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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Tuesday, 22 May 2007
Missing rocket launchers still at large in lead up to APEC in Sydney?
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: legal


This is a press release we noticed today from the legal authorities posted on Melbourne Indy Media a few days ago relating to a high profile mainstream media report in early April 2007:


Further charges over stolen rocket launchers This is a joint Media Release between the AFP and NSW Police.

As a result this report from the Murdoch press around the same story


Bail refused over alleged rocket launcher theft | NEWS.com.au states:


"TWO Sydney men, including an Australian army captain, have been refused bail after being charged with the theft of 10 army rocket launchers.


.....Mr Collins said only one anti-tank rocket launcher has been recovered by police. He said extensive searches had been carried out in bushland for the missing seven weapons, but their whereabouts were unknown.


......Police said the missing rocket launchers had been taken into account in security preparations for the APEC summit in Sydney in September."


The individual posting on Melbourne Indy Media states there is no update on the police website and speculates that this means the "seven" rocket launchers are still at large.


We find this state of affairs very scary including for innocent peaceful protesters who might be at risk.


Postscript #1


In terms of national security credentials two significant political developments here are


1. the interview on the 7.30 Report last night with highly respected army veteran Mike Kelly now a federal ALP candidate complete with glowing reference from Iraq Provision Authority's Paul Bremmer, and role in criminal prosecution of Saddam Hussein:


 "'Incompetent leadership' drives military lawyer to politics


Australian military lawyer Colonel Mike Kelly, who has served in some of the world's most dangerous locations, says the country's "incompetent leadership" is what has driven him to enter politics as one of the Labor party's star recruits. "


; and


2. the PR battle of the Iraqi Govt VIP's with Downer and Nelson parading Iraq's foreign minister in the press here Iraqi minister fails to sway ALP on troops - National - smh.com.aubut hardly rebutting the savage condemnation of the Occupation incompetence by Iraq ex Finance and Defence Minister on SBS last Wednesday May 16th (reported on SAM last Sunday)

Posted by editor at 7:05 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2007 1:09 PM NZT
What happened to the 'playgirl princess and the spies that saved her' story?
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: big media

Mmm, looks like a juicy gossipy story in the middle section of the teasers top of page one yesterday. Only trouble is the story pointing readers to the "Worldwide" section just isn't there in the newspaper. We flicked through the pages 3 times in case we were missing something.

I would have bought the paper normally if I'd seen that teaser. As it is we missed ours yesterday and only saw it for free at the local Marrickville Library a day later.

What did that naughty princess and the spies get up to I do wonder.

Especially after watching the disturbing (last episode?) of Spooks last Friday night on ABC TV where two top spies in MI5 are the full stop to the show in the most harsh way possible in a twisted plot involving the death of Princess Di.

We rang the News Ltd news desk just now, publishers of The Australian ,was immediately transferred, it seemed knowingly, to the voice mail of "MaryEllen" for what job or advice we don't know. We declined a sweet invitation to leave a message. 

It may have happened before where an advertised story doesn't appear in a top line daily newspaper (just as headlines can be mis spelt, rarely). But we can't remember ever seeing it before.

Posted by editor at 2:10 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 22 May 2007 5:16 PM NZT
Terry Hicks skips Sunrise 7 this time, father of the year and community media champ
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: independent media

Jill Hickson, film maker of ARTV program provider to TVS Ch31 community tv tells us her team interviewed Terry Hicks in person last Sunday morning (20th May 2007) at their Addison Rd Centre office. It will be broadcast sometime in the next few weeks on Sunday night 11.30 pm (with repeats at obscure hours).

Terry Hicks is of course the father of alleged terrorist David Hicks recently, finally, mercifully, returned now to Oz: Adelaide Now

We say alleged because we take the view the USA military commission may have been justice or not, but it wasn't seen to be done from our vantage point. 5 years too long. Chucked out by the USA Supreme Court for dodgy process along the way to rise phoenix like. Bullied into a plea and denied British citizenship. We would have to wait for a High Court of Australia decision endorsing the conviction of the younger Hicks before joining the sheepish chorus of Big Media here re "convicted terrorist" which sounds to us like a PR figleaf for the federal govt. Thus we lawyers are the last resort for human rights in a democracy.

On the other hand as a Gandhi type person we don't approve of mercenaries or similar with a psychological disposition to military violence. Between the two lies the politics and law of this situation.

But Terry Hicks is the father, and what a father he has proven to be:

My Australian Father of the Year - Eureka Street 

The Adelaide Review [Issues] Father’s personal fight for human rights

Naturally a controversial choice like the Sydney Peace Prize this year for Hans Blix who effectively opposed the Iraq war in favour of ongoing inspections regime and evidence based approach: Sydney Peace Prize for blunt Blix - World - smh.com.au

But what impresses us at SAM micro news blog now is this startling anecdote from Jill Hickson to paraphrase (as we dug her garden pond yesterday with recycled bath tub):

'While we were doing [the interview] the call came through from Weekend Sunrise at channel 7. Terry told them he had to fly out by 12 midday. They said okay come in, we will put you with Alexander Downer. Trouble is says Terry to the Sunrise researcher I'm booked with community tv. '

[Consternation follows, relative merits and stature, audience size, scheduling, will Terry cancel in favour of Sunrise?].

'Producer for Sunrise rings back and said okay that's fine, respects Terry's decision to do community tv as promised and wants to keep the options open for the future.'

Our comment would be: This was a big call by Terry Hicks, and supremely ethical. The enthusiastic amateurs of ARTV volunteer team organised by pro Jill Hickson were all in place and ready to go. But Sunrise were a much higher profile opportunity. We understand Terry didn't even pause. "End of story" was his conclusion when it was clear the scheduling conflict was impossible to resolve.

The guy has real class. And perhaps he well understands that it's the community good will for his campaign for human rights for his son, right or wrong, which underpins the return of his son in the first place. Groups like  GetUp! - Action For Australia - www.getup.org.au, and many others also from left to moderate right wingers.

In that respect we think he is most likely correct which presumably why he gave this talk to Melbourne University Law School in April.

Declaration: We do legal checking each week pro bono for the ARTV show at 11.30pm Sunday nights Channel 31 Sydney. An ex girlfriend with more radical politics to this writer  became a determined supporter of the Bring David Hicks Home campaign, and congratulations too for this reward for all that hard work.

