Friday, September 03, 2004

I was wrong!

I know some folks don't read the comments section of blogs so I thought that I should "publicly" answer some very important questions that have been raised.
Here are the comments as they appeared.

"LAWS to force people to ride bicycles more often and eat less meat.This is where the word "force" is used."Force" and "encouraging" are completely different. The former is the act of a totalitarian state; the latter can be achieved with better facilities, subsidies, other forms of positive encouragement.You know, like everything else the government does to enact policy. You don't describe Howard's policies which encourage people to buy 4WDs (the tax discount for 4WDs) as "forcing" people to buy 4WDs, do you?And you ask where the funding's going to come from; obviously it's going to come from taxes. Der.C'mon, guys, admit that the Hun article was a contemptible beat-up and filled largely with lies. Yeah, sure there was some truth - the Greens DO want to create equality for gay and lesbian people, for example. (And why shouldn't they?) But the extremist stuff was complete bullshit. It was a hatchet job, and you should be ashamed of yourself for supporting it.
posted by Jeremy : 6:38 PM "

Jeremy, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologise to you & your fellow greens. I was wrong!.

Were I went wrong was in thinking that by stating something in a policy and actually putting a target figure on it, then you would actually want to enforce it. You see, I thought that these were policies, not suggestions. or things to be "encouraged" . I thought 20% actually meant 20%. Sorry, I'm a bit new at green policies suggestions positive encouragements proposals submissions hints ideas.
As far as 4WDs go, I agree. I would remove any subsidies for these things too. However, I don't see a Liberal policy that has a target of 20% 4wd's. Surely if they were encouraging it they would have a policy for it? Sorry, I'm getting confused again. It's the greens that have encouraging policies and the Libs that tell lies. Now that we are back on track...
If we vote green, will we then have speed suggestions instead of speed limits? Will we be encouraged to not drink and drive or will we have laws against it?

By the way Jeremy, I re-read the policy and you are right. The word force does not appear. Neither does the word encourage. It says 20%. Do they mean it or not?

Thank you for finally admitting that taxes will rise under green influence. Finally one of you developed the balls to own up. Scroll down to my writings on Sweden to see the real cost of the Workers Paradise.

As far as the gay and lesbian issue... Can you please explain to me how segregating people by their sexuality and having different policies for each sub-group is not discrimination? The same question needs to be asked of your indigenous and refugee policies. They are simply racist by any sensible definition. Multi-racialism has never been a problem in Australia. I grew up in a place where if you were racist, you didn't have any friends. I am very proud of Australia's multi-racial backgrounds and am actually married to an immigrant to this country. Multi-culturalism however, has been an abject failure. Your policies are sexist, racist and divisive.
You either believe in equality or you don't. Make your mind up. The only true equality is the equality of opportunity. Stories abound in this country of people who have overcome all sorts of circumstances and have made good. But to do well here, you need to get off your clacker and stop suckling from the teat of the State. I am 42 years old and the highest qualification I have ever had is a drivers license but he last time I needed the dole was in 1982. There is work and opportunity in this country for everyone who wants it and has the gumption to do something with their life.

The reality is that your mob are simply another tired old reincarnation of the communist and anarchist movement. You have nothing positive to offer on the environment. You have nothing positive to offer on equality. You have nothing positive to offer toward peace. You have nothing but negative viewpoints. You see nothing but problems and strife in the world. You see conspiracies everywhere. You take no responsiblity for your actions. It is always someone elses fault. Everyone is telling lies but you.

I would offer you the same advice that I offered your mob a few weeks ago. If you honestly know of a place where your communist ideals are being met then why aren't you living there? You simply don't have the courage of your convictions do you? It is all well and good to live in a strong capitalist system and to bag it but actually living under a real communist regime? No way. You are gutless!

So far the only policy you have sparked up on was the pushbike one. You have had no sensible argument or refutation against any of the other charges laid against you by the Herald Sun or anyone else. So, again, I was wrong when I used the word "force". Now it's time to admit where you have been wrong.

Get something through your head and understand it. The vast majority of Australians reject your ideologies outright. Stop thinking of yourself as an elite with all the answers and see yourself for what you really are. A bitter and cynical communist.

You are finally coming under genuine scrutiny and you're all shitting your pants & crying like adolescent girls.
Grow up!


writer said...

The Greens are a political party standing for election. They already have significant representation in parliament. They partially hold the balance of power. They are not a think tank.

Therefore their policies must not be ambiguous.

They are ambiguous, and the Herald Sun is quite right to have put them under the blowtorch. As was Greg Sheridan.

The Greens and their supporters should not hide behind the smokescreen of saying their 'policies' are simply 'proposals for further investigation' and the like.

Especially their supporters - the Greens would have more credibility if they junked their loopier proposals and stuck to a shorter policy platform.

People want real policies. Not manifestoes that say let's form a committee and discuss it later.


Alan Green said...

From the Greens transport policy, section 2.11, "encourage the cycling and walking amenity of the streets by supporting, for example, lower urban speed limits on residential roads".

There are many ways to implement a policy, enforcement of behaviour is one, encouragement of behaviour is another. Even the Liberal party thinks there is a time and place for encouragement - have a look through these search results from the Liberal party's site.

