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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Wednesday, 2 April 2008
Grog pushers overwhelming the press with full page adverts?
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: big media

The grog industry seem to think they will get a better bang for their buck advertising with full pagers in the Sydney Daily Telegraph today. But they also have a full pager in the broadsheet Sydney Morning Herald today too.

Ironically the perils of binge drinking have never been more obvious as per this classic disjunction of news and advertising, and yet we feel the grog pushers will buy their way out of trouble regardless, probably as Olympic sponsors?

They do say alcohol is the drug known as the great deceiver.


Posted by editor at 1:09 PM NZT
Monday, 31 March 2008
Event this week at UTS - Who do you trust online?
Mood:  mischievious
Topic: independent media

We are speaking for 5 minutes at this line up this Wednesday evening:

In Conversation: Who Can You Trust?

After a very successful talk’s seminar last year, newmatilda.com is holding its second  In Conversation discussion panel.

We are inviting you attend this free event; we also encourage you to contribute your ideas and thoughts on this topic, during the discussion:

Who Can You Trust?              
Who is a credible source online? With the proliferation of blogging, amateur experts and user generated content- has the investigative journalist become redundant?

Chaired by Wendy Bacon, investigative journalist & UTS academic

Speakers:
Jackie Dent:
ABC Opinion Online & UN Afghanistan spokesperson
Antony Loewenstein: Author of
My Israel Question, journalist, blogger
Tom McLoughlin:
Sydney Alternative Media- Editor of micro news site & solicitor
Edmund Tadros:
SMH.com & investigative journalist

Venue: Building 4, Level 2. Lecture Theatre 34 (4.2.34) University Of Technology Sydney, 15 Broadway, Ultimo.

Time: 6pm for a 6.30pm start

Date: Wednesday, April 2

RSVP: email: info(at)newmatilda.com or phone: 02 9211 1635.

This event is supported by the ACIJ.

We look forward to seeing you there and hearing your views.
The newmatilda.com team


Posted by editor at 6:49 PM NZT
2020 summit attendance list in the subjective eye of the Rudd Govt machine?
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: aust govt
http://www.green.net.au/quoll/forests/slender.jpg
Picture: file picture taken from this website 
Who at this upcoming 2020 summit of the federal govt will solve the disgrace in East Gippsland as pictured above, caused by the logging industry? With similar going on in Tasmania right now.
We have a few ideas as per the email content below with omitted giants from the sustainability group (which itself is only one of ten groups all up) which we add here:
 
- Prof Stuart White - UTS - Institute of Sustainable Futures (!)
- Prof Peter Newman  - Director of the Institute for Sustainability and Technology, Murdoch Uni
- Dr Mark Diesendorf - UNSW - Institute of Environmental Studies UNSW
Oh and you might notice absence of Jeff Angel which may be to do with the passover clash, or my determinedpublished analysis of collaboration with ALP Govt, not least on energy assets sale. 

- Oh, and on sustainability, the inestimable Prof Jamie Kirkpatrick in Tas, who is so very very smart and so greatly independent of thought.

Also I think in that particular group there ought to have been a world class mountaineer like Tim McCartney Snape or Brigitte Muir or one of several actually because we are very strong as a country in this respect. Sports I hear you cry, but actually they are become cross cultural experts from all the travel and experience of montane environments which are melting first meaning dangerous climate change.

Lateral but still true, as per my report of great Blue Mountains Climbing festival report 2007 here:

http://www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog/index.blog/1671145/australian…

Of similar comment would be some of our awesome Antarctic scientist types - can’t think of the name but we have some beauties.

Very lastly I read worthy Sam(antha?) Mostyn’s background on Trust of Australian Museum - 2003 - ex staffer of Paul Keating, and BA/Llb - say no more eh? (The ALP stodge factor? We shall see.)

 
Also see these recent posts for some good analysis on New Matilda:
In addition this google project is useful when taken with the totality of comments added:
 .................................
Sent: Monday, March 31, 2008 2:16 PM
Subject: Re: [chipstop] 2020 visionaries

Harriet I think it would be worthwhile to collate a list of people who are missing from the Rudd preference list, and according to ChipStop's own lights-
Here are a few worthy notables, personal point of view (and you would think with 14% of the national vote to the Green Party) including a few highly political but also very bright types like :
  1. Senator Christine Milne (Taswegian)
  2. Peg Putt MP
  3. Jill Redwood (feature in Women's Weekly)
  4. Dr Judith Adjani - though disagree with her on privatising NSW plantations.
  5. Alexandra De Blass - environmental broadcaster
  6. Dr Sharon Beder, engineer, educator
  7. Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith (Phd law) senior adviser National toxics network
  8. Kirsty Ruddock, senior solicitor EDO
  9. Prof David Lindenmeyer (CRES)
  10. Clive Hamilton (principal researcher RAC, TAI)
  11. Senator Bob Brown
  12. Prof Tony Norton (CRES)
  13. Professor Andrew Cockburn (ANU)
  14. David Holmgren/Bill Mollison, founder(s) of permaculture global movement
  15. Scott Kinear organic farming expert
  16. Dr Geoff Mosley AM - heritage pioneer, world heritage issues
  17. Professor Tim Bonyhardy, environmental law academic, author
  18. Brian Preston chief judge Land & Environment Court
  19. Alec Marr, Director The Wilderness Society
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, March 29, 2008 12:53 PM
Subject: [chipstop] 2020 visionaries

Hi greenies
Delegates to the 2020 Summit have been announced. It looks pretty grim. Of the approx 100 names in the 'environment' group, there are very few known greenies. Does anyone know anybody on this list who might speak up for the forests? Hugh Possingham and Ian Lowe are possibly the most prospective.
It is also possible to make a submission directly to them.
http://www.australia2020.gov.au/submissions/index.cfm
regards
harriett

Extract:
Contributing a submission to the Australia 2020 Summit is a way for all Australians to be involved in bringing the best ideas forward to address Australia’s long term challenges.
All submissions will be made publicly available on this website and will be presented to the Australia 2020 Summit participants to stimulate discussion and ideas about addressing our future challenges.
Individuals, schools, groups, and organisations are invited to make submissions.
You can contribute a submission online, by downloading a form and mailing it, or by contacting the toll free number to have a form mailed out to you.
Submissions must be received no later than 5:00pm Wednesday 9 April 2008.
Written submissions are limited to 500 words per topic and should focus on one of the ten identified areas. You may contribute a submission in one or more policy areas.
Submissions will be collected by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, which is acting as a secretariat for the Australia 2020 Summit.
List of delegates:

