Lessons from Boris and Brexit

By December 18, 2019Other

There some eerily familiar aspects of the recent British general election. First, as I understand it much of the mainstream media was opposed to Boris Johnson and all he stood for, and sledged him and the Conservatives throughout. Second, the British elites, located both in southeast England and wherever there is a higher education institution, simply ignored the traditional working-class regions, notably northern England, and plumped for Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn and his brand of socialism. The northern workers wanted jobs and an end to immigration, not socialism, and they swung in an extraordinary way to the Conservatives. Third, and connected to the second, Brexit, and ‘doing the job’ of achieving it, was what the majority wanted. Had there been a second referendum, it would most probably have reinforced the result of the first referendum. Fourth, there’s a lot of injured dignity and real affront on the part of those who thought Boris Johnson and his Tories were beyond the pale, and that those who voted for them must be pig-ignorant.

Here’s a lovely little example of the last, from The Conversation, our own go-to source for the values of the academic Left. The emphasis is mine.

Boris Johnson’s crushing win over Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party has delivered him an 80-seat majority in the House of Commons and means Brexit will now, as Johnson promised, “get done”. As Simon Tormey writesone of the tricks the Conservative Party’s leader managed to pull offwas to paint himself as a saviour of public services and as a leader untarnished by ten years of Tory austerity. Britons may be in for a rude awakening, though, when they realise his agenda is tougher and more conservative than many believe.

Okay, Boris managed to convince enough of the ignorant to give him an 80-seat majority, all done by tricks. This is pretty sleazy stuff, in my opinion, but there is a lot of it in the UK, as there continues to be in the USA about President Trump. What was the cause of the big majority, especially given that the exit polls put him only 28 seats ahead in the House of Commons? Well, Brexit and the need to end the futile squabbling about it, one way or the other, has to be one major factor. A second was the lack of general appeal of the Labour leader and his policies, however attractive they were to some of the young. In contrast, Boris Johnson’s flamboyance seems to have been appealing. A third was the growing anger about uncontrolled immigration, which of course is connected to the Brexit issue, but makes Brexit a means, not an end. A fourth? Maybe there were a lot of Brits who kept quiet about how they voted, or decided to vote rather than not vote (Britain not having compulsory voting).

What was not an issue, given the Australian context, was climate change, where the Conservatives, at least publicly, are as ‘woke’ as the Labour Party. The main climate-change outcome, in electoral terms, is that the Greens won one per cent of the vote and one seat in the House of Commons, whereas here their share of the vote hovers around ten per cent, giving them nine Senators and one MP. Now, will Prime Minister Boris Johnson do anything to change his party’s policies, which seem to have been ignored by the voters in northern England though the same policies didn’t help the Labour Party?  Not immediately, anyway. His current partner, labelled ‘the first squeeze’, is an ardent climate change activist, while his father seems to have joined the XR (Extinction Rebellion), which I think is about as loony an organisation as you can find anywhere.

But electricity prices are going up in the UK, as they are going up wherever alternative energy sources are being used, Australia being no exception, and the economic outlook for the UK is not one of boom, even if it is not one of bust. In Australia the ALP seems to have understood that climate change is not a vote-winner except in inner metropolitan seats where there are no droughts, no floods and no bushfires. Whether that will lead to a change in Labor policies over time is one of those wait-and-see issues. Frankly, I doubt it: too many Labor MPs are scared of losing votes to the Greens, as indeed are too many Liberals.

What interests me most is the emerging, or now real, division between two groups of citizens. The first is the group that is being called the ‘elites’ — people who are university educated, have rather or strongly Left views about the world, tend to work for publicly funded organisations, and have a large foothold in the mainstream media. The second is the rest of the electorate, people who have less education, work in the private sector, are more conservative in their social and economic views, and operate farms, small businesses and other somewhat marginal enterprises.

It is the first group that is exercised about ‘climate change’, and while there are doubtless many in the larger group who worry about it from time to time, their preoccupations are more mundane, whether or not people will still come to their little shop now that Coles or Woolies has opened up nearby, what are they going to do about child-care, how they are going to afford a second car so that the wife can get to work, and so on.

Now if all this sounds like a reprise of Labor and anti-Labor,  it’s not, because it is the well-educated who are the Labor voters, not the little Aussie battlers, or the quiet Australians (or quiet Brits — the same adjective has been used in both countries). I’ve written about this before, but the UK elections have given this division an extra dimension. Where will it all end? I have no answer. I do not think that ‘socialism’ will attract British or Australian voters, let alone American ones. We have all become much wealthier, in comparison with the 1930s, the last decade when socialism and communism made real sense to a lot of people, both rich and both poor. Yes, we still have poor people and homeless people, and I’ve written about their plight before, too. But the notion that we can sort of do without private enterprise, and that the wise people in government can make better decisions about how we might spend whatever discretionary money we have, I think that message doesn’t resonate with ‘ordinary’ people, who know that they are better off than they used to be, and would like to be better off still.

