« January 2007 »
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
about editor
aust govt
big media
contact us
donations to SAM
election nsw 2007
election Oz 2007
free SAM content
human rights
independent media
local news
nsw govt
nuke threats
publish a story
zero waste
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
official indymedia
ecology action Australia
ecology action
Advertise on SAM
details for advertisers
You are not logged in. Log in

sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Saturday, 27 January 2007
Republicanism is taking off on National BBQ day?
Mood:  happy
Topic: peace

As explained on radio abc talkback this morning Australia Day January 26th was quite alot of fun yesterday.

We heard from our ethnic Bolivian amigo about Victoria Park festival in Chippendale for and by the Indigenous community and took off there at lunch time. Sure enough it was breezy and upbeat, Black comedian letting it rip, and lots of stalls and original Australians. There were few flags, mainly the Aboriginal flag as you would expect, as well as my rainbow peace flag over my shoulder.

The comic ("the good looking skinny bloke making your man jealous") said: "The story of the Aussie flag - blue for the ocean we came across, white for the colour of our skin, and red for the colour of our neck." Boom boom. I laughed too.

It was a happy spot, and good turnout,



made better by the knowledge that one brave Liberal Party Mayor David Redmond

Debnam speech a breach too far 

stood up to his state party leader, electioneering Peter Debnam, to block divisive anti multiculturalism speech making at a citizenship ceremony in Sutherland which takes in the Cronulla beach area that suffered lots of strife a year back. Redmond said it would breach guidelines for the non partisan day. And he was right and defending the social fabric of his Local Government area to say it. There is hope I thought with a conservative politician taking a stand, like say ex PM Malcolm Fraser for harmony and tolerance. Bravo.

Then onto Bondi Beach for an hour long surf. Not too many flags there of whatever kind there.

Then to Enmore Park within Marrickville Council area on the evening return. Great humour with families and their healthy cheeky brats everywhere. Incredible diversity across the whole coffee coloured range. And to top it off the lead singer of a reconstituted Spy v Spy


was playing hard rock, and really hitting the spot. I saw the Fairfax photographer (looks like he belongs in Apocalypse Now, met him on a council throwout day at his new place) capturing the moment in the mosh area.

The Spy's lead man who was revelling in the community vibe got down in the mosh too, and played one too many encores perhaps. God bless him. 26 years for his band in stops and starts and he felt good and we with him.

The neighbours at home were hosting a barbeque which looked nice and offered a snag but I was stuffed by this stage.

The radio says we are getting more nationalistic, and happy with it, but my feeling is we are getting more Republican as well. We need a a new flag that is unifying, ditch the divisive Union Jack on the southern cross, which is being used by white supremacists, and keep a beady eye on the Ministry of Truth about such things from on high.

By coincidence I took a picture of a car labelled "Ministry of Transport" on the way home I had not seen on the roads before, all official with roof lights etc if needed. Here it is:

Postscript #1

The Sunday media eg Ch7 Weekend Sunrise are reporting a Newspoll

(i.e. News Ltd polling which exclusively feeds Sydney's Sunday Telegraph, Melbourne's Herald Sun, Adelaide's Advertiser, Hobart's The Mercury, Darwin's NT something, or perhaps the weekday equivalents tomorrow, all in all about 70% of press coverage in Australia)

- that 45% of us are for a republic,

- 36% against, and

- 19% uncommited.

7 is owned by Kerry Stokes from memory a self made republican, along with federal treasurer Peter Costello and one imagines Kevin Rudd the Opposition Leader.

Lisa Wilkinson the Sunrise show presenter covered the breadth of the audience by noting this was "a slump" in support from some years back, but not too dogmatic about it. In the absence of serious campaigning 45% versus 36% looks pretty good to me, with the comment from a lobby group (Qld based, a critical federal election frontline state) that once Prince Charles is factored in the pro republican vote shoots up 6% again. Even so the Queen looks very robust. Would she step down?

Speaking of Sunrise show, turns out Andrew OKeefe, the other weekend presenter, is an intellectual property lawyer refugee from Allen's law firm usually regarded as top 1 or 2 in Sydney and Australia: p65 SunHerald 28 Jan 07. This writer recalls one of their recruits from ANU (a flaky 1st year student in Torts 1983 but strong performer by late 80ies): "Jim" told me an anecdote about an Allens partner who angrily challenged him "How dare you?" for not twitching (as you do in mild panic to achieve something or other) with adrenalin in resting mode. This was about 1992 when this writer was at Baker & McKenzie in Bridge St in the CBD, also a totally neurotic place. What a mad mad firm Allens must have been/be. 

