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Windsor receives death threats as climate of hate ramps up

Death threats received by Tony Windsor reveal that the debate over a carbon tax is not really about economic efficiency or policy effectiveness, or even about party politics. It’s about the way responses to climate change threaten the worldview and cultural identity of some groups in the community.

Here, as in the United States, rejecting climate science and resisting greenhouse policies have become lore in the resurgent movement of right-wing populism whose dominant sentiment is anger.

After calling him a “f***ing dog”, Tony Windsor’s anonymous caller said “I hope you die you bastard”, a level of aggression way out of proportion to the possibility of a small rise in energy prices.

Last year I wrote a series of articles describing how Australia’s most distinguished climate scientists have become the target of a new form of cyber-bullying aimed at driving them out of the public debate.

Each time they enter the public domain through a newspaper article or radio interview these scientists are immediately subjected to a torrent of aggressive, abusive and, at times, threatening emails. Apart from the volume and viciousness of the emails, the campaign has two features — it is mostly anonymous and it appears to be orchestrated.

The exposé of cyber-bullying was picked up in the United States. In journals like Scientific American many more stories of intimidation emerged. Stephen Schneider, an eminent climatologist at Stanford University who died a few months ago, said he had received hundreds of threatening emails. Exasperated he asked: “What do I do? Learn to shoot a magnum? Wear a bullet-proof jacket?”

Schneider said he had observed an “immediate, noticeable rise” in emails whenever climate scientists were attacked by prominent right-wing commentators. Most of those commentators are employed by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News.

The violence of the language is disturbing and designed to intimidate scientists into silence. I have spoken to Australian climate scientists who have upgraded their home security in response to the threats, and a number have taken the more serious ones to the police. Some parliamentarians, including Windsor, have also felt compelled to refer death threats to the AFP.

Tony Windsor believes the hate campaign directed against him is being orchestrated. The timing and content indicate that the cyber-bullying, as well as the phone calls to parliamentarians and the comment sections of websites, are being coordinated by one or more climate denier organisations.

Whether uttered from the Opposition benches, on talk radio or in anonymous emails and phone messages, the violence of the language of those opposed to a carbon price reflects a deep cultural divide.

In his prophecies of national ruin and calls for a “people’s revolt”, Tony Abbott has adopted a level of demagoguery rarely seen in Australian politics. And this kind of belligerent rhetoric simply serves to feed the abuse and threats being rained down on climate scientists, campaigners and parliamentarians.

The only parliamentary leader in the world to agree to meet Lord Monckton, Abbott sent a signal to the Australian public that Monckton’s half-crazed theories about a plot by communists and Nazis to impose world government should be taken seriously.

When Nick Minchin and fellow deniers say that climate change science is a conspiracy by ex-communists to pursue their goal of wrecking Western civilisation and imposing world government, sensible people scoff. But there are plenty of people out there who believe it. Convinced by high profile commentators like Janet Albrechtsen and Andrew Bolt that a secretive elite of scientists, politicians and activists are conspiring to destroy their way of life, some aggressive men have violent thoughts.

One young, female climate campaigner received this email:

“Did you want to offer your children to be brutally gang-r-ped and then horribly tortured before being reminded of their parents socialist beliefs and actions?

“Burn in hell. Or in the main street, when the Australian public finally lynchs you.”

As an author I am targeted too. A couple of months ago I opened my email to read this from someone calling himself “Graeme Bird”:

“Let’s have that evidence then you Stalinist c**t. Either come up with the evidence or admit publicly that you are a fraud and kill yourself. What a complete c**t you are.”

Journalists sometimes trivialise these threats as part of the cut and thrust of politics. But they soon change their tune when they become the targets. Last year I spoke off the record to a number of journalists who had been seriously spooked by the torrent of abuse and threats in response to their reporting on climate change.

It may be only a matter of time before the rage being stoked persuades an unbalanced individual to take the step from violent words in anonymous emails to spilling real blood. If Australia’s security services are not closely monitoring the activities of denialist activists then they are failing in their responsibilities.

Let us hope that in Australia we never hear a police superintendent repeat the words of County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik after US congresswoman Giffords was shot: “The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous.”

*Clive Hamilton is the author of Requiem for a Species: Why we resist the truth about climate change (Allen & Unwin 2010).

