Here is the column here: Noel Pearson: We must all help to stop abuse
and the offending sentence here
"Those people will the protection of Aboriginal children to fail the same way and as vehemently as they will failure in Iraq."
The headline for Noel's Sydney Daily Telegraph piece 28th June calls for unity of purpose but the conclusion drives a dagger of emotional violence into the hearts of anyone who dares to vary not so much on goals, as methods. Lawyers like Noel Pearson, and this writer, are taught in law school this is known as 'blowing hot and cold'. It's a big no no in professional advocacy actually due to overt inconsistency.
The assertion by Pearson that some people in our political community actually will Iraq to fail in terms of the horrendously savage civil war is plain wrong, and so much so it's actually a form of emotional violence on anyone daring to simply observe the truth that the Iraq Occupation has failed, past tense.
Celebrate Aboriginal Australia:
You are either for us or against us. Absolute truth. And this is our sophisticated Black leader? It's surely a calculated form of rhetoric by Noel Pearson to pander to the Howard govt with the purse strings this side of the federal election. It is also a give away to Noel's limited objectivity let alone diplomacy.
A few weeks ago Noel was claiming in the pages of The Australian greens like this writer with a staunch commitment to Aboriginal social justice wanted billions of people to suffer and die. And there we were thinking we were trying to stop dangerous sea level rise to save millions of lives: Refer our website here for the details:
including analysis there of a slippery provocative article, egregiously airbrushing the true history of the Cape York Land Use Agreement neutered by lack of funding despite its grand substance:
We notice a Board member Ms. Lisa Paul is Secretary of a federal govt department who presents like another Howard loyalist Catherine Murphy at the head of the ultra political National Association of Forest Industries (read woodchippers like Gunns Ltd). And what an extremely political operation Murphy has run quite comfortable with overt industry violence on greens both physical and emotional.To be fair there is also Geof Gallop former WA Premier on the CYI board. But there is also Chairperson - Professor Marcia Langton a long time green hater (especially versus a heroic achiever for the environment being The Wilderness Society) whose academic career was in part built on financial support from ERA uranium miner if memory serves. ERA were responsible for the Jabiluka uranium mine farce in 1998 within Kakadu World Heritage national park, near Jabiru, which actually prefaced the failed Statehood referendum later that year, and then 2001 election loss of power from CLP's Shane Stone to the ALP's Clair Martin in the NT. Stone was a strong ally of Howard.
As the old saying goes - he who pays the piper ....
Thus Greg Sheridan a keen right winger lauds Pearson today and eagerly joins in the emotional and psychological kicking of many experts who have very justified concerns over 11 long years of the Howard Govt to question not just motives but far more importantly capacity or mentality for change, as distinct from grandstanding.
Similarly the editorial tub thumps about "shameful protest" when the shame can be liberally apportioned on this topic:
- the 11 year delay by the Coalition federal govt let alone National Country Party in the NT up to 2001
- the shameless opportunism of an election context
- the amateurish glossing of detail by Minister Brough on 7.30 last night
- the fierce 'ownership' of misery and the cures of same by the centre left parties of the ALP, whether successful or not, in an obvious form of territorial defence.
Only a fool would think this is an easy problem from any side of politics. Addictions in particular are never so easy as just "law and order" let alone a very big cultural divide. But the effort must be made too.
Everyone is holier than thou that the children should come first, as per the Sydney Morning Herald editorial 28th June. Well that's about the only thing I've heard so far that rings true: Actions and money speak a whole lot louder than anything else.
Thus Pearson reminds us of that other great articulate advocate Paul Keating in the great debate over the 'true' modern history of reform in the Australian economy, starting out on Lateline - 07/06/2007: Paul Keating on the lead-up to the federal ... which morphed into Q & A in federal Parliament and then grew like topsy including:
back to Keating again with
The ex PM makes some fantastic instructive points while periodically trashing his credibility with throw away hyperbole as if the bike has got the wobbles at high intellectual speed sommersaulting over the handlebars - saying for instance at one point interest rates were not an issue in the 1996 federal election. Err fraid so Paul. Just like they must have been for Howard in 1983. Whether Keating wins in the end on points I don't know, though I suspect he does actually.
This big economics debate is about who did what, when, did it work and who gets the credit, and the brickbats just like failure of welfare for Aboriginal children. There is plenty of blame and maybe praise to go around in my book.
The issue of chronic poverty and cyclical abuse is intrinsically tricky, and when the debate is paralysed with confusion and emotion you can be pretty sure we are in the realms of power struggles rather than fact or truth. It's as old as human nature and group dynamics.
The timing of this latest govt action perhaps results from another more subtle influence - the embarrassment of budget surplus where no politician can with any moral sense ignore this festering problem with an excuse of too busy on something else.
As always the truth is a synthesis of many different angles and perspectives which is what democracy actually is. So we would recommend more listening and less emotional violence directed at political rivals. And more honest transparency about vested interests.
And listening doesn't mean suspending disbelief either. That's not realistic or honest.
As always it's mostly about the money and how it's managed, which is how those poor Aboriginal People got in this terrible mess in the first place. With economic sovereignty annexed by the Empire in their born to rule arrogance, then the stolen wages, then racial denial of citizens rights, and now hugely disproportionate life opportunities and welfare services, in a non English speaking remote culture. ESL programmes anyone?
It's all about the money for the Cape York Institute, to the major party spoils of the next federal election, to the funding not provided this last 11 years (eg $40m for CYLUA, 1996 broken election promise by John Howard, 1998 broken election promise by Robert Hill), to election promise$ up to Nov. 2007, to the free media the Howard leadership craves. How much indeed for the life of an anonymous child of different race and language who won't ever speak for themself or complain or cause embarrassment. Who effectively dies silently. The South in our North. And answer that honestly.
Up untill recently that black kid's life has not been worth very much at all. And everyone knows it. That's what Australia really is stripped back to the fundamentals. Pretty ugly isn't it? It's our character test and we've been failing it a long time now.
"Bininj culture really strong. You have to look after country. For your grandfather country, like mother country, take care." Yvonne Margarula, Mirarr Senior Traditional Owner.
The land rights were long overdue, hard fought for and won by Aboriginal people, but they are about to be critically undermined, not just by the politics of military-style interventions in problematic Aboriginal communities, but by a more insidious, as yet unrecognised agenda -- mining and nuclear waste on Aboriginal land.
The ALRA gives legitimate powers such as access permits for entry to Aboriginal freehold lands, a veto over exploration and mining and other activities. As noted by the 1974 Woodward Land Rights Inquiry, to deny Aboriginal people the right to prevent mining on their land is to deny the reality of their land rights.
Since gaining control of the Senate, the Howard Government has finally had the parliamentary power to gut the ALRA, which they are doing, but have needed a massive diversion before they introduce the most controversial reforms: radically altering the mining royalty regimes, and potentially remove the veto provision for exploration and mining.
It is no coincidence that many of the communities targeted for “military style intervention” are also areas that are heavily targeted for minerals exploration, particularly uranium, as well as for potential nuclear waste dumps. This includes Western Arnhem Land and Central Australia, where numerous known uranium deposits are being actively investigated by various wanna-be uranium producers.
I have personally visited numerous Aboriginal communities, including some with major social dysfunction and others which have escaped the tyranny of petrol sniffing, grog and domestic violence. This was achieved by the communities and took hard yakka over a decade (or more). Now, they are vibrant, positive and functional communities proud to be truly sustainable. Mining has rarely aided this process.
