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IT is impossible to be more impartial about a man than I am about Russell Brand. That’s because the hyperactive and garrulous comedian-cum-commentator with a Big Ben ego and a Janis Joplin wardrobe is as far from my cup of cocoa as it’s possible to be. Disinterestedly, I note the following as matters of fact. Brand, 48, is at least as intelligent as two-thirds or more of Britain’s MPs. He is extremely articulate – something genuinely impressive in an era whose people speak in tweets. He is an enterprising hustler who created a fresh niche for himself as a podcaster at just the right time. His questioning of nazi orthodoxies and fake statistics during the ‘pandemic’ has aged exceedingly well. The extent to which this alone infuriates the UK’s increasingly state-nudged media should not be underestimated. On the other hand, Brand is narcissistic, insufferably smug and philosophically erratic. By his own admission, he was sexually exploitative and drug-fuelled throughout his 20s. In his defence, that isn’t exactly unusual. Ted Kennedy was a drunk well into his senior years and the media forgave him for letting a woman drown in an Oldsmobile.
Brand’s social media accounts, podcasting rights, public appearances and ability to make any kind of living are now being cancelled one after the other. We’ve seen it all before – in too many secular excommunications to remember. No corporation, lobby or broadcaster wants to be the last loyalist standing. Same thing as being the first one to stop clapping Stalin, when you think about it, except in reverse. In the contemporary West – where the forgiveness of sins (remissionem peccatorum) is at least as obsolete as the other 11 mainstays of the Apostles’ Creed – if you’re the last one cheering (or even cheering up) an un-person, you’ll get what he got. The Times’ role in the campaign against Brand makes sense. His opposition to the US proxy war in Ukraine would enrage a spook-biddable newspaper that last year reported the brave exploits of the Ghost of Kiev (and the auctioning of his “goggles” following an imaginary demise) as facts.
Well, did Brand sexually groom a 16 year-old, rape someone else and ‘emotionally abuse’ another? Binning the third count, I’m supposed to say we should leave the first two (and others that may be in the offing) to the Old Bill. Except the Old Bill is a corrupt idiot. Remember Operation Midland? How about Operation Tethering? No, contrary to the gaslighting of feminists, the pressing reform needed in these cases isn’t institutionalised believing of all women but the militant recapitulation of the presumption of innocence. Only that will shield both police brass and prosecutors from the mob to ensure real victims are championed and only real villains tried. Chancers in the media and the sisterhood who pursue celebrity sex lynchings for clicks and vengeance are the most dangerous and defiant misogynists of all. The more often their vigilantism fails, the more they damage women and the more they pervert justice to even the score. These addicted sociopaths should be called out for they are. Alas, reform cannot help either Brand or his accusers at this stage. If he ends up being convicted of something, well and good. But that possibility doesn’t make the global punishment of a legally innocent man acceptable. Not even if he’s annoying.
Damning evidence has emerged confirming the Russian military used outlawed flechettes – tiny steel nails with barbed tail fins deemed illegal by the International Criminal Court – in its attack against civilians at a Ukrainian market that claimed 18 lives and left 55 people injured.
The Australian has obtained photographs and video from inside Ukraine showing the shocking impact of the flechettes, which had been placed inside missiles used by Russia in its September 6 attack on the busy market in the city of Kostyantynivka.
The images were obtained by Adelaide cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Craig Jurisevic, who has spent more than six months in Ukraine training medicos and defence personnel in conflict zone trauma surgery and operating on wounded soldiers and civilians.
The New York Times, this morning: Evidence Suggests Ukrainian Missile Caused Market Tragedy.
The Sept. 6 missile strike on Kostiantynivka in eastern Ukraine was one of the deadliest in the country in months, killing at least 15 civilians and injuring more than 30 others. The weapon’s payload of metal fragments struck a market, piercing windows and walls and wounding some victims beyond recognition.
Less than two hours later, President Volodymyr Zelensky blamed Russian “terrorists” for the attack, and many media outlets followed suit…
But evidence collected and analyzed by The New York Times, including missile fragments, satellite imagery, witness accounts and social media posts, strongly suggests the catastrophic strike was the result of an errant Ukrainian air defense missile fired by a Buk launch system.
The attack appears to have been a tragic mishap.
Columnist David Penberthy’s “exclusive” was far too good to check. He presented as “evidence” the suspicious claims of a doctor who happens to be lobbying the Albanese government for armoured ambulances and more Bushmasters on behalf of Ukraine. But Penberthy’s embarrassing baloney is still valuable as journalism – albeit accidentally. It exposes President Zelensky as a liar, a hypocrite and a war criminal. How, after all, is what his “errant” Buk did any different to what Mr Putin’s did to MH17? Who will “shirtfront” the Ukrainian president for massacring civilians with a nail bomb? Certainly not The Australian. This ignominy confirms the national daily will publish even the most fantastic Ukrainian lies to sandbag the neocon narrative.
