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Another Murdoch hydra head of misinformation needs chopping

Neverending campaign to convince Australians that bigger is better

Yet another article in the unending campaign to convince Australians that bigger is better. And once again, reference is made to how wonderfully Canada is handling the extra 14 million people we added in the past four decades. He asks that we reply to the editor. Perhaps we should use a damn form letter to counter these fools. What does it take to get the truth out about Canada? Why have we been selected as the Shangri-La of sensible planning? How did we become everyone's success story?

Paul Kelly

In "Small thinking in great leap backwards "Paul Kelly, (The Australian, 24 July 2010) has written,

"...Canada grew quickly from 22 million to its present 34 million. Have you checked out Canada recently? Its quality of life has not been ruined. One relevant lesson, however, is the distribution of Canada's growth across a number of smaller to medium-sized cities. It is a pointer for Australia."

What Paul Kelly writes here is a blatant lie. Did he live here in the early 70s? No? Then how could he offer an opinion about our quality of life? By what measure is life better? Name one. Is the Australian growth lobby getting their information from travel brochures or what? Or does a four-day junket to Vancouver for a meeting with town planners and a speech at the Board of Trade at Canada Place enough to form confident conclusions about the blessings of runaway growth and the subdivision of tens of thousands of precious farmland each year? Vancouverites and Torontonians would be surprised to learn that population growth has been well dispersed among small and medium sized towns. Maybe rural, depopulated Canada should send out a search party for those missing people. Can Mr. Kelly tell us where they went?

Murdoch Press propaganda

It seems that we should take out ads in the Murdoch press. Then again, we are having a tough enough time getting the message out to our own country. Perhaps our form letters could be sent to the media of both nations. The same vacuous arguments and worn-out falsehoods are used by pro-immigrationists here and there. Change the place names and the script is almost identical.

Once again, this is all too reminiscent of what Malcolm Muggeridge wrote about when recounted how so many British socialists painted a picture of an idyllic paradise in Stalin's Russia in order to inspire their countrymen. The greener pastures syndrome. It doesn't matter whether this Canada of theirs exists or not. It suffices that it is useful for those who want to profit from the population pyramid scam.

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must be "Canada week" at Murdoch's "Australian" newspaper.
Today we have:
From Vienna to Vancouver dense cities are better

With regards to Vancouver, Soutphommasane cites a density of 5300 per sq km.

look at:

The shaded area is the "City of Vancouver" and the areas around it are the rest of metro Vancouver.

looking at:
Which is an official document from the planning department of Vancouver, you get a totally different picture.
In the city of Vancouver you do get over 5000 people per sq km. But Vancouver as a whole it drops to 736 people per sq km (or about half that of Melbourne).

I suppose anyone could draw a boundary around Melbourne's inner suburb and calculate the population density and then cite this statistic as a the reason for it's livability. The City of Vancouver is not an isolated entity apart from the rest of metro Vancouver. I see it disingenuous to cite density statistics for this highly populated enclave which is really just a part of a much larger sprawling area. Vancouver is frequently cited as a livable city, then maybe the low density of it's metro area is a significant factor in this?

Using Google for about 10 minutes, I could do the research that refuted half of the underlying facts that Soutphommasane's uses to promote his arguments. Note he is a political philosopher, and as far as I know has no qualifications in town planning or demography.

Clearly, he has no experience in research, especially the basic use of Google, which one would think that even an academic in philosophy would know how to use.

Seems like business journalists are at the vanguard in opposing any changes to our mad growth policies.
In this article in The Age is replete with the following howlers:

"And while neither side of politics is game to say it, that's a necessary thing. Otherwise we'd be in danger of a severe case of the Dutch disease, suffer immediate labor and skills shortages that would cause inflation, resulting in higher interest rates designed to slow the economy and increase unemployment.

