‘PC’ and the perils of modern ‘democracy’

Many politicians and bureaucrats systematically cause delays and unnecessary expenditure, and ignore reality.  Even worse, many from the ‘Left’, progressives, Cultural Marxists and activists keep trying to stymie democracy with their shrill, often illogical and ideological views. The following articles provide evidence.

More previous articles are linked below the most recent three.

Forced PC as governments follow Orwell’s 1984

Forced PC as governments follow Orwell’s 1984  By Jennifer Oriel, The Australian, 15 January 2017

It is something of a paradox that the closing of the Western mind has taken place during the information age. As though afraid of uncertainty, the Left introduced a range of measures to regulate speech as the West began to ­realise the idea of open society. During the late 20th century, left-wing parties codified state censorship in discrimination law. In Australia, section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act was justified by appeal to protecting ­minority groups from words deemed offensive. A new form of censorship is developing in the 21st century. We are witnessing the birth of an Orwellian political phenomenon: forced speech.

The West is moving into a post-censorship age where the state suppression of free speech will be complemented by a regime of forced speech. The state will require not only the suppression of truth that offends its designated minority groups, but the public expression of untruths that reinforce the politically correct party line. As with the earlier transition from free speech to political censorship, the state will use minority politics as an instrument to justify forced speech.

The Northern Territory Labor government announced plans to reform the Anti-Discrimination Act in a recent discussion paper. The text reveals a party well-versed in PC ideology. Take the following definition of sexuality: “Sexual orientation is a person’s sexual orientation towards ­persons of the same sex, persons of a different sex, or both persons of the same sex and persons of a ­different sex.”

As well as confusing straights, gays and bisexuals, “modernising” discrimination law apparently involves rewriting biological fact. Labor wants to replace sex with gender identity in the act so “people of diverse gender are protected” and NT law is aligned with federal legislation. But the party goes further: “Sex is based on traditional notions that all people can be classified as male or ­female.”

Birth sex is not a “notion”. It is a biological fact. The act could be modified to ensure people born with intersex biology don’t suffer from discrimination and people aren’t treated unfairly simply because they are gender atypical.

However, the proposal to replace sex with “gender identity” as a protected attribute is problematic. The denial of biological reality could become a legal requirement if discrimination law is altered to protect gender identity. NT Labor’s mooted reforms could include vilification provisions applying to its protected attributes such as gender identity and sexual orientation.

While race was used to justify state suppression of free speech, gender is emerging as the rhetorical instrument used to justify coerced, or forced speech. The British Medical Association has published a guide outlining trans-inclusive language. Consider the text on pregnancy: “A large majority of people that have been pregnant or have given birth identify as women. We can include intersex men and transmen who may get pregnant by saying ‘pregnant people’ instead of ‘expectant mothers’.” Alternatively, we could state biological fact by refusing to say “pregnant people”. I don’t care if you’re a PC hipster, “in transition” or running the asylum, you’re not pregnant unless you have a womb and if there’s baby in there, you’re an expectant mother.

When last in office, federal Labor attempted to create a vast regime of state censorship using minority politics and corrupted human rights to justify the assault on freedom. It proposed a media meta regulator. It introduced a human rights and anti-discrimination bill that listed a range of attributes to be protected from unfavourable treatment, defined as “conduct that offends, insults or intimidates”. Opposition legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus has indicated that a future Labor government could consolidate all federal anti-discrimination legislation and establish “a standard about speech generally”.

The post-censorship age will be defined by a significant transition in which forced speech is introduced to complement the state censorship of politically incorrect thought. We will have to demonstrate submission to the party line by stating PC ideology is truth. We will have to reject even the traditional Marxist idea of a scientific society by denying biological fact. In the words of Orwell’s 1984protagonist Winston Smith, we will have to agree that “two and two make five,” if the party says so.

A recent case in Canada illustrates the problem. At Wilfrid Laurier University, teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd played a televised debate on the introduction of transgender pronouns such as xie instead of he or she. An academic argued requiring their use was a form of “compelled speech”.