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  • 1
    Tomboy
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    One Nation comes from Queensland. Clive Palmer comes from Queensland.

  • 2
    Mr Squid
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    The LNP is all over the place.

  • 3
    Jim Reiher
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    When thinking and caring politicians like Windsor, - a man prepared to make hard and unpopular decisions for the greater good of his electorate and his country - get death threats… it makes me deeply concerned for this country.

    To be a safe leader, I guess you have to shut up, keep things going exactly as they are, never question anything, allow those with money and power to keep doing everything they want to do to maintain their privileges, and keep saying “how high?” whenever Mr Murdock says “jump”. To stay a safe leader, I assume a person has to be a mindless puppet who lets the unelected power brokers behind the scenes tell you how to behave and what to vote for.

    If some idiot really did kill someone over all this, could fools like Mr Abbott be in any way held accountable? Inspiring hatred and violence? … I guess not. To hard to prove a direct connection. And the ridiculous thing is that Mr Abbott would be first in line to condemn the violence, phoney that he is.

  • 4
    wilful
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Graeme Bird is a reasonably well known loon across the ozblogosphere - he gets banned many places - I think the only place he’s still tolerated is Catalepsy. I believe he has a genuine mental illness so ought to be treated with pity rather than anything else.

  • 5
    mekongmelody
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Clive, greetings from Hue. As you may know I worked with traditional fishermen in Indonesia in 2002. Even then they were talking about how the climate had changed. Their old ways of reading the weather for signs that hey could go to sea in relative safety were no longer reliable. I did a survey of Lao a few weeks ago for a report for the Asian Media Forum, on media and climate change and 100% of the respondents ranging from farmers to soldiers and traders agreed that climate change is a serious issue and the changes well upon us. This week in Vietnam I have heard park rangers, foresters and planners talk about climate change adaptation. Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh city are making arrangements to relocate or at least ramp up protection from saltwater incursions into the city’s substrata.
    So what is it about the so called developed world that persist in this witchcraft? I agree that the media are reprehensible. Compared to Asia, Australian media is largely content free and lacks analysis… but how has Australia become a nation of deniers, (of racism, of indigenous and refugee rights) of climate change. How much are the coal and other self interested parties prepared to go to fund or in other ways support this neanderthal behaviour?

  • 6
    Sir Lunchalot
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Watched Foreign Correspondant on ABC1 last night and the ease of getting guns in Arizona. I dont think we are at that stage, or even close. So calm down.

    Windsor and Oakeshott have chartered their course and they will have to defend themselves come the next election with their electorates. Judgement Day.

  • 7
    nsaberle
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Great article, Clive.

    The anger of people who are unwilling to accept what climate experts say is a poor indictment on our society. We should be above that but, sadly, we are not.

    A recent article in the journal “Psychological Science” (Feinberg & Willer) points out that “the potentially dire consequences of global warming threatens deeply held beliefs that the world is just, orderly, and stable”. Ironically, it is presumably those with these beliefs of justice, order and stability who are exhibiting traits entirely inconsistent with those values.

    How to curb this violent rhetoric, then? Has the US learned any lessons in the wake of the Arizona shootings? And if it has, is it a lesson well learned, or just a temporary cease-fire while the no-mans-land is cleared?

  • 8
    Mark Duffett
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    But Clive, didn’t you only last week say yourself that conservatives see environmentalism, particularly in the context of climate change, as “a profound threat to the structure of the world they are committed to”? What’s more, you also said they were pretty much right on that score.

    So you can hardly act surprised when some of those people see “the possibility of a small rise in energy prices” as the first steps towards the end of the world as they know it, and react accordingly.

  • 9
    Frank Campbell
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    I have spoken to Australian climate scientists who have upgraded their home security in response to the threats, and a number have taken the more serious ones to the police.”

    All email abuse/threats, right?

    In my region alone, the climate cult is responsible for real attacks and real arson. Verbal abuse and threats are common. Whole towns live in fear, fear of both individual nutters and corporate thuggery.

    A disability pensioner was beaten up for demonstrating (alone) on the side of the highway at Waubra, a town ruined socially and economically by the climate cult. He was then harrassed by a group of company thugs. The original attacker said he was going to shoot the victim. The second such threat in a fortnight. Police offered to charge the thug, but the victim was too scared to proceed.