The use of “social issues” as a diversion to hide the gutting of Aboriginal land rights is malicious and cold-hearted. As with almost everything Howard does, there is clearly more at play -- perhaps it’s time to have a real debate about problems, true partnerships and the future.
As noted by Yvonne Margarula, Senior Traditional Owner of the Mirarr-Gundjeihmi clan of Kakadu and on whose lands the Ranger uranium mine and Jabiluka project lie, “None of the promises last, but the problems always do!” "
The editor met Yvonne Margarula of the Mirarr and Goldman Award winner (and beware the faulty link there to the Mirarr site which could be cyber squatting) in 1997, and at Jabiru going to court in 1998 (she faced a charge of 'trespassing' on her own traditional land for time immemorial!), and we hold her in the highest esteem here at SAM news site. We understand her family have been victims of mining industry culture in the past in the most extreme and fatal ways.
Postscript #2 This brutal, damaging article on the economics debate ran on June 28th a day after the first roughly drafted, and now much better edited, version of this article, to add to my list of a flurry of articles:
The news coverage today reinforces the dirty nature of NSW politics in this "good government".
The Greens are railing against this alleged pay off here:
28 June 2007
Is Fred Nile waiting in the wings to be new Asst Deputy Upper House
Greens MP Lee Rhiannon says the NSW government*s plan today to create
a new position of Assistant Deputy President in the Upper House is
*The Labor government has given no justification for creating a new
position of Assistant Deputy President. This move seems to be designed
to assist Labor politically rather than improve the running of the NSW
Upper House,* Ms Rhiannon said.
*The NSW Upper House is already well served with a President, a
Deputy President, and seven Chairs of Committees who assist the
President on a daily basis.
*This new position will be filled tomorrow and at this stage it
appears Reverend Fred Nile is the only nominee.
*The new position is most likely to attract extra pay and perks. The
NSW Parliamentary Remuneration Tribunal in the past has ruled that way.
*If Rev Fred Nile does take this position Premier Iemma should be
embarrassed as quite recently Rev Nile advocated a moratorium on Islamic
immigration and for decades has bred hostility against the gay and
lesbian community and manoeuvred to dismantle a woman*s right to an
*Apart from the *moral* issues that the Christian Democrats back
Reverend Nile has consistently supported the government of the day in
promoting a conservative agenda.
*He voted with the government when they weakened workers*
compensation laws; watered down community consultation in the planning
process; dismantled public ownership of Sydney*s water supply;
restricted the availability of public housing; and made it harder to
stop land clearing.
*As Labor does not have the numbers in the Upper House Rev Nile*s
vote has been crucial on many government bills.
A motion to appoint an Assistant Deputy President was put to the NSW
Upper House today. Tomorrow the Upper House will vote on who fills the
For more information: Lee Rhiannon - 9230 3551 or 0427 861 568
Today we corresponded briefly with a radio jock curious at my oblique sleding in these terms about the dirty water in Warragamba as follows:
Well without getting too deep just a spontaneous response I suppose based on
1. I just had coffee and was a little fiesty
2. ....I find the whole Warragamba plume story a
false diversion from Nathan Rees culpability for Breaking the Silence
failure by him and Orkopoulous, that Stoner was thrown out of the parliament
for yesterday. Notice Koperberg says - there is no problem. It's classic PR
And the crypto trauma etc of 1998 is why they won't go water recycling now,
but its so cocky to jam the Aboriginal child abuse problem with a Warragamba
non threat. I mean get real. It's been raining for 2 weeks and they only now
have a worry about turbidity? [Polluted dam may see shift to reservoir ]
Rees is the real fear. He worked for Iemma. Almost certainly breifed against
Bryce Gaudry - deselected.
My thesis is Iemma knew all about Orkopoulos scandal well before his press
conference in 2006 getting in front of the curve ball. That's the point.
3. Minister for 'Callan Park' Verity Firth - ...- when she is a demonstrated sleaze on broken election promises
a. dry boat store in Rozelle Bay
b. M5 East
c. Anvill Hill opposition.
As MP for Balmain she should be slam dunked for selling off mental health
services for a university campus ...... let me guess which one.
Yours truly, Tom
Today we also have this story of inquiry into dirty election donations for the duopoly gerrymander up there in the dirt pit:
Coalition wins vote for donations inquiry THE Coalition has won a battle to establish an upper house committee to examine the issue of political donations, as the ALP advertises "business dialogue" packages costing $102,000 for business people to meet State Government ministers.
Here are the Greens again:
MEDIA RELEASE - 27 June 2007
Upper House backs Greens call for inquiry into donations
Greens MP and donations spokesperson Lee Rhiannon today welcomed the decision of the NSW Upper House to establish an inquiry into donations to political parties and candidates.
"This Inquiry is long overdue. There is growing public disquiet about the millions of dollars political parties receive to run their election campaigns", Ms Rhiannon said.
"I will ask that the Inquiry request that key political figures including Paul Keating, Carmen Lawrence and Bob Carr who have spoken publicly about the political party donation process give evidence to this Inquiry.
"The Greens campaigned for this Inquiry in the recent state election campaign so we are very pleased that we won the support of all MPs to undertake this important work.
"The Inquiry will be undertaken by a select committee of six Upper House MPs", said Ms Rhiannon.
The terms of reference for the Inquiry requires that the committee investigate -
·all matters associated with electoral funding and disclosure,
·the advantages and disadvantages of banning all donations from corporations, unions and organizations to parties and candidates,
·the advantages and disadvantages of introducing limits upon expenditure in election campaigns,
·the impact of political donations on the democratic process, and any related matters.
Contact: Lee Rhiannon 0427 861 568
Yesterday ICAC wrote back to us in these terms about the dirty way a litigant who could have really damaged, but didn't, the Iemma govt in the lead up to the State election magically obtained a favourable affidavit from Treasurer Costa, police minister at the relevant times, and reportedly a six figure payout. Get it? Evidence volunteered, not put to the proof via subpoena, or via cross examination. How convenient. As a former litigation lawyer for a big firm here in Sydney I would have loved to have affidavits from the opponents like that. ICAC wash their hands, as I imagine the Auditor General would too if flicked there. They should know it's not just 1 in ten burglaries that are being solved: One burglary in 10 is solved, reveals auditor
"MORE than 90 per cent of all household burglaries in NSW are left unsolved, making it the second worst-performing state in Australia, according to a report by the state's Auditor-General."
I would say its one in ten corrupt govt activities as well. Just look at the regular "investigations" with no convictions for wanton land clearing in regional areas, all too hard or what? Corruption by inaction is our accusation.
"[27th June 2007]
Thank you for the information you provided to the ICAC on 21 May and 14 June 2007 regarding the NSW Government.
The ICAC understands your concerns to be that:
The ICAC Act 1988 sets out the ICAC’s functions, which include investigating and educating the NSW public sector and the community about corrupt conduct and how to combat it.
The ICAC can only deal with corrupt conduct as it is defined in the ICAC Act. In simple terms, conduct is corrupt when it:
· Results or could result in a public official or agency exercising their functions or authority in a partial or dishonest way, breaching the public trust or misusing information or resources, OR
· Adversely affects or could adversely affect the way a public official's duties are exercised and which could involve any of the matters set out in s.8(2) of the ICAC Act, AND
· Is serious enough to constitute a criminal or disciplinary offence, or reasonable grounds for dismissing the services of a NSW public official.
The ICAC does not investigate all matters received and, even if a matter involves corrupt conduct, the ICAC Act requires the ICAC to focus its attention on serious and systemic corrupt conduct.
