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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Monday, 30 April 2007
Stateline NSW studiously ignores local agitation against ALP forest chippers?
Mood:  smelly
Topic: ecology

Picture: Post logging burn 2007 in Badja State Forest SE NSW in the marginal Eden Monaro electorate: Someone should tell the ALP under Kevin Rudd that you can't be a climate change champion and a gungho logger.

The ALP national conference apparently saw back room deals to save face with the brutish logger unionist Michael O'Connor as reported here last Monday Tuesday 24th April:

Garrett at loggerheads with foresters


Greens Senator Brown quite accurately notes O'Connor is the best friend John Howard could have in the ALP:

Labor should expel O’Connor: Greens

26th Apr 07

Greens Leader Bob Brown says that the CFMEU’s forestry spokesperson, Michael O’Connor, should get the boot from the Labor party.
“He helped orchestrate the elect-Howard campaign in the last week of the 2004 election and, if he doesn’t get his way, will do the same in 2007,” Senator Brown said.
“He should go on the national executive of the Liberals, not Labor,” Senator Brown added.
“Michael O’Connor should make public the financial ties between the logging corporations, who back Mr Howard too, and his union sector. If he doesn’t, the Tasmanian secretary, Scott McLean, should.” (see SMH’s Garrett at loggerheads with foresters: April 24 2007)”
“All this points again to the need for a Royal Commission into the back-room dealing which infests the woodchip industry,” Senator Brown said.
Senator Brown has also written to the ALP conference delegates, asking them to oppose the logging of old-growth forests and the expansion of uranium mining. (see attached letter).
Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603


Contrary to these hopeful reports of the demise of eco vandal O'Connor in fact he is now parked at the peak of the ALP here:

"Centre-Left fails to win single spot on council" [offline] by Steve Lewis, Chief political correspondent The Australian p6, 28-29 April 2007, and main reporter mate it looks like of Michael O'Connor, who is the subject of the story. O'Connor is now elected to the Labor national executive from his national logger union.


More recently note this double talk:

Rudd refuses to outline forests assurances, April 29, 2007, AAP FEDERAL Labor leader Kevin Rudd has refused to outline any promises he's given to the forestry union over his party's forests policy.

Construction, Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) official Michael O'Connor told the ALP national conference this morning that a deal had been done over forestry jobs.

“Coming into this conference, we thought we might need some amendments to the platform,” Mr O'Connor said.

“I'm happy to report after some discussion with the leader about the interpretation of the platform, I can with 100 per cent, 100 per cent support, recommend this to the conference, but more importantly recommend it to our members.”

The policy proposes more conservation areas but reaffirms its support for the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement as Labor further distances itself from former leader Mark Latham's forest policies.

Mr Rudd would not comment on what assurances had been given to the union.

“The platform speaks for itself,” Mr Rudd said.

“We intend to have a viable long-term forestry industry in Tasmania. We intend to make sure that there is appropriate conservation of environmentally sensitive forest areas.

“The assurances are those which you see reflected in the platform document.”

Mr Rudd said he was sure that Labor's environment spokesman Peter Garrett would soon visit Tasmania.


Greens Senator Bob Brown issued this release same day:

Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2007 2:13 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] Brown calls for Rudd-O'Connor logging deal to bemade public

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Brown calls for Rudd-O'Connor logging deal to be made public

Greens Leader Bob Brown has called on Labor Leader Kevin Rudd to make
public the details of a secret pact he has made with CFMEU forestry boss
Michael O'Connor at today's Labor conference.  The party's forest policy
was passed unopposed, but only after O'Connor made it clear he had
secret assurances from Kevin Rudd and that the unions would make sure
Rudd's commitments were met.

"The logging and burning of wild forests and wildlife in Tasmania,
Victoria, WA and southern NSW is as unpopular as it is an environmental
obscenity in 2007," Senator Brown said.

"Last election, O'Connor helped Howard back into office.  Now this
election, he says he has a dog collar on Kevin Rudd over forests.  The
air should be cleared," Senator Brown said.


We noted this local agitation in rapidly vandalised forest corner of NSW/Victoria last Friday from the irrepressible Harriet Swift:

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2007 12:34 PM
Subject: [chipstop] chipmill blockade

We held a highly successful chipmill blockade yesterday which stopped trucks entering the mill for more than 11 hours.

It started at 4am and ended at 3pm. Miraculously, nobody was arrested. There were no injuries (unless you count me feeling sick after eating instant noodles), but some bad language. We had a top crew from EG, SE NSW and other greenie haunts. Security at the mill is becoming more of a challenge, but we managed to outwit them!

The action involved a cable across Edrom Road, the main road into the mill, attached to a tree sit with back up arrangements to prevent entry along a side road.

We had a theme of native forests and climate change for media statements. The action was covered by ABC - local, regional, statewide, as well as the afternoon show (10 minute discussion) and WIN TV. Print media coverage not known yet, but Eden Magnet turned up for photos and comments from us.

Chip stockpiles for both mature forest chips and regrowth are very low (virtually empty) at the moment and there is a ship coming in next week, so it was good to give them a headache while they are so busy trying to make up volume.