    A Western District farmer had three hay sheds burned down in one night- for opposing industrial wind. A million dollars damage.

    The climate cult imposes real economic and social damage. The victims have no redress. Their plight is never mentioned on sites like Crikey.

    Hamilton failed to get elected in Higgins despite a tsunami of hubris. The Greens (my former party) have reached their electoral high-water mark, and the ALP was humiliated at the polls. The Greens could manage only one Reps seat competing against two discredited parties. So expect more hypocrisy like this piece from Savonarola Hamilton.

    Having no mandate whatever for a “carbon tax”, the Brown-led government is imposing one. Economic and social damage will intensify. Expect the cult to deliver government to the hard Right for a decade.

  • 10
    Elan
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Windsor and Oakeshott have chartered their course and they will have to defend themselves come the next election with their electorates. Judgement Day.”

    Et too Brutikins??

    Judgment Day? Lighten up poppet.

    What a pug ugly bunch these twisted haters are. They’ve been beaten senseless with the hatred stick to the point where they don’t spew bile. They are bile.

  • 11
    Mark Duffett
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    I hasten to add (having just experience premature submission) that I do not condone death threats in any circumstances (though I don’t read “I hope you die you bastard” as a death threat).

    And yes, I’ve been on the receiving end of similar missives from Graeme Bird too, so I think it’s a very big club that Clive’s joined.

  • 12
    Lisa
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Excellent piece, Hamilton.

  • 13
    Frank Campbell
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    @ MekongM:
    “but how has Australia become a nation of deniers, (of racism, of indigenous and refugee rights) of climate change. How much are the coal and other self interested parties prepared to go to fund or in other ways support this neanderthal behaviour?”

    This is why you are losing- and empowering Neanderthals like Fr. Simian. You patronisingly assume that those who resist the climate cult are Rightwing troglodytes. Some on the green/left are speaking out against the shambolic mess the cult has dumped us in, but you are mainly alienating the voters. People aren’t fools. AGW belief has been declining in the polls since 2006. More to the point, the foolish predictions (eg Flannery, no water by 2009…desal for Brisbane) , hysteria (95% of the world’s popluation dead by 2050- Kevin Anderson) and sheer policy incompetence (you know the Rudd-Gillard list) have all undermined credibility of the AGW hypothesis.

  • 14
    freecountry
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Under s 474.15 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code ( see comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2010C00842/Html/Text#_Toc280782338 ) it is an offence to use a “carriage service” to make a threat to kill someone (imprisonment 10 years), or a threat to cause or contribute to serious harm to someone (imprisonment 7 years). Intent to cause fear is a necessary part of the proof; actually causing fear is not. A “carriage service” includes telephone, email or SMS messaging.

    Personally I think for the sake of the public dialogue, all journalists and politicians should endeavour, as much as time permits, to report all cases to the police, to provide all available evidence, and to appear in court as a witness if possible. You should make the same effort to report attempted intimidation as you would make if you learned of the attempted blackmail or bribery of a politician.

  • 15
    CHRISTOPHER DUNNE
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    When even the ABC gives the likes of Piers Ackerman (as they did on QandA this week) a public platform to make his ignorant opinions available as some sort of legitimate position, you know that Australia is a long way from a really informed debate about climate change. And this concerted propaganda campaign of disinformation by the right flows all the way to the Neanderthal swaggering Abbott, giving him cover for his belligerent calls of a “people’s revolt” and other inanities.

    The really nasty stuff that Clive’s talking about is the bogan bottom of the barrel audience of shock jocks and their ilk, but the broader public too has clearly been deceived by the relentless anti-warming campaign.

    Hopefully the public will get tired of Abbott’s negativity and aggressiveness, so maybe then we can start an adult discussion about how to correct the monumental market failure of not pricing carbon dioxide emissions.

  • 16
    craigb
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I have to agree with you Mark, hoping someone dies is not a threat. Tony Windsor sounds like more hot air, just like his mate Oakeshott.

  • 17
    Philostrate
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations Clive - nailed it once again! Re Wilful’s comment about mentally ill correspondents - the guy who shot Giffords was mentally ill for quite a while - but something pushed him over the edge into extreme violence. Was it the inflamed, vile language that has been the staple of Fox News and some twisted Republicans? And could that same extremist, dehumanising language push abusive Australian correspondents over the edge?