Lastly, the image of the Ministery of Transport car above has an echo in the Naked Eye column of veteran Alex Mitchell in the Fairfax Sydney Sun Herald too:

"Watkins minister for Labor's re-election" notes 844 media mentions of the Deputy Premier for NSW manifisted as Police Minister compared to a mere 145 as Transport Minister, says Mitchell quoting Media Monitors (calling up the question was it leaked govt client confidential info?). The source is interesting and very credible as this hack worked 2 years at MM and knows the government pays a fortune to MM to know how they are travelling and nip any emerging issue in the bud.

(It's also how I got a huge clipping file for the 2000 Olympics, and the S11 protestest of the World Economic Forum in 2000 in Melbourne).

Was that the point of the profile friendly "Ministry of Transport" white sedan pictured above with official looking flasher light assembly on top, driving from Bondi to the City along Oxford st on Australia Day? Tell me it wasn't doing laps for the Minister in anticipation of the article 2 days later by Mitchell. Surely not?

Posted by editor at 8:25 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 29 January 2007 8:02 AM EADT
Are Vodafone creaming double payments of prepaid mobile service?
Mood:  surprised
Topic: corporates

What's in an automated audio 'payment received' confirmation, complete with reference number which was standard until 2 months ago, but now is omitted when you recharge direct on #1511 on your mobile? A double payment in the confusion for thousands of customers?

This could be trivial or quite serious shonky corporate behaviour affecting thousands of consumers:

I don't get the 'payment received' confirmation audio (via say a payment reference no.) which we have grown to expect after requesting a recharge using the automated prompts. That is until about 2 months ago.

Lack of payment confirmation by the automated system leaves open the anxiety the mobile service is not effectively renewed for an extra month. I might miss that crucial phone call. So I repeat the process on the audio prompts.

The only confirmation of payment becoms the phone enlivened again, and the bank statement with double payment notified some weeks later.

The confusion arises from the change of automated system such that no payment confirmation is provided. How many hundreds or thousands of customers felt the same and double paid?

I am willing to guess say 1,000 out of a big client base, which is a nice little $49,000 extra profit. Or was it 10,000 customers which makes it $490,000?

We await the response of Vodafone to this correspondence:

----- Original Message -----
From: Vodafone
To: ecologya@xxxxxx
Sent: Friday, January 26, 2007 11:04 AM
Subject: My number is 0410 55xxxx. I got no receipt number back on the audio, on my pr... [Incident:070126-000050]

Your question has been received. You should expect a response from us within three business days. Our operating hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

If you do reply, you MUST enter your response in the space below as this is an automated system. Text entered into any other part of this message will be discarded. Alternatively you can click on the link below.

Question Reference No070126-000050
Summary: My number is 0410 55xxxx. I got no receipt number back on the audio, on my pr...
Product Level 1: My Account (online billing)
Date Created: 26/01/2007 11:04 AM
Last Updated: 26/01/2007 11:04 AM
Status: Unresolved

Discussion Thread
Customer (Tom McLoughlin) 26/01/2007 11:04 AM
My number is 0410 55xxxx.

I got no receipt number back on the audio, on my pre pay for January (paid by phone instruction Dec 29), so I did the process again thinking it was cancelled.

My bank statement shows two deductions on Dec 29 of $49 x 2.

I only got the benefit of one month roughly. It's run out on Jan 24th and I think its fair you reimburse me the $49 value for this coming month. What do you reckon?

Will you do the right thing? It only happened because previously you used to issue an audio invoice number, but now it seems not, and that fooled me the transaction was back to the start, hence the repetition.

I am a lawyer actually and though it's a trivial amount I am thinking vodafone may have a PR problem with this if it has happened a great deal after changing with no invoice number issued like before. Confirmation of payment only came with the phone staying live, and the bank statement.

I think I will copy this email for say a little crikey.com.au rainy day.

Yours truly, Tom McLoughlin Marrickville Sydney

Postscript #1 Vodofane do the right thing

After much clunky to and fro, especially identifying my 4 digit code number, which must have been chosen years ago when I took the account, Vodafone have sent this today:

"30/01/2007 02:38 PM

Hi Tom,

Thank you for your reply.

I have now applied the $230.00 credit to your account and have extended the credit expiry date for a further 30 days (from 26/02/07 to the 26/03/2007).

Once again we regret that the receipt details were not provided to you upon your recharge and the inconvenience that has been caused to you as a result of this.

Now that your enquiry password has been updated to your profile you will not be required to provide this information when submitting future enquiries via this medium (providing they are sent from the same email address).

Thank you again for your email and for allowing us to be of assistance to you.

[The message from Vodafone above was in response to this]

Customer (Tom McLoughlin) 30/01/2007 02:11 PM

Mmm, the mystery of why the technology did not confirm the payment is interesting. One hopes its not some eavesdropper to my phone interfering with the signal in my line of work. In any case my code is XXXX and I've updated it to XXXX which is easier to remember for me. Thanks.

