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It is difficult to believe the latest Newspoll, particularly the almost equal rating of Shorten with Abbott (the mid Feb Morgan Poll showed Labor one percentage point behind). Shanahan (who admits it may be temporary) attributes the result mainly to the talk about tough budget measures but that seems rather unlikely 3 months ahead and before the Audit Cn has reported. Let us hope they both turn out tough!

There seems to have been some moderation in the attack on Morrison over the riot at Manus Island, although except for The Australian (including Sheridan in particular) there remains little adverse commentary on the behaviour of the detainees.

Despite Labor’s agreement to refer Thomson’s defence in Parliament to the privileges committee (did they have any alternative?), this has the potential to reveal more on union misbehaviour. As Gary Johns points out in an excellent article on public revelations on that in the HSU by its official Kathy Jackson, some existing Labor parliamentarians could come within that category. Note the extraordinary attacks on Jackson by fellow unionists.

The judicial decision preventing Michael Mann from suing sceptic Tim Ball for the latter’s critiques of Mann’s “hockey stick” temperature measurements has the potential to expose other extremist claims on global warming (see article below “Michael Mann faces bankruptcy as his courtroom climate capers collapse”). One wonders whether Karoly might be a candidate.



Newspoll shows lift for ALP as budget fears rise

Article by Dennis Shanahan, Political Editor, published in The Australian, February 25, 2014

The latest Newspoll figures

The latest Newspoll figures. Source: The Australian

Political editor Dennis Shanahan says the Coalition is entering a dangerous phase as it prepares the ground for a tough budget, but the disappointing Newspoll results may only be temporary.

LABOR’S support is the highest it has been since Kevin Rudd was removed as prime minister in 2010, as tough budget talk on Medicare co-payments and lifting the retirement age seems to have pushed the Coalition and Tony Abbott to their worst position since the election.

The ALP’s primary vote support of 39 per cent - up four percentage points - has put Labor ahead in two-party-preferred terms, 54-46, a reversal of the result at the September election.

Bill Shorten has also drawn virtually equal to Mr Abbott as preferred prime minister, on 37 per cent to Mr Abbott’s 38 per cent.

Voter satisfaction with both leaders is the worst it has been since the election, with Mr Abbott’s dissatisfaction jumping seven percentage points to a high of 52 per cent and dissatisfaction with Mr Shorten as Opposition Leader rising four points to a high of 39 per cent.

According to the latest Newspoll survey, conducted exclusively on the weekend for The Australian, the government’s primary vote dropped from 41 per cent two weeks ago to a post-election low of 39 per cent while Labor’s rose to 39 per cent, the highest it has been since mid-2010. Primary support for the Greens fell from 12 to 10 and remained unchanged on 12 per cent for independents and others.

Based on preference flows at the 2013 election, Labor’s two-party-preferred vote rose three percentage points, from 51 to 54 per cent, and the Coalition’s fell from 49 to 46 per cent. At the last election the Coalition won 53.5 per cent of the two-party-preferred vote to Labor’s 46.5 per cent.

The turnaround follows two weeks of dire warnings from Mr Abbott, Joe Hockey and Health Minister Peter Dutton of the need for deep budget cuts, and discussion of the possibility of raising the retirement age beyond 67 and imposing a means-tested $6 co-payment for visits to the GP under Medicare.

The government has also faced criticism for the handling of the Manus Island offshore processing centre where one man was killed and dozens seriously injured in a breach of security. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison is under fire because of the riot on Manus Island but yesterday told parliament the government was “stopping the boats” and that it had been 67 days since a people-smuggler boat had reached Australia.

Mr Abbott’s standing as prime minister has sunk to its lowest since he was elected in September, with satisfaction falling four points to just 36 per cent and dissatisfaction jumping seven points to 52 per cent. Mr Abbott’s satisfaction has now fallen 11 points since October and dissatisfaction has risen 18 points in the same period.

