Decades before Tony Abbott, as our 28th prime minister, was challenging the zeitgeist by scrapping the carbon tax, stopping the boats and knighting Prince Philip, he’d been annoying the hell out of the campus left as a student leader, as this fascinating book revels in telling. In Tony Abbott and the Times of Revolution, Gerard Wilson sets out to do three things: to claim Abbott as Australia’s leading “Burkean conservative”; to analyse the university counter-culture that had developed by the mid-1970s; and to show the consistency of Abbott’s thinking over the past forty years.
What shines through in this rather wordy book is Abbott’s determination to make a difference, his political courage, and the constancy of his convictions. As well, there’s the relentlessness of the left’s campaign to get him, even as a campus politician, and the ambivalence towards him of careerists on his own side of the political landscape.
I have set up a section on my website which is devoted to Cardinal Pell. My intention is cover all aspects of the Cardinal’s life, not only his conviction for sexual abuse. It is a long term project. My mission statement is as follows:
Most people will see this photo as representative either of a corrupt Church harbouring a despicable paedophile who with justice should be given over to the lynch mob that has relentlessly stalked him. Or they will see reflected in the humiliated handcuffed cardinal a screaming injustice, the collapse of reason, the trashing of the justice system, and the degradation of Australian society. It is especially the collapse of reason that should alarm the ordinary Australian.
The judges of the majority judgement rejecting Cardinal Pell’s appeal seem to know nothing about the rules of reason. They seem not to know that abstractly speaking matters of fact could always be otherwise, that nothing is impossible except a contradiction, that judgements about reliability and trustworthiness are based on the empirical evidence. No rational person trusts someone without convincing evidence. The more critical the trust, the greater the need for sound concrete evidence.
When I examine the empirical evidence surrounding the accuser’s
charges (so lucidly discussed by the dissenting judge), I cannot but
conclude that this hidden anonymous man has concocted and acted out a
story to fool the gullible, buoy the bigot, and serve the aims of the
Cardinal’s political enemies, including those in his Church.
The accuser’s project is of such extraordinary daring that I further conclude he has the help and backing of political groups who have hatched a long term plan to destroy Cardinal Pell. Whatever happens regarding a High Court appeal, they have succeeded. Cardinal Pell has been become a martyr to the religious and political beliefs he has so forcefully defended.
A final conclusion is that no religious or political conservative in Australia is safe.
In this section of my website, I will continue to examine the evidence, critique the conviction and attempt to get behind what is known or claimed.
I do not encourage anyone to break the law, but I appeal to those
with knowledge about the Pell Affair that has not been made public to
contact me. Confidentiality is assured.
Was it mere coincidence that my website suffered a vicious hack directly after I had made a series of critical and mocking comments on twitter about Cardinal George Pell’s failed appeal?
Those who regularly visit my site know that I fully support the Cardinal in his declaration of innocence and am intensely critical of the leftist individuals, organizations and institutions who have been unrelenting in their goal of destroying the cardinal. The Cardinal Pell Affair is political from top to bottom. He is, and has been, a powerful force in defending political and religious conservatives.
Even though the majority judgment in the Appeal sent the Cardinal back to jail, the dissenting judge’s judgement, for all who retain the basic operations of reason, smashed his colleagues’ woeful efforts, causing many to wonder where their worships’ reasoning faculties had gone.
The irrational majority judgment is a powerful basis from which to continue the fight against the destructive Marxist forces in Australia. Make no mistake, the goal of destroying Cardinal Pell, and thus the Catholic Church, is front and centre in the Australian Marxist agenda.
If the hack was as suspected, then the hackers should know I have not finished by a long shot. Stay tuned for my comments and links to commentaries on the Appeal.
If you were in a Catholic school in the 1950s, you would have been taught about the heroic saints, men and women, who preferred death to the denial of their faith. Indeed, the examples of the saints and martyrs were a primary vehicle for teaching pupils what their faith was really about. You have to be moved to the core to prefer to die rather than give up what you believe in. The saints and martyrs were moved to the core because they accepted the revelation that Jesus Christ was God-made-Man, ‘the way, the truth and the life’. They accepted St Peter’s declaration that Jesus was ‘the Christ, son of the living God’ (Matt. 16:16).