Shepherd said that she had remained neutral in the class. However, university officials required her to attend a meeting after students filed a complaint. During the meeting, academics and staff from the diversity office cited human rights, students’ feelings, and a “gendered violence, gender and sexual violence policy” to argue against her presentation of the debate. Shepherd was admonished for violating policy on gender-based violence, transphobia and “causing harm to trans students by bringing their identity as invalid (sic), or their pronouns as invalid — potentially invalid”.

Note the categorical errors ­required to make PC fiction seem reasonable; free speech is equated to harm, dissent from the PC line is equated to violence, and pronouns are categorised as an expression of identity politics.

Forced speech is not a feature of free world politics. It is, however, a chief feature of totalitarian society. Survivors of communism recounted gruesome re-education programs that concluded only when dissenters demonstrated submission to the party by public recitation of communist state ­doctrine. In The New York Review of Books, Ran Yunfei, a Chinese intellectual who was held under house arrest, said: “The CCP created a parallel language system that is on an equal basis with the language of truth.”

In 1984, the Inner Party official O’Brien explains to the politically incorrect protagonist Winston: “Whatever the Party holds to be truth is truth.”

An old friend asked why, after years of voting Labor, I left the Left. I considered justifying myself again with the chronology of exodus. But the truth is plain and blunt. Why did I leave the Left? Because two plus two equals four.


In a PC world, don’t dare criticise what you can’t understand

In a PC world, don’t dare criticise what you can’t understand  By Maurice Newman, The Australian, 11 January 2017

When Bob Dylan sang “Come gather ’round people wherever you roam and admit that the ­waters around you have grown”, he wasn’t singing about global warming and rising sea levels. He was alerting the world to an ­unstoppable civil rights movement aimed at achieving for African Americans equal access to, and opportunities for, the basic privileges and rights afforded to all other citizens. It was a grassroots movement determined to rectify a self-evident injustice.

Dylan advised his followers to get on board. “You better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin’,” he intoned.

Now, 50 years on, the tide has turned. The noble principles ­behind the civil rights movement are in retreat. Masquerading as minority oppression, victimhood is a thriving industry. Whether well-meaning or a sinister exercise to divide society according to ethnicity, colour, gender, religion, sexual orientation and social status, self-identifying minorities are demanding, and receiving, preferential treatment.

While ordinary Aussies have yet to be told to sit at the back of the bus, they watch in bewilderment and with rising anger as they see their national identity ­replaced by a patchwork of incoherent foreign values. Should they complain, new government agencies and statutes are there to keep them in their place and to ensure they keep their whiteness and cultural and ­religious values to themselves, lest they ­offend others. Rather than oppress ­minorities, we pander to them. Complaining about a discriminatory “indigenous only” computer room can, at great personal cost, land you in court, as Queensland University of Technology students found.

Some minorities shamelessly exploit this obsequious regime. Centrelink refuses to collect data on polygamous marriages under Islamic law, despite the fact when claiming welfare, some families involve a domestic relationship with more than one wife. We indulge the tiny transgender, ­intersex “community” with gender-neutral toilets paid for by taxpayers and businesses.

To placate minorities, Victoria Police has regularly baulked at calling Middle Eastern crime by name and played down the dangers posed by violent Sudanese criminals, notwithstanding they are 44 times more likely to bash, rob and invade homes. When Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews ­referred to “out-of-control South Sudanese youth”, The Age ­accused him of making “unpleasant and inflammatory” comments to provoke “a predictably base ­reaction from those sensitive to immigration on racial grounds”.

Perhaps this is why Victoria Police told media before interrogating Saeed Noori, the accused driver who allegedly mowed down Christmas shoppers in Melbourne’s Flinders Street, that the attack was not terror-related. Noori later spoke of Allah and the mistreatment of Muslims. Police had similarly played down an Islamist angle after the siege in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton last June, despite the offender’s links to known terrorists.

Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore was quick to dismiss Man Haron Monis, the gunman who laid siege to the Lindt Cafe, in which two innocents died, as a terrorist, despite him displaying an Islamic State-like flag in the cafe window and having affiliated himself with the terrorist group.

When it comes to sentencing, the courts take The Age’s sensitive approach. Ibrahim Kamara, from Sierra Leone, received a suspended sentence of just over one year, with an 18-month good ­behaviour order, after admitting to five counts, including grooming and having sex with a minor. The ACT Supreme Court judge said “(Kamara) has tried to make a good start on his life in Australia”.