Mr Abbott’s net satisfaction rating - the difference between satisfaction and dissatisfaction - is now minus-16, compared with a positive satisfaction rating of 11 last October. Despite the rise in Labor’s support and Mr Abbott’s decline in personal standing, Mr Shorten has recorded a minus net satisfaction rating for the first time. Voter satisfaction with Mr Shorten was unchanged last weekend on 35 per cent, after a dramatic 17-point fall from Christmas to two weeks ago, but dissatisfaction rose four points to 39 per cent.

Mr Shorten’s net satisfaction rating is now minus four.

On the question of who would make the better prime minister, Mr Abbott’s support fell from 41 to 38 per cent in the past two weeks and Mr Shorten’s rose from 33 to 37 per cent.

Manus Island guards on job despite suspect behaviour

Article by Sarah Whyte, David Wroe, Ben Butler published in The Sydney Morning Herald, February 25, 2014

The new operators of Manus Island detention centre will continue to use local security staff even though they are implicated in last week's deadly clashes with asylum-seekers.

Transfield Services, which has been awarded a $1.2 billion contract to run the Manus Island and Nauru immigration centres, confirmed it would hire local security staff, as required by the deal between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Witnesses to last week's violence, which left a 23-year-old Iranian man, Reza Barati dead, say that local security guards employed by contractor G4S were involved. G4S has admitted the possibility, saying it would ''take the strongest disciplinary action against any employee found to have been involved in any wrongdoing''.

G4S's contract ends on Friday. The management of the centre will be handed over to Transfield, which has also run the Nauru centre for the past year.

The new, $1.2 billion contract to run both facilities for the next 20 months appears to have been given to Transfield without a tender offer even though the value of the work has increased dramatically from the previous cost of running the facilities.

A week after the bloody clashes, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison faced pressure in Parliament over the alleged riot and the incorrect information he provided on it early last week.

He told the ABC: ''There are still a lot of questions to be answered - I have a lot of questions that I want to be answered … the Australian people, and people in Papua New Guinea want answers, and that's what the reviews are about.'' The matter is set to dominate debate again in Canberra on Tuesday with the head of the government's border protection regime, Lieutenant-General Angus Campbell, set to appear before a Senate Estimates hearing.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said she would quiz government officials about the training and skills of the locally recruited security staff.

''All of the eyewitness accounts say G4S has their hands all over what happened,'' she said.

G4S has been paid $244 million to run Manus Island centre since October 2012. Transfield are earning $302 million for managing the Nauru site for the past year.

The $1.2 billion contract represents a considerable increase in the cost of offshore processing, partly because the backlog of asylum-seekers being transferred off Christmas Island is swelling the numbers on Manus Island and Nauru.

A Transfield spokesman said the costs were higher on Manus Island due to ''security costs'', more expensive travel costs and bigger taxes than Nauru.

Former Attorney-General's Department chief Robert Cornall is leading a government inquiry into the violence, in which 62 people were injured, including eight who had to be evacuated for treatment.

An independent contractor who went into the detention centre last week said many detainees were still attending the clinic to receive bandages for their wounds - mainly on their heads and hands.

Also on Monday, the ABC reported that a former Sri Lankan military officer has been heading the detention centre on Manus Island, even though it houses an estimated 30 Tamils who are seeking asylum from persecution in Sri Lanka.

Dinesh Perera's LinkedIn profile described him as ''acting centre manager''. But a G4S spokesman said Mr Perera was the ''operations manager'' and was an Australian citizen who had worked for G4S for years.

Canberra’s twisted morals unravel over asylum death

Editorial published in The Australian, 25 February, 2014

IF a moral compass were positioned on Capital Hill it might spin like a windmill as it chases the ever-movable magnetic north of political conscience. Demands for resignations, inexplicably rationed outrage, moral posturing and screams of “murder” have added another level of hypocrisy to a border-protection debate renowned for nastiness and cant. The death of 23-year-old Reza Berati in a riot on Manus Island last week was tragic. An investigation is under way. The instigators of the riot must bear responsibility for what unfolded. But, given the history of trouble in detention centres, it appears to be a failure of centre management that the situation got so badly out of hand, that scores were injured and one man was killed. Still, the sanctimony from Labor and, especially, the Greens is astounding.