Postscript #1 May 22nd 2007 at 8 am - Leigh Sales, reporter over reaches

Leigh Sales has published a book presumably through Melbourne Uni Press  which Richard Ackland, legal writer has reviewed here: Detainee 002: the case of David Hicks - Book Reviews - Books ... We have always found Ms Sales very appealing personally but feel quite annoyed with her shaky presentation of the David Hicks situation in this final phase. Ackland is judicious with praise of her book but actually is damningly faint too around concerns of congenital blandness there at the ABC. That is (my words) inability to take a line for truth rather than political mediation of powerful opposing forces in Australian society (read Coalition v ALP). And Ackland is not alone. The reviewer in The Australian from memory (offline?) came a similar conclusion of, well, which side of a many sided situation are you on? Inevitably the answer is every side and no side.

That's not to say its not a highly competent 'flesh on the story' research effort by Sales, to paraphrase Ackland's tick for a media mate.

But here is the drum Leigh from a fan till now. That's no way to really live a life. Doors open and doors close. You have to take a stand for something.

And here is my deconstruction of  Leigh Sales: A marked man for the rest of his life | Opinion of May 21 we think has some howlers (she did a deal for The Australian to extract her book too):

First the headline by the sub editor  - quite vengeful and malicious. No rehab in a Murdoch press paradigm. That's nasty.

Second she compares him to Mamdouh Habib selling his story turned into a PR disaster - actually wrong. It polarised according to prejudice but got out real evidence of real torture endorsed by our oh so real nasty federal govt. In that sense he got to tell his truth and thus save his sanity.

Three, Sales just seems shallow and sort of apples versus oranges quoting the mars bar survivor after 40 days in the Himilayas savaged by the Big Media. (As we recall it was 60 Minutes who paid for the story and went the biff via Richard Carlton, based on the facts?). Sales says the media will turn on him if he sells his story in an exclusive.

Err sorry wrong again. These deals are done every day - its called commerce and the Big Media accept that business paradigm more than anyone built on the advertising industry. No malice is motivated by more than competition. He also has children and been accused of being a no hoper father. That would be highly inconsistent to be attacked for trying to make a living. In fact grotesquely cruel given the suffering he's been through.

Then there is the old chestnut of training with Al Qaeda - well in fact it was the Taliban pre WTC terrorism as we recall it. The oppressive govt of Afghanistan but the govt no less. But its amazing how AQ is available as a pre emptive smear these days regardless of actual evidence, or actual existence, the bogey in the geo politik cupboard.

Then quoting Max Markson, a PR grub if ever there was - remember the dodgy Sherie Blair fiasco with bugger all money actually going to charity: AM - Cherie Blair begins controversial tour of Australia

And Max almost certainly is a dedicated Zionist, while Hicks almost certainly a dedicated anti Zionist which is not in fact quite the same anti semite or bigot or racist: Not even Max Markson would deal with Hicks | Media | The Australian

Lastly we say  if David Hicks considers a life of ecological study as a zoologist in the outdoors in particular compared to 5 years in gaol, then its a good idea. Nature is a known healer like the Tasmanian forests for WW2 veterans in a very shaky state after that scarring experience. It is known as a good thing in this age of climate change which helps with public reputation. And in the best of worlds can be apolitical (though not in this writer's case). Last but not least the environment movement often functions as a redeemer such as developer bankrupts like Ian Kiernan, or corporate pigs who turn over a new leaf like the current head of WWF Australia Mr Bourne and no doubt a long line of others, even Rupert Murdoch showing some green tinges lately.

Posted by editor at 9:25 AM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2007 10:08 AM NZT
Monday, 21 May 2007
Corrupt compromise of the public revenue by Treasurer Costa with Priest affidavit?
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: nsw govt

Picture: NSW Treasurer Michael Costa gave a very helpful affidavit to a trenchant critic of the NSW Govt allegedly in the lead up to the NSW election. But why did he put the public revenue at risk with such evidence? 
----- Original Message -----
To: NSW Auditor Cc: Sylvia Hale MLC Greens Justice spokesperson, ICAC NSW, Greg Pearce Shadow Treasurer, Stateline NSW, Crikey.com.au editor, NSW Law Society, Mike Carlton SMH/2UE,
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2007 1:13 PM
Subject: Referral of Andrew Clennell expose SMH re Costa 'pre election affidavit' questions over compromise of public revenue

NSW Auditor
CC Shadow Treasurer Pearce, Sylvia Hale (Greens - justice portfolio)
By email - 21st May 2007
Dear Sir
SMH expose of Treasurer Costa pre election (2007) affidavit favouring litigant against the NSW Crown
We have had a telephone conversation earlier today with the journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald Andrew Clennell who has written 2 articles extracted in full below.
Significantly Clennell suggests in our conversation the affidavit praising Priest sworn by Minister Costa was prior to the 2007 election.
I am editor of a micro news website called www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog with expertise in the community media sector for at least 10 years, 2 years as a reader analyst with Media Monitors, and a solicitor in NSW. In 1990-91 I worked in the litigation section of Baker & McKenzie until moving into the ngo sector this last 15 years.
My understanding of the media coverage in the last 6 or even 12 months to the NSW State election is that Mr Tim Priest was conspicuously absent from the cut and thrust of election battle when prior to that he was a very notable figure in the politics of this state around law and order issues. This impact was in particular as a result of substantial media support from Alan Jones at 2GB and his article in the conservative Quadrant magazine here of January 2004
The Rise of Middle Eastern Crime in Australia - Tim Priest ...
Although this article has been substantially attacked for being a blend rather a precise account of criminal events in my view the facts asserted by Priest have never been convincingly rebutted outright, though certainly weakened in terms of credibility. Nevertheless after the Cronullal riot in late 2005 there was a clear political strategy of the Debnam led Coalition to further exploit Priest's claims and witness as per this ethnicly charged report Alan Jones: I'm the person that's led this charge - National ...
Based on our legal experience now rather than political and media analysis we raise this critical question for the protection of the public revenue and legal integrity of the administration of justice in NSW: In my experience whenever a public servant including a minister like Michael Costa has competing legal or moral obligations regarding court evidence inevitably the evidence is provided by way of subpoena rather than voluntary affidavit.
We say if Costa was in agreement with Priest's legal claim, a friend or felt a moral obligation to support Priest for whatever reason he had a clear conflict of interest as a member of Cabinet to withhold any such affidavit until he was compelled by legal process. He indeed could have advised Priest's legal team to seek a subpoena to avoid his conflict of interest and indeed duty to protect the public revenue as much as was reasonable.
We are deeply concerned to know without knowing either way whether or not Mnister Costa may have offered an inducement to Priest to self censor any role in the NSW election period in order to obtain a favourable affidavit of evidence enabling a substantial payout to satisfy the $2.5M claim by Priest. For instance it would be our expectation that professional politicians at that level would well know the political equation involved as we have outlined above and that taking Priest out of the debate would be a political coup for the ALP government under very great pressure in their 4th re election contest since 1995, with a Premier virtually forced to retire in mid 2005.
In particular we note this revealing article by Mike Carlton quoting "police sources" last Saturday 19th May 2007
Let me tell you about the copper and the deal done - Opinion - smh ... .
We have added bold in these quotes:
"As Andrew Clennell reported in the Herald on Wednesday, "the affidavit is understood to contain words to the effect that Mr Priest could have made the senior ranks of the police service, such as assistant commissioner or deputy commissioner, had he not been sidelined after a stint at Cabramatta".

