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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Sunday, 18 February 2007
Premier Morris Iemma's 'civic theatre' for the ALP bruvvers and sisters
Mood:  party time!
Topic: election nsw 2007

Picture above: This surly lad has a curious expression and doesn't seem too comfortable with democratic protest perhaps. The irony of the 'civic theatre' signage was well demonstrated outside on this occasion.

SAM's editor could not resist the democratic frisson around the State ALP campaign launch and tracked down to Hurstville this morning 18th February at 10.30 am. To give the Iemma team credit it was held in a down to earth location like Hurstville civic centre without the big headed "luminaries" and that approach does have a resonance. The party elders look like so many snouts in troughs, cliquey closed shop condescending hierarchical elitist snobs, not least ex Premier Bob Carr.

The burdensome symbols of lengthy ALP history are not the message the 'new fresh' Iemma Government wants to send after 12 years. They want more time a bit like W Bush and John Howard do in Iraq after 5 years, because they have "more to do" and are "heading in the right direction". So they all say.

There is a real sense of resentment about ALP arrogant born to rule postures, and apparently there was not one 'ALP' slogan anywhere, hence this report next day by Anne Davies Monday 19th Feb which itself echoes one of the major tv stations the night before (7 or 9) of the 'disappearing ALP':

It's more time: a jingle that jangles

It appears there's a new political party in NSW, writes Anne Davies.

After 12 years in this ALP city and state SAM found some at the security cordon at the front of the hall pretty defensive about democratic cut and thrust too, both police public servant and ALP functionary, and there may be some crossover as will be revealed. The latter couldn't quite hide that sense of arrogance that comes with power.

Perhaps the worst was the attempt by a junior copper to send this activist, admittedly geared up in "woodchipping sux" stickers, off the frontage of the hall to the other side of the road with the rest of the protest display 'rabble', until I told her it was "public land", "an unlawful direction", and flashed my solicitors card at her and told her to "follow the NSW Police Handbook".

The tv cameras got a bit interested and a senior ALP party functionary looking lean and hungry like Cassius (pictured below) tried to order me away too. Perhaps they were worried to keep the protesters bundled up. But I was having none ot it. A more senior police man tried the same tactic and even when I said it was an unlawful direction he said he was still asking me to leave for the other side. I said no.

I took this older copper's image but it's shaky given the above exchange left me a little intimidated. Interestingly the same copper got a big hand-shake only moments later from a very large man, I was told soon after his name is one Brian Robinson a councillor (presumably ALP) at Canterbury Council. Robinson refused to give his name to me directly and refused any questions about how long he'd known the policeman. You can draw your own conclusions.

Picture above: A small well organised section of the crowd.

Picture above: Opposite the Civic threatre, about 50 metres of placards, banners, singalong amplified music, chanting and harangue of Frank Sartor who got a big boo, Treasurer Michael Costa, Joe Tripodi (I was the one who called out 'go on a diet Joe' which was quite gratuitous but it was a parade of laughs by that stage)

From Right: Bob Walsh, Keith Muir and Graham Daly, all well known environmental campaigners in Sydney



The transcript of the leaders debate on tv last Friday is here in due course Stateline NSW The debate was well reported in mainstream press such as here with other related coverage:


Trust me: leaders plead for a chance

This is a water referendum, says Debnam

Creating a stink: election scare tactics in the offing

Rivals want more - but do viewers?

No answers to the tough questions

Gloves are off as campaigns get dirty

Ads turn nasty as parties get out the dog whistles

Muscle men in the shadows

Shooters' group factions clash on political funds


But it was notable for the ABC confirming its own role in the open ALP/Coalition conspiracy to gerrymander the electorate such that the 30% who don’t vote for either get no leader's debate, as per the prefacing comments of host Quentin Dempster. In other words democracy here is broken and the ABC are part of the problem. Notice Ben Wilson for instance in the revolving door from ABC to chief media manager for Premier Iemma as a case study. All legal and quite broken in democratic terms. The best democracy money can buy.


Iemma last Friday looked notably tired with circles under his eyes. And more grey hair showing than I can recall. Was it the lighting angle or genuine fatigue from the intensity of the campaign trail? TV is a cruel medium. He did come across as bright and dedicated and achieving real change in the infrastructure budget especially, but Debnam looked a lot more personally appealing and relaxed, if less expert and maybe “risky”.

Picture: Left, a Mr Allen from memory, tries to pompously order me off the street frontage in a ham fisted attempt at micro managing the protester/alternative media work of this author with camera in hand. He backs off a little when I take his picture. At right the senior copper  who also tried to shoo me away a moment later shaking the hand of one chunky ALP functionary Brian Robinson.

Next picture reveals it's a hopeless objective of the authorities to keep the public off their own street as the mob of supporters, protesters and the curious close around us in a pretty happy atmosphere with the ABC TV's Simon Santow towering over the crowd. At bottom right is one Shoquette Moselmane former mayor of Rockdale who was happy to chat and suggested Debnam has a Hansonist agenda going on against ethnic Australians.

Picture immediately above: The author in daggy protester mode, and at right two ALP 'Josh Lyman wannabes'.

Picture: Jim Towart retired oyster grower with placard "Desal guzzles energy and money" and colleague Milton Cockburn both of umbrella group Botany Bay & Catchment Association (BBACA) this author is also a member of, covering 33 local groups and the catchment of roughly 2 million Sydney siders.

Picture above: Some other 'trouble makers' on the street frontage to the Civic Centre Hall with the author. At right appropriately in white hat is Andrew Woodhouse President of the Australian Heritage Institute Inc, "an Australia wide umbrella group of local heritage societies" tel. 0415 949 506 protesting against "Sartorisation - overdevelopment at the expense of our heritage - has reached epidemic proportions": Media release 18th Feb 07 referring in particular to North Head Quarrantine Station, East Darling Harbour scheme, Royal Rehab. Centre at Ryde/Putney.