Christine Milne cried government “secrecy” and “obfuscation” in what she said was a “drip feed” of information. Yet, in the same breath, the Greens leader was so certain of what transpired more than 3000km away that she declared “a young man has been murdered”. She accused Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison of running a “morally bankrupt policy” that dispensed “cruel and inhumane” treatment. “The government now has an obligation to come out and tell people the exact circumstance under which he was murdered,” said the senator, paradoxically dispensing her verdict along with a call for facts.

The Greens have shown far more outrage over this unfortunate death than they have over the tragic loss of 1200 or more lives at sea as a direct consequence of the re-opening of the people-smuggling trade under the Greens’ preferred soft policies. On Sunday night, Greens MPs and other grandstanders held “light the night” vigils, remembering Berati and protesting against strong border protection. Yet when scores of men, women and children drowned at sea, lured by lax policies, the candles of the radical fringe remained unlit. In December 2010, knowledge of the unfolding Christmas Island tragedy that claimed 48 lives didn’t even stop Greens spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young from tweeting about her night out watching a band at an Adelaide pub. The following day she tweeted: “Compassion, nothing more to say really.”

There is more to say. What is required are policies to stop the perilous and exploitative people-smuggling trade; so that Australia wrests control of its immigration system from illegal traders and asylum-seekers are not lured to their deaths. Mr Abbott and Mr Morrison, as they promised from opposition, have put those policies in place. No people-smugglers have succeeded in delivering their customers to Australia for 67 days. If this success can be maintained, Australia could return to the situation that existed seven years ago when detention centres were emptied and closed and just four people remained in custody.

Labor’s immigration spokesman, Richard Marles, has at least conceded that the Manus Island detention centre, which Labor reluctantly re-opened last year, is integral to border-protection success. Mr Marles says offshore processing has helped in “preventing boats coming from Indonesia and correspondingly preventing deaths at sea”. He is right to point out the role of the detention centre in saving lives. This is the context that must prevail amid the hysterical and wrong-headed calls to shut down the centre and even have the minister sacked. All the same, Mr Marles couldn’t help himself pursuing Mr Morrison in parliament as Labor senators said the minister had “blood on his hands” and should resign. It wasn’t long ago that a Labor government was defending a minister whose mismanagement of the home insulation scheme led to the deaths of four tradesman. Yet now, from opposition, Labor says Mr Morrison is culpable for a death that occurred when hundreds of asylum-seekers sparked a riot. The worst that can be said of the minister’s handling of the issue is that his initial comments should have been more heavily qualified to allow for conflicting and unfolding reports from the scene. Labor’s chutzpah is laid bare by recalling that only seven months ago its Nauru detention centre was burned down and then minister Tony Burke was criticised for responding too slowly. Now, where did they put that compass?

Calls for minister to resign are just absurd

Article by Greg Sheridan published in The Australian, February 25, 2014

THE demand that Scott Morrison resign over the tragic incident at Manus Island is absurd. Morrison provided a briefing on the basis of the information his officials gave him, and there was some qualification in his initial statement, frequently reverting to the words “I am advised”.

As soon as he had information that some key details in the first briefing were mistaken, he publicly corrected those with a new statement and press conference.

It is equally absurd, and morally offensive, to suggest that Morrison has “blood on his hands”. This kind of unrestrained and cynically opportunistic rhetoric demeans the entire situation.

Whenever people are held in custody against their will, there is some danger. There is a particular danger in the case of asylum-seekers because among their number is a very tough group, substantially though not entirely Iranian, which is determined to make the centres unworkable and break the government’s will, in just the way that the will of the Gillard and Rudd governments was broken by riots at Australian detention centres.

