Scott Morrison’s decision to continue his Hawaiian holiday during some of Australia’s worst ever bushfires was disgraceful.
The job of Prime Minister’s is not like being a plumber’s mate. Morrison is on the big dollars for a reason. Admittedly, land management is more of a State issue. Also, it is unsure whether he could have done anything to help, but politics is perception.
Therefore, he either has bad advisors, or he refused to take good advice. Neither of those options is reassuring.
Even less excusable, however, was the conduct of NSW Emergency Services Minister, The Honourable David Elliot.
Elliot wasn’t going to let the worst bushfires in the State’s history delay his holiday to Europe. He took off shortly after the Prime Minister had reluctantly returned.
He finally buckled after a week’s relaxation after even his own family felt he was doing the wrong thing. Perhaps they were inspired by some European history while they were over there.
After all, Nero may have been fiddling while the joint burned down, but at least he was in Rome when it happened.
In the week the Minister was away, 11 people died in NSW bushfires and entire communities were wiped out.
I have previous experience of dealing with David Elliot, albeit indirectly. As such, his recent behaviour does not surprise me.
I was part of a group who put together a proposal to de-radicalise violent extremist Muslims in NSW prisons in 2017.
The proposal was not some pie in the sky idea. It was based on a program which, to my knowledge, is the most successful deradicalisation program in the world.
The program is run by Pastor Keith Piper who is an expert on Islamic Doctrine.
Pastor Piper has studied Islamic Scriptures – particularly the Koran – and written extensively on their glaring inconsistencies. From this knowledge, he has produced a system for persuading Muslims, particularly extremist Muslims, that their faith is based on a false doctrine.
This program is so effective that it has had a 100% success rate at converting Muslims. It also has 0% recidivism.
It takes Pastor Keith around 5 hours to convince even hard-core devout Muslims that Christianity is a far better option than Jihadist Islam.
So far, more than 2,000 Muslims have been through the program which now has offshoots in India and the Philippines.
None of these Muslims wish to return to their Jihadist roots.
In 2016 and 2017, Islamic extremism in NSW prisons was becoming a hot topic in the media. Even Juvenile detention centres were alarmed by the levels of violent extremism they were seeing in young Muslim inmates.
Dealing with these inmates was proving exceedingly dangerous.
In this environment, our group put together a proposal for NSW to introduce Pastor Keith’s “5 steps to freedom” program for radicalised inmates in NSW prisons.
The proposal was carefully crafted to fit within the guidelines of the department. We worked with people who were experienced in this kind of thing and made sure that all the i’s were dotted, and the t’s were crossed.
The proposal was accepted by the NSW Prisons Department and went all the way up without any objections – until it reached the Minister, David Elliot.
Elliot immediately rejected the proposal, with reasoning that a 12-year-old would have found insulting. One of our team met with the Minister and reported back the following objections.
These were as follows:
The first thing he said was that “I cannot be involved with De-Radicalising Muslims.” That’s a pretty strange claim for the Minister for Prisons and Minister for Counter Terrorism to make.
It is also a blatant lie, as he later insisted that other groups (made up of Muslim Imams) are already deradicalizing Muslims in jail. He claimed that our program would interfere with their work.
Even at that time, there were overseas studies which showed conclusively that current deradicalization programs were an abject failure.
To our knowledge, not a single Muslim has been “deradicalized” by current programs. Elliot gave no examples of inmates who had been deradicalized. He also failed to tell us how many taxpayer dollars are being spent on these programs today.
Elliot’s next excuse was even worse. He explained that “This program has never been proven.” He also claimed that “The figure of over 1900 Ex-Muslims is unbelievable.”
We doubt that the current deradicalization programs were proven before being implemented as there is still no proof that they work – even after many years and untold public funding.
Pastor Keith, however, had provided the evidence of names, addresses and contact numbers of 1900 ex Muslims.
We begged him to come and meet hundreds of ex Muslims at Pastor Keith’s church where they were all prepared to share their experiences with him. It was a half hour’s drive from the Minister’s office. Elliot refused.
Long time NSW Senator Fred Nile had been following the program for some years. He had immediately seen the importance of the program and very kindly sent the Minister a glowing letter of recommendation. It was ignored.
Elliot then assured us that radicalisation in prisons was just media hype and that only 3 or 4 Muslims had been radicalised in prison.
This completely misses the point. Firstly, even 3 or 4 radical Muslims can kill a lot of people. Secondly, the program deradicalizes Muslims wherever they were radicalised.
Those Muslims in jail are among the most dangerous of the Islamists. Once released, they are a threat to all of us. If Pastor Keith’s program had only deradicalized a handful of them, it would be a huge burden lifted from our society.
If the pastor’s methods had the same result in jail as they had in the general population, the benefit to the nation would be incalculable.
Elliot’s final objection was perhaps the lamest (which is saying something). He complained that Keith Is Merely Trying to Convert Others to Christianity. What the heck?
If converting someone to Christianity changes them from a raging, suicidal lunatic into a peaceful, law abiding citizen then so what?
Does the Minister have so little concern for the citizens of NSW – or so much hatred for the Christian faith – that he would sooner see someone remain a Jihadist than be converted to Christianity?
I’ve met with many appallingly bad politicians in my time, but in this instance, David Elliot dredged new depths of indifference and incompetence.
I suspect that his main concern was that there would be a hostile reaction from the Islamic “community” which would be amplified by our pro-Islamic media.
This would upset his comfortable routine as “Minister of the Crown” in the same way that those pesky bushfires spoiled his overseas jaunt to Europe.
The handling of these two issues shows a breath-taking failure of leadership (which is being kind by the way).
The people of NSW and, more broadly, of Australia, deserve better than this. Clearly, David Elliot is not capable of handling any kind of leadership role in Government or elsewhere.
Why NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian continues to tolerate Elliot as a Minister is beyond comprehension. He is an embarrassment to the Government and a stain on her leadership resume.
Likewise, the Baulkham Hills Liberal Party branch members who support him need to rethink their backing of his candidacy and replace him, if they can, at the earliest possible opportunity.
Looking ahead, Australians need to understand that politics can attract the worst self-serving egomaniacs who cannot be trusted. Kerryn Phelps subversive Medevac Bill shows the damage these people can do in just a short time.
We need to start looking for a way to prevent these lunatics from inflicting lasting damage on our society. The only proven way to do this, is through the Swiss system of Citizen Initiated Referenda. In Switzerland, citizens can veto legislation or even propose their own.
All the Swiss people need is enough signatures on a petition to call such a referendum. This people power can act as a brake on the worst excesses of Government policy and has kept Switzerland safe and well governed for generations.
This was one of the policies of Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party. Little wonder that the other politicians were in such a rush to censure him. As yet, none of the majors are even discussing this option so it is up to “We the People” to start demanding it – while we still can.
Note: Pastor Keith Piper’s program is still running, and its success is growing rapidly. If you know anyone in a position of power who would have the intelligence to understand the potential of this program, please contact us here at the Pickering Post and we will happily put you in contact with him.