Daniel Wild Discussing On The Rita Panahi Show – 27 June

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27 June 2024
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On 27 June, Deputy Executive Director Daniel Wild joined Rita Panahi on The Rita Panahi Show to discuss the IPA’s research on energy, immigration, and free speech.

All media appearances posted onto the IPA website are directly related to the promotion and dissemination of IPA research.

Below is a transcript of the interview.


Rita Panahi:

Joining me now is deputy director of the Institute of Public Affairs, Daniel Wild. Dan, let’s start with the prime minister. He’s continuing to wage war against the Coalition for their nuclear energy policy. Seizing on the fact that smaller Liberals, those feckless state leaders, are not backing Peter Dutton’s nuclear strategy.

Anthony Albanese:

New South Wales opposition leader, “We can’t wait for nuclear.” Victorian opposition leader, “There are prohibitions in place, so I’m not racing along the nuclear path.” Victorian Nats leader, “You wouldn’t be surprised at our view is exactly the same as John Pesutto.” Queensland LNP leader, “I’ve been very consistent with it. Nuclear is not part of planning in Queensland.”

I hate to state the obvious, but they’ve just said that David Crisafulli, Peter Walsh, John Pesutto, Mark Speakman, Shane Love and Guy Barnett are all irrelevant. Well, they are as far as their plan is concerned, because their plan is friendless amongst their own people, amongst the business committee, and amongst anyone in the energy sector.

Rita Panahi:

Well, I’ll tell you, the prime minister has a point here when you’ve got Liberal leaders being directionless, being obstructionist, completely having no sense of what’s needed in this country. It’s not like they’re actually entering their debate with ideas of their own that are constructive. It’s just a no to something that is a proven technology, that works elsewhere in the world beautifully. And again, I keep saying it, we are sitting on the world’s biggest reserves of uranium in this country.

Daniel Wild:

Yeah, you’re right. And I think what Anthony Albanese said then doesn’t give him the conclusion that he intends because it shows that Peter Dutton is a leader and the state Liberals are not leaders. And if you look at what he’s saying, that the energy companies don’t want it and the business community doesn’t want it, and the political class doesn’t want it. Okay, but the Australian people want it. So, again, it shows that there’s a dichotomy between the political class and the interests of the elites, who back renewables because of the financial incentives and the ideological component. But they won’t support nuclear, or at least not yet.

And I think also the overreach we’ve seen in response to the Coalition’s plan is revealing because the government knows that their own policy is failing. Energy bills are going up, blackout risk is going up. The only thing they have to talk about is Peter Dutton’s plan, not their own failing plan.

Rita Panahi:

No. And you look at some of Chris Bowen’s commentary, some of the statements he’s putting out on social media. You really struggle to see how you can be the energy minister, the climate change minister. He sounds like some first year arts student who’s grappling with this issue. I really worry about… Because we are facing the real prospect of running out of gas.

Daniel Wild:

Yep. And I think this will be similar to The Voice debate, which is the government is not going to be able to make an argument to the Australian people because they’re going to be caught short. Australians don’t want net-zero. They don’t want to pay for net-zero. This renewables only renewables everywhere policy is being rejected by regional Australians and with very, very good reason because the impact on their life. And as you’re sort of alluding to, the energy minister simply cannot sustain a meaningful argument in public, instead resorting to basically name-calling. So, the more Australians see of this, the more they’ll turn against the government’s policies.

Rita Panahi:

His antics are getting more desperate. I can tell you on social media, he’s tweeting out Guardian articles. You know are scraping the bottom of the barrel when you’ve got a resort to Guardian articles. Now, let’s look at Labour who normally do have great party discipline, unlike the Liberals who are a broad church, too broad if you ask me. But the PM is terrified of a millennial in a hijab, a young Muslim senator from WA, Fatima Payman, who is the first federal Labour politician to cross the floor in 18 years. She voted against the government on a Greens motion, recognising the statehood of Palestine.

