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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Wednesday, 16 April 2008
Civil rights lawyer Evers gets the News Ltd blowtorch but is it a beat up?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: legal

 

We write as a lawyer in NSW and community media practitioner. We are bound by the court order not to discuss the facts of the case.

The Sydney Daily Telegraph are the right wing screamers usually when it comes to the administration of the law and beat up on the independence of both the judiciary and the profession.

The barrister in question today Evers gave pro bono advice to this writer as legal tutor for a disabled claimant under the Family Provision Act last year 2007. (The matter was referred on to a practitioner who is a councillor on the Law Society itself, because Evers was too busy with other case work.)

Evers was recommended to us by the principal lawyer of the Intellectual Disability Rights Centre as first choice for helping my friend of 10 years "Mary" (not her real name) with a chronic but harmless illness.

By the look of Evers office in Martin Place she has done pro bono and public interest work for the mentally disabled or afflicted her whole life. This has to count for something, maybe even alot.

We make no comment on the facts of the story in the Telegraph as pictured above except to note the repudiation of the factual characterisation by Evers herself. We understand that the complaint to the Legal Services Commissioner may not be the DPP itself. If true it may be one error by the Daily Telegraph already.

Significantly the LSC is under the jurisdiction of the NSW Attorney General's office but independent of the Minister John Hatzistergos MP (ALP) who does not have "power of direction over them", according to Ms Kerry Henderson Acting Assistant Legal Servicers Commissioner.

We are advised that under Section 723 of the Legal Profession Act 2004 it can be an offence to publish the name of the identity of the complainant to the LSC except in certain limited circumstances (such as consent by the complainant? - we would have to check all of this in the section itself).

Apparently the story has run on 2GB and 2WS already in some form or other.

The complaint will take it's course as it should. Paramount is the welfare of the child and the search for justice.

Meanwhile we note:

1. the potential for Evers as cannon fodder between the power frictions and appeasement relations between DPP Cowdery and AG NSW Hatzistergos could well be in play

2. in the same edition of the Daily Telegraph that newspaper's grip on public morality is again on display - 3 and 1/4 pages of grog adverts. Which leads to any number of sexual assualts and criminal violence. That's sad.

3. We wonder what affect this front page blowtorch will have on a big murder trial Evers is defending in court today? Is it a strategic attack from an earlier case? Indeed is it an interference in the administration of justice by coincidence or intention in a defence lawyer doing their work?

There is alot more to come out on the factual matrix regarding this complaint apparently to the Legal Services Commissioner, not reflected in the Daily Telegraph story (how unsurprising is that), and we say that with a compelling source.

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

Refer to a a more recent story next day here on SAM describing how peers in the Big Media dealt with the Sydney Daily Telegraph 'leadership' above. It's not very flattering.


Posted by editor at 10:36 AM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 17 April 2008 2:19 PM NZT
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Chinese military goons to spy on democracy activists in Canberra, for retribution in Tibet?
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: human rights
The fact PM Rudd said the China military so called "thugs" would not be shadowing the torch relay, and has been over ruled by the IOC with it's 'democratic global mandate' to make any policy it likes to (like a royal king or emperor in fact) is a little embarrassing . Yes. But it's trivial.
Chinese military SPIES taking pictures of democracy activists in Canberra and seeking retribution from relatives or friends is not trivial:
Hamish McDonald reported recently Sydney Morning Herald p22, 29 March 08 Running rings around the truth - World - smh.com.au
12 Apr 2008 that
"Russia's Novosti news agency reported that in Gansu province alone the Public Security Bureau has arrested 2302 people since the pro-Dalai Lama protests began in mid-March, with 432 (including 170 monks) still in custody. That suggests the total arrested across the Tibet Autonomous Region itself, Sichuan, Qinghai and Yunnan, might run into many more thousands."
...................
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 12:17 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] Chinese security and human rights?

--------------------------
ACT GREENS MLA DEB FOSKEY MEDIA RELEASE
---------------------------
15 April 08


Chinese security and human rights?
 
ACT Greens MLA Deb Foskey today called on the ACT Government to explain
the rules of engagement for Chinese security officers who will accompany
the torch.
"Kevan Gosper for the IOC has announced that Chinese 'Torch Protectors'
will travel behind the torch when the relay is run in Canberra" Dr
Foskey said today.
"The questions I would like the ACT Chief Minister or the AFP
Commissioner to answer are:
* If the Chinese Security Officers will be carrying weapons
* If they will be required to comply with ACT Human Rights
framework
* On what occasions will they be asked to assist the police or
Australian security officers on duty and what are their rules of
engagement?"
"I had understood from the ACT Government that all necessary security
would be managed by the AFP."

"This appears to be a complete backflip."

"I know the Chief Minister has absolute confidence in the AFP.  How does
the use of a bus load of 'Torch Protectors' sit with that belief?" Dr
Foskey asked.

================================
Roland Manderson   Media Advisor
ACT   Greens    MLA  Deb  Foskey 
Legislative Assembly for the ACT
ph(02)62050551      m 0412241379

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

The pro China rally here recently has been well analysed here via ClubTroppo blog ezine: Jeremy is bemused by pro-China protests.


Posted by editor at 3:40 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 April 2008 3:51 PM NZT
Cooks River sustainability spirit survives a harsh downpour
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: local news

It was mostly about sustainability on the roads last Sunday.

Earlier that day at dawn a school of fish 10 metres wide was bubbling and flashing luminous silver just east of the Undercliffe Bridge on Cooks River. The mudcrabs - the non human kind - were still in their burrows:

Sadly the Cooks River Festival last Sunday 13th April 2008 this time sponsored by Marrickville Council and previous week by Canterbury Council just down the river, got washed out early afternoon as did the pro China rally in the Sydney CBD apparently - which is possibly justice too for not listening to the Tibetan sincere calls for democratic and human rights.