    Tony Abbott’s role in the ramping up of extreme language is deplorable. If the Liberal Party had any soul left he would be long gone. (And as a Catholic myself, I am deeply saddened and appalled that this man can continue to shamelessly break almost every ethical code in the book if he sees a vote in it …)

  • 18
    Mark Duffett
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    But Clive, didn’t you only last week say yourself that conservatives see environmentalism, particularly in the context of climate change, as “a profound threat to the structure of the world they are committed to”? What’s more, you also said they were pretty much right on that score.

    So you can hardly act surprised when some of those people see “the possibility of a small rise in energy prices” as the first steps towards the end of the world as they know it, and react accordingly.

    (sick of waiting for Crikey moderation, so reposting without the link that triggered it)

  • 19
    MLF
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Yes, many thanks for this good piece. And much respect to Tony Windsor for, amongst many other things, speaking out rationally and calmly.

    Nice post too, Free.

    I asked Crikey whether they were going to do anything concrete about Andrew Bolt’s bit last week where he suggested allowing more people from a Muslim background into the country was putting them in mortal danger. No reply.

    This is obviously not the only issue in the public arena that is divisive. We should all try to lead by example - getting hepped up and counter-attacking achieves nothing.

  • 20
    Son of foro
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Why don’t moderate Christians stand up and speak out against the extremist elements in their communities? Until they do I can only assume that they all think the same thing.

  • 21
    Mort
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    The coordination of some of these attacks and the comment spamming of many online articles does make you wonder if there is an organised lobby business targeting Australian media. Particularly from the US that aims destabilised Australia’s efforts to reduce our carbon footprint. No doubt there are some very wealthy vested interests that want to keep Australia as their own private cheap coal pit.

    But there are plenty of sad home grown nutters who spend there life cutting and pasting Republican drivel. Drongos happy to be the mindless minions. Why the frick they idolise the Taliban/ Republicans is anyone’s guess. If the hate our country that much – well, there is plenty of cheap housing the State’s.

  • 22
    freecountry
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    That said, a large number of more mature and reasonable people have indicated angrily that they will not vote for him again or that they wish he were not in Parliament. And they have a point. Windsor represented himself as the voice of reason and moderation. He now promotes arguments straight out of the Bob Brown School of Economics, claiming that carbon pricing will create thousands upon thousands of jobs for Australians. (( climateinstitute.org.au/media-contacts/media-releases/789-pricing-pollution-and-clean-energy-policies-unlock-door-to-regional-australias-clean-energy-jobs-potential?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed ))

    The argument is completely specious and irresponsible. By all means, Mr Windsor, promote climate reform for the right reasons, but promote it for the right reasons. Don’t try to justify it using a deceptive implication that it’s a net wealth boom like discovering gold, or the deception will backfire electorally and give ammunition to those who oppose the reform.

    Creating jobs” is just another expression for “costing money”, and of course that’s money that would otherwise be spent on even more jobs following natural supply and demand. Otherwise you may as well use the “creating jobs” argument to justify bloat in the public service, or making war on other countries, or anything else that costs billions and diverts labour away from more productive activity.

  • 23
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    One Nation orchestrated the hate campaign against refugees coming to the Adelaide Hills, the repugnant Toben was their leader and he lives 40 miles from the hills anyway.

    The way morons carry on about wanting to keep sucking up poison when they can have clean air is absurd but the media stoke it along like they are the cheersquad for gladiators in the ring.

  • 24
    LisaCrago
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Windsor has not said he will vote for the Carbon Tax.
    Clive Did YOU or anyone else listen to his interview on radio national this morning?
    If so you would see what waffle this story is to connect it to Windsor.
    Tony made a very unpopular decision to side with the Gillard gov last year and has been under constant fire since.
    As a primary producer and member of the NSW farmers association the people of New England have made their voices heard loud and clear that they want either a National party MP or a REAL Independent.
    There is no evidence that this weeks threats are any different to the many months of similar that he and his electorate office have been subjected to since joining in coalition with an ALP/Green government.
    on another point
    It is the AGW advocates who have framed the debate as an Us or Them; Believer or Denier; blah blah blah….
    This verges on religious schism and when people are whipped up into a frenzy sensible political debate and scientific questioning is impossible.