Some highlights:

  • Peter Rutherford (EG campaigners will be aware of him), now Forestry Manager, South East Fibre Exports turning up to photograph us.
  • Peter Rutherford arriving with a Mathie log truck under police escort, driven by a member of the Mathie family to read out the Wandella forest injunction against 8 forest activists. After reading out the injunction, Rutherford asked Sooty to let the truck pass. You might ask: what's that got to do with him, as he works for SEFE? Good question, but it might indicate other plans SEFE has against activists or other plans Mathie/SEFE/ NAFI may have. The police asked Quentin Mathie and the truck to leave as soon as the injunction reading was over.
  • Chipmill worker saying to Keith: "I saw youse standing next to the Shooters Party at the polling booth the other day and I should have flattened you them! "
  • Trucks trying to break the blockade by travelling along Shelly's Road. A group of 6 got through before one became stuck. They had to unload it and were still trying to free it as we left.
  • a visit from new SEFE General Manager, Peter Mitchell in his gold Prado.



And similarly we noticed this:

Sent: Saturday, April 28, 2007 4:54 PM
Subject: [chipstop] Media statement:Woodchip Blockade focus on Global Warming

Conservationists blockaded the South East Fibre Exports chipmill at Eden last Thursday, stopping log trucks from entering the mill for over 11 hours.

The blockade lasted from 4am to just after 3pm.
Spokesperson for the conservationists, Ms Harriett Swift said that the group was concerned about the role of the woodchipping industry as a generator of greenhouse gasses.

“Woodchipping of native forests is an enormous generator of greenhouse gasses and this must be recognized by policy makers,” Ms Swift said.

“The destruction of native forests from Victoria and SE NSW for South East Fibre Exports (SEFE) is a major cause of climate change.”

“Each year it generates about 18 million tonnes of CO2 or equivalent. This is huge by any standards and is more than 20 times the amount saved by the whole of Australia by banning the incandescent light globe.”

“It is more than 250 times what the Bega Valley Shire Council will save by changing to green power.”

“And from NSW forests alone, the CO2 produced is roughly equivalent to that produced by every car in Sydney in a year,” Ms Swift said.

During the blockade, Mr Peter Rutherford, Forestry Manager of SEFE unsuccessfully attempted to invoke a 2005 Supreme Court injunction against a group of 8 Wandella forest activists which sought to prevent them from blockading the logging company, Bruce Mathie and Sons. Mr Rutherford arrived at the blockade site with a Mathie log truck under police escort, and driven by Mr Quentin Mathie.  The truck and driver remained present while Mr Rutherford read out the injunction.

The conservationists who formed the blockade were from the region affected by woodchipping, as well as some international visitors.”
We were especially pleased to have a crew member from the Sea Shepherd who has recently been saving whales in the Southern Ocean as well as some other overseas visitors who had been amazed to discover that Australian Governments were still subsidizing the destruction of our most valuable carbon sinks.
“With climate change upon us, we need these forests more than ever. It is no longer just a regional or even a national issue. It is a world wide concern,” Ms Swift said.

28 April 2007
64923267, 0414908997

Photo caption: Mr Peter Rutherford, Forestry Manager of the Eden chipmill  reads out a Supreme Court injunction against a group of Wandella activists in an attempt to lift the blockade.  Pic on website at:

CHIPSTOP campaign against woodchipping the SE forests, PO Box 797 Bega NSW 2550 Australia, http://www.chipstop.forests.org.au


We couldn't help noticing the absence of any mention of this wicked logging reality ripping a million tonnes a year of native forest out of public estates on the NSW Stateline show and networked this:

Sent: Friday, April 27, 2007 8:10 PM
Subject: [chipstop] Quentin Dempster's Stateline airbrush as usual Re: [chipstop] chipmill blockade

As per usual Stateline tonight, that is 'our abc', decided not to report the real NSW news below, even as it ran on 7.45am prime time abc radio morning news, and 9 am news, AND relates to the ALP national conference issues with a big chunky article in the Herald indirectly related earlier this week. That folks, at least to this writer, is an open and shut case of censorship by that programme.

But why? It's quite a mystery. My feeling would be it is a pre emptive buckle in mortal fear of the federal govt agents on the ABC Board. Another theory would be that Quentin Dempster and Jeff Angel have an understanding not to run the issue of forests on his show to expose the failure of the 'peace deal' made by Angel and Carr. Dempster is a TEC loyalist. A decent story would mean passing the baton to a new green leader?

Some peace deal. Some ABC TV 'Stateline'.

Yours truly
Tom McLoughlin

PS pics of ALP conference street theatre here:

We recently got on ABC talk back and praised Quentin Dempster for defending the ABC from advertising on their website which would surely compromise their political and financial independence from Big Business and their political vested interests.

But then we couldn't help noticing Dempster's pointed repeated and yet inaccurate description of famous green entrepeneur Ian Kiernan AO as
"Mr Grassroots". Kiernan is grassroots the way Myer, Kimberley Clark, at some stage Westpac, McDonalds (Hi Ronald) and no doubt a large range of other large corporates are "grassroots".

Kiernan cut the deal with Bob Carr to greenwash the North Shore Sewerage Tunnel around 1998 which was supposed to have water recycling, and has been seeking redemption with water tanks and anti Desal campaigns ever since. But he is an entrepeneur:

We are briefed as recently as yesterday by a 5 year employee no less who resigned, burnt out, from the Clean Up organisation and "grassroots" is not the description we heard.