Frankly, your style of argument is not rational. You make outrageous claims and hold that they must be true unless somebody goes into great detail to disprove them. You might as well claim that four wheel drives kill six million people a year on Australian roads, or that Mark Latham is a space-mutant from planet Q.

If you want to make a point, then back it up, or risk having it dismissed as merely the rantings of a silly old bastard. Oh wait...

Gibbo said...

Good sidestep Al.
You folks aren't handling the scrutiny of the last week well at all, are you?

I'm biased of course but I think my argument is quite rational. Is the figure 20% a target, a wish, a dream or what? All you have done with you comment is confirm the amount of ambiguity and contradiction in the policy. It says "encourage" in one part and 20% in another part. Which is it?
There are many places where your policies contradict each other.

Again, so far all you have pinged me on is the use of the word "forced" That's it. Same tactic as the whole "Children Overboard" scenario. You just ignore the fact the kids ended up in the drink and instead make an argument on the use of the phrase "thrown overboard".
Semantics mate! Stick with the topic.

Answer some of the questions instead of tap dancing about whether the word is "forced" or "encouraged"

Read the comment above yours.
Scrutiny of your policies is long overdue and is proving a great deal of fun. It becomes more obvious every day that this party has no concept of reality. If you are never going to be held accountable (elected into government), then you can promise anything. You have. Now it is time to answer the tough questions.

Are these the policies of a serious political force, the meaningless meanderings of a few bong-water drinkers, or just tired old communist propaganda being regurgitated by people who would never have the guts to actually live under their own policies.

I was tired of this subject a few days ago but now I can see that the scrutiny is actually biting, I'm keen to "maintain the rage".

The more explaining and back pedaling you guys do, the funnier it looks. Thank you. Call in often. John Howard appreciates your help.

Gary said...

lowering urban speed limits on residential roads looks like forcing people to use bikes to me. But so many meaning have changed(stolen,generation,lying) its hard to keep up with fuzzys.

Alan Green said...

OK, Gibbo. Let's stick to the point. And in that spirit, I will not muddy the waters by mentioning children being thrown overboard :)

As I see it, the point is this: the Herald Sun ran a beat-up. Like all beat-ups, it contains some facts, but also a range of errors, and a far from fair presentation. You posted this beat-up as truth. Some of your commenters called you on it. The bicycles issue was a simple way to demonstrate the partial falsehood and thorough bias of the Sun-Herald's (and now your) words.

On to your questions. You ask, "Is the figure 20% a target, a wish, a dream or what?" It's obviously a target. I'd say - and you might agree - a wishful, dreamlike target, but a target never-the-less. They plan to meet the target with a range of measures vaguely described as "encouraging". "Encourage" usually means to structure the taxation, physical and/or cultural environment in such a way that people are more likely to choose the desired option.

For example, smokers are "encouraged" to quit by means of taxation, non-smoking restaurants and anti-smoking advertisements. Smokers are not blanket-banned from buying or using cigarettes, or fined for using them (except in specific circumstances.)

The words you quote, "LAWS to force people to ride bicycles more often" implies something along the lines of "issuing on the spot fines to any commuter that cannot produce bicycle trip receipts for 20% of journeys in the preceeding financial year."

If your point is that the Greens' policies are not particularly detailed or well thought out, I might agree. However, you haven't provided much evidence beyond re-asserting the awkward misinterpretations made by somebody else. That isn't "scrutiny"; it's a heavy-handed and savage rumour mongering.

Why don't you challenge some of their actual policies? The Greens have have plenty of unconventional and strange ideas for real, so there is no need to perpetuate the Sun Herald's grotesque caricatures.

p.s: Since you raise the question of motivations and ideology, I'll point out that I am not a "Green," at least not in the sense of being a Greens voter. Nor do I want to see Australian politics take a hard left turn. My motivation for engaging in this debate is that I'd like to see a better standard of debate from politicians of every stripe. I'd also like to see all parts of the media more focussed on informing, and less focussed on shock and outrage.

I'm also frustrated at the lack of measured, polite, pro-Liberal argument in the blogosphere. Still: your blog, your rules.

Gary said...

Alan, You are frustrated because YOU think of your self as a (self appointed) nanny of the "blogosphere". Either your to lazy to find a "measured, polite, pro-Liberal argument" in the WWW or to start your own site. OH ! but you said "your blog, your rules" so you can "talk the talk" but can you do the rest?.

Alan Green said...

Gary and all. Sorry - hadn't enabled the profile feature. Now you can see my full name, find my blog etc etc.

paul said...

Only a lefty could describe the levelling of a lower rate of tax as being a "subsidy". (4WDs are classified as commercial vehicles in the Customs tariff, and attract a rate of duty of 5%, as opposed to 15% on passenger vehicles. Phasing rates will see pax vehicles 5% over the next eight years). Fact is, everything else about an SUV is more expensive (higher fuel usage, tyres etc more expensive, higher insurance premiums etc). Some subsidy. Brought to you by the same people who describe a tax cut as having a cost of... Since when does not collecting money have a cost?

Adam said...

Hi, I'm interested in tango and would like to meet other similar people in my local area. I've found this tango site but I need to find some others. Any ideas?