This image at top above was taken heading into the Chinese dominated Paddy's vegetable markets in Chinatown.

But before bailing out of Steel Park where the Cooks River Festival was held (giving a lift to a hapless stall holder Les Saxby of Murrin Body Products and Ydaki Didge & Dance Australia) we took a bunch of photographs with people still hanging in there, and even enjoying themselves:

Here's a flavour of the stalls on departure:

 

 

 

 

 


Posted by editor at 12:23 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 18 April 2008 9:54 AM NZT
Adam Spencer show drops the moral imperative on 702 post 4 Corners expose?
Mood:  sad
Topic: big media

Adam Spencer

702's Breakfast Presenter

 

Adam Spencer began his career in radio by winning the Triple J raw comedy championship in 1996. From there, he became the well known co-presenter of Triple J Breakfast between 1999 and 2004.

Adam holds a first class honours degree in Pure Mathematics and has an immense interest in science. Adam’s "Little Book of Numbers" has been translated into many languages and he has since written another called "More Mind Numbing Maths".

Adam has also toured for the last 3 years with Dr Karl Kruszelnicki in the SLEEK GEEK TOUR, which is held during Science Week and is an hilarious one hour show combining ground breaking science with side breaking comedy.

Adam has had extensive experience on various boards and authorities - he continues to serve on the Senate of the University of Sydney, the NSW Premier's Advisory Committee on Greenhouse and Global Warming and the NSW Health Department's Clinical Ethics Review Committee as well as being an ambassador for the Fred Hollows Foundation and helping out with numerous charities.

We hope you'll enjoy listening to Adam Spencer on 702 ABC Sydney.

 .............. 

Sent: Monday, April 14, 2008 11:42 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] Challenge to Labor and Liberals to bring inimmediate donation reform

Media Release
15 April 2008

Challenge to Labor and Liberals to bring in immediate donation reform

NSW Greens MP and donations spokesperson Lee Rhiannon responding to
tonight's Four Corners program has called on all political parties to
publicly commit to not accept donations from corporations and to ban
them from contributing to party fund raising events.

"Tonight's Four Corners has been a damming indictment of the
relationship between corporate political donors and the major
parties," Ms Rhiannon said.

"The numerous scandals involving developers and hotel companies in
tonight's program will continue as long as the Labor and Liberal
parties accept these donations.

"The Four Corners report has again revealed that business people
donate money to buy access to political leaders. This will only end
when corporate donations are banned.

"Both Premier Morris Iemma and opposition leader Barry O'Farrell have
said that they support a ban on donations, but both Labor and the
Liberals have plans for fund raisers in coming weeks.

"Mr Iemma and Mr O'Farrell will look even more hypocritical if they
talk about bans while accepting money from donors at fundraisers. They
need to immediately agree to not accept political donations from
corporations and other organisations," Ms Rhiannon said.

Director of the Greens Democracy4Sale Research Project Dr Norman
Thompson said "The entire system of electoral funding must be reformed
immediately.  The public needs to be confident decisions made by our
government are for the public good and not for those with the deepest
pockets.

"Spending limits for election campaigns need to be introduced to rein
in the race by political parties for ever larger war chests.

"Banning donations to political parties needs to go hand in hand with
a cap on party election expenditure and spending by special interest
groups.

"All donations from corporations and other organisations should be
banned.  Capped donations by individuals are important for allowing
Australians to engage in the political process.

"The Greens have developed a comprehensive plan for positive reform of
our electoral funding system," Dr Thompson said.

For more information: 0427 861 568

 

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

Each and every news bulletin inlcuding on the half hour this morning from 5.30 am refers one way or the other to the expose on 4 Corners last night about developer donations scandal, but the ABC early morning shift in Sydney flagship 702 station carefully avoids any mention to our ear.

Spencer who is on the Sydney Uni Senate takes an interview with a maths genius, Wiggles ticket scalping, alcohol criminal violence with friendly mentions of PM Rudd and the 2020 Summit on this moral agenda.

But no mention of the developer donations scandal infecting the state ALP root and branch which we presume is on the main press pages today. Maybe. No ferreting out of prominent ALP figures even like Botsman, Luke Foley, developers and so many more possible.

We predict the Exec Producer for Spencer will say that the Cameron shift at 8.30 am will pick up the issue. No suggestion of that in the prelude at 7.30 am.

We have another view - ever since veteran Alex Mitchell took a swing at Spencer for allegedly being too friendly with the state ALP, not least Verity Firth MP for Balmain being on Sydney Uni senate also.

Sydney Uni are developer of choice for Callan Park open space by the ALP Govt. He is implicated in that developer agenda. In fact we put that to him once in an email as below

(As we write another friendly mention of Sydney Uni's Simon Chapman re prostrate.)

There is another story cooking too about Sydney University that Spencer's team could have picked up which ran on Crikey yesterday regarding the Sydney University/State Govt nexus, but didn't:

Crikey.com.au 14 April 2008
18 . Disharmony at Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music

Nicholas Pickard writes:

You can almost hear the strains of violins coming from the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music. It could even be a major performance of the Ride of the Valkyries, because somebody down at "The Con" is feeling very annoyed.

The big point of contention is Professor Kim Walker who has been Dean of the institution for the last four years. Walker is apparently pushing all the wrong keys because now the Governor of NSW and Chancellor of Sydney University, Marie Bashir has been dragged into the tussle. ........

 ..................

Is this the proverbial airbrush of the issue de jour as the Greens lead a call for Royal Commission?

Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2007 9:44 AM
Subject: Callan park a uni campus ......Re: a friendly reminder

> Well without getting too deep just a spontaneous response I suppose based on
>
> 1. I just had coffee and was a little fiesty
>
> 2. a nice word quite true, yet I find the whole Warragamba plume story a
> false diversion from Nathan Rees culpability for Breaking the Silence
> failure by him and Orkopoulous, that Stoner was thrown out of the parliament
> for yesterday. Notice Koperberg says - there is no problem. It's classic PR
> management.
>
> And the crypto trauma etc of 1998 is why they won't go water recycling now,
> but its so cocky to jam the Aboriginal child abuse problem with a Warragamba
> non threat. I mean get real. It's been raining for 2 weeks and they only now
> have a worry about turbidity?
>
> Rees is the real fear. He worked for Iemma. Almost certainly breifed against
> Bryce Gaudry - deselected.
>
> My thesis is Iemma knew all about Orkopoulos scandal well before his press
> conference in 2006 getting in front of the curve ball. That's the point.
>
> 3. Minister for 'Callan Park' Verity Firth - big grab from your show
> yesterday - when she is a demonstrated sleaze on broken election promises
>
> a. dry boat store in Rozelle Bay
> b. M5 East
> c. Anvill Hill opposition.
>
> As MP for Balmain she should be slam dunked for selling off mental health
> services for a university campus ...... let me guess which one.
>
> Your in the picture big brain.Cya Sunday.
>
> Yours truly, Tom
>
> It's all sleaze.
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2007 8:24 AM
> Subject: RE: a friendly reminder
>
>
> and your point is...
>
> adam s
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tom [mailto:ecologya@telpacific.com.au]
> Sent: Thursday, 28 June 2007 7:29 AM
> To: 702 Breakfast
> Subject: a friendly reminder
>
>
> Below is the result of your feedback form.  It was submitted by
> Tom (
ecologya@telpacific.com.au) on Thursday, June 28, 2007 at 07:30:16
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>
> From:
http://www.abc.net.au/contact/default.htm
>
> comments: its public radio not the Sydney Uni Senate. Put that in your
> turbidity.
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> HTTP_REFERER:
http://www.abc.net.au/sydney/stories/s1870545.htm

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

We notified the executive producer at the ABC above material at about 8am at least to check it out, and it would be fair to say he was combative, which is fair enough and probably an occupational hazard. That's accepted. No one wants a wimp running the independent ABC. But also unwisely dismissive in this case given the above evidenced pattern of concern.

His view, on the spur of the moment to be fair, is that they had nothing to add to the story editorially speaking. But we don't buy that for one. The ALP Left participating and speaking up against the "empty pursuit of power" was devastating and fresh material.  As was the Koperberg $50K family law settlement allegation, true it is a bit hot legally speaking after the Sunday press. As was the fresh contact with the Hardie company and Norman Thompson interviews about their covert subsidiary company donation called Marbal Pty Ltd.  All fresh material in our view. The extra access to MP for Wollongong was also fresh.

But only if you are looking at all this free of an ALP allegiance one way or the other?

All good grist for the 5th estate on a growing readership trend as here but what about ABC's proud history of setting the standard? We submit Sarah Ferguson for 4 Corners has indeed set the standard that 702 morning show have not managed to reach on this occassion. And that is indeed noteworthy.


Posted by editor at 9:21 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 April 2008 9:23 PM NZT
Marrickville Legal Centre providing community service on 4 areas of law
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: legal

Picture: Open Day recently, 338 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204 tel. 9559 2899, fx 9558 5213, as part of NSW Law Week.

With so many topics of conversation to provide alternative media service it is sometimes easy to forget that there are public interest workers out there just getting on with it.

We do tip our hat to these folks whatever their overall political allegiances or machine loyalty.

We do presume without being sure for instance that the local legal centre is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Albanese ALP Left. [Principal solicitor Andrew Taylor since advises not at all, never met local Federal MP, which is a surprise in itself.]

We took the time to eat their free sausage sandwiches and interview the principal solicitor recently on the occassion of their open day.

Andrew Taylor told us they cover four areas of law - tenancy, children, adult, domestic violence. We presume this means also civil and maybe criminal as well. With 3-4 lawyers full time.

They are noticing an increase in employment and debt related issues. 

Andrew got a little philosophical at our suggestion saying our "system is rampant with shallow materialism" underlying alot of problems, but he's not against development that has social benefit.

Resourcing is from state and federal governments.

In a quite heartening sign, he noted they get ALOT of pro bono support from the profession - and here comes a surprising list - very happy to include here, and may there be more of this eh?:

Clayton Utz

Gilbert Tobin

Phillips Fox

Corrs Chambers

Blake Dawson

Freehills

- and several others.

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

We then spoke with their children's specialist lawyer, Katrina, quite the cross cultural liaison with an Aboriginal lady/child visitors to the open day we noticed later. This youngish lawyer mentioned negative stereotyping of youth after the infamous Corey Delaney incident and if she had one wish it would be for more balance and sympathy for youth in relation to fairness, rehabilitation, and recognition of youth disadvantages (no money for paid spaces like restuarant dinners for a night out).

We like these folks, not least for a year at Canberra Welfare Rights Centre as a volunteer in 1988-9.


Posted by editor at 8:49 AM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 30 April 2008 6:38 PM NZT
Monday, 14 April 2008
Jeff Angel and the invention of racist bio banking agenda in 1997
Mood:  sharp
Topic: nsw govt

We read Jeff Angel's high minded 'moral and intellectual leadership' on the environment in the Sydney Morning Herald here today

14 April 2008 Jeff Angel: It's about social cohesion, not bricks and cement 

in the preface to the cracking 4 Corners expose tonight.