I wasn’t there, but I don’t think Jeremy Corbyn sold his socialist message very well, and no doubt he was surrounded by people of his own persuasion, just as Bill Shorten was during our own election campaign earlier this year. We are beginning to hear that ‘democracy just doesn’t work’, from people who can’t understand why the common people don’t understand the message that the elites are putting to them, whether it’s about capitalism or climate change. 

In my view democracy is showing its strength, and as Winston Churchill said, it’s much better than the alternatives, even if it is slow to wake up (or something like that).

Join the discussion 88 Comments

  • Karabar says:

    A growing proportion of the population realise that the entire CAGW meme is nothing but wacky balderdash. From beginning to end, it is a mendacious fantasy, from the ‘warming’ that is actually cooling, through the idiotic hypothesis of a ‘greenhouse effect’, through the notion that human activities can alter the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, to the histrionics about sea levels, this invented “crisis” is simply fictional make-believe.
    The talking heads on TV are obsessed with “emissions”. “Emissions” of what exactly? The argument posed is that Australia’s “emissions” are so small that the chief “scientist” admits that zero “emissions” would have no effect on temperatures. This argument is illogical, because “emissions” of CO2 here or anywhere else have absolutely NO CONNECTION with the temperature of the atmosphere, the climate of any locale on Earth, the pH of the oceans, sea level, hurricanes, or anything else.
    Meanwhile, the remainder of the population is stupid, ignorant, and gullible.

  • Chris Warren says:


    There does appear to be a split between the politics of the post-secondary educated strata and their occupations and others who are then left vulnerable to any amount of media scares particularly false accusations of anti-semitism.

    However your comment – “much of the mainstream media was opposed to Boris Johnson and all he stood for, and sledged him and the Conservatives throughout. ” is either false or a result of cherry-picking.

    In fact – much of the mainstream media was opposed to Corbyn and all he stood for, and sledged him and his agenda throughout.

    Here is the evidence – “The Sun”, “Daily Mail” etc etc


    Where did this come from – “the notion that we can sort of do without private enterprise,” ????

    This is representative of the sort of scares those opposed to Corbyn were running.

    • Boambee John says:


      I admire your hubris.

      Let me make a small correction to one of your sentences:

      “others who are then left vulnerable to any amount of media scares particularly false” claims of imminent environmental disaster.

      The environmental movement has gone mental in its recent propaganda about CAGW, completely ignoring evidence that does not support their hysteria.

  • Neville says:

    Another good summary Don, but I think Nigel Farage and their long push to get out of Europe was a very important ingredient in the huge Tory majority.
    Forage chose not to stand in Tory held seats but deliberately chose Labour seats and the red wall that were very vulnerable this time and helped by the very unpopular Corbyn.
    This split the vote and nobody understood this more than Johnson when he said that he knows that for now the Labour voters have only switched this time because of Brexit and their concerns about Corbyn.
    If Johnson doesn’t govern for another term after this 5 years he has only himself to blame. But again who knows?

    • Aert Driessen says:

      Spot on Neville, Farage took one for the team

      • JMO says:

        And do not forget Hillary Clinton’s brilliant “basket of delplorables” speech. Those 3 words set it all off – opened the schism between workers and Democrats, then Labor and now Labour. And they came to vote …

  • BB says:

    “From each according to their ability to each according to their need” that maximum seems innocent enough unless you think about it and look into the history of how it has been applied. An incalculable number of people have died at the behest of those that believe one should follow that and socialism. I have relatives in England and the way they explain the life in the EU could be paralleled by this. Imagine Oceania were to form an economic union. Each state would have representation into a central government in New Zealand. Our laws would be then administered and generated in New Zealand by unelected judges. To make any law we would have to do seek agreement from all the member states which would outnumber us. Having created that law it will be interpreted by the central legal authority. This is difficult enough within Australia note the case before the High Court next year trying to determine whether someone should go to jail on the witness of one. Inevitably this will create growing dissatisfaction amongst the populous.

    The attempt of the EU is to form a sovereign state by peaceful means has that been done before? Such things are created by military conquest with those who are conquered suffering much. One needs to talk to the Scots about this or look at the hundred years war fought between the English and the French. I have always thought the EU was fanciful and just could not last. My relatives predict a collapse of the EU and time will tell certainly Britain leaving will not help its stability.

    • Chris Warren says:


      Please either count up the dead through Africa, India, America (North and South), Asia and Australia as capitalism established itself, then the dead of World War 1 and World 2 as German, Italian and Spanish and japanese capitalists tried to obtain “Lebensraum” and US nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki to ensure that their empire of satellite states swept across the Pacific. You can also add in the deaths orchestrated by the secret terrorists defending capitalism in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Chile, Indonesia, and their fake war over Iraq;

      or take your propaganda elsewhere.