So we sincerely believe the saintly Dempster has got it WRONG twice - on understanding the real place of Ian Kiernan in the real politik of society, and secondly airbrushing the ALP destruction of forests, even if he probably doesn't deserve an on air mugging as he got from the brutal state MP for Vaucluse of yesteryear Mr Yabsley

"QUENTIN DEMPSTER: And the bitterness spilt over into a challenge about how we, at ABC TV, had pursued the Metherell story. [bold added, see below]

MICHAEL YABSLEY, STATE DEVELOPMENT MINISTER 1992: Quite frankly, I mean, I don't know that you're the best one to be sitting here, in such a pious and sanctimonious way, casting these judgments. I think it should be the point should be made that you have been a participant in this process yourself, rather than an observer. I mean, you were the one who set up a dinner at your place at which Terry Metherell was present, together with a senior member - a senior staff member of the ICAC. You were the one who was custodian of the documents that Terry Metherell held so near and dear. So, I just think that the point should be made that, you know, there are 4 million people out there in the State of New South Wales who need to know that at least one of the journalists who is making such pious pronouncements has in fact been far more a participant than an observer, and that, of course, is you.

QUENTIN DEMPSTER: Mr Yabsley, at no time was I a participant in Metherell's resignation to the parliament.

MICHAEL YABSLEY: I just think it's time that Quentin Dempster started to answer a few questions rather than ask the questions."


All this ironic because if Dempster was simply doing his job back in 1991 by "pursuing" the Metherell Affair, it is worth noting the former Education Minister bailed from the Coalition and became an independent causing the ultimate downfall of Premier Greiner over .... rampaging loggers attacking NSW Wilderness areas. Yep, that's right. Metherell was a greenie from the conservative side of politics.

Ironic indeed that Dempster is attacked by Yabsley in '91 for reporting the Metherell affair under Greiner, and criticised by SAM here in 2007 for not reporting controversial logging now under the ALP's Premier Iemma.

Posted by editor at 5:25 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007 2:20 PM NZT
Donations for SAM website to keep posting original independent media
Mood:  hungry
Topic: donations to SAM

If you read a story and appreciate the content why not make a donation to keep the Sydney Alternative Media website away from

D-E-A-T-H ?

The editor/owner Tom McLoughlin is independent of all political parties, strongly opinionated and a voracious critic and consumer of little and big media like this photo of the exhausted Yangtze near Chongqing taken this year after a long long drought:

Sometimes we even break stories like the cavenous sandmine at Tinda Creek which feeds into the Wollemi Blue Moutains World Heritage Area:

On the 3rd of each month we will count our hit rate, which continues to grow, and report the figure the next day along with donations received either anonymous or by name. (Hit rate for March was 7,600 and 11,400 for April with 3 days to go).

Send cheques or money orders to Sydney Alternative Media website C/- ARC, 142 Addison Rd Marrickville 2204 or email for more details to

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Posted by editor at 4:22 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 3 August 2007 11:50 AM NZT
ALP conference fallout: How to fix broken democracy in ALP branches?
Mood:  sharp

Chris Uhlmann on the ABC AM show asked the critical question of Kevin Rudd this morning along the lines of 'what happened to democracy in the ALP branches?' who lose their right to preselect candidates as per this Big Media story:

Intervention No apologies over preselections: Rudd LABOR Leader Kevin Rudd said it is in the party's interest for him to intervene in preselections in the lead-up to the federal election.

Leader Rudd sort of fudged the answer and he will be fighting to justify the pragmatic common sense of recruiting talented folks over the heads of forelock tuggers, bullies, loud mouth dummies and no account branch stackers who have been passed over.

The real answer to Uhlmann's theoretically sound criticism of the ostensible contradiction of

- business stuck with IR worker domocracy, versus

- federal ALP party going with hierarchy on preselections,

is that when a party's democracy is already broken with very poor grassroots representation and integrity, it's best to drop the facade altogether and junk the role of closed shop branches. That is when something is rotten, let it go, don't pander to it or put band aids on it. Better to go with talented people who are popular by virtue of their earned community respect and demonstrated ability, not some unhealthy local clique, nepotism, time servers or possibly ethnic loyalty.

In other words Rudd and the federal ALP hierarchy are admitting the ALP branches, as ragged as they are, cannot be trusted to exercise their responsibility to choose the best candidates, and he is surely right. It is just another reason why to vote for a genuninely grassroots based Party like the Greens until the ALP re establishes vigorous grassroots democracy in the Labor organisation.

The next step is the nepotism and forelock tuggers of some of the Big Unions with a pretty poor claim to representative status in the private or public workforce (speaking as a left wing ASU member) but still claiming a big say on federal ALP policy, not least over the destruction of Tasmanian forests in the age of climate change, that most of the public abhor

... from the inimitable Bill Leak in The Australian today, and see this Unions won't rule us: Rudd

Posted by editor at 1:52 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 30 April 2007 2:29 PM NZT
Sunday, 29 April 2007
Sunday political talkies: Howard determined to be PM 4 more years on Ch9
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: election Oz 2007

Picture: At the time of writing we chose a different picture which was trumped by the Oaks interview here with Howard on Sunday 9 show, the last of the Sunday Talkies. Now we read a day later Monday 30th April, Crikey.com.au today notes the media room at the ALP Conference was similarly packed to watch the same interview with scary Howard.