They are well schooled by their friends and supporters in Australia about the exact political effect of their efforts. Indeed, their Australian supporters make such incidents more likely by their hysterical reaction. The desire is to polarise Australia to the extent that the Abbott government’s policies become unsustainable. The highly personalised attacks on Morrison are part of this.

However, there are still some lessons in this whole business for Morrison. The first is that whatever level of resources is necessary to run Manus Island properly must be provided. Whatever a minority on the island does, everybody there has basic human rights which must be respected.

One of the least reported, and ugliest, elements of these camps is the intimidation which the toughest asylum-seekers practise against the weakest, not least in their reckless determination to make the centres unworkable. Morrison also needs to take some advice on effective communications strategy around a critical incident.

What has just happened to Morrison normally happens to defence ministers, and it has happened a thousand times before.

A critical incident involving a loss of life sets up an understandable media clamour for an immediate explanation. Ministers are under pressure and demand answers. Officials give them their best early information. Ministers brief the media on that information and then it turns out to be wrong in several important respects. The more complex and deadly the initial incident, the more likely this is to be the case.

One lesson therefore is that, contrary to all instincts, ministers need to project, in their first briefing on a critical incident, a full sense of the provisional and uncertain nature of the facts. Provisional and uncertain are not bywords of the Morrison character.

But this was a minor communications error and a million miles from a cause for resignation. Morrison is the most effective immigration minister since Philip Ruddock in stopping the boats.

This won’t be the last call for his resignation.

Indonesia incursion by navy 'a mistake'

Article by Brendan Nicholson published in The Australian, February 25, 2014

THE Navy and Customs crews who crossed into Indonesian territory did so because most of the ocean within the 1700-island archipelago is considered by Jakarta to be "Indonesian waters" even though it is much more than 12 nautical miles from the nearest land.

That further complicates navigation through a massive area, which is already made difficult by intersecting and overlapping maritime boundaries around individual islands.

An investigation into why Australian Naval and Customs patrol vessels crossed into Indonesian territorial waters six times in December and January while the vessels were turning or towing boats back to Indonesia as part of Operation Sovereign Borders, found that the breaches were inadvertent and the result of a "miscalculation" by Australian crews.

The review said that with the main focus on safety, the need for the vessels to stay out of Indonesian territory "did not receive adequate attention" in the operation's planning.

But it did not explain how such mistakes were made.

A former head of Border Protection Command, who is now a visiting fellow with the Lowy Institute, Rear Admiral James Goldrick, told The Australian that while territorial waters were generally considered to extend 12 nautical miles out from land, there were big differences in the cases of nations consisting of giant archipelagos, including Indonesia, which encompasses well over 1700 islands.

For many years Indonesia, and the Philippines, lobbied the UN strongly for special status for archipelagic nations.

Rear Admiral Goldrick has written for the Lowy Institute that the intrusions into Indonesian waters probably resulted from confusion over how the maritime boundaries were defined.

"It is not a just a matter of looking for the nearest piece of land and working in relation to that," Rear Admiral Goldrick wrote.

The UN's convention on the Law of the Sea defines an archipelago as a "group of islands, including parts of islands, interconnecting waters and other natural features which are so closely interrelated that such islands, waters and other natural features form an intrinsic geographical, economic and political entity, or which historically have been regarded as such".

Effectively, says Rear Admiral Goldrick, this means that an archipelago is recognised as one entity and its boundaries are drawn around the whole, rather than around the individual islands and formations within it. But to complicate the process, the outermost points of islands and reefs which lie on the surface are linked by "baselines".

Of these lines, 97 per cent must be no longer than 100 nautical miles. But up to 3 per cent can be up to 125 nautical miles long.

And to complicate matters further, the proportion of water to land is not supposed to exceed a proportion of 9:1.

ALP, Coalition join for Thomson probe

Article by Ean Higgins published in The Australian, February 25, 2014

FORMER Labor MP and convicted union fraudster Craig Thomson faces further humiliation and theoretically another chance of jail time with a bipartisan move to renew investigations over whether he lied to parliament.

