Topic: nsw govt
We made hay last Sunday in our Political Talkies headline and coverage leveraging a comment of Ms Jodi McKay MP, NSW, Minister for Tourism:
Sunday, 2 November 2008 Sunday Political talkies: Ms McKay's 'weird aggressive' mates in NSW ALP?
Topic: aust govt
In effect it was a culture jam of her (or the journalist's?) allegation of "weird aggressive" folks in national parks. Her implication was a clumsy smear on all mainstream bushwalkers using national parks that you would never want to share a night with in a hut.
In our experience of huts in conservation areas - admittedly mostly in New Zealand's mountain country as we generally camp here in Australia - the people you meet in huts in remote areas are self selecting. They are generally the healthiest, most sensitive, most sociable, and interesting people, often from foreign lands with cute accents (like the Swedish folks on Mt Aspiring near Wanaka). They are also usually so tired from a day's walk the last thing on their mind is making trouble.
It was too much for McKay MP to be smearing national park users in general as an entre for developers like Packers 5 toasters proposed for Thredbo in Koscuiszko National Park only a year or so back, with all the sewage load on the park that implied: Refer Colong Foundation [PDF] Bulletin 205 (Good work by Fiona McCrossin, sister of media identity Julie).
But we digress - in our list of arguably 'weird aggressive' people we thought Ms McKay might have been projecting onto bushwalkers from her own milieu included ... Tony Stewart MP facing allegations of bullying.
Now the loyal ALP female blonde attractive staffer has decided to press her complaint about bullying, and MP Stewart has been stood aside.
But is it as simple and brutal as that? We do wonder. As written late last week in another piece here on SAM, Paul Keating seems to have got an attack of the political vaudeville deliberately calling up a "divisive" argument about the role of Gallipoli versus Kokoda. As if there is a competition, with him as self appointed judge and jury. The story is here:
Friday, 31 October 2008Keating's bait and switch on Stewart MP scandal plays Big Media for fools over Gallipoli?
Topic: big media
Not surprisingly PKwas sidelined by PM Rudd as raising a can of worms that interfered with the ALP Govt(s) messages and clear air. We thought the timing so curious we wondered if Keating was actually running cover for his mate in NSW Cabinet Tony Stewart, MP for Bankstown. Paul Keating was MP for Bankstown for all those years too.
As Premier Rees has said his and deputy Tebbutt's ascension have been a tectonic shift in nominally Right to Left factional politics here in NSW. Stewart and Keating are in the Right. Keating has no entre into the Pineapple Mafia out of Rudd and Swan's Qld machine at federal level. He needs Tony Stewart MP in NSW Cabinet on such sinecures as design of Barangaroo east Darling Harbour.
But Rees, Robertson, Bitar, Foley/Thistlewaite, Arbib, of the NSW Machine, and by extension PM Rudd too, don't need ex PM Paul Keating, or his proxy Tony Stewart MP. That was the tectonic shift after the blue over public energy privatisation
When Keating ran this impudent letter via Alan Ramsey's column last Saturday we felt it was crazy brave: It's worth extracting in full because in a way it's Keating swansong regarding real political influence, like Morris Iemma is so ex Premier:
What you get for having a shot at Keating - Opinion - smh.com.au Alan Ramsey November 1, 2008.
Paul Keating took dead aim at Kevin Rudd yesterday. He did not miss. Keating has never taken a backward step to jingoism, let alone posturing at his expense, and yesterday afternoon, very deliberately, he gave his successor as Labor prime minister a verbal thumping such as Our Kevin has not experienced publicly by a Labor colleague in his 10 years in national political life.
The words, by email from Keating's office, were headed simply: "PJK rebuttal of K. Rudd's remarks on Gallipoli." Here is the full text:
"The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, said today that I was wrong to reject the popular view that Australia was redeemed at Gallipoli. I should have thought the Prime Minister might have noticed I have spent most of my political life rejecting so-called popular views. A political leader's true task is to interpret events and reality to a conscientious nation. It is not to wallow in jingoism in the hope this might find some harmony with an old chord.
"Had I, as prime minister, accepted Kevin Rudd's view of today, that 'I am absolutely proud of it' - that is, that he is proud of having Gallipoli as the focal point of Australian remembrance of military service abroad - then I should never have turned that focus back to Kokoda as the one true 'Battle for Australia', as I did in 1992.
"The Prime Minister recently declared an official 'Battle for Australia' day, though without any reference to the fact, unpopular at the time, that I had sought to redress and rebalance the country's wartime history by calling Kokoda the 'Battle for Australia' to reflect the strategic truth. The truth and not the jingoism.
"Or the stylised and rote remembrances by the RSL's leadership.
