Friday, 16 December 2016

Dick Smith takes Growthists to task.

It is a shame, and a sign of declining times that people who are adept at moving inflated toys around a field in a contrived games are given 'hero' and 'legend' status before people like Dick Smith.  Dick Smith, a man who I've respected since adolescence has worked tirelessly for the benefit of our country, Australia.

I remember his helicopter adventures and Australian Geographic magazine as a youngster, but it was my first computer, the VZ 200, a Dick Smith re-badged VTech 200, and having one of his electronics kits, which made me take more notice of what he did.

Dick Smith has taken out an ad in major newspapers to challenge the chief commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC), Lucy Turnbull (the husband of that other Turnbull), challenging her unquestioned acceptance of growth.
Her response was as expected, avoidance and denial, but no matter, no one would expect her to change her mind.  The purpose of messages like this isn't to impress upon whom the message directed against, but to act as a demonstration for a third party, or third parties, in this case, everyone who reads the ad.

There are many who talk about the need for sustainable and sensible population policy, but it is the clarity of Dick Smiths message and the potency of his content which indicates that he is one of the leading figures against our insane immigration policy (and therefore, the best candidate to run for public office for this issue).

The Hansonite claims against immigration rest on values and interpretation.  Are you worried about Sharia law?  Do you find it offensive that Muslims don't celebrate Christmas?  Are you offended by Muslims engaging in polygamy unofficially?  Are you worried about "Australian Culture"? (which they never define).  These concerns are subjective concerns.  They don't demand a response because they only are appealing to those who share them.  For everyone else, they are avoidable issues, questions which don't have to be answered in the affirmative.  The simple answer "no" makes immigration a non-issue and leaves anti-immigrationists floundering for another hook, another angle to use.  Perhaps they can try Asian Imperialism, or Sudanese crime gangs, or whatever the media concern du-jour is.  People will spit and froth, then the media will move to the next manufactured controversy and so too with the basis and rationale for a sensible immigration policy.

A year or two ago, Islam was all the rage, now the very same players are exploiting the seeming surge in criminal activity which could be due to African migration.  Were these Africans not here just a year ago?  Why the change in priority?  It makes the sentiment seem cheap and shallow if it can change so easily.

Dick Smith has chosen a direct approach.  Rather than an appeal to subjective values, he's used mathematics and objective facts.  The population projections he has put forward must happen if our growth rate remains at 3%.  This isn't a statement of values or a moral position, but a statement of mathematical reality.  One cannot argue that this outcome won't happen without calling into question the basic laws of nature.  The only way these outcomes, of tens of millions of people in Sydney would not happen, is if there is a change to immigration policy.

There is no alternative way to avoid it, therefore the issue cannot remain un-addressed.

This argumentative tact backs Turnbull into a corner.  She can't refute the maths, and can't refute the logic.  She can't hold onto a policy of growth through immigration and argue that this projection won't occur.  It has to occur.  All she can do is either answer the question, or do what most people would do, avoid and deny.

The GSC chief executives Sarah Hills response was that growth was a "hallmark of all successful cities around the world" and "More than half of this growth is through natural increase, Our responsibility is to plan for this to make our city more liveable, sustainable and productive, rather than to debate the facts.”  As I said, avoidance and denial, by means of utter piffle.  I would be embarrassed to pass that off as a response.

What Dick Smith needs to do here is to press this exact issue, again and again and again, not until he gets a response, but until those who are witnessing this begin to realise that there is indeed a problem.  Sydney just can't get to 100 million, and the only way is through reduction in immigration.  Our current growth rate is simply untenable.

This the question that I always posed to those who were supportive of never ending immigration. At what point does it stop?  At what point does growth in a finite system have to stop?  At what point does it become acceptable to do something which is seen as unpopular, but which has to be done?

I never get answers to these questions, but it does raise a question for others.  If these people aren't going to ever stop, who will?  How will they do it?

Lastly, I'm glad Dick Smith brought up the issue of house prices and urban infill.  Perfectly good homes in my neighbourhood are being demolished to make way for townhouses and units.  New developments are devoid of nature and consist of a concrete box with what is fraudulently passed off as a "courtyard".  A connection to the physical world is important for humans to be balanced, and to understand that our world does indeed consist of natural resources, food that grows from the ground, water than comes from the sky.  Disconnection from nature is almost by definition a disconnection from reality.

Keep up the good work Dick Smith.

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