Essential Reading

Insights from Quadrant
Insights from Quadrant

Enemies of pleasure

At Powerline a guest poster notes what may well be the universal and defining characteristic of the Left: its sheer and utter joylessness

… Think about how the leftists have spoiled every single source of joy. You like new cars? Do you fondly remember your first car? Well, then you are clearly a BAD PERSON. To quote the world’s angriest (and probably by now richest) teenager, St. Greta, “HOW DARE YOU?” Why, your love of fossil fuels and the internal combustion engine have RUINED Greta’s life. She only has 7, maybe 8, years left to spend all her loot! All so YOU can get from Point A to Point B without consulting a schedule for a noisy, belching bus filled with a diverse array of losers and fare-beaters who are hoping to assault you and take your money.

Perhaps – in my opinion – the only thing more fun than a new car is a new BABY. The good folks at Zero Population Growth were willing to allow you TWO of the little critters, one more than the ChiComs. A friend with three kids out for a walk in California had one of the baby-haters come up to her and say, “Your third child is breathing my air.” Seriously. I would love to introduce her to one of my favorite commenters who calls herself “Homeschooling Mother of Eleven” and watch her stroke out. (Bonus ancient Steve Allen joke: “In China, a woman has a baby every 3 seconds…we must FIND this woman and stop her…”)

Read the whole piece before some neo-wowser gets it banned.

Insights from Quadrant

Too many Cooks
boil the wroth

For some time now, and especially since an American career criminal breathed his last beneath the knee of a thug cop in Minneapolis, the attention of the Australian Left has been brought to bear on … Captain Cook.

For those in that particularly noisy segment on the groupthinkers’ side of politics the connection must be blindingly obvious, although it will continue to mystify many others as paint is sprayed, protests organised and the long-since devalued cry of ‘Racist!” echoes hither and yon, especially on the national broadcaster’s news and talks shows. Online, where petitions are being raised to remove Cook statues from Alaska to Hawaii, New Zealand, Cairns and Sydney, enlightenment is no more easily come by.

Take, for example, the 500+ signatories demanding that Hyde Park be liberated from the great navigator’s gaze, which has surveyed Sydney from atop his plinth since not long after Henry Parkes thought it a good idea to honour the man whose arrival in Botany Bay marked the start of this nation’s documented history. Here is how the petition’s instigator, a certain Paris Zhang, presents her case:

The Captain Cook memorial statue in Hyde Park is a cruel reminder to the indigenous community in Sydney. Captain Cook is not a man who should be praised or respected for his actions which oppressed Indigenous culture. This statue commemorates a man who committed mass genocide and the oppression of indigenous culture. There is no pride in genocide.

No guidance there, just the Left’s typically spurious assertions, unsupported opinion and, inevitably, a cliche or two sufficiently simple to be bleated at the next traffic-blocking demonstration.  This is good enough for the ABC, always eager to give organised idiocy an editorial boost, but adults will remain no wiser as to why a specifically American contretemps has incited such passion on the other side of the world.

The one thing that is clear is the suggestion of some of Cook’s milder critics that his statue be removed to a museum. His image represents the past, you see, and a museum is where the past belongs. Indeed, that is where it must reside if the present is to be recast and the future re-charted.

Not that it will worry Ms Zhang and her online posse, but there’s an aesthetic problem with that notion. A Quadrant reader and art historian, who asks to remain anonymous for fear of the Left’s doxing and harassment, writes:

The colossal statue of James Cook [should] to remain in situ, unless it is under immediate severe threat of damage or destruction and has to be moved for its protection.

The statue of Cook in Sydney is one of sculptor Thomas Woolner’s finest and is of major significance in his oeuvre. Woolner was delighted to receive the commission for Cook from Henry Parkes in 1874.

Since the sculptor had spent many months in Sydney when a young man, [he] knew the position the proposed statue was to occupy He designed the statue precisely for the position it occupies in Hyde Park (more of a huge rectangular Square, than an actual park) in the very central location right in front of the museum.

The pedestal is high, which necessitated raising more money for the sculpture. The bronze statue, which itself is 13ft high, was completed in 1878 and the largest Woolner ever made.

The size of the statue was undoubtedly dictated to Woolner by its importance and its location.

If it were to be moved into a museum, the statue would need to be exhibited on its original pedestal to have full aesthetic impact. If it is not displayed at this height the statue will not make sense in terms of proportion and will not work aesthetically.