Postscript #1

An agitator writes to us as follows:

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2007 8:07 AM
Subject: Three and a half hours at Hurstville, it is a shame there weren more protesters!  

SAM, (Thanks Many of us have missed the opportunity provided by  "free press" of [Sydney Independent Media website, still offline])

There were well over a hundred protesters at the Hurstville Civic Centre on Sunday 18 February, and if you include the Special Protective Services, fifty police to secure a whole city block! Education Minister Carmel Tebbutt was there and made a little media speech on the way out. It is interesting to note the education department is supposed to protect school children in uniform from political exploitation. But the Labor "family man" hit the hustings with music and the support of a large gathering of local school girls in uniform, showing why the Labor Party is in trouble their usual contempt for community rules. Why am I not surprised.

[author sign off]

Posted by editor at 1:03 PM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 21 February 2007 12:50 PM EADT
Sunday political talkies: Costello fronts the downward polls for yesterday's man PM Howard
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: election Oz 2007

Author’s note: 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


Quality 2nd string network, good show, lower audience than 9 or 7, both low for Sundays anyway. Traverse of press headlines first including PM under pressure to get Hicks back home (9 Sunday at 9am is doing a special story today) ‘before the election’. That’s great, justice on an election timetable.


Costello Treasurer appears in this serious election year. Shows the stakes are high to appear on 10.


Hicks in gitmo 5 years is first issue. Costello suggests legal advice at invitation of Biorgiono ‘as a barrister’ re hearsay, duress of evidence ets,  almost certainly no practicing certificate which would make  his offering advice on public tv illegal (Legal Practitioners Act 2004 NSW) – ‘straight forward case Hicks trained with international terrorist and mercenary group Al Qaeda., wasn’t on a backpacker holiday’. All of this is highly contested in fact. Shows how sleazy he is.


In fact his very first sentence as per the old saying about lies and pollie mouths moving was a lie (refer the transcript in due course) “Charges have been laid” but as Faulkner proved in Senate proceedings, Hicks hasn’t actually been “charged”, a draft has been commenced or some such waffle.


First advert Hicks father Terry pleads for his son return. Strong and impacting echoes Sunday press headlines.


Panel: Peter Lewis The Aust, Peter Hartcher Fairfax (both serious hitters) particularly latter. Economy in focus. Detail on the transcript. Rudd experience no different to Costello at similar stage of his career. The Q is the answer really. He is not indispensable.

Nicholson very funny animation re barking coalition dogs.


2nd adbreak has climate change special for 10 on March 4 ‘CoolAid’ with Al Gore, which against corrodes Federal Govt credibility.


Minchin said $10B not to cabinet is okay, Costello says it’s a huge investment. Notice the non sequitor of Minchin.


Costello addresses climate change and rejects skeptical line, science is in. About taking action now. Big investment in new technology eg largest solar plant in the world.

Agrees carbon trading globally will happen, no time line for here in next few months “can’t give you a time”.


Pressed on leadership as per The Bulletin: fanciful.


Those adverts were quite a mugging too.


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



7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am


Humourous, quite edgy as usual.


As per ‘guts and courage’ of [flapping gum] pollies in federal parliament long way from the front.


Run USA shock jocker with allusions to Howard Mick Dundee joke of dude with the adams apple in drag as per LA sequel of crocodile Dundee (the line run by SAM here:

Garrett roasted on pausing before confirming his sell out to pragmatic ALP over US bases war machine on our soil via Geraldton not to mention Pine Gap.


Polling pressure remains in coming week on PM says sharp observer Mark Riley behind the smiles.


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

[2 and 9 shows to follow later this morning, subject to Iemma Launch Hurstville at 10.30 AM Civic Centre McMahon St]



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


Foreign Affairs shadow Robert McLelland speaks well and moderate style suits. Age shows experienced approach to relationships.


Grey power everyman interview panel of blokes looks like local bowling clubhouse. Yep it is. Question PM attack on Obama – diversionary tactic, friendly discussion and disagreement. Genuine but ill judged.


Panel: David Marr Fairfax Sydney Morning Herald, Piers Akerman Telegraph News Ltd rival to Marr, Misha Age Fairfax? (Melbourne).


Paul Kelly speech: Turn up heat on Rudd re Iraq, diversion from climate change. Rudd was the real target. Not a good week from Howard.


Rudd has flexibility in Iraq position. Basis of Baker Hamilton Report founds Rudd position so hard to be attacked.


Costello dimension to all this? Most effective amusing performer in Parliament was Costello. ALP will have to deal with him on the economy. Next PM after Howard Rudd or Costello.


Debate repeated on PNN 630 news radio  at 11 am.



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


Goes ahead with David Hicks in gitmo 5 years,  sympathy piece about lack of just process. Quite right regardless of merits. 9 runs Get Up advert with Terry Hicks father voice over, perhaps same as 10 above I didn’t notice attribution.


Strong story. 5 years too long.Dick Smith has bought in and turns up high blown rhetoric about wars fought to preserve civil liberties and justice system Hicks being denied.


Downer is 9 with Oaks, starts out on Hicks. Arrangement 10 days ago sentence in Australia. 'Hicks still going to rot in jail?' is the tone. Refer transcript.


Posted by editor at 8:40 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 18 February 2007 9:40 AM EADT
Thursday, 15 February 2007
New Scientist Feb 10th on global warming - Big Media are sanitising the threat
Mood:  blue
Topic: globalWarming

The Greens here correctly point out that 'clean coal' technology will destroy jobs in the NSW Hunter coal mining region, and will be too late anyway, because there are no geo sequestration sites there, as also pointed out by scientist and Australian of the Year Tim Flannery:

Wednesday, 14 February 2007


Greens say PM's 'clean coal' will cause huge job losses

The transition to 'clean coal', advocated by Prime Minister Howard, will cause huge job losses and economic dislocation the Greens said today.

