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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Sunday, 7 October 2007
Sunday political talkies: New rodent species Howardensis discovered in forest, eats giant freshwater cray Malcontensis
Mood:  party time!
Topic: election Oz 2007

Picture: Christian Kerr in Crikey.com.au here A tall tree tumbles in Wentworth

reckons Minister Turnbull is a oncer who is about to be pulped. The lead story last Friday went to upwards of 40K A1 email demographic in this country. This cartoonist above today in the Sunday press seems to agree. PM Howard will be glad one rival is gone from his team which is why he gave him environment in the first place?

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


- The drum beat of climate change scaring the bejesus out of every serious objective thinker in the land just keeps, well drumming, the reverberations right in the chest cavity there and the loins as regards our genetic descendants and their prospects. Quite fundamental stuff really:

* Temperature likely to rise warns CSIRO - 5 degrees by 2070 quoting Dr Penny Whetton whose qualification is never mentioned by AAP in the News Ltd section (?) 6-7 Oct p10 Resources section of Careers in The Australian.


Cash to cut and run by admirable Asa Whalquist on agri industry welfare.


* Climate inaction will hit output economics of climate


* Looks like Chile and other spanish speaking Latins are sacrificing their rivers for hydro power for lazy Australians who failed to promote solar, as per Sunday 9 story today, or is that just too cynical?


* "Roaring Forties change course as clean energy targets get wind farms out of the doldrums", yeah that's actually a headline.


* Chic Saffron Howden pushing forward some strong features in the News Ltd Daily Telegraph these days:




- It becomes clear, as per the headline, Turnbull former federal organisational treasurer and leadership aspirant has been first parked in the death's head portfolio of environment for a coalition/national party govt, then against odds on say water reform was getting too successful again, and now has been wedged on approving the pulp mill by forces within his own Liberal Party support base.


All of this is very cute and expedient from vain old powermonger Howard's perspective keeping the rivals in his tent busy and battling each other, Howard the climate change vandal and laggard, forest destroyer his whole career, who has woodchipped Costello's spirit, and now has to beat off Turnbull who is even more fearsome than the Treasurer, in order to control his succession and legacy. Glenn Milne seems to be helping out Mal the Coalition Minister with this splitter in the Sunday Telegraph (possibly offline) p5 today at the expense of the ALP's George Newhouse closing in as long as he holds his nerve:


But the hammer blow is Ramsey here, the old goat can still butt something fierce - 50 year legacy indeed:


Endless other articles about fallout of the pro pulp mill decision, the challenge is to see the weight such as

Elizabeth Knight at Fairfax on Perpetual with 15% ownership of Gunns, and


* ANZ 'starved of global liquidity' as lender of $2B for a $1.3B business seeking to double its value for dubious pulp quality from old growth native forest. Laurie Oakes echoes with a question to Vaile today on Sunday 9 also.


*  John Lyons at News Ltd carries strong dense writing too. And this front pager by Matthew Denholm.


* Matthew Warren at The Australian running red neck industry interference on pulp mill narrow view greenhouse neutral when 4M tonne native forest feedstock, 10M tonnes gh effect. As if.


* Graeme Wood of $950M Wotif IT business in The Oz business pages and on Doogue radio national Saturday to work against pulp mill decision.


* Even The Australian editorial knows this pulp mill stinks literally and in terms of good governance and economics


* And this indirect front pager in the seat of the Howard ancestral home in Earlwood, the smiling eyes "I accuse ....




and other cartoons abound speaking of betrayal of our future here .


....which calls up this poster of Feb 1999, with nary a mention of Peter Garrett on the bill although repeatedly invited with a perfunctory ACF reference second from bottom. You see PG was always an ALP prostitute on forest destruction and this was well understood even by the ACF's Noel Plumb on the bill and their aligned Forest Campaign Group (FCG) in Sydney . It's called selfish careerism:





- Gay friendly Sydney City Hub October 07 monthly edition publishes Christopher Pyne's name in the scurrillous hubris column. Circulation about 100? Just joking. More like 10,000 innner Sydney. With pro Liberal Party out Victorian MP Andrew Olexander  in a feature in Sunday Telegraph p87 with the other serious agenda features, surprisingly sober and dare we say straight piece about the politics of minority sexuality. Probably offline. Gutsy stuff. Called Throw open the closet.