      • BB says:

        How about you read Solzhenitsyn. Since obviously you own a computer at you are a criminal in the eyes of the Communist and Socialist. The only way you could have got them is by stealing them off someone else repent. If you don’t we will jail you and execute you. At least a hundred million dead in the 20th century. Peasant farmers, engineers anyone that did better than someone else must be a criminal learn your history. Oh someone else was worse than that is not a validation even if it is true.

      • Boambee John says:


        Put to one side the valid argument that national socialism and international socialism (communism) are branches of the same tree, and focus solely on the communists.

        Between Lenin, Stalin, their Soviet successors, Mao and his successors, various Kims, Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh, various Castros ably assisted by Che, Pol Pot and many lesser handers on, the total across the last hundred years was over 100 million.

        And you apologise for this? Still, your real agenda is becoming clearer.

      • Kneel says:


        When I was born, around 60% of global population lived in poverty.
        Now, it’s around 10%.

        When I was born, whales and dolphins would not enter Sydney harbour – too polluted.
        Now, they bring their young into the shelter of our city, to their benefit and our joy at witnessing such magnificent creatures.

        These are just two examples, one each for humans and nature, where thanks to greedy capitalists and their evil consuming ways, the world is better for all life.

        Or read the literature on weather disasters, and it shows the lie – >90% reduction in weather related deaths since the 1920’s, most of that in the developing world. The very people who are claimed to be “most vulnerable” have had the greatest change and survive more easily than they otherwise would.

        Perhaps instead of railing against the inequities of life, instead of trying to pull down those who have exploited the rules (not the people, the rules) to make themselves rich, you could focus on actually helping those unfortunates to improve their lives.
        Don’t give them a fish, which would feed them for the day, show them how to fish and feed them for a lifetime. Don’t give them bags of grain forever, give them enough to survive and the tools and knowledge they need to make themselves self sufficient and resilient – that gives them pride as well as survival.
        Don’t drag down those who care about the environment because they can afford to, drag up those who don’t care because feeding, clothing and sheltering their family is their top priority and the goal of their endless daily labours.
        Don’t try to give your kids the same as you had, make sure they have better – this is what your ancestors did, and it certainly worked. Oh, they made mistakes, everyone does. So what? They did what they felt was best for themselves and their family based on what they “knew”, and they corrected mistakes their ancestors made, as we must correct theirs, and our children will correct ours. Have faith in the good nature of most people – it’s real and it’s there, and the evidence is obvious to any who care to look. Those who deliberately distort the truth to change your behaviour – even with the best of intentions – they are the true enemies of us all and should not be tolerated. So have a care to look for the signs of such manipulation and question it long, loud and hard.

  • Doug Hurst says:

    The ABC and BBC both gave too little weight to Corbyn’s extreme policies that would, as some opponents said, turn the UK into something like Venezuela. Indeed, some accounts put the result down entirely to Brexit, when there was far more at stake.

    That said, even some of Boris’s friend have worries about his ability to deliver, so we will have to wait and see. At least he doesn’t have our senate to worry about and there is only one Green in 650 MPs.

    • Aert Driessen says:

      Doug, BJ’s problem is not numbers on the floor of the Parliament but the devious and ill-willed tactics of those in the public service and other NGO institutions, particularly in the legal system. The conquest of those who successfully engaged their long march through the institutions. Scomo also has this problem, probably moreso than BJ.

  • Neville says:

    Meanwhile the demand for more coal continues to grow in the developing world.


  • Aert Driessen says:

    Thanks Don, precisely my own thoughts. But I do think that your definition of ‘climate change’ is too narrow. I think that it will play a big part in the next election which, I think, Scomo is at risk of losing (or not win outright) because he is too timid on that issue. Climate Change = higher power bills = loss of jobs and working people are making those connections. I think that ultimately the whole of the EU will collapse under the weight of just one issue — immigration of so-called ‘refugees’ of the Islamic faith. It seems that they mostly cannot successfully integrate, although there are always exceptions. Perhaps they need more generations to achieve this.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Aert Driessen

      If you think photosynthesis dies when CO2 is at 200 ppm, then perhaps you are not qualified to make this judgement?

      • Boambee John says:


        If you are unaware that photosynthesis is much more effective at 400ppm, then perhaps you are not qualified to make this judgement?

  • Neville says:

    Here Boris Johnson speaks to the house at 29 minutes, followed by Jeremy Corbyn.
    Corbyn speaks very well and even goes back to the Reign of Charles the first to remind the Labour speaker of the history of a previous house speaker in the 1640s .

  • Art says:

    I believe that the determining factor in the UK election, as in most) is to vote against the worst option, in this case Corbin socialism. Had a moderate Labour been one of the choices, I doubt that Boris would have achieved a majority. Leaving the EU will make it more difficult for the academic, science, farming and financial sectors. For example, UK scientists will br frozen out of major EU initiatives. Boris has promised greatly increased support for science but I doubt that this would be significant compensation. Pre-election promises have a habit of disappearing should they prove awkward.