Posted by editor at 8:18 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 1 February 2007 5:15 AM EADT
Friday, 26 January 2007
Big politics of Howard's Big Water Restructure
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: election Oz 2007

Being a graduate from ANU in evolutionary ecology (and law), and a green activist for 15 years, the editor feels no surprise at the general realisation of the necessity of federal government synthesis of state management of water in the huge Murray Darling River.


John Howard’s speech here:




initially reported like this

Howard to control Murray in $2.5bn water grab | News | The Australian


Which soon became a $10 billion package as here:


‘Rudd backs Howard's $10bn water plan’ Matthew Franklin, Steve Lewis and Selina MitchellJanuary 25, 2007




The Australian story announced Thursday 25th Jan 07 p1 “Howard’s $2.5 billion water grab” refers to federal domination over state constitutional role on water resources of the Murray Darling in which most Australians live in Qld, NSW and Victoria.


So just like local Addison Rd Community Centre with some 44 odd tenants where we do 1 day a week landscape work, everything is indeed connected: Change something here and a 5 voices squeak about some ripple effect. Land is like that. Nature is like that. Politics is like that.


Which is why politics can be an honourable profession of mediating all those diverse ripple effects of an interconnected water/land/ecology/society, if one takes ‘the high road’ as per West Wing tv series. Just as ecology is a very honourable profession too seeking to understand all the connections.


This reality of the ecological limits to material growth is why the constitutional focus of The Green Party on ecological health is slowly turning the two major parties on their head: Both are vying for “environmental credibility” over sustainable water and land management now.


What some may have missed was the revelations in two other stories in The Australian – which is increasingly the policy mouthpiece of federal govt hand in glove with Big Capital – of the Greens polling strongly in The Senate p2 (Greens to test Senate hold with 12-15 pc of the vote on track for a quota in the big eastern states:




Similarly they may have missed “Sect’s attack ads billed to Libs” low page 1 highly suggested that an evil slavish Christian cult the Exclusive Brethren was doing the Howard Liberal Party’s dirty work to oppress the Green Party vote:




But as you can see that is an agenda of denial. Time is on the Green’s side just as the ecology is increasingly exhausted: The Government have an ex-banker and lawyer with hardly an ecological qualification behind him as the ‘new champion and protector of our environment’ in Malcolm Turnbull. The official ALP Opposition have an ex rock singer and lawyer in Peter Garrett again with hardly an ecological qualification to rub together himself as opposed to PR skills but the real advantage of a long involvement in green quasi ngo PR projects which must have rubbed off on him over the last 20 years.


The smart money is on Garrett winning over Turnbull in a good political stoush, but it’s still in reality the battle of the moral pygmies on true environmental sustainability in a hopelessly compromised money driven real politik for the Coalition and ALP, of which non ecologists Garrett and Turnbull are both manifestations.


Take Howard’s big announcement some have inflated to ‘a $10B package’ by including the unforgivable failure to spend some existing $2B in budgeted water project money: $500 million is


“to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of river flows. This will be done by putting in underground pipes to bypass natural blockages in the system.”


Now if that’s not a warning to every riverine ecologist then nothing will be. Devil in the detail absolutely.


Then there was PM Howard in his speech to the effect ‘this historic package is to sort out water because the States have failed’.


Well how true is that? Or more sensibly how dishonest?


Significantly The Australian helps provide the answer via the well respected Mike Steketee (MS) feature report “False economy” p19, 20-21Jan 2007 (a ‘$10 billion’ article in some ways) combined with some objective appraisal:




The story is a lengthy deconstruction of where we have been in Australia this last 20 years on expenditure on water and power infrastructure but leaves out some crucial real politik muck of which Howard’s cronies are up to their armpits in. Eh, muck? How so?


Here goes an explanation: MS identifies some home truths:


1. Australia’s population has increased by 4 million or 25% in the last 20 years but just one new water source, desal in Perth, has been developed;


2. The state governments have been stripping dividend payments that otherwise would have funded capital work for supply of water and energy with strong examples in Qld and NSW of the revenue grabbing;


3. The mad economic policy of lumping all debt financing into ‘bad debt’: “This made about as much sense as a family living in a tent until they saved enough  money to buy a house. The first target for savings to support this policy was capital spending.”


On this last point MS rams the point home (without fully attributing moral responsibility) with “The irony is that, by opting for what they thought was sound economic management, governments have been caught mismanaging the nation’s assets


This and the quoting of Minister Malcolm Turnbull are the give away to Howard’s line of blame back to “the states”.


But you have to ask yourself who promoted this mad policy of treating all debt financing as bad, when it really is intergenerational justice spreading the value of a service or capital equipment over real time to all the social beneficiaries.