Your matter has been carefully considered by the ICAC's Assessment Panel. The Assessment Panel is a committee made up of senior ICAC officers, and is responsible for determining what action the ICAC should take on each matter received. The Assessment Panel has determined that the matter should not be made the subject of a formal ICAC investigation.
In making its decision, the Assessment Panel took into account a number of issues, including that the information that would be provided by way of affidavit compared to by subpoena is likely to be similar. It would be difficult to prove that the motive for Minister Costa’s affidavit was for reciprocal assurances from Mr Priest to “self censor” during the lead up to the State election. There do not appear to be any lines of enquiry to support the allegation that the Minister acted corruptly in providing the affidavit. There is also no information to indicate that Minister Costa unduly influenced the decision by the Police Commissioner and the Police Minister for a financial settlement with Mr Priest. The allegations do not indicate the occurrence of systemic corrupt conduct by Minister Costa or any other NSW Government official.
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. Although we are unable to investigate every matter we receive, your information is important to us as it can help us improve our understanding of corruption risks and trends in the NSW public sector. While the information you have provided may not on its own be sufficient for us to commence an investigation at this time, it will be retained and may well assist in future matters. The information you have provided may also be used to inform our corruption prevention and education work.
For more information about the ICAC’s decision?uro;‘making processes, please read the enclosed Information Sheet or visit our website at www.icac.nsw.gov.au.
In any further correspondence to the ICAC please quote the reference number provided."
The bear pit is a dirty dangerous place based on any of the above.It reminds us tangentially of a particularly revolting tv advert prominent at the moment. It's for a financial company in a corporate workshop scene where a coloured guy is dressed as a bear and gets an arrow in his head and dies. All on prime time tv. Laugh? It's revolting.
What kind of a sad rotten society is this exactly as violence is condemned in Aboriginal communities, and this advert runs on prime time under the cover of satire. Meanwhile NSW governance actually is, no satire, such a demonstrably dirty game run by meglomaniacs like Treasurer Michael Costa?
You can complain about that tv advert too at www.advertisingstandardsbureau.com.au but I wouldn't expect any change there just like NSW politics. Apparently it's all voluntary standards of behaviour. Do you think children would wash everyday to avoid sickness if it was voluntary, or wallow in dirt and ignorance? Just asking.
2nd July 8.30 am screenprint from coastal watch at the link above, showing stranded bulk carrier has been dragged maybe 130 degrees heading out to ocean.
Picture: Forum at Marrickville Town Hall Sunday 24th June 07. A coal ship looking suspiciously like the Pasha Bulker is on the banner famous now for being stranded by extreme climate, owned by Japanese interests, with 40-45% of our coal exported to …… Japan to make more climate change!
Last Sunday 24th June we attended a meeting evidencing backlash in the local Marrickville area against the Anvil Hill coal mine decision by the increasingly loathed Planning Minister Frank Sartor. It was a who’s who of the green movement leadership including the ones we saw –
- Senator Bob Brown, Lee Rhiannon MP, John Kaye MP, Cr Rochelle Porteus all of the Greens Party
- Ben Pearson, Climate Change Coordinator for Greenpeace Australia
- Christine Phelps, local landholder litigating against the NSW Govt decision
- Peter Gray, Newcastle Uni archivist and successful litigant against the NSW Govt who revealed that after the State election he has been monstered with 3 protester charges for jumping on the Premier’s car, 6 weeks after the event.
We found the speech of an 18 year veteran of the coal industry Graham, now retired, very instructive:
- 1/3 increase hours worked, 1/3 reduction in pay, overall wages higher
- Local community in the Hunter is destroyed with 60% divorce rate in Singleton and no time for social groups
- He spoke without notes for 10 minutes with weary experience like the determined teacher in Stand and Deliver http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stand_and_Deliver
There were representatives of Greenpeace, Nature Conservation Council, horsebreeders, winegrowers and mining on the platform. Senator Bob Brown in his speech leaned heavily on the latest profound science advice about dangerous ocean sea rise, such as this:
He really spoke well. Second impressive politician of the day with Rudd on Sunday 9 show earlier in the day. I told him myself before the meeting – that’s what you have to be Bob and shook his hand, calm, focused, insightful, energetic. And he didn’t disappoint. Our pictures show the highly attentive Hunter miner and horse stud representative and local landowner all very impressed with the Senator. Bob is getting older but he still has star quality, and not just for Greenies:
“They tell us it will be good for the economy. They are totally wrong. Where is Peter Garrett? Whose going to save us from the coal industry? “
“They talk about 18 [tbc] thousand jobs for 20 years, but there are 63 thousand jobs on the Great Barrier Reef that will be destroyed in 40 years. That’s jobs in perpetuity at risk.”
“In Canberra we have the endangered balding lesser coot. Whereas the red necked drongo is in plague proportions. Theres talk of a cull in November.”
200 people in Marrickville Town Hall, in the heart of marginal seat of Grayndler stuck around until the end. The Greens gave out their slender Climate Futures Bill 2007 and second reading speech.
The Anvil Hill state based land use controversy about our moral role in destroying the Hunter, and coal production to China and Japan helping to destroy our very own long term future, is sincere and quite real. There are disturbing echoes here:
We send the coal so China can make crucial manufactures for us to buy back, like the the 6 foot alphabet caterpillar, face mask, the Kernot boas, my favourite - the Gorilla novelty slippers, and the cricket and thong carry bags. Essential? I don’t think so.
And China’s rhetoric has a strong resonance to it about the West deliberately “outsourcing” this dirty business, none more than our own gerrymander Coalition and ALP major parties pandering to the coal miners:
“Facing criticism as it surpasses the U.S. as the world's largest producer of carbon dioxide, China says that industrialized countries are hypocritical for criticizing its greenhouse gas emissions while buying its products, according to the Associated Press. China argues that developed countries are effectively outsourcing emissions by shifting manufacturing to its factories,
"The developed countries move a lot of manufacturing industry into China. A lot of the things you wear, you use, you eat are produced in China," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang is quoted a saying by the A.P. at a news briefing. "On the one hand, you shall increase the production in China, on the other hand you criticize China on the emission reduction issue."
And the stinging criticism is local too. As Morris Iemma inanely claims there is no environment without the economy (really) Cr Porteus gripes with Minister Verity Firth for the policy sleaze of the last election with broken election promises all over the place:
“During the election campaign, Ms Firth stated she was opposed to both the Rozelle Bay dry boat store and the Anvil Hill coal mine. Both have now been approved.” Lobby Groups fired up after coal mine gets nod, p14 19/6/07 Inner West Courier
To that list add the M4 East Extension back on track (IWC 19/6/07 )free way for more smog.
But there are at least 2 really big shakeouts under way in this terrifying future of escalating sea rise. Don’t believe all the denial talk either. When News Ltd get on board you know the times they are a changing and we won’t all have holiday enclaves in the mountains or economic slaves to keep us afloat like the big business executives:
Even if most people, not least the big politicians, don’t realise Going green - Environment - smh.com.au - is not the end of the world and can even provide a thriving economy in Sweden apparently.
