dr Julie Novak explained why it is just as relevant today as it was in 1944.

This week is also the 50th anniversary of one of the most significant freedom of speech cases in US history. On Monday at Spiked Brendan O’Neill argued that Americans are lucky the Supreme Court made the right call.

On Friday the IPA’s Chris Berg and Simon Breheny made this submission to the federal government’s review of online safety for children. As Chris Berg said on Studio 10 last week, a new government regulator could restrict free speech and won’t stop bullying.

But you can stop worrying about letting your children read Immanuel Kant’s Critiques, now that it comes with this helpful new warning from the publisher. All you really need to worry about with your kids is whether they’ll sue you or not.

Meanwhile, this is an important article by Roger Scruton for the BBC on why we shouldn’t trust the state to educate our children. Roger will be in Australia in May as a guest of the IPA and Campion College – book now to see him speak in MelbourneSydney and Brisbane.

The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty is an important new book by Nina Munk that demonstrates why foreign aid has failed to reduce poverty. Read this terrific review by the great William Easterly in the January issue of Reason, and listen to this fascinating interview with the author on EconTalk about the disastrous ‘Millennium Villages Project’.

Our friend James Delingpole is moving to greener pastures as the executive editor of the new UK arm of the influential Breitbart news empire. You’ll love one of his first articles – on why One Direction know nothing about poverty alleviation (someone should send them Nina Munk’s book).

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

  

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Institute of Public Affairs | Level 2 | 410 Collins Street | Melbourne | Victoria | 3000 | Australia

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When governments airbrush history

March 6, 2014

From Peter Gregory

On Monday Andrew Bolt was as astounded as everyone at the IPA was by this story in The Sydney Morning Herald about the re-writing of our history.

Maybe the Australian War Memorial took airbrush lessons from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. In The Australian Financial Review in November John Roskam explained how Rudyard Kipling nearly got airbrushed (or more precisely chiselled out) in favour of Paul Keating.

What is it about governments, history and smoking? Look what they did in Britain a few years ago.

Chris Berg redesigned some art as Nanny Statists would like it in Hey back in June 2010.

Let’s hope the Abbott government doesn’t repeal from history its promise to repeal 18C. Here is Simon Breheny’s FreedomWatch email warning against any back down.

This is something incredible from Ohio. There’s a law that sentences people to 6 months jail if they say something with “reckless disregard” about a political candidate. Not surprisingly, this is being challenged and the US supreme court will make its decision in June. You must read this brilliant brief to the court from P.J. O’Rourke.

I knew there was a reason we sent Hey to all the ALP MPs! One week after publishing Chris Berg’s annual page count of federal legislation in Hey, Tony Burke complains there is not enough legislation for the parliament to debate!

If you were concerned about the situation in Ukraine, don’t be! Kevin Rudd is on his way to Moscow to sort it all out. With his track record of consensus-building and creating harmony, Rudd is perfect for the job.

(For serious news on Ukraine, read this Forbes piece from Monday on why it won’t split.)

Here’s one we can chalk off as a victory for Hey. Remember in January we told you about the man arrested for telling someone the score at the Australian Open? This morning the charges against him were dropped!

Steven Horwitz in the March edition of Reason had an important piece on Alan Greenspan’s refusal to take responsibility for his role in the GFC.

And here is your homework: Dan Hannan wants you to come up with a new name for the Anglosphere(and says the IPA is “tremendous”).

If you’re 35 or under you have extra homework – The Mont Pelerin Society 2014 Hayek Essay contest is now open with cash and travel to the Society’s General Meeting in Hong Kong in August up for grabs.

There is still time to donate to the publication of the new IPA book Climate Change: The Facts 2014 and have your name on the back cover. Visit http://thefacts2014.ipa.org.au/.

And if you’re in Melbourne on Friday 21 March, the IPA is hosting The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP who will talk about the Abbott government’s deregulation agenda.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

  

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Institute of Public Affairs | Level 2 | 410 Collins Street | Melbourne | Victoria | 3000 | Australia

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