A big clue is Jeff Kennett’s ill tempered interview on Premiers Past series yesterday on ABC Radio as here:




[go to Jan 24th 07 box]


He balanced the books, but in such a crude and ham fisted way treating good debt the same as bad debt with broad brush Big Business friendly privatisations that he lost the “unlosable election" in 1999.


That’s the Howard/Costello Coalition government side of politics manifested by Kennett which all the other ALP state governments copied ‘monkey see monkey do’ which revealingly Kennett claimed as his greatest achievement on public radio yesterday. No wonder he was defensive. Because he got it so wrong and Howard has got a lot of moral responsibility for that economic mess now from his side of politics.


Unlike first half of the 20C when NSW state budget was effectively national government in comparison to the ostensible federal government (a line from Keating actually), in 2007 all the budget clout is with the flushed federal government. A government that refused to spend $2B of water grant funds to starve the State government’s politically.


So Howard has as much of the responsibility for the overall mess of sustainable water management direct or indirect as the state ALP governments. That’s what an unhealthy, indeed corrupt duopoly gerrymander by the Coalition/ALP versus The Greens has delivered for Australia. Real Democracy this last 10 years instead of corrupt electoral oppression of The Greens via such wicked cults as the Exclusive Brethren would likely have delivered much better, much earlier, in allocation of resources as Steketee argues for.


How ironic that the most fierce critics of the Green Party, the Business Council calls the water shortage “one of Australia’s greatest myths”. Indeed it does ring hollow as rain plummets down away from Warragamba Dam, and 450 billion litres goes into the oceans unrecycled (per year).


In a complimentary article with State roundups on infrastructure


“States struggle to catch up” http://theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21087266-28737,00.html


their somewhat smart alec nsw roundsman Imre Salusinszky reports:


“In a trumpeted infrastructure statement last May, NSW Treasurer Michael Costa announced $41.3 billion in extra capital spending over the next four years, $19.6 billion of which would be debt-financed”.


But he doesn’t report The Greens were lambasting the economic rationalist allergy to debt financing up until that time. Nor Kennett’s role in that economic madness until recently. Nor Big Business role in attacking deficit budgets using debt financing for real value. In fact the reporter commends ‘former treasurer Egan for slashing $10 billion of debt over nine budgets.’


Talk about inconsistent. Was it good debt or bad debt that Egan slashed like Kennett? And Egan's work of $10B debt cancelletion is still only half roughly the debt finance component of Costa's $19.6B policy package. Only half as much. And Costa's package to pump economic activity is debt finance over only 4 years in the future versus the 9 years it took to slash debt by Egan in the past.


That's a huge huge vote in 2006 by the NSW Government for debt finance back in favour after the Kennett "unloseable election loss" in 1999 for crudely treating good debt finance like the plague.


And then there was the huge indulgence of draw down on the social services budget and consequent pain in NSW to carry the Olympic Games for the country.


Our view here at SAM of the limits of Big Party/Media analysis from their own words is reinforced by Elizabeth Gosch in the same article who notes the Kennett legacy in Victoria with this:


"There are problems, too, in transport, where the level of neglect under this Government and the previous Coalition one was  thrown into sharp relief when a transport plan released last year detailed $10.5 billion in spending  but contained no new tram or rail lines, no new tunnel or bridge to ease congestion on the West Gate Bridge, and no reduction in fares”.


The reporter fails to realise that improving ‘the look’ and viability of public transport does ease congestion indirectly, but she clearly puts Kennett and the Coalition inflexible 'balance the books no matter what' attitude into the frame for failed infrastructure investment. Howard today ambiguously says “this is the state governments failure”  including presumably the Coalition, but Howard in truth is part of that inflexible intolerance to debt finance on behalf of Big Business as much as Kennett on debt financing.


Big politics and big media are not really the reliable voice on these big economic matters they would like to think they are. And that from a lawyer/biologist with no formal economic training who at least can think a bit.


Postscript #1 Feb 5th 2007


Some corroboration of the general thesis of NSW very foolish 'monkey see, monkey do' slashing of all debt finance under Treasurer Michael Egan with services and infrastructure going south, just as Kennett did in crude fashion, is provided by editor of the Saturday Sydney Morning Herald Paola Totaro who popped up on 7.30 Report Feb 2nd 2007 here: http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2007/s1839405.htm in due course.

Posted by editor at 8:54 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 5 February 2007 9:21 AM EADT
President W Bush's weedy thin voice shows lost political authority
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: peace

The State of the Union 23rd Jan 2007 by President W Bush is here




with online video from there.


Greg Sheridan writes up this speech in a glowing way here at The Australian “The ghost of a chance/George W Bush’s State of the Union address yesterday could help revive his presidency” p12 25th Jan 07:




As if.