Population, sustainability, climate change and water

Mr Carl Eric Binning                                              Male                       WA
Ms Irina Cattalini                                                   Female                   WA
Mr Joe Ross                                                         Male                       WA
Ms Cheryl Batagol                                                 Female                   VIC
Mr Damien Troy Bell                                              Male                       VIC
Dr Grant Blashki                                                   Male                       VIC
Ms Larissa Brown                                                 Female                   VIC
Mr Russell Ronald Caplan                                      Male                       VIC
Professor Ross Garnaut                                         Male                       VIC
Mr Gerry Hueston                                                  Male                       VIC
Mr Andrew Jaspan                                                 Male                       VIC
Honourable Dr Barry Owen Jones                           Male                       VIC
Professor David John Karoly                                   Male                       VIC
Professor Amanda Lynch                                       Female                   VIC
Ms Robyn Leigh McLeod                                       Female                   VIC
Dr Pam McRae-Williams                                        Female                   VIC
Mr Stephen Mills                                                   Male                       VIC
Ms Natasha Palich                                                Female                   VIC
Mr George Pappas                                                Male                       VIC
Dr Graeme Ivan Pearman                                       Male                       VIC
Mr Marcus Randolph                                             Male                       VIC
Mr Bernard Joseph Salt                                         Male                       VIC
Mr David Shelmerdine                                            Male                       VIC
The Honourable John Thwaites                               Male                       VIC
Ms Georgina Elise Boon                                        Female                   TAS
Ms Anne Howe                                                     Female                   SA
Ms Susan Barbara Jeanes                                     Female                   SA
Adjunct Professor Monica Viviene Oliphant              Female                   SA
Mrs Joanne Louise Pfeiffer                                     Female                   SA
Ms Ann Kathryn Shaw Rungie                                Female                   SA
Mr Michael Peter Berwick                                      Male                       QLD
Mrs Leith Boully                                                    Female                   QLD
Ms Erin Mara Cini                                                 Female                   QLD
Professor Chris (Christopher Reid) Cocklin              Male                       QLD
Ms Cheryl Desha                                                  Female                   QLD
Ms Melissa-Leigh Jane George                               Female                   QLD
Professor Ross Stewart Guest                               Male                       QLD
Dr Andrew Kenneth Leonard Johnson                      Male                       QLD
Professor Ian Lowe                                                Male                       QLD
Ms Elizabeth Ann Nosworthy                                 Female                   QLD
Professor Hugh Possingham                                  Male                       QLD
Professor John Quiggin                                          Male                       QLD
Dr Russell Evan Reichelt                                        Male                       QLD
Dr Lorraine Stephenson                                         Female                   QLD
Dr Stuart Blanch                                                   Male                       NT
Professor Stephen Thomas Garnett                        Male                       NT
Mr Joe Morrison                                                    Male                       NT
Ms Maria Atkinson                                                Female                   NSW
Professor Marcela Bilek                                         Female                   NSW
Mr Greg Bourne                                                    Male                       NSW
Ms Petrea Bradford                                               Female                   NSW
Ms Jillian Broadbent                                              Female                   NSW
Mr Peter Coates                                                    Male                       NSW
Professor Mary Elizabeth Crock                             Female                   NSW
Mr Stewart Ellis                                                    Male                       NSW
Ms Penelope Figgis (AO)                                       Female                   NSW
Professor Timothy Flannery                                    Male                       NSW
Ms Tanya Ha                                                        Female                   NSW
Mr Michael Hawker                                                Male                       NSW
Professor Lesley Margaret Head                             Female                   NSW
Dr Judy Isabel Henderson                                      Female                   NSW
The Hon Roslyn Joan Kelly                                    Female                   NSW
Professor Shahbaz Khan                                       Male                       NSW
Mr Ian Bruce Kiernan                                             Male                       NSW
Mr Eric Ronald Wing-Fai Knight                              Male                       NSW
Dr Gabrielle Sarah Kuiper                                       Female                   NSW
The Hon Susan Mary Lenehan                                Female                   NSW
Ms Romilly Madew                                                Female                   NSW
Ms Sam Mostyn                                                   Female                   NSW
Ms Elaine Prior                                                     Female                   NSW
Ms Tania Ritchie                                                   Female                   NSW
Ms Anna Rose                                                      Female                   NSW
Dr Paul Simshauser                                              Male                       NSW
Professor Will Steffen                                            Male                       NSW
Dr Tony Paul Wilkins                                             Male                       NSW
Emeritus Professor Valerie Anne Brown                  Female                   ACT
Dr Peter J Cook                                                    Male                       ACT
Dr Wendy Craik                                                    Female                   ACT
DR Brian Fisher                                                    Male                       ACT
Dr Geoff Garrett                                                     Male                       ACT
Dr Steve Hatfield Dodds                                         Male                       ACT
Professor Warwick james McKibbin                        Male                       ACT
Professor Patrick Nicol Troy, AO                            Male                       ACT
Dr Karen Elizabeth Hussey                                    Female                  
Dr Chloe Munro                                                     Female                  
Dr Bev Ronalds                                                     Female                   WA

..............................................................

Postscript #1 1st April 2008 

 

Sent: Monday, March 31, 2008 11:00 PM
Subject: Re: [chipstop] 2020 visionaries

...................
Re Penny Figgis OAM 
Lots to add here to .... note on Ms Figgis. Penny Figgis was 'close' friend of Milo Dunphy by some accounts, who certainly bawled her eyes out at his funeral, as I did actually in 96 or so. She was an ACF vice president for quite some years, and loyalist of the ACF alliance with the ALP in NSW (eg Carr). Apparently Milo said she joined the enemy (which I think means married a rich lawyer). PF's specialty up here in Sydney was to write censorious letters to the SMH leveraging the ACF name and a nice turn of phrase, and decent science. But not for a long while now. I would have to say under the ALP machine's thumb. Would never say a bad word about Carr and the Eden chipper (?).
[and] 
oh also that Penny Figgis was in the news recently in harness working for IUCN over ..... over protection of native [mammal] species I think - WWF report maybe in the Herald in the last few days.
 