Author’s general introductory note (skip this if you know this regular weekly column):


This is not a well packaged story. It’s a contemporaneous traverse of the Sunday television free to air political talkies indicating the agenda of Establishment interests: Better to know ones rivals and allies  in Big Politics and Big Media. ]

Indeed it’s the tv version monitoring task similar to what Nelson Mandela refers to here in his book Long Walk to Freedom (1994, Abacus) written in Robben Island prison (where he was meant to die like other African resister chiefs of history in the 19C), at page 208

“..newspapers are only a shadow of reality; their information is important to a freedom fighter not because it reveals the truth, but because it discloses the biases and perceptions of both those who produce the paper and those who read it.” 


Just substitute ‘Sunday tv political talkie shows’ for "newspapers" in the quote above.


For actual transcripts go to web sites quoted below except with Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.



Media Backgrounder:


PM Howard Govt policy via the Switkowski Report is driving up the price of uranium stocks by 100 to 200% according to Deloitte energy and resources partner Bhavesh Morar: Florence Chong, Resources writer The Australian p27, 28th March 2007.



ALP conference – Sydney Morning Herald



PM sets nation on nuclear path


A speech aimed not at true believers, but the new receivers


Rubbing shoulders - at a price


Rudd's long march to Asia's heart


Forget policy, the aim is to channel imagery





Life in top job not as easy as ABC


The Australian – News Ltd


Labor ends 25-year opposition to new uranium mines KEVIN Rudd has won his party's support for an expansion of uranium mining, arguing that some nations have to use nuclear power because they do not have the rich range of energy alternatives that Australia has at its disposal.


Matt Price: Speech glosses over substance

Video: Rudd's speech to the conference

Rudd's speech (pdf)

Audio: Labor's conference song

Howard's nuclear strategy to pressure Opposition

Dennis Shanahan: Sounds like same old Labor

Matt Price: This dag will have his day

Editorial: ALP is still fighting the wrong enemy

Left seizes on Rudd's 'activist' vow





I was Bush's scapegoat: ex-CIA boss


NATO fear over arms treaty

Sydney Daily Telegraph

PM pushes nuclear nation | The Daily Telegraph

Picture: Main cartoon in Sydney Morning Herald echoes Daily Telegraph rival on page 2 "Up and atom: PM's push for nuclear reality"

10 Meet the Press 8-8.30 am

Paul Bongiorno directs traffic. Michelle Grattan Age/Fairfax, Mal Farr, Daily Telegraph/News Ltd (both serious, moderates)


Missed the first 13 minutes. 


Bob Brown Greens on ALP and Coalition embrace of nuclear industry, with Australian targeted as international nukes waste dump. Role of Peter Garrett in the ALP. Russsia to get our uranium just broke an arms treaty. Crazy dangerous expansion of this industry . 


Nicholson cartoon at The Australian on the panic around climate change rising sea levels. Importance of the Senate, Brown rejects Family First as a real competition, says fundamentalist party is after  Coalition voters, and will serve another 6 years if elected.


Notable discussion with Farr and Brown as the credits rolled and the theme music kicked in for at least another 30 seconds. They all know its game on.

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

Picture: Insiders live cross to Kevin Rudd at 9.15 am


Insiders 2

Focuses on Rudd sledging in opening. Takes live cross to Rudd at the ALP conference from the main meeting room at 9.15am no activity in the background. 

Big questions to Rudd on Garrett capacity to sell ALP message when so against the policy of uranium mining, just like Meet the Press.

Everyperson segment 1950ies rockers pro uranium mining from South Australia. 

Panel Meglogenis (News Ltd), David Marr (Fairfax),  Gerard Henderson pro Coalition Sydney Institute and media tart.on abc/Fairfax.


Paul Kelly analysis – radical change on IR will define Rudd.


Replayed at 11.10 am on radio PNN 630 AM band.


Home page is http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/


Picture: Insiders run Howard speech to Victorian State Liberal conference embracing a nuclear reactor future, below is a 2004 NYC Republican convention poster on 1 of our 5 filing cabinets.


Henderson says unwise to sledge Howard. We agree as posted late Friday night.



Sunday 9


Feature on drug rehab scheme near Byron Bay, rhetorical response to Bob Brown attack on MTP earlier in the day, in set piece feature story here.


Laurie Oaks, Prime Minister. Looking hale and hearty for an old bloke. Inexperience versus age frame. “Stale versus fresh”.


Focus on IR. Howard strongly leads with the idea he will be there for another 4 years if he wins. ‘67 now, younger than when Reagan started as President.’


Oaks pressed him on age and Howard repudiates any concerns about this, as long as his party wants him.


Presses him on climate change. Weasels out on this. Won’t do modeling like Stern Report.

California 27% of nuke power. Adopted big target climate change. Howard says PM of here. Underlines commitment to fossil fuel and nuclear industry here.