  • 25
    MLF
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    And just to add. I consider myself to be an intelligent, interested, well-read (not on everything obviously) person who values the environment and believes in sustainability.

    But when it comes to this issue I am totally confounded. I read both sets of arguments and I am stupefied. It is not easy in this age to sort real from propaganda.

    So I resent the accusations that if you don’t agree with the opinion of the day - you are a fool and either a conservative or a tree-hugger (depending on the subject).

  • 26
    Lorry
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    At no time was Windsor threatened - the called wished him DEATH (I hope you die you B-stard) not I am going to kill you - COMPREHENSION PLEASE.

  • 27
    rubiginosa
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Interesting the numbers of comments published today by The Australian in support of threats of violence.

  • 28
    Rich Uncle Skeleton
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    MLF - it is much easier than supposed to sort out fact from fiction - just visit http://www.skepticalscience.com.

  • 29
    Jim Reiher
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Lisacrago: how do you define a “real” independent? Someone who just sides with conservatives because he is one? Does all he is told by a big Liberal national coalition?

    I use to live in New England for ten years and wish that someone like Windor was around then. I had to put up with a National party yes man for the Liberal party.

    Windsor has more claim to being a “real” independent that almost any person in politics. He chose to side with a group that would not be his normal bed-fellows, but he did it out of concern for getting fast speed internet into New England, and some actual action on climate change. He made that very clear in his agonisingly long speech.

    Wow,… call him a bastard because he does not do all you want, but you really cant call him a failure as a “real independent”. He is risking his political career on 3 years of actual influence.

    A “real independent” like you want - is that more like Bob C up in Qld? Who did not join the minority govt and who cant therefore, have weekly influence on the Gillard govt as Windsor can… surely you must see that Windsor has actually put New England on the map! At least for 3 years.

    If you and your like minded fellows vote him out next election, … well … you will get a “real national party man’ and that means inaction for your electorate from then on. Just like it use to be. A yes man or woman for the Liberal party.

    Wow… you will get what you deserve by the sound of it.

  • 30
    LisaCrago
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Jim Reiher you really do assume too much.
    A “real indy” does not side with anyone. If you leave one party to go indy and side with another it makes it harder to argue you are a genuine indy pollie
    You also confuse rob oakeshott and windsor when you talk of long speech.
    It is also Bob Katter not Bob C.
    btw I could not give a rats arse who the people of new england vote for next fed election.
    ps. don’t pretend to know my mind or who my ‘fellows’ are….lol

  • 31
    drmick
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Fox Media has got the mongrels dog whistling.
    The attack dogs are salivating, and the red necks just cant wait to join the party.
    Why does it have to degenerate to become just like America? Because Murdoch, big tobacco, big banks and mine owners want it that way.
    They have taken over radio, papers and TV recently and are seeking a return on their investment which did not pay off after the last election.
    The gutless thickhead that left the message for Tony Windsor would have been paid for his comment. What a brave thug he must be. His family must be proud of him. If you listen today’s media reports from the Liberals front-bench “lack of brains trust”, and the support it is receiving from the ABC, Murdoch and Fairfax press, you will see how balanced and informed discussion in this country really is.

  • 32
    Rich Uncle Skeleton
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    A “real indy” does not side with anyone.

    What nonsense. What you mean is a “real independent” is somebody who sides with the Nationals. If they wanted the Nationals, they should have voted for the Nationals.

    Instead they got a member who votes for what he believes is the best for his constituents. If New England want a Liberal party stooge then please, next time, vote for a Liberal party stooge!

  • 33
    Rich Uncle Skeleton
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    If you leave one party to go indy and side with another it makes it harder to argue you are a genuine indy pollie

    Possibly the most genuinely stupid thing I’ve read all day. He left one party because he didn’t agree with them and became an independent, but now he’s not a real independent because he doesn’t vote with the party he left?

    I still see there a lot of angry people who never got over the fact the born-to-rule lot didn’t form government, even though it’s their God given right.

  • 34
    klewso
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    It seems to me, that the intemperance unleashed by these politicians and echoed in their media PR sponsors - all only aimed at winning an election, but at any cost, just to show off how they can - only has to bring one “Jared Loughner” out into the light, believing their cause is so right, because it’s been validated by these “politicians” with their “social” beliefs.
    Then “all” those politicians have to do is plead innocent, that they “had nothing to do with” such radicalism. By the time the “Dupnik’s” come out with the reasons they see are behind such mindlessness, and have to debate “part of the reason” (like Megyn Kelly), in their self-righteous abdication of any responsibility, it’s too late.