...................
McKibbon on Reserve Bank - he's a conservative on climate change and generates the do less economic models in direct contest with such as Clive Hamilton. Not quite GreenHouse Mafia but more in their direction if memory serves. Guy Pearse's website (?) might have more, as might his book.
...................................
Ross Garnaut - well its trite to say he wrote the Garnaut report, he's realised how bad for the planet the science is, I would say he's even scared, and scared the ALP premiers down in Adeliade too, but also he's on Board or chair of Lihir Gold miner in PNG too. He's a business man. Which maybe is why the ALP might actually fucking listen to him more..
.....................................
Prof Lowe of course - secular scientific saint. ACF President. Heard a rumour he ditched John Conner (for being a spiv?) who now heads up the ALP Climate Institute - don't know if its true.
..................................
Prof Quiggin, lefty economist, blogger extraordinaire from Qld, strong opponent of NSW privitisation of energy assets. good dude I would guess.
...................................
yeah Ros Kelly, now that's an ALP stitch up, forced to resign over white boards etc in about 1994.
................................
Professor David John Karoly  
Superb warrior on climate change - will push the hard line with a brain like a diamond cutting saw, A force of nature, awesome guy who destroyed the Great Global Warming Swindle documentary, returned recent years from States (Harvard or such like). Deserves a medal.
.........................................
Mr Bernard Joseph Salt    
social scientist demographer guy I think
............................................
The Honourable John Thwaites     
The erstwhile green soul of the Vic Govt as I understood it, subject to vic chipstoppers on the list.
..................................
Adjunct Professor Monica Viviene Oliphant   
presumably related to the nukes man?
...................................................
Dr Gabrielle Sarah Kuiper    
I think she might be a refugee from critical mass public transport activism. If so potentially very good value. Yep she is the one.
........................................
Tanya Ha
She's a marketing/model person with a green tinge? Oh yeah, author greeniology. Celebrity value.
..................................
Sent: Monday, March 31, 2008 9:26 PM
Subject: Re: [chipstop] 2020 visionaries

Does anyone know any of the other names besides our few 'good guys'?
It would be useful if someone could google a bunch and dig a bit of dirt to show how inappropriate they are to be on the country's 'sustainability climate and water' group. There's dirt on at least two so far.

-----------------
Unbelievable, 100 (Give or take a few) people interested in this area and I have heard of about 10 of them. And I've been around these issues for over 3 decades. I wonder how many are ALP hacks?

These are my comments on those I know for what its worth (See list below)

Most lack an environmental perspective - indicative of the deired outcomes.

I expect each will read a prepared statement and at the end of the process we will have a report that someone is already writing...

Not really worth the greenhouse gases spent getting there.

Anyone here going?


Population, sustainability, climate change and water
 Professor Ross Garnaut                                         Male                       VIC
Dr Graeme Ivan Pearman                                       Male                       VIC
He was head of atmospheric science in CSIRO in 2000 - he may be one who lost his job or left during the final grim years of climate change denial.
Professor Ian Lowe                                                Male                       QLD

Professor Hugh Possingham                                  Male                       QLD
Ecological scientist
Professor John Quiggin                                          Male                       QLD
Mr Greg Bourne                                                    Male                       NSW
WWF
Ms Penelope Figgis (AO)                                       Female                   NSW
Worked at ACF when I was there - a lobbyist with a glancing but not detailed understanding of forest issues
Professor Timothy Flannery                                    Male                       NSW
Fount of knowledge
Dr Judy Isabel Henderson                                      Female                   NSW
Wonderful Judy who has campaigned on Tassie's forests, Lake Pedder, stood for the Greens, has been Chair of orgs such as Aust Ethical. Probably the best advocate we could have
The Hon Roslyn Joan Kelly                                    Female                   NSW
Now which bit of the topic is she addressing?
Ms Romilly Madew                                                Female                   NSW
Was Property Council in ACT, actively involved in Green Building Council of Aus - don't think she knows much about forests
Professor Will Steffen                                            Male                       NSW
Well, he is ACT actually - Director of what was Centre for Resource Development ANU (Fenner School now?) I have hear d him speak effectively about climate change science and issues.

Emeritus Professor Valerie Anne Brown                  Female                   ACT
Val writes about sustainability issues with a focus on the social side of things. She would be sympathetic of forest issues in the broad sense without knowing the detail.
Dr Peter J Cook                                                    Male                       ACT
 the Chief Executive of the Co-operative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC)
Dr Wendy Craik                                                    Female                   ACT
Chief Executive of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission (MDBC) in August 2004 - not a great advocate for the environment (and Great Barrier Reef before that)
DR Brian Fisher                                                    Male                       ACT
ABARE (whose stats have led us down so many wrong forest paths)
Dr Geoff Garrett                                                     Male                       ACT
Head of CSIRO manager of its de skilling and commercialisation
Dr Steve Hatfield Dodds                                         Male                       ACT
Economist with an environmental perspective. Husband of Lyn HAtfied Dodds, the President of ACOSS and Executive Director (so equivalent) of Uniting Care. Steve works for CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems’ as Integration Science and Public Policy researcher.
Professor Warwick james McKibbin                        Male                       ACT
Professorial Fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. He is also Director of the Centre of Applied Macroeconomic Analysis (CAMA) at the Australian National University. He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, and President of McKibbin Software Group. He is a member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia and a member of the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council. He also recently served on the Prime Minister's Uranium Mining and Nuclear Energy Review.
Professor Patrick Nicol Troy, AO                            Male                       ACT
Patrick is an academic with an interest in planning - was a key person during the Whitlam era and used to argue repeatedly with PEter Newman about urban form. He is currently writing about Canberra issues such as water, and proably doesn't give a lot of thought to forests.

 


Posted by editor at 3:18 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 1 April 2008 6:36 PM NZT
Sunday, 30 March 2008
Sunday political talkies: W Bush pragmatic embrace of Rudd subdues conservative punditariat
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: corporates

 Picture: Images from the 2002 movie The Quiet American directed by Australian Phillip Noyce where US colonial meddling also comes a cropper in a very very big way with mayhem and misery served up to an enormous degree for most everyone else, and at enormous cost in terms of finances and lives.

 

Author’s general introductory note (skip this bit if you know this regular weekly column):

This is not a well packaged story. It’s a contemporaneous traverse of the Sunday television free to air political talkies indicating the agenda of Establishment interests: Better to know ones rivals and allies  in Big Politics and Big Media.

 

Indeed it’s the tv version monitoring task similar to what Nelson Mandela refers to here in his book Long Walk to Freedom (1994, Abacus) written in Robben Island prison (where he was meant to die like other African resister chiefs of history in the 19C), at page 208

 

“..newspapers are only a shadow of reality; their information is important to a freedom fighter not because it reveals the truth, but because it discloses the biases and perceptions of both those who produce the paper and those who read it.”

 

Just substitute ‘Sunday tv political talkie shows’ for "newspapers" in the quote above.

 

For actual transcripts go to web sites quoted below except with Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.