The move emerged as Tony Abbott prepared to call on the parliament today to issue an apology on behalf of all MPs to the people Thomson accused of corruption in defending himself against the fraud charges. The Daily Telegraph reports today that Leader of the House Christopher Pyne last night tabled a notice of motion flagging the move.

The Speaker, Bronwyn Bishop, launched a fresh referral to the powerful privileges committee after a call yesterday from Liberal MP Karen McNamara, who succeeded Thomson in his NSW central coast seat of Dobell. The committee will now test whether Thomson misled parliament in his theatrical hour-long speech to the house in May 2012, in which he denied allegations of misusing union funds and alleged a wild conspiracy that factional union enemy Marco Bolano had vowed to "set me up with a bunch of hookers".

Labor has supported the referral and pointed out that such an inquiry had first been launched under the Labor government.

The developments came as the government maintained pressure on Labor over its past financial and political support for Thomson, who was last week found guilty by a Melbourne magistrate of rorting his work credit card to pay for prostitutes when he was national secretary of the Health Services Union. He faces sentencing next month.

Mr Pyne, in supporting the referral to the privileges committee, told parliament, "I don't wish to traverse all the details of the sordid and tawdry tale" but parliamentary privilege came with responsibilities.

The manager of opposition business, Tony Burke, followed in parliament, saying "as we supported it in the last parliament, we support the reference in this parliament".

Technically, parliament can jail an individual for up to six months or impose a fine of up to $5000, although the more likely option should it find Thomson guilty of deliberately misleading the house would be a public reprimand or request for an apology.

In a television interview on Sunday, Mr Pyne had said the question of whether Labor would support the referral would be another "test" of Mr Shorten.

A spokesman for Mr Shorten said yesterday this highlighted Mr Pyne's "pathetic stunts".

"This referral -- which remains live -- was put on hold by the committee while judicial proceedings were under way," he said.

Mr Pyne called on the ALP to hand back $267,000 of HSU funds found by the Fair Work Commission to have been improperly spent by Thomson on his successful 2007 campaign bid for Dobell.

Whistleblower Jackson’s wisdom that sparked war

Article by Gary Johns published in The Australian, February 25, 2014

KATHY Jackson is this column’s Australian of the year.

Jackson, nee Koukouvaos, is the Greek goddess Athena - goddess of wisdom and of war.

She withstood the pressure of a culture of corruption in the Health Services Union. She deserves the respect and support of the entire labour movement. Instead, many revile her.

No matter what the Abbott government’s royal commission into the administration of various trade unions reveals, she will be the one who, at great personal sacrifice, started the ouster of Craig Thomson and Michael Williamson.

According to Ian Temby QC in his July 2012 report into the administration of HSU east, Jackson was the main source of the allegations against both Thomson and Williamson, both frauds against the union they served.

In August 2011, Jackson’s enemies, most likely from the union, left a dirt-covered shovel on the doorstep of her Melbourne home. The message was unmistakable: by blowing the whistle on union corruption she was digging her own grave.

In an interview on radio 2GB on October 16 last year, Jackson recalled a 2011 HSU council meeting at Darling Harbour. “There would have been 900 delegates ... I kid you not ... This is after I went to the police ... (Michael) Williamson got a standing ovation ... they played the Rocky theme when he walked in ... there were people heckling me and screaming at me and (fellow HSU whistleblower) Marco Bolano ... that I was a traitor to the movement ... people were calling out ‘Judas’ from the crowd ... this went for four hours.”

Jackson will be the one, along with Julia Gillard and her inadvertent sanctifying of union slush funds, who will destroy the union movement’s political patronage machine. Dyson Heydon, former justice of the High Court, will inquire into the “slush funds” of at least five trade unions: the Australian Workers Union, the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, the Electrical Trades Union, the Health Services Union, and the Transport Workers Union.

Tony Abbott has stated the commission will not be an inquiry into trade unionism, per se, or the day-to-day activities of trade union officials. Rather, it will “address allegations involving officials of unions establishing and benefiting from funds which have been set up for purposes which are often unknown and frequently unrelated to the needs of their members”.