In reading this one needs to keep in mind Angel is generally the go to man for green rubber stamp for the NSW ALP Govt such as the huge $15 billion power privatisation agenda in NSW, against the views of the much more representative Green Party. Angel is on any number of government blessed committees from Native Vegetation Committee, to Natural Resources Audit Council , to National Packaging Covenant, previously Govt funded Green Games Watch 2000, and every other political fix the NSW ALP Govt have cooked up.

But you wouldn't get that from the pristine article in the Herald today. Angel is actually very friendly with this ALP Government.

Jeff Angel always was good at getting in front of a political wave, and indeed a political deal making wave. And the Sydney Morning Herald need cover too, as it was their determination to boost the housing development sector in 2005 to 2006 that has played a significant role in the developer shadow over NSW governance as summarised here:

12 April 2008 Developer heaven in NSW as the Big Media 'ordered' in 2005-6?
Mood:  sad
Topic: nsw govt

including this extract:

"Tom McLoughlin 12/04/08 6:17PM

You will notice that my traverse above was written quite early this morning.
Notice I mention a shift from Parliament to the executive. Secondly a shift in govt approach from about "2.5 years ago".
This was all written by me without the knowledge or reading of the lead story on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald today by Wendy Frew and others. I’ve just finished reading it. It’s a strong story and Planning shadow minister Hazzard is making hay over this "rotten" situation earlier today on radio and now I know his factual platform:
"Files expose sway of developers" 12 April 2008, Sydney Morning Herald http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/files-expose-sway-of-developers/2008…

The Herald story corroborates nicely my analysis [below] in a direct example of developments in the Hunter. As good as Frew and colleagues are and professional too, what the story omits editorially speaking is the corporate self awareness at Fairfax that the ALP under Iemma moved to accelerate any and all economic development as a direct reaction to both major newspapers signalling that they were going to go feral and fatal on the NSW ALP govt if the economy didn’t turn: Here are some samples via google:

- 7 Feb 2006 Slump hits home - National - smh.com.au
http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/slump-hits-home/2006/02/06/113907417…

- 2 Sept 2005 Harder they fall: Sydney’s biggest housing slump - National - smh …
http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/harder-they-fall-sydneys-biggest-hou…

- 2 July 2005 NSW’s economic slump hits home - Business - Business - theage.com.au
http://www.theage.com.au/news/business/nsws-economic-slump-hits-home/200…

- Sydney boom bleeds NSW economy - Business - Business - theage.com.au , By Ross Gittins, August 16, 2005
"It’s now clear that the NSW economy is the worst-performing among the states and its once-booming housing market is at the heart of the problem. Question is, who’s to blame?"

It saddens me to provide political logic for the ALP spivs but that’s the real politik reality. They trashed the integrity of the planning system as a matter of parliamentary majority. That’s what Part 3A is for vertically integrated into the electoral majority.

This was around 2005-6. At which time I totally gave up the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act as a dead letter, that Wran had pioneered in 1979 to keep integrity in the planning system.

Sad huh? Keep going independent media sector. Keep going."

We reported on Jeff Angel's green lighting of the great bio banking developer scam originally in 1997 here: And we think it justifies a full re publication of the inestimable 'leadership' of Big Jeff, always in front of the curve:

Monday, 17 December 2007
Systemic racism in NSW behind the 1997 origins of 'bio banking' aka 'tradeoff' land clearing?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: indigenous


When we first read Henry Reynolds - Law of the Land published 1987 - we were shocked by the reference to 'sado masochistic Sunday afternoon hunting parties', and of 'childrens skulls smashed in'. This was Tasmania of 19th and 18th century colonial times that Julia Gillard euphemistically calls "settlement" surely not realising the unintended fiction - at the hands of brutalised convicts doing the British Govt's dirty work. As eloquently argued by many since it would take a triumph of willful blindess for we the Australian ancestral benefactors of the active theft or inheritors via disease and violence to quiet the whispering in our hearts, just as the UK Govt with the remoteness of distance might effectively ignore the truth.

We wove that 1987 book into our honours law thesis in 1989 called A Legal Foundation for Aboriginal Land Rights around the nascent concept of Native Title which was in fact recognised by the High Court of Australia 3 years later in Dec 1992. The famous Mabo Case and surely a hero of the age. But in 1989 we never quite nailed down what Australia was legally because the British empire had officially 'conquered' some of their global dominion in which case local people's land law continued in some form say under a treaty like Waitangi in NZ, and 'settled' other 'empty' land. But Australia seemed to be "sui generis" which is latin meaning "one of a kind" mentioned in some of the writings in dusty old common law cases from India and South Africa. 

Now we conclude Australia was neither empty/settled or peopled/conquered in the minds of the UK seat of government. We personally have no doubt it was a covert creeping invasion and consquest using convicts as the catspaw of the Empire. It was invaded by convict criminals sent in with sickness and violence to clear out whatever they came across. All very convenient and racist to not even formalise an international legal categorisation for the hapless Aborigines who lived so very close to nature.

In 1993-4 we played an active role at least here in NSW in reforming The Wilderness Society's national approach to such issues into a quite strong and ethical Land & Rights Policy which prefaced alliances over such campaigns in Starcke and Jabiluka of the 1990ies with Traditional Aboriginal owners of land. (We were not the instigator of such a reform, rather this was a couple Larry and Marg from memory, but we loved the change.) This was in a time when Noel Pearson was pretty friendly to the non govt group too. 

The essence of the TWS reformed policy was to recognise large intact natural areas known as wilderness under the NSW 1987 legislation as in fact Indigenous land, and secondly while never walking away from the goal to conserve such lands, to never seek to pre emtively extinguish that traditional, custodial Indigenous history in any deal making with other stakeholders in land such as govt, agri or other resource extraction industries.