Budget questions:

Howard plays long experience wind up. Sounding very upbeat. Coalition in the hunt. Obligatory cricket rah rah.  Look out Rudd and ALP.


Posted by editor at 11:30 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007 1:47 PM NZT
Saturday, 28 April 2007
Big media's horror Saturday: Child exploitation, overt compromise by Israel lobby, and Tim Blair's flatulence
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: big media

Pictures: todays clips of stupidity, on our recycled (!) timber kitchen table, rescued from a Bronte council throwout.

Why are children appearing in the big media today on behalf of their posturing political parents? Both the children of Kevin Rudd Opposition Leader, and of Mark Scott managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation are pictured in the news today, both courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald.


Is this systemic child abuse? How in any way is this massive exposure of any benefit to those children, especially the under 18’s down to primary school age? What can those kids possibly have that’s probitive of the quality of their parents? Are the parents saying the political community can now treat them as fair game, enquire as to their school expulsions, genetic diseases, drug taking or whatever? I don’t think so. No its an entirely one sided first strike missile defence type of political propaganda. 'Look at my darling kids' but don’t you dare say ill of them, they are innocents above the muck of politicking. Well of course they are which is why they shouldn’t be in the newspaper in the first place. This kind of child propagandising is just plain wrong as it is widespread.


These were not incidental images. They were endorsed staged calculated attempts by their parents to leverage sympathy of them as regular good blokes. And it is patheticly misleading and deceptive for lack of real information value. No one needs a licence to have children. And children are programmed to be loyal and trusting of parents.


All it usually signifies is that the adult parent is desperate for help in the PR stakes. In Mark Scott’s case underlined by a glossy feature in The Weekend Australian Magazine, giving an entre to conflicted financial business and political interests: It’s all about breaking the ban on advertising on the ABC with the first step being online adverts. Pretty sleazy that, using one’s own children to advance professional career goals.


And then there is foreign affairs specialist Greg Sheridan quoted page 2 of the same newspaper “Sheridan wins Israel prize”. Trouble is how can any journalist hold themselves out as remotely objective when accepting prizes from one or other stakeholder in geopolitics? This is just another sleazy attempt at compromising the news and it doesn’t look like Sheridan will be politely declining it for professional and ethical reasons. It’s the equivalent of an industrial relations journalist accepting the ‘services to union collective bargaining’ prize of the ACTU, or ‘services to understanding the uranium mining and nuclear cycle prize’ from ANSTO. Lobby groups naturally want to ingratiate themselves but Sheridan’s lack of perspective in accepting the gift shows past and future bias in matters involving Israel.


Then there is the usual Tim Blair tragi comedy Saturday Opinion piece with his mock philosophical sophistry. (Spooky echo of my ‘wallow’ tag on Ruddy in his left hand column, just as I heard the saintly Mark Colvin on PM use the ‘gratuitous’ word from another of my headlines about Crikey.com.au applied to a Amanda Vanstone story last night).


Blair’s main contention today is an alleged unhealthy obsession of the Left with “sadness” and “disaster”. Funny how people concerned with human rights, social justice, and inequality would have such a focus in the real world. Blair probably doesn’t know about these places that say 5.5 billion out of 6 billion know all too well. Live long enough in middle class privilege that royalty of centuries past could not conceive of, add decades of wearing blinkers and hey presto we just airbrushed 75% of human experience. How to solve world poverty with a click of the fingers.

Like the proverbial 3 wise monkeys’ (or as I like to think of them, sinister Wizard of Oz flying monkeys) Blair thinks his narrow Ayn Rand view in a spiritual and economic enclave is the only true light. There is a grain of truth but a barrow full of lies in his TimBoy's simple thesis. Sure the Left and Greens feel a fleeting sense of vindication at the very real prospects of climate change cataclysm and war dead as defined by such as The Lancet.


But actually, and this is first hand experience personal and observed, far more suffer burnout, despair, and need the soothing revival of individual sustainability workshops as organised by John Seed and Ruth Rosenhek of the Rainforest Information Centre:


 "In response to growing public concern about climate change, the Rainforest Information Centre is taking to the road to address the psychological and emotional issues surrounding global warming.": National climate change roadshow hits Northcoast | Alternative ...


But don’t stress over these demanding thoughts there Tim behind your rose tinted glasses. It must be comforting living in the shadow of Ayn Rand’s gospel porn that says altruism is really just a selfish attempt at moral triumphalism, such that unvarnished selfishness is really far more honest – like a big fat pay packet from News Ltd to spread psychological violence is ‘honest’? But who are you trying to convince? Yourself? Don’t you find that terribly unsatisfying? Indeed boring?


Posted by editor at 3:35 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 30 April 2007 9:41 AM NZT
Friday, 27 April 2007
Rudd's first day flop with mediocre wallow in personal insult
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: election Oz 2007

Picture: Lifted from Sat April 28th ambiguously pandering Sydney Morning Herald with this caption "Kevin Rudd delivers the openning speech to the Labor Party National Conference in Sydney this morning [Fri 27th April] Photo: Wade Laube"  We at SAM say beware the familiarity of Big Media that breeds contempt. For instance notice already Paul Kelly of  The Australian at a fork in the road assessment of Rudd here: Singing same old tune


Postscript #1 as preface: Saturday Sat. 28th April 2007 in "Preaching to the converted" in Spectrum, Sydney Morning Herald book reviews, quoting Professor of Politics Dennis Altman, La Trobe University, reviewing Allied and Addicted by Alison Broinowski, 2007:


"The Howard Government has been elected four times and in the last election won sufficient support to gain a Senate majority. A convincing criticism of Howard needs to engage with the reality of his electoral success and his genuine popularity over the past decade. Those of us who don't like John Howard have an obligation to engage with those who do."