The statue would be dwarfed by an interior setting and would not have the benefit of the expansive outdoor setting for which it was intended. This setting, like the background of a painting, was part of Woolner’s original conception for the work. William Allingham in his poem, ‘A Statue for Sydney, New South Wales’ of June 1878, appreciated this when he wrote:

There on his breezy column will he stand,
The bloodless conqueror, viewing sea and land.

I fully appreciate the sensitivity of the above words, but they do record the views in England at the time. I would plead for the statue to be left in the site for which it was intended, but for a plaque to be added beside the statue explaining that Cook discovered Australia for the Europeans and adding relevant text about British colonialism and how it is regarded in Australia today.

There are those of us of the opinion that a sculpture could be commissioned as the First People’s Response to Cook, allowing people to think through both the issues and the art. While Cook is a towering figure, the new sculpture could be sited not that far away without spoiling the impact of either.

I ask you, and your fellow petitioners, please to reconsider moving this extremely important Victorian public statue, which will seen by fewer people in a museum, and which is part of the shared history of our two nations.

Aesthetics? Alas, that concept isn’t likely to win converts amongst those who find it impossible to sign and comment on a petition without using the procreative vulgarity as punctuation.

— roger franklin

Insights from Quadrant

Slave to fashion,
not history

It’s a mixed bag for readers of The Australian today (June 23). On the one hand, friend of Quadrant and frequent contributor Daryl McCann has an opinion piece on the “dictatorship of bohemia” which has seen everyone from Captain Cook to J.K. Rowling pilloried for alleged crimes against humanity, defined in the case of the Harry Potter author as stating that men are men, women are women and no amount of surgery or lipstick can make it otherwise.

Sadly, there’s also a report from staffer Jacqueline Magnay purporting to disclose that Governor Lachlan Macquarie “was a slave owner who inherited money from a plantation in Antigua.”

Ms Magnay is based is in Europe, which makes it rather difficult to further her education by introducing her to Keith Windschuttle, Quadrant‘s editor, who would be only too pleased to set her straight. Instead, she’ll have to read his three-part series on the myth of Australian slavery.

Those installments  can be read here, here and here — especially the essay at the last link, in which Keith discusses the Enlightenment values of the Founders and explains:

Until 1796, Lachlan Macquarie had unquestioningly accepted slavery. He was then a captain in the British Army in India. At the time, India had a population of some eight million slaves and the institution had existed since time immemorial. Indeed, in 1794, when he joined his regiment in Calicut, Macquarie purchased two slave boys from the market in Cochin.

His first wife, Jane, was the daughter of the chief justice of Antigua in the West Indies and when he died she inherited a small number of slaves there. Jane died of consumption in 1796 and in her will she set her slaves free. Her husband followed her example and emancipated his own Indian slaves, enrolling them in a parish school at Bombay to learn to read and write.

While Ms Magnay wrote in ignorance, various commenters in the thread below her you-heard-it-here-first pseudo scoop did not. A sample:

“1810 was 210 years ago,” observes a commenter with the colourful handle of Botswana O’Hooligan, “but a certain sect on this planet owns and deals in slaves by the hundreds of thousands right now so why don’t these people lambaste them with the utmost vigour?”

To the left on our homepage, contributor Harry Cummins makes the same point at considerably greater and more detailed length.

Then there is this from a commenter at The Australian calling himself simply ‘Phil’:

Fragile folk put all their energy into something that may or may not have occurred 200 years ago.

Meanwhile, we see ridiculously cheap clothing for sale that was likely made under near slavery conditions yet we do nothing.

Ms Magnay really should take out a Quadrant subscription.

— roger franklin

Insights from Quadrant

How to revitalise
Australia’s economy

Andrew Stone’s important new book lays out an economic agenda that is coherent and comprehensive, yet politically achievable over the next three to five years by a federal government with the resolve to implement it.

Order your copy here.

Addressing immigration, the housing market, higher education reform, federal?state relations, energy policy, workforce participation, welfare reform, budget repair, monetary policy and financial system regulation, the book demonstrates that good government worthy of the respect and support of the Australian people is not merely possible but vital.

What others are saying of Restoring Hope:

Niall Ferguson: “This is an ambitious program of structural as well as fiscal reform. Let us hope there are politicians willing to take the risks inherent in such a radical strategy.” 

Peter Costello:  “Andrew Stone reminds us that improving productivity is the key to future living standards in Australia. He identifies a range of areas where this could be examined. The hard work of economic reform cannot be done without explaining the options and building public support.”

John Howard:  “Andrew Stone has undertaken the difficult task of arguing in detail for a range of economic reforms. That he has done it at a time when, in the eyes of some, reform is in the doldrums is all the more praiseworthy. His analysis of the housing issue is impressive.”

