Idiocy from Matt Canavan

Over the last little while I had to deal with an American cooker who was completely lacking in any understanding of science, let alone any dealing with Covid-191

Not long after the American wandered away, I bumped into a tweet from Queensland Senator Matt Canavan. He now styles himself on Twitter as ‘Anti-socialist Matt Canavan’, having imported this latest drivel direct from the United State like so many of his culture war colleagues. He has never been the sharpest tool in the shed and is given to cosplay with high-vis clothing and a smear of coal dust over his face just before the cameras roll. Canavan is a city boy (from Logan) and has a B.A. and B.Ec. (Hons) from the University of Queensland, subsequently being employed by the Productivity Commission, then at KPMG before he became chief of staff to Barnaby Joyce. He was elected to the Senate in 20132. So, the high-vis clothing and coal dust are simply designed to impress the gullible; to make him appear to be ‘one of us’. Anyone who believes this must be supremely gullible.

His tweet said: “Forcing 1000s of people out of their jobs for a vaccine that never stopped transmission was one of the stupidest decisions that Governments have ever made”3. I asked if he was naturally thick or did he work at it. He didn’t reply.

As I explained in the earlier post, the common refrain from RWNJ ignoramuses is that ‘the vaccines never stopped transmission’ and therefore don’t work. In the same post, I showed how this portrays a singular lack of understanding of how vaccines do work1. However, in Canavan’s case I suspect it is simply another attempt to sucker the gullible.

Canavan has a history of opening his gob before he puts his brain (such as it is) in gear. Some time ago he whined about the Melbourne ‘hook turn’ where, if you are driving a car and wish to turn right at some intersections, you do so from the left lane. In front of an audience at the Sydney Institute, Canavan said: “I may think that hook turns are a stupid way to manage urban traffic flows, and I think that’s demonstrated by the evolutionary evidence that no other city, to my knowledge, has adopted this confusing practice”4.

This is not true, as some other cities do have them, but usually not for cars. The reason they have them in Melbourne is because the city has the world’s largest tram network and the hook turn is designed to prevent cars blocking trams and allowing the latter a clear run down the centre of the road. Canavan’s statement that hook turns are a stupid way to manage urban traffic flows simply demonstrates his ignorance. Research shows that hook turns are an effective way of managing traffic where trams run along the middle of the road, as well as being a safer practice for making a right turn. Analysis suggests that hook turns decrease congestion, reduce tram delays (on average between 11 and 16 seconds for each tram at a hook turn intersection) and lead to better safety records compared to conventional intersections4.

In a statistical quirk, hook turns also appear to work to increase the traffic capacity of those intersections deploying the manoeuvre, as 38 per cent of drivers will avoid making a hook turn and instead go around the block, according to the researchers’ findings4. This reminds me of my first drive through Melbourne in the late 1970s where I did precisely that. I was completely unaware of the existence of the hook turn intersection, and needing to turn right, I moved to the middle lane, put my indicator on to turn right, only to see a policeman waving his arms frantically at me. So, I turned off the indicator, drove straight ahead, turned left at the next intersection, then turned left again and left for a third time and drove straight past the same policeman who had been waving at me, eventually getting to where I wanted to go.

These instances of Canavan talking abject rubbish because he either does not understand the concept of evidence or is just playing to the gullible, pale into insignificance alongside his climate change denial5. For the latter he should be punished.




  • Laurie Pullman says:

    I have come to the conclusion that Matt “my Mum did it” Canavan is genuinely thick as pig shit. That he has an hons in economics says everything you need to know about degree courses in economics.

    I usually figure these people are playing dumb.

    • admin says:

      You should never conflate education with intelligence. I know people who have degrees who have trouble using a photocopier. Economics is called by many ‘the dismal science’ because they make predictions which are always wrong. It seems an appropriate moniker.

      • Laurie Pullman says:

        That phrase is from Thomas Carlyle’s defense of slavery from memory. There is a good reason Alfred Nobel left it out of his prize, even if they wormed in via the back door.

        I was thinking more that I’ve assume these apparent bumpkins are playing a role. Joyce, for example, is no fool, at least when he stays off the sauce and Peruvian nose candy. Or at least he was no fool before alcohol abuse and age related cognitive decline.

        But the current crop appear to be genuinely below average.

        They remind me of the private school boys I used to catch the bus with. Profoundly average intelligence buoyed in life by unearned opportunity. The smarter ones are aware of their mediocrity and I’d put Littleproud in that camp. But Canavan is firmly in the entitled little boy born on third base who thinks he hit a home run category.

        • admin says:

          Yep, some of them are profoundly stupid, while others like Joyce are playing a role to try to convince the muppets in his electorate that he is one of them, when he is simply one of Gina’s mouthpieces.

  • Mark Dougall says:

    It is embarrassing that people elected him. Even more embarrassing is that he was given a ministerial appointment.

    • admin says:

      That says much about the abilities in the Liberal and National parties.

    • Arthur Baker says:

      People elected him because the Queensland Liberal National Party assigned him a winnable position on their Senate how-to-vote card. What’s embarrassing is (a) the very existence of how-to-vote cards, and (b) the fact that so many people slavishly accept them then robotically copy the numbers from it onto their voting papers. In my 51-year residence in Australia, I’ve never taken a HTV card from anyone, because I can’t get my head around the idea that some political party is going to tell me how to vote.

      I’m currently reading a book entitled “How Westminster Works … … and Why It Doesn’t” (by Peter Dunt, Pub. Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2023). It covers every facet of the UK political process in detail, and as I read, it becomes obvious that every facet is stacked in favour of the two major political parties. There are some obvious differences between the UK and Australia, but I suspect that the same basic principle applies – people vote robotically and accept mediocrity, rendering our so-called democracy farcical.

      • admin says:

        I cannot remember the last time I took a HTV card from anyone either. I read and know who I vote for, and I am now convinced that most people don’t do either. They are referred to as rusted-ons, but in many cases it is because they have no idea about policy, and they vote how they are told or how their parents did.

      • Mark Dougall says:

        I agree Arthur.

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