- Sexy Eco Worrier Oz colour supplement, so called green is new black in p1 teaser


- Caroline Overington colour supplement in The Oz last week carries profile of Howard - hangs together until the last page where it falls in a discreditable heap both for the writer and for PM Howard. For instance:

* "loyal backbencher Jackie Kelly" who is also quitting on her leader Howard. So loyal.


* Jackie reckons Howard is worried about ALP wall to wall but not about very close to wall to wall Liberal in 1996 (eg gun law reform period, Carr ALP in power in NSW). Can't have it both ways.


* concedes foolishly the electorate is "bored" with Howard. You bet. [Just look at Dr Zhengrong Shi story below on Sunday 9 to understand how stagnant Howard really is.]


* Overington says Howard "has run and only lost once - and it was 20 years ago". That's a joke analysis of his career having lost the leadership twice as Mr 18%.


*Sol Lebovic touting there, and elsewhere for more work at Newspoll continues to massage the comeback thesis when its a 10-12 point margin stabilised for months. He would say that. If the ALP just keep on as they have this last 9 month election campaign, the polls aint' changing, formal election campaign or not. And notice Howard saying it will now be before early December, not 'by Christmass' reacting to the allegation he is being a smart arse, which he is still being.


* laughable reference to Howard's Rockerfeller idol contra distinction presumably with Rudd's anti fascist Bonhoffer.


Even so it was a funny read. She's a good writer.


- Reba Meagher stories - depressed fragile divorcee not coping with curnch job of NSW Health Minister because of personal life ? Feel sorry for her, but more sorry for NSW Health system and the citizenry. She is walking wounded propping up Iemma's power in the govt. If she falls will Iemma?


- amusing article by the always bright Imre ZZ here. Secret handshake indeed saying their machine has more fairies than the Greens. Mmm.


- ALP messy stuff in the North East Seat of Cowper here, which reminds me of some bloke Combet?

- last stretch kinder to incumbents says Sol Lebovic, probably true even if touting for Newspoll.

- African refugee programme cut, image in Weekend Australian at p27 demonstrates Govt claims, refer discussion in Insiders below too. Fairfax running positive images by comparison.


- The Australian chips (gotta love that) The Daily Telegraph's Hackerman over Heiner whiner story with Far Right behind Shreddergate bid


- Nasty little story about extreme secondary boycott anti free speech law if federal Parliament returns before the election, at page 38 of Inner West Courier 2/10/07.


- Not a good look for NSW police shoving local pro Burma democracy activists when 200-300 of their compatriots are getting shot and beaten to death. Sure Bathurst races have needed riot control in past years as has Bondi but a pro democracy protest? Please, get a grip and a perspective will yer Chief Scipione et al







Meet the Press




Footage of Bret Solomon outside Phillip St Sydney office of Turnbull/Howard Govt, chief organizer of Get Up with Sylvia Hale MP Greens in background, condemning pulp mill decision as anti democratic.


Guest is Peter Garrett, footage of Bob Brown exposing PG as impotent, useless.




Garrett reruns script on support [for 50 year pulp mill


Facebook question climate change, pulp mill backward step. Garrett sings ALP pro pulp mill song, proving beyond all doubt he is an ethical prostitute. All the cartoons show this understanding. PG was always bad on forests from at least the Sydney Town Hall meeting of 1500 greenies Feb 1999 which he snubbed as ACF president [this writer was a key organizer of that event, which the Carr ALP hated]




First adbreak Climate Change spoof by Get Up with Brett named. Good work.




Panel Michelle Grattan Age, Peter Hartcher SMH both serious weight thinkers.




Q. 5 deg C by 2070 increase. Footage of Sen Milne, more than akubra hat and bandaid cheque.




MG – no medium term targets? PG - Sledge of govt. Ross Garnaut report info for that. A lot of info cop out? [PG effectively avoids responsibility, claims virtue of need for more detail, really avoid wedge by Howard in the election]




PH – pulp mill, broaden scope of Env Protection Act. How?  Change discretion.




PH – great question – tax payer subsidy of major carbon emitting industry like pulp mill?




PG avoids question, sledges govt. …..




Farmer audit of land – lays out formula for that wise defensible policy against agri corporate welfare.