"Yesterday I was commenting on what the historian and author Graham Freudenberg had written in his outstanding history, Churchill And Australia. Freudenberg said that owing to 'Australia's own ambivalence about itself and to prove the British race in the Antipodes had not degenerated, in an almost theological sense, Australian Britons had been born again into the baptism of fire at Anzac Cove'. Yesterday I was agreeing with Freudenberg's imputations in that extract: that we had no cause for ambivalence about ourselves in 1915, that left alone in the Antipodes we had not degenerated and, therefore, had no need of being 'born again' at Anzac Cove.
"After federating in 1900, by 1914 the country was doing quite well in the first great flush of Australian social and economic nationalism. We had no need of sacrificing Australian men to prove we were legitimate, any more than we needed to earn our nationhood. But none of that went on to diminish the bravery of the Anzacs at Gallipoli, whose sacrifice did deepen our understanding and sense of ourselves, including subsequently, our national identity. The pity was our enhanced identity cost them so much.
"This was the point I was making yesterday, making it in such a way as to endorse, and make explicit, the view Freudenberg had expressed.
"There is another point the Prime Minister should grasp. The possession of the prime ministership does not automatically invest anyone with wisdom; this has to be displayed upon the conscientious consideration of facts, moments and events. Kevin Rudd says Paul is 'completely wrong on that, completely and utterly, absolutely 100 per cent wrong'. Well, that is Kevin Rudd's view. But on this subject that cuts no ice with me.
"I suggest he could do the country a greater service by taking the long view of history, from now just on a hundred years ago, to reflect on the world then and what we now know about the 20th century, especially as it relates to European history and to the history of Australia within it. Whether Kevin Rudd decides to give young Australians the appropriate lead or otherwise, they will work it out. But what they will most appreciate is some direction for their thinking based on substance and truth and mature reflection which, in this case, a century of hindsight provides."
No, PJK did not miss.
We demur here Alan. Keating may not have missed but he's seriously miscalculated. Keating came a cropper in the pages of the SMH earlier this year, falsely conflating two different financial proposals in his opinion piece seemingly biased by his position with investment banker Lazard Carnegie Wylie . Indeed he left out accounting of $10-15 billion of value in power assets between a different proposal in 1997 to 2007. It was cute rhetoric by ex PM Keating but hopelessly misconceived financial analysis. It smacked of conflicted self interest and the Greens seized the error as loyal opposition in NSW.
One problem for Keating is that he might (as Imre Salusinszky has written) believe the script writer of his namesake musical. We did enjoy the show too, impressed pre federal election by the full house at the Seymour Centre, but we did notice it wasn't an historic document. It left out Keating's trashing for woodchips of the "Deferred Forest Areas" - best forest in Australia released to the loggers in 1993-4 contrary to his own government's National Forest Policy Statement. This was Keating's way of diverging from Hawke's Resource Assessment Commission (people like Clive Hamilton).
This is still have it's consequence today:
We still have the filing cabinet of those historic documents of the DFA selling out our environmental future. Interestingly Senator Faulkner was done over by Keating as then Environment Minister. Faulkner was at the book launch last week where Keating launched into the Gallipoli issue. Rudd calls Faulkner "a wise owl".
Also notice comments in crikey.com.au ezine last Friday 31 October in the unsourced Tips & Rumours to the effect (subject to correction by them) that only one sitting MP, Senator Faulkner, was at the function of former ALP Right luminaries Carr, Brereton, Keating, Wran etc:
Graham Freudenberg's much-awaited book Churchill and Australia was launched in the Jubilee Room at Parliament House in Sydney yesterday by former Prime Minister Paul Keating. The launch was attended by a glittering band of Labor identities, academics and media. They included Senator John Faulkner, former Premiers Neville Wran and Bob Carr, former Treasurer Michael Egan, Channel Nine's Laurie Oakes, broadcaster Mike Carlton, Tony Whitlam QC, Foxtel's Kim Williams and Blanche D'Alpuget. Extraordinarily, not a single sitting Labor MP bothered to attend. It raises the question whether any of them can read.
Or it raises the question of who is being frozen out? Generational change anyone?
Now Keating has arrived at true real politik irrelevancy courtesy of his own machine. Sure Tony Stewart MP is the collateral damage via a staffer's vexed complaint but it's Keating who is being given the message and it's a serious one. There is an irony and symmetry to this result - live by and die by the machine.
Rudd beat Howard by transcending divisive politics and the "Howard haters". Howard mirrored Keating's penchant for wedge and division which people have grown leery of with such genuinely serious and worrying issues to tackle cooperatively like dangerous climate threats. Keating's model of doing politics is broken, even when it's for an ostensibly honourable goal like the Republic, just like the Barak Obama inclusiveness has found fertile ground and is increasingly ascendant.
Alan Ramsey said Keating didn't miss with his email to Rudd's people. One might call it's Paul's Pearl Harbour: Awakening the giant of the federal ALP machine's anger. We know how that ended.
An epithet for Paul Keating: "Bring back the biff" well describes Rugby League of the 1970ies in your formative stages, indeed the flower of your youth, but it's not how we do things in the 21st Century.