Leftist “useful idiots” continue their war on wages

Here is what Crikey’s Bernard Keane wrote last week on immigration:

The same policy breakdown that has occurred in other areas of neoliberal policymaking is now occurring on immigration. It’s generating the same response as in other areas. And it has the same causes. Rinse, repeat.

Scott Morrison, who only a matter of months ago was an ardent defender of high immigration, now wants to cut it. The PM says he has heard the complaints of residents of Sydney and Melbourne about congestion and access to services and housing.

Ironically, 38% of people in Sydney and 35% of people in Melbourne were born overseas, so more than a third of this alleged problem are drawbridge migrants whingeing about people who arrived after them.

As people with expertise in immigration, like former senior public servant Abul Rizvi point out, cutting permanent migration by 30,000, as Morrison proposes, isn’t going to do jack when every year we have hundreds of thousands of foreign students crowding into our cities, pushing up demand for housing and using infrastructure and services.

Not that the government would touch the sacred cow of education exports. We’ve traded away a major chunk of the academic quality and intellectual rigour of our higher education system because we prefer to dumb it down to attract foreign students rather than adequately fund it from taxpayer resources (foreign students also make a great resource for exploitation by unscrupulous employers, as we’ve seen time and again).

Business is appalled at the government’s turn against immigration too. After all, immigration increases demand and the supply of labour, enabling business to maintain wage stagnation and undermine unions. But it was appalled about the royal commission, and the bank tax, and the government’s gas policy, and its energy regulation, and every other shift by the government to acknowledge the deep electoral discontent about an economic system that works great for corporations, but poorly for workers. For once, however, the blame rests only partly with business itself. It was business that created the backlash against banks and power companies with its own behaviour — but most of the fault lies with governments, and well beyond decisions made in the immigration and education portfolios.

It was state and local governments that for so long stymied property development in Sydney and Melbourne, preferring to give in to NIMBYism than to display some foresight in permitting higher density housing around established infrastructure and economic opportunities.

It is the Commonwealth which fuels property investment and speculation with the taxpayer-funded “excesses” — Scott Morrison’s own word — of negative gearing, something Joe Hockey urged Parliament to fix when he left it. It is state governments that have failed to properly manage transport infrastructure until recently, but they still refuse to countenance congestion pricing. It was this government that promised a serious study of congestion pricing before abandoning it in fear of what voters might think. It is state governments and territory governments (apart from the ACT) that have resisted a shift from stamp duty to land taxes. It is the Commonwealth that dumped Joe Hockey’s successful asset recycling program that encouraged infrastructure investment by states.

Business, too, is complicit — the community will inevitably find more congestion, higher housing prices and poorer access to services more difficult to stomach if they are receiving none of the benefits of the economic growth that immigration is supposed to provide — like higher real wages. But government is the main culprit.

None of these issues are easy. Immigration isn’t merely about turning a tap of people on and off — it’s an intersection of infrastructure, taxation, development, education, health and public spending policies across all three levels of government, and all three levels have failed in Sydney and Melbourne, to varying degrees, over the last decade.

Instead of trying to fix the failures, and encourage what has worked, Scott Morrison has taken the easy option. Like Commonwealth, state and local politicians of all stripes have taken the easy option before him. We’ve been governed by people who have failed at the challenge of solving difficult but manageable problems, and we still are.

And here’s what he wrote on wages:

In contrast to its constant railing against unions and the CFMMEU, the government is almost completely silent on the issue of wage theft. A union official only has to jaywalk for a minister to condemn their lawbreaking and link Bill Shorten to it. But literally industrial-scale wage theft by business gets nary a mention from the government. Last year, government senators dissented from a Senate committee report examining wage theft and superannuation non-payment and failed to mention the issue at all, instead attacking — you guessed it — the CFMMEU and accusing Labor of allowing unions to abuse Senate committee processes.

In 2018 alone, the Fair Work Ombudsman has issued 76 media releases about separate cases of underpayment by employers, including repeated mass audits that have found massive levels of underpayment. Right now, the FWO is conducting a mass audit of 600 businesses in the Northern Rivers region of NSW.