The big economic shake outs underway in NSW are:
Firstly energy production and transmission assets are going to be privatised in part or whole in NSW. We’ve recently written about how ruthless Treasurer ‘the worker’s friend’ Costa is and he will shaft them as night follows day. It’s because both sides of the major duopoly political parties understand the creative destructive capacity of capitalism to restructure and prune and re-orient the coal based energy sector as western society moves to a low carbon energy industry over 10 to 20 years, with planning decisions any time now. The strains of politically inevitability are everywhere
Nor will warnings from the unions change this reality
Nor will faith based assertions of clean coal technology some 20 years away and non existent really
Or pompous denials by blimps like Christopher Pearson amateurish blathering one foot in the big media graveyard
A much higher level of international finance and politics is driving this situation:
Climate hot issue for APEC by Glenda Korporaal
The business community seems to know its all about building renewable energy capacity
(And similarly business editor of The Australian Andrew Main on Trioli 702 radio praising Dr Shi this week 26 June 2007.)
Clean energy needs big commitment (offline p10 Resources section 23-24 The Weekend Australian) quoting national leader for Deloittes Ron Loborec calling for massive increase in capital investment like the IT industry.
And sure enough the coal industry have announced $400M over 10 years but it looks like a pipe dream still NSW coal industry agrees to contribute $400m to clean coal which the Greens sledge mercilessly here:
Clean coal announcement is industry con job
Media Release: 27 June 2007
Greens NSW MP and energy spokesperson John Kaye today dismissed the
coal industry's supposed $400 million investment in clean coal
Dr Kaye said: “Spending crumbs from a rich man’s table on a technology
that may never work is no solution to global warming.
"The coal industry thinks we can't divide by ten.
“Their supposed $400 million contribution to clean coal research is
over ten years. In reality it is only $40 million a year which for an
industry the size of coal mining is nothing but crumbs.
"The 20 cents per tonne levy amounts to less than 0.3% of the sale
price of coal.
“The coal corporations would hardly notice the levy. It would be buried
in the day to day fluctuations in the sale price of coal.
“Mark O’Neill is surely being ironic when he says that if this is a
public relations exercise, it’s a very expensive one.
“For an industry that produces more than $9.5 billion worth of export
coal each year, $40 million is a very cheap down payment on securing the
myth that coal is about to be clean.
“The industry is trying to buy its way out of trouble.
“None of the serious clean coal technologies have ever been
demonstrated to work on a commercial scale. Even the most enthusiastic
proponents say that it would take more than a decade to make a reality
out of the idea of carbon capture and storage – burying the carbon
dioxide from power stations underground.
“What is needed to solve this state’s greenhouse gas emissions crisis
is serious investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency,” Dr
For more information:John Kaye 0407 195 455
The second major climate change market shakeout is the implementation or not of energy and financially expensive desalination for water supply in a growing population. The NSW Govt are embracing renewable energy sources as an indication that this is the obvious way forward for all industry and society. And the green washing is barely placating a very angry electorate:
No stopping desalination even if dam spills over - Sydney Morning Herald
Desal throws ups some jarring notes. We wrote 27th June of Minister Nathan Rees – formerly chief of staff of alleged paedophile Milton Orkopolous – glossing over the green energy consequence in context of the whole energy sector failure to actually retire dirty coal sources.
It’s quite clear this NSW Government are unreconstructed dinosaurs grudgingly playing populist politics, who haven’t got a clue on sea rise threat advised by the best world scientists. Premier Iemma is even reported on “the imminent decision on a coal-fired power station (which he called the biggest economic decision in a decade for the Government)”: Iemma happy heading in the same direction - National - smh.com.au
Obviously the major party politics and their gerrymander of the electorate has really failed to embrace renewable energy capacity building and now imminent power shortages
are forcing the gigglying dinosaurs in charge of NSW Govt to rush into more tired old unsustainable solutions.
So there you go. The environment is all dependent on the economy, when I thought it was the other way round.
And that folks is why the idealism of such as Get Up cyber activists is probably all too late, and probably futile:
With all that GetUp members have achieved in cyberspace, imagine the collective force we could be if we could meet and act face-to-face - a GetUp community in each neighbourhood, leading the charge on issues like climate change from the grassroots up. A pipe dream? On Thursday 5th of July, we're making it happen.
Welcome to 'GetTogethers' - where we take our movement for change from the behind the computer screen and into cafes, pubs and homes across the nation. It's an opportunity to meet other GetUp members who share your concerns and your postcode, and work together for change with the help of new friends, right in your own local area.
Next Thursday, July 5th from 7pm-8:30pm, GetUp members like you will be 'getting together'. Click on the link below to find a GetTogether already organised in your neighbourhood - or host your own.
This first event's aim is to take real action on climate change in your local community, reaching out to fellow voters through stories on climate action in your local newspaper, TV or radio. All you need to bring is energy, enthusiasm and a willingness to make a difference. The GetUp team will make sure you get all the information and support you need.
We've just built an entire new website to facilitate this kind of local action - GetUp 2.0. It's all about connecting us together to build power in your community.
Ready to give the next step in the GetUp movement a go? Reckon climate change action needs the whole community working together? Click on the link below to RSVP for Australia's very first GetTogether.
We'll see you there,
The GetUp team
PS - You can also make your thoughts known on our blog regarding the Prime Minister's controversial NT plans. And if you haven't already, join our campaign for Indigenous health equality here.
PPS - GetUp's Save Our Senate campaign has launched, check out the press coverage here.
GetUp is an independent, not-for-profit community campaigning group. We use new technology to empower Australians to have their say on important national issues. We receive no political party or government funding, and every campaign we run is entirely supported by voluntary donations. If you'd like to chip in to support GetUp's work, please click here. If you have trouble with any links in this email, please go directly to www.getup.org.au. To unsubscribe from GetUp, please click here.
Postscript #1 28th June 2007
Rowan Callick has various stories about China today offline in The Australian pages 32, 33 including
- Pollution: Foreign firms get the blame- Fuelling the world's factory
And we aren't sure if this is a real or enhanced image in the Herald today:
Here also is a report of Al Gore trying to engage the professional communicators in the advertising sector, with a stinging comment one step along about the PR/lobbyist sector spreading ignorance: On climate change, the medium is Gore's pointed message
And this for the Quixotic files
THE MESSAGE In a green world, brands battle for relevance
NIGEL Marsh, a self-proclaimed "boring, middle class" advertising professional who hasn't washed his hair for nearly a year, happened to be in Cannes last Saturday to collect Australia's only Titanium Lion for the Earth Hour climate change project. more
Postscript #2 Big Media follow our story above with this:
Minister Nathan Rees has been conspicuous in the news defending Premier Morris Iemma's decision to build a super sized desalination plant. His boss Iemma is sounding like the proverbial buyer of an extra set of steak knives at a cheaper price from the big multinationals worried about all this rain ruining their project too.
There was Nathan Rees on the Trioli radio 702 show earlier today 27th June swearing blind the green energy scheme neutralises any greenhouse implications and talk back callers were thus misinformed. And we heard Premier Iemma 26th June same show argue the green energy component further helps on climate issues by cranking up the renewable energy sector with a chunky client.
Celebrate Aboriginal Australia:
But as Jeff Angel, Director of the Total Environment Centre in strained tones made clear on Trioli yesterday 26th June, all new green energy to be generated should be going into retiring dirty energy already streaming into our economy. In other words there is no net reduction in greenhouse gases.
(Though to be fair there is a premium in public policy terms in building the critical mass of the renewable energy sector in order to achieve more actual substitution in the future ...maybe. That much we concede to Iemma.)
But Nathan Rees was sounding too cute by half this morning airbrushing this reality, scolding the public along the way, always a risky move for a politician in the media. It's a green energy lite sort of justification for this much bigger desalination plant compounding the broken 30% water storage threshhold election promise.
