The juvenile conservative

Tom Switzer may be forgiven for not knowing much about the arrival of Vietnamese boat people in Australia as he was hardly out of nappies at the time. But yes, Tom, there were boats, and Malcolm Fraser really did welcome them, just as Bob Ellis told you on ABC News 24 tonight. So, Tom, “Not by boat!”, as you so confidently stated, is really not quite the way it was.

True, Fraser went even further and organised flights for a whole lot more of them, and the far Left were totally unimpressed at the arrival of all these anti-Communist fascist “slopes” being treated so well. It was another time, you see.


Vietnamese boat people in Darwin Harbour in 1977

We’re obsessed with bloody boats which are still a tiny part of the arrivals, illegal and otherwise, in this country and add not one jot to the total migrant intake in any year you’d like to name, as they (if eventually accepted) simply become part of the predetermined humanitarian intake for that year.

I notice Tom is a fully paid-up member of the Flat Earth Society as well, or so it appeared on Q&A on Monday.

TONY JONES: Okay, Tom Switzer, quickly on that subject and then we’ll move on.
TOM SWITZER: Well, I think, to answer your question, manmade global warming, the science of it, it’s a bit like the Da Vinci Code. There’s a grain of truth but there’s a mountain of nonsense and the problem is – the problem is the alarmists – the alarmists in this debate are totally incapable of understatement. Totally incapable of understatement and we’ve seen that in the course of the whole Climategate scandal.
PENNY WONG: And your language is so neutral at the moment…

TOM SWITZER: …you might as well just adapt.
TONY JONES: Graham Richardson wants to come in on that.
GRAHAM RICHARDSON: I’d like to say two things about this. I just listened to what Tom had to say and you talk about a mountain of nonsense. It would be hard to jump over that one, pal. That’s a shocker. But that having been said, I believe in a democracy. Everyone, including Tom or our questioner, has a right to be wrong and I think it would be impossible to have a citizens’ assembly of this kind without the alternate argument being put. It would be a joke and I’m certain that the government, once it starts up its citizens assembly, will recognise that because to not do so would, to use the word "mountain", I think bring upon it a mountain of criticism from which it would not recover. So I think your arguments will get put. Hopefully they won’t be accepted but they will get put…

And this is a conservative intellectual?

Fortunately those of the conservative persuasion did have Malcolm Turnbull to contemplate as well…

What an election though: a choice between BAD and WORSE.

I’m  not going to bother with it on this blog any more.


Well, maybe not… 🙂

I see too that Tom Switzer has defended himself this morning on The Drum: Adaptation the best climate change policy. Well, that is a point of view, and one that may well end up being what we are left with by those who oppose any form of mitigation. It will most likely not be a pretty sight.

It is rather disingenuous of Tom to represent himself as a victim on Monday’s Q&A, however:

When I made this point on the ABC1’s QandA on Monday night, the response from the other four panel guests and much of the progressively-minded studio audience missed the point. "You’re a denier," (Graham Richardson), "You think it’s a vast left-wing conspiracy," (Penny Wong), and "no wonder John Howard thinks you’re the authentic voice of the Right" (Christine Milne).

Rather your interlocutors and the audience were responding to this:

…manmade global warming, the science of it, it’s a bit like the Da Vinci Code…

It appears Tom and I agree about The Da Vinci Code, which is a heap of steaming ordure. We certainly do not agree that climate science, AGW in particular, is in any way like The Da Vinci Code.

Yes, Tom is right that there is a debate about cap and trade and so on. No, he is not right to reject the imperative for effective mitigation. Only someone deep down convinced there is no problem to be addressed would take that line.