This week the FWO also revealed the result of another mass audit of 638 businesses in the farming sector along the Harvest Trail, uncovering widespread underpayment of workers and over half of businesses breaching workplace laws. As so often happens with underpayment, the victims were often migrants, people of non-English speaking background, or students, who are more isolated, struggle to communicate and can be threatened with deportation if they complain. “The inquiry found that almost 70 per cent of harvest trail businesses employed visa holders. Working holiday subclass 417 visa holders (aged 18-31 years old) were the most common migrant workers on the trail,” the FWO said.

Perhaps that’s also why the Coalition doesn’t care that much about wages theft, as well?

This is Coalition heartland — the agricultural sector that so often has its hand out for government assistance when times get tough — even while exploiting previous schemes designed to help them when times get tough. Perhaps the government could make it a condition of drought relief that anyone found to have underpaid workers is automatically disqualified from receiving it? Or, given the massive scale of wage theft, would that knock off too many recipients?

Wage theft doesn’t directly affect wage growth indices like the Wage Price Index, which is compiled by surveying employers, not employees. But it affects wages more generally: if employers can get away with underpaying workers — foreign or not — then it puts additional downward pressure on wages elsewhere in the sector and, indirectly, across the broader economy. And the tens of millions — perhaps more — that employers underpay each year usually comes from the pay packets of the lowest-income workers, who spend a far higher proportion of their income than the rest of us. Wage theft undercuts demand as well as wage levels.

This is a classic case of Australia’s Fake Left media attitude to the mass immigration growth model. Mass immigration is directly responsible for the plague of wage theft:

  • For years we have seen Dominos, Caltex, 7-Eleven, Woolworths and many other fast food franchises busted for rorting migrant labour.
  • The issue culminated in 2016 when the Senate Education and Employment References Committee released a scathing report entitled A National Disgrace: The Exploitation of Temporary Work Visa Holders, which documented systemic abuses of Australia’s temporary visa system for foreign workers.
  • Mid last year, ABC’s 7.30 Report ran a disturbing expose on the modern day slavery occurring across Australia.
  • Meanwhile, Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), Natalie James, told Fairfax in August last year that people on visas continue to be exploited at an alarming rate, particularly those with limited English-language skills. It was also revealed that foreign workers are involved in more than three-quarters of legal cases initiated by the FWO against unscrupulous employers.
  • Then The ABC reported that Australia’s horticulture industry is at the centre of yet another migrant slave scandal, according to an Australian Parliamentary Inquiry into the issue.
  • The same Parliamentary Inquiry was told by an undercover Malaysian journalist that foreign workers in Victoria were “brainwashed” and trapped in debt to keep them on farms.
  • A recent UNSW Sydney and UTS survey painted the most damning picture of all, reporting that wages theft is endemic among international students, backpackers and other temporary migrants.
  • A few months ago, Fair Work warned that most of Western Sydney had become a virtual special economic zone in which two-thirds of businesses were underpaying workers, with the worst offenders being high-migrant areas.
  • Dr Bob Birrell from the Australian Population Research Institute latest report, based on 2016 Census data, revealed that most recently arrived skilled migrants (i.e. arrived between 2011 and 2016) cannot find professional jobs, with only 24% of skilled migrants from Non-English-Speaking-Countries (who comprise 84% of the total skilled migrant intake) employed as professionals as of 2016, compared with 50% of skilled migrants from Main English-Speaking-Countries and 58% of the same aged Australian-born graduates. These results accord with a recent survey from the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, which found that 53% of skilled migrants in Western Australia said they are working in lower skilled jobs than before they arrived, with underemployment also rife.
  • The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) latest Characteristics of Recent Migrants reportrevealed that migrants have generally worse labour market outcomes than the Australian born population, with recent migrants and temporary residents having an unemployment rate of 7.4% versus 5.4% for the Australian born population, and lower labour force participation (69.8%) than the Australian born population (70.2%).
  • ABC Radio recently highlighted the absurdity of Australia’s ‘skilled’ migration program in which skilled migrants have grown increasingly frustrated at not being able to gain work in Australia despite leaving their homelands to fill so-called ‘skills shortages’. As a result, they are now demanding that taxpayers provide government-sponsored internships to help skilled migrants gain local experience, and a chance to work in their chosen field.
  • In early 2018 the senate launched the”The operation and effectiveness of the Franchising Code of Conduct” owing in part to systematic abuse of migrant labour.
  • Then there is new research from the University of Sydney documenting the complete corruption of the temporary visas system, and arguing that Australia running a “de-facto low-skilled immigration policy” (also discussed here at the ABC).
  • In late June the government released new laws to combat modern slavery which, bizarrely, imposed zero punishment for enslaving coolies.
  • Over the past few months we’ve witnessed widespread visa rorting across cafes and restaurants, including among high end establishments like the Rockpool Group.
  • Alan Fels, head of the Migrant Workers Taskforce, revealed that international students are systematically exploited particularly by bosses of the same ethnicity.