    Had I been a working British scientist hungry for grant money, it might have been a difficult choice. As a retiree living off various investments, clearly Corbin would have been even worse than Shorten; i.e. different strokes for different folks.

  • dlb says:

    Surprisingly, post election the comments section at “The Guardian” have been quite critical of Corbyn and the far left he represented. Also many mentioned that though they were “remainers”, they believed the democratic wishes of the electorate should be respected.

    I remember the live BBC coverage of the Brexit vote, the glum look of the look of the journalists at the conclusion of counting. No guesses at how they voted.

    I think the biggest issue for the “deplorables” without degrees in the future will be finding secure employment. Globalisation, immigration, and technology are destroying the middle and working class, while a small minority are raking in the wealth. Even the upper middle class professionals are worried, inventing complex bullshit jobs to keep themselves employed. I can’t see any of the major political parties in Australia doing anything to address this approaching storm.

    While on the British theme, once respected conservationist, broadcaster and climate sceptic David Bellamy has died. Regrettably he lost his career for his views on global warming. Conversely Attenborough joined the team, his accolades will run for weeks when he goes.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Will Boris end up gaoling his own Dad?

  • BoyfromTottenham says:

    Hi Don,
    I think that the curious situation of the ‘elites’ voting for Labour and the ‘working class’ voting Tory that you describe is perhaps a perverse outcome of the socialist ‘Long March’ through the Western institutions. This has been IMO very effective over the past several decades in creating a mass of higher education graduates brainwashed in Leftist ideas and thinking, whilst the ‘working class’, not having had the ‘benefit’ of this higher education, can still think objectively and rationally. Ergo, the elites vote for Corbyn, as crazy as his policies were, and the rest vote for Johnson, fortunately able to see that his policies were saner and likely to be in their interests. Oh, the ironing!

  • John Stankevicius says:

    A plethora of reasons. Could you please not refer to the leftists as “elites” “progressives”. These people are frightened people who never have grown up. These people have no hard skills. As DLB mentioned they have bullshit jobs, usually government, charities and other not for profits. These people atr the foul mouth, the cool gang whose parents had the economic power in their communities. They grew up with their own bedrooms, had a pool, had holidays os or interstate. But they lived off the back of their parents reputation who in turn would pump them up. These people were too lazy and lacked the intellectual ability too become tradesmen, engineers, computer programmers, mathematicians, chemists, physics gurus, pilots. So these foul mouths would ridicule everyone and they go into soft jobs, teaching, journalism and law. As these concepts are invisible they made up arguments and attached what ever they could to support it. This was now their livelihood. They defended it but ridiculing opponents.
    This is also tied up with sexual freedom with these people supporting all form under the arguement of a women’s choice suppression etc.
    This then went to emotional envirmenalism.
    The idiotic union who rule the social media medium is running the fashion. Surprising how many people have got caught up in this.
    It’s all nonsense and stopping us from improving our environment, lifestyle, cities.

  • Neville says:

    Some very hot weather over Australia 123 years ago and plenty more can be found in the TROVE online.


  • Neville says:

    Another interesting video from Tony Heller checking on some of the previous very hot days in Australia over the past 100+ plus years.
    He uses proper sources and newspaper articles etc to compare hot days of the past to the present day.

  • Neville says:

    More common sense from Dr Judith Curry about the so called threat from their so called CAGW.
    Dr Curry also tries to help a young woman who has listened to the Ext Reb lies, exaggerations and distortions.
    This is probably one of her best articles and if it can help young people find a way past the extremist nonsense peddled by the MSM, stupid pollies and other dopes who don’t understand data and evidence she will have achieved more than most scientists have so far.
    She is definitely one of my heroes and there are some interesting comments at the link.


  • Neville says:

    Boris Johnson’s Dads support of Ext Reb just proves he is a clueless fool and should be ignored.
    Don’t forget that the leader of this mad cult claims she took mind altering drugs to help her arrive at her conclusions about the world.
    She also talks to ghosts or spirits and one of them kicked her up the backside. Just the sort of delusional zombie one would expect to be leading this barking mad cult.
    But it seems that Corbyn is also a fan and she was a strong supporter of Labour during the UK election campaign.
    Why am I not surprised?


    • Chris Warren says:

      But you are the clueless fool like all deniers.

      • Boambee John says:

        If you rely on mind altering drugs for your political ideas, you are a problem.

        If you defend reliance on mind altering drugs for political ideas, you also are a problem.

        Look in the mirror Chris. Such pathetic one-liners do you no credit.