Last week, Greens Leader Bob Brown called for three years to be taken to plan a transition from coal exports and to reduce emissions in Australia. This was rejected by Mr Howard.

Echoing comments by Australian of the Year Professor Tim Flannery yesterday, Senator Brown and Greens Energy spokesperson Senator Christine Milne said 'clean coal' technology cannot be used to convert Australia's existing 35 power stations.

"Proponents of clean coal, such as the Prime Minister, never talk about the jobs it will destroy. John Howard is effectively planning an end to the NSW coal industry as we know it," Senator Brown said.

"In the NSW Hunter Valley, for example, there are not feasible sites for storing CO2 from a clean coal power station, even if someone knew how to build one. Workers at Eraring, Vales Point, Bayswater and Lidell power stations in NSW will all lose their jobs in a 'clean coal' technology future, as would the workers at coal mines that
provide coal to those power stations."

"But, unlike the Greens, the Prime Minister has no plan to assist the miners and communities into in a coal-constrained future," Senator Brown said.

The coal industry says 'clean coal' technology is more than a decade away. Sir Nicholas Stern, former World Bank Chief Economist, warned last year that the world has only one decade to avoid catastrophic climate change.

"Solar thermal, geothermal and biomass technologies are the future. They are proven technology to provide baseload power. Solar thermal is available now. It can create hundreds of jobs. All it requires is a price on carbon and emissions trading," Senator Milne said.

A contributor now provides this cribbed grim alarm from New Scientist, and we note with 'amusement' (not) how the climate change deniers ignore mainstream science when it confronts their vested interests as in this patronising editorial from The Australian:

Editorial: Let the great debate on climate continue 14 February 2007

and here with space for federal industry minister

Ian Macfarlane: Brown plan will leave nation an industrial backwater 15 February 2007

"GREENS leader Bob Brown wants to shut down the coal export industry in the next term of government. But his latest assault on the growing Australian economy would have ramifications far beyond what would be a devastating outcome for our coal industry."


Posted by editor at 9:12 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 15 February 2007 9:48 AM EADT
Yankees abroad plan to boo Cheney visit to Australia
Mood:  loud
Topic: peace

No one seems too keen to welcome war mongering Dick Cheney, USA Vice President to Australia on Feb 22nd 2007. The Australian's Matt Price wrote of his dodgy credentials in a scathing column recently partly extracted elsewhere on SAM: Refer 14th Feb 2007

PM Howard running over political crocs to VP Cheney visit Feb 22, safe haven or vortex of demise?
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: election Oz 2007

Similarly notice these adverse mainstream reports:

Cheney may snub outspoken Japan Defense chief: report - Boston Globe - 11 Feb 2007

Visit not helping Howard | The Courier-Mail

Dan Froomkin - The Unraveling of Dick Cheney - washingtonpost.com

The Raw Story | Friend: Cheney says Washington is 'all BS,' full of 'suffering fools'

His chief of staff is in big big legal poo there in the USA in a 'CIA leak trial' as per the Huffington Post blog image here:


Caption: "I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, right, arrives at U.S. Federal Court in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007 with one of his lawyers, William Jeffress, Jr."

Now we have received this email from an active member of Democrats Abroad Australia:




Sent: Wednesday, February 14, 2007 11:18 AM

Subject: Dick Cheney: Puppetmaster!

Hola! Tom Just a FYI about Puppetmaster Cheney's visit, no doubt there will be lots of actions going on as a member of US Democrats Abroad Australia DAA, we had planned to do a peaceful protest. But the DNC in Washington said we have to adhere to a protocol not to criticise the President when out of country (since when is Dick the President?) We decided if can't protest without fear of cancelling our chapter, we could either act as individuals or Angry Americans Abroad or as so sneakly suggested at last nights meeting, we could get a permit form the City Council to do "US Voter Registration" in Martin Place.

Quite clever I thought (not my idea by the way), I'm also trying to get my PA system back for quality audio protests which I could lend to any Australian groups.

Sorry I haven't hooked up with you sooner, but I've been doing Chinese New Year installations. But now I have your email it will be a good way to keep in touch.



04xx xxx xxx

Even though Cheney is only flying into Canberra, and not coming to Sydney, we are hoping to get some coverage of Angry Americans! See the attached email below from our chair Marla.



Hola! xxx

It was good talking to you, as promised here is the info about our peaceful demo 21 February 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

To: xxxxx
Subject: DAA Launching Pre-Emptive PEACE Strike


Mark your calendar!
21 February 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Martin Place, SYDNEY (near the bottom of the stairs to the US Consulate)

The NSW Chapter of US Democrats Abroad Australia is planing a PEACEFUL demonstration on the eve of Dick Cheney's visit to Australia.

TELL your friends, family and colleagues.  We want a crowd!

More details to follow.

Democratically yours,
xxxxx xxxxxx

As to Cheney's specific itinerary this is open source


Cheney in Australia


February 13, 2007 12:15am

Article from: The Advertiser

U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney will deliver a major speech on U.S. foreign policy and the Australia-America alliance when he visits Sydney next week.

Mr Cheney is due to address the Australian American Leadership Dialogue at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney on Friday of next week.

His trip comes after a brief visit to Japan, at which he plans to snub Defence Minister Fumio Kyuma, who called the Iraq war a "mistake".

Posted by editor at 8:33 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 15 February 2007 9:01 AM EADT
Our free copright policy
Mood:  happy
Topic: free SAM content

Our material is for open use and is meant to be borrowed, recycled and re-used. It's free, and no legal obligation to make an attribution (though we do appreciate the acknowledgement having learned the concept of 'authority' as per technorati blog bible). It really is free, and that's the owner and editor speaking, Tom McLoughlin solicitor in New South Wales, Australia.