It's a population and higher consumption type of future this ALP is planning for, thus No stopping desalination even if dam spills over
But if Nathan Rees has a political character trait that glosses this situation involving some $1.7B in public funds expenditure, what other issues of character might he be accountable for too? Have we been here before?
Today there is also this devastating story about his former boss Minister Milton Orkopoulos:
As this Lateline programme notes Nathan Rees was the chief of staff to Orkopoulous in 2006, broadcast 10/11/2006:
to quote reporter Simon Santow:
"SIMON SANTO: Long-term Labor MPs in the Hunter are promising to cooperate with any police investigations. Morris Iemma says he's avoiding contact with anyone who may end up as witnesses in court cases.
MORRIS IEMMA: What I am not going to do is interfere. There will be no interference in police investigations or court process.
SIMON SANTO: But he has quizzed his staffer, Nathan Rees, who was Milton Orkopolous' chief of staff until a few month ago.
MORRIS IEMMA: He gave me that assurance and he, in what was stated yesterday, if he can assist the police he'll make himself available to do so, as is proper.
SIMON SANTO: The Opposition says the Premier is applying double standards.
PETER DEBNAM: He has questioned a member of staff but refuses to question MPs. you've got to ask why."
We don't claim Rees is covering up for anything. But the very real public interest question arises, what did he know, and what role if any did he play in Orkopoulos's portfolio failure alleged in the Herald article above?
This very same question was raised in a phone conversation with a shadow minister to this writer 2 weeks ago when I initiated some lobbying.
If Rees was a mere flunky it would perhaps be an easier question. But Simon Benson who is often a conduit for praiseworthy stories for the NSW ALP govt
[the way Glenn Milne is for Peter Costello and Adam Spencer was described to be for the Iemma Govt (in a bitchy sledge by retired Fairfaxer Alex Mitchell)]
Explosive battle of Right and Left looms or the web headline Opinion: Left and right do battle
where Benson states:
"Nathan Rees (emergency services) has emerged as a bull-terrier with an intellect to match his aggressiveness."
Clearly veteran state political reporter Simon Benson does not think Nathan Rees, Orkopoulos's former chief of staff is a fool or a flunky. On the contrary.
So what did Rees know and when did he know it, if anything? More on the whole grim affair before the courts now here Sex abuse: MP approached - National - smh.com.au
An otherwise popular MP Bryce Gaudry was damaged indirectly by the Orkopoulos affair if only by unlucky association and again not claiming any wrongdoing on Gaudry's part. Bryce was deselected causing a real controversy in the state election seat of Newcastle.
Yet Rees has sailed on and is now doing Iemma's misleading rhetoric on green energy allocations in an economy already up to its eyeballs in coal fired dirty energy. Character indeed.
Postscript #1 5.30 pm 27th June 2007
The NSW Govt has pulled on a dirty plume in Warragamba Dam story, which is a non story because they already admit there is no threat to water supplies. But it seems to be working with this leading the Herald web news page:
This despite National Party leader Stoner via 4pm and 5pm ABC radio news reports having been booted from parliament on the Rees character question of the Breaking the Silence report while he was chief of staff in the relevant portofolio but Glover ABC 702 for instance are studiously ignoring the much more sinister scandal as above.
Unlike the Daily Telegraph hereNationals MP thrown out of parliament
NSW Nationals MP Andrew Stoner says he is happy to be ejected from parliament if it brings attention to the abuse of children in the state's indigenous communities. Read more
Ironic given it was Rees dissembling on the desal green energy with Glover yesterday that got us riled up over his character, as it did with Glover actually at the time in the interview. Rees deserves no favours.
This editorial last Saturday about Treasurer Costa and the NSW Iemma Govt having alot to be embarrassed about over lack of credible response to the Breaking the Silence report resonates: Editorial: Iemma Government must follow Howard's cue. What a shame it takes a cynical Howard Govt shamelessly playing the angles to expose another shameful State Govt on Aboriginal child welfare. Disgusting really.
It was Iemma soon after March 07 election that confidently asserted this was "a good government" and to ignore claims otherwise.
No we didn't buy it either. Notice this quote last weekend in It's the economy, stupid: Costa's tough stand - National - smh.com.au by Andrew Clennell, chief state political reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald, regarding power drunk Treasurer Michael Costa
"[Costa] defends a decision last year not to hand over $20 million to $40 million to three ministers who wanted it for a program to tackle Aboriginal child sex abuse, saying his policy and that of the Premier was that ministers needed to find savings in other areas if they wanted new initiatives. "I haven't knocked anything back," he says. "I said, as I say to all ministers, these are important initiatives; when you come up with important initiatives you ought to look at the initiatives that are not working and see whether you can transfer resources."
This is the same Michael Costa who, as then NSW Labor Council secretary of the union movement was making real gains on the issue of workers compensation insurance levels when he suddenly was appointed to the financially comfy Upper House to replace an ALP vacancy of the Carr Govt.
This was Costa's stirring clarion call via Workers Online in 1999 until he got a new job offer:
"The NSW Labor Government was also sent a blunt message: 'Fix up the crisis. Make employers comply with no cut back to benefits.'
Addressing the rally outside Parliament House, NSW Labor Council Secretary Michael Costa said: 'Workers comp is got to be put back on track. It's got to be put back into a form which does what it was originally set up for. And that is to protect workers rights, to protect workers interests and to ensure they get fair compensation if they are injured.' "
The campaign struggled on and was making serious headway by 2001. Then just as it was getting sticky for Carr's govt on this big financial issue Costa sold out that campaign and joined the NSW Upper house Nov 2001. Not for him any public anxiety or hedging like Greg Combet most of 2007when he was urged to go into federal Parliament from the ACTU. No Costa jumped in a flash as we recall.
Here is Costa vowing to carry the torch for the workers in his new comfy job 20 April 2001
"Costa To Join Della’s List
Labor Council secretary Michael Costa last night added his name to Della's List and vowed to continue his fight for fair workers compensation ahead of his move to the NSW Upper House in August.
Costa formally announced his resignation from his position at Labor Council to take effect from August 30. He will move to the NSW Legislative Council to fill the vacancy left by ALP stalwart Johnno Johnson.
His departure come after 13 sometimes turbulent years at the Labor Council. He rose to notoreity first as a Wollongong activist, then as a rank and file official with the then AFULE rail union.
Costa survived Presidential inquiries and a stint as General Manager at 2KY to become an activist secretary.
He earned the eternal ire of Friends of Currowong, the hatred of the Daily Telegraph, the respect of the Carr Government and the joyful bemusement of his trade union colleagues.
"Former secretaries have told me that this is the best job I could ever had," Costa told delegates, "and they're right.This is a fantastic job and I have loved every minute of it,"
Costa has vowed to continue fighting the workers compensation campaign and has been asked to be placed on the List of MPs supporting amendments to protect injured workers "provisionally". " [bold added]In reality the gathering Union campaign momentum for strong workers compensation levels and legal system fell apart from the time Costa was bought out to the benefit of the NSW budget. John Robertson struggled on manfully but was too new and unknown to cut through. The legal integrity of the system was smashed at the expense of injured workers as per this "devastating" report here by The Australian's legal editor Chris Merritt May 18th 2007 page 24 whereas Costa jumped ship to a cosy seat, and now as Treasurer. Betrayal of trust and public duty? We think so.
Big Media follow our story here 29th June 2007
Pictures in this story: Anti Forbes protest in Sydney August 2005 unless otherwise indicated.
"Deputy Commissioner Scipione also says he will take an inclusive leadership approach and will build on current successes.
