Austria proves again why the EU needs to listen more and talk less


God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we’d listen more and talk less,’ so the old saying goes This is what the EU gets for trying to bully its member states. It wasn’t long ago that EU President Jean-Claude Juncker was telling Austrians that if they democratically elected Norbert Hofer of the right wing FPO then the EU would remove Austria’s voting rights and cut off any transfers. Well the Austrians have voted for a conservative anti-immigrant party (which wants a programme to get immigrants to assimilate with the local culture) with a 31yo leader, Sebastian Kurz. His People’s Party garnered 31.4% (+7%) of the vote with the far-right wing FPO coming in second at 27.4% and incumbent Social Democrat Party coming in third with 26.7%. The Greens will probably not make the cut off of 4% to make a party, So once again the EU has had yet another major repudiation of its totalitarian ideals.

CM has been making the point for ages that forcing one’s beliefs onto others must be done in a way that listens to the other side. Otherwise it delivers results like Trump. It seems the EU hasn’t learned a thing.

So what have we had?

-Le Pen garnered 1/3rd of the French vote (double the best ever achieved by Front National),

-the far right Freedom Party’s (FPO) Norbert Hofer still managed 46% in Austria farcical re-run presidential election),

-Geert Wilders’ 25% increase in seats for the anti-immigrant PVV in The Netherlands,

-the surge in the Sweden Democrats to the top of the recent polls, Elections in 2018.

-Italy’s referendum which turned into a backdoor vote to oust PM Renzi. Elections in 2018 likely.

Brexit (although PM May is handling negotiations in true British efficiency – Fawlty Towers ring a bell?),

the Swiss handing back a 30yr standing free ticket to join the EU,

-the AfD in Germany getting 13% of the vote (Merkel may have won but it was her party’s worse showing in 7 decades)

…these don’t look like promising trends for an EU which is already badly listing. Despite ample warnings the EU refused (and still refuses) to change its course or exercise due care. It just issues more threats.

While the left openly voices its rage at these ‘right-wing’ parties growing in support, they never bother to seek reasons why. The right are generally just dismissed as racists, bigots or worse.  Major party loyalty has never been worse. The fabric of the loyal party voter base is wearing thinner. Take Australia’s One Nation Party led by Senator Pauline Hanson. The popularity of the mainstream LNP and Labor Parties is at record lows. One Nation is now 10% of the vote from 2% several decades ago. While some parties may claim their loyal base has abandoned them the stronger case to be made is the clear shift of the parties away from their once faithful constituents. Why?

Incumbent governments seem to cower at receiving negative news from the 24-7 polling cycle that is social media. Being careful to avoid inviting attack, they pander to all of the socially acceptable agendas – climate change, gender fluid bathrooms, laws clamping down on free speech, open borders and afffirmative action.

However political correctness is clearly not the answer as these results across Europe and elsewhere show. People are sick of the brow beating by socialist activists. Tired of the constant protests and social justice bleating. The NFL might find that most of its fans are against police brutality but they aren’t wanting a weekly lecture in grievance politics with the price of entry or their cable TV channel. Growing weary of the idea that it is ‘free speech’ and anything against those ideals are deemed ‘hate speech’. It is not to deny some positions are not necessarily palatable but in the marketplace of free speech, ridiculous positions can easily be disproven. Better to give extremist voices a chance to talk and invite public opinion on them at their own peril. Shutting it down forces it underground., making it inherently more dangerous.

Too many mainstream political parties are moving off the policy reserve that defined them so their once loyal followers are actively seek ones that will. While Hanson’s One Nation or Senator Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives may not tick every box to existing LNP voters, they cover enough of the positions that matter to them that they’ll tolerate some of the more out there ideas. It is not uncommon to hear the left complain at One Nation’s is growing popularity at the expense of the Greens but it is a devil of their own making.

So will the EU listen to the Austrian call? Will it pay attention to the Hungarians who voted over 98% against accepting forced migrant quotas? Think through the logic. If you were an asylum seeker, would you think your chances of unincumbered settlement would be best placed where 98.4% of the population doesn’t want you? It is irrelevant whether we think the Hungarians are insensitive brutes not to extend a welcome to those that are legitimately in need. It is their country and their democracy has spoken. If Brussels assumes to dictate to Hungary how it wishes to protect its culture and whatever it holds precious, why shouldn’t the EU have the same rights to enforce income tax, housing benefits and anything else it sees fit? Of course it is a preposterous notion.

It will not be long before the EU will be front and center on Greece. Let us not forget that the EU colluded with Goldman Sachs to ‘fiddle’ the accounts to make Hellas much prettier optically than it was. Was this pig without lipstick it wouldn’t have gained acceptance to the club. So the EU is not in a position to claim innocence over a deliberate ploy to ram-road the Greeks into its federal state yet have no qualms treating it with disdain. Talk about double standards.

In all seriousness the treatment of the Greeks by the EU is despicable beyond words. So for all of the left’s blind love for the EU and its socialist agenda, 36% of Greeks live below the poverty line and 58% of the youth are unemployed. So for all of the EU’s shared sense of purpose and equality, that means many can’t access affordable healthcare because it is generally provided by corporates and when you lose a job you lose the healthcare. This means many are forced to use A&E of major hospitals which are now overcrowded and understaffed as more doctors are leaving to seek better fortune for their services elsewhere.