  • 35
    Jim Reiher
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Lisacrago: thanks for the grammatical corrections - and you are quite right: Oakshot gave the long speech.

    I would have liked more on your idea of a “real independent” though. It seems that such a person is someone with no influence or power. Okay… fair enough. But lets be honest about what that means for the electorate they are in.

    In the real world of politics, you can do nothing and keep getting back in, it seems, or you can take very hard choices and risks, and lose the support of those who really should be able to see what you are doing and why. Why do you think he made his decision to be in the minorty govt? he KNEW it would be unpopular. But he did it for his electorate. To try to have real influence for at least one term of govt.

    And I concede: I should not presume to know that your fellows are thinking! I can only attempt to understand the writer (you in this instance) by what they write.

  • 36
    Elan
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    I consider myself to be an intelligent, interested, well-read (not on everything obviously) person who values the environment and believes in sustainability.

    But when it comes to this issue I am totally confounded. I read both sets of arguments and I am stupefied. It is not easy in this age to sort real from propaganda. MLF

    Ditt bloody o !
    ______________________

    At no time was Windsor threatened - the called wished him DEATH (I hope you die you B-stard) not I am going to kill you…” LORRY

    This is such a comfort. Thank-you sweetie.
    _______________________

    In my region alone, the climate cult is responsible for real attacks and real arson. Verbal abuse and threats are common. Whole towns live in fear, fear of both individual nutters and corporate thuggery.” FRANK CAMPBELL

    Hucking Fell!!!! Man the bleedin barricades!!
    ____________________________

    Damn right I’m stupefied. I sit here typing when I should be pushing furniture in front of my padlocked doors, arming myself with a baseball bat, and donning my hard hat.

    FFS CALM DOWN !!

  • 37
    freecountry
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Tony Windsor in my opinion took a strange, possibly made-to-order, view of his responsibilities as first and foremost “guaranteeing stable government.” I’d like to know just what Westminster convention that follows, or did he just make it up because it suited him?

    He also claimed, without providing any evidence, that an Abbott-led government would seek an early election, which it was somehow his duty to prevent. Before that he convinced Oakeshott and Katter that he was genuinely open-minded, and by virtue of this and his seniority, became a leader of sorts to the cross-bench trio. My impression is he influenced Oakeshott under false pretences, and tried to do the same with Katter. Maybe the result would have been the same; but then again maybe not.

    It seems to me in retrospect Windsor was acting mainly out of personal emnity with Barnaby Joyce. If that was his main motive, well he wouldn’t be the first MP to express personal issues by choosing sides (Cheryl Kernot), but he should have either said so or kept his own counsel and left his colleagues to make their own decisions for their own reasons.

  • 38
    Sir Lunchalot
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    @ Elan @ Lorry

    Did you mean maybe he wishes Tony Windsor has a heart attack when he sees his latest poll results or the angry people standing outside his electoral office in Tamworth

  • 39
    drmick
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Freecountry.
    You appear to be giving T Windsor too much Machiavellian skill, and not listening to the whole story he is telling about T Abbott .
    It is compulsory to vote
    Voters generally vote for who they want;
    Educated voters will look at where their vote may end up if their first preference doesn’t get up.
    The uneducated is cheesed off when his preference does not get up and may not understand where his vote will end up.
    The people who voted for Messers Katter, Oakshott and Windsor knew what they were doing and who they were voting for.
    The problem here is a split decision and sore losers.
    We have not been privvy to what Abbot said to the independents; but it is becoming increasingly clear how desperate he is to get in to power, and, how desperate he was to get into power, as such, it is very easy to believe he would have sold his soul to get them to side with him. His desperation is evident and he is not even trying to hide it now.
    Far from being calculating as you have suggested, T Windsor may have exercised excellent judgement. It appears he can live with the decisions he has made regardless of enmity towards anyone.

  • 40
    klewso
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Christopher Dunne - next week Q&A has reserved a guest star soap-box seat for that “mouse’s eared screamer” “Planet Janet” - and still we get comments about the ABC’s “left bias”? Because Murdoch doesn’t have enough editorial say, yet?