Sevdet Ramadan Besim planned to drive his car into a police ­officer performing duties on Anzac Day and then behead him to promote “violent jihad”. He ­received a minimum sentence of just 7½ years.

In NSW, an Islamic sect leader was the first person in Australia to be imprisoned over the genital mutilation of two sisters aged six and seven. Notwithstanding a 21 years maximum, the leader ­received 11 months’ jail, while his two accessories will serve a minimum of 11 months’ home detention. This sets a derisory bench­mark for future sentencing.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt refreshingly observes that “state courts should not be places for ideological experiments”. Yet they are. Judges have become politicians in robes and, like the police and other unelected authorities, selectively administer the law according to their prejudices.

Then there’s South Australia’s initiative to commit $4.4 million to commence indigenous “treaty” ­negotiations. It joins Victoria, which began similar Aboriginal engagement in 2016. An indigenous Referendum Council is pushing for a constitutionally elected indigenous body in federal parliament, a mechanism for treaty-making and a healing com­mission. There is talk of inserting a racial non-­discrimination clause in the Constitution and amending pro­visions allowing the common­wealth to make special laws for indigenous people on the basis of race, the very antithesis of American civil rights ideals.

Aboriginal broadcaster Stan Grant writes: “We don’t have to reckon with the treatment of ­Aboriginal people because they are invisible. Indigenous people become a postscript to Australian history.” When Australian taxpayers pay the equivalent of $43,000 a year for every First Australian, that’s some postscript.

In his Christmas message, Malcolm Turnbull told Australians we have much to be grateful for, not least that so many people of “so many different backgrounds, races and religions live together here in a harmony founded on mutual respect”. His sentiments are well intended and worthy but the multicultural policies he and Labor support have left us, in American commentator Pat Buchanan’s words, “irretrievably divided on separate shores”.

Australia no longer pursues the rapid assimilation of minorities. Rather, diversity is institutionalised. It would be foolish to believe profound and unpredictable consequences won’t follow as the silent majority reflects on its own segregation. Yet the louder it protests, the more it will be controlled. Civil liberties be damned.

It’s time to admit the safe ­waters around us are receding and we’re sinking like a stone.


African youth violence the outcome of failed diversity policies

African youth violence the outcome of failed diversity policies  By Jennifer Oriel, The Australian, 8 January 2017

Labor accuses the federal Liberal government of playing politics with African crime in Vic­toria. But Labor has played politics with ethnicity for decades. The result is a booming industry that trades in a culture of complaint and blame-shifting. The industry is funded by the taxpaying public but breeds hostility towards Australians. Its beneficiaries enjoy access to special funding and affirmative ­action while claiming to be oppressed. Its leaders cry racism but can rationalise racist violence when the aggressors are black and the victims are white.

It takes a long time for ideologues to concede error. One would have thought a mob of African males invading a home and punching a woman in the face might make multiculturalists repent. Perhaps a mob of African males attacking teens on the street might stir Melbourne’s green-left to unmitigated sympathy ­— for the victims.

Imagine a white mob shouting “get blacks” before terrorising a black neighbourhood. The establishment would work overtime to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice in Victoria’s right-on courts. Public media would be on the case, investi­gating white supremacy and damning ­racism. But in fact it was a black mob shouting “get whites” in a working-class suburb, so it’s all quiet on the PC front.

Victorian Supreme Court judge Lex Lasry seemingly made light of concerns about youth gang violence in a tweet: “Breaking: there are citizens out to dinner in Mansfield tonight and they’re not worried.”

The following night at least 10 men of ­African appearance reportedly invaded a home and terrorised a 59-year-old woman by punching her in the face and threatening to kill her. That’s 10 men ganging up on one woman. But she’s white and they’re black so — whateva.

The same night a black mob allegedly ­attacked teenagers. In one attack they set upon a boy walking along the street about 9.30pm. They took a baseball bat to the boy’s legs and assaulted him. Justice Lasry, fearlessly dining out in Mansfield, might spare a thought for the terrorised people in working-class suburbs bearing the brunt of malformed multicultural policy.

