Monday, August 25, 2014

Alan Moran sacked from IPA over anti-Islam tweets

Wow, what a bombshell for the right. The Australian reports that Alan Moran has been sacked as fellow of the Institute of Public Affairs:
Dr Moran recently engaged with left-wing activists on the issue of Islam and the sexual assault investigation into Labor leader Bill Shorten, which was dropped because of a lack of evidence. On August 17, Dr Moran accused federal Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek of backing the investigation into Mr Shorten for reasons of ambition. “Tanya Plibersek backs rape probe into unnamed senior Labor figure. Can only be ‘cus he is a rival for leadership?’’ Dr Moran tweeted. He sparked outrage when he tweeted this month: “Is there ever anything but evil coming from Islam?’’
IPA chief John Roskam confirmed that Dr Moran had left the IPA. Dr Moran told The Australian there had been concerns about his social media activity.
Catallaxy Files, the unofficial blog of the IPA, has been full of anti-Islamic fervour recently, as in this thread on the James Foley beheading. The usual suspects in the comments at the Cat routinely ascribe all sorts of hellish agency on every single member of the Islamic religion, without any guidance towards sanity by the lurking IPA reps. Yet, if the Oz is to be believed, the red meat that Steve Kates et al have been throwing to the Cats is actually against the IPA's financial interests:
It is understood there was particular concern about Dr Moran’s position on Islam, given the IPA receives donations from some ­Islamic individuals and seeks to engage with moderate elements of the Muslim community.
This is an explosive claim. This is exactly what Sinclair Davidson has been thrashing the Liberal Party about over their backdown on s18C of the Racial Discrimination Act: influence from the Islamic lobby undercutting right wing principles. Just as with s18C, it appears moderate Australian Muslims are having a direct effect on the right if they really are the reason why Moran has been boned.

The right have some questions to answer. Is this democratic centrism in action, as I said about the s18C backdown, or is the IPA really so cravenly mercenary that they will don burkas and recite the Quran if they get paid for it? How do the remaining IPA employees reconcile continued opposition to s18C with their newfound love for Muslim mullah moolah? Is this a new power coupling between Christian religious fundamentalist conservatism and Islamic religious fundamentalist conservatism in Australia, or is it just a case of filthy lucre? And do the Muslim donors also run tobacco companies?

Dr Moran has spent too much time among the reprobates and racists at Catallaxy Files. It is not the done thing to speak like them in public. This is what happens when you act like a Cat poster in polite society: the flecks of spittle tend to set the hoi polloi offside. The IPA's strategy has been to operate the Cat as a zoo, where the denizens are fed chunks of raw flesh to fight over while standing on dirt and grass roots, while the IPA employees wear nice suits to stroll carpets and represent their antediluvian interests on the ABC and in government with more acceptable language. Moran forgot that zookeepers shouldn't get in the cage and engage their primal screams.

UPDATE: I missed this on the weekend but this isn't the first IPA bod to be sacked over social media shenanigans recently. Aaron Lane was sacked from running as a Liberal candidate for the upper house in western Victoria for, you guessed it, offensive tweets. And for those of you out there who like to connect dots, IPA boss John Roskam is considering running for the Libs to replace Ted Baillieu in his safe Victorian seat. Is it any wonder that the IPA is now acting just like the Liberal Party in appeasing appealing to Muslim lobbyists? Still no mention of this shameful shift to centrism on the Cat.


  1. Moran was an intelligent man but was corrupted by Catallaxy and like Goebbels in 1938 went mad. It is occurring to Sinkers as well.
    Islam is an evil religion but all religions are, ( Christianity is not a religion!) BUT only a small subset of Islam is involved in terrorist acts.
    It doesn't take a lot of research to understand that.

  2. Um, someone has to ask it: on what basis is Christianity not a religion, Homer?

    Good riddance to Moran, in the meantime.

    As for Catallaxy, its online community is getting narrower and narrower, as self selection for things like wilful ignorance of climate science, and anti feminism, as well as a refusal of its moderator to enforce anything but the barest minimum of standards ("don't use the 'c' word" is about the only rule - oh, and the one about not ridiculing the moderator) has made for an intensifying trend of unpleasant ratbaggery. I therefore doubt it has the political influence that you seem to think it aspires to.

    Have I mentioned before that I have a theory that Sinclair might think that not having rules will illustrate how a libertarian view to free speech makes for a self moderating, reasonable community; where the more extreme statements made by some will be shamed by the counter arguments of the more reasonable. If that is the idea, the threads (indeed, even many of the posts now) illustrate how it just doesn't work. Instead, more moderate voices get sick of the atmosphere and leave the place to itself, and the descent of standards and lack of moderation spiral ever downwards. It becomes a self re-enforcing place for dumb, simplistic views often offensively expressed, and as a libertarian experiment it's a fail.

  3. steve,
    In a religion you have to do something.
    in Christianity it has already been done!

    If Sinclair was fair dinkum then there would be no bans would there!

  4. Steve, libertarianism is about the freedom to be a drongo, and libertarians want to prove it over and over again by being drongoes and daring anyone to object. By their own standards, Catallaxy is a libertarian utopia. The fact that it's an angry cesspool of racism, intolerance and abuse only goes to prove their point.

    One wonders whether there is tension between Roskam and Davidson, since the latter is still bashing the Libs on policy even as the former is considering joining them. Political parties are broad churches, etc etc, but it reminds me of the ending of Withnail and I, with Sinc in the role of Withnail.

  5. On the IPA and Catallaxy again - I find it weird and telling that neither of the two IPA gay/lesbian former and current "stars" (Tim Wilson and Julie Novak) ever say a word on the blog, or elsewhere, about some of the rabid gay ridicule that appears in threads under Sinclair's control. Penny Wong and Bob Brown, for example, have been slagged off for being gay (usually in completely irrelevant contexts) simply because their politics are not to the right, and Wilson, Novak and Davidson just let it all slide for years and years.

    Again, it shows how the self regulation of free speech does not do anything to maintain or lift standards, as Tim ("oh good, another chance for a selfie") Wilson claims it will in preference to something like the RDA. [Or, rather, we will never know whether could do so or not, because Timbo and Julie will not tell political "friends" that they're being jerks.]