 

 

 

Media backgrounder – this section under construction till later Sunday/Monday

 

 

- pile of clips overwhelming the desk, table, floor - have to process sooner or later, not least News Ltd sledge of Fairfax re finding of Sydney navy ship, when in fact they have the record for “worst headline ever” stay tuned, hint January 2005, 2nd hint, another deadly watery topic. Oh allright here is the expose by moi at the time:

 

'Dead in the water': Worst headline in the Australian media history 17 January 2005

 

- climate change file grown like topsy, may swallow me like DeNiro in Brazil before get a chance to sort into sub categories, grain from chaff

 

- Beijing Olympics: A Quiet American starring Michael Caine, Brendan Fraser, Tzi Ma of 2002 was ambushed by Sept 11 2001 given it’s grim theme of US meddling and killing of a OSS/CIA operative (Fraser) based on Graeme Greene novel. Well worth a watch because it underscores the Chinese CP backing of the North Vietnamese who did over the Colonial French regime, then survived the US airforce and millions dead to annexe the whole country. But France has never forgotten – hence “Don’t go to Olympic shames” by Bernard-Henry Levy “acclaimed French philosopher and journalist. In other words French cultural warrior echoing his conservative president’s tough talk about boycotting same opening ceremony. This is standard hard reportage now for every Big Olympics – certainly in Sydney, not just China this time. This is the democratic dose of salts as price for getting the gig, understand?

 

 

- lots of footage of Rudd with W Bush, who incredibly faces up to former’s election victory, as if its democratic excuse for himself to get out too. Rudd’s sociopathic ambition revealed on the stage with W Bush, asserting an equal status in the banter. $165M offer of assistance to Iraq on agriculture (half the $300M bribe by AWB? as penance?) helped smooth the way. Shows how serious is the challenge of managing the relationship with China that Bush needs his Mandarin etc. It really is a hint of greatness ahead for Rudd in mediating that global  challenge.

 

- funny to see Tim Blair column with green typeface “Tim”, sledging earth hour, but you sense the fight or malice has gone out of him some. Memo Tim, G W didn’t mention anything about wax.

 

- lots of Easter Show fluff – with one sharp story about consumer ‘always been a rip off’. Funny Joe Dirt movie last night redneck working class theme during Earth Hour.

 

- Daily Telegraph runs balancer appeasement to grog advertisers attacking “wowsers” against binge drinking. It’s all about the money as per SAM image last week. Full page adverts for grog in most papers as usual.

 

 

- lots of coverage of Zimbabwe election not least Doogue pre 8 am, abc tv shows freedom fighter Mugabe gone very very bad.

 

-         moral panic over laser pointers is next ‘cause celeb’ long running nuisance.

 

Swannie pressure as Treasurer eases with friendly headlines tax cut for lower socio economic sectors including abc tv prime news.

 

Earth hour goes off fine, spreading a message with depth (that cutting energy means cutting costs and helping reduce greenhouse gases.) Mostly symbolic but it’s also a very visible vote of concern.

 

Laurie Oakes column Telegraph worthy but a little dry, needs a better graphic perhaps. Doesn’t quite fit the cartoon book milieu of SDT.

 

Tuned out a bit on economics imperative. LO raises Japan missed. Got to be as tough on human rights in Tibet as he is on whale rights in Japan. Should pick up a phone to Prime Minister Fukuda.

 

[Get the feeling that Rudd has the power to deliver a big balancer here with a specific trip to Japan, tell them that to wrong foot Opposition.]

 

Sundy Telegaph colour mag is getting more content substance amongst the fluff? Cancel that, its back to fluff.

 

Interesing read about Justin Hemmes ‘the playboy entrepeneur’ only when you look at ‘The Family’ portrait you get the spooky feeling of cut throat money assasins, endlessly charming and essentially ruthless and unreliable. We had a friend like that who ended up working for Macquarie Bank.

 

We wrote about the NSW power wrestle between DPP and Iemma Govt. We guessed Hugh Macken as boss of (my) lawyer's union Law Society and from a big family was from an ALP family tradition. Sure enough turns out his old man is a 50 year veteran of the party. Hence NSW ALP AG Hatsistergos on the front cover of the Law Society journal? Hard to say as might have been fore Hugh Macken got the gig.

 

 

 

Sunday 9, 7.30am- 9.30am

 

Features cottonwool kids (most rebellious ever blow back? Per Hugh Mckay), India miner bird pest, Shadow Foreign minister

 

Kick off story about ethical source of stem cell therapy example via pet pooch. Happy story.

 

-         Martu mob photographic exhibition, as per mainstream press. Looks very good, expanding perceptions of the humanity of these folks

 

Ross Greenwood strong story on super changes with Rudd Nov 07 “absolutely not” change. Shadow Minister on super, Keenan.  Nick Sherry in the story. Have to leave for Riley diary.

 

……………………………….

 

Laurie Oakes – with Shadow Robb  Man of Steel sledge on Coalition handed on to Rudd from Howard? All about the strong alliance.  True enough.

 

Robb looking a bit subdued, not quite crestfallen but like a beaten dog.  Ausmin references as per usual.. Robb makes it clear about “conservative packing their bags”. Robb takes some points about smokes and mirrors about many staying in support roles.

 

LO presses re ALP keeping the alliance fine despite pre election attacks by coalition. LO presses hard re “whole a lot of alarmist nonsense” fair point.

 

17 days is an indulgence says Robb – but comes across a bit lame this early on. Maybe in a week?

 

http://sunday.ninemsn.com.au/sunday/default.asp

 

 

 

 

 

10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am

 

Top coverage of W Bush/Rudd joint presser packed out with capital meeja, including Oz sector like Paul Bongiorno. Dennis Richardson, wife Therese there like berry red battleship (time to hit the early morning walkies Therese. W Bush reference to ‘fine lad’ and ‘heck yeah, Man of Steel’ to Rudd, as PB says “patronizing”. At risk of being Bush’s poodle, or maybe of biting the hand that feeds.

 

Rudd buckles under with President on warnings to China about democracy for Tibet.

 

Significant references to UN meeting with Rudd post Bali – get a move on.

 

Panel is Steve Lewis, serious tabloids journo. Jennifer Hewitt

 

- Jenny Macklin after visit to Aurukun [big bauxite mining town from memory, in fact stolen from the original indigenous, now melting pot of diverse groups from wide geographical area (?)The 'Wik' Peoples of Western Cape York - [1997] ILB 12; (1997) 4(1 ... ]. JM looking quite good with constructive agendas in a sea of misery. Must keep going, must ….

 

Out take is very funny Keating on W Bush fuck up of US economy [with 3 trillion Iraq war]

 

2nd ad break, nsw teachers advert attack on Iemma Govt re staffing system, very funny Rove – can you do that in green?

 

 

Meet The Press - Watch Political Video Online - Channel TEN.

 

 

 

 

Riley Diary 7

 

Salute, missed. Funny track ‘on and on’ -  when it comes to, challenges to the future, working families, core business, better zip. Cliché machine.