A viewing of the video suggests a more humble lame duck President who has just learned China can shoot military satellites out of the sky to protect their Iran oil supplies, yet Sheridan still sums up banging the drum with

“And a final, vital note: once again Bush put Iran on notice in very explicit remarks. Whatever the state of his presidency, it would be foolish for anyone to think that Bush is kidding on Iran.”


SAM's impressions: Southern charm leveraging Nancy Pelosi first woman Speaker of the House and 3rd in line to the Presidency (?),  his political enemy who has talked down Iraq war all the way. Uproarious applause for her with 2 standing ovations. Again charm acknowledging Democrats win in Congress. More applause. Then attempt to deny relevance of his huge loss by appeal to bipartisanship and national interest.


Then he discusses allegedly sound domestic economic policy and so called small government, which surely is code for Big Business dictatorship. Says he will balance the budget, no raise in taxes, some strange claim to cutting budget deficit of 2009 which is all notional. Applause is very moderate likely from the Republican ‘side of the aisle’.


He waffles on with “we need to” regarding the disgraceful situation of health services in the USA for broad society but a huge credibility gap on doing anything. He kicks plaintiff lawyers over medical negligence “junk” law suits.


Moves onto secure borders with temporary work visas to help screen terrorist incursion, and acknowledges the melting pot. His voice is actually thin and weedy, not presidential. The Republicans applaud loyally. It’s pap from a West Wing speech writer.


Politics is so busy here I have to listen to the last 24 minutes of the 49 min speech later today but it's enough to say as expected Sheridan is spinning W Bush’s failed leadership. All that’s missing is mum and apple pie clichés: ‘Clean and safe nuclear power’ yeah yeah yeah. As crikey.com.au noted a 20% decrease in foreign oil reliance but a big fillip to Big Oil by doubling the US national emergency stockpile (which jacks up the price for the corporate mates).


W Bush is looking pretty weak and sleazy now contrary to Sheridan boosting, and the cut away shots to new Secretary of Defense http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Gates is not particularly reassuring given the disaster in Iraq he is expected to clean up. An impossible task by all accounts. Made worse by revelations that Colin Powell tried to cut a diplomatic deal with Iran back in 2003 as here:

 Washington 'snubbed Iran offer' 18th Jan 2007 at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6274147.stm

Posted by editor at 7:40 AM EADT
Apartheid Israel: USA President Jimmy Carter, ABC radio
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: peace

Audio and transcript here, in the shadow of the Howard Government big water restructure announcement, and electioneering politics generally.





where he discussed his new book:


Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid

broadcast 25th January 2007.


The controversial thesis, quite likely true from my reading and general research, is also discussed here:

Carter Book on Israel 'Apartheid' Sparks Bitter Debate/Scholar Resigns From Ga. Center By Karen DeYoung Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, December 7, 2006; Page A04


at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/06/AR2006120602171.html


Postscript # 1


Seems The Australian is censoring this book about West Bank aparthied too, as explained by Antony Lowenstein in crikey.com.au on 31st Jan 07:


4. The debate The Oz doesn't want to have

By Antony Loewenstein

Is a debate about the Israel-Palestine conflict too hot for The Australian to handle?

In his recent controversial book Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, former US president Jimmy Carter describes the Israeli occupation of the West Bank as worse than apartheid South Africa.

I was commissioned in December by The Australian’s opinion editor, Tom Switzer, to write an article about the book and the associated controversy (he had published three Israel/Palestine-related articles of mine in 2006.) The piece was due to run in the days after Christmas when the paper was to be overseen by fill-in editor Nick Cater (replacing holidaying editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell.)

I was soon informed that Cater refused to print the article, although he gave no reason to Switzer’s summer replacement, Sian Powell. When Switzer returned from holidays he told me he hoped to prevail over Cater’s intransigence and publish my article. I’ve now been informed that the paper will not do so. The latest Cater excuse is that my recent Sydney Morning Herald essay on blogging criticised the mainstream media (though not The Australian) and therefore I clearly didn’t respect the Murdoch organ. Really.

Switzer is appalled at the level of censorship displayed in this case (and cannot recall another incident where similar moves have occurred). He had even commissioned an opposing piece by Muslim dissident Irshad Manji to counter my article.

My article simply explained the controversy surrounding Carter’s book, the hysterical response by the Zionist lobby in the US (the latest example is here) and that whenever Israel faces its greatest criticism the usual suspects in the media try and shut down debate.

Carter’s observations are remarkably similar to comments by any number of mainstream Israelis. For anybody who has spent time in the West Bank, as I have, Carter’s analysis is both obvious and long overdue. The Australian media has virtually ignored the firestorm created around the book (except for a shallow article in last weekend’s Australian).