Yet, ‘useful idiots’ across the leftist media constantly argue contradictory positions in defense of both wages and immigration without blinking an eye. Low wages are not a bug in this system, they are feature of it. The immigration-led growth model guarantees wage theft by relying implicitly upon a permanent supply shock that guarantees labour oversupply and by importing more exploitative attitudes to class within ethnic groups.

Angela Nagle has published a superb analysis of why the globalist (‘Fake’) Left supports extreme immigration in spite of the problems it causes the poor. From the American Affairs Journal:

The transformation of open borders into a “Left” position is a very new phenomenon and runs counter to the history of the organized Left in fundamental ways. Open borders has long been a rallying cry of the business and free market Right…

There is no getting around the fact that the power of unions relies by definition on their ability to restrict and withdraw the supply of labor, which becomes impossible if an entire workforce can be easily and cheaply replaced. Open borders and mass immigration are a victory for the bosses. And the bosses almost universally support it…

Today’s well-intentioned activists have become the useful idiots of big business. With their adoption of “open borders” advocacy—and a fierce moral absolutism that regards any limit to migration as an unspeakable evil—any criticism of the exploitative system of mass migration is effectively dismissed as blasphemy.

Even solidly leftist politicians, like Bernie Sanders in the United States and Jeremy Corbyn in the United Kingdom, are accused of “nativism” by critics if they recognize the legitimacy of borders or migration restriction at any point. This open borders radicalism ultimately benefits the elites within the most powerful countries in the world, further disempowers organized labor, robs the developing world of desperately needed professionals, and turns workers against workers… The importation of low-paid labor is a tool of oppression that divides workers and benefits those in power…

It has now become a common slogan among advocates of open borders—and many mainstream commentators—that“there is no migrant crisis.” But whether they like it or not, radically transformative levels of mass migration are unpopular across every section of society and throughout the world. And the people among whom it is unpopular, the citizenry, have the right to vote. Thus migration increasingly presents a crisis that is fundamental to democracy. Any political party wishing to govern will either have to accept the will of the people, or it will have to repress dissent in order to impose the open borders agenda. Many on the libertarian Left are among the most aggressive advocates of the latter. And for what? To provide moral cover for exploitation? To ensure that left-wing parties that could actually address any of these issues at a deeper international level remain out of power?..

There are many economic pros and cons to high immigration, but it is more likely to negatively impact low-skilled and low-paid native workers while benefiting wealthier native workers and the corporate sector… Mass migration… creates a race to the bottom for workers in wealthy countries and a brain drain in poor ones…

Immigration policies should be designed to ensure that the bargaining power of workers is not significantly imperiled. This is especially true in times of wage stagnation, weak unions, and massive inequality…

By providing inadvertent cover for the ruling elite’s business interests, the Left risks a significant existential crisis, as more and more ordinary people defect to far-right parties. At this moment of crisis, the stakes are too high to keep getting it wrong.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Australia has run a fifteen year experiment in mass immigration and labour markets – across multiple business cycles, Labor and Liberal regimes – and the empirical results are in. You can run mass immigration during a boom from an exogenous source to contain wage growth but if mass immigration is itself the primary growth driver then it crushes output per share:

And makes it impossible for wages growth without taking profit share from capital which is self-defeating:

Furthermore, by abandoning the working classes, youth and environment for open borders the Fake Left risks breeding hatred and contempt from the working classes, pushing them toward right-wing parties, and placing at risk the multicultural consensus.