  • Neville says:

    More details about the black kids working and dying under horrific conditions in the Congo cobalt mines.
    Companies like Tesla, Dell, Apple etc are some of the wealthiest companies, but don’t care about the blatant exploitation of children to make a monster buck.
    Of course we highlighted these facts during the OZ election campaign while our blog donkeys were promoting and supporting Shorten’s nonsense about 50% EVs by 2030.
    Dopey Shorten even suggested that you could charge an EV in about 10 to 12 minutes. The EV batteries only have a life of about 7 years, but I’m sure Shorten and Labor wouldn’t understand any of this and certainly are too stupid to be aware of the abuse and exploitation of these poor black kids in far off Congo.
    This is very dangerous work when you consider these kids are paid only 2 to 3 $ a day and of course none of this idiocy will change the temp, weather or climate by 2100 or for a thousand years. Check out Zickfeld et al or the RS, NAS study.


    • Chris Warren says:

      I bet climate deniers have never expressed concern about Third World exploitation of child labour before.

      They are now exploiting child labour suffering for their own ends.

      Truly shocking.

  • Neville says:

    More evidence from the GWPF that reporters, polar bears or perhaps even drones could have driven Walrus over the cliffs during filming of the Netflix movie.
    But of course Attenborough only talked about so called climate change as the cause. What a con and fra-d, but how long before we start to wake up to these con merchants?

  • Neville says:

    Here’s the Queen’s speech ( at 22 minutes) at the opening of Parliament DEC 2019. As always the Queen speaks very clearly, but not as posh as Boris. Why is that I wonder?
    Charles is now her escort and he is certainly showing his age, while Boris looks happy and Jeremy looks a bit grim.

  • Neville says:

    How clueless and savage are some Guardian readers? Here are some of the responses to Andrew Bolt and Rupert Murdoch. You have to wonder what fantasy planet these fools IMAGINE they are living on.


  • Bryan Roberts says:

    How far has the ABC fallen. “Two firefighters died after a car was struck by a tree”

  • Neville says:

    Here’s an interesting article about the time after 2010- 2011 when Australia was able to change the satellite GLOBAL MSL graph.

    So much water was contained within the continent because of very heavy rainfall from la nina+ negative IOD events that the global MSL graph had a pronounced drop ( gully) for more than a year.

    It just proves that we can have major floods and droughts in Australia over a short period of time. Don’t forget that 2016 was also a MDB flood year because of another neg IOD.

    There is a link to the Uni Colorado MSL graph below showing the big drop after 2011.



  • dlb says:

    The academics at “The Conversation” have been over analysing the Conservative’s election advertisement parody of a scene from the movie “Love Actually”. Apparently bright minds from Australia & NZ put together this funny clip. If Boris flops as a PM he could always get a job as an actor….. hang on, isn’t that a prerequisite for being a politician?

    For your enjoyment:

  • spangled drongo says:

    Well said by Chris Kenny in the Aus:

    “A defining characteristic of modern politics in Western liberal democracies is that the left is regressing to the discredited socialist goals of the 1970s. The young green left has forgotten the lessons of the collapse of the Soviet Union or, more likely, it never learned them.

    Instead, the green left tackles a range of economic, environmental, foreign affairs and social goals, and does it with a sense of moral superiority that is misplaced, evangelical and ruthless. To oppose their goals is to be deemed unworthy as a human being and dismissed or attacked — the issues are not to be debated, the dissidents are to be de-platformed or destroyed.”

    After the Trump, Morrison, Boris results you would think they would start wake up.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Poor ‘ol denialists …

    “Goldman Sachs has ruled out future financing of oil drilling or exploration in the Arctic and said it would not invest in new thermal coal mines anywhere in the world.”

    This is a big leap for Goldman Sachs but a small step for humanity.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Poor ‘ol denialists … all their nightmares are becoming real


  • Neville says:

    Matt Ridley looks at the data and finds we’ve just had the best decade in human history.
    And yet we still have silly donkeys telling us that we have but a short time before the end of the world. But this is a very good article from Ridley and should give some hope to some of the more fearful among us.
    BTW he does list his sources.


  • Neville says:

    Here is the last part of that excellent article from Matt RIdley, directly from the Spectator.
    Please read and try to understand Ridley’s last paragraph and prediction and I’m sure once again that he will be proven to be correct come 2030.

    ” A modern irony is that many green policies advocated now would actually reverse the trend towards using less stuff. A wind farm requires far more concrete and steel than an equivalent system based on gas. Environmental opposition to nuclear power has hindered the generating system that needs the least land, least fuel and least steel or concrete per megawatt. Burning wood instead of coal in power stations means the exploitation of more land, the eviction of more woodpeckers — and even higher emissions. Organic farming uses more land than conventional. Technology has put us on a path to a cleaner, greener planet. We don’t need to veer off in a new direction. If we do, we risk retarding progress.

    As we enter the third decade of this century, I’ll make a prediction: by the end of it, we will see less poverty, less child mortality, less land devoted to agriculture in the world. There will be more tigers, whales, forests and nature reserves. Britons will be richer, and each of us will use fewer resources. The global political future may be uncertain, but the environmental and technological trends are pretty clear — and pointing in the right direction”.