The pessimistic souls who claim we can't support more people despite being a major food exporter and barely beginning to price water properly might rejoice in Australia missing the present window of opportunity for a series of major investment opportunities, but most would not. Gen Y and X would find themselves paying substantially more tax in a few years or Baby Boomers would be in for a much poorer retirement. (Actually, that last bit will probably happen anyway – but it would be worse.)" (Source: Michael Pascoe, "Mongoose Politics," The AgeJuly 26, 2010

Don't we already suffer from a sever case of the Dutch Disease? We export commodities which causes our dollar to rise due to current high prices for some of them, which weakens our manufacturing sector (both for domestic needs and for exports). The rest of us not involved in the mining boost subsist on the coat-tails of the resultant real-estate boom. Is there any balance and depth to our economy?

The beating of the drums regarding the myth about inflation has become much louder this year, but some journalists are more honest and talk about a wages breakout as a consequence of reduced immigration. Does anyone have inflation figures for the past 20 years. It would be good to see net overseas migration (both in numbers of people and a percentage of population) Versus inflation rate (1990-2010). I would guess that there is no relation. Further a comparison with Australia's inflation rate with averages of Western Europe and the USA, would probably show a much better correlation. - but I would like to have the charts in front of me to make sure!

Perhaps Michael Pascoe would be an ideal candidate to live alone on an isolated desert island with a coffin full of cash, I am sure that would present him with a "window of opportunity for a series of major investment opportunities", failing that he can rest in the coffin and see what eventually happens.

Mr Abbott was asked about his views about Howard's immigration policies of late 2008 when he said one of the Howard government's "greatest but least recognised achievements" was to rehabilitate the immigration program to record levels, because asylum seekers boats had been stopped.
"One of the reasons for that was the Howard government stopped the boats."
Public support for immigration was falling away now because the government had not been able to control Australia's borders.
Tony Abbott cannot be trusted to adhere to his promises to cut immigration. He is deliberately confusing our economic immigration with "border security" and asylum seekers. Howard's "protection" of Australia's borders was a smoke screen to distract the public from debating our immigration numbers.
At the time of Howard's border protection issues,
Abbott said that "as many people as possible" should be able to enjoy the freedoms and benefits of living in Australia. This is despite the fact that higher populations are reducing the "freedoms and benefits of living in Australia"!
Tony Abbott admits he is an "immigration man" and wants a stronger (ie "bigger") Australia.
Our refugee intake - that is, people who are processed offshore and come through the system - is anywhere between 12,000 and 14,000 [a year], with another 1000 to 5000 in any given year coming by boat. Many also arrive by air, but these numbers do not get the media frenzy of the boats!
These numbers pale into insignificance with those of economic immigration, including students and New Zealanders making their homes here.
Tony Abbott cannot be trusted to limit immigration, and is willing to use public fear of asylum seekers, and border protection issues, as smoke-screens to hide the real source of our population growth.

The Australian:
Europe shows the alternative to growth is decline
After one of the longest periods of growth in Australia's recent history, Australians have obviously forgotten that there is only one thing that's more unpleasant than dealing with the side-effects of growth. It's dealing with the side-effects of decline. In order to remind ourselves about this, we should look at Europe.

The financial crisis has hit Europe hard. It mercilessly exposed the weaknesses of Europe's social and economic model. Over the past decades, Europe had developed into a place in which governments took on an ever-increasing role, consuming more and more of the national economic output.

So, worse than the problems of over-population are the problems of "decline" in our economy!

Populations of people, or any species, can't keep growing. For too long we have had the financial benefits of growth, but this addiction must stop. If we don't stop, Nature or natural disasters will. The real problem is not lack of people, but lack of production. Too many goods are imported into Australia and we are not self-supporting or self-sufficient. Our manufacturing industries should be returned, and we should stop excessive imports.

People are not livestock to be collected, herded, bred, to raise taxes and for the economic benefits! We have converging global problems of climate change, depleting oil, looming water and food shortages, dying oceans and biodiversity losses.

Our planet is finite, and simply equating population growth with economic benefits is naive, narrow and short-sighted without looking at the damage being done on our planet - Earth - the damage being done to population in overpopulated but fertile nations.

Europe may be "stagnating" or "declining" terms of population growth and slow economies, but they don't have the stresses of continually lowering living standards and rising costs.

When the Ecological Titanic hits one of the many icebergs, I would rather be without my jewels and riches, but safely on one of the few life-boats, competing with fewer hoards for safety!