The Fake Left would do well to take a leaf out of Bernie Sanders playbook and rethink their advocacy of ‘open borders’, which is playing directly into the hands of the capitalist elites that they supposedly oppose.

Houses and Holes

David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the fouding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.

He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.

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Comments

  1. The best thing for the alt right movement is leftists and feminists. Poland, Hungary, Italy, maybe soon Sweden have all moved altra right, one big reason immigrants and immigration

    • It’s marks a huge victory for the loonie Left that borders and nations are now seen as alt right. Antifa were violently protesting against globalization in the 90s. Even Bill Clinton and Obama believed in borders in the 90s. As the article mentions some real Leftists like Sanders still believe in them today. Is Sanders alt right? Real Leftists understand that the free movement of people gives capital unlimited power at the expense of labor. The fake Left have given up on the traditional economical arguments and replaced them with identity politics and grievance.

    • Agreed. This article nails it and is one of the best that I have seen on MB. Bernie Sanders was never given a chance, since his own party was out to undermine him. Ironically, some opinion polls showed that he would have had a better chance of defeating Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton, by appealing to many of the same voters.

  2. well…western countries de-industralised and needed jobs for their workers…so the economies rotated to construction which needs high immigration to drive demand…so if high immigration stops, what are the workers going to do? re-industrialisation would not provide so many jobs because automation and competition.

    • Stop having babies, learn to live with less. The party is over, time to sober up. The “growth” model is dying, the Earth cannot support it anymore.

      • his view of the world is so myoptic that he should immediately return to africa and start preaching when he can make a difference,
        his move would improve the IQ of both countries
        there is plenty of room for more people here, just ask any punter, or politician
        and the approval of a new coal mine in qld shows there is plenty of resources available
        Mambarino is a nutter freeloader whose only interest in Australia is the free medical which he was denied in the USA.
        he has no other asset than spare time, and a dysfunctional audience.

      • so myoptic (sic)

        Myoptic, eh? As opposed to your optics?

        his move would improve the IQ of both countries

        Muldoon is rolling in his grave! [facepalm]

        there is plenty of room for more people here

        And this based on what? Water resource calculations?

        and the approval of a new coal mine in qld shows there is plenty of resources available

        An Adani supporter, eh? You sure you’re at the right site, cobber?

        a dysfunctional audience

        And to end off, you insult the readers of MB.

        What a tour de force, Wiley.

        I’d like to help you out. Which way did you come in?

      • The really annoying thing is we don’t even need to stop having babies. Western countries have worked out a nice decline in population just by empowering people to make life choices they want – most people having 0, 1, 2 or 3 kids. It’s only the unholy alliance between big construction union and big finance/corporate that is giving us this stupid endless growth.

    • The rest of the world is facing the same problems. What we need to do is start adjusting to the new normal. Not prop up a failing model.

      • Report out in the Australian this am says the number of conditioners on the planet is going to increase by 4x in the next 30 years??

      • Not sure what to do about the number of air conditioners on the planet. We only have control over our own country. We’re meant to anyway. Doesn’t really feel like we do. Certain policies in effect that I don’t remember being asked about for example.

      • It has all been worked out. Put every poor person on the planet into an air conditioned apartment with TV and PS4 and hope they will stop having children. It will be powered by covering the rest of the planet in black heat absorbing solar panels.

    • this is my opinion so it must be a fact and right.

      Abbott wrote in his book Battlelines: “To a conservative, intuition is as important as reasoning; instinct as important as intellect. A way of life has far more demonstrative power to a conservative than a brilliant argument.”

