September 26th 2015

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Abbott era ends as Liberals oust elected PM

EDITORIAL The future of the Liberals after leadership coup

FAMILY AND SOCIETY Vulnerable GLBT youth pawns in plebiscite game

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Cuts in aid trigger mass migration: more to come?

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Labor campaign to 'get' Dyson Heydon backfires

FOREIGN AFFAIRS China's official media hints at power struggle in Beijing

ASIA Taiwan: no longer the Kingdom of Youth

MILITARY HISTORY Antony Beevor at the Australian War Memorial

LIFE ISSUES Assisted suicide and our society of autonomy

SCIENCE You can trust research papers (we think; we hope)

PUBLIC HEALTH Taxpayer funding offers no immunity from failure

MINING Supreme Court dismisses attack on Qld Land Court

CINEMA Technology and the antisocial network: The Social Network

BOOK REVIEW Hollow Heroes: An Unvarnished Look at the Careers of Churchill, Montgomery and Mountbatten, by Michael Arnold


NATIONAL AFFAIRS Turnbull divides party in Cabinet reshuffle

Books promotion page


News Weekly, September 26, 2015

Orwell no communist


News Weekly is as readable as ever.

However, in the obituary of Robert Conquest (News Weekly, September 12) the article describes George Orwell as a “notable former communist”.

Conquest was in the Communist Party once, as was Arthur Koestler. But Orwell was certainly never a member. It would have been an interesting time had he been a member, but it never happened.

Stephen Holt,

Canberra, ACT

Sordid Saudis


I was discussing the issue (“Arab world must help fix Libya and Syria crises”) with some Muslim friends who think Saudi Arabia is a morally bankrupt state.

It has the wherewithal, space, $$$$ and more, except the tolerance and decency to help by stopping terror funding and direct help, yet does nothing. The West allows and funds this behaviour by arms deals.

Stephen Bowskill,

Charlestown, NSW

Radical agenda


The jailing of Rowan County clerk Kim Davis for refusing to register a homosexual marriage brought out a number of instructive media responses.

One caller to Rush Limbaugh’s popular radio show, Vanessa from Vernon, Connecticut, and enjoying Kim’s jail time, said she was a “Lady of the Left”.

She left no doubt that the homosexual goal was to smash marriage. Her input gains credibility when we read the agenda in a homosexual magazine, The Nation, of June 27:

Disestablish marriage. Same-sex “marriage” was just a stepping-stone. The goal is that there be no formal marriage rules at all.

Pass strong LGBT “non-discrimination” laws across the U.S.

Ban all “religious liberty” laws.

Demonise pro-family conservatives and silence all dissent.

Push a radical political agenda. They plan to leverage their power to support Marxist economic policies.

As Vanessa said: “We have a group called the Ladies of the Left, an unstoppable group of women to destroy the youth of the country by populating the schools with propaganda.

Robert Bom,

West Rockhampton, Qld.

Call to marriage action


Thank you for your two timely and lucid articles (“Same-sex marriage and the SOGI ideological agenda” and “Canada: basic freedoms lost since same-sex marriage came to town”, in News Weekly, August 29, 2015). May they be widely read and heeded.

If marriage in Australia is to remain the preserve of opposite-sex couples only, three things must happen. First, the Coalition must win the next federal election, for the Labor Party has promised to legalise same-sex-marriage within 100 days if elected.

Second, the Coalition must hold a referendum on the question rather than a plebiscite, to ensure the existing legal definition of marriage (a union of one man and one woman only) is enshrined in the constitution; thus preventing any government from changing the definition to include any other types of unions without winning a referendum authorising such changes.

Third, the defenders of traditional marriage must match their opponents’ dedication and discipline in a united campaign to stop this proposal for the gratification of a few, but to the great detriment of the many. The wholehearted involvement of Christians is crucial.

In the May 2015 Irish referendum, the apathy and dissent from Church teaching of many Catholic laypeople and clergy played no small part in making same-sex-marriage legal in Ireland today. One Archbishop was reported to have said he had “no wish to stuff my religious views down other people’s throats” (Irish Times, May 19, 2015).

Here, some clergy and others seem loath to commit to the conflict. One prominent Catholic priest openly supports homosexual marriage in total contradiction of doctrine affirmed since the inception of the Christian Church. He has publicly stated he will not tell politicians to vote against a bill approving same-sex-marriage (Eureka Street, August 11, 2015). It is vital that any such dissidence remains minimal.

Richard Congram,

Mosman, NSW

Recollections of Clarks


I’d like to add to the biographical picture of Colin Clark’s very successful, but apparently conventional, career given in Peter Westmore’s article B.A. Santamaria: influence and influences (News Weekly August 15, 2015).

When I was seven or eight, and attending Vida Lahey’s art classes held in the British & Foreign Bible Society’s upstairs assembly hall at the lower end of George Street, Brisbane, two or three of the Clark boys were pupils there too. (Vida Lahey was a leading Queensland painter at the time and is still highly respected.)