The trend in daily reads seems to be increasing with 2,423 hits on some days, and 34,255 per month up from 2,800 when we started in January 2007 in grovelling form. We continue to note our language and/or content turning up either as a direct or indirect echo or perhaps parallel evolution in some high profile columnist articles, some distinctly centre left, and on the right too. 

SAM won't embarrass them by mentioning whom.  Anyway we are confident enough to say it shouldn't be embarrassing - with 2 university qualifications and 15 years of public interest ngo politics behind the editor, all but teetotal for 2 years and caffeine free these days our synapses are bubbling along as a consequence.

Posted by editor at 8:00 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 12 April 2009 12:10 PM NZT
Wednesday, 14 February 2007
Patriarchal ALP/Iemma political bimbos for the tv picfac, or emancipated sisters smashing the glass ceiling?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: election nsw 2007

Picture: From left: ALP MPs Kristina Keneally MLA (Heffron), Angela D'Amore MLA (Drummoyne), Jodi Mackay (preselected candidate Newcastle), Virginnia Judge MLA (Strathfield)



Perhaps subconsciously this writer being a single straight sort of bloke has set upon this story as a result of today by coincidence being Valentines Day here February 14th 2007. We can only honestly say the line of inquiry has been with us for about 2 weeks well before we heard of this marketing day arriving again.


We realised a certain probably cynical pattern from watching the pressers on Stateline and other recent ABC and other tv news over the last 2 months. 


Quite a coincidence and maybe appropriate to publish today, yet quite a serious issue about spin in Big Politics and Big Media in NSW at the moment around exploitation of gender equity and social values.






Political observer hacks like this writer can still recall the withering attack by John Hatton MP (Independent) on former Liberal Police Minister Terry Griffiths for sexual harassment in NSW Parliament, by calling him “a boy”.


The attack was worse for the fact Hatton, who was more than most the father of the Wood Royal Commission into police corruption, felt he was deceived by ex Minister Griffiths on matters of personal behaviour and had therefore maintained an agnostic political judgement on the Ministers fate for longer than was warranted: Refer Griffiths speech in Hansard here before being forced to resign at the 1995 state election:


Honourable Member For Georges River Sexual Harassment Inquiry ...


Far be it for photogenic female backbenchers to be disrespected by this writer for their undoubted personal achievements in life. Having looks should not be a cause for reverse discrimination. But then experienced observers of political spin cannot help but notice the positioning of these junior politicians to boost the appeal of Premier Morris Iemma on the campaign trail.


The ALP MP's above are consipicuously silent window dressing usually in view of the camera just over Iemma’s shoulder. When they do talk like Jodi Mackay 3rd from the left it seems to be froth and bubble about being “excited” to be representing the ALP (not to mention all that personal financial security of a backbenchers wage with little policy responsibility).


Iemma should watch himself with his official launch this weekend about getting too clever: Griffith’s was described back in 1994 by colleagues and visitors, turned witnesses, as having an office of “pretty girls” suggesting a fairly deliberate decorative hiring intention over actual qualifications for such a crucial ministerial portfolio.


And what about negative stereotyping of good looking intelligent capable individuals as bimbos? Are they not similarly disadvantaged by cynical presentations, and treated as a book cover rather than allowed to expand their responsibility and talent, like so many Donna Mosses to the Josh Lyman alpha male in West Wing tv series? It works to discriminate against the good lookers as well as the plain.


And it is not just this writer who seems to have noticed a certain PR pattern to the Iemma machine visual presentation:


Brown slams ALP 'political yuppies'

FORMER federal government minister Bob Brown has made a stinging attack on the endorsed state Labor candidate for Newcastle, Jodi McKay, calling on her to resign. Newcastle Herald 06/02/2007     Cost - $2.20     427 word


Is Iemma's ALP treating the voters and democracry of NSW like a glossy tv advertsing account?  Is this how elections should be determined by the window dressing or by the brains and genuine political talent?


The sisters in the NSW political community should be heard on this, not silent like so many women in a Morris Iemma press conference we have observed in Big Media this last 2 months.


Posted by editor at 12:35 PM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 14 February 2007 1:30 PM EADT
Tuesday, 13 February 2007
Logger industry terrorism of greens under the Howard government regime
Mood:  down
Topic: corporates

Picture: Victorian conservationist victim of terrorist violence reported by Environment Victoria in their newsletter May 2000.

Picture: Victim of rocks attack July 2005 at Wandella forest NSW South Coast near Cobargo, Jamie, seasonal firefighter and visitor to the conservationist camp.

Picture: CEO of National Association of Forest Industries, Catherine Murphy

"Before commencing as NAFI’s CEO in early 2005, Catherine Murphy was a senior federal government adviser for several years.

From 1996 until 2002 Catherine was the Senior Adviser (Legal) to the Prime Minister, covering a wide range of portfolio responsibilities including legal and constitutional issues, native title, telecommunications and media broadcasting, the arts, indigenous affairs, and science and innovation.

From 2002, Catherine was Chief of Staff to the then Minister for Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson, where she covered major reforms to the higher education sector, the national schooling system, and the vocational education and training system.

Catherine has previously held senior positions in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Finance." http://www.vicforests.com.au/symposium/speakers.html

Main text of paper found here:

6th Dec 2006 - New paper: Logger terrorism under the Howard federal government 

Posted by editor at 6:40 PM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 14 February 2007 10:51 AM EADT
Turnbull, China/India coal use, pioneering Montreal Protocol and West's capacity to ban carbon intensive imported goods
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: globalWarming

Minister Turnbull and the Howard Coalition barrackers here:

Alan Tudge: Greenhouse crusade rests on flawed logic

13 February 2007

SHUT down our coal industry - our children's wellbeing is at stake! This is the message from Greens' leader Bob Brown, who argues that because burning coal emits large amounts of greenhouse gases, the coal industry should be shut down within a matter of years. Australian of the Year Tim Flannery has echoed Brown's position, while Labor's environment spokesman, Peter Garrett, has also singled out coal, effectively calling for the growth of the industry to be frozen.

are wrong. Way wrong.