      So what you feel about an issue is more important to a Conservative than what science is telling you.

      Idiotic, right?

  3. “At this moment of crisis, the stakes are too high to keep getting it wrong.” but why do the snowflakes keep getting it wrong, its weird, how mentally corrupted are the jenny leongs and liz allens spouting absolute bs on this issue

    • I would really, really like to know who is funding and motivating Ms Allen. There is something profoundly suspicious going on with her. How did someone who did a PhD on kids getting fat and has published only one article on immigration in her entire academic career become the goto person for Media comment on immigration at the ABC and elsewhere?

      It’s beyond weird.

      • ErmingtonPlumbing

        Good Question.
        Maybe she is one of the very few who actually turn up to political party meetings, enguages, participates and has her voice and opinions heard,… and thus sees them “Projected”.
        Is she affiliated with any political party or lobby group?
        I betcha she is.

      • It’s simple. Because she is providing the message they want to push. It’s propaganda. Not sure why you find it weird, other than you have some innate belief in media impartiality that is completely untrue.

      • @BJW I find it weird not because someone is doing it, but because she is such an appallingly bad choice of spruiker. She is an academic and calls herself ‘Dr Demography”, but she has literally no academic credibility in the area of immigration or population, so how did she get picked for the gig? Her published papers are about child care and childhood weight gain FFS, and she’s only published one paper in the last 6 years. She’s undoubtedly great at self promotion, but this is ridiculous…and so is she.

      • But what’s really weird is that so many people have this affliction of ignorance towards what mass out of control immigration is really about

      • Because anyone with credibility in the area is unlikely to talk such garbage, as it would destroy their credibility. And to the general public they wouldn’t know the difference. She is a Dr so must know what she is talking about.

        Edit: Complaining about propaganda being ridiculous seems to be missing the point…

      • My experience is that the people doing the ‘selling’ of the dodgy tax and finance stuff for the big institutions are not the sharpest tools in the shed. They are often people that have risen above their social/intellectual capacity and are happy to: 1. Just have a job with a big brand; and 2. Don’t really understand the stuff they are selling. This, unfortunately is Big Australia Liz and the ANU brand.

        This is not to say social positions matter, just that it is easy to exploit someone who desperately wants to belong and be perceived as belonging.

      • I have emailed the producers of 7.30 ABC show, asking a similar question of them, as to why they turn to this so called immigration ‘expert’, but never received a reply.

  4. ErmingtonPlumbing

    “The Fake Left would do well to take a leaf out of Bernie Sanders playbook and rethink their advocacy of ‘open borders’, which is playing directly into the hands of the capitalist elites that they supposedly oppose.”

    Bernie Sanders has the support of the vast majority of the Working class but not the, well funded by lobbyists, DNC
    The apparchicks and officials of the Democratic party were all behind the Wall Street candidate Hillary Clinton.
    Our ALP is no better, how could it be, when the working class is no longer in controll of the party.
    This is partially their fault (the working class) for abandoning their party and not participating through membership.
    Want to see the “Fake left” eclipsed by a real left,….then you will need to see thevWorking class party (the ALP) run and controlled by the working class again,…not by a bunch of Elitist, Careeist politicians sucking up to lobbyist money.
    Turning up at your local public school every so many years, and voting for “whoever” is not enough to bring about change.
    Hard work, learning and participation is required.

    https://www.alp.org.au/join-labor/

    https://youtu.be/38JNg210L24

    • The irony is that the working class brought Trump to power but the DNC rigged the Hilary nomination (by all accounts) and denied us a Bernie – Trump run-off. That woulda been an interesting contest. Bernie may not have had much support among the Washington elites but then, neither did Trump. In addition, Hilary’s campaign budget was orders of magnitude larger than Trump’s which flies in the face of the theory that he (she) who has the biggest campaign budget wins the race.

      Once you adjust for campaign spend, maybe the Trump / Clinton result wasn’t as close as many would like to claim.