One implication of that huge symbolic shift was that it could theoretically involve the TWS both supporting a native title holder's ownership and at the same time campaigning against them if they sought to act as a vandalistic black developer of crucial conservation values. This was a risk deemed essential in a new moral path for the green movement and for the nation post Mabo. It felt right and it was right.

5 years later 1997 we realised the game of covert extinguishment was still under way in NSW but this time by the NSW Govt Depts,  farmers and also either using or willingly with the aid of certain green groups.

Indeed the name of the game in conservative politics under the federal Howard govt was extinguishment of the Mabo legal test of 'ongoing physical connection with the land' and in the most redneck parts of the nation it looked like the bulldozer was the preferred method as here in Qld:

And not just the bulldozer to ensure extinguishment of native title with ongoing agri industry pressure on govt for corporate welfare via freeholding of govt leasehold land to the non indigenous squattocracy of the Western Division here:


And the farmers had their reasons to seek out their "bucket loads of extinguishment" as the Howard Govt proudly expressed in Federal Parliament, if they didn't care about the morals, because they knew they were being stalked legally after Mabo and after the Wik case earlier like this report dated April 2000:

This particular legal saga was trashed by the High Court of Australia in August 2002 as explained here [pdf file]

Native Title and the Western Division of NSW

eventually raising the question whether all that pre emptive land clearing was really needed in either NSW (see one report of the sorry landclearing detail here) or Qld (above) up to that point.

In 1997 the green groups were not to know how the legals would work out not least after the Federal Court decision in favour of the native title claim relevant to a huge areas of western NSW.

It was in this context that the 'leaders' of the NSW green movement were summonsed to this:

We particularly remember Jeff Angel blessing these endeavours by Jamie Piddock and being "very impressed" for franchising the idea of "clearing tradeoffs" by farmers. Jeff's blessing some 10 years ago is in stark contrast to some quotes in the press last Saturday Dec 15th 07 (below). Not a mention of native title extinguishment. Not a mention except by this writer as confirmed by the contemporaneous notes of the time. Here is Piddock's briefing note of this 'environmental' initiative to keep the farmers happy, and sideline the Blacks altogether (and note our very bad handwriting):

 

Our alarm at this attempt to promote trade offs of one area of native bush for another, after 200 years of land clearing and a general scientific understanding that no more land clearing was desirable in Australia at all, let alone to extinguish critical historical native title rights, and with a green stamp on them was pretty much ignored. This was a shameful day for the NSW green movment with Jeff Angel ascendant. Hence the careful notation of the documentation and signature and dating by hand above. Angel in particular should account for this (while Jamie Piddock is God knows where). Not least because he was busy on ABC radio last Saturday morning Dec 15th and in the Sydney Morning Herald with pretty much the direct opposite view against exactly this kind of 'bio banking tradeoff land clearing in favour of regional conservation outcomes' which the govt jargon for green lighting, greenwashing developer bush clearance.

 


In principle 1997 good, 2007 bad? Western NSW 'Black Land' good. Sydney urban bushland bad? Go figure. This may be what Jeff Angel said on 702 on air to be 'good in principle, its the implementation that matterrs'.

Angel is clearly right in 2007. But he was woefully wrong in 1997 so what's changed? Bob Carr is no longer premier is one significant factor. The ascendancy of the far more independent and fiesty Green Party is another.

Are you reading this Warren Mundine, prominent in the NSW ALP?

Some of us have a long memory about such things and we can prove it. Here is some of our confidential briefing notes of that shameful May 12 1997 cave in to redneck land clearing deal to further oust the Blacks from the Western Division:

 

 

 

 


Posted by editor at 10:31 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 14 April 2008 10:59 PM NZT
ABC radio Party-liners segment is systemic bias against minor parties especially the Greens?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: big media

 

 

Neal Blewett former federal ALP minister, and John Hewson former leader of the federal Liberal Parliamentary Party have 10-15 minutes on Sydney radio as we write. These guys are independent spirits no doubt and smart observers of political life no doubt too.

They or similar ALP and Coalition are given a free go every week. But is this according to the ABC charter for all Australians? We doubt it. 

The trouble is that a good 30% of the electorate don't vote for either but are channelled there by the systemic two party preferred voting system.

There is plenty to agree and disagree with from such as Blewett and Hewson, such as the the penultimate post about timing of Quentin Bryce as Governor General as brand ALP goes into meltdown here in NSW. Neither go that timing point perhaps because both are still a little too friendly to Big Power.

We are willing to bet that both have participation in either current state or federal government official bodies with sitting fees or whatever?

This weekly segment needs review and revision. What we would suggest is a Little Party Liners segment in addition to balance. With one rep from the Green Party, and one from say the Nats or other right focused group like Steve Fielding. That would be much fairer and representative of the true voter demography in terms of airtime.

That is if the ABC is serious about "balance".


Posted by editor at 11:25 AM NZT
How the Rudd machine plays the Big Media: Lesson for today re GG Quentin Bryce
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: aust govt
 


'A good machine is a quiet one' - Eric Roozendaal, NSW secretary of the Labor Party, Sussex St, now MP in the NSW Parliament.

When the 2020 Summit was originally announced about 3 months ago it was a big circuit breaker in the 24 hour news cycle. If you go back to the cut and thrust and trend in real politick coverage for about a week prior you will notice it was all about the devastated reputation of the Iemma ALP Govt.

We are not quite sure what exactly was the particular whiff of corruption or incompetence at that time 3 months back out of so many these many last months.