Senator Brown's limited article here:

Bob Brown: We must kick the coal habit | Opinion | The Australian

is right. Way right. Why limited?

As Turnbull, a trained barrister knows, the essence of good advocacy is to identify the point of greatest prejudice and keep hammering that point. This is the dictum straight from Liberal Party, and legal luminary ex High Court Chief Judge, Sir Garfield Barwick on how to be a good advocate.

Hence Turnbull on 7.30 show recently:

  • Turnbull, Garrett debate climate change.
  • and related stories here

  • Govt to consider national carbon trading.
  • Climate change puts spotlight on Garrett, Turnbull.
  • discussed the "best way" to help China reduce it's coal fired greenhouse emissions was to generate 'clean coal' here rather than a domestic phase out of our coal mines and power stations.

    That is half true.  Turnbull is right to identify China and India as the point of greatest prejudice to the global future. Yes it will be decided in those places with or without Australian coal, but it won't be via "clean coal" carbon sequestration: That's a bogus technology and a 10 to 20 year timeline even if possible by the most optimistic boosters.

    We simply don't have that kind of time to f*ck around for that long. Rates of change are moving too fast.

    And the Australian government are not credible on clean coal anyway because they keep promoting nuclear power knowing full well it has been demonstrated to work unlike 'clean coal'.

    But if China and India will never stop their use of coal, clean coal technology is the best chance we have got to improve their operation? Wrong. China know the music will stop on climate change, and there must be an energy revolution, restructure and reform, which is why they are so big on renewable technologies now as per regular advice of Greenpeace. 

    When the music stops just like ozone depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol discussed below, the West will simply move to block sales of the greenhouse offensive manufactured imported goods from those countries which could if implemented break the political economy of both India and China

    China well know the West have the ultimate choice to buy or not buy their carbon intensive manufactured goods.

    Sorry? The West decline their manufactured goods for breach of carbon emission standards?

    It's all happened before with the Montreal Protocol on ozone hole depleting substances (ODS) which started in 1987. India and China in that case initially refused to participate in that protocol because it implied retooling their manufacturing sector free of CFCs and similar chemical corrosives of the atmosphere. As we understand it at SAM the West effectively said 'You WILL cut these emissions or we WILL block your markets in the West'.

    India and China retooled in 5 years apparently to move out of ODS (though the process is a long convoluted one and ongoing).

    China and India will have to similarly retool their energy sector out of coal and oil as will the USA, as will Australia. In fact the whole world will have to. The future of civilisation literally depends on it.  It will happen. It must happen. The fossil fool age is rapidly drawing to a close along with all the political and industrial sectorial privileges that went with it.

    The point of greatest prejudice to the whole globe means coal is finished sooner than later and China and India will agree, just as the point of greatest prejudice in the global political economy is the West's willingness to buy cheap Indian and Chinese manufactured goods, or not.

    We first heard of this geopolitical reality on the great ABC radio national Earthbeat programme  

    Earthbeat on Radio National

    which was slashed under the oppressive Howard Coalition government and their stooges on the ABC Board.

    Sure the energy restructure across the world will make the reform of ODS look like an afternoon picnic: Reform of energy supply is a step change, or even two or three steps, for modern civilisation but it must happen out of a pure instinct for survival.

    And the best way for Australia and the West to bring China and India to that negotiation is with clean hands with the phase out of our own coal production and use, along with financial restructuring funds as per the Montreal Protocol. Our common future depends on it.

    More on the pioneering Montreal Protocol, warts and all, to protect the ozone layer here:



    The Montreal Protocol: History Canadian Government

    Ozone History (NASA)

    Chinese Firms Pledge to Contribute to Ozone Layer Protection

    Joint Efforts to Protect the Ozone Layer :: United Nations ...

    China endeavors to protect ozone layer

    Today: India Accelerates Phase-Out Of Ozone Depleting Substances

    Posted by editor at 11:48 AM EADT
    Updated: Tuesday, 13 February 2007 7:31 PM EADT
    PM Howard running over political crocs to VP Cheney visit Feb 22, safe haven or vortex of demise?
    Mood:  don't ask
    Topic: election Oz 2007


    Picture: Poster of the aging Paul Hogan of Crocodile Dundee movie franchise: Is Howard having a fit of vanity seeking to reprise the hairy chested tough guy persona who fights off scary 'crocodiles' in a world of fiction to a bemused USA audience? 




    All the commentary in Big Media the last 48 hour news cycle has correctly bought into PM Howard's determined sledge of Barak Obama presidential candidate in the USA, and the Democrats generally, as a ‘friend of terrorists’ for daring to promote a withdrawal from the Iraq war:


    But they haven’t quite got the gist we think regarding the impending Dick Cheney visit.


    Howard’s statement was deliberate if bogus provocation unlike suggestions of guest Katherine House on 702 Glover show last afternoon that Howard was turning "cranky". On the contrary a Qld govt backbencher yesterday egged the pudding by adding Obama’s view was “evil”. That’s how willing the PR tactic is.


    Not only is Howard not sending 20,000 more Australian troops as challenged by Obama, but more to the point he would never let his own sons over to that meat grinder, just as Michael Moore famously interviewed stony faced USA federal politicians about their own children going to war. Oh no, everyone else is cannon fodder in this war.


    SAM's editor watched the Oaks interview on Sunday that kicked this all off, skipping to Insiders when possible for my political talkies piece but I must admit I didn’t expect Howard’s malice to capture all the Big Media attention.