  5. Furthermore, by abandoning the working classes, youth and environment for open borders the Fake Left risks breeding hatred and contempt from the working classes, pushing them toward right-wing parties, and placing at risk the multicultural consensus.

    This This THIS!

    When will these idiots learn that their virtue signalling lunacy results in them adopting appalling policies that make people hate them? How can they be so blind?

    I’ve considered myself to be a centre-left small-L liberal all my life. I’ve supported immigration, and publically funded health services and public education and a strong social security network etc etc. But the dogma of the fake left is driving me away from their deranged nuttiness, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. They are blind. I hate them and hold them in contempt, because I can see that they will inflict nothing but harm on the people of this country.

    • Was talking to some business owners on the we
      they said “thank goodness for the recession”
      “now we had an excuse to lay off our staff
      what a load off our minds”
      WW the next set of employment numbers is gunna be interesting.
      4 weeks to Xmas
      Lend lease and RCR are showing the way

    • Yup, there will be a massive backlash at some point and there’s a chance it will be very ugly. These things go in cycles, normally book-ended by a crisis. The days of the virtue-signalling clique are numbered. The days of the bearded, smashed avo-eating, soy latte drinking claque are numbered.

  6. Typical Aussies slavishly following every dumb trend to come out of America. An open borders policy is a George Soros funded strategy to bankrupt the US by flooding that country with millions of undocumented immigrants. It was advocated by Obama and Hillary who were proven Wall St lackies masquerading as democrats. (https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-14/most-important-wikileak-how-wall-street-built-obama-cabinet)
    There’s a reason the DNC stole the nomination from Sanders, because he wouldn’t sell out his country to globalist interests like Hillary would. Australia has always had a history of dumbly following America and this is no different.

  7. Like clockwork, someone at The Guardian rants against Clinton’s proposal to cut immigration:

    the failure on immigration is the inability to make a positive case for it.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/23/hillary-clinton-populism-europe-immigration

    Yes! The case for shrinking wages and disappearing school ovals!

    —–

    Ms Angela Nagle absolutely nailed it! The fake left media are useful idiots.

    Mr Ezra in that Vox video shows himself to be a useful idiot – “but some 3rd world passport holders would enjoy a wage increase”. Yes, but Aussie/American/British passport holders have been enduring a wage decrease since 2008 due to the 3rd world passport holders who are here to work for illegal wages.

    • He would have brought about an end to a very corrupt monetary system that has served the elites — albeit unintentionally.

  8. Expect Big Australia Liz to answer this detailed brutal deconstruction of her simplistic corporatist funded garbage with a 5 word tweet.

    • Never forget that her doctorate was on “… the individual, family and neighbourhood contributions to child excess weight and screen time among two Australian cohorts.”

      So a whole PhD thesis on how watching TV and playing video games will make kids fat. She should call herself “Dr Obvious”, not “Dr Demography”, as though she’s the only academic demographer in the country. Her self promotion is beyond belief.

      Her most recent publication is “Abbott, E, Allen, L, Biddle, N et al 2015, The Aboriginal population of NSW in 2015: Policy options and challenges. ” That is the only publication since 2013 listed on her website, and she wasn’t the primary author.

      Her other publications are:

      • Allen, L, Reimondos, A & Gray, E 2012, ‘Fewer occupants, more bedrooms: Census shows Australians prefer bigger houses’, The Conversation, vol. 29 June 2012.
      • Gray, E, Reimondos, A & Allen, L 2012, ‘Australian census: One in ten live alone, but that doesn’t mean they’re lonely’, The Conversation, vol. 22 June 2012.
      • Smyth, B, Rodgers, B, Allen, L et al 2012, ‘Post-separation patterns of children’s overnight stays with each parent: A detailed snapshot’, Journal of Family Studies, vol. 18, no. 2-3, 202-221.
      • Smyth, B, Rodgers, B, Vu, S, B, Allen, L and Vnuk, M. 2012, ‘Separated parents’ knowledge of how changes in parenting-time can affect child support payments and Family Tax Benefit splitting in Australia: A pre-/post-reform comparison’, Australian Journal of Family Law, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 181-213.
      • Allen, L 2011, Sustainable population Strategy: Public Policy and Implementation Challenges.