My police contacts say this is not a view widely shared at the higher levels of the force. But Costa's lunging intervention was enough. The police minister in office before the election, John Watkins, was advised by Commissioner Moroney and legal counsel to settle the action.

"There was a risk of greater cost to the taxpayer if this case continued," Watkins told me on 2UE on Tuesday. Claiming the matter was confidential, he refused to reveal how much had been paid out. But if Priest and his wife got even half the amount they were demanding, which seems at least possible, we are talking seven figures.

Whatever the worth of Costa's opinion, the truly startling thing is that a Government minister - the Treasurer, in charge of the taxpayers' money, for heaven's sake - should take sides with a claimant suing for a fat chunk of that money. It is, quite simply, bizarre."

We say it appears more than bizarre. It appears as a wild departure from the usual role of evidence by subpoena, instead an affidavit pre election. Putting this with the conspicuous silence of Tim Priest during the election period and we say res ipsa loquitur - the matter speaks for itself.

Please advise whether this course of conduct by Treasurer Costa has in fact wasted substantial public revenue for failing to adequately support the legal defence to the Priest legal claim.

We are similarly copying this correspondence to ICAC in order for them to inform themselves and consider whether this matter deserves investigation in case it involves improper political reasons for settling the legal action to avoid political criticism during the sensitive election period, as described above. Suffice to say we believe it does look that way on the information in the public domain.

Yours truly

Tom McLoughlin, editor www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog


Costa's affidavit help for Priest - National - smh.com.au
Andrew Clennell State Political Editor
May 16, 2007

THE NSW Treasurer, Michael Costa, wrote an affidavit on behalf of the disgruntled former police officer Tim Priest that could have led to higher damages being paid by the taxpayer in a Supreme Court action Mr Priest was taking against the Government.

The affidavit is understood to contain words to the effect that Mr Priest could have made the senior ranks of the police service, such as assistant commissioner or deputy commissioner, had he not been sidelined after a stint at Cabramatta.

The Government settled its case with Mr Priest on April 13 for an undisclosed sum. Mr Priest had been suing the police service for more than $2.5 million for "psychiatric injury", breach of contract and negligence.

The Herald learnt yesterday that the Government settled a separate action with Mr Priest's wife, Karen, the same day. There is speculation Mr Priest's settlement was as much as $1 million, based on past legal advice to the Government.

Mr Costa's office said yesterday the Treasurer had written an affidavit supporting Mr Priest's case.

Mr Costa's spokesman, Mat Jones, denied the affidavit had called Mr Priest a potential "future commissioner".

Asked if the document had talked about Mr Priest having had an opportunity to reach the top of the police hierarchy, Mr Jones said Mr Costa had no further comment.

The document reached the Crown Solicitor's office and NSW police legal services but it is unknown whether it reached the Supreme Court, where hearings were still some way off when the settlement was made.

The shadow treasurer, Greg Pearce, raised concerns last night about Mr Costa's actions. "I believe Tim Priest was poorly treated, but it's entirely inappropriate for Costa, as the Treasurer, to intervene in this way," he said.

The former police minister John Watkins, who approved the settlement with Mr Priest, said yesterday he did so after a recommendation from the Police Commissioner, Ken Moroney, and senior counsel that settling would save money.

"There was a risk of greater cost to the taxpayer if this case continued," he told 2UE.

However, Mr Costa, who as police minister in 2001 befriended Mr Priest and employed him as a consultant in his office, is believed to have pushed for the settlement.

Mr Watkins denied the settlement had anything to do with secret police documents on an operation known as Operation Retz that Mr Priest's legal team had been seeking.



Costa's whistleblower mate wins damages

Andrew Clennell State Political Editor
May 13, 2007

THE Iemma Government has paid out the controversial whistleblower and former policeman Tim Priest, who had claimed more than $2.5 million damages from the police service for "psychiatric injury" and a breach of contract.

It is believed the settlement follows a push on Mr Priest's behalf by the Treasurer and former police minister, Michael Costa, who befriended Mr Priest during controversy over crime in Cabramatta in 2001-02 and employed him as a consultant during that period. The office of the Police Minister, David Campbell, confirmed NSW Police Force settled with Mr Priest in early April, just after the election, but refused to say how much it had paid the disgruntled former officer.

Mr Priest repeatedly hung up on the Herald when it called him about the settlement.

Mr Costa, who would not comment yesterday, befriended Mr Priest after being introduced to him by the broadcaster Alan Jones in 2001. This followed Mr Priest's allegations to a parliamentary inquiry about the police handling of drug and gang crime in Cabramatta. The former police minister Paul Whelan and former police commissioner Peter Ryan lost their jobs in the wake of the Cabramatta affair. Mr Costa employed Mr Priest as an adviser on gangs for a time.

Mr Priest was suing the state of NSW, claiming psychiatric injury and alleging negligence and breach of contract concerning his service as an officer at Cabramatta.

The former detective came to prominence as a disaffected officer stationed at Cabramatta in 2001 when he accused his superiors before the parliamentary inquiry of ``criminal neglect'' in the handling of drug- and gang-related crime.

Last year he backed the claims of the then Opposition leader, Peter Debnam, that the Government was soft on gangs in western Sydney and confirmed he had spoken to the Liberal Party about standing for it in the March state election.