And in so doing it will trawl a lot of fish and may catch out a number of current and former union officials, and politicians. The outcome will have profound implications for the trade union movement and the Labor Party.

There are a swag of trade unionists in the parliament, or who have recently left, who worked for these unions. These unions support any numbers of members directly or through their faction. Bill Shorten, formerly of the AWU, will spend the course of the inquiry worrying about the future of a trade union-based Labor Party.

Others may feel the same. Stephen Conroy, the former communications minister, was an organiser with the TWU, as were senators David Feeney of Victoria and Alex Gallacher of South Australia. Former senator Stephen Hutchins is a former TWU state secretary and national president and Joe Tripodi, a former minister in NSW, was a TWU official. Senator Kate Lundy was an organiser for the CFMEU. Senator Gavin Marshall of Victoria was an assistant state secretary with the ETU.

These members may have no business at all with the inquiry into union slush funds, nor is there any suggestion of wrongdoing, but each will be nervous their former union’s financial and political affairs will be investigated in great detail.

Heydon will be searching to find whether slush funds have been used for any unlawful purpose. He will be searching for those who benefited from funds solicited by these entities and whether members of the union were informed of their existence.

He will be searching for evidence of “bribes, secret commissions or other unlawful payments or benefits arising from contracts, arrangements or understandings between registered employee associations or their officers and any other party”. The inquiry is bound to question employers who dealt with the unions.

The inquiry could play out in several ways. Clearly, there is a risk to the reputation of some existing members of the ALP; it could put a stop to some nascent careers; it may upset the factional balance within the ALP machine; it may have consequences for caucus.

It may change the nature of union-employer relations; it may change the ability of trade union leaders to remain in positions for years and hand power to a chosen candidate.

Jackson, Athena, toppled two union leaders, one of whom was a member of the House of Representatives. In her wisdom, and in deciding to wage war with the HSU, she may well have strangled the union-ALP umbilical (ac)cord.

Michael Mann Faces Bankruptcy as his Courtroom Climate Capers Collapse

Article by John O'Sullivan published in the Principia Scientific International, February 25, 2014

Michael Mann, climate criminal?Massive counterclaims, in excess of $10 million, have just been filed against climate scientist Michael Mann after lawyers affirmed that the former golden boy of global warming alarmism had sensationally failed in his exasperating three-year bid to sue skeptic Canadian climatologist, Tim Ball. Door now wide open for criminal investigation into Climategate conspiracy.
Buoyed by Dr Ball's successes, journalist and free-speech defender, Mark Steyn has promptly decided to likewise countersue Michael Mann for $10 million in response to a similar SLAPP suit filed by the litigious professor from Penn. State University against not just Steyn, but also the National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Rand Simberg. Ball's countersuit against Mann seeks "exemplary and punitive damages. " Bishop Hill blog is running extracts of Steyn's counterclaim, plus link.

Mann’s chief undoing in all such lawsuits is highlighted in a quote in Steyn’s latest counterclaim:

“Plaintiff continues to evade the one action that might definitively establish its [his science’s] respectability - by objecting, in the courts of Virginia, British Columbia and elsewhere, to the release of his research in this field. See Cuccinelli vs Rectors and Visitors of the University of Virginia...”

At last, after 3 years of legal wrangling, it is made clear why I was so bold as to formally undertake an indemnity to fully compensate Dr Ball for my own actions in the event Mann won the case. Respected Aussie climate commentator, Jo Nova was one of the few to commend my unparalleled commitment to Ball's cause.

Steyn’s legal team, aware of the latest developments from Vancouver, have correctly adduced that Ball has effectively defeated Mann after the Penn. State pretender’s preposterous and inactive lawsuit against Ball was rendered dormant for failure to prosecute. Under law, Mann’s prevarications, all his countless fudging and evasiveness in the matter, establishes compelling evidence that his motive was not to prove Ball had defamed him, but more likely a cynical attempt to silence fair and honest public criticism on a pressing and contentious government policy issue.