      So it’s been 7 years since she published her one paper on population strategy, and nothing even remotely relevant ever since.

      And just quietly, that isn’t the publication output of a nationally renowned academic expert on immigration and population or anything at all really.

      I wouldn’t employ her to advise me on how to blow the maggots off my chook carcass, let alone on immigration policy.

      • LSWCHP – Perhaps you have got to the bottom of the Liz Allen PhD mystery? Where can this document be found and was it a conventional thesis or an award bestowed by ANU in other circumstances?

        I went looking for it as I wanted to know what demography qualifications “Dr Demography” actually had. As you indicate, it is virtually zip and the edifice is a massive cringe.

        It seems that her ABC bestowed title of a truly important Australian female researcher, that was spun up last year, has been her greatest achievement. I smell the involvement of a well known Scottish spin doctor and ex-journalist.

        This raises an interesting question; does the ABC have a panel of highly qualified academics who sit in judgement of research efforts and the quality of Australian intellectual contributions? Because I’d really like to know when bestowing accolades for academic performance switched from the university sector to the media. And in the process I’d like to know why ANU has been mute about such anomalies? Are they too busy counting out all their money from overseas students and devaluing the status of Australian degrees to be bothered with it?

        So, perhaps the ABC should offer to host an academy awards-like ceremony where Scott Cam gets to pick Australia’s Greatest Academic and totally bypasses the silly business of intellectual honesty and integrity? Or maybe Eddie McGuire can run “Who wants to be a PhD?” and get it down to 10 questions with a free set of steak knives (to be used at your next visit to the High Rollers room at Crown Casino in Melbourne).

        Because the neoliberal project has corrupted everything. “Dr Demography” ANU? Really? Is this a sick joke?

      • @ BJW. I don’t think anybody is paying her to receive her advice. That would be stupid. I wonder if someone is paying her to give her uninformed advice…very freely and widely…to the country at large.

        @Clive It seems that her ABC bestowed title of a truly important Australian female researcher, that was spun up last year, has been her greatest achievement. I smell the involvement of a well known Scottish spin doctor and ex-journalist.

        Precisely. She is massively accomplished in self promotion, and that’s it. And she appears to have significant resources devoted to those promotional efforts as well. She’s certainly not occupying her time by publishing peer reviewed research into serious demographic issues related to immigration in Australia. The volume of her published output is risible, and nature of what she has published is even more so. She keeps going on about the deep truths revealed by her “research”, and then just spouts some wild opinions about needing moar immigrants that are backed up by nothing at all. There is no “research” to back up her claims in the usually understood sense of the word. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero.

        Like you, I smell the touch of the well known spin doctor in this. It’s a truly disgraceful state of affairs for the Australian academy.

      • LSW, a lot of the spruiking comes from people who directly or indirectly related to Scanlon. He seems to be a driving force behind it. Seems why a lot come from ANU.

  9. An excellent treatment of the Nagle article by David – masterfully integrated with MB’s analysis of the loopy far left’s role in the reintroduction of an underclass into Australian society via the mass immigration road to serfdom.

    You see, as long as it’s just good old economic exploitation of people without power, that drives down wages and conditions to benefit the 1% running retail, consumer goods and concrete dog-box empires, then it’s not racist. In fact, anyone pointing out putrid regressiveness of this strategy becomes the racist.

    Their approach (that has featured the useful idiots like Dr Liz Allen and got the Fake Greens drunk on bio-organic virtue-signalling Kool Aid) is a well designed strategy that has seen the far Right’s most erotic dream come true. The far left has brought it to them like a well-trained dog brings slippers to their master.

    And how can this be?