Settlement of the matter follows demands from the Supreme Court, after an application by Mr Priest, for internal police documents that the police force was keen not to release.

Settlement of the matter follows demands from the Supreme Court, after an application by Mr Priest, for internal police documents that the police force was keen not to release on Operation Retz - an investigation which led to the sacking of former assistant commissioner Lola Scott in 2002. It is believed that there is some potentially embarrassing information in the documents.

Mr Priest's case had been some way from being heard, with the ``discovery'' of documents still being worked out when the decision was made to settle, a police spokesman said.  Mr Priest's case was handled by Crown solicitors and the police legal services branch.

Mr Priest told a federal parliamentary committee in October 2002  that the office of Mr Costa had helped him receive some payment from the police service and a police pension.

``I was invalidated, medically retired from the police,'' Mr Priest said.

``Only recently I had been denied any compensation from the NSW Police but, owing to the interference and the persistence of Police Minister Michael Costa's office, that was set right.

'`I have received a lump payment and I am on a police pension of about $1100 a fortnight at the moment.'' The pension payments are believed to have been discontinued upon settlement.

Posted by editor at 3:15 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 21 May 2007 3:29 PM NZT
Do the math - 5 metre sea rise in 90 years on a non linear ice shelf collapse
Mood:  lazy
Topic: globalWarming

Picture: Quoting USA Today 12th May 2007 "   Iceberg B-15A, which broke off in March 2000, sits at a right angle to C-19, which broke away from the Ross Ice Shelf last last week."

Sent: Monday, May 21, 2007 10:28 AM

Subject: do the math on NASA's Dr Hansen advice of 5 METRE sea rise in 90 years with non linear ice shelf collapse

(Just another reason to stop forest destruction and land clearing of natural carbon store.)
Regarding your State of the Planet last week, I took the trouble to follow the links to quality Grist news site with Dr James Hansen NASA, (also carry a one to one interview with Rupert Murdoch). Hansen references his recent scientific paper that a more likely scenario than the IPCC predictions on minor sea level rise goes like this (be afraid, very afraid): 15 May 2007  An interview with renowned climate scientist James Hansen |  

 "I've actually written a paper and submitted it called "Scientific Reticence and Sea Level Rise" [PDF], because it just seemed to me that there was a gap between what scientists really thought and what was in the public knowledge in regards to ice sheet stability and sea level rise."

at the pdf  [bold added] dated 23rd March 2007

"Under BAU forcing in the 21st century, sea level rise undoubtedly will be dominated by a third term (3) ice sheet disintegration. This third term was small until the past few years, but it is has at least doubled in the past decade and is now close to 1 mm/year, based on gravity satellite measurements discussed above. As a quantitative example, let us say that the ice sheet contribution is 1 cm for the decade 2005-2015 and that it doubles each decade until the West Antarctic ice sheet is largely depleted.


That time constant yields sea level rise of the order of 5 m this century. Of course I can not prove that my choice of a 10 year doubling time for non-linear response is accurate, but I am confident that it provides a far better estimate than a linear response for the ice sheet component of sea level rise."

Dr James Hansen NASA.


Last weekend one of the commercial tv channels in Sydney reported footage of another ice huge like 200 sq km block falling into the Arctic sea: USATODAY.com - 124-mile-long iceberg breaks off Antarctica May 12th 2007


So do the maths - 1mm a year, 1cm in 10 yrs, 2cm in 20yrs, 4cm in 30yrs, 8cm in 40 yrs, 16cm in 50 yrs, 32cm in 60 yrs, 64cm in 70yrs, 1.28m in 80yrs, 2.56m in 90yrs. Total sea rise - 5.11 metres by 2100. Exponential rate of change is like that - very unforgiving.


Tom McLoughlin, editor www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog


Posted by editor at 12:30 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 21 May 2007 2:12 PM NZT
Sunday, 20 May 2007
Sunday political talkies: Capt Jack in pirates 4 coming to an APEC near you
Mood:  chatty
Topic: election Oz 2007

Picture: Will Capt Jack Howard be eaten by electoral fate? Will he go down with the Liberal ship as APEC meeting of the world's pirates ...err leaders comes to Sydney Sept 07? Images from YouTube trailer of Pirates 3 World's End movie out May 24. 

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:

Significant shifts this week in media coverage. Wheels fell off AWAs re Big media/govt/corporate complex re polling bad for govt, ALP/unions hang tough, budget no bounce, wages (no) growth stats shows unequal rewards of boom.

Big Media in existential angt navel gazing over 9's CEO bailing out in the press last 2 days but really boring as batshit?.

Weird quotes - Bryan Frith crusty in Murdoch press 'transparency is not good for the market' - WTF? Terry McCrann against lowering of the company tax rate - again WTF? [references in due course]

Hard to read a compass on the political high seas with stuff like this, not least Murdoch himself going carb neutral green in rhetoric at least.

- major story of Nigel Wilson buried re India Pakistan Iran gas pipeline like the US$70 Billion oil supply deal to China from Iran in 2003 or so. USA under Bush promoting Global Nuclear Energy partnership as counter influence energy geo politic with Canada/Australia yellowcake in their sphere of control, counter that is to Middle East 'Great Game' over oil powering western economies.

- this thesis echoed by Hamish McDonald on Japan looking at departing USA assurances vis a vis nuke detterence provision, go nuke weapons for self, which Howard surely wants to do also by enrishing uranium here also, as per Marian Wilkinson (all quality journos and thinkers, Wilson, McDonal, Wilkinson).

- it finally struck this writer re Spiderman 3 movie US$250 million investment - its a homily on the poison of revenge after Sept11 WTC terror to the voters of the USA etc, and a lesson well taken judging by

Picture: Harvard educated, former interim Defence Minister, finance minister now author on SBS Dateline last Wednesday repudiates the Occupation as 'rank amateurs, swaggering disaster', calls for international political solution with neighbours, effectively rebutting the article in today's Sunday Telegraph on p88 "Aussies are crucial to a stable Iraq" quoting comparative political light weight - Istrabadi, a UN diplomat and constitutional author presumably based in New York not the country itself which would focus the mind no end.

- strange reverse smear on "old fogey" Gerard Henderson who went the full on sledge against light and cringeful Jacinta Tynan articles p89 of Sunday Telegraph.