If The Australian is serious about “keeping the nation informed”, this latest example of suppression reeks of desperation, intellectual laziness and arrogance. Its readers deserve better.

Posted by editor at 7:11 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 31 January 2007 4:44 PM EADT
Thursday, 25 January 2007
Non disclosure by Big Media of pollie vested interests is crook
Mood:  loud
Topic: election nsw 2007

Whether its Tom Switzer failure to disclose, George Williams, questions of Maxine McKew domestics, Patrice Newell access to abc radio (arguable tho as below), the Big Media/Politics revolving door is spinning ferociously at the moment.

How totally unsurprising: Democracy is only for rich folks obviously in an echo of the insightful political movie Bulworth


with Warren Beatty


In this election period yesterday we had George Williams, a professor of Law indirectly backing up ALP Premier Morris Iemma's vicious attack on Magistrate Pat Oshane here:

'We should have a say on who judges us'


Yeah George, yeah Daily Telegraph. Why no disclosure of his very public appeal for a political career having joined the ALP recently. This was admitted from memory in this abc conversation hour here:

Tex Perkins and George Williams [24/10/2006]


which is all well and good George, an ornament to any political party to be sure, but failure to disclose? That's wrong. Very wrong.

And my memory of admirable humanitarian George is reinforced by this:

"Professor George Williams spoke at the ALP Conference in favour of a Human Rights Charter, as did the Attorney General Bob Debus. George Williams repeated the argument he used at a recent Evatt Seminar "Australia is unique, unfortunately". Professor Williams has been in the leadership of the six month community consultation in Victoria, that has led to draft legislation, that will be introduced later this year. In this Newsletter, Williams updates on the Victorian leadership."


Just declare it, is the rule.

We read yesterday about Tom Switzer, senior editorial biased favouring of Malcolm Turnbull yesterday on MIM here:

'Crikey.com.au expose Turnbull's hypocritical mate at The Australian'



At least Crikey scribbler Stephen Mayne was overt in his political allegiance to People Power Party in the recent Victorian state elections while posting for the ezine.

Switzer in turn was whining about recruitment of ex senior ABC journo Maxine McKew to new ALP leader Rudd's team, domestically tithed to a senior ALP fellow: There is always the question of spouses as stand alone professionals independent of partners in this age of gender emancipation. The pain in Switzers whine was stark when it became clear he was hypocritically involved in profile boosting of his own spouse's employer (senior minister Malcolm Turnbull) via the pages of The Australian.

Should have been disclosed too as much as McKew's situation surely.

The rules of disclosure of family vested interest should at least be consistent is the obvious point. And dislosure should be the rule not the exception until it becomes tedious, but then even then too.

Now Patrice Newell turns up on ABC 702 radio with sharp announcer Trioli this morning. Newell is a greenie climate change, stong achieving, published author, and media professional, who just happens to be the partner in life of one high profile abc broadcaster. No disclosure: She is an independent running for the Upper House in NSW, but will her candidacy help rather than hinder the ALP, or does she have a real chance of winning? It's way too early to know about preferencing at this stage but one wonders.

I ring their producer and chat about this: They advise the ABCrang her, not the other way round, based on her high profile lead letter in the Sydney Morning Herald today, which fits the news cycle today too. She is a professional obviously. Her letter is a cracker and sincere. But whereas disclosure for the Herald is irrelevant, it becomes a real question for valuable access to abc listening voters.

On balance they should have disclosed her spouse is an abc broadcaster, perhaps not who specifically, and explained how her independent credentials were conclusive, not the family relation. They did list these credentials but not the abc connection and that is just not transparent enough given the perception if not actual conflict of interest: A minor sin that should be rectified, feminista emancipation or not.

Also prominent in the news today is this outstanding cartoon that is just breathtaking in conceptual beauty, and reinforcing articles by this writer that 'ecology does indeed underpin the credibility of all future governments':

The Turnbull federal Env Minister character (independently wealthy strong thinker and speaker, above the fray often) is at risk of munching by Garrett Opposition Water spokes (and long time professional greenie agitator turned mainstream pollie), playing off the real life fantastic escape of abalone diver on ACA ch9 tv last night, Garrett with the shark smooth skull.

"Poke him in the eye" calls Howard figure to Turnbull, just as real life Eden based diver explained was his instinctive survival tactic.

One of Moir's best ever. David Rowe the awesome Australian Financial Review cartoonist ought to give Moir the cartoonist equivalent of The Ashes back (albeit temporarily).

All reinforced by the following editorial too:

"With this speech [by W Bush State of the Union yesterday on related matters], there can be no more excuses for John Howard. Australia's problem with climate change - not mere drought - must be at the top of the Australian political agenda after 10 years of relative neglect by the Federal Government and the Labor premiers. Mr Howard's elevation of Malcolm Turnbull to cabinet as Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, following the elevation of Peter Garrett as the Opposition spokesman for the environment, is an acknowledgement that both major parties see the environment and energy use as a top priority. Two political heavyweights will now battle for public attention over the issue."