  • Neville says:

    Jo Nova has forced the BOM and their ABC to respond to her blog traffic as they try and make weak excuses about the 1896 etc hot temps across Australia.


  • spangled drongo says:

    It’s hard to believe just how far from reality the lefty elites have recently travelled. But I suppose when they have this natural inclination towards stupidity…..:


    • Neville says:

      SD I think Biden is now a special case and if he was having one of his bad days, I’m not sure whether he’d even understand the question.
      He’s a hopeless case and yet he’s supposed to be the leading contender to run against Trump. What a joke.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Here’s another example. They haven’t learnt much from the Trump-Morrison-Boris results:

    “Former premier Campbell Newman has blasted a prominent former fire chief for blaming intense bushfires on climate change, saying Lee Johnson never raised the issue when he headed emergency services in Queensland.

    “He had a solid two years where he could have come to me and ­expressed, one on one, these views that he’s now espousing. I have no recollection of him doing so,” Mr Newman said.

    “Mr Johnson, commissioner of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services when Mr Newman led the state, was one of the six former fire chiefs who accused Scott Morrison this week of abandoning bushfires raging across the country and offering “no moral leadership” on climate change.”


  • spangled drongo says:

    The hysterical radicals in Madrid are only producing more Trump-Morrison-Boris results:


  • Boambee John says:

    The key lesson from Boris and Brexit is that the climate worryworts and assorted other raving lefties are a minority, easily routed by a sensible leader prepared to challenge them.

    If only Australia had one!

  • Michael Cunningham says:

    Don, as a Geordie who grew up in a fatherless family in the impoverished post-War North East, I know that the Northern values are ones which labour has long left behind – seeking a decent, responsible life, providing for and caring for your family, taking pride in your work, solidarity with your community. John Howard would recognize this. These are the people who abandoned Labour and saw Boris as a better prospect.

    On climate modelling, pertinent to the UK’s future as well as ours, here’s my reply to your post on Online Opinion: My forte was economic policy rather than modelling, but I first used large-scale modelling in 1966 (with Dick Lipsey et al), I’ve been involved in many modelling exercises since, and on one occasion I was the only non-modeller invited to a top-modellers’ workshop on a new model being developed by the Productivity Commission. So I have some background.

    The main lesson I have learned is that you cannot depend on models. They are heavily dependent on the modeller’s assumptions, which often reflect a bias, political or otherwise, of the modeller. I recall an exercise where three leading modellers (well, some thought the third one was tops, I didn’t) were asked to model the same thing for the Hawke government, they came up with wildly different outcomes, which went back to their unproven assumptions. So when I used models, I regarded the output as indicative, and never ever looked more than ten years ahead – the unknowns are too great, and discount rates render the longer term fairly irrelevant to current decisions.

    A major factor is that climate is an extremely complex chaotic system, which no one – no one – understands. So it can not be well modelled, it is far, far harder than economic modelling, which very often proves unreliable. And the modellers are very often climate scientists – I use the latter term loosely – rather than expert modellers.

    So I have argued for over fifteen years that costly emissions reduction programmes are not the way to go: the future is always uncertain, we don’t know what it holds, and to focus policy on one highly uncertain area on which our greatest efforts will have little effect is surely madness. Better to focus on policies which foster resilience, enterprise, innovation etc which will stand us in good stead whatever happens, and which – contrary to the warming scare policies – involves less government, less regulation, less assumptions that a few mortals know far better than the rest of us.

  • Neville says:

    Let’s hope the Tories refuse to prosecute people who don’t pay the BBC licence fee and leave these left wing extremists high and dry.
    I just wish we could also find some way to make the extremist ABC follow a more even handed approach according to their charter.
    And I mean that at least 50% of ABC presenters should be conservatives and create shows and docos that would attract a more common sense, conservative audience.


  • Neville says:

    Remember this sick video produced professionally by the extremist eco-loons?
    If you don’t accept their ignorant, extremist point of view they happily blow you to bits.
    Doesn’t concern them who you are, young kids, fellow academics, footy players etc, they still believe you should be murdered. Real totalitarian, eco-loon terrorists displaying their hatred for their fellow human beings.

  • dlb says:

    The following excerts are taken from an article by a loyal British Labour supporter, on how Labour lost the election by straying from its working class origins. The same could be said about Labor in Australia and The Democrtas in the USA.

    “So there we have it. It turns out that the British working-class was not, in the end, willing to throw its weight behind a London-centric, youth-obsessed, middle-class party that preached the gospels of liberal cosmopolitanism and class war. Who’d have thought it?”