 

Q&A Riley notes Latham policy 3 years too early.  Notes Japan tactical error.

 

 

http://www.seven.com.au/sunrise/weekend

 

 

 

 

Insiders 2: 9- 10am

 

Leader of Opposition  Brendan Nelson, tedious.

 

Parceur sports not quite everyperson segment, great images, great

 

Panel (the superb) Fran Kelly (getting a bit chubby there) (abc RN), Misha Schubert (Age?), Piers Akerman (SDT).

 

Big Piers subdued too.

 

Took a comfort break – good discussion on 2020 summit and hilarious coverage of John Singleton and Gerry Harvey – “it’s good bullshit” earthy reaction.

 

 

Home page is http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/


Posted by editor at 11:54 AM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 30 March 2008 12:12 PM NZT
Fairtrade Cafe, Glebe Point Rd
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: culture

Opened in July 2006 the Fairtrade cafe in Glebe Point Rd is finally starting to hit its stride. Check it out some time, Saturday being a prime opportunity to also visit the groovy markets:

Yesterday we said hello to a customer Neil McIndoe sitting with friend formerly a Leichhardt councillor and made famous for a minor role in [pdf, 5 pages worth] Rats in the Ranks. Left ALP loyalist Neil came out of it pretty much with his integrity intact as far as his own principles, and also losing the chance as ALP mayor, which is pretty much standard politics at all levels. Then mayor Larry Hand famously quoted in the movie refers to "treachery" as the hallmark of the mayoral vote negotiations. Here's a Workers Online review.


Posted by editor at 11:26 AM NZT
Saturday, 29 March 2008
Ms Burgmann cuts the cake called 'in denial' at Sydney University Dec 2006?
Mood:  sad
Topic: nsw govt

Well well well.

The more one digs via innocent googles into the postures of retired president of the Legislative Council Ms Burgman, now aspiring to City of Sydney Mayoralty, the more one is just a little shocked and repelled into the arms of such as The Green party or genuine independents like Clover Moore. Don't get me wrong. We are all for sister feminist pioneers in leadership roles, and respect for campaigners at the coal face in the halcyon also dangerous 1970ies on aparthied, and over development.

Only we feel a certain rhetorical "When did you sell out?" question bubbling up in light of recent ICAC expose of senior ALP operative Joe Scimone deep in the soul of the ALP state govt, when you read this new next exemplar of Polly Anna Burgmann-itis seemingly running PR interference for brand ALP:

[From this official Sydney University link here]

News Media appetite for sleazy scandal damages democracy


5 December 2006

 

A skewed media focus on grubby political scandals and politicians' dirty secrets threatens the very foundation of our democracy says Michael Hogan, co-editor of a new book celebrating 150 years of successful government in NSW.

"New South Wales' record as one of the most peaceful and most prosperous societies over the past 150 years is virtually unmatched in the world," says Hogan, an associate professor in the University of Sydney's Department of Government and International Relations.

"Our politicians solve problems by making deals and by compromising - the alternative is conflict, civil war and terrorist violence," says Hogan, who co-edited the book, The Worldly Art of Politics,with Ken Turner, also an honorary associate in Government and International Relations.

"But our fragile democracy threatens to be undermined by the media spotlight on the self-seeking, grubby side of politics, the handful of worst performers. Combined with a reluctance to offer praise when it is due, it's no wonder there is widespread cynicism in the electorate."

Hogan and Turner admit some politicians perform poorly, abuse parliamentary perks and play to the media's preference for conflict. "Like any profession there are liars, cheats and people who don't do a very good job. They therefore must share the blame for their ill-repute."

"But the majority of parliamentarians go into the business because they are passionate about a particular issue and want to achieve something. It's perfectly OK to present politicians warts and all - but most of the time the media only presents the warts.

"That politics is an insecure and stressful career is demonstrated by recurrent examples of MPs falling into excessive drinking, sexual misconduct and depression. Practitioners do not only have to combat rival parties … Once elected, they still have to watch their backs.

"Unfortunately all the worthwhile things people do - the RSL meetings, the opening school fetes - all of which put a strain on family lives, aren't as newsworthy as the scandals."

Hogan and Turner's book, The Worldly Art of Politics, celebrates the lives and skills of the hardworking committee members, locals MPs, constructive party officers, skillful administrators and negotiators as well as path breaking Independents.

"It is a difficult job and people who try to suggest it is a bludge simply do not understand what it entails."

The book includes chapters by Peta Seaton, Graham Freudenberg and Henry Mayer, among others, with an introduction by Rodney Cavalier.

It will be launched this week by the Hon Dr. Geoff Gallop, former Premier of Western Australia and Director of the University of Sydney's Graduate School of Government.

Note to editors

New South Wales' parliament and first university share a common father and were born within six years of eachother: William Charles Wentworth led movements that directly led to the establishment of both the University of Sydney (founded in 1850) and the NSW Parliament (founded in 1856).

The Hon Dr Meredith Burgmann, President of the NSW Upper House, will be cutting a cake, presented by the University of Sydney to the NSW Parliament to mark the occasion of Parliament's 150th birthday.

What: A celebration of 150 years of successful parliamentary government in NSW with the launch of The Worldly Art of Politics

When: 6pm, Wednesday 6 December 2006

Where: The Nicholson Museum, Main Quadrangle, The University of Sydney

Contact: Kath Kenny

Phone: 02 9351 2261 or 0434 606 100


Posted by editor at 11:15 AM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 29 March 2008 12:00 PM NZT
City Hall Left candidate Burgmann airbrushes 2 million death holocaust in North Korea?
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: nsw govt

 

Experience ... Meredith Burgmann points to her long history opposing inappropriate development.

 

What price detente? Dishonest self censorship and airbrushing of history in the 1984 sense?

