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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Sunday, 11 March 2007
Sunday political talkies: Combet to serve his country not personal ambition, hawk Howard goes nuke weapons
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: election Oz 2007

Chifley Research Centre: Greg Combet


Author’s general introductory note (skip this 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.



10 Meet the Press 8-8.30 am


Paul Bongiorno has a lay off, good presenter off the news desk Deborah Knight . 


Panel Phillip Clark 2gb radio afternoons ex abc 702 sellout, looking fit and sharp. 2nd guy Mathew Franklin (?) looks experienced.


IR advert is very strong re corp bonuses e.g. corrupt greed.


Greg Combet talent, still says no to recruitment to federal ALP election team to replace Kelvin Thompson who lost his front bench seat.


[But it’s the wrong answer in the long term, if wise in the short term, to quote:


There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
Greatest English dramatist & poet (1564 - 1616)


And it’s not about Combet’s personal ambition at all but Australia’s best future. Happily Combet's promotion is highly compatible with the high road in politics. For Ten’s MTP to ask the question is to answer it. Time to step up Greg Combet diplomatic kindness to effective MP Kelvin Thompson notwithstanding. It’s time. Don’t kid yourself it’s not. Out of your comfort zone. You are called to serve. As Jose Ramos Horta said to Xanana Gusmao “Stop this bullshit.”]


Rubbery figures animation of yesterdays man Paul Keating


[ignores the fact Keating did a successful diversion for 24 hour news cycle via story in The Australian and then abc radio (Trioli from memory), when Rudd was in some bother last Monday and needed some breathing space, and even longer to the Sunday talkies here.]


Peter Harberson Airport expert on Garuda tragedy on safety and

Transcript in due course www.ten.com.au/meetthepress


7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary


Humourous, quite edgy as usual. Riley’s own ‘lazy hazy crazy dirty mucky etc’. Laugh out loud stuff especially with obligatory Keating diversion as Pythonesque.


[underlines both major parties are blurring with criminal crooks]


[Riley echoes astute Combet quip of ‘silly season’ on 10 above. See Greg you are the right stuff, get on with it.]


Very moving section on the “sombre” loss of their mates in the Garuda airline crash. “A very tough week … threw us for a loop down here”.


Web page here but no transcript usually: http://www.seven.com.au/sunrise/weekend


2 Insiders (abc) 9-10 am,  http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/ 


Talent is Alexander Downer mostly on Garuda crash, but then goes into Rudd’s character judgement. Downer goes into AWB “Royal Commission”: This is Downer’s first sleazy fudge  – it wasn’t a full Royal Commission, it was a tightly constrained ‘RC like’ judicial forum.


Mentions “Royal Commission” at least 6 times. Uses Latham line on Rudd ‘not a conviction politician’ but Downer says “believes in nothing", then justification for Iraq War claiming Rudd really agreed with Liberal Party re fears of WMD held by Saddam.


[On this debate of nuke WMD threat to the West as a valid reason for going to war in Iraq, notice fascinating article in The Guardian (lefty UK paper, extracted in SMH, not usually a Pentagon/White House leak mechanism):


Nuclear chief suspected of selling uranium

re uranium for a dirty bomb if not a weapon, from Congo not from Niger at all as per Valerie Plame/Scooter Libby/Dick Cheney scandal. Just like Saddam had no nuke based WMD, but Libya did in fact have them or close to it via AQ Khan of Pakistan. So the West led by Bush and Howard got it wrong:  Libya instead of Iraq with AQ Khan’s nukes-R-us distribution to the Muslim countries, and Congo  not Niger was the security leakage of old nuke material.


Is this evidence of incompetence or well founded fear by Bush/Cheney Whitehouse with little Howard echo re nuke proliferation from say 2000 onward via AQ Khan (Pakistan's Dr Strangelove)?


Alternatively, is this revelation of uranium out of an old reactor in The Congo simply designed to mitigate  the Libby/Cheney scandal over Niger falsehood and now conviction of Libby for revengeful security leak?

One thing is for sure, ex Australian chief spook Dennis Richardson (via Paul Kelly p2 The Australian Fri March 9, 2007) got it wrong in


Paul Kelly: 'Long War' has just begun


specifically where Richardson, now our US ambassador, says ‘its business as usual in Iraq whether Democrat or Republican president up to and beyond January 2009 when the USA gets a new President'. The proof of how wrong Richardson is to say no difference between the major USA parties on Iraq is here (oh dear how embarrassing, contradicted the very next day):


Democrats unveil their pullout plan 10 March 2007, THE US Democratic Party yesterday unveiled a plan to withdraw troops from Iraq by the end of August next year, in the strongest challenge yet to President George W. Bush's war policy.


Notice too Howard has gone to Japan just after Cheney visit to discuss ‘regional security’:


Our military ties with Japan worry China

AUSTRALIA and Japan are about to embark on their most wide-ranging military and intelligence-sharing agreement, in a move that is generating concern from Beijing.

Wheel turns full circle


Indeed there is a hell of a lot of paddling under the geo political waters: Blair is buying into Star Wars nuke ‘defence’ missiles for the USA here 26th Feb 07


Missile talks put Blair in firing line - World - smh.com.au


Similarly 7th March 2007 Taiwan tests missile as tension with China flares | The World ...


China has also revealed Huge boost in military spending by Chinese - World - smh.com.au (though no one seems to worry about the percentage change in USA military spending since the Iraq/Afghan wars, a bit more than 18% I suspect).