Coal, claims $500M clean coal research is good. Ethical prostitution again.




Out take 2nd adbreak – animation from Courier Mail, Costello using ALP theme song what about me but about leadership with Howard placating whimpering PC.




IR advert Liberal managerial voter shafted by Work Choices, real people real stories.




John Robertson Unions NSW - won't do vote for Greens in the Senate deal on Work Choices campaign.





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


Myspace web address: www.myspace.com/meetthepeople






7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary  -




 Bathurst races coverage, no Riley Diary one presumes, and see media backgrounder above re police politics.











Insiders 2


African refugee intake has been cut to zero, guest is Tony Burke Opposition Immigration Minister.


$5M beachhouse, $10K per week rental holiday house. Rudd denies buying it or offering for it. Insiders exclusive apparently.


Every person retirees from Figtree club noting conservative popularity re integration, note competition of alp and coalition re social harmony politically,


Footage of PM Howard in Bennelong very instructive on Sudanese refugee politics. Problems in Melbourne says PM [yeah PM managing nasty racist ultra right wing side of politics by appeasement to avoid wedge from the ultra right, ALP effectively playing a dead bat on the merits of the policy to similarly sideline it, just like the pulp mill]


Paul Kelly soliloquy quite scathing Minister Andrews lack of competence in presentation, thin evidence. [We think all are missing the point, its this picture in Sydney Telegraph re shutting down Hansonism as per 1998, that Abbott had to work so hard on to put genie back in the bottle 1999-2001 with legal actions etc.




Pulp mill, politics different to 2004, much more sensitive issue. Much more opposition to 2004. Might work for ALP wonders Cassidy out loud.


Classic battle of subliminals between Cassidy seeing Henderson’s missing Newhouse (still in bed, and refer Telegraph sleaze article being leveraging very slyly) with a  Liberal candidate in Bass quitting. Well done Barry. Hend is a ruthless bastard.


Academic Buchanan defended/attacked by panel by usual suspects on panel. Akerman says he was politics in the pub, find this very hard to believe. Is it true, it is at Gaelic Club just near Holt st Harlot.


Lurid picture Howard gawking at a woman’s chest apparently in the press today from Ryde ( I didn’t see it).


Howard going to Tasmania tomorrow 8th October says Akerman, real test of pulp mill issue.



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



Sunday 9


Good feature on govt funded feeding frenzy.


Laurie Oakes LO tackles Mark Vaile deputy PM on $200M largesse figure by ALP pollster Rod Cameron.  Vaile sounds like we raised it via GST and strong economy so we can squander it.


Polling bad for Coalition in city and suburbs, what about nationals?


Fanning notes re online polling questions re pulp mill, troops from Iraq, that electorate more worried about “economic security … interest rates, child care, tax rebates …than national security”.


Chinese dance troup advert forbidden fruit


Feature by irrepressible Ross Greenwood, on Dr Zhengrong Shi (Dr Shi) ‘Emperor of the Sun’ fantastic solar entrepreneur lost to Australia [ and thus a real embarrassmint ! to quote John Valder] covers much of the same ground of 60 Minutes, and other quality media eg 4 Corners, 7.30 Report. Backbencher Michael Johnson in the story as is Bob Carr ex Premier. Everyone agrees Australia stuffed up losing him.


Says Tasmania with hydro power good place for expanding his business.


Hard to keep up with Insiders too.


His Phd was “as good as any ever done, and in record time”. That’s quite a wow.

Howard biographer Van Olsen (?) and ALP snot nose out of cheap take off of West Wing talks fast Andrew Soter.




Posted by editor at 10:27 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 8 October 2007 8:03 AM NZT
Saturday, 6 October 2007
Minister Reba needs help, at risk of self harm (?), Iemma is responsible
Mood:  sharp
Topic: nsw govt

Picture: Saturday Sydney Telegraph 6th October 2007 at page 91 offline by the looks except world press display subscriber service


It would be presumptuous to pry into Ms Meagher's private life, but sometimes it takes impertinence to help someone in real trouble i.e. to intervene. She is so fragile its a cruel situation and she needs support, including help to stand aside if that's what it takes. In our value system a minister's portfolio responsibilities should not include ritual humiliation in public as a result of a medical condition.