As part of the federal inquiry into migration settlement outcomes, the Liberal government wished to amend the Migration Act to permit mandatory cancellation of visas for violent offenders aged between 16 and 18. Labor rejected this, justifying the dissent by appeal to the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia, which objects to “any attempts to apply provisions under section 501 to juveniles”.

It also rejected the recommendation that anyone over 18 convicted of violent offences such as assault, sexual offences or the possession of child pornography have their visas cancelled under section 501 of the Migration Act. The Labor Party rejected two further recommendations to strengthen counter-terrorism. In short, if you’re a violent minor, rapist, child pornographer or budding terrorist of immigrant descent, Labor has your back. Not even Dante could conjure up a ­circle of hell that foul.

We have endured a protracted season of denial about the relationship between particular ethnic groups and criminal activity. However, in its submission to the federal ­inquiry, Victoria’s Crime Statistics Agency revealed that since 2014 there has been a 28 per cent increase in unique offenders who were born in Sudan. In 2014, the Australian Bureau of Statistics illustrated that people born in Sudan had the highest imprisonment rate, followed by persons born in Samoa.

Rebecca Urban reported in The Weekend Australian that Sudanese youth offend at a rate about four times the national average. Sudanese-born people are not 1 per cent of Victoria’s population, yet youth born there are responsible for 13.9 per cent of aggravated robberies and 7.4 per cent of home invasions.

Rather than stopping gangs punching women, police and children, PC elites are busy discussing terminology. They’re concerned about the term “gang”. Apparently it’s causing the yoof to invade homes, beat up women and children. We are advised to use the term “networked offending”. The PC elites can’t concede their multicultural program is a failed social experiment because it means defunding a big state industry.

Victoria’s Labor government increased funding for multicultural affairs from $46.8 million to $51.1m. The budget for multiculturalism includes $21.8m for language services and $2m for migrant workers’ rights. An additional $19m was allocated to the government’s multicultural policy statement. Funding for Aboriginal policy was increased from $33.5m to $56.2m in the same budget.

In submissions to the migrant settlement outcomes inquiry, groups such as the South Sudanese Community Association in Vic­toria and the Islamic Council of Victoria ­requested more funding for programs. The SSCAV expressed concern that “a number of young people of South Sudanese origin have engaged in serious criminal activities”. However, there was little analysis of the cause of the violence in the Sudanese community ­beyond the trauma of fleeing civil war in Sudan. Instead, negative behaviour was ­attributed broadly to the Australian media, police, teachers and “racial hostility and discrimination in sections of the Aus­tralian community”.

Australians have spent billions on the multicultural industry over decades. With unprecedented debt, stagnating wages, high taxes and soaring basic living costs, we ­can no longer afford to fund these big state social experiments.



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About Peter Senior

I'm a very experienced and pragmatic management consultant. I've reviewed and led the restructuring of many organisations - large and small corporations and Government Departments, much of the time as President of the New Zealand Institute of Management Consultants. Before that I was General Manager of a major NZ newspaper; earlier, an analyst for IBM UK. I gained an honours degree in engineering at London University, and studied management at Cambridge University. This wide range of experience has left me frustrated: I continue to see too many examples of really bad management. Sometimes small easily fixed issues; sometimes fundamental faults; and sometimes really tricky problems. Mostly these issues can be fixed using a mixture of common sense, 'management 101' and applying lessons from years of management experience. Unfortunately, all too often, politics, bureaucracy and daft government regulations get in the way; internal factors such as poor culture and out-of-date strategies are often evident. So what's gone wrong, and why, and most importantly, how to fix 'it'? I hope there are like-minded people 'out there' who will share their thoughts enabling 'us' to improve some significant management failures that affect the general public. If you just accept bad management, you don't have the right to complain! If you'd like to share thoughts on any aspects of management, send me an email to petersenior42@gmail.com . My latest project has the interim title 'You’ve been conned. Much of what you were taught and read is largely irrelevant, misleading or plain wrong – this is the REAL story of life: past, present and our possible future.' The working paper so far comprises 105 pages, many listing references and interim conclusions. The main problem is finding sufficient credible evidence, and realising the more Iearn, the more I realise I don't know!
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