    Where indeed is the news value? Is he really interfering in USA electioneering? It was on Ch9 in Sydney not USA news services until they ran it. It was a proxy derivative comment for Much Bigger Politics in Uncle Sam so in that sense nothing new. So far it's just Howard’s monstrous cruel pro war dogma as “the slaughter” to quote Richard Neville pours bucket after bucket of blood into a vortex of civil war.


    But there is news, as Opposition Leader Rudds says, in Howard deliberately attacking the ascendant Democrats in the Senate and Congress as potentially damaging Australia’s alliance relationship in the future. Indeed Howard is becoming “a menace” to quote Senator Brown (Greens). He will be gone most likely as PM if the US Democrats win the presidency in 2008, even if he Howard wins here October 2007. Yet here he is throwing his destructive weight around now. That's indulgent and vain.


    But there is more to the ridiculous Obama attack as if he were a Republican conservative governor in the West Wing TV show in the 52nd State.


    Firstly Howard seems to be ploughing the ground for the arrival of his role model in radical global interventions and military arrogance one Dick Cheney Vice President of the USA who will be visiting our country later this month Feb 22nd to 27th 2007. And there is alot of ploughing to do for such as Cheney.


    This war is so unpopular and Cheney so unloved that veteran Alex Mitchell wrote in the Sydney SunHerald recently that the VP should be arrested for “war crimes”. That’s a big call for mainstream press. Yet he is Howard’s mate and he will be here on Howard’s platform.


    Secondly to coin a phrase 'trouble loves company', and Howard is in unprecedented strife himself as Coalition leader: Adverse polling as Rudd goes ahead in the preferred PM polls;  climate change denial come home to roost in the voters minds; Premiers stonewalling Howard’s big budget sledgehammer on Murray Darling water restructure (a $10B political posture which side stepped Cabinet no less).


    So this sad joke framing of Howard and Australia on ‘the world stage’ with a mere symbolic 1400 troops there in Iraq under the skirts of W Bush - is some kind of political leap across the back of domestic political crocodiles.


    For instance conservative Sunday Telegraph has Milne writing “Rudd’s clever manoeurvring has Howard on the ropes” including this amusing comment:


    “One seasoned Canberra watcher observed on Thursday: 'Howard’s like a cobra, bobbing and weaving, probing for a weakness and wanting to strike. Trouble is, the other guy is a mongoose.' " 


    Milne quotes last sentence “one hard headed senior cabinet minister"  as follows:


    “We’re going to have [sic] swim harder and faster now if we want to win”.


    Matt Price same paper similarly has “Our lives could depend on this” referring to climate change gravity Howard has lost credibility on. And notice Howard man Switkowski promoting nuke power economics in the wake of any carbon trading scheme:


    Carbon trading would boost nuclear: Switkowski - Sat Feb 10 18:19 ...


    Old technology for old ways of thinking. Howard is yesterday’s man desperate for a change in news cycle, and prepare the way for Cheney. He’s playing for distractions and for time and likely will have some kind of choreography around the Cheney visit seeking to recapture essential ‘momentum’ in this critical election year.


    And observers can smell the lack of momentum, the political blood. Ex PM Keating and rival to Howard was using his usual melodramatic language yesterday on abc radio (queried about a major urban planning issue he worked on) about “putting the sword” to leaders “glued to their seat” like “dessicated coconut” Howard “who stayed too long”.


    Howard appears to be employing an eye catching political gymnastic stunt leaping into USA affairs and toward Cheney's visit over his own domestic worries. But will he make it to a political refuge? Experienced rock climbers will tell you when are stuck (like Howard was at the end of a bad week) there is one way to confound the viewers - go for a dynamic move like this, but you need a good landing place at the other end, or it's uh oh, free fall. It all comes down to the final clinch or pad.


    Is Cheney such a 'juggy' hand hold the other side? Or solid island in the river depending on your choice of metaphor. I don't think so. And Howard is very high with a long way to fall (or sink). Likely it will be an ugly spectacle especially in the last split second.


    A good start to analysing the quality of Cheney's PR promise around his visit can be found in a story which ran with a rediculous sledge of Nancy Pelosi third in line to the Presidency, for upgrading her plane transport in a time of war.


    It refers scarily to Cheney applying fraud to the case for going to war with Iraq:




    War evidence 'dubious'


    February 10, 2007

    WASHINGTON: Top Pentagon official Douglas Feith provided intelligence of "dubious quality" to buttress the White House case for invading Iraq, an investigation has found.


    A classified Pentagon report found Mr Feith, one of the main architects of the US invasion of Iraq, engaged in "inappropriate" activities involving important intelligence reports before the war.


    The findings were a "devastating condemnation" of Mr Feith's Department of Defence office, which had a key role in drumming up domestic and international political support for invading Iraq in 2003, Democrat senator Carl Levin said yesterday.


    The Defence Inspector-General's report concluded Mr Feith, former undersecretary for defence policy, issued intelligence assessments on the relationship of Iraq and al-Qa'ida at odds with what the wider US intelligence community concluded.


    It appeared to refer to allegations made by Mr Feith in 2002 and 2003 that Saddam Hussein had active links to al-Qa'ida, used by the administration to link the invasion of Iraq to the September11 terror attacks.


    The bipartisan commission that investigated the 9/11 attacks later reported that no collaborative relationship existed between thetwo.


    "The office of the undersecretary of defence policy developed, produced and then disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and al-Qa'ida relationship, which included some conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the intelligence community, to senior decision-makers," the unclassified summary of the report said.


    It also found that Mr Feith's office "was inappropriately performing intelligence activities ... that should be performed by the intelligence community".


    The Pentagon paper said Mr Feith's reports were used by top government officials, including Vice-President Dick Cheney.


    "Indeed, Vice-President Cheney said the principal Feith office assessment was the 'best source of information' on the alleged relationship between Iraq and al-Qai'da," Senator Levin said.


    The latest revelations came as Democrats in the House of Representatives readied plans for a marathon debate over President George W. Bush's Iraq policy just days after Republicans blocked a similar effort in the Senate.