Now all the momentum in the real politik coverage on brand ALP as the "effusive" praise for PM Rudd winds down over his whirlwind global tour, is the upcoming 4 Corners developer donations scandal, on a past week of disastrous coverage, not least the front pager by Frew et al in the Sydney Morning Herald last Saturday:

12 April 2008 Secret files expose the sway of developers - National - smh.com.au

With our addition to the chronology building on that great insight here:

 12 April 2008 Developer heaven in NSW as the Big Media 'ordered' in 2005-6?
Mood:  sad
Topic: nsw govt

Also the set piece main 2020 Summit has some real internal flaws and risks which have been amply identified by both the 4th and 5th estates, as per our summary round up here:

12 April 2008 Grown ups summit a tame affair with climate change credibility gap?
Mood:  party time!
Topic: aust govt 

So the 2020 "shindig" would be an unwise PR strategy for brand ALP this coming week as any kind of "circuit breaker" (and they do know their PR job) because it could well be an electric shock still.

Brand ALP neeeds another 24 hour news cycle circuit breaker badly, and it has to be something well in their control (like an appointment of GG) and it has to be quite big to be convincing. Enter high achiever and highly telegenic Ms Quentin Bryce, no doubt a favourite of the Qld ALP machine, and "safe". Like long suffering Donna Moss, Ms Bryce is not only brainy but she is also like "a long glass of milk" to quote the final series of West Wing.

 
Janel Moloney as Donna Moss in West Wing TV series

Pure of heart and soul, synonymous with wholesome, by all accounts. Wonderful PR material on all the front pages today 14 April 08, as she no doubt deserves her whole life. Only Ms Bryce you are being used by the patriarchy and one presumes you have the wit to know it too, and maybe rise above that? Or not?

For mine this lady would have been an even better GG material not least for her handle on relations with China here:

Sarah Ferguson  May 17, 2007

Sarah FergusonSarah Ferguson is a reporter for the Channel 9 Sunday programme. Before joining Sunday, Sarah worked for the SBS programmes Dateline and Insight. She came to Australia in 1999 having worked as a journalist in Europe and the US.

As Deborah Cameron has asked in her federal politics Q&A with Phillip Williams (usually ACT Stateline) as we write 9.06 am on 702 ABC 1(14th April 08)

"Were you surprised by [PM Rudd's] announcement so quick out of the blocks?"

Cameron did not mean to imply a cynical calculation, but it is so revealing that she picked up the significance of the jolting lack of warning. Will this profound Rudd diversion work to smother the smell of the Iemma Govt on brand ALP? Like air freshener in a can over the corpse of a dead cat?

We doubt it, but maybe it will.


Posted by editor at 10:57 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 April 2008 8:21 AM NZT
Time for Evan Thorley MP to admit discreet ALP agenda in seed funding of Get Up?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: aust govt

 Evan   					Thornley

We like and respect Bret Solomon of self described "independent" Get Up not least for his career history with fiesty charity Oxfam, but we also well understand he cannot escape the covert ALP provenance and seed funding of Get UP not least via Evan Thorley MP in the machine Vic Upper House perch and IT entrepeneur rich man former CEO of Looksmart.  

Picture: Owner of Sydney City Hub Lawrence Gibbons once told this writer the reason disgraced share trader Rene Rivkin was being picked on in the Big Media was because 'he is Jewish'. We scoffed at this. Sometimes we get the impression Gibbons has an affirmative action agenda given his cultural background as here too with Bret Solomon? Just asking. And no criticism either, Solomon also appeared on the back page of a Australian Financial Review Boss colour mag because he is indeed influential.


Here is Thorley explaining his business pedigree out of the USA back on 26/7/2003 to the ABC business show:

 Business Breakfast - 27/06/2003: LookSmart chair discusses plans ...

Internet entrepreneur Evan Thornley is pursuing less technological pursuits, having just returned to Australia after nearly seven years in the US.

The founder of the Internet search company, LookSmart, Mr Thornley is one of the few survivors of the tech crash that claimed so many of his dot-com peers.

He remains chairman of LookSmart and is taking a particular interest in ways of improving Australia's export strategies.

Evan Thornley spoke to Michael Rowland about his plans for the future, now that he's settled back in his home town of Melbourne.

Solomon himself admitted in a talk we attended at the Sydney Mechanics in Pitt St on 4 April 2007 that Thorley was his source of income: Here is our report at the time:

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

And to show we are not trying to pick on Get Up out of jealously for their huge reach and effort online (as we try and wannabe), here was our balancer a few days later:

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Thorley presumably has fanchised here the US Democrat cyber model of political outreach of 2003-2005, and such as MoveOn.org financed by such as billionaire George Soros long time advocate for "open societies".

 

Here is Get Up's full on engagement with the 2020 Summit in 5 days indicating both genuine enthusiasm and endorsement of the narrow scope of the event - because they are inside the tent.


Maaate. It would be naive to expect very much cutting critique from Get Up about the 2020 summit?:

Sent: Friday, April 11, 2008 8:31 PM
Subject: What's your 2020 vision?

Dear Tom,

Only 1000 people will be deliberating Australia's future at next week's 2020 Summit - but that's not to say your voice won't be heard. Incredibly, 118 of the chosen delegates are GetUp members, including our Executive Director Brett Solomon, so we're starting a conversation to make sure that your voice is added to theirs before they begin their dialogue about Australia's future.

Have your say on what you want our country's future to look like on our 2020 forums - and we will deliver your ideas direct to the decision makers heading to Canberra:

www.getup.org.au/2020

 

The forums have been started by GetUp members attending the Summit, and they're keen to make sure your ideas are heard. Add your comments and your new big ideas to our online forums - to make sure the Summit recommendations reflect the issues that are important to you.