[And we notice the relatively judicious and compassionate approach to Reba Meagher's career prospects pp 88-89 in the Sunday Telegraph 7 Oct 07, while correctly demanding performance in a key role.]

Anyone who saw Stateline last Friday with any real life experience, or survivor of trauma, knows the Minister is in serious trouble. We were on notice from Andrew Clennell's dramatic language earlier in the week at the SMH referring to her comprehensively folding at a press conference. We couldn't bare to watch she was so shaky. If Dempster was not such a decent professional it could have been an execution, nor did Dempster appear to withhold the steel under the velvent glove on issues of merit at say Royal North Shore hospital.


The feature story by Simon Benson, no fool, in today's Telegraph is also instructive. 5 weeks holiday as a senior minister is also indicative.

Iemma must get involved here and help Reba Meagher. If I could talk to Reba Meagher I would tell her some compassionate things:

1. a career in politics is not the main purpose of life. Life is the main purpose of life. If a divorce has knocked you down and left you shattered then hooray welcome to the family of humanity. It's okay. It's normal. You will have to stop and recover. Really. You can't hold down a super hard job like Health Minister in NSW in what everyone calls the bear pit of Australian politics and deal with a shattering experience at the same time.

2. its just the breaks. No one's fault. Life is not simple, never was. Your boss - Premier Iemma, Kaiser in the Premier's Office, whoever - they are responsible for protecting you and all ministers psychologically and emotionally in the workplace when you can't for whatever reason protect yourself. They must help you as a professional duty to stand aside to recover.

3. Everyone in professional politics can see you are way too fragile at that level. This watcher is worried for the minister's well being. We thought earlier in the week Reba were getting an attack of the Lathams 'out of love with the ALP' syndrome. Or maybe it's the domestic home front. Geof Gallup tell her she has to save herself.

39 or 29 or 19, when you cop an emotional haymaker you just have to take time out. Like quit your job, go fishing, whatever. You owe it to yourself, you owe it the job of Health Minister and the people of NSW, but mostly you owe it to yourself so you can start work on the next chapter of a rich and fulfilling life.

Remember while your down there at the bottom , as you survive and gradually rebuild you will be just that more able and effective. But it will take time - a year maybe more.

Listen to me Reba as if you would read this news blog, you are at risk. It's okay to let go. So you can start remaking your life.

4. Emotional toughness and well being has nothing to do with intelligence or innate talent. You might be a political genius but it's no use if you are emotionally broken beyond repair - the talent will just be squandered. That toughness has to be developed through hard troubling experience. It's painful because there is no way around really living that trouble. That's life for real.

There is light in the tunnel Minister but you have to change your life, that's the point. Good luck.

Posted by editor at 4:58 PM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 7 October 2007 11:22 AM NZT
Friday, 5 October 2007
Sudanese human rights, and out flanking the white supremacists at the next election?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: peace

Hanson/Australians Against Further Immigration/white supremacist vote in 1998 caused mayhem for Howard/Abbott Coalition by splitting their vote. In 2001 Howard actually adopted the strategy to get that bigot vote back in the infamous Tampa Affair. Decency gradually shut down Hansonism and the Tampa strategy for being what it was - "dog whistling" and the "race card". So what is going on this time around issues of colour as the Americans call it in 2007?

Consider some apparently disparate facts:

Falung gong in their email broadcasts argue that Chinese Communist Party regime fund the Sudanese civil war (to annexe the oil) creating widespread misery.

Caller to Trioli 702 abc radio (5/10/07) - tension between Africans and the Asian shop owners in the Adelaide market area. Barely contained mutual hatred is the implication.

Eyewitness report from our source in Inner Sydney re Asian Australian Christian outreach folks, run in with African guy who upturns their table. Quite irrational, sad, unacceptable. Atypical contrast with the vast majority of African youth both well behaved and welcome in this diverse coffee coloured area.


Join the dots: The pragmatic Howard Govt need (according to their self interest I mean) to neutralise and shutdown the white supremicist ultra right at their heels in case their vote splits the Coalition again in a 2007 election already looking too tough. It was called One Nation 9 years ago, now its Pauline Hanson Mark II. On the other hand they need to avoid the muck of the racial gutter or be correctly condemned and lose the mainstream too. Their interim partial answer to Hansonism - just stop the flow of colour.