    For an insight into how the trick has worked you need to know about “Think Tanks”. Collectively, we have allowed these odious little institutions of self interest to escape much scrutiny in the past. The MSM prints their biddings like they are nuggets of solid gold, when the truth is very far from this as they are a scourge on our democratic system. For an insight into why, read this brief and informative note published in 1999 that should have been a warning of what was to come:

    “The Intellectual Sorcery of Think Tanks by Sharon Beder”
    https://www.uow.edu.au/~sharonb/tanks.html

    Sharon comes out swinging with a dose of reality right from the start:

    “Conservative think tanks have played a central yet largely unexamined role in the corporate battle against environmental policies and reforms. Think tanks are generally private, tax-exempt research institutes which present themselves as providing impartial disinterested expertise. However they are generally partisan, politically or ideologically motivated, and practise the art of ‘directed conclusions’, tailoring their studies to suit their clients or donors.”

    She notes that:

    “In Australasia the largest think tank is the Sydney-based Centre for Independent Studies (CIS), established in 1976. Although it claims to be independent the Centre is funded by businesses, and its work is shaped by its libertarian/laissez faire philosophy. It is, in its own words, committed to ‘an economy based on free and competitive markets’; and ‘individual liberty and choice’ including ‘the right to property’.”

    “Another prominent Australian conservative think tank, and the oldest, is the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA)….Almost one third of IPA’s $1.5 million annual budget comes from mining and manufacturing companies. It has 700 corporate members…its council has included Murdoch as well as other conservative business leaders. Like many of the US conservative think tanks, the IPA has good connections in the media via right-wing commentators with regular columns in major newspapers.”

    Once balanced by The Greens, they have been let off the leash since the Greens were captured by the idiot far left and stopped being Green in favour of ideological rabies and identity politics.

    The bottom line is that these pustulant little research shams, set up by the elites and monied self interest, are just mouthpieces for pro-mass immigration and pro-development industries at the expense of environmental sustainability. The same model has been picked up by Scottish Immigrant and ex-Fairfax “journalist” turned professional bullshit artist – Innes Willox to champion mass immigration and the dog-box future for our kids and cities. They find useful idiots and shrills like Dr Liz Allen and Leong to generate the smoke whilst they throw the levers of government and feed the press their endless rantings and rhetoric, like this one the other day:

    Tom Switzer (”Australia, too, must beware the change in the wind”, November 24- 25)

    ’cause Tom must have all his gems published ’cause he runs an industry funded Think Tank.

    Remember, it was a neo-conservative Think Tank in the USA that developed the policy for the Iraq war that plunged the world into the pit of crap that it finds itself in today. It was the petri dish for the Rumsfelds and Cheneys – and death of millions.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century

    These clubs are dangerous, make no mistake.

    In the USA they used the same strategies and political tools as our own home grown Think Tankers have that are stacked with truly rusted on promotors of simplistic ideology. They may not want to invade a nation or two; their aim is simply the destruction of a society, environmental sustainability and the dignity of workers. They’d also just like to remind you that their opinion counts for more than your’s or mine.

    Funding this pit of snakes and cockroaches is tax deductible. I mean, it would be unfair if the taxpayer did not foot the bill for industry propaganda that smothers the voice of the Australian public and distorts the community narrative. A total shame if they had to pay tax whist disseminating propaganda and eroding our democracy.

  10. More on Liz Allen.

    From http://demography.cass.anu.edu.au/news/doctorate-liz-allen

    Congratulations to Liz Allen on being admitted to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Liz will graduate on 15 December 2015.

    Liz’s PhD thesis is on ‘Individual, family and neighbourhood contributions to child excess weight and screen time among two Australian cohorts.’

    Liz is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research and is working on health profiles and fertility intentions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians to inform improved population projections.

    So in December 2015 (only 3 years ago!!!!!) after graduating with a PhD on childhood weight gain, she started working on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and fertility.

    This of course makes her eminently well qualified (at least in her view) to be the Greatest Living Australian Pundit on Immigration then, and to set herself up as “Dr Demography”. FMD, Something is very, very wrong with how this has happened. The narcissism is mind blowing.

  11. Did he just call me a “drawbridge immigrant?
    H&H spot on about fake left driving people to far right.