Senator Fatima Payman:

I was not elected as a token representative of diversity. I was elected to serve the people of Western Australia and uphold the values instilled in me by my late father. Today, I have made a decision that would make him proud and make everyone proud who are on the side of humanity.

Rita Panahi:

I’ve got to say this is profoundly weak by the PM, Dan. We know why. He needs those voters in those seats in Western Sydney. We know they’re very energised by this issue, but this sets a precedent. And what’s going to stop the next Labour senator who feels strongly about an issue defying the party and crossing the floor?

Daniel Wild:

Yeah. Well, it’s a couple of things. I mean, Senator Payman is a lightweight. I mean, she’s barely able to defend her position in any sort of coherent manner there. You’re right to say that this reinforces the prime minister as weak. Basically, you’ve got the Palestinian wing of the Labour Party that is essentially running government policy. Because as you say, there’s a handful of seats in mostly Western Sydney, with 20% or 30% Islamic population. And rather, actually leading the community to something better, they’ve capitulated to these very extremist demands. It’s not surprising that Anthony Albanese has failed to provide leadership on this issue because it’s a pattern of repeated behaviour. And I think a lot of Australians are concerned of the division and the lack of social cohesion we’re seeing in our community on this very issue.

Rita Panahi:

Now, I want to talk about Julie Inman Grant, the eSafety Commissioner. She’s complained to the ABC during a radio interview about the nickname we’ve coined for her on this programme, and others like it.

Julie Inman Grant:

I’m sure you don’t watch Sky News at night, but I’m their punching bag pretty much every night. They refer to me as e-Karen.

Rita Panahi:

Oh dear. I mean, what a Karen thing to do for the e-Karen to go on the ABC and complain about being called an e-Karen. I mean, please. But playing the victim, given some of the outrageous rulings she has instituted some of the absolutely mainstream views she has sought to censor, including the notion that men can’t breastfeed. I would’ve thought that was a fairly obvious logical take.

Daniel Wild:

Well, that’s right. And this is the issue. There are some laudable objectives that Julie Inman Grant talks about, protecting children, getting rid of child exploitation material and so forth, which we all agree with and are not contested propositions. The problem is that she has a history of activism, ideologically-driven activism. Not about protecting children, but about censoring speech, not just in Australia, but globally. The whole reason she wanted to take down the stabbing of the bishop in Western Sydney wasn’t to do with protecting children from that content. It’s because she and her overlords in the Albanese government didn’t want the community to see the collapsing social cohesion and the failure of our migration policy. So, it was an attempt to censor debate. We’ve seen it with The Voice to Parliament. We’ve seen it with issues pertaining to gender. So, if she wants to be respected-

Rita Panahi:

And saw it throughout the COVID crisis, where we had not just very sane views censored or shadow-banned, suppressed, but voices of experts, leading international infectious disease experts who were questioning some of these rulings that we were told is the science, and they were censored. And I would argue that was destructive in a number of ways, including preventing decent policy, preventing best policy, and could have possibly cost lives.

Daniel Wild:

Well, it was censored by government, big tech, and also by the ABC. The ABC wouldn’t have a debate about lockdowns or any other facet of the response of governments. And this is why the issue with the eSafety Commissioner is it started as the children’s eSafety Commissioner. It metastasized due to this bureaucratic growth. There’s no democratic oversight. The eSafety Commissioner has become a law unto herself, and you need to retain it into the original objectives, which is actually to get rid of unlawful and child exploitation material, rather than censoring opinion.

Rita Panahi:

Now, to Yarraville West Primary School in Melbourne, there has been outrage amongst parents because children were made to sing alternative indigenous national anthem. We don’t have an indigenous national anthem as far as I know. This is the music of our national anthem. But with the lyrics changed, so we’ve got things like, “And honouring the dreaming, advance Australia fair.” Do we really want to have separate anthems, separate flags, separate recognition based on race? Did we not just have a referendum on this very issue?