He will face his first challenge just days after he takes the reigns, with 21 world leaders gathering in Sydney for the Asia Pacific Economic Forum (APEC). " New NSW police head 'will build on successes'
Scipione is being reported as seen as a “yes man” on the 7 tv news network tonight 26th June, a suggestion also made about Commissioner “Uncle” Ken Maroney he replaces criticised by some, says ABC radio, for being “too close to the NSW government”. Scipione reportedly also has alot of expertise in surveillance.
We submit both the NSW and federal government are bearing down on the NSW and Australian civil society non government sector at September’s APEC in the lead up to the federal election. Both levels of government, NSW and federal, are respectively desperate to alternatively prevent/exploit a Law and Order electioneering strategy to provide a premium to this Howard Coalition Govt prior to the federal election.
Picture: Spot the third helicopter, hovering over crowd listening to speeches in Customs House square, Circular Quay Sydney.
We wrote recently of 6 political synergies feeding into the converging law and order federal election recently: The new 'Tampa' emerges: Howard ploughs broad law and order theme for 2007 federal election here 23rd June 2007.
The seventh political synergy is a sub text of point 4 to boost in the short term Howard's own ‘leadership’ credentials in the polling vis a vis his ambitious deputy Costello, pre federal election.
There is no doubting the potency of the Laura Norder agenda with the NSW election a dress rehearsal earlier this year which fortunately fizzled rather exploding into significance for the Coalition opposition at NSW level in March 2007.
But what about the upcoming federal election in November 2007?
Civil society leaders and centre left political parties have some very very serious political calculations to make right now about how to not sleep walk into an APEC public relations disaster that feeds into the Howard re-election agenda in a tightly contested election.
What responsibility will the organised civil society groups play in controlling, sidelining and indeed excluding images of violence and property damage from the voting public but so beloved of the commercial tv and newspapers, and the Right wing of politics?
How indeed will the organised non govt sector organise to affirm and promote freedom of speech and the right to protest that avoids feeding the re election of a warmonging Howard Govt who will exploit any media imagery he or his supporters can generate?
We at SAM news site (the editor has been arrested 6 times for peaceful protests, court 3 times no convictions) believe the right to protest also includes the choice not to protest. To seek other methods of communicating to the public. We take seriously the stern nostrum of Nelson Mandela against vandalism and crime of no real political utility.
Sun Zzu famous for strategy in a book The Art of War - and given politics at best is war without violence - as we understand advises avoiding fighting on your enemies territory.
In the lead up to APEC what are the Big Corporations and Big Government territory?
The territory of the Right of politics includes:
- the Big Corporate media who will embarrass and exaggerate any adverse imagery.
- The proximity to the conference in Sydney’s CBD which will have all legal and govt security force in place to totally control movement and protest
- The critical mass of foreign govt and corporate leaders who will naturally attract the interest of the voting public.
- The disorganised untrained protester cohort who have not had the opportunity for, or reject the Gandhi non-violence philosophy of public protest. The proverbial angry young men and women who have not learned constructive way to channel their energy.
It must be noted APEC is not another S11 in Melbourne in the year 2000 of which we at SAM have a 6 inch thick lever arch file of cuttings.
It is not a Forbes in Sydney CBD in late 2005. It is not another G8 again in Melbourne in late 2006 with valid concerns but also absurd vandalism which appalled most thinking Australians and tarnished the vast majority of peaceful protesters. These were big international meetings too but not proximate to a very close federal election or on such a big world stage or with such loaded Laura Norder agenda of this Australian Prime Minister.
Picture: This writer's wall poster above our desk.
APEC Sept 07 is more like a Madrid just before the Spanish national elections of March 2004 when a terrorist train bombing changed the result of the election to the Centre Left Party from the Right wing Govt. In that case the Basques were falsely accused, the truth came out and voters were so angry at the dishonesty of the govt as to the real cause (most directly Islamofascists, and the related hornets nest in Iraq), they turfed the conservative government out.
But it all turned on who was seen to be blamed for the violence.
In a close federal election in Australia the same may well apply in Sydney if there are wanton property damage, staged futile tedious unproductive conflicts with NSW police at barriers etc or horse charges to clear streets of no particular value to civil society groups except our own pride.
At all costs the leadership of the civil society groups must avoid such a PR trap. The best way to achieve that is to organise alternative activities that free us from the reactive psychology that actually feeds and empowers and promotes the status of the APEC clowns and pompous fools of Big Capital. To define and locate our own territory and political strategy. To decline the cliched victimhood of massive superior force held by the State.
We submit there is a false psychological dynamic of the civil society sector being drawn into a massive waste of money on security, the extreme quarantining of the CBD, and great public disruption to the functioning of the city. We simply ask why bother?
We submit civil society should assert it’s own dynamic. It’s own geographical focus at say Addison Rd Centre Marrickville or similar open space. It’s own conference agenda parallel and better than the rubbish APEC event. It’s own celebrations of democracy. It’s own constructive action agenda. Information exchange. Workshopping. Training. Empowerment. Alternative media.
In short we submit that the civil society movement in Australia should choose to not confront APEC in the Sydney CBD. Rather to do our own thing. Our way. In our own space and to start promoting that separate agenda. It will be better fun. It will have much better energy. It will achieve a lot more. And it will deny John Howard what he wants more than anything: A big likely mindless conflict on the doorstep to the federal election.
It will avoid the Right's agent provocateurs.
We submit call the whole APEC protest in Sydney CBD off and do something better.
That is not to say not engage with APEC. Our proposal would be to send delegations as ambassadors of the civil society sector, our representatives as observers and messengers. But no more than that.
We just don’t see why our lives in the community sector should be driven by or defined by a meeting of over fed corrupt crooks who are literally decaying from inside themselves with no answers to the huge ecological and economic equity questions of our age. So why do that? How about doing something else in our own space? And by doing so help unelect John Howard's Coalition government.
The author's peaceful protest arrest 'credentials'
- tree sits against woodchipping Nalbaugh SF SENSW - no arrest, too high
- climbed Opera House with no nukes weapons banner - arrest, released
- forest protest Coolangubra arrest, conviction overturned on appeal NSW CCA
- forest protest Badja SF - no arrest - tree sit
- paddlers for peace, rescued by police launch from ship screw no arrest
1994 - forest protest Croobyar, no arrest due to pre election sensitivity
1995 - M2 tollway destruction - arrest, no conviction recorded Hornsby
1997 - Eastern Distributor tollway - arrest, no conviction Downing centre
1999 - red paint on Newcastle woodchip pile, arrest, no conviction recorded
2006 - Forbes - dragged out from under police horses hooves approach to Opera House, no arrest
Picture: conservationists at approach road to Eden chip mill July 1992, including Fiona McCrossin (centre right figure under cross bars, black top) ex wife of News Ltd's Tony Wilkins referred to here 26th June 2007 News Limited to spread climate message | The Nation | The Australian "
Tony Wilkins, head of the company's environment and climate change department, said cost-savings would help the company invest in renewable energy. News Limited's carbon footprint last financial year was 146,466 tonnes - about 22 per cent of parent company News Corporation's total footprint - but Dr Wilkins said readers and viewers emitted 10,000 times as much.
"I think the single biggest influence that we can have as a company is the influence that we have on the public," Dr Wilkins said. "If we succeed in inspiring our audiences to reduce their own impact on climate change by 5 per cent, it would be like turning off the state of California for a year."