[Story written late Friday 27th April begins here]


So this is the baby the ALP is depending on, the country is depending on, the environment is depending on?


Cheap jack personal insults about PM Howard stuck in the black and white tv age. The giggling little mummy’s boy on the dairy farm. Or dancing with Kerry Anne at least.


Way dumb. Way stupid.


So you tribal ALP barrackers think indulgent personal ridicule and a fat lead in the polls will get you the reins of power?


I’m about ready to call the election already – for Howard.


The most accomplished and successful politician in a generation. Maybe in the history of Australia. A man who has refashioned this country to his own sense of correctness, tone and direction. A man with 4 elections behind him.


And you make a speech dripping with disrespect? Throw away lines about Howard being clever yet somehow living in the past. Well if he is then the Australian voting public are too. Have been 4 times at the polling booth.


Here’s a wet fish slap in your face Kev. You are a joke. You are stupid. Howard is far more mature. That’s why he said you were showing inexperience. Because it has resonance. Not because your Fair Work Commission really lacks constitutional legality but because inexperience echoes in comparison to this 11 year Prime Ministerial veteran.


How dare you betray your own true sense of the task ahead that 'it’s a long long way to climb the summit to the vote'.  You can’t have it both ways, a long way behind and a huge task ahead to get the trust of the People, and at the same time regard Howard as a figure of ridicule and backward attitudes. If Howard wins he will install nuclear weapons, an unprecedented step for Australia. And you call him old fashioned? Well how dumb is that? It might be an old idea but it’s a totally new reality Howard aims to achieve here in defence, in IR, in climate policy, in foreign relations, in refugee policy, and all the rest.


New ideas? Who cares when he's remaking Australia with the ones he wants? And the People may well want too when the pen hits the paper.


If you can’t respect your political enemy for the frighteningly scary opponent he really is, then you should resign now and give someone who understands the gravity, responsibility and privilege of being a real Opposition Leader to someone who does. If anyone exists. Or can that still be you to emerge at this conference or sometime soon? Because I haven’t seen a winner yet. I saw a cheer leader for a football club, an MC for a 21st birthday party, a gawky prefect on School Night, but I didn’t see a Prime Minister in waiting.


He’s hiding somewhere scared of being the real Kevin Rudd perhaps, doing stupid speech tricks written by lightweight media manipulators. But that won’t cut it, not in the polling booth. A real PM in waiting would respect John Howard, not ridicule him. And take a good chunk of his voters off him in the process.



After leaving the ALP conference street theatre this morning I took the daily press to a café on King St in Newtown which is very left and green voter territory. The café owner in his late thirties or forties likes to get my political summary. And here’s the warning Kev – he said Howard deserved to win, he’s done a good job. Wake up to yourself champ. You’re going backwards.

Picture: Team Rudd were progressing nicely as per this article above at Labor's new link to connect with corporates | Business | The ...

last Thursday 26th April, until they went the personal sledge to appease the culture of muck raking first day of the ALP conference.


Postscript #2, on why the Big Media like today's Rudd friendly press can't report the important information in a timely and proportionate way, by way of illustration quoting from "In an electric storm" by Bernard Zuel 28th April, SMH Spectrum,


"..given its contemporary status as a groundbreaking film, Don't Look Back was rejected by all the big film distributors in 1966 and 1967, with one telling [film maker] Pennebaker that it was "ratty, badly focused - it's hard to hear what anybody's saying. It's just a disaster film." [perhaps like this blog?] It was a porn-cinema magnate, trying to become respectable for his wife, who picked up the rights and screened it in an adult cinema in San Francisco. You get the feeling even the Bob Dylan of 1966 would have laughed himself hoarse at that."





In other words pioneering profound truths are not about making money. They are about telling the truth. Big Media on the other hand is exactly about making money and always way out of date. To be specific the press today are very complimentary about Kevin Rudd's Australian Labor conference on day one because it will sell papers, not because it is true, leveraging current perceptions of polling success to date. Just as the market was not ready for the raw Bob Dylan doco 30 years ago but hungrily sponge it up today. 


But the headlines today (including the reverse fillip of Howard's Strangelove embrace of nuke power) are the lull before the nightmare of bleeding poll numbers. The truth is Ruddy looked and sounded weak on the first day of the conference unlike say Julia Gillard on Lateline last night. Truth is Rudd looked overwhelmed by a convention of his peers capable of frightening professional violence.


But Rudd's history shows he is not weak or ineffective, and it's that history which he must manifest for his future. The grit that learned Mandarin, that raised 3 kids, that supported a successful business woman as wife and indeed their long fruitful marriage. The grit that got over the death of his dad turning his world upside down. The grit that saw him strike out in his own direction to be his own man. That's the grit that Australians are impressed by, have warmed too, and he must project over the next several months to climb the summit to the vote. Not the other guys so called flaws, but the better item he wants the Australian People to buy.