Postscript #1

A version of this article was published on Melbourne Indy Media and Professor George Williams posted there with a verifiable email address as follows:

by George Williams Thursday January 25, 2007 at 09:41 PM
[email: xxxxx]

I think its a bit rough to say I have failed to disclose my interest in standing for Parliament. When I made the decision last year (some months after chairing the Victorian process) one of the first things I did was contact journalists to inform them. I have hardly been keeping this under a bushel then or since.

In the time since my interest has, as you mention, been on ABC radio’s Conversation Hour and has been mentioned several times on other shows like AM and PM. It’s also been reported on in many newspapers such as the Australian, Sydney Morning Herald and the Canberra Times. Eg:
It's also been mentioned recently in the Daily Telegraph itself and on TV such as on Insiders.

My point is only that this is already in the public domain. Even given this, it needs to be remembered that this is all merely about a possible future aspiration. I have not actually stood for, let alone been pre-selected for, anything.

Otherwise, thanks for the kind bit about ornaments!



It was rough
by Tom McLoughlin Friday January 26, 2007 at 01:19 PM

When I heard the Conversation Hour I thought the ALP would be foolish not to court your impressive mind in some way. Lord knows we need a strong sense of human rights law in this country, with now retired appeal court judges of Victoria publishing against the scandal of legal abuse of a citizen (Hicks).

It's enough to make one quite queasy.

Good luck George, but as always without fear or favour has to be the approach here at the indymedia blogger 5th estate.

I read the transcript of OShane's decision. She was treated rough too, and that put you and Iemma in play.


A moving article about Magistrate OShane ran with a picture in The Sydney Morning Herald yesterday, which indeed was a good balancer to all the baiting she has been getting: O'Shane makes peace with her demons


Posted by editor at 10:04 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 27 January 2007 7:29 AM EADT
YouTube white supremacist hate videos are the other side of the coin
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: election nsw 2007

As posted yesterday SAM didn't find a reverse racist hate video promoting ethnic takeover of traditionally white euro dominated Australia (which till the 1960's actually had an official White Australia policy). The provocative intent was obvious on free to air tv news all stations last night: 7, 9, 2, SBS28, presumably 10. 

It appears to have been taken down from YT. But the spin and cynical politicking was clear once revealed the video had been there on YT since November 25 2006 (as reported by community media website Melbourne Indymedia). Why the big controversy just before Australia Day Jan 26th 2007?.

Why indeed. As repellant as the hate video featured on tv was, amply rejected by elders of the Australian Lebanese community here, will there be similar outrage at glorification of white supremacist racist hate videos still on YouTube seen yesterday and found there again this morning?

Here is one only example:

The battle for Cronulla 03:47 The battle for Cronulla. www.stormfront.org Tags:WPWWAdded: 8 months ago   in Category: News & BlogsFrom: Maka56 Views: 3,047


There are plenty of others and we took to posting a link to Gandhi's 10 principles of nonviolence in the comment section of these hate videos as well as the ethnic posted ones:


Gandhi nonviolence


Selectivity of racist video intolerance and ethnic versus white supremacism is not helpful and feeds a view of systemic social bias. Big Media can rise to the challenge by equally exposing posts by such as 'Stormfront', or '88AngryAryan88' as here:


Cronulla Riots aftermath 02:10 Tension after the Cronulla Riots Tags: Cronulla   Riots Added: 1 week ago   in Category: People From: 88AngryAryan88 Views: 2,406


Sure the video on free to air tv last night taken down off YT had the extra news value of possible involvement of public school symbols under government control, ultra violent symbols like machine guns and knives, and a criminal rapist, making it serious and sensationalist news created by stupid teenagers. No doubt. But the point is: There is a racist dynamic of spiralling intolerance and who really doubts just as aggressive intent in both directions? That indeed is the infectious disease of racism.


White supremacist evil on YouTube is the other side of the coin. Politicians engaging with this nastiness as they feel they must like rats trapped in a maze, only makes it worse in many ways.


Until PM Howard vigorously denounces White Supremacism, as per YouTube, which he refused to do with Pauline Hanson's One Nation ( which grew out of his own Minister Abbott's Manly electorate office via staffer, later independent MP David Oldfield), the overall circumstances bespeak Howard is a covert supporter of the junked White Australia policy:


cronulla uprising 01:58 This is my firsts video people im sorry it mite be a little dodgy but enjoy Tags:cronulla   riots   uprising   10   000   fists   disturbed Added: 1 month ago   in Category: News & Blogs From: Devilsreject06 Views: 1,017


It may be these videos will be taken down by YouTube in due course. That would be a good thing too. As this story was being assembled this message came up: Searching for videos is temporarily unavailable


A few minutes later: Video results for 'cronulla'  No Videos found for 'cronulla'


Amen to that. 