The fact Mann refused to disclose his ‘hockey stick’ graph metadata in the British Columbia Supreme Court, as he is required to do under Canadian civil rules of procedure, constituted a fatal omission to comply, rendering his lawsuit unwinnable.

As such, Dr Ball, by default, has substantiated his now famous assertion that Mann belongs "in the state pen, not Penn. State." In short, Mann failed to show he did not fake his tree ring proxy data for the past 1,000 years, so Ball’s assessment stands as fair comment. Moreover, many hundreds of papers in the field of paleo-climate temperature reconstructions that cite Mann’s work are likewise tainted, heaping more misery on the discredited UN’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) which has a knack of relying on such sub prime science.

Where Do We Go From Here?

It will likely be open season on Mann. Anyone may now freely dismiss him in the harshest terms as a junk scientist who shilled for a failed global warming cabal. Without fear of his civil legal redress, we may now refer to Mann for what he is: a climate criminal, a fraudster.

Being that Mann's suit in the BC court was filed 3 years ago before he filed against Steyn, it appears Dr Ball will be first in line with his counterclaims and pipping Steyn for the well-deserved $10 million compensation prize. That’s if Mann's financial backers (most notably, the David Suzuki Foundation) aren't bankrupted first.

Woe for Weaver, too

But the more savvy climate analysts will note something here that is far more important scientifically than just Ball’s sensational legal victory over Mann. That is Ball’s more telling concurrent court triumph over Professor Andrew Weaver, “climate scientist” at the University of Victoria, BC, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of British Columbia, and a member of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly. Weaver has also established himself as the IPCC’s lead climate modeler.

Long-time readers may recall that Weaver also sued Ball for libel in February 2011, some months before Mann took a punt at it. David Suzuki's mouthpiece, made huge fanfare of it at the time. Both Ball and I suffered the ignominy of having all our online articles removed from the Canada Free Press website after CFP caved into the bully boy tactics masterminded behind the scenes by the deep-pocketed David Suzuki and his Desmogblog cronies, who thereafter smeared my name, too).

Weaver’s libel suit against Ball has also now been rendered dormant due to failure to prosecute because Weaver, like Mann, won’t disclose his (similarly dubious) metadata. Both these prominent men have been expensively represented by one of Canada’s top libel experts, Roger McConchie, who claims he “literally wrote the book on “Canadian Libel and Slander Actions.””

This is an epic double whammy for Ball. As an inadvertent courtroom martyr for climate skeptics Dr Ball has destroyed the credibility of both the IPPC paleoclimate record (Mann’s ‘hockey stick’ graph ‘science’) and all those IPCC computer model ‘projections’ of a dangerously warming climate (Weaver’s ‘science’). And all achieved in the most important ‘peer reviewed’ venue possible – a government court of law. The threat of the cold light of truth being shon on their "secret science" was a step too far for Mann and Weaver. As such, the alarmist (false) claims of a cooler past climate presented by Mann, and doomsaying computer model projections of a dangerously warming future climate, presented by the still hugely influential Weaver, would not stand up in court.

So, forget Steyn’s case – the court victories that count, in terms of the scientific (and political) consequences, are entirely due to Tim Ball. By tenaciously and bravely defending his actions for three long years the mild-mannered septaugenarian has single-handedly proved that the very core of government climate science is junk.

Thereby, this instance of 'science on trial' is no less significant, in the broadest sociatal context, as the infamous Scope's Monkey Trial of 1925.

But was the "evidence" for global warming intentionally and illegally concocted? By their persistence in hiding their data we may think so, as far as Mann and Weaver are concerned; while Dr Ball's latest sensational book,''The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science;' detailing the Climategate shenanigans, is a 'must read' as to culpability. But only a full criminal investigation will be determinative of all that. The question now is, will the U.S. and Canadian governmental authorities have the stomach to delve deeper?

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