An Aboriginal woman of note arrives for a major engagement in Canberra. Instead of the impressive venue used previously for similar events, however, she is shown to a much smaller room.
Nevertheless, the young woman speaks at the engagement, as had been arranged. A photographer is there. He takes many excellent, expressive shots of the woman as she delivers her speech and answers questions from the crowd.
But the photograph his newspaper runs the next day on its front page doesn’t show the Aboriginal woman.
Shadow Attorney-General: Margaret Thatcher would absolutely support Anthony Albanese and the ruination of the Constitution
DESPITE the polls and the victory laps, I still think the Yessers could Matilda their way to a win on 14 October. The media will sell the Voice to the so-called “soft nos” and the hitherto uninterested – that’s almost everyone – as a Steven Bradbury classic in the making. Plus: never underestimate the Liberal Party’s ability to squander the lead in any contest. Anthony Albanese could skate past a pile of bodies and win gold yet. The first book I read on military history was Field Marshall Sir William Slim’s chronicle of the Burma campaign. The title on its spine – facing out in a miscellany of beige-paged tomes in a bookshelf at home – drew me in as a teenager: Defeat Into Victory. They sounded like words to live by. Being enticed by hard-to-win prizes – the quiddity of romance – is natural in the young before the Shallow State finesses their idealism into licensed temerity. Phoebe Plummer, 21, and Anna Holland, 20 – the Just Stop Oil protesters who threw soup at van Gogh’s Sunflowers last year at the National Gallery – are useful examples. If they were really serious about rebellion, they’d march for affordable electricity, get married and have children. But they were duped. All the Quixotes these days tilt at truth and worship the windmills.
As the recent fake pandemic proved, the only difference between dupeables and deplorables is the favour of the left-wing establishment. Its proficiency at choreographing a flash mob of enthusiasm where apathy formerly reigned shouldn’t be doubted. It helps that Labor governments can’t shoot dissenters like they could just a few years ago and that respect for the Constitution hasn’t yet been classified as a virus. They are working on the latter hindrance, of course – that’s the whole point of ‘misinformation’ bills. As things stand, however, the No case is winning and many would say Peter Dutton has proved his rightist critics wrong. It was smart to play the long details game, his backers will say, rather than oppose the Voice from the start on principle. While his “try and understand it” riposte to the John Farnham ambush was karaoke karate of the first rank, such a defence assumes the impossibility of doing two things – opposing and interrogating – at once. I still wouldn’t lend Dutton my copy of Defeat Into Victory because of the risk he’d read it backwards. Liberals get the jitters when they’re winning a battle in the culture war.
Take, for example, the Opposition Leader’s grand declaration of a new plan to enact constitutional recognition via a second referendum. Besides pulling up outright – arms aloft, one lap short of the distance – this was the silliest thing to do at the end of a marathon. It affirms Labor’s predilection for casually interfering with the country’s foundational document, dilutes the Yes or No nature of the contest, gives iffy antis cause to reconsider and facilitates for the Aboriginal Industry a second crack a few years from now. Adding to the unforced confusion, Warren Mundine has today decided to throw a lifeline to the Voice by supporting so-called treaties, changing the date of Australia Day and disagreeing with Jacinta Nampijinpa Price on the supposedly lingering effects of colonisation. What are they thinking? Is the burden of being a meanie in the eyes of the Guardian proving all too much? Do they believe resolve is unbecoming; that it needs to be offset by concessions to the other side? Or are they doling out victor’s spoils on credit to sandbag their reputations after 14 October? Only Senators Price and Pauline Hanson are holding the line.
The point is, it’s foolhardy in the extreme to celebrate until the fatuous ladies, Phoebe and Anna – repurposed above as exemplars of sanctimonious vandalism – scream. There is a lot more at stake than an ‘advisory body’ for Aborigines. Megan Davis was correct to say that Trumpian politics had come to Australia – albeit for the wrong reasons. The voice now being amplified is everyone’s and polls show Australians haven’t been as easy to browbeat as the government hoped. Largely thanks to the ineptitude of the Prime Minister – remembering that most voters don’t read op-eds or watch Sky religiously – those who want to control what we say, think and do have floundered like Hillary Clinton. The cost of not pushing on to smash the Voice will be enormous and inter-generational. At the ALP national conference last month, Wayne Swan extolled like Fukuyama the normalisation of socialism and mocked the Liberals for losing the moral authority to “demonise” deficits ever again. Swan may be a dolt but he wasn’t wrong. If team No gets the wobbles and fails in four weeks’ time, forget the budget. Start getting used to a one party state.