Image from The Australian, above Paul Kelly influential opinion piece Singing same old tune. This moment apparently caused a cheer in the audience.


Which truth does Ruddy want to gain traction about his true nature? The nervous nerd, or the gutsy talented surprising leader who learnt Chinese when everyone else was ... doing regular stuff like law, or economics. (The kind of thing you hire other people to bark for you.)


It's going to be a nerve wracking white knuckle trip all the way to the vote, assuming any contest at all.

Posted by editor at 11:30 PM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 28 April 2007 3:18 PM NZT
Pictures of civil society at Australian Labor conference
Mood:  bright
Topic: election Oz 2007
The senior copper said there were no problems at all. Even Michael Costa didn't worry about stirring up the anti nuke anti coal activists.
There were 4 pictures we saw but didn't get down at the Darling Harbour monument to ALP power complete with at least 8 concrete overpasses:
1. the balloons floating by a roof worker as all the hot air gathered below him,
2. the crumpled Bob Ellis,
3. Treasurer Costa slinking past the crowd from behind a concrete pylon.
The fourth image missed was the most interesting:  A Coalition Party activist called Peter last sighted infiltrating the Peter King pre selection campaign in Double Bay, then Clover Moore 2004 campaign for Town Hall, now with digital camera at the ALP conference door. "Just a member of the public" he joshed, as I scoffed mildly and we chatted about how to identify an ASIO operative. We decided we
probably couldn't.



Pictures: Top left to right

1, 2: Cheeky car stickers spotted on the way in

2. Past the Powerhouse museum, design and science of power indeed

3. Laurie Brereton's concrete flyovers gift to Sydney

4. The amazing Benny Zable prophet of eco destruction

5. A resurgent Friends of the Earth activists with 'No Uranium'

6. banner 'renewable energy employs 2 million worldwide uranium mining a waste of labor' with a radioactively mutated 3 headed kangaroo costume

7. Marie OHallaran, public education campaigner (NSW Teachers Federation tbc)

8. Jacqueline X, Dave Sweeney of Austalian Conservation Foundation, Benny Zable patron of Ecology Action Sydney

9. Convention Centre frontage.

10. Security guard eyes off a cute conference goer (off screen)

11. Craig of Workers Radio chats with Benny Zable

12. Labor information stall for refugees and Emily's List

13. A very large gentleman, hard to say ALP or not.

Posted by editor at 2:08 PM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 28 April 2007 10:03 AM NZT
Thursday, 26 April 2007
Some gratuitous legal advice for Crikey.com.au over Georgina Downer's DFAT career
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: independent media

Picture: ABC TV website Australian Story last Monday, with priceless free media profile for Foreign Minister Downer, but is it also a cunning legal booby trap for Crikey ezine distinctively alone in the Big Media attacking Downer for ostensible nepotism.


Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2007 5:04 AM

Subject: Georgina Downer, some free legal advice for Crikey


Well, you guys have really cut loose again with your opening editorial recently about nepotism, from a long run up of reports and accusations, around Georgina Downer with a 3rd class honours getting a prime traineeship with the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


But there is something about Minister Downer's brazenness which I think might be reason to give you pause in a legal sense.


(I have one of those intuitive legal feelings which reminds me a little of the legal stand off over Milne assaulting Mayne balanced against Kerr admitting in Crikey he defamed Milne. Both walk away or it will end in tears for the parties, and happy lawyers.)


The clue about Downer's daughter I think can be found from a similar media mugging by the Daily Telegraph of one junior NSW Minister Reba Meagher: She is supposed to be MP for Cabramatta so why is she living in Coogee? Sounds like a fair complaint until you consider one dead MP in John Newman PM - Ngo found guilty of Newman murder


Picture: Reba Meagher MP for Cabramatta (NSW) regularly sledged for living in comparatively safer Coogee at least for an ALP politician.

So the smear was pretty cheap, and malicious, oft repeated including here in the more up market The Australian: Iemma picks new minister for education | News | The Australian

How does an ALP politician, or any politician for that matter, tell their constituents it's not safe to live amongst them? This was the real point of the Daily Telegraph sledges - they wanted to promote the Alan Jones, Tim Priest, Richard Basham thesis of ethnic crime out of control as here The Rise of Middle Eastern Crime in Australia - Tim Priest ...- and the way to do it was by putting the torch to Reba Meagher: To force her to admit it was too dangerous for her there. Or force her to live there and take her chances with her very life in scary Sydney. A win win from the News Ltd point of view. In the meantime they could ostensibly run the Reba Meagher domicile in Coogee as simply a case of chardonnay socialism.


Who is the moral superior in such an equation? The Telegraph indulging its habitual domestic psychological violence in the so called 'public interest', or the state ALP for putting Meagher in a desperate situation, or herself for such an ambitious subterfuge? Or none of the above.


Which brings us to young ambitious Georgina Downer. No getting around the fact that her father is a warmonger. He barracked for the tragic Iraq war, and he still does now following pretty much the brilliant diagnostic piece here by Ross Gittins: Why 'never again' will never work.