Essential Reading

Insights from Quadrant
Insights from Quadrant

Enemies of pleasure

At Powerline a guest poster notes what may well be the universal and defining characteristic of the Left: its sheer and utter joylessness

… Think about how the leftists have spoiled every single source of joy. You like new cars? Do you fondly remember your first car? Well, then you are clearly a BAD PERSON. To quote the world’s angriest (and probably by now richest) teenager, St. Greta, “HOW DARE YOU?” Why, your love of fossil fuels and the internal combustion engine have RUINED Greta’s life. She only has 7, maybe 8, years left to spend all her loot! All so YOU can get from Point A to Point B without consulting a schedule for a noisy, belching bus filled with a diverse array of losers and fare-beaters who are hoping to assault you and take your money.

Perhaps – in my opinion – the only thing more fun than a new car is a new BABY. The good folks at Zero Population Growth were willing to allow you TWO of the little critters, one more than the ChiComs. A friend with three kids out for a walk in California had one of the baby-haters come up to her and say, “Your third child is breathing my air.” Seriously. I would love to introduce her to one of my favorite commenters who calls herself “Homeschooling Mother of Eleven” and watch her stroke out. (Bonus ancient Steve Allen joke: “In China, a woman has a baby every 3 seconds…we must FIND this woman and stop her…”)

Read the whole piece before some neo-wowser gets it banned.

Insights from Quadrant

Too many Cooks
boil the wroth

For some time now, and especially since an American career criminal breathed his last beneath the knee of a thug cop in Minneapolis, the attention of the Australian Left has been brought to bear on … Captain Cook.

For those in that particularly noisy segment on the groupthinkers’ side of politics the connection must be blindingly obvious, although it will continue to mystify many others as paint is sprayed, protests organised and the long-since devalued cry of ‘Racist!” echoes hither and yon, especially on the national broadcaster’s news and talks shows. Online, where petitions are being raised to remove Cook statues from Alaska to Hawaii, New Zealand, Cairns and Sydney, enlightenment is no more easily come by.

Take, for example, the 500+ signatories demanding that Hyde Park be liberated from the great navigator’s gaze, which has surveyed Sydney from atop his plinth since not long after Henry Parkes thought it a good idea to honour the man whose arrival in Botany Bay marked the start of this nation’s documented history. Here is how the petition’s instigator, a certain Paris Zhang, presents her case:

The Captain Cook memorial statue in Hyde Park is a cruel reminder to the indigenous community in Sydney. Captain Cook is not a man who should be praised or respected for his actions which oppressed Indigenous culture. This statue commemorates a man who committed mass genocide and the oppression of indigenous culture. There is no pride in genocide.

No guidance there, just the Left’s typically spurious assertions, unsupported opinion and, inevitably, a cliche or two sufficiently simple to be bleated at the next traffic-blocking demonstration.  This is good enough for the ABC, always eager to give organised idiocy an editorial boost, but adults will remain no wiser as to why a specifically American contretemps has incited such passion on the other side of the world.

The one thing that is clear is the suggestion of some of Cook’s milder critics that his statue be removed to a museum. His image represents the past, you see, and a museum is where the past belongs. Indeed, that is where it must reside if the present is to be recast and the future re-charted.

Not that it will worry Ms Zhang and her online posse, but there’s an aesthetic problem with that notion. A Quadrant reader and art historian, who asks to remain anonymous for fear of the Left’s doxing and harassment, writes:

The colossal statue of James Cook [should] to remain in situ, unless it is under immediate severe threat of damage or destruction and has to be moved for its protection.

The statue of Cook in Sydney is one of sculptor Thomas Woolner’s finest and is of major significance in his oeuvre. Woolner was delighted to receive the commission for Cook from Henry Parkes in 1874.

Since the sculptor had spent many months in Sydney when a young man, [he] knew the position the proposed statue was to occupy He designed the statue precisely for the position it occupies in Hyde Park (more of a huge rectangular Square, than an actual park) in the very central location right in front of the museum.

The pedestal is high, which necessitated raising more money for the sculpture. The bronze statue, which itself is 13ft high, was completed in 1878 and the largest Woolner ever made.

The size of the statue was undoubtedly dictated to Woolner by its importance and its location.

If it were to be moved into a museum, the statue would need to be exhibited on its original pedestal to have full aesthetic impact. If it is not displayed at this height the statue will not make sense in terms of proportion and will not work aesthetically.

