The World

Jul 29, 2011

Rundle: pen-pinching Klaus a prized Righter, not a freedom fighter

Poetic really, that the Czechs should present us with two examples of humanity, under the name Vaclav.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


Freedom and competition are always good, which is why the two major Right organisations in Australia have brought out key European crackpots at the same time. The CIS has Thilo Sarrazin, amateur geneticist and campaigner against inter-racial s-x, at its Big Ideas gabfest, while the IPA has the wacky Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic and anti-global warming campaigner.

Klaus is prized by the Right, as a champion of freedom, promoting free-markets, etc, wherever he goes. He’s prized by the media too, for generating exciting vision. While in Chile, signing a declaration, he pocketed an expensive pen, the event captured on video, going viral on YouTube. In Australia he refused to go through parliamentary security, although that event appears to be mired in confusion.

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86 thoughts on “Rundle: pen-pinching Klaus a prized Righter, not a freedom fighter

  1. granorlewis

    It seems clear that Rundle has neither read nor listened to Klaus, but simply chooses a couple of quotes from certain newspapers that he would normally dismiss as tripe.

    Such disparaging diatribe is not normally written by this scribe, but he has let himself down badly with his spin on this occasion.

    The opinions expressed in economic terms by Klaus – an eminent economist – are at least as credible as are those of Flannery, Stern, Garnaut etc. And it is beyond doubt that those three are as wrapped up in political, and politically-motivated spin as they could possibly be.

  2. linda

    Surely the most bizarre and amusing plaint of the denialists & “I know better than all the scientists” types is this strange fear of socialism/communism. Its 2011, not 1911! To accuse the modern ALP of being socialists is good for a belly laugh, but NASA?!! Klaus & his ilk are either lying charlatans protecting their vested interests or complete Loony Tunes

  3. mattsui

    If there are errors in fact, or obvious counterpoints to, Rundle’s article. Could you please elaborate as to what they are?
    In this case I’m sure there is more than one side to the Vaclav Klaus story. But you can’t just call bullshit and walk away. Give us your version.

  4. Guy Rundle

    Klaus isnt making an economic argument Granor – he’s making a scientific and then a political one. He’s suggesting that he has sufficient expertise to judge the science of climate change – which he doesn’t — and then to assess the Greens, democratic and peaceful political groupings, as conspiratorial Communists. You know, the ones he worked for for two decades.

  5. Tim Macknay

    I have often wondered whether Vaclav Klaus’s appeal as a speaker outside Czech actually stems from people confusing him with Vaclav Havel.

  6. Mark M

    I doubt Klaus is even judging the science, which implies that he has looked carefully at the fact that C02 is climate forcing and found the proof wanting.

    I think dismiss is a better word.

  7. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Granorlewis: let’s look at comments like “[Environmentalists] hate us, the humans. They consider us dangerous and sinful creatures who must be controlled by them.” That’s not even a strawman argument, which generally takes a negative aspect and blows it up beyond all proportion. It’s more like complete bullshit. Ergo: Vaclav Klaus is a bullshit artist.

    In my experience, a lot of the Greenies are good fun to be with, especially the younger ones. They’re more into the tribal drumming than the mass denunciations – something which Vaclav seems to be very familiar with. I’ve know folks who’ve done forest sit-ins. I’ve gone to the odd Confest, and more regularly at Woodford. I live in West End. As Hunter S. Thompson would say, I know these people in my goddamn blood. Confusing environmentalists with Calvinists is just bloody stupid.

    Tim: you’re probably on the money. Havel was the man who invited Frank Zappa to be Cultural Attache of Czechoslovakia.

  8. LisaCrago

    But does working to discredit this person’s past living under the USSR actually discredit the Klaus argument?

    He is talking about governments telling people just how they should live their life. Now someone who lived in the USSR DOES know exactly what central control is all about. If we are not careful in this country we will soon be afraid to live as we wish too and are already being told what is good for us and what is not, what we should drive, eat, smoke, drink, the list is bloody endless and about to get worse.

    to pick up on one point
    Calling The Greens the new Communists is an insult; to those who are still members of the Communist Party, and it is alive and well.

  9. davidk

    Thanks Guy, I didn’t know any of that. I did wonder at the time how he came to be gainfully employed doing computer modelling under a totalitarian regime. Has the IPA taken over the national press club or has it always been in control?

  10. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    “If we are not careful in this country we will soon be afraid to live as we wish too…”

    At this point, I can imagine a First Dog On The Moon cartoon with a Slippery-Slope-A-Meter going “Woop! Woop! Arooga! Arooga!” and other various sound effects.

    Lisacrago: Czechoslovakia went Communist not because of some stealthy, sneaky political correctness crawling into everywhere like Lantanas in a national park. They went Communist because the democrats were killed, expelled or imprisoned in a fairly short time scale.

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