- NASA's James Hansen freaks me out holding firm to 5 metre sea rise quite possibly in next 90 years or so in scientific paper late March cross references here via pdf link at Grist news site (also have access to Murdoch etc) An interview with renowned climate scientist James Hansen |  

 "I've actually written a paper and submitted it called "Scientific Reticence and Sea Level Rise" [PDF], because it just seemed to me that there was a gap between what scientists really thought and what was in the public knowledge in regards to ice sheet stability and sea level rise."

at the pdf

"Under BAU forcing in the 21st century, sea level rise undoubtedly will be dominated by a third term (3) ice sheet disintegration. This third term was small until the past few years, but it is has at least doubled in the past decade and is now close to 1 mm/year, based on gravity satellite measurements discussed above. As a quantitative example, let us say that the ice sheet contribution is 1 cm for the decade 2005-2015 and that it doubles each decade until the West Antarctic ice sheet is largely depleted.

That time constant yields sea level rise of the order of 5 m this century. Of course I can not prove that my choice of a 10 year doubling time for non-linear response is accurate, but I am confident that it provides a far better estimate than a linear response for the ice sheet component of sea level rise." Dr James Hansen NASA

10 Meet the Press 8-8.30 am


 Sunday Mail 'Carter says Blair obsessive with Iraq'.

Footage of Andrew Robb ex Party organizer, re skills shortage attempt to neutralize Budget in Reply by Rudd. Looking grey haired like his boss. Echoes Costello in press looking grumpy.


Goes straight to the polling against the govt. Tuning out he says. Politics free week. Getting a bit sick of it all. Draws attention 4th term, do another term, do it well. Talking Rudd’s case – bad start for Robb. Respond appropriately – climate change matters. [as per Australian lead story re carbon trading via APEC summit]


Q. desperate measures go to Costello like Hawke 1983 –  absolutely the wrong strategy. Work harder.


Radio footage Costello, would jump out with the parachutes leaving Rudd Gillard to die in a plane crash. [ Echoes the ruthless nature of his character in hawks arrogance in Iraq.]


Footage of Rudd 2650 trade training facilites. Robb as minister of vocational training carps and reacts – sounds like an Opposition.


Panel Jennifer Hewitt now with The Australian, Peter Hartcher Herald – Robb pressed on money ‘wasted’ on policy backflip ‘will monitor week to week [meaning if polls change, rort of tax funds].


Robb sounding very tired, misses his cue to wind up 3 times.


Rubbery figures by Nicholson off the Australian has Howard and Rudd scrapping to meat the Dalai Llama to celebrate peace and love to be reborn as cockroaches.


Ist ad break public education junior schools theme.


2nd half – Hicks return to Australia today. Civil Liberties expert Dr Kristine Klugman Civil Liberties Australia.  PB asks issue neutralized? Takes the principle line not the politics so possibly out of her depth.


APEC controls draconian. Iraq involvement is main problem. Army carrying guns in streets? Gun culture like USA.


Hewitt presses re threat level, justified? Says people may agree for temp suspension but afraid of ASIO raids on Muslims in lead up to election based on Tampa electoral choreography [my word] experience. As a deliberate strategy in the election period. Yes.


Came across as a bit woolly but its becoming very clear atmospherics around APEC are the next big political chronology in federal politics – climate policy, muslims alleged threat, Iraq drawing trouble unlike NZ or Canada.

Picture: The govt definitely has whiskers on it now with polls suggestive of a Davy Jones Locker result next election, the question being do Australians really want an economic pirate for a Prime Minister (Howard/Costello in the alternative)?


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


7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary  - Come on 7 time to start streaming this on your website???!!!!


Riley Diary, likeable new compere there again. Mark Riley looking a little grey and fortyish, compared to younger version of 'Riles' weekend reporter on Saturday news.


Feature on FoI Yes Minister rejection of $10B – drought in information. Turnbull looking exposed. FoI to protect officials.


Footage of PM refusing to answer “Will you release the water documents”. Document


Milky Bar kid  moniker with amusing footage of Rudd as this.


Q & A re advertising for Work policy expense. Similar to Hartcher on 10 above. $50M on advertising. Public should get behind reform of political advertising.

show goes on to story on Pirates movie in our theme here.

Footage of Costello gag jump from plane with/without parachutes. Women across the country cringe?

Insiders 2


Intro re govt confronting its immortality.  Lovely Leigh Sales with luke warm reviews of her book for being too balanced and therefore chronically ABC bland, on Hicks return. She wants the exclusive first pics if possible.


News rap Blair swing through Iraq, a tragedy of arrogant confidence really, which is what power does to all leaders in a democracy that they know better.


Ruddock cross – dead fish tone. Virtually endorses Sales book – kiss of death really for her – a journo career in search of a vocation if ever I saw one. Rudd defends indefensible 5 year delay of justice. Ugly stuff.


Everyperson segment – bleeding hearts disturbed by Hicks treatment.


Panel – Farr Murdoch Sydney Telegraph, Milne looking fitter on the wagon same Murdoch press, Lenore Taylor - ‘barnacle of Hicks removed’ metaphor, nice (like Shark Tale scene on tv last night, very funny).


Paul Kelly soliloquy from Murdoch press – insider/outsider thesis – good enonomic figures for the govt. Sounds plausible on a range of stuff Rudd, water etc, economy etc


Milne - 'mid paradigm' insight reveals - 1. he still has boyish appeal 2. his brain is reviving and is still good like Bill Leak from quitting booze for good 3. the peers appreciate the return in decent form. Good luck Glenn you are redeeming yourself. That's good for democracy even if your Costello grump story this morning in the Sunday Telegraph looking like a grumpy pirate too.


Milne comes out with another impromptu cracker: Abbott is turning into another naked Peter Debnam. Ouch metaphor, of course Abbott is rival to Milne's own mate Big Pete C. (generally refers to stupid 'six pack' photo in Sat Herald from memory.)

Sunday 9


Terrible child abduction case in Portugal.


Feature on fathers rights follows by the look. Custody issues panel.


 Oaks with Ruddock?  No Oaks interview today? Rugby mini panel discussion.


Turnbull in fact is the subject. Reckless Rudd he says on Japanese whalers. [But ignores general view Japan are enviro and diplomatic vandals – on chipping forest, on whales, on seeking own nuke weapon deterrent, on denial of own war history.] Probably will be a vote winner for Rudd.


Macquarie Bank involved in water here? Resounding yes, as per the UK. Will go down like a lead balloon. Plundered for cash says Turnbull of State Govt on their water utilities. As if Macbank would be better.