The Summit is a golden opportunity to let the Australian Government - and a whole range of people representing the Australian community - know where we'd like our country to go. We'll deliver the top ideas from each forum to the Summit delegates, so add your idea now and vote for the ones you care most about:

www.getup.org.au/2020

It's rare to have such a concrete opportunity to look beyond the immediate political term in Australia - but it's forums like these where nation-building ideas are born. This is your chance to let those on the inside of 2020 know what you think.

Thanks for making it happen,
The GetUp team

PS - If you're a GetUp member going to the Summit and we haven't been in touch yet, please let us know by emailing Sally@getup.org.au.

PPS - It's National Youth Week - an important time to remember the thousands of homeless young people living on our streets. Click here to hear Tegan talk about her experiences. Tegan is a homeless young person involved with the Oasis youth centre, which was featured in a documentary, 'The Oasis', screened on the ABC last night.

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

Postscript #1 15 April 2008

Brett Solomon makes a call in to discuss the above post: As I get what he says - '

pre and post Rudd election Get Up is all about building "a progressive society", that GU is not a front for the ALP, the Democrats, or the Greens.'

It was a rattling good discussion and there is no doubting Brett's communication skills. But we did more talking than he did about the lessons of co-option in real politik, and that maybe the ALP have more reason to maintain a covert role of influence in the past of Get Up than to exploit their idealism than Get Up will ever have for covering up their past. Noted New Matilda restructing by way of comparison.

We added that issues of independence in the lead up to the 2020 Summit this week are an even greater reason for consideration of issues of independence even accepting that its' a grey, grey world with an amalgam of admirable and less motives in every time and space/event. He had to bail out of the vibrant discussion after about 10 minutes in his busy life, with good grace too.

We do agree Get Up have some proud and worthy initiatives post Rudd election, on Sorry, Tibet, Pay Equality, Pulp Mill, Climate Change. This is all to the good in terms of individual identity of Get Up non aligned.

We noted the highly strategic timing of the appointment of the new GG to sanitise brand ALP especially in NSW and post conversation we note that Get Up on such a large stage and influence is only as good as it's last tennis match. We urged Brett to stay on that "highway of diamonds". It wasn't exactly advice he asked for but he listened a bit I would say.


Posted by editor at 9:27 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 April 2008 11:16 AM NZT
China Inc's catspaw: Brainwashed youth diaspora crank Olympic nationalism in Sydney streets here?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: human rights


As a uni student in 1989 and 1990 we lived with two different Chinese households in Canberra in the suburbs of Downer and Curtin. They were very good housemates, if less than western standards of house cleaning. Being a bit of a bush pig here that was okay. It was an indicator of perhaps '2nd world' social standards of the mechanic, a motel worker, an academic who explained the concept of the internet (in 1990!).

It was a cold winter. We literally lived on $4500 income, food, rent, books, before getting a job with Baker & McKenzie big corporate law firm in Sydney.

Recently we spent 6 months tutoring a great 16 year old I will call  'Lucy' (as in actress Lucy Liu) of Chinese Australian background but born in China. Always with grandma hovering.

Her English was pretty good for a second language but had some rough patches.

Lucy got over 90 in the end in her HSC even after fainting at school a month prior to the exams. We didn't know if it was a serious medical condition or not. That's when we had the "It Takes Personal Courage Talk" in earnest tones. It went like this: 

Ok. So we don't know if it's a serious medical problem or nothing. The truth is no one else is going to do this for you. Really. Others can help like me as your tutor. But you have to decide to fight for your own corner, and your future. It takes commitment.  No one else can make this choice for you.

That was it, right between the eyes, no hedging, no escapes, no excuses. She was young enough and tough enough to take it and it's what she needed to hear too, based on a trust we had worked on for months.

I was never prouder than when she went on and completed her HSC and got access to a tertiary course. For doing herself and her family justice. Bravo. It does take courage and she had it. Where is she now I have no idea.

She suggested I could make alot of money working in China using my English or such like, and tried to set me up with a relative. She taught me a maths multiplication game ambitious kids play over there. Told me about the cut throat lassez faire Shanghai rip off merchants and con artists. How one had to be at the top of your game just to hang on to your dough.

And with the Beijing Olympics on the way in a few years she was right as long as I avoided disease carrying rats (like Rudd famously was threatened by early in his diplomatic career). But that's not our vocation. Rather it's harrassing anti environmental corporate fascism via crikey.com.au and here.

But the broader point is this - It may have been the discussions over Macbeth where the nature of democracy, and good governance came up: Violence for political power versus say Gandhi philosophy? The Mao dictum of "political power grows from the barrel of a gun", or in Macbeth's case a sword in that famous profound Shakespearean play.

Image:Charles Kean as Macbeth 1858.jpg

I suggested "a metaphor" beloved of HSC study guides using the Chinese Revolution over so called Emperor's noblesse oblige (not a very credible claim but at least analogous).

Image:Macbeth3.jpg

The memories are all a bit misty now like the witches bedevilling Macbeth in the picture above. But what I do remember clearly is this : Lucy, this otherwise perky teenager was extremely reticient to make even study talk about the flaws of a Chinese Govt regarding power through violence.

I pressed her on this dogmatism in someone so young - why not? It's only a student's essay and study, and it's a sound point too about the themes in the play about rivalry for political power, whichever side you take.

Oh no, I don't think that's a good idea. To criticise the govt of China. I just don't think so.

It was a fear she had no words or emotional equipment to articulate, as I saw it. It was a bridge too far for this otherwise ambitious bilingual teenager with the rebellious interest in gangsters, working to fit into two cultures - east and west. 

Indeed there was still ill feeling in the family about the father insisting on taking out Australian citizenship, not least after Tiananmen Square in 1989 (which even if exagerating reportage was surely a disaster for democarcy in China).