As the classes were held on a Friday afternoons, the children came neatly dressed in the clothes they had worn to school, the boys in serge shorts, long woollen socks and leather shoes; the girls in dresses or skirts, ankle socks and leather shoes.

The Clark boys stood out as oddities, with their shocks of white hair and dressed in ill-fitting cotton khaki shirts and shorts, their shirts un-ironed and never tucked in, and in sandshoes without socks. The only paintings they seemed to produce were of Guy Fawkes Night, great splashes of red and black. As they looked so alike I don’t remember if there were two or three of them.

I once saw their mother waiting for them in the street entrance at the foot of the stairs. She was wearing a long army greatcoat and Wellington boots, which didn’t have the edge of normality then that they might have now. I thought she was a man. My father said they had a pig farm, and presumably to it Colin Clark came home after his day’s work in the corridors of power.

A Clark boy next swam into my ken as a student at the University of Queensland. He was quite transformed from his childhood days – a dapper president of the Students Union who caused some hostility by introducing unprecedented comforts to the Union Office (we were just emerging from the austerity of the postwar years), including a well furnished and well-used drinks cabinet.

Finally, a glimpse of a wider social apprehension. Returning from a walking trip to Federation Peak (Tasmania) in 1962, we ran into a Professor Firth, an Englishman and Professor of Economics at the University of Tasmania, who put us up for the night at what he called his rural slum, once the house of bushranger Martin Cash. The Clarks must have come up in conversation and I remember the strong feeling in his comment: “It was a crime to put that pretty young woman out on that pig farm.”

Lucy Sullivan,

Moana, SA

Clearing the hot air


The call by the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) for this country to cut its emissions to zero by 2050 is an over-reaction. One wonders if such august bodies have any understanding of basic facts regarding carbon dioxide.

CO2 is presented as the major greenhouse gas. However, water vapour makes up 96.5 per cent of greenhouse gases. CO2 makes up only 2.5 per cent and other gases such as methane less than 1 per cent. Carbon dioxide – from all sources – comprises just 0.39 per cent of the total atmosphere.

Let’s do the numbers. Water vapour comprises 96.5 per cent of greenhouse gases. Water vapour is 27 times more potent that CO2 as a greenhouse gas. So 96.5 times 27 equals 2,605 units of greenhouse gas effect. Compare this with CO2, which equals 2.7 tiny greenhouse units.

It’s like walking into a room and pointing to the tiny hamster in the corner (CO2) and saying it’s causing “dangerous global warming” while at the same time completely ignoring the elephant in the room (water vapour).

A royal commission should be called to test the theory that CO2 causes global warming before we sign away our prosperous future at Paris.

Alan Barron,

Grovedale, Vic.

Exception to the rule?


Thank you for your editorial in the issue of August 1 (“Another scare to fuel global warming alarmism”).

If there is a problem with carbon dioxide in the air, why haven’t I heard about the period 1939 to 1945 when there were thousands of vehicles, ships and planes “spewing” CO2 all over the world. I am not aware that the amount of CO2 grew as a result.

Strange, isn’t it?

Gordon H. Johnstone OAM, JP,

Cherrybrook, NSW

Save our young men


I have subscribed to News Weekly for decades now and have always found it to be an excellent little paper, thoroughly readable and manageable, unlike the bulky newspapers we have today.

I am a great-grandmother who will be 79 this year. I have been married to my husband for 60 years. We married as teenagers and had two boys and a girl. We now have seven grandsons, one granddaughter, four great-grandsons and one great-granddaughter.

We have a lot of boys in our family and it is boys who are the main reason for me writing to you.

Some years ago Professor Bob Birrell wrote on the plight of young men in our society. If I recall correctly he was concerned about the lack of training and job opportunities for young men and said that many young men in our society would never be able to afford to marry, buy a home and have a family.

What he said is coming true. However, I would go even further. I think we have a very grave problem in our society among young men in particular which no one seems to be aware of.

I believe that the drug and alcohol problems we have now have compounded what was already becoming a problem in the 1980s. I also believe that the effects of the extreme feminist movement of the 1960s on young boys growing up and to a lesser extent girls too has not been a positive one. It has led to confusion among boys and made girls more aggressive and immoral.

Patricia Halligan [Mrs]

Mount Nasura, WA

Religion: good or bad?


Recently several letters were published in a metropolitan newspaper by correspondents demanding an inquiry into whether religion causes more harm than good.

Meanwhile 14,000 members of the St Vincent de Paul Society fan out across the country each week to visit distressed people in their homes and gave them assistance, and 2000 men each night received a shower, a bed and a meal in refuges run by the society.

Meanwhile, also, thousands of men, women, and children were found accommodation and helped with food, bills, and shelter by the Salvation Army, Wesley Mission and other Church organisations.

Around the world the Catholic Church is second only to the Red Cross in providing disaster relief. Throughout the world that one Church is responsible for 4,167 hospitals, 12,300 dispensaries, 15,600 homes for the elderly and chronically ill and 10,000 orphanages

Need I go on? Clearly there is much more to religion than disagreements, suicide bombers, and wars.

Dr Frank Mobbs,

Gosford, NSW

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