  • 41
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Noted sentient automobile ‘Lorry’ threatens to run over Australia MP! See the post at TMZ.com!

  • 42
    klewso
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Like “short and curlies” - while ever there is a hip pocket (or xenophobe) nerve to be “poked for a vote”, don’t expect much concentration on any big picture, before the glaze breaks.

  • 43
    freecountry
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    But for all that, I think he’s probably a nice fellow (nobody’s perfect) and I certainly wouldn’t wish an untimely death or any other harm on the man. For that matter, I wouldn’t wish those things on any of them. Not even Stephen Conroy, although if a dog started carrying on in a public place the way Conroy sometimes does in Senate Estimates, its life wouldn’t be worth squat once the council rangers showed up. I hope all the sociopaths, proto-simians, rabies-sufferers, and sundry other email writers out there whose mothers accidentally took home the afterbirth instead of the baby, can get the point that criticism is far more expressive without the violent overtones.

  • 44
    Son of foro
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Not even Stephen Conroy, although if a dog started carrying on in a public place the way Conroy sometimes does in Senate Estimates, its life wouldn’t be worth squat once the council rangers showed up. I hope all the sociopaths, proto-simians, rabies-sufferers, and sundry other email writers out there whose mothers accidentally took home the afterbirth instead of the baby, can get the point that criticism is far more expressive without the violent overtones.”

    Sir, I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the etc and so on! (Truth be told, I have no idea what you’re banging on about, but I haven’t enjoyed two sentences so much since the good Dr Thompson shot himself into the sky.)

  • 45
    Smithee
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Wilkie’s crazy outburst and now Windsor’s claims is a good reminder of why “independents” are not as good as they seem. They quickly become infected with a massively inflated idea of their own worth and start making pronouncements about everything.

    The party system helps to hold the crazies in line.

  • 46
    geomac
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    The party system helps to hold the crazies in line.
    Really ? Mirrabella calls members of her own party terrorists. Wilson Tuckey , Bernardi who is so dumb he doesn,t realise Halal and Kosher meat is killed exactly the same way but only criticises Halal. Barnaby who has too many crazy quotes to repeat here. Peter Reith aka Scott Morrison or vice a versa because both peddle outright falsehoods dressed up as legitimate questions. Although to give Morrison his due he hasn,t fabricated a fraud such as children overboard but more because he hasn,t been a minister yet. Andrews he of Haneef infamy who made up the rules to suit himself or more correctly abused the rules to suit his delusional belief it would look good to the hansonite crowd. Either way an expensive and mad abuse of his office. Its a wonder that trauma didn,t turn Haneef prematurely grey although no chance of that happening to Grecian Andrews.
    An independent should go with his judgement and what he thinks is the best outcome for his seat/constituents. Howard was happy to use Coulson but to call him an independent is to blacken people like Harradine.

  • 47
    andrew36
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Your kidding hamilton, you really believe this behaver is from the right only, were was your indignation with all the rubbish John Howard had to put up, including people saying he should be killed. The call windsor got was not a death threat but a malicious phone call, something no one should have to put up with but something that many politicians, radio announcers and people in the spotlight have being receiving for ages. If he doesnt like it he can always retire. Oh the poor climate scientists, they are finally being questioned and you dont like it, for years they have shut down debate, called deniers flat earthers etc etc and refuse to even have a proper debate on the subject. Everyone that speaks against it is even a nutter or in the pay of the oil companies, as if the scientists speaking for climate change dont have any financial reasons to support it. How dare abbott use the words peoples revolt, he should just sit back and let the leftys do what ever they want to do, after all everyone knows that leftys are so much more intelligence then everyone else, so noone should ever question there policys or reasons. People like you who consistently over exagerate everything tell people that the sky is falling in while consistency trying to cash in personly or politically on every disaster do a lot more harm then someone uttering peoples revolt. You really believe the only nutters out there are denialists, if you really believe that I hope the security services are keeping a close eye on you because your more dangerous then most of them. Maybe Clive if people like yourself were actually willing to have proper debates with ‘experts’ from both sides maybe you wouldnt get so many malicious emails. And if you really want to see anger, hatred and bigoty go have a look at the union people protesting in America at the moment, I guess those people are closet deniers and tea party goers.