If that wasn’t enough, mothers who had given birth were being restricted from taking their new-borns home if they couldn’t pay the hospital fees. While the government has banned this practice they have introduced new laws to allow the seizure of assets (e.g. homes) if debts are not settled.

Shortly, the Greeks are coming up for discussion over its debt position and austerity. With just months left before Greece’s latest lifeline expires, officials directly involved in the country’s bailout say they don’t have the stomach for contingent aid program when the current one expires in August 2018. While the EU and Athens are battle worn after 7 years of this knife edge rescue,  Greece will need to show it can go it alone but it’s eurozone creditors will be reluctant without further strings attached.

Here is betting that the EU doesn’t heed the lessons that have been ringing loud and clear for years. Sincerely hoping Greece leaves the EU and lets market forces revive its economy. Better to die on its feet than live on its knees.

#Make Australia Great Again


Make Australia Great Again. Yes, I buy that slogan. Politics in Australia has plunged such low depths that we need to drain Lake Burley Griffin and plug the fountain that espouses empty rhetoric. I honestly thought it would be hard for PM Turnbull to top the incompetence of the Rudd/Gillard years but his time will be remembered for what he didn’t do than what Rudd/Gillard mismanaged to. Inaction, constant blowing with the breeze, ordering Royal Commissions without all the facts in the hope it might buy him a smidge of popular support he so desperately craves. In his almost 16 months in office he has done nothing worthy of mention and his ‘style’ of politics so brazenly boasted and promised back in September 2015 have not even remotely been delivered. Most conservative Lib voters knew this would happen yet wondered how so many Liberal MPs allowed Turnbull to bury their judgment all based on lousy polls which have proven to be inaccurate. Abbott still would have won by a larger margin than Turnbull last election. I await insults at this statement.

The problem with so many politicians today is that they stand for nothing. That probably could be said throughout the ages. However many of today’s political breed merely want to appear good rather than do anything to make a difference. The serve up a platter of platitudes. The list is long – Obama, Trudeau, Cameron,  Merkel, Hollande, Juncker, Turnbull, Andrews, Weatherill, Palaszczuk, Barr etc. The sad thing about Tony Abbott’s demise was he actually stood for something. He wasn’t without fault (who isn’t) and he wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I met the man in person and found him to be the genuine article.  There was no veneer. He was approachable. Foreign countries like Japan loved him (and couldn’t understand why he was turfed). He honestly had people’s best interests at heart. In that sense he wasn’t a politician at all. His service to the community such as volunteer fire fighting were actions over words yet the sneering mainstream media  had to take every opportunity to pot shot a dedicated party man for having several $50 bills in his wallet. Surely he should have been burnt at the stake for such a crime!

Hashtag politics to social media is rife. I wish ALL politicians would stop using it. I think it clouds judgement. A ‘like‘ or ‘share‘ on Twitter or Facebook means nothing in the grand scheme of things. It isn’t an endorsement and I’m sure many hitting ‘like‘ probably haven’t read much beyond the headline. Politicians should just get on with what they’ve been elected to do. If I had my way, social media for politicians would be banned.  Helping constituents is all about the long game. Not a knee jerk response to a Twitter feed.

I look at Brexit and question why certain politicians are taking it upon themselves to override the wishes of their constituents. The whole idea that many are regretting voting “leave” is utterly bogus. Yet the same mainstream media is begging for people to believe their biased discourse that a skewed survey of 2,000 people speak for 17,000,000. Is it any wonder NY Times is offering subscriptions at 60% off. People are tired of reading and listening to the out of touch.

Sadly, Turnbull has divided the Liberal Party, probably beyond repair. Their internal discord is only too evident. He has consistently thrown his loyal ministers under the bus if the public sentiment seems to criticize the action.

It makes sense for Bernardi to split. Record numbers of conservative voters (including me) elected to nominate other parties because they couldn’t consciously fathom their party could stoop to the shambolic antics of Labor. I’d voted Lib all my life except this election. It wasn’t a protest vote – it was that the Libs no longer represented my beliefs. Over half the party had sold out as mercenaries. What is sad is that if they were true mercenaries you’d ask for your money back such is their lack of will to fight for common sense. They are now obviously so caught up in their own folly they believe that sticking their heads in the sand will make the problem vanish. Fat chance.

Despite Turnbull scraping home in the election gone by, if he was a CEO in the business world he would be forced (or if he had the grace, offer) to resign to the board for such a woeful outcome. He knows it too. Yet becoming PM was more about him than serving the nation. Therefore if the Liberal Party remains motionless on the sidelines and fail to boot Turnbull they’ll lose the next election even with a Labor Party that is hardly flavor of the month. If Bernardi gives traditional conservative voters a place to go and Gina Rinehart backs him then I think it has a lot of legs. Australian politicians remain too fixated on small issues when the danger of recession looms large. The more the press gang up on Bernardi the more we’ll know how petrified they are of his chances. Maybe they need look at the NY Times which has seen revenue tumble 50% in the last 12 years with EBITDA plunging 2/3rds.

I want an end to the lost decade in Australia. Many Australians are sick of Politocs. Faith and trust in politicians plunges to new lows. Populist parties which ‘listen’ to the concerns of the people can’t help but gain – people don’t want more government, more regulation, less control and being lectured to about their concerns. Australian culture was founded on grit and toil. It isn’t about trading it for some apparent greater good bannered under the divisive practice of diversity. Make Australia Great  Again.