Daniel Wild:

Well, that’s right. I think Australians wake up every day and we see whether it’s this, whether it’s in Victoria, there’s still work towards a treaty. In South Australia, they’ve got a state Voice to Parliament. We’ve seen in Queensland in regards to Keppel Island and other issues with native title. We voted no to this. Australians voted no to racial division. They’ve had a gut-full of being divided by the elites. I think the principal and anyone else involved in this at this school should be dismissed immediately because-

Rita Panahi:

It’s politicisation clearly. I mean, how do you justify this other than to say this is what they believe is morally right and their political position.

Daniel Wild:

That’s right. They believe Australia is a bad, racist country. And it’s not as if there’s no discussion of our history and Indigenous affairs within that. It’s almost talked about incessantly. So, look, this needs to be dealt with very quickly, and as I say, serious consequences for those involved.

Rita Panahi:

Now, the flag is another thing we’ve got to talk about because we see the prime minister, we see as ministers every time they speak, you can barely see the Australian flag, there seem to be so many flags behind them. And I think that’s something else that is just needlessly divisive. Now, this is from the UK. I had to check to see if this was April 1, surely this couldn’t be real, but sadly, it is. Academics from a museum in Oxford will be using British taxpayer money to research the politics of milk and its colonial legacies. Yes, one of the experts has previously insisted milk is a Northern European obsession and has been imposed on other parts of the world. Apparently, the assumption that milk is a key part of the human diet may be understood as a white supremacist one, obviously. That’s a quote from Dr Johanna Zetterstrom-Sharp. Her new project, Milking it: Colonialism, Heritage and Everyday Engagement with Dairy has won funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. So, Dan, is milk racist? I mean, it is often white, that troubles me.

Daniel Wild:

Well, there’s certainly milking taxpayers, we can safely conclude that. But it does go to this issue, Rita, which is racism is now a trope. It means everything and it means nothing. And practically everything now is considered to be racist. It has diminished the actual meaning of the term. And I think a lot of Australians when they hear that term now, basically tune out because it’s so widely used. And of course, this is a taxpayer-funded undertaking. So, look, it’s just another example of I think how academia and universities have lost their way, and many people are just tuning out from it.

Rita Panahi:

Now, to the UK, staying there, Nigel Farage, he’s a party, Reform Party is one point ahead of the Conservatives. He’s sitting on 19%. He was on GB News Breakfast talking about immigration when behind him, a boat full of illegal immigrants could be seen making their way to Britain.

Nigel Farage:

We are literally mid-channel now between David and Calais. And behind me, you can see a white dinghy. There are 45 people on board. Behind it, you can see an escort vessel because that’s what the French do. Despite the 500 million quid we’ve given them, they literally, once these boats are afloat, escort them to our 12-mile line where they hand them over to Border Force.

Rita Panahi:

I tell you, he’s just a master of exposing the issues that people care about and doing it in ways that speak to people who are not even politically engaged. But there’s a reason why he’s got such support and the Tories are absolutely circling the drain. They went to elections promising that they were going to slash immigration to tens of thousands per annum. It was around a million last year.

Daniel Wild:

Yeah. Well, I mean, Nigel Farage has given a voice to the voiceless. Without him, Brexit would not have happened. That was one of the single biggest political upheavals we’ve seen in a generation. He has provided a debate. There’s now actually a debate in the UK about net-zero, about migration, about the collapse of their culture. I would rather the Tories have fixed themselves up and delivered, particularly when Boris Johnson, he had a once in a generational opportunity to realign the Conservative Party with the working class Britons who voted for Brexit, but he let the team down. And it’s basically been 14 years of failure by the Tories. So, no wonder their polls are going down and Farage’s are going up. So, look, I think the monumental contribution of Farage has been making sure there’s a debate and giving a voice to millions who don’t see their views or values in the major political parties.

Rita Panahi:

And I think he’s looking at this as a two-election strategy. He just wants to be in a strong position after this race, and then to really bring in those disaffected Tories, the MPs, the base, and have a new conservative party that actually stands for something. Dan Wild, thank you so much for your time this evening.

Daniel Wild:

Thank you.

This transcript with Daniel Wild talking on The Rita Panahi Show from 27 June 2024 has been edited for clarity.

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