Serious threat of water shortages affect power, not alarmist talk as such. Goes into boring dissertation, talk talk talk.


[irony of car adverts in wild scenery and majestic animals, when in fact its burgeoning car fleet, roads, mobile energy emissions killing those natural areas. A real Orwellian eco mind f*ck]




Picture: is that the ship sinking, or the sea rising? Refer world class climate scientist James Hansen quotes in Media Background above re 5 metre rise in the next 90 years.

Posted by editor at 10:48 AM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 20 May 2007 1:17 PM NZT
Saturday, 19 May 2007
Imitation is the best form of flattery, Eco, Eco Shout, GE frog, whatever
Mood:  on fire
Topic: independent media


Picture: This is our frog logo and ecology networking group in local community press Sydney City Hub on page 3 for 2 years 2005-2006 up to the last NSW State election.

We noticed this latest micro news start up recently called EcoShout. When you sift through the grains, drill down through the rock you find its organised by, well associated with, Friends of the Earth in Melbourne always the strongest base for that network in Australia.

SAM's editor was associated with the moribund FoE Sydney office for too long in our working ngo lives until 2001, so we find this ironic they have adopted an outreach vehicle similar to our Sydney Alternative Media website here, with some 12,000 password protected hits per month, given our alter ego ecology action sydney.

We know something about news work they may not but that's okay, and imagine they will teach us a thing or two. Good luck Eco-Shout! And yes if they contact us we will share this profound gem.

And we already realised an Eco 2-page spread every Tuesday in the Sydney Morning Herald was a bit of a rip-off of our ecology action moniker too. But hey no one really owns it, except to say again its roughly the same news/green model, just much bigger circulation.

It's the same comment to withhold for now as to EcoShout above. Even so good luck Eco!

It's in a long line of copy reuse, and even in some more sinister cases, counterfeit - the frog sticker in NSW State Forests propaganda for that logger agency a few years back comes to mind.

Then we did a double take yesterday to see a corporate advertiser General Electric on the high quality USA Grist news site in the form of a very green cute frog. Whoa. It's on this story about Big Rupert here An interview with Rupert Murdoch about News Corp.'s new climate ... along with the athlete carrying 'clean coal' (talk about fiction becoming reality, or just plain old fiction as fiction). It's call EcoImagination apparently.

GE operate nuke plants and other scary stuff so presumably is into greenwashing too, like Big Rupert to some degree, the frog being the logo again of ecology action sydney above, which is fair dinkum green. Way green. And before you get too greenwashed check out this sobering reminder of the nuke cycle reality:

Now we don't pretend to have influenced GE's advertising dept, nor does anyone own the frog as a symbol but talk about de javu.

And now we notice a cute new tool "share this post" feature at the bottom of our blog template.  Is this a hint to network our news more? As Danny Concannon of the 'Washington Post' would say - okay.

Postscript #1 23rd May 2007 7.30 pm

We have just updated the biography of the editor on our "profile" at the right hand side button, and for the sake of disclosure in this sensitive election period we include it here:

Name:  Tom McLoughlin
E-mail:  ecologya@telpacific.com.au (mobile phone 0410 558838)
Location:  Sydney Australia
Birthday:  22 June, 1964
Bio:  1979-81 - Junior Surf Boat Victorian State Champions; ...........1979-81 - Captain under 18, Old Collegians Australian Rules FC Premiers, Best and Fairest..........1981 - Year 12 (HSC), CBC Warrnambool.........1982 - retail KM Lynch wine merchants.........1983-86 - zoology degree ANU Canberra........1987 - Trademarks Examiner, Canberra public service.........1988-9 - law degree (hon) ANU Canberra.........1990-91 - Baker & McKenzie solicitors Sydney............1993-94 - NSW Campaign Coordinator, The Wilderness Society (Australia) with significant victories including listing of several 100K ha of protected wilderness especially forest, and removal of state govt.......1995-1999 - Councillor, Waverley Municipal Council, with significant victories such as closure of Waterloo Incinerator, prevention of private rail onto Bondi Beach, paved way for 3 Greens at next election from one in '95..........1998 July - legal adviser Jabiluka protest camp NT..........1995- 2001 - office coordinator, natural heritage campaigner Friends of the Earth Sydney;............2002-04 - founder Turrella activist centre, Sydney involving renovation of 1000sqm factory site and 15 tenants...........5-6/2002 travel Chile, Western Europe...........7/2002 ongoing - founder/principal ecology action australia, significant victories include $15K funding to successful Chilean civil society rejection of Alumysa US$3B hydro/smelter scheme...........2002 ongoing - gardener p/t Addison Rd Community Centre...........6/2006 - recommencement as NSW solicitor...........1/2007 ongoing - founder Sydney Alternative Media news website ..............3/2007 ongoing - website builder for Addison Rd Community Centre Sydney..............4/2007 ongoing - structure working group of international OurMedia network.

Interests:  rock climbing, cycling, media especially press, movies, books, quality modern music, body surfing, bushwalking, blogging

Picture: The editor sans spectacles gawping at the hand held digital camera, which probably has a time delay if we could find the booklet, thankfully set to red eye control.


Posted by editor at 1:09 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2007 9:31 PM NZT
The Grist on Murdoch, an evolving green story
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: big media

People say Rupert Murdoch, media mogul, is simply moving with the times and getting ahead of something big and serious. We prefer to think that he is looking into the eyes of his young child and knows what we all know - we are amazing animals that need our mother earth like nothing else in this universe.

Over to Grist here 16th May 2007 who obtained privileged access to the Man, and look out for the reference to George W Bush being a covert greenie (#@$&?!). Hysterical hey?:

Murdoch, She Wrote

An interview with Rupert Murdoch about News Corp.'s new climate strategy

By Amanda Griscom Little

16 May 2007
Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch.
When Rupert Murdoch, the cantankerous and conservative owner of Fox News, enthusiastically joins the fight against climate change, you know we're past the tipping point on the issue. Think landslide.

Last week,
the media mogul pledged not only to make his News Corp. empire carbon neutral, but to persuade the hundreds of millions of people who watch his TV channels and read his newspapers to join the cause. Messages about climate change will be woven throughout News Corp.'s entertainment content, he said, from movies to books to TV sitcoms, and the issue will have an increasing presence in the company's news coverage, be it in the New York Post or on Hannity & Colmes. Yes, as Murdoch told Grist in an exclusive interview on his climate plan, even Fox News' right-wing firebrand Sean Hannity can be expected to come around on the issue.