The Africans refugees with their very recognisable (and we say appealing) physical traits are an easy mark for the ultra right bigot/simpletons to the right of the Coalition govt. Ironically it was this same distinctiveness that served a useful real politik for the govt against the left pro refugee groups by demonstrating with symbolic small numbers of African refugees a moral riposte. But the bigots have closed down that Coalition govt angle now too. The govt in real politik terms is walking the tightrope of mainstream decency and ultra right jackals in a very fragile election profile.

To guillotine the African refugee programme is a real sign of electoral weakness by Minister Andrews , not so much appeasing racism as fearful of the 1998 demonstrated effectiveness of their evil ways.

We submit the African refugee potential Australian citizens enriching our society and pool of talent - are just another victim of this long drawn out election season for complex reasons.

Less a case of racist motive by Minister Andrews, more a case of real politik survival.  One hopes post election decency will return on a bipartisan basis. Depressing to know the 5% racist vote are having their pound of flesh if only for a month or two until the vote.

Posted by editor at 11:30 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 8 October 2007 1:05 PM NZT
Voters in Wentworth have already voted to close a 'remote' dioxin spewing factory, circa 1997
Mood:  special
Topic: election Oz 2007


Wentworth voters (Waverley, Woollahra Councils' ratepayers) OWNED the dioxin spewing Waterloo Incinerator and SUPPORTED closure of the highly polluting monster sited well outside their councils' area in 1997 after a determined campaign by Greens/ Greenpeace/ Friends of the Earth, South Sydney Council media consultants, resident groups, from at least 1992 onward, at significant asset loss ($40M) mitigated by land sale, and higher waste management costs this last 10 years.

Yet the Wentworth voters gave their real politik support out of public goodwill to Zetland/Waterloo folks at risk of cancer. They did it out of growing environmental consciousness. They did this because it was the right moral thing to do despite the cost.

Picture: Some documents from a dusty file on dioxin polluting Waterloo Incinerator owned by Wentworth voters as ratepayers, closed in 1997, sold to Landcom (see pdf file here) and due for demolition this year apparently. We passed on our main file when we got the hell out of the Eastern Suburbs branch of the Greens back in 2000, exhausted, a little bitter and twisted but mostly just tired.

There was no political backlash in 1997 to the Greens when the NSW Environment Protection Authority brought the guillotine down on the rebirthing of the facility in 1997. Waverley voters elected this writer in 1995 on the election platform to close the brute, they remained loyal in 1997 and were rewarded with dedicated service for the full 4 year term by this grassroots representative. The voting pattern supporting the Green Party is indicative with increased councilor reps 95 (1) to 99 (3, 1) to 2003 (3, 2) in both councils respectively.

At one point former ALP council colleague and later Mayor Peter Moscat asked this writer "What have done to those people down there?" meaning Bondi Beach ward, referring to their greater tendency to feral community driven politics. At the time I was flummoxed by the question but on reflection the answer is this: "I gave them 'permission' as their local representative". A permission they didn't really need from anyone but but maybe just wanted a little encouragement from a path finder.

The same will likely apply in terms of Wentworth voters concern for the Launceston folks at risk of dioxin and furan water pollution, and rotten egg gas air pollution too, from the Tamar Valley pulp mill decision this week.

Posted by:

Tom McLoughlin, editor, former Greens Councillor Waverley 95-99 (retired), Chair Environment Committee, member Finance Committee, ex officio co director of Waterloo Process Plant (ie Incinerator), Friends of the Earth 1995-2001.

Posted by editor at 10:36 AM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 6 October 2007 5:30 PM NZT
Thursday, 4 October 2007
Chief scientist Peacock nukes environment with dioxin factory pulp mill near Launceston
Mood:  down
Topic: ecology

So Malcolm Turnbull thinks he's threaded the needle with this pulp mill "belt and braces" pollution control decision endorsed by Big Jim Peacock the govt trusty 'chief scientist', as reported here in the Herald big meeja

Green light for mill

DYLAN WELCH 3:11pm | Turnbull gives Tasmanian pulp mill the go-ahead - and Garrett agrees.