Postscript #1

Regretably it's a feint hope. The Cronulla hateful videos are all up there on YouTube at 7.28 am 25th Jan 07 AEST, seemingly jammed for higher usage as I posted this story.

Posted by editor at 6:42 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 25 January 2007 10:39 AM EADT
Sisters publish glossy on tragedy of SE Forests 'And They're Still Falling'
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: ecology
 [SAM's editor has not seen the book in question below but it looks quite possibly inspired, certainly a source of bitter sweet fatalism, given the Eden chipmill bragged in December 2006 they have woodchipped a record 1 million tonnes of natural forest in the past year, more than at the height of protests in say 1990 or so, when 4000 people camped out in protest down there led by Karenne Jurd of The Wilderness Society Ex Premier Bob Carr promised to end this scourge 'by year 2000'.]


Hi Tom


I am hoping you will be willing to circulate this info about our book, proceeds from which (when we meet our publishing costs), will of course go towards saving some more forests.


Regards Anabel Macdonald


Have you heard about 'And They're Still Falling'?


 Recently published by Ginninderra Press it is a collection of twenty three women's accounts of their involvement in the campaign from the 1970's through to the RFA in 1999.  Compiled by Olwyn Broder, Moira Collins, Anabel Macdonald and Venie Holmgren with a foreword by Bob Brown, it contains of a variety of anecdotal accounts from women of the Far South Coast and as well includes authoritative contributions from former Independent Senator Irena Dunn, Economist Judy Clarke and Botanist Heather Meek.


Some of the writers relate the effect the campaign had on their personal lives, others write of the beauty of the forests. Many tell of their arrests, two of the writers were gaoled for refusal to pay fines for trespassing in a forest.  The book is indexed and has twelve pages of colour photos and documents.


Olwyn, Moira, Anabel and Venie, whose average age is now 78 years, hope their book will encourage younger women to continue to fight for our precious forests because, as we all know, they are still falling.


Copies of And They're Still Falling can be ordered from: Moira Collins 84 Peak Hill Road Bega  NSW 2550


$27.50 Packing & postage included

Cheques payable to: O.Broder & A.Macdonald


For  orders of five or more contact the publisher:

Stephen Matthews

Ginninderra Press

xxxxx xxxxx


ph. (02)6258 9060

PO Box 6753 Charnwood ACT 2615 Australia


Postscript #1


Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 8:50 AM
Subject: Re: [chipstop] Re: Women's stories of NSWSE Forests Campaign

This is a good read, I'd highly reccomend it, gives good background and many inspiring stories of  those pre rfa days. Inspiring for men and women alike! love Rob [Toombs]
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 6:47 PM
Subject: RE: [chipstop] Re: Women's stories of NSWSE Forests Campaign
Hi Tom,  
Book was even raised as a positive at the FSC RAC meeting - by the forces of darkness.....Fiona McCrossin.

Posted by editor at 6:15 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 27 January 2007 7:41 AM EADT
Wednesday, 24 January 2007
Expert (?) political online news from the USA
Mood:  chatty
Topic: big media

A multi media including website has launched for 2007, with some grand boosting, to cover the Congress v Bush Presidency stoush, Democrat preselection process for their election in 2008, and reportage of the the insiders and lobbyists.

All in all it looks like a real time version of West Wing tv series where you are left gobsmacked wondering "is that what really happens there in Modern Rome?"

Judge for yourself here at http://www.politico.com/

Posted by editor at 9:05 PM EADT
Gotcha: Tom Switzer at The Australian fails to disclose family connection to Howard Minister
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: big media

Crikey.com.au have exposed this cracking hypocrisy in respect of the recent Howard government reshuffle, from their ezine today 24th Jan 2007:

"Of all the newspapers that championed Malcolm Turnbull's promotion today, none was as supportive as The Australian. Not just favourable front-page coverage, Paul Kelly's comment and Mike Steketee's feature, but also the sympathetic editorial as well as the over-the-top endorsement by Janet Albrechtsen "Turnbull for PM -- he is now one step closer". It's worth pointing out for the record that Tom Switzer, The Australian's editorial and opinion page editor and resident culture warrior, is married to Malcolm Turnbull's spin doctor Sarah Stock. But no diclosure. In normal situations, this would hardly matter -- except that this special treatment of Turnbull occurs within a couple of days of Switzer's opinion piece "Instinctive bias not among ABC's virtues" where he slammed ABC journalists such as Maxine McKew for not declaring that they were Labor hacks. "

Posted by editor at 8:37 PM EADT

Newer | Latest | Older