Murdoch's climate conversion marks a major turning point for a man who has made campaign contributions to numerous conservative Republicans, including recently ousted Sens. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), both of whom have expressed skepticism about the reality of climate change. Now, as Murdoch told Grist, a willingness to address the climate challenge will be a "litmus test" in his political giving.

Still, Murdoch is hardly a sentimental do-gooder. "[A]cting on this issue is simply good business," he said during the launch of his climate plan last week.

Whatever the motivation, News Corp.'s global reach is immense, and its grand climate plan could, if faithfully implemented, have a seismic impact that makes that of An Inconvenient Truth look like a tremor.

I sat down with Murdoch in his midtown Manhattan office after the launch to discuss how he came to embrace the climate cause, what he thinks of President Bush's environmental record, and whether an action hero can drive a hybrid car. (Full disclosure: I have a book contract with HarperCollins, a News Corp. company.)

questionWhat motivated you to implement your climate plan? Was there a "conversion moment" when you realized this needed to be a priority?

answer I grew up in Australia, which is facing its worst drought in 100 years -- that has struck a personal chord for me. I've read about the climate issue over the years, but I was probably a bit more skeptical than my son, James, who's a complete convert, and who converted me. I saw what he did at [British Sky Broadcasting] and we said, well, let's make it company-wide.

question So this is an example of younger-generation sensibilities trickling up?

answer Well, more twisting my arm, at first. But I've become more enthusiastic day by day. I don't think there's any question of my conviction on this issue -- I've come to feel it very strongly. The more I've looked into it, the more I've been able to see what we can do, not just from an operations standpoint but by subtly introducing [the climate issue] into our content.

question What do you intend to achieve with your climate plan, and how will you meet your goals?

answer We want to help solve the climate problem. We'll squeeze our own energy use down as much as we can. We'll become carbon neutral for our own emissions within three years, and be entirely transparent throughout the process, publicly reporting our reductions and offsets. But that's just a start. Our audience's carbon footprint is 10,000 times bigger than ours, so clearly that's where we can have the most influence.

Posted by editor at 12:30 PM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 19 May 2007 12:47 PM NZT
Complaint re NSW Stateline airbrushing real news on logger vandalism of public heritage
Mood:  irritated
Topic: big media
----- Original Message -----
From: To: John Cameron Director News Current Affairs Cc: Clover Moore MP ;Sylvia Hale MP ; Lee Rhiannon MP ; Ian Cohen MP ; Harriet Swift ; Jill Redwood Env East Gippsland, John Kaye MP 
Sent: Saturday, May 19, 2007 9:42 AM
Subject: Fw: Grounds for complaint: ABC NSW Stateline failure to report the real news in state round up Re: [chipstop] Fw: community rally at Batemans Bay against logger vandalism of the tourism coast

----- Original Message -----
From: To: ChipStop networkCc: Sen Stot Despoja, Sen Siewart, Sen Nettle, Sen Murray, Sen Bob Brown, Sen Bartlett, Sen Allison. Sent: Saturday, May 19, 2007 9:35 AM
Subject: Grounds for complaint: ABC NSW Stateline failure to report the real news in state round up Re: [chipstop] Fw: community rally at Batemans Bay against logger vandalism of the tourism coast

ABC Stateline refuse to ever cover protest stories like Gulaga logging outrage below, and last Friday evening was no exception, even as it runs in regional press, even as the show should ethically and professionally in the 'state round up' section of the programme if not a decent story. Make no mistake, it's a deliberate snub of this matter of public concern.  It is real news. It is of general interest.

This is my professional assessment based on 2 years as a reader analyst with Media Monitors (the unofficial Big Brother information arm of Govt and Big Business), and 15 years in the ngo sector.

It even ran in the not very sympathetic Sydney Daily Telegraph here last Thursday and page 3 Batemans Bay Post etc.as reproduced on my micro news blog www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog 


This advisedly is grounds for a formal complaint to the ABC senior management, and it's been going on for about 2 years now here in NSW as regards community opposition to publicly owned forests being trashed as shown by poll after poll. For example here

April 2002...East Gippsland opinion poll on attitudes towards logging, of general significance for regional Australia

As always the ABC is not about truth per se in the sense used such as Peter Manning media expert at UTS school of journalism, it is about "balance" and that's not balance of facts but political mediation Media Report - 18 October 2001 - Balance in Political Reporting. Truth is entirely a relative substance in such a broadcasting culture of survival first, public duty a long way second. We all know what happend to the ABC Radio National Earth beat programme.
The irony is that NSW ABC Stateline cannot even enter the fray to report any side of the logger trashing of well over 100 State Forests in the last several years, as here

19/3/2003...NSW government 'Big Logging List' giving background to the Bob Carr/ALP government real forest performance in the lead up state election in March 2003.

even on the loggers side which would at least give the issue some attention and something for the public to address. How pathetic is that?

I can't take this forward any more because they know how I feel and it's a scatched record and they don't give a damn about whether its true, or fair, whether it complement's climate change or water catchment concerns. It's bias pure and simple and some kind of political fix. My view, it's all about power and job security at the abc and fear and loathing. That's the Lib/Lab country we live in.

What I would recommend is that diverse people from different parts of the SE of NSW and more broadly send 'a letter of concern' at the "omission" and "failure" of Stateline to cover the news on the south coast of NSW on "our" abc.

You can send it to the executive producer

travis.murray@abc.net.au as I have been doing all the usual updates of this unfolding tragedy.