The first martyrs were those of the Roman persecutions, people of faith who submitted to the tearing jaws of wild beasts rather than carry out the act of offering a small sacrifice to the multitude of Roman Gods. Centuries later, much closer to Australian society, were the martyrs of the English Reformation who submitted to the barbaric penalty of hanging, drawing and quartering rather than condone Henry VIII’s trashing of key elements of Catholic teaching.
Just repeating that I have received a review for TONY ABBOTT AND THE TIMES OF REVOLUTION:
‘IF YOU WONDER how we got to where we are on the shifting sands of political correctness (and who doesn’t) this book is for you. Gerard Charles Wilson, author of Prison Hulk to Redemption (2015) is the kind of biographer who is a more interesting than his hero Tony Abbott (see James Boswell, Laird of Auchinleck and Sam Johnson, Doctor of Bolt Court, off Fleet Street)…
‘Wilson’s work may not necessarily commend itself to left-wing Honi Soitistes, but it should be on the library shelves of all Catholic universities and senior schools for its corrective attitude to the student politics of the last century and this one.’
I have completed a six-month update of TONY ABBOTT AND THE TIMES OF REVOLUTION.
In addition to the review received (see recent blog), I had feedback that the book was unnecessarily long.
I have removed all text not directly related to the book’s three intertwined themes: the character of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott as displayed in his fearless no-holds battle with the far-left radicals at Sydney University (1976-1980); what it means to be a philosophical conservative in a leftist world; and the author’s critique of the student rebellion and the radicalism driving it. The author lived through the tumultuous years of the 1960s and 1970s revolution.
TONY ABBOTT AND THE TIMES OF REVOLUTION is as much about the author as about Tony Abbott.
Since I have just said a few words on natural law and economic freedom, I want to say a few words about a natural law conception of social justice and how it can help us now. Some people think social justice is a twentieth century invention of left-leaning thinkers, but this starts the history of social justice midstream. To understand its true meaning, we must look farther back to its real historical origins.
The first known use of the phrase “social justice” was by a Jesuit Thomist, Luigi Taparelli, in his multivolume work published between 1840 and 1843 titled Saggio teoretico di dritto naturale appoggiato sul fatto (A Theoretical Treatise on Natural Law Resting on Fact). I want to emphasize two arguments that Taparelli highlighted by coining the new phrase “social justice”: first, that man is social by nature and belongs to many societies and, second, that man has natural duties to others in justice.
Professor C.B. MacPherson in his short book Burke raised what he thought was a inconsistency between Edmund Burke’s political philosophy and his ideas on economics. Joseph Pappin III takes up the challenge in this paper and provides a convincing case on how the two can be reconciled in the natural law. Joseph Pappin’s book The Metaphysics of Edmund Burke is the only book devoted to the subject (metaphysics). Highly recommended.
THE PLACE OF LAISSEZ-FAIRE ECONOMICS IN EDMUND BURKE’S POLITICS OF ORDER The Austrian Scholars Conference, March 2002 By Joseph Pappin III, University of South Carolina President of The Edmund Burke Society of America
I wish to focus upon what until now has been a largely unanswered question: “What is the relationship between Burke’s economic theory and his political theory?” The implications of this question and the built-in assumptions are that Burke’s political economy is entirely libertarian, stressing laissez-faire principles in a free-market setting, and that his political philosophy emphasizes order, hierarchy, tradition – all of which comprise a conservative world-view, recalcitrant towards change, prizing order and virtue over economic liberalism.
This was a talk I gave on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.
Edmund Burke devoted the eighth chapter in his Abridgment of English History, to King John’s reign. He records that it was near the end of John’s reign that the barons forced him to place the royal seal on the provisions and undertakings that form the document called Magna Carta, Latin for Great Charter. The Abridgment of English History is a little known and almost entirely disregarded work of Burke’s. He began it in 1757 as a commission from publisher Robert Dodsley. It was one of the projects taken up when he abandoned the law to devote himself to a literary career. He never completed the planned series of books. Indeed, chapter eight is the final full chapter. The eight chapters plus a fragment of chapter nine, ‘An Essay Towards An History Of The Laws Of England’, appeared after his death.
The reader has to take seriously Burke’s title to his work on English history because a distinct purpose is revealed in the process of abridgment. Through the sometimes sparse historical details, the reader finds a concentration on the effect of the different settled arrangements (like custom and tradition) on the development of the law governing the English people. The contrast, though nowhere near as explicit as in his later writings, is between law as developed out of the concrete circumstances of a people being a people and law as the product of abstract speculation. The fragment of chapter nine confirms this analysis.