The statue would be dwarfed by an interior setting and would not have the benefit of the expansive outdoor setting for which it was intended. This setting, like the background of a painting, was part of Woolner’s original conception for the work. William Allingham in his poem, ‘A Statue for Sydney, New South Wales’ of June 1878, appreciated this when he wrote:

There on his breezy column will he stand,
The bloodless conqueror, viewing sea and land.

I fully appreciate the sensitivity of the above words, but they do record the views in England at the time. I would plead for the statue to be left in the site for which it was intended, but for a plaque to be added beside the statue explaining that Cook discovered Australia for the Europeans and adding relevant text about British colonialism and how it is regarded in Australia today.

There are those of us of the opinion that a sculpture could be commissioned as the First People’s Response to Cook, allowing people to think through both the issues and the art. While Cook is a towering figure, the new sculpture could be sited not that far away without spoiling the impact of either.

I ask you, and your fellow petitioners, please to reconsider moving this extremely important Victorian public statue, which will seen by fewer people in a museum, and which is part of the shared history of our two nations.

Aesthetics? Alas, that concept isn’t likely to win converts amongst those who find it impossible to sign and comment on a petition without using the procreative vulgarity as punctuation.

— roger franklin

Insights from Quadrant

Slave to fashion,
not history

It’s a mixed bag for readers of The Australian today (June 23). On the one hand, friend of Quadrant and frequent contributor Daryl McCann has an opinion piece on the “dictatorship of bohemia” which has seen everyone from Captain Cook to J.K. Rowling pilloried for alleged crimes against humanity, defined in the case of the Harry Potter author as stating that men are men, women are women and no amount of surgery or lipstick can make it otherwise.

Sadly, there’s also a report from staffer Jacqueline Magnay purporting to disclose that Governor Lachlan Macquarie “was a slave owner who inherited money from a plantation in Antigua.”

Ms Magnay is based is in Europe, which makes it rather difficult to further her education by introducing her to Keith Windschuttle, Quadrant‘s editor, who would be only too pleased to set her straight. Instead, she’ll have to read his three-part series on the myth of Australian slavery.

Those installments  can be read here, here and here — especially the essay at the last link, in which Keith discusses the Enlightenment values of the Founders and explains:

Until 1796, Lachlan Macquarie had unquestioningly accepted slavery. He was then a captain in the British Army in India. At the time, India had a population of some eight million slaves and the institution had existed since time immemorial. Indeed, in 1794, when he joined his regiment in Calicut, Macquarie purchased two slave boys from the market in Cochin.

His first wife, Jane, was the daughter of the chief justice of Antigua in the West Indies and when he died she inherited a small number of slaves there. Jane died of consumption in 1796 and in her will she set her slaves free. Her husband followed her example and emancipated his own Indian slaves, enrolling them in a parish school at Bombay to learn to read and write.

While Ms Magnay wrote in ignorance, various commenters in the thread below her you-heard-it-here-first pseudo scoop did not. A sample:

“1810 was 210 years ago,” observes a commenter with the colourful handle of Botswana O’Hooligan, “but a certain sect on this planet owns and deals in slaves by the hundreds of thousands right now so why don’t these people lambaste them with the utmost vigour?”

To the left on our homepage, contributor Harry Cummins makes the same point at considerably greater and more detailed length.

Then there is this from a commenter at The Australian calling himself simply ‘Phil’:

Fragile folk put all their energy into something that may or may not have occurred 200 years ago.

Meanwhile, we see ridiculously cheap clothing for sale that was likely made under near slavery conditions yet we do nothing.

Ms Magnay really should take out a Quadrant subscription.

— roger franklin

Insights from Quadrant

How to revitalise
Australia’s economy

Andrew Stone’s important new book lays out an economic agenda that is coherent and comprehensive, yet politically achievable over the next three to five years by a federal government with the resolve to implement it.

Order your copy here.

Addressing immigration, the housing market, higher education reform, federal?state relations, energy policy, workforce participation, welfare reform, budget repair, monetary policy and financial system regulation, the book demonstrates that good government worthy of the respect and support of the Australian people is not merely possible but vital.

What others are saying of Restoring Hope:

Niall Ferguson: “This is an ambitious program of structural as well as fiscal reform. Let us hope there are politicians willing to take the risks inherent in such a radical strategy.” 

Peter Costello:  “Andrew Stone reminds us that improving productivity is the key to future living standards in Australia. He identifies a range of areas where this could be examined. The hard work of economic reform cannot be done without explaining the options and building public support.”

John Howard:  “Andrew Stone has undertaken the difficult task of arguing in detail for a range of economic reforms. That he has done it at a time when, in the eyes of some, reform is in the doldrums is all the more praiseworthy. His analysis of the housing issue is impressive.”