This intelligent gutsy Lucy's fear and awe of the central Beijing Govt suggested brainwashing to not even manage criticism in a student essay. I could feel a chill hand in the room. We feel this same chill hand sanitising Beijing relations with Tibet has been on display in the main streets of Sydney CBD yesterday in a rally 13th April 2008. An unquestioning loyalty as per ABC tv coverage here:

News Video | Sun, 13 Apr 2008 17:58:00 +1000 | Duration 2m 4s, Over one thousand demonstrators have gathered in Sydney to call for fairer and more objective reporting on events in Tibet.

This is my firm feeling. Proud of their emerging world power status - go China - will be the emotion. But it's a brainwashed loyalty. If "some western media" are "liars" as per the placards about the devastations of Tibet, much like the Japanese raped Nanking, then why simply is there no free press in Tibet?

  

  Japanese soldiers entering
Nanjing

In Tibet and Beijing both, no transparency to foreign eyes. No freedom of speech to criticise or organise a rival political party or media outlet for 50 years now.

Most Chinese born and raised, and likely diaspora in Australia too, with their satellite tv media consumption, don't even know what Tiananmen was about really.

But I can report that Martin (not his real name) on that day in 1989 was stomping through the house very upset "Chinese Govt very stupid" he kept saying "Very stupid" over the reportage of Tiananmen Square tanks rolling into the student protests. Because when he knew what was happening he reached an opinion for himself.

That's what professional media reportage is all about. Telling the truth and letting that truth take it's course. In short the Big Media should be aware this brainwashed effect of a closed society under the control of Beijing central is not going away. It's a preferred tactic of soft power by this enormous world power including through it's own diaspora here.

In this Olympic season though it's somewhat of a two way street of communication including at grassroots level. Though the road rules are a little lacking in this engagement still too. Let's keep this two way flow going. That's a constructive way forward for both parties, with truth as our guide.

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

Postscript #1, 14th April 2008

Crikey.com.au 14th April 2008 runs this revealing sheet sourced to the Chinese Embassy here organising public rally support:

An anonymous tipster writes:

The following points are based on an internal document circulated by the Chinese authorities in Australia to the Chinese Students Association of 7-8 April. It has two options for public action appended. The large "spontaneous protests" witnessed in Sydney yesterday are an indication of this kind of mobilisation effort. The following is a direct translation of the original document:

Executive Summary: This activity is a voluntarily organised and spontaneous peaceful patriotic activity. The aim of this activity is prevent the disruptive actions of Free Tibet campaigners (the Chinese used is Zang du fenzi - Tibet Independence Elements) and Anti-Chinese elements from interfering with the Olympic torch relay.

Roles and Duties: The National Flag Group -- is to hand out Chinese flags and Olympic flags to friendly onlookers; The Picket Group -- will maintain order under the direction of the group leader. All members will follow instructions to protect the Olympic torch; The Propaganda Group (i.e., the PR team) -- will hand out leaflets to standers-by, onlookers and others; and, The Visual Recording Group -- will record the words, pronouncements, provocations and malicious actions of Free Tibet campaigners. Moreover, this group will record all other useful material.

Discipline: Obey orders, act collectively. Prevent all actions that can in any way be detrimental to the image of China, including words, comments and provocative behaviour, or any use of force. When confronting provocation you must be aware that the media will exaggerate even your most minor actions without any basis in fact while willfully ignoring those of the Free Tibet campaigners. You must remain calm and cool. The Visual Recording Group must be sure to be timely in taking footage of the provocations and destructive activities of the opposition. There must be reasonable use of the national flag and slogans. Do not drop any or leave any behind. When speaking to outsiders firmly maintain that this is entirely a spontaneous activity. You must accept no media interviews in the name of any group or collective. Keep a reasonable distance between yourself and the torch-bearer. Maintain a smiling face to onlookers, the media and other peaceful demonstrators. Demonstrate the good behaviour of the Chinese. Wear light and casual clothing. We suggest that you wear light colours.

Costs: The organisers will pay costs in advance. However, if any participants wish to pay for themselves they will be most welcome.

Promotional Strategy - Option 1: The Canberra leg of the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay will begin at Capital Hill where Parliament House is located. The harmonious flame of the Olympic Torch will set alight the emotions of this garden city. The Australian Chinese Youth Exchange Promotion Association cordially invites all patriots, Chinese students studying overseas, patriotic young people as well as all of your friends and relatives to join hands as witnesses of this historical moment, to raise your arms and cheer! The aim of this activity is to share the Olympic Spirit and Great Chinese Civilisation with the whole world. The organisers will provide bus transportation from Sydney to Canberra return, as well as breakfast and lunch. Participants will also be presented with Olympic keepsakes. We will cooperate closely with the police to ensure the safe protection of the Olympic torch. Whenever any willfully disruptive individual is found they will immediately be handed over to the police to be dealt with.

Signed: The Australian Chinese Youth Exchange Promotion Association (a non-profit organisation sponsored by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Australia).

Promotional Strategy—Option 2: Chinese Students in Australia Welcome Committee for the Olympic Torch The Australian Chinese Students Association (ACSC) hopes that the vast majority of Chinese students studying in Sydney will participate in the welcoming ceremony for the Olympic Torch in Canberra, and by so doing cheer on the Beijing Olympics. We welcome the enthusiastic participation and mobilisation of all students, as well as their friends. We welcome people from all walks of life to sign up, regardless of gender, age or nationality. We will provide free transportation as well as breakfast and lunch. Our buses will be available at five different locations for pick-ups. Protesters have to apply to demonstrate ahead of time! Therefore any protesters who attempt to disrupt our force must be handed over to the police immediately.

Signed: The Australian Chinese Students Association (a non-profit organisation sponsored by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Australia).


Posted by editor at 7:41 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 14 April 2008 9:48 PM NZT

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