The complaints pages is at this page:

  • Complaints
    How do I make a complaint?

    and direct link here: http://www.abc.net.au/contact/

  • and I suggest copy it to his superior for News/Current Affairs
    ABC Ultimo Centre
    700 Harris Street
    Ultimo 2007;
    GPO Box 9994;
    Sydney NSW 2001;
    Phone (02) 8333 3095;
    Fax (02) 8333 4551;
    Director: John Cameron

    and Managing Director
    Australian Broadcasting Corporation;
    ABC Ultimo Centre;
    700 Harris Street;
    Ultimo 2007;
    GPO Box 9994;
    Sydney NSW 2001;
    Phone (02) 8333 1500;
    TTY: 1800 627 854; (Deaf & hearing impaired)
    Fax (02) 8333 5344;
    Managing Director: Mark Scott;
    Chief Operating Officer: David Pendleton;

    Yours truly, Tom McLoughlin, principal ecology action sydney, editor www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog
    solicitor in nsw
    ----- Original Message -----
    To: Chipstop network Cc: Murray Travis NSW Stateline Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2007 7:58 AM
    Subject: [chipstop] Fw: community rally at Batemans Bay against logger vandalism of the tourism coast

    sent broadly to nsw and federal mps and some other networks
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 7:44 PM
    Subject: community rally at Batemans Bay against logger vandalism of the tourism coast

    Full gallery here: index.blog?topic_id=1083693
    Wednesday, 16 May 2007
    Community protest today in Batemans Bay re logger vandalism of the tourism coast
    Mood:  sad
    Topic: ecology
    Postscript# 1
    To quote the 'receipt of complaint' screen at the ABC website, the peers of ABC Stateline can consider this shameful situation for themselves:

    Thank you!

    Thank you for your email to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. General emails offering personal opinions, comments and suggestions will be noted and forwarded to the relevant area.

    Emails that request specific information or require a detailed response may be directed to a specialist ABC area for their advice.

    As the ABC receives a large volume of emails every day, we ask you to note that it may take up to four weeks for a detailed response to be forwarded to you.

    Unfortunately, the ABC is unable to answer questions about
    ABC TV program guide more than four weeks in advance. Visit the ABC TV program guide for the latest information.

    Posted by editor at 11:51 AM NZT
    Updated: Saturday, 19 May 2007 12:50 PM NZT
    Friday, 18 May 2007
    Aye there cabin boy Hartcher over yonder Capital deck, tis a scurvy day for plundering the tax purse, aye
    Mood:  lyrical
    Topic: big media

    Pardon our reprise of talk-like-a-pirate day, as the rain patters down here in Sydney Town. Ain't it lovely.

    We at SAM here wonder whether youngish Big Media blade Peter Hartcher - who like Stephen Mayne at crikey.com.au has the excellent capacity to see over the financial ramparts - has been stung into action by some stirring letters there at the Sydney Morning Herald today 18th May. Or maybe stung by our criticism Big Media including PH are pirates (just like Macquarie Bank) for amplifying matey corporate advertisers barracking for cruel AWA's. Or is PH simply taking corporate revenge with his column today on behalf of Fairfax against the govt for losing the AWA stoush beloved of corporate bean counters everywhere?

    Indeed the dirty little secret of AWA's is that they have suppressed wages growth in a booming economy, as a sharp lad like Hartcher surely knows: Wages held down by IR laws - NEWS.com.au - 16 May 2007. If AWA are so good why are everyone's wages not growing with the profitability of the economy? Because it's a rip off obviously.

    In our view that report of suppressed wages killed AWA's dead 2 days ago. Hence also our call for the Big Media commentariat to reveal their rare high AWA salaries while barracking for oppressive AWAs for everyone else on behalf of Big Capital/Govt/Media complex. 

    The letter writers in the Herald today take umbrage at  the revealing but jarring opinion piece here only yesterday

  • Peter Hartcher: Macquarie's small bickies compared with big boys
  • pointing out no doubt accurately the home grown international pirate Macquarie Bank is small fish compared to the whale sharks on Wall Street, New York USA. '100 times our PM's salary' for their CEO is some 'small fish' apparently, but to make the point was always going to get Peter Hartcher a big reaction. And friction from us little guys.

    Now also today the bleeding hearts in the Fairfax readership have been appeased in quick measure with a 'look over there' cannon fire at the PM while he's down in the polls by Peter Hartcher; a Howard Hating piece dense with facts re $1.7 billion of govt advertising in the life of the Howard regime. Ouch. It's a cracking read too.

    Picture: PM Howard looks like he's in the crows nest of good ship Big Capital stuck in the canon sights of his critics, arms raised in surrender (adapted from Rocco, Sydney Morning Herald today)

    Here it is:

    Hey, big spender, that's our money

    PETER HARTCHER | Government use of taxpayers' money to propagandise for political causes is utterly unjustifiable. It shows contempt for taxpayers.

    But the sub text seems to be this: Big Capital are pirates with their crappy AWAs no one believes are generally fair. That's understood even in popular culture: mcleod's Daughters gets political

    Big Govt are pirates with their propaganda adverts at our own expense and doing Big Business dirty work - that's understood as above.

    And finally if you look through the gun smoke of real politik battle Big Media are pirates too: No matter how well senior journalists, even blades like Hartcher jig a sea shanty as a diversion with cracking political corruption stories like this one.

    For up until yesterday Big Media commentariat and the Govt were singing the same song as Big Corporates that AWAs were best for the economy and the people. But something went wrong in the chorus. As the ALP win the politics on AWAs with polling and lowly wage growth figures, the Big Media have effectively avoided transparency on their own motives from ultra hierarchical pay structure and cost cutting, while barracking for oppressive AWAs for everyone else. Suddenly the burning torch of transparency was getting way too close to their own backs as the govt case fell apart.

    The Big Media's moral exposure has only really emerged as they shifted to 'he said - she said' type reporting in the face of the ALP and the unions hanging tough.

    Yes the Herald piece by PH today does sledge a juicy advertiser in the govt party (on the way out) but that won't stop the govt advertising drip this election period so no problem there. And Hartcher still gives comfort to big business advertisers with:

    "...business has threatened to fund a campaign against Labor in this election campaign, which is surely its right"

    But let's be real here. Cabin boy Pete and the pirate crew in Big Media have been doing the advertising on AWAs sans election endorsement for Big Capital/Coalition Govt at least up until 2 days ago when the govt raised the white flag and virtually to half mast now. Lest the polls go even further down, down to Davy Jones Locker.

    Indeed Hartcher in this light virtually reads as a revenge story today with "unchain your anger" exhortation to voters in the last line, for the govt expensively losing the AWA argument and Fairfax cutting and running . Ouch again.

    And only now do we read this other letter today about AWAs/Work Choices, which is the burr under the skin of Hartcher and all his Big Media/Govt/Corporate colleagues now for lack of their own transparency. Indeed a dirty little secret obscured by sound and fury:

    By the by this writer lives on about $10K after tax per year. Perhaps its a fitting time to say "the workers united will never be defeated. Oi"

    Posted by editor at 1:55 PM NZT
    Updated: Saturday, 19 May 2007 1:07 PM NZT

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