    "We're just saying no" to Mr Bush's recent decision to add 21,500 troops in Iraq, house Speaker and Democrat Nancy Pelosi said of the proposed non-binding resolution.


    House Democrats will declare support for US troops, but opposing Mr Bush's plan to send more.  .... AFP, Reuters


    [bold added]




    Similarly Matt Price writes in The Australian Saigon a reminder of another hard war recently of


    I'm still convinced the Prime Minister will call an election shortly after the APEC summit in Sydney winds up in September, thus cashing in on playing host to the global gabfest and its attendant world leaders. Yet as MPs reconvened in Canberra this week, several Liberals were openly dreading the prospect of Bush visiting Australia and thought John Howard might seriously contemplate calling a pre-APEC election to avoid this prospect.


    Unlikely, I think, but given the PM's intimate links to the White House I find it astonishing Howard didn't pull strings and, if necessary, scream down the telephone to dissuade Dick Cheney from visiting Australia later this month. Even the US Vice-President's friends can't find a decent word to say about Bush's discredited right-hand man. War veteran, respected Republican and possible presidential candidate John McCain said Bush "listens too much" and "has been very badly served" by Cheney, an old confrere. Before dying, Gerald Ford found time to record an interview pouring scorn on the Vice-President, his ex-chief of staff.


    During a staggeringly brazen and delusional interview with CNN, Cheney boasted the US had done "exactly the right thing" invading Iraq. "Bottom line is that we've had enormous successes and we will continue to have enormous successes," the Veep proclaimed. Asked to ponder any mistakes, Cheney came up with: "We underestimated the extent to which 30 years of Saddam's rule had really hammered the population, especially the Shia population, into submissiveness." This submissiveness hasn't been especially evident in the subsequent slaughter. Cheney arrives in Australia as his former-chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, stands trial for attempting to smother criticism of the war. Just this week US financier Jeremy Grantham issued a scathing critique of the White House's response to global warming. He writes; "Successive US administrations have taken little interest in either oil substitution or climate change and the current one has even seemed to have a vested interest in the idea that the science of climate change is uncertain." It's a common criticism, remarkable mainly for the fact Grantham is Cheney's personal investment manager.


    So besides acting as a beacon for critics of Iraq, Cheney - a champion of the US oil industry - will be horsemeat for the climate change brigade, too. In the partyroom this week, the PM copped a grilling over the maltreatment of David Hicks. According to South Australian MPs, discontent is red hot in the terror suspect's home state where the Government must defend five marginal seats. Exasperated by the barbs, the PM at one point blurted to colleagues: "What do you expect us to do?" Queensland backbencher Warren Entsch yelled back: "Bring him home like the Brits have done."


    This kind of disgruntlement, bordering on insubordination, was once unimaginable and is driven by internal concerns Howard has aligned himself too closely to a dud White House. "I do not believe this country should abandon America," the PM told his partyroom. "The alliance will be judged by the fidelity of its partners in times of trial."


    While it's true the politics of withdrawal are fraught, the architects of the Iraq disaster have run out of credibility. Bush and British PM Tony Blair are already suffering the political consequences and those reverberations may belatedly have reached Australia.


    Cheney is here for five days this month and has allegedly expressed an intent to go fly fishing. Many Coalition MPs would be perfectly happy were the Vice-President to spend most of his visit in soggy wellingtons hidden away in the bush, attracting local trout instead of unwanted attention. pricem @theaustralian.com.au


    [bold added]


    Like the comic Crocodile Dundee movies




    John Howard is almost certainly one sequel too many.



    Postscript #1 14th Feb 2007 -

    In a parrallel of the USA House of Representatives debate underway anytime now, the two major Parties in federal parliament here are going at it as per The Australian reports today

    Rudd slams 'gutless' Howard's Iraq strategy

    OPPOSITION Leader Kevin Rudd has turned the attack on Iraq policy back on John Howard, accusing the prime minister of being gutless and without a plan for the future of Australian troops in the troubled country.

    Posted by editor at 7:55 AM EADT
    Updated: Wednesday, 14 February 2007 10:47 AM EADT
    Sunday, 11 February 2007
    Sunday political talkies: Climate change threat locks in under PM Howard
    Mood:  caffeinated
    Topic: election Oz 2007

     Picture: Image from post apocalyptic Planet of the Apes movie http://www.movieprop.com/tvandmovie/PlanetoftheApes/planetoftheapes.htm and refer to Footnote 1 below


    Posted 8.47 am.


    Author’s note: 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




    Quality 2nd string network, good show, lower audience than 9 or 7, both low for Sundays anyway.


    Rudd looking a bit more lean, working hard perhaps.

    Host Paul Bongiorno, a real veteran and moderate. Canvasses Sunday press which has gone vaudeville it seems incapable of coping with the existential angst of climate change, except for one paper The Sunday Times re ‘100 year storms’.


    Guest Opposition Leader Rudd. Ad breaks suitably Jet Star Kath and Kim voice pitching to “love birds”.


    PB gets first question on aged $1.5 billion from Howard war chest. Easy echo of the policy and insightful contextuals ‘less than $2.2 billion previous years. Rudd stumbles “bunch of mad greenies want to destroy the planet” probably because he knows the coal industry’s days are numbered.


    Glenn Milne, on panel looks studious with glasses and healthier too, hopefully on the wagon. Happy relaxed smile even. Is the disappearance of Christian Kerr from Crikey.com.au connected to this? GM redemption for his violent tantrum at Walkleys?


    Michelle Grattan is the sober anchor to the panel but Glenn gets first question on economics. Looking spruced up female version of George Smiley character at Canberra Press Gallery.


    Gratten goes to Rudd’s experience and he answers with 25 years  in govt and business and is convincing. Spruiks Chinese expertise re climate change reforms which is very sound.