We recently observed this strange reality in the Inner Sydney politics of NSW as per this correspondence below:

To: [Editor New Matilda]
Sent: Friday, March 28, 2008 3:43 PM
Subject: agree good story for NM to run, no doubt

....
Ah, not a problem that Ms Burgmann helped satirist/journalist nephew Charles brother of Verity etc. Or that NM ran the story. The problem is the sanitised deletion by the author (while transparently profile building for her City Hall bid 13 Sept 08 re-announced this week in the press after backing off it week previous) of the true history of North Korea, and not so long ago either.
Agree it's not for the editor to change the content. Agree its for readers to take a swing, or even contribute article in contra distinction.
It's actually an excellent record to be cherished via NM, of Meredith displaying archetypal career Left blinkers. As such it's pretty newsworthy too that she could be so polly anna about NK realities compared to say giant of journalism abc's Mark Colvin.
From a more cynical point of view I feel she was very calculating to avoid a blow back from NK via google check of her story (inevitable) by airbrushing reality, whilesoever nephew Charlie might still be over there or wanting something out of the regime (like food?). Her language is remarkable for its determined neutrality. It comes over as terribly dishonest to me.
We are talking 1/3 of a real holocaust here in modern times. I can't imagine what game she thinks she is playing. I'm a lefty really yet this surely is very calculating or incredible self denial. But I'm pretty sure she will pay for it in the local council contest if she pursues the election. Actually I've already flicked it on (being a bit of a meddler).
She also endorsed the very infamous Part 3A repeals of heritage and swathe of other green planning legislation in harness for ALP in 2005. Lead in the saddle bags. She's a goner on that alone. Pity one or other boomer dinosaur has to win.
Yours truly, Tom
 ...................
To: [PR flak Clover Moore, Cr Chris Harris - Greens, SMH, Daily Telegraph reporters]
Sent: Friday, March 28, 2008 1:29 PM
Subject: Burgmann's amazing blinkers on North Korea, 25 March 08

Well Jeff Lewis (spinner for Clover), Cr Chris Harris (Greens)
Meredith climbed back in the ring earlier this week. Have a look at this outrageous profile build in her article on New Matilda, which it seems they have taken off their front webpage since my email last night - and no wonder - airbrushing a 1/3 real holocaust of modern times takes quite an ideological blinker. [SAM editor: On reflection actually not 'removed', just pushed off by newer content] The Jewish related voters won't cop this candidate after this piece about North Korea, you mark my words. Nor should they. See my feedback at bottom to the worthy folk there at New Matilda. This is more devastating real politik ammunition regarding the blinkered Meredith Burgmann, brand ALP Left, as shallow as they come it seems:

Piccolo Diplomacy | newmatilda.com 

North Korea might remain isolated on the international stage but the streets of Pyongyang are slowly coming to life, finds Meredith Burgmann.
[Full extract to record for posterity, and in case it gets removed]

north korea

25 Mar 2008

Piccolo Diplomacy

North Korea might remain isolated on the international stage but the streets of Pyongyang are slowly coming to life, finds Meredith Burgmann

If Richard Nixon's overture to China in the 1970s was "ping pong diplomacy", then the recent tour of North Korea by the New York Philharmonic is surely "piccolo diplomacy". At the same time, North Korea has closed its Canberra Embassy. These contradictory symbols of North Korean policy are symptomatic of the present regime in Pyongyang.

The Embassy in Culgoa Circuit, O'Malley - aligned neatly in a row with the rest of the "Axis of Evil" - was an extraordinary place. The huge reception area contained no furniture at all except the national flag, two sofas and a coffee table. Neatly set out on the coffee table was a tin of instant coffee, a packet of Coffee-Mate and a can of orangeade.

While no fan of North Korea's domestic policies, I had achieved an understanding of their international relations outlook after spending time there in 1997. A recent visit to the Canberra Embassy was part of a concerted year-long campaign to obtain a journalism visa for my nephew, The Chaser's Charles Firth. This proved a much harder task than I had imagined. As we sat drinking orangeade and instant coffee in the empty Embassy we tried to explain to Mr Pak, the Senior Minister, that Charles was a serious journalist as well as a satirist.

The concept of satire to the North Koreans is difficult. We eventually resolved it by explaining that satire was when you make fun of George Bush.

That explanation was evidently reassuring enough for us to be issued with visas and a motley trio - Charles, Head of Sydney's College of Fine Arts Professor Ian Howard, and I - set out for Pyongyang in October last year.

The difference between North Korea ten years ago and now is extraordinary. At the official level it is still isolated and paranoid, but it is now very different at the street level. Ten years ago it was a totally closed society, there were few people on the streets, no shops or cafes and only stiff and formal interaction during the limited social occasions that were allowed. There was in fact an eerie similarity to the physical geography of Canberra (several travellers have remarked upon this).

Pyongyang and the people are now very different. The government officials are much more open and communicative, especially about their financial difficulties. However, their legendary paranoia is still evident, especially in regard to the United States and Japan.

It is on the social and cultural level that I saw the greatest difference. On one evening for instance, as we walked along the river bank, our delightful guide Mr Pak (another Mr Pak, everyone is Mr Pak or Mr Kim) pointed out to us that the giggling and rustlings in the greenery around us were actually lovers meeting each other illicitly on the banks of the river. The lights along the river bank Mr Pak opined were "not as good as Darling Harbour" and when we came across a large bunch of brightly clothed men and women dancing underneath the giant Juche Tower, he let us know that this was where young single people come to meet each other. Charles of course plunged into the array of colourful dancers all ginger hair and sangfroid. Ten years ago he might have been shot, but this time we eventually all joined in the dancing.

Similarly, Ian wanted to do some of his art practice - brass rubbings of famous military installations around the world - as he is interested in the interaction of civilian and military cultures. He decided that the appropriate military installation would be the captured American spy ship, USS Pueblo, which had been taken over by the North Koreans in a blaze of headlines in 1968.

Eventually the 82 American crew members were released, but the USS Pueblo remained an important prize in Pyongyang. Ian talked his way in, taped some of his art paper across the pock marked and riveted funnel of the USS Pueblo and began his crayon rubbing under the suspicious eye of a tall Navy official dressed something akin to an admiral, with a very large gun. As Ian was getting up steam and I was taking his photograph, the admiral moved forward and grabbed Ian by the shoulder. I became quite nervous at this stage but the admiral simply took the piece of crayon from Ian's hand, did a few dramatic flourishes of rubbing and then proceeded to sign and date the artwork. He understood the nature of the project probably better than Ian's students back in Australia. It was a wonderful moment.

Mr Kim, the Pueblo guide, when complimented on his English accent, told us that he had learnt to speak English by watching the "classics" which turned out to be Kramer vs Kramer, Love Story and Torn Curtain.

Even at the Tomb of Kim Il Sung which is probably where the difference in our cultures is most clearly defined, our perceptive companion Mr Pak remarked that Australians don't have the same cultural values about the dead as Koreans do. We were quite clearly ill at ease with the amount of drama that went with the visit to the embalmed body. "Australians do not revere the dead", he said, as we wondered where Sir Robert Menzies was even buried.

The guards were in fact the most interesting part of this visit. I noticed that on the South Korean side of the room the military personnel were in North Korean uniform, and upon asking why this was so was told that when the South Koreans had important visitors they wanted to impress, then the North Koreans left the room, and when the North had VIPs then the South would hand over the room to them. A very co-operative way to conduct what the rest of the world is led to believe is a frosty relationship.