    “They (the British public) want politicians to respect their way of life, and their sense of place and belonging; to elevate real-world concepts such as work, family and community over nebulous constructs like ‘diversity’, ‘equality’ and ‘inclusivity’. By immersing itself in the destructive creed of identity politics and championing policies such as open borders, Labour placed itself on a completely different wavelength to millions across provincial Britain without whose support it simply could not win power. In the end, Labour was losing a cultural war that it didn’t even realise it was fighting.”

    link to the full article at

  • John Stankevicius says:

    Outsourcing of professional jobs, do it in my business. Outsource to India as I cannot find the 2 or 3 person. Result for locals is greater competition for the international franchises, more personal relationships, better work not being held hostage by the international firms, more imagination, more ideas.
    Re comment about reduced funding for British scientists. I would not worry about that is the British are able to turn anything into a profitable business. The British are practical people, look at the mini car, the harrier planes etc. I was speaking to the Englishman who developed the Vergola system,who was telling me about his training as a fitter and turner in London. They conditions which he worked in were poor but they had a process, were tidy and execution of skill was a high priority. So I asked what were the conditions like in Australia when he arrived, unbelievable, a dream – what about process, neatness and execution of skill – Hmmm – bloody rubbish.

  • Stu says:

    Merry christmas all. It seems that which ever way Don turns his attention the threads all return to climate change eventually, which is most obsessive for people who profess not to accept the science.

    So just to round out the decade and the debate, here is a little piece of interest. I recommend that you all read it even though it is in opposition to your “beliefs”. In fact you should read, especially Don, because of that fact.

    It references some very good science from varied fields associated with climate studies. It even has some great references to sea levels, which our Nev is so fond of and believes to be of uniform height everywhere.

    As Mann wrote recently, “the good thing about climate change is that the evidence is now irrefutable, the bad thing is that the evidence is now irrefutable.”

    Please read the article below, don’t just bin it this time. It has nothing to do with climate models, merely observations.

    Subject: The Growing Climate Risks Scientists Uncovered in the 2010s | InsideClimate News


    • Boambee John says:


      “threads all return to climate change eventually, which is most obsessive for people who profess not to accept the science.”

      Way to miss the point! The dangers of the so-called “science” are what brings us back here, to refute the gross stupidities of climate “scientists”.

      While your obsessive desire to convince us heathens brings you back, over and over, each time to post a link that demonstrates that you have spent the intervening period desperately searching for confirmation that we are all doooomed. And who do you produce? Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann, and yet more “tipping points”!

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Stu, since you asked me to, I read the essay. It’s just the usual scary stuff that overlooks contrary research findings, includes at least three references to ‘tipping points’, has at least six qualifiers (could, might probably etc) and isn written in a highly anxious style — when will we wake up etc. Yes, there is no explicit reference to models, but a lot of the links go to research that does rely on models. As far as I am aware, there is no conclusive evidence that CO2 can be conclusivelynlinkedtoextreme weather events, and then essay doesn’t offer one.

      And I don’t have ‘beliefs’ about global warming or climate change. My position is based on data and argument, not belief.

      • Stu says:

        Fair points and well argued Don. But do you and the others admit that you are outliers and follow outlier scientists and bloggers compared with the mainstream? All the best for the new year and may you and tour followers be correct with your views.

        • Boambee John says:


          Lavoisier was an “outlier” also, as were many other scuentists.

          Science is based on data, argument about the meaning of data, hypotheses, and testing of same. It does not advance by consensus.

          • Stu says:

            Lavoisier was a genius but I fear many of the people you rely on for your argument are more akin to Andrew Wakefield. And do you really suggest that all the thousands of researchers and their papers arguing the climate case do not rely on “data, argument about the meaning of data, hypotheses, and testing of same”? Time will tell eh! Meantime where is the significant, earth shattering, Nobel winning, proof that fossil burning CO2 is not the cause of the warming earth and that such warming is not a problem. That is a big opportunity for a bright spark to chase.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “Meantime where is the significant, earth shattering, Nobel winning, proof that fossil burning CO2 is not the cause of the warming earth and that such warming is not a problem.”

            You come up with the theory, stu, you have to supply the evidence.

            How many years is it now?

            Still no evidence.

            And you think you are producing science?

            We are still waiting for you to tell us one thing that is happening today, climate-wise, that hasn’t happened over the Holocene.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Read, learn and weep, stu.

            Previous interglacials with low atmo CO2 when temperatures and sea levels were much higher:


        • Don Aitkin says:

          I don’t use the word’ admit’, since it has a judicial context. I do accept what you say, however. Yes, my POV is an outlier, but since I base it on data and argument that doesn’t worry me. I don’t have access to the levers of power, so I write both to use my creative faculties and to alert readers to what I think is going on.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Try retaining control of your bladder, stu. Stop being an alarmist. Go outside and embrace this wonderful world as I just did this morning and encountered a Rose-crowned Fruit Dove giving me the benefit of his beautiful appearance and call.