    Milne goes to education. Wise praise of teachers difficult job by Rudd.


    (A rollicking traverse on the core election questions: aged, economics, experience, education, next security.)


    David Hicks advert runs in the break, as does rubbery figures of The Australian just prior.


    On Iraq, ratting by leaving? Rudd: Defend embassy, other security assistance to the Iraqi, consult with USA, alliance not mean comply with everything. $2B cost to our budget, worse than Vietnam.


    Grattan notes polls agree, how soon, 6 months? Ans: Depends.

    GM: Numbers out? Ans: Enough to protect diplomats 100 or 200.


    Iraq fate if all leave [subtext worse bloodbath?] UK and USA have to decide for themselves. Declines Obama 08 March deadline for US troups out in Presidential campaign speech running today. Rudd: Rotation is usually 6 months, if elected in Nov 07.


    GM: Hicks at Gitmo prison 5 years? Rudd: Knows for a fact in USA won’t get a fair trial. Gutsy.


    Industrial Relations timelines: missed the answer refer website for transcript.


    All look satisfied with the subject and their role in the grilling. It was ‘prime ministerial’.


    7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am


    Humourous, quite edgy as usual.


    Picks animal capers theme (as did SAM website re choccy monkey pollies image) on climate change etc re Costello quacking, Garrett fillip re call for earnest action, O’Connor outgoing opposition minister on mechanical bull, but mos cutting perhaps was Malcolm Turnbull suggestion of eyeing off an ALP plunging neckline with a sex/six blooper.


    (Is this a deliberate echo of the lurid Sunday Telegraph front pager today about a movie star having sex in a jet airline? The world is going to hell and they run a front pager like that. Tragic Big Media.)


    Revealing reference to "presidential" Rudd in the debrief to the visuals by Riley with hosts.


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


    [Posted second segment about 10.15 am with refinements up to 10.35am]



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


    ‘He’s been here before claims Howard in 2001 and 2004. But now Coalition is in the late 30’s in the polls, on the trend unlike the year before 2004 election. [Refer footnote 1.]


    Guest is Julia Gillard, deputy Alp leader.Quite the carrot top. Ex litigation lawyer and smart advocate. Admiration for Rudd’s work history (straight out of the West Wing praise for the leader?).


    Panel (below) looks at PM Howard gaff in Parliament on climate change, David Hicks and other things.


    Everyman segement. Boat crew young professionals.


    Panel: Lenor Taylor Aust Financial Review moderate (Fairfax) Andrew Bolt, clever, far right, Herald Sun (news Ltd) Mal Farr, clever centre right Sydney Daily Telegraph (news Ltd)  Paul Kelly soliliquy The Australian (news ltd)


    Too many News Ltd. Need a community media rep like Crikey.com.au?


    Kelly says Brown and Flannery apostles (faith based smear) on climate change will do alot of damage to Australian society and economy.  Kelly woefully anti science, anti evidence, and projecting his own religious economic prism onto science based ecology.


    APEC meeting October (?) 2007. Election timing before or after?


    Influence of morning television for Rudd and Hockey’s career.



    9 Sunday 9-10.30am  http://sunday.ninemsn.com.au/sunday/


    Running family fertility surrogacy story as feature first 15 minutes at least.


    Interview with PM Howard with Laurie Oakes looking the same in both cases, Howard well slept after tough week. Reveals the high election stakes Howard on Sunday tv already.


    Talk on aged care package of $1.5B. Expensive way to buy onto tv?


    Howard pushing economic difference with Rudd. Rudd voted against tax reform. Wrong to say “cigarette paper” between us. Real Old Australia comment theren.


    Iraq war? Simplistic answers stay or go. ‘Barak Obama agrees with Labor’ best chance for Shia and Sunni to get together is if USA promise to leave in March 2008.


    Adbreak and PM is back. Extended interview is huge free advertising from James Packer network 9.


    PM pushes ‘clean coal’, which is phoney, and nuclear power with far better choices around. Lambasts Greens on ending king coal just as he rejected their drought/water summit … then held one. That is he has no credibility.


    Talks about water deal for Murray Darling.



    * Footnote 1:


    SAM believes no one has ‘been here before’ on climate change given the dangerous sea rise threat from climate change according to latest best scientific advice (the doctor’s advice referred to by Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth), and notice terrifying Katrina Images here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59Fo959fgC4 of urban inundation


    On Friday this writer sent this email to Miranda Devine's publicly advertised email address and she appears to have responded in kind in today’s Sydney SunHerald :


    To: devinemiranda@hotmail.com

    Sent: Friday, February 09, 2007 10:06 AM

    Subject: you are in this story


    This has gone to the NSW political community.

    Tom McLoughlin, solicitor in NSW, principal ecology action sydney


    PS: You are a climate change sceptic aren't you?




    Friday, 9 February 2007 Miranda Devine airbrushes bushfire arson motive at Goonoo, backs redneck attack on scientists, public servants Mood: down Topic: election nsw 2007



    Here is Devine’s article:


    Be alert for climate-change alarmists Malcolm Turnbull's and Peter Garrett's face-off highlights the difference in responses to climate change, writes Miranda Devine. ]


    She seems to be quite ignorant of the reality of urban inundation and the latest credible science.


    Ch10 Videohitz by coincidence has a song just after 10 am with spaceship dodging asteroids, diving into a glowing planet as bright as the sun, reaches ground and the remnants of life are there including Big Ben.


    It’s the Earth post climate change and burned off atmosphere, much like Planet of the Apes film with Charlton Heston encountering the Statue of Liberty half buried in sand:



     A good tune with a good message: Politicians like Howard are f*cked when it comes to best scientific advice on climate change. Reveals the popular culture sensitivities even in hit tunes.

    Posted by editor at 8:44 AM EADT
    Updated: Monday, 12 February 2007 7:44 AM EADT

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