Postscript #1 Big media (and NSW Police?) follow our story here
Picture: Stephen Dupont photographer (centre left) is framed by a pregnant Liz Tardic of SBS Dateline [we first met supporting the Timbara gold mine protests in 2000 including our donation of some $2K for expert's airline ticket from USA] last Saturday afternoon at Byron McMahon Gallery, 88 George St Redfern, and in turn by the SAM news reporter's camera.
We were first alerted to Stephen Dupont, whose name sounds to us like a chemical company CEO, after catching this on Channel 9 Sunday programme
June 17, 2007
If you've ever wondered what sort of person risks their life going to the wildest and most dangerous places on Earth to snap those photographs we see in our newspapers, then you'll want to hear from Stephen Dupont.
This renowned Australian photo-journalist started out as a teenager who just wanted to travel and maybe learn how to take pictures along the way. So far, he's spent 20 years of living dangerously: Afghanistan, Iraq, Rwanda, Somalia — he's been to them all. Along the way he's won a swag of top international photography awards and has seen his pictures printed in almost every leading magazine and newspaper.
SUNDAY caught up with him after a new exhibition of his work opened in Sydney.
You can catch Stephen Dupont's exhibiton at the Byron McMahon Gallery in Sydney's Redfern. Call 02 9318 0404 or visit www.sandrabyrongallery.com.au
Or visit Dupont's website at www.stephendupont.com
It was a bitter sweet experience dropping in to coincidentally find the place filled with appreciative fans receiving a walk through and talk by the good photographer himself.
By chance before proceedings, having recognised SD from the tv I complimented him on the "great grab" he got on Sunday. "Did you see yourself broadcast?" Puzzlement then "yeah I watched it".
"I notice the photo with all the people looking toward your camera. Just goes to show the power of the camera. The West Wing calls it the Heisenberg Principle". No reply. The first communication disjunction.
Okay so I had just had a coffee and was blathering a bit trying to be smart about what is actually more accurately known as the observer effect ie what you monitor is changed by the act of observing.
As we went around listening to his light hearted and soft patter an older guy with an expensive long lens camera came in with a coffee coloured slender beauty. As these two merged with the strolling audience I was so entranced by the talk and pictures we bumped shoulder tips lightly.
Big Camera called out a question but SD didn't hear it even though he had invited questions as we went. Communication disjunct #2.
In a pause I repeated it "How much did they [the fixers - ie local interpreters/logistics specialists] cost?"
"In Indonesia it can be US$100 per day which is alot of money for them." Them and me both.
The gallery itself is in a gutsy location just off tricky Redfern St. A conversion of the Redfern Hotel where we used to deliver street press, once a month part of that 6 year slog. One of the last rough and ready Sydney pubs all tiles and faded fittings a bit like the County Clare in Broadway.
The photos were on sale, beautifully presented framed in glass, large format, at $2,500. All in artistic black and white which was the cause of my diplomatic downfall, but more of that below.
Picture: In Romania, 2nd largest single building structure after the Pentagon says Stephen Dupont. Says he took this late morning with only 3 cars in view. Robbed but kept his cameras and film.
At this photo I ventured "Yet there are no other cars" to which he corrected me "There are two other cars". Yep, quite right. 3 cars. Communication disjunct #3.
Picture: SD. "I don't read Arabic, I have no idea what this reads"
I had asked him whether he had any other languages. And he confirmed he didn't. So when we came to this picture above I was in mind of Philip Ruddock the federal Attorney General reported in large format article in the Daily Telegraph recently cracking down on any publication that "praises" terrorism. The absurdity of that law for an artwork like this photo seemed obvious to me. I alerted Liz Tardic to this line of thinking too for her show. Here is the article:
And I quote: "Mr Ruddock will today [21 June 2007] introduce legislation making it an offence to produce or disseminate material that "advocates" terrorism, such as offensive books and DVDs."
So the talk finished and SD took questions.
Someone: Why black and white? 'Grew up with it, makes you think more'. It took a veteran in the audience to suggest it carried more emotion which rang true to me. Disjunct #4?
(I was musing about this later and recalled there is much greater variable shadow play without colour and that this in fact is indicative of much non western life where electric light is the exception rather than the generality at early morning and dusk.)
After waiting politely I ventured: "I'm totally untrained [which was a lie but meant by comparison], but from western eyes the images suggest poverty. And quite gritty. Is that why you like black and white?" His answer, somthing like:
"Well colour can give you gritty too. I don't know about poverty, that's not really ao, there isn't really poverty depending on what you mean."
Definitely disjunct #4. It was clear as day many of these folks envied or hated western affluence and I was talking from experience in Morocco, Santiago with their stray dogs everywhere, other parts of Chile, back slum lanes of Barcelona, Falls Rd Belfast, Port Moresby dust with buses overflowing, 20 Toya for an egg no haggling. Indeed what his western face and camera really symbolised to those viewed. The observer effect indeed which SD virtually acknowledged himself as the "fuck you" look. Or was it the accusation look?
I was similarly not really interested in pandering even to the artist himself. It just seemed trite to be lectured on concepts of cultural and emotional richness as distinct from western materialism. As if I didn't know about that at 43 and reasonably travelled. Still I couldn't blame him. He didn't know me at all. But he also seemed to airbrush the underlying aggression to the West these days for the incredible inequality in this world.
So I shouldn't have but I couldn't resist responding to this fine published photographer's spiel to potential purchasers
"But you weren't "alone" really. You have your camera which is very powerful and it was Tony Blair the other day who made it clear the media is so powerful it intrudes on everyone's life". (Not to mention fixer nearby?).
[The Blair speech is instructive actually for just how powerful the media are, even a small share to this little micro SAM news website, or we suggest travelling photographer, including this quote:
"I am going to say something that few people in public life will say but most know is absolutely true: a vast aspect of our jobs today - outside of the really major decisions, as big as anything else - is coping with the media, its sheer scale, weight and constant hyperactivity. At points, it literally overwhelms." Things to chew on in Blair's parting gift June 21, 2007]
I was on a roll but it was the wrong place, wrong people, fish in a barrel stuff. Self indulgence. Stephen had suggested a relaxed question and answer, or conversation but he didn't really want a challenge. Pandering was much more in order. In my own defense there was another fiesty questioner in the audience, and Tadic had her camera on me which was a little surprising. But then I was getting bored and running out of time for the Islamic exhibition at the NSW Art Gallery.
This now middle aged, travel obsessed rolling stone slightly paunchy and maybe punchy photo artist with a proud air published in New Yorker and New York Times was being what he is, a wet Democrat and a brilliant photographer. I even agreed with him mostly, but it just didn't seem relevant. Where was my respect?
"I don't get that much work these days because I prefer large format black and white. I do work for books mainly now."
Meaning uncompromising artist. Admirable stuff. But maybe also because he an old media dinosaur compared to rude new media bloggers like this writer? We left quietly for the next (free) show closing in less than an hour.
Communication disjunct #5. I left a web address in the message book and I called back the next day, left a message. No reply.
We hope Stephen Dupont has alot of good sales from his show open until 14th July 2007. He has good politics and a likeable nature. But also something else we have tried to reflect above, perhaps from all those years out of the comfort zone not least with Massoud, assassinated leader of Afghanistan's Northern Alliance, and Big Media pride. He's gone native I would say, and a little defensive. He's definitely earned the sales after 20 years of expertise and risk. I hope he finds some time for the new media too. You can't be a rolling stone forever which suggests SD confronting the modern tastes of Australia or similar western country eventually as per this liftout in The Australian June 26th 07.