So where does that leave a child of the father? For one thing an enhanced security profile as one imagines for the children of all senior politicians in the Cabinet of this Howard government. We have people convicted or charged with terrorism offences in Australia. We have examples of terrorist violence on trains in London and Madrid. Get the picture? It's a constrained life forever more. And where is this security most practical and convenient? A DFAT bunker and father's secure home in Canberra likely is one of the few professional options. And not a word to be spoken about either.


So again who is the moral superior here? Crikey.com.au for simplifying this situation as nepotism, the Howard government for putting G Downer in this situation, or the young ambitious woman herself. She does get a life too right?


Which brings us to the legal dimensions of this situation. It might look like a case of open and shut nepotism on Australian Story last Monday, condemned in leading terms by the Crikey editorial this week. But one short document from the intelligence agencies of young Downer's security profile and options, endorsing her DFAT placement as sensible and viable would, well, smash that thesis to smithereens.


Does such a document exist? Undoubtedly. If I can think it, some one surely has done it. And therein lies the thorny tentacles of a potential defamation action. Ask the question in the public interest by all means. But go easy on the high moral ground there Crikey. You may just get an answer which is financially inconvenient. And that would not be good for independent media in Australia.


Tom McLoughlin, solicitor in NSW.

Posted by editor at 7:07 AM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 26 April 2007 10:12 AM NZT
Wednesday, 25 April 2007
Moody song list* for ghosts amongst us ANZAC day 2007 remembering WW1, Kokoda, The Rats of Tobruk, Malaya, Vietnam and more
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: peace

It's raining which is good this April 25. And it's ANZAC day remembrance of horrific death, courage and grieving in war time. Truth to be told there is a hint of war glorification in the air as well.

Here's my song list more to the 1960ies end of things for a sombre yet somehow hopeful public holiday in a still quite new country Oz-stray-ya:

YouTube - Traveling Wilburys - I Won't Back Down

YouTube - Cream - Tales of Brave Ulysses

YouTube - No Quarter by Led Zeppelin

YouTube - Tom Petty - Saving Grace

YouTube - Bruce Springsteen-Streets Of Philadelphia

YouTube - Hunters And Collectors - Say Goodbye

YouTube - Massive Attack# - Unfinished Sympathy

YouTube - There There...

YouTube - Bob Dylan - Girl From The North Country (1964)

YouTube - jeff buckley everybody here wants you

YouTube - Free Fallin' - Tom Petty

YouTube - Jeff Buckley - Grace

YouTube - Down By The Glenside - Arcady feat. Frances Black

* Dedicated to Malcolm Rudd in the news recently, notwithstanding the obvious spin by the team for his brother Kevin who aspires to be Prime Minister of Australia: Rudd eviction tale truth: brother | The Nation | The Australian

Posted by editor at 2:40 PM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 28 April 2007 11:41 AM NZT
Tuesday, 24 April 2007
You can't eat yellowcake or drink money so it's bye bye PM Howard?
Mood:  chatty
Topic: election Oz 2007

Above are some salutary clippings from today's Big Media in Sydney. They all tend to suggest a successful ALP conference and the kiss off to PM John Howard who is hot for nuke reactors and cold for saving the planet. He thinks our economy is separate from our environmental wellbeing.

But even the editor of The Daily Telegraph has got a kid who needs an environmental future and who surely has heard of St Paul's warning that the root of all evil is the love of money in 1 Timothy, 6:7-10 as discussed here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Root_of_all_evil 

And as Christian Kerr resident conservative of Crikey.com.au wrote recently there comes a time when people are just not listening. And to that we might add, a time comes when one is either on the right or the wrong side of ecological history.

To be flippant, PM, and to borrow a line from the great Hunters & Collectors song Say Goodbye: You don't make me feel like a country anymore.

For the original tune go to YouTube here, and what a ripping song it is:

And for wonks and others regarding this curious, obscure German headline in the Sydney Morning Herald today:

Ich bin ein Queenslander: Howard woos pivotal state's voters THE Prime Minister, John Howard, has shrugged off the hometown advantage of the Labor leader Kevin Rudd in the key battleground state of Queensland as an "accident of birth".

it refers to this speech by JF Kennedy in Berlin in 1963 apparently from that 'low rent' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ich_bin_ein_Berliner. JF said he was a Berliner too, showing solidarity with the West Germans. Howard is thus a cane toad?

And stone the crows I find myself acknowledging the weight of the column by Gerard Henderson today with the graphic above of the Bob Hawke mask, and its been a long time between drinks as regards that commentator:

Why Rudd should channel Hawke

Gerard Henderson. Inner-city left loves Labor saints like Gough Whitlam and Paul Keating - who led ALP governments to disastrous electoral defeats, writes Gerard Henderson.

And another observation from Big Media. A trend in political photography has emerged in the press and tv prime time news. There is an inordinate focus on Howard and Rudd's hand gestures. It seems they are all trying to imitate this incredible image captured by Andrew Taylor of Fairfax which featured on Insiders last Sunday 22nd April 07:

Postscript #1: The 'People kiss off Howard' concept here today, Sydney Morning Herald, Anzac day 25th April 2007


Posted by editor at 3:14 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007 1:14 PM NZT

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