Fashion is now huge in the streets of Pyongyang. Unfortunately it happens to be the fashion of the 1970s. Women wear six inch wedges and even the boys wear wedge-soled sneakers. Spangles and lycra and luminous colours are particularly favoured by the young. The currency of preference is the Euro and the conversations with us are about investment in the animation film industry. At their spectacular Arirang Festival - famous the world over for the perfection of its open air extravaganza displays - just the week before we arrived they had achieved the ultimate in any capitalist society: a Guinness Book of Records achievement for 120,000 school children being involved in a flip card demonstration.

At the official level, they talked to us about their enemies, who they see as the United States and Japan. (They never talk about South Korea as anything other than themselves. They are all Koreans.) They see themselves as threatened with invasion: "When we are threatened with rifles we cannot defend ourselves with clubs." They believe they should have their own capacity for national defence: "America has always invaded weak countries, not powerful countries." They speak endlessly about how Pyongyang was razed to the ground at the end of the Korean War. They give you the figures that there were 370,000 people in Pyongyang and 420,000 bombs fell on the city. These refrains are identical to 10 years ago.

They are now short of electricity and believe that when they try to build nuclear power plants they are stopped. Minister Jon,Vice Chairman of the powerful Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, told us "We were promised petroleum but it did not happen" and "We are determined to raise the standard of living through science and technology". Technology they declared included nuclear power.

They regarded the recent North-South Summit between South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun and Kim Jong Il as an "epoch-making" event to further develop relations between North and South, "It is our firm belief as long as it takes place under the North South Declaration that reunification will come."

Vice Chairman Jon also reiterated their fear of Japan, pointing out, "We apologised for the kidnappings but have had no apology from Japan for 40 years of occupation and cruelty". As we leave they inform us that "Unfortunately we have no cultural agreement with Australia", and add enigmatically "Seeing is believing".

Relations with Australia have always been hit and miss. The redoubtable Mr Pak informed us that he had met Kevin Rudd in 2000, when he was Secretary General of the Korean Anti Nuclear Peace Committee. They are very excited about Rudd's election because they believe that he will understand the Korean situation better than previous leaders.

When Minister Pak rang me last month to inform me that the North Korean Embassy was closing, he sounded sad. He said that it was a lack of finances that caused the closure. It is a problem because they certainly need as much connection with the real world as they can get.

The last 10 years of gradually defrosting relations has had a beneficial effect on their society. How can a society that boasts of a Guinness Book of Records achievement and learns English from Kramer vs Kramer not benefit from detente and cultural exchange? Thank goodness for piccolo diplomacy.

[comments follow.....]
Tom McLoughlin 27/03/08 8:02PM

 

This article reinforces my concern about the author’s career left penchant for what feels to me like "disaster tourism". I’m sure its very pleasant travelling and being treated graciously as retired president of the Legislative Council in NSW (and sure I might well be envious) but this twee report resplendent with self censorship about:

1. the death camps (2 million deaths 1997-2000) that undoubtedly exist in North Korea for anyone on the blacklist, and

2. the role of big brother dictator Chinese CP propping up in turn the North Korean dictatorship

is frankly a joke. I suppose the subtle amongst us will say it’s all understated in order to achieve nephew Charles Firth’s mission of access and future reportage. Well maybe, but I think it’s pretty much a wank. Detente? I don’t buy it.

............................................

 

Tom McLoughlin 27/03/08 8:07PM

 

Here’s a few more reliable reports:

Famine may have killed 2 million in North Korea
August 19, 1998
http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/asiapcf/9808/19/nkorea.famine/
………………………

PM - Searching for freedom: one woman’s journey out of North Korea
Friday, 24 November , 2006
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2006/s1797118.htm

"MARK COLVIN: The regime of Kim Jong Il in North Korea is the closest thing on earth to the nightmarish world created by George Orwell in 1984."
………………………………..

So what the hell is this twee report? Who is kidding who for God sake?


Posted by editor at 10:42 AM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 29 March 2008 11:07 AM NZT
Thursday, 27 March 2008
DPP 'lion' Cowdery has bigger target on rump now, over truth of resourcing
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: nsw govt

The Herald front pager is dramatic for the evidence of bump and grind between institutions of power in NSW, DPP chief versus NSW Attorney General. But also Fairfax Herald taking sides in their editorial below, and front page here:


Funding strings on prosecutors

March 27, 2008

THE bean counters of the Auditor-General's department have run their measures over the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and, unsurprisingly, have found it difficult to answer a question that is not easily quantified: what price justice? Nevertheless, like bean counters everywhere, their answer is to recommend installing a new super-bean counter inside the prosecutor's office and have everyone filling out more internal reports about their workload and how they process it.

No one should object to a publicly funded office being held to standards of accountability and efficiency. The prosecutor's staff and budget have gone up while the number of cases it handles has declined. But are the prosecutors being held to account for falling efficiency - if that's what it is - in the entire judicial system? The auditors acknowledge the growing complexity of cases and longer trials, and that the state prosecutors are hostage to the competence of police in preparing committals for trial, and then the scheduling of the courts.

The increased scrutiny is shrouded with a miasma of suspicion because of the background of friction between the incumbent Director of Public Prosecutions, Nicholas Cowdery, and the Labor Government. Mr Cowdery has declined to join the periodic lynch mobs whipped up by the politicians and shock jocks, and he speaks out fearlessly against attempts to overawe judicial officers, as he is now doing about what he sees as the motives behind the audit. His frank comments yesterday about the toxic political environment surrounding his office show why we need him. The DPP's office remains an island of independence in a state where attempts to subvert the separation of powers are constant. No wonder then, that the recent abolition of life tenure for the DPP is seen more against this background, and not the objective proclaimed by the Attorney-General, John Hatzistergos, of "greater transparency and diversity in appointments".

Many now will see the Auditor-General's office lending itself to or being used in an effort to nobble the prosecutors. It was a spat over funding between Mr Cowdery and the state Treasurer, Michael Costa, that led to the Auditor-General's inquiry being commissioned. It now recommends inserting a new executive director in the prosecutor's office to manage its spending and "liaise" with the Treasury and other government agencies. Although this official would report to the director, he or she would be senior to the present deputy-directors. This could create a new power centre responsible to outside signals, and blur lines of authority when the director is absent. It is a proposal the public must view with disquiet, especially given the government that proposes it.

The Green Party are urging their Coalition Opposition colleagues to take a similar principled line of keeping a political appointment (like Joe Scimone?) out of the DPP:

Greens MP Lee Rhiannon - Media Release - 26 March 2008

Government minder for the DPP
 
Greens MP and justice spokesperson Lee Rhiannon says the government is using the cover of efficiency and accountability to exercise greater control over the DPP's office, risking the erosion of a fair and impartial justice system in NSW.