  • 48
    botswana bob
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Whats going on is classic Coalition dog whistling. Peripheral players — like Sophie LargeAbella — spew out excessive rhetoric comparing Gillard to Gaddafi. Along comes the “Leader” (sic) saying the comments are over the top BUT never actually repudiating them. Of course the name callers — like the aforesaid Sophie — aren’t disciplined so those who are dog-whistled remain on-side.

  • 49
    Frank D'Farmer
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    I am a man on the land.
    I dont condone threats or acts of violence against anyone, but I have been threatened because I dont believe in man made climate change. So what is a man to do, stay quiet or defend themselves for having an opinion??? - what happened to freedom of speech and thought!!!! Climate change is NATURAL!!!!! Weather patterns constantly change!!!! Nothing in nature is Set in Concrete!!!!!
    This Green agenda (proposed Carbon Tax) will destroy this lucky country, for no gain in controlling climate change. What a load of CRAP!!!! Its all about the money!!!!!

    Professor Ian Plimer could not have said it better!
    If you’ve read his book you may agree that this is a good summary.
    Are you sitting down? Okay, here’s the bombshell.
    In just FOUR DAYS, the volcanic eruption in Iceland, since its’ first spewing of volcanic ash, NEGATED EVERY SINGLE EFFORT you have made in the past five years to control CO2 emissions on our planet - all of us.
    Of course you know about this evil carbon dioxide that we are trying to suppress - it’s that vital chemical compound that every plant requires to live and grow and to synthesize into oxygen for us humans and all animal life.
    I know, it’s very disheartening to realize that all of the carbon emission savings you have accomplished while suffering the inconvenience and expense of: driving Prius hybrids, buying fabric grocery bags, sitting up till midnight to finish your kid’s “The Green Revolution” science project, throwing out all of your non-green cleaning supplies, using only two squares of toilet paper, putting a brick in your toilet tank reservoir, selling your SUV and speedboat, holidays at home instead of abroad, nearly getting hit every day on your bicycle, replacing all of your 50 pence light bulbs with £10.00 light bulbs …well, all of those things you have done have all gone down the tubes in just four days.
    The volcanic ash emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere in just FOUR DAYS by that volcano in Iceland, has totally erased every single effort you have made to reduce the evil beast, carbon. And there are around 200 active volcanoes on the planet spewing out this crud any one time - EVERY DAY.
    I don’t really want to rain on your parade too much, but I should mention that when the volcano Mt Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it spewed out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in its entire time on earth. Yes folks, Mt Pinatubo was active for over one year - think about it.
    Of course I shouldn’t spoil this touchy-feely tree-hugging moment and mention the effect of solar and cosmic activity and the well recognized 800 year global heating and cooling cycles, which keep happening, despite our completely insignificant efforts to affect climate change.
    I do wish I had a silver lining to this volcanic ash cloud, but the fact of the matter is that the bush fire season across the western USA and Australia this year alone will negate your efforts to reduce carbon in our world for the next two to three years…and it happens every year.
    Just remember that your government just tried to impose a whopping carbon tax on you on the basis of the bogus “human-caused” climate change scenario.
    Hey, isn’t it interesting how they don’t mention “Global Warming” any more, but just “Climate Change” - you know why? It’s because the planet has COOLED by 0.7 degrees in the past century and these global warming bull artists got caught with their pants down.
    Just keep in mind that you might yet have an Emissions Trading Scheme - that whopping new tax - imposed on you, that will achieve absolutely nothing except make you poorer. It won’t stop any volcanoes from erupting, that’s for sure.
    But hey, relax, give the world a hug and have a nice day!

  • 50
    geomac
    Posted Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Profound statements Frank. I,m also a man on the land unless I,m on the sea which doesn,t make me a mariner just aboard a vessel. A volcano erupts so that refutes or dispels any reason to reduce man made carbon. On that basis we are all going to die eventually so why bother wasting money with an ambulance service, same logic. Climate change , climate chaos or the Carl Rove inspired global warming anything but actually reducing the poisonous cocktail we allow polluters to dump in the air. Carbon , sulphur or any of the numerous noxious chemicals that are expelled into the air we breathe. I wont argue the toss about carbon because 97% of scientists are better educated to do that. I would however advocate reducing emissions since if I spill oil on the pavement changing my car filter I,m liable but polluters have no such risks.

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