Or maybe he will settle outside of his home country? Sticking to his dark room and black and white stills forever?
We also felt a little concerned. Which of course sounds foolish for a big tough war photographer but everyone has their limits. We are reminded of a chapter, if memory serves, from an old Australian 60 Minutes book alluding to a similar character who strides manfully through the newspaper to the editor's office all machismo and daring seemingly invincible and full of vigour, only to die on yet another battle ground. It doesn't have to be that way.
Show finishes July 14th 2007, closed Sunday and Mondays.
Joint Media Release -
Traditional Owners from NT and Ian Cohen MLC
25 June 2007
“From the bush to the harbour, we say never never” Concerns grow
over Canberra’s nuclear waste plan
After years of being ignored in the bush, Traditional Owners and
community representatives from four sites in the Northern Territory
targeted by the Federal Government for a radioactive waste dump have
brought their concerns to the heart of Australia’s biggest city.
The group is in Sydney at NSW Parliament House today, as part of a
national tour to highlight the growing issue of radioactive waste ahead
of the federal election.
“People in the NT know about this issue, now others need to hear the
story. This concerns all Australians, especially people living along the
roads leading from Sydney to the NT,” said Audrey McCormack, whose
homeland is four kilometres from the proposed Mt Everard dump site.
“Nuclear waste is to be deposited out of sight and out of mind on
Aboriginal land. Half a century of the nuclear era and still we are no
closer to effective disposal of nuclear waste”, said NSW Upper House
Greens MP Ian Cohen.
“We may find eventually that Muckaty or another region in the
Northern Territory will be a repository of global nuclear wastes. It is
a horrific scenario for those who live there, the environment, and for
small vulnerable communities along the transport corridor”, Mr Cohen
In 2004 a NSW Parliamentary committee examined the transport and
storage of nuclear waste in NSW and highlighted serious and unresolved
safety concerns, particularly for NSW regional communities on the
primary transport corridors.
“The NT is not no-where and we are not no-one. There are communities
living close to all of the proposed sites. We collect bush tucker and
bush medicine and water from underground,” said Mitch, an
Arrernte/Luritja woman representing Engawala, the community closest to
the proposed Harts Range site.
“This dump plan is the thin edge of the wedge and opens the door to
an international waste dump in the NT. The federal government has lied
to us about this dump not being in the Territory, so why should we
believe it won’t become an international dump?” concluded Margie
Lynch, an Arrernte woman from Central Australia.
Contact: Natalie Wasley (speaking tour coordinator) 0429 900 774
Nic Clyde (Adviser, Greens MLC Ian Cohen) 0417 742 754
How brazen and gormless are the Sydney Daily Telegraph editorial? Very we would say. This article above is hopelessly contradicted by ....the respected News Ltd columnist in their own haughtily named The Media bible for their sector in The Australian weekly liftout every Thursday:
Mark Day By rowboat or at light speed, news is no free for all June 21, 2007
and these words direct quote, bold added:
"The net has not only changed the nature of news, but it has also provided a two-way conversation. The rise and rise of blogs has contributed to a great rise in interaction between newspapers and their consumers.
Around the world editors are seeking to increase reader involvement with their mastheads as a way of extending their reach.
This has brought growing pains, as highlighted this week on the ABC's Media Watch.
If Blair deplores the kind of "impactful" language used by newspapers, what does he make of some of the public reaction?
Media Watch highlighted a problem for all newspaper bloggers: how far does the notion of free speech extend?
Most newspaper bloggers moderate their reader responses and remove any material that is defamatory, abusive, vilifying, discriminatory or racist.
When confronted by borderline material I find myself often yielding to the temptation to let it through, because to do otherwise is to invite rancid criticism.
It's a no-win situation: if you allow such material through, chances are you'll be in court sooner rather than later; if you edit the posts those who find their remarks modified frequently complain that they have been censored. Well, maybe, but the criticism of an aggrieved blogger is preferable to a million-dollar lawsuit in my book.
Media Watch singled out the Sydney Daily Telegraph for special attention because of what it claimed was a large number of racist or otherwise offensive online comments.
In response, editor David Penberthy declared he was in favour of free speech, and what Media Watch was advocating was censorship.
He also pointed out that in the online argy-bargy, excess on either extremity of a debate was usually leavened by plenty of sensible balance in the middle.
Like Penberthy, I am in favour of free speech, but it does come with a price. We have laws that define the limits of our freedoms - like you're free to drive your car, as long as you keep it on the left side of the road.
Defamatory online comments can be just as dangerous and costly for a media owner as libels in print. Racist commentary online can breach anti-vilification laws which are designed to establish community standards.
Like them or not, these laws are enforceable, and are ignored at your peril. "
O foolish, proud Daily Telegraph here in their editorial bully pit today. Guilty as charged, now dissembling and trying to cover its tracks with a counter attack on the credentials and performance of Media Watch as the messenger. The Telegraph is proud of being the biggest and the most influential which means it has higher standards of responsibility with that power. It's as simple as that. Lift your game and pay for the blog moderation time of your staff. It's as simple as that. God forbid we ever have the cult of extreme free (read hate) speech in a civil society.
Sad to see the grubby, dopey Telegraph seeking to leverage their lower standards to chip at Media Watch with the ABC setting the standards, whether they also slipped or not (highly debatable). Certainly they will care, while the Telegraph hypocritically flout legal standards. Shame David, shame. This is not the USA, and we believe in cricket still to some degree. If you want to play Big Media that way then move to North America, land of bizarre constitutionally guaranteed hate speech and Rupert Murdoch citizenship. We can manage quite okay without, thanks, here in little old Galilee to their modern Rome under the perverse Republican heel.
On the other hand we do appreciate this from the Sydney Daily Telegraph today:
Warren the cartoonist at the Sydney Telegraph has an inspired cartoon about the gruesome nature of high level adversarial contest over the very serious "above politics" issue involving the life abuse and death of our young Indigenous citizens: Leveraging another evocative picture story on page 7 "Like bats out of hell - Endangered creature swoops on park land" (offline for now), combined with the fact of end of Parliamentary sessions in Canberra for the next 6 weeks or more, Warren offers this:
Postscript #1 we posted a similar sentiment here on this message board.
Postscript #2 This came through on the lists today with one of many reactions in the last 3 days to the Howard law and order agenda:
There is absolutely NO GROUP WITHIN AUSTRALIA, who would allow such intrusion of their democratic liberties. If you are to introduce COMPULSORY HEALTH CHECKS, BANNING OF ALCOHOL AND PORNOGRAPHY- FOR THE INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES- are you willing to introduce the SAME controls over the broader community where Sexual Abuse/ Domestic Violence/ Paedophilic activities is rampant and possibly reaching crisis point as well ?!!
Has the government had the decency to debate, LISTEN and consult with the community elders and those directly affected in regards to possible solutions?
The penny has dropped today regarding the latest Media Watch episode last night (fell asleep, read it today) that this writers' penchant for talk back on the ABC is probably drawing to a close given the SAM website is promoting a low level of advertising sales to keep this essentially non profit show on the road. If you take the time to see MW here in four parts
(and it was another cracker in our humble opinion) you will see it's mainly about financial advisers leveraging profile on the public's ABC for indirect private profit. Whoa - what a can of worms. And well overdue really. From book writers who are also staff there getting a plug, to other privately invested folks. Even saintly Alan Kohler got a good jabbing in the ribs. ABC coverage and private profile benefit is not always incompatible but it's a sensitive area of public ethics to be sure.