"The new position of Executive Director allows the government to insert a minder in the Office of the DPP and opens the door to politically motivated decisions about what criminal matters to pursue, or not pursue," Ms Rhiannon said.

"The Executive Director will be in a position to control the purse strings and the direction of the DPP's casework.

"The Attorney General says this new position will report directly to him, not the DPP as recommended by the Auditor-General.

"This is a unique arrangement in the public service. The government's real agenda is to give a mate the job of looking over Mr Cowdery's shoulder.

"It threatens justice to have a government appointee able to exercise control over what criminal matters receive attention, or whether a Minister or ex-Minister is prosecuted.

"The government is cracking a walnut with a sledgehammer by drowning the DPP in additional measuring and reporting requirements.

"There are better ways of achieving efficiencies than demanding that the DPP develop, monitor and report upon a plethora of performance indicators.

"Inefficiencies in the courts system and NSW Police Force have not received similar attention, because they are beyond the capacity of this government to analyse or solve. 

"The Auditor-General is endeavouring to impose a private law firm model on the DPP, which would appeal to this government's unhealthy affection for privatisation.

"This neglects to appreciate that the role and functions of the DPP are very different to a commercial law firm whose main aim is to maximise profits, not promote justice.

"The Greens call on the Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell to resist the government's proposed changes to the DPP's office.

"The Opposition's track record on the DPP, including its attempt to put the DPP on a fixed term contract, would suggest it will not reject this attack on the Office's independence," Ms Rhiannon said.

For more information:  Lee Rhiannon - 9230 3551, 0427 861 568

SAM has one question into both Opposition's Shadow Attorney General and former deputy director of the DPP, Greg Smith, and media officer for the DPP:

On ABC 702 yesterday the AG Hatzistergos argued [presumably based on the govt inspired Auditor General's report] a 40% increase in funding for the DPP over the period of a 30% decrease in referral of committals. Do you accept this claim?

 

We don't accept such a claim on face value with this govt. Rather it may reflect increase in work load despite lower number of committals for other reasons. An assault and battery is different to a bank robbery or murder trial. Maybe they have other new duties too, say managing victims of crime liaison?

In particular we notice that Cowdery is like a grand old Lion in NSW politics. People do "listen" to him. But as with a similar legal lion character in All the Kings Men political thriller of modern American literature (and 2006 film), the old lion better look out for the ALP dirt unit dredging up anything in his past back to nappies. Because to quote Mr Cowdery these guys are indeed ruthless and grubby.


Posted by editor at 12:57 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 27 March 2008 1:45 PM NZT
Grog pushers really under pressure in the public debate over binging?
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: health

 


We notice the attempt to close down the binge drinking capitals of Coogee at 1am. As a former councillor at Waverley who considered this question in a debate over Bondi Hotel, we know that it's usually the Liquor Licensing Court that has final say over all these matters and the liquor and hospitality industry are very powered up to generate evidence for their case.

In other words they usually win whether it really is in the public interest or not.

Out in the court of public opinion the ABC power audience are getting one version including via Fairfax reportage above.

Mayor's plan to shut beach hotels early MATTHEW MOORE | Two of the biggest hotels in NSW will be forced to lock their doors early.

But compare and contrast the rough and ready advertising pages of the Daily Telegraph today, Herald also, and one sees that the financial clout of the retail liquor industry out in force, and virtually swamping the anti alcohol forces in another contest.

True the hotels-binge drinking sector of the industry is distinct from the supermarket and retail sector, but there is a definite feel of mixed messages coming from the corporate sector here. And a sense of legalised drug pushers running society.


Posted by editor at 11:29 AM NZT
Wednesday, 26 March 2008
Fairfax runs public finance experts' withering critique of Costanomic public energy sale plan
Mood:  energetic
Topic: nsw govt

We at SAM have been making meta reportage of the great public energy assets sale debate/media coverage for many weeeks now.

Yesterday we rang the office of sale plan critic John Kaye MP and suggested his staff take another look at the Sydney Morning Herald editorial of last Monday:

24 March 2008 Editorial: Climate heats up for Garnaut

Because it is quite suggestive without being definite that the Grand Old Lady is now on reflection willing to forestall it's (ideological) support for privitisation of the public's energy assets.

Quotes like this one with the bold lifted and amplified

"The Federal Government stepped quickly back from endorsing Professor Garnaut's interim report in February, and it will now be under pressure from NSW at least to cut a special deal for the power industry the state is to privatise. Will Kevin Rudd save the planet or save the NSW budget? Perhaps the release of this latest paper late in the afternoon a day before the Easter holiday hints at his thinking. Does it suggest a desire to bury the report and all the problems it raises? We certainly hope not. "

To ask the question seriously can only have one answer, the planet, if one assumes dangerous climate change really is that. And the Herald is dedicated to addressing climate in it's reportage week in and week out, to their credit.

Then this concluding comment evidencing a serious contemplation of across industry sectors carbon pricing including NSW energy generators such that a sale price will be significantly depressed, and thus not particularly good value:

"Australia will manage climate change somehow. It will be costly, painful and most likely unpopular. With heads in the sand, we will certainly do it badly. Professor Garnaut is suggesting ways we may handle the challenge well. His study deserves the closest attention."

In other words, the Herald appears to be for biting the bullet on hard decisions on climate to best ensure our collective survival. At least we are thus speculating because we wonder if their editorial writer last Monday was already informed by this withering opinion piece in their paper today:

26 March 2008 - Betty Con Walker and Bob Walker: Electricity inquiries show no spark

It's worth reading in full because we think it may well cause carnage amongst any of the remaining supporters of energy privatisation. Notice the credentials of the critics of the sale plan being:

"Betty Con Walker is a former Treasury official and runs Centennial Consultancy. Bob Walker is Professor of Accounting at the University of Sydney. They are the authors of Privatisation: Sell Off Or Sell Out? The Australian Experience."

In other words elite public finance experts unshackled from the ALP Govt ball and chain.

Our intuition is that the stars are aligning to cause havoc on the Iemma-Costa regime in NSW ALP Govt - being ALP Conference, significant swathe of ALP MPs, deadbat by Opposition's O'Farrell, conservative icon Nick Greiner sounding equivocal of late, the Herald above, Green Party also.

The Iemma Govt has got whiskers on it now. Veteran Alex Mitchell has written of pretty much the same phenomenon yesterday in the crikey.com.au ezine -

25 March 2008 NSW Cabinet set for bloodbath


Posted by editor at 1:48 PM NZT

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