      And if that fails, take up reading stuff like this to find out where your silliness really is in the scheme of things:


      • Boambee John says:


        As Don pointed out, scratch an alarmist “study”, find a GCM. Without the models and “homogenisation” of current measurements, there is precious little in the data supporting your argument.

        You “fear many of the people you rely on for your argument are more akin to Andrew Wakefield.” Do you fear that, or hope it?

        PS, Andrew Wakefield, what is his connection to climate “science”? Is it your belief that climate sceptics are all anti-vaxxers? Or is this just a weak attempt to discredit by (non) association?

        You need better arguments.

        • Stu says:

          You wrote “Is it your belief that climate sceptics are all anti-vaxxers? ”. No, not at all, but since you mention it there is a striking similarity in approach. Perhaps throw in chemtrail followers and flat earthers as well. Where do you fit?

          • Boambee John says:


            Now that you mention it, “there is a striking similarity in approach” between alarmists and anti-vaxxers, particularly in their hysteria and reluctance to even see, much less acknowledge, the weaknesses of their arguments and the possibility of alternative arguments. “Perhaps throw in chemtrail followers and flat earthers as well. Where do you fit?”

          • Stu says:

            Wow, BJ, the last time I encountered that type of response in a discussion was primary school. You must be regressing, senility taking hold is it? And your argument does not work. Anti-vaxxers ignore the overwhelming scientific view of the efficacy of vaccination in favour of the words of a handful of counter claimers including some that are totally discredited such as Wakefield. It is the same proportions of evidence and “consensus” (LOL) when it comes to climate science versus conspiracy theorist denialism. So your attempted argument reversal is a crock.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Stu, the truth is you are basing your entire climate philosophy on the “science” produced by GIGO GCMs.

            Please tell us which side of Oreskes is right, and why:


          • Boambee John says:


            Actually, I was emulating your comrade Chris.

            “Repaid in your own coin.”

            If all you have to offer is childishness, then that is what you get back.

            Now, how about some actual, empirical, data, not the direct or indirect output of models known to be inadequate.

          • Stu says:

            SD, please get real. “the truth is you are basing your entire climate philosophy on the “science” produced by GIGO GCMs.
            Please tell us which side of Oreskes is right, and why:”

            I have no climate philosophy, but I do quote science and much of recent comment is based on observations by dedicated researchers over long periods of things like the ice caps, ocean temperatures and currents, temperatures, and living organisms etc etc.

            As for Oreskes, you keep quoting about science being able to adapt and refine based on new evidence. Therefore so what, if she has refined her views over 25 years. Another example of unqualified, non scientific bloggers trying to tear down the messenger. Pitiful really but I am sure it would not worry her, she has been attacked more viciously by much louder folk.

            Have a read of this piece, you feature on the dead branch.


          • spangled drongo says:

            “I have no climate philosophy, but I do quote science and much of recent comment is based on observations by dedicated researchers over long periods of things like the ice caps, ocean temperatures and currents, temperatures, and living organisms etc etc.”

            Come off it, stu.

            You are simply away with the fairies.

            As BJ has just asked; “Now, how about some actual, empirical, data, not the direct or indirect output of models known to be inadequate.”

            Name one bit of your “scientific evidence” that is based on factual observations rather than GIGO assumptions.

            We have been asking this of you for a long, long time and we are still waiting for a specific reply.

            Stop hand-waving and give us some empirical data to back your claims.

            Or come clean and admit you don’t have it and are simply a climate religious convert.

            One or the other, stu.

  • Stu says:

    SD, what kind of parallel universe do you live in? Is your only source of data Fox and Sky news plus Murdoch press? You may not agree with the mass of data out there supporting the AGW position but surely you cannot be unaware if it. So I wont bother regurgitating ten million pages of it because you are blind to reality. As you or some associate said “go out and enjoy the nice world outside” and don’t try and waste my time. And Happy New year in a few days.

    • Boambee John says:


      Time for you to live the reality that you claim faces the world.

      Accept the “science”, but also accept that neither China nor India will stop increasing emissions, annually, by more than the total annual Australian CO2 emissions. Therefore, global atmospheric CO2 levels will continue to rise.

      According to the climate “science”that you state that you accept, this means increasing temperatures, catastrophic weather, rising sea levels and giant cane toads thronging the land. (OK, I admit that I made the last one up.)

      The only rational course for a believer like you is to gather your family together, and build a refuge in the mountains (not to escape the sea level rise, but for the temperature reduction that comes with increasing height). There are supposed to be some very comprehensive “prepper” sites on the web. Go to them, follow their advice, and you will surely be safe. From your place of refuge, you can watch us sceptics harvest the wages of sin.

      Or are you not that convinced?

    • spangled drongo says:


      You can’t “regurgitate” 2 words of empirical evidence of CAGW because you don’t have it, because it doesn’t exist.

      Please have the courage to admit it.

      When you actually start observing the real world outside you will find it makes a big difference.

      Give it a try from this coming Wednesday and good luck.

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