Who really doubts extremely hawkish Howard in this very fluid geo political security balance is positioning Australia for the same nuke dual use weapons capacity as  implied by defence expert Hugh White here


A road Australia has travelled already - Opinion - smh.com.au


And here


PM's science chief flags nuclear boom


, as will be Japan in talks with the Australian PM, as will be the UK in Blair’s twilight, as will Cheney and Bush in their last 2 years. When you read PM Howard supporting and promoting nuclear energy to alleviate climate change threat, take a grain of salt and instead interpret this to mean nuclear weapons in an Australian version of Star Wars 'defence shield'. As the gutsy Professor Hugh White


Hugh White - Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies (RSPAS ...




"Nonetheless, the [pro nuke energy Switkowski] report [for PM Howard] recommends the Government should not discourage development of an enrichment capability if the commercial prospects improve. It hardly touches on the strategic implications of an enrichment industry, beyond warning "any proposed domestic investment would require Australia to reassure the international community of its nuclear non-proliferation objectives".


That is a bit of an understatement. …. Who could suspect Australia of wanting nuclear weapons?


Well, anyone with a sense of history. In the 1950s and 1960s Australia actively, if sporadically, tried to acquire nuclear weapons. And we were among the last and most reluctant adherents to the the treaty when it was concluded in the early 1970s. At that time, with US engagement in Asia apparently diminishing after Vietnam, Australia was focused on the need to look after itself in Asia. As one classified Defence Department analysis said in 1974, "a necessary condition for any defence of Australia against a major power would be the possession by Australia of a certain minimum credibility of strategic nuclear capability".


The three decades since have been among the most peaceful in Asia's long history, and the idea that Australia might need nuclear weapons has receded into the realms of wild improbability. But what if Asia changes? The growth of China and India, the strategic re-emergence of Japan, and uncertainty about America's post-Iraq trajectory raise doubts whether the next 30 years will be as peaceful in Asia as the past 30 years.


If Asia slips back into the kind of strategic turmoil we saw in the 1950s and 1960s, how sure can we be Australia might not again look at the nuclear option? And how sure could our neighbours be? Here is the real danger to Australia of a flirtation with uranium enrichment. No matter what we think and say, a decision to develop uranium enrichment capability in Australia would be seen by our neighbours as a short cut to nuclear weapons. We would need to think very carefully about how they might respond.


Amid the highly charged debate on nuclear power plants, the Government might want to work out its attitude to enrichment. To endorse the Switkowski report's tolerant approach to the issue risks looking either naive or devious. And it could be quite dangerous.

Hugh White is a visiting fellow at the Lowy Institute and professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University. "

in March 1st, 2007 http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/a-road-australia-has-travelled-already/2007/02/28/1172338709545.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1


One very big UK company with speciality in "cleaning up nuclear waste" has decided to set up in Sydney called RPS Group Plc as per p28 March 8th 2007 Sydney Morning Herald left hand column. With a staff of  3000 plus and big profits posted in 2005-2006 they state



"RPS Energy is a multi-disciplinary consultancy, providing technical, commercial and project management support services in the fields of operations, geoscience, engineering and health, safety and environment to the energy sector worldwide. RPS Energy focuses primarily on the upstream oil and gas, the renewable energy and nuclear sectors from operating bases in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and Malaysia."at  http://www.rpsgroup.com/content.asp?fl=1&contentid=1948&siteid=29&sessionid=2BDFC36E-8DEE-411E-922A-248C78B4F882&secid=aboutrps]


Insiders continues: Every person segment: oldies all guys, younger fogey not to interested in muckracking against Kevin Rudd.


Panel: Lenore Taylor (AFR), George Meglogenis The Australian (both moderates), Gerard Henderson (Fairfax/Sydney Institute) smooth extreme right.


Paul Kelly solliliquy subject to Big Error above re Richardson column.


Gerard Henderson has half a point about Rudd life story being proper fodder to pick over, but it's indefensible to attack the personal psychology of a 11 year old boy.


Henderson has a real problem now professionally: He says ‘its the media not the Liberal Party’ doing the raking over Rudd's life story. This is a malicious fictional distinction by Henderson (manifested by his own crossover from media to conservative political barracking as an ex federal Liberal Party staffer) in the revolving door of Big Party/Media games. 


From memory Rudd doesn’t even actually attack the farmer/landlord when evicted at 11 years of age, he attacks being left homeless and the traumatic time for the mother leaving the place imprinted with memories of her dead husband  (as if anyone could be objective). Maybe the father worked so damn long and hard on the farm lease like a slave, he cut loose once and died in a car crash? The real problem with Henderson is his insensitivity to the plight of homelessness, including airbrushing the lack of welfare adjustment, and indeed quite likely issues of legal equity in the land for work done, eg implied fixed term lease in the house around the law of representation and course of conduct. Sounds like she could hardly afford a good lawyer either.


Profound footage of the ease of ten year old school children with John Howard on an interview panel.


9 Sunday 9-10.30am (to follow) http://sunday.ninemsn.com.au/sunday/


Feature on melanoma medical science to date. Looks good lifestyle story but can’t watch it.


Feature with cross cultural exponent Ray Martin on Muslims in Australia tolerance and understanding based on Australia Unlimited forum held in Old Parliament House.


Oaks interview Costello, federal Treasurer, goes the biff as usual calling Rudd the worst in federal parliament for throwing mud, by … calling them liars. What an over reach by Costello.


[Costello’s party are indeed scared about losing power to Rudd’s mob. Given the evidence of moving to nuke weapons above and a world of hawks and nuke MAD, we have to get rid of these guys asap out of government.]

Posted by editor at 6:50 AM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 11 March 2007 8:58 PM NZT

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