Certainly the smarties in the gallery are impressed, and the nightly news bulletins are heaping credibility on clever Malcolm the 'Environment Minister', perhaps not realising like most politicians that clever is just another word for loathesome smart arse in the eyes of the vast majority of anti pulp mill voters. Which just happen to be the majority of Tasmanians, Australians, and voters in Wentworth in 'clever' Mal's own electorate.

It's all about the scientific advice says Mal. Only speaking as a science graduate myself this is the same expert adviser Jim Peacock who barracks for a nuke reactor in every city ignoring duel use weapons proliferation agenda and waste and terrorism. Just incredible: PM - Scientists call for action on climate change. Dated 3rd October 2007 yet other scientists say ....

not to mention Prof Ian Lowe of ACF also anti nuke.

But don't expect such insight from the Canberra Press Gallery, or indeed our political dunderhead 'leaders'. This is how they are reporting it:
Barry Cassidy on ABC 702 gave Turnbull a rap in effect for neutralising this issue as preface to Insiders on abc radio earlier this arvo by analysing it entirely within the two party framework with the ALP aligned. Says the science has now spoken - as if.
Friday, October 5, 2007

Mal Farr of the Daily Telegraph on journo forum 30 minutes later same channel echoes Cassidy. Doogue is surprised no deal done with John Gay to move it, David Marr waffles on about pity for Turnbull's predicament, marginal gay Wentworth blah blah. Nothing like the predicament of the ecosystem yer think?

Laurie Oakes on 9 similarly notes lack of contest from the ALP with Garrett transformation from "activist to mainstream politician complete". Good footage of Bondi beach protest banner. Lead story too. Garrett looked really lame grinning bean pole, brazen, totally compromised, marionet, camera dwelled on him twice.

Mark Riley 7 does a competent package but only 4th in the line up after localised focus on other traumatic stories chasing the superficial ratings rather than long term weight.

SBS Karen Middleton, 2nd lead story, quite a bit of Geof Cousins all day saying Turnbull was gutless for "squibing it" when he could have been a hero, and the fight goes on 'with plenty more to happen yet' like the Franklin River in 1982-3. (Historically accurate, stopped a year after approval.) SBS very good on narrow aspect of the scientific advice of the 'chief scientist' wanker.

Lead story abc tv 7 pm news.

Turnbull has flattering interview with Kerry Obrien on 7.30 just now. "Belt and braces" to the pollution controls and monitoring. But its still a disaster for forests and greenhouse and a bloody disgrace: Democracy is broken folks, vast majority don't want it and it gets approved with both major parties supporting it.

Here are some prime quotes:

200K ha per year logged, quote Senator Nettle

4M tonnes a year mostly native forest, quote Geof Law TWS on World Today: 'Turnbull announces Tasmanian pulp mill go ahead'                   TRANSCRIPT          

10M tonnes a year greenbouse gas impact, quote Senator Bob Brown.

This writer spent the middle of the day casing Turnbull campaign office next to Bar Colluzi in Victoria Rd Darlinghurst (nothing on street level). Also Greenpeace anti logging images on exhibition at Redfern rail workshops called Carriageworks:


We also picked up the last two weeks of Wentworth Courier from the Bondi Junction office (now News Ltd owned) after Trioli on ABC 702 interviewed their editor at about 9.15 am. 3rd Oct 07, who says 'the issue will definitely kick on'.



Sad stuff. Never been a better time to promote the 'woodchipping sux' message outside supermarkets in the Wentworth electorate.


Posted by editor at 10:11 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 5 October 2007 10:01 AM NZT
Wednesday, 3 October 2007
Perfect ecological storm to finish Howard tenure?
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: election Oz 2007

Picture: SMH advert running today 3rd October 2007 on this climate change story here

Picture: Bushfire in Ku-ring-gai National Park taken from the hill above Watson's Bay in Sydney Monday 1st October 07 by this writer.

One could be excused for getting tetchy in the hot sunny weather this early Spring causing creeping dehydration, unexpected sunburn and heat stress.

But we submit the vision on the ABC and other news last night showed cranky Ministers Tony Abbott, and a pale Joe Hockey on 7.30 Report for another reason altogether.

The Newspoll early this week showed the ALP firming in its landslide ascendancy despite a massive overkill in government advertising: One of these ads called Climate Clever has become a laughing stock by way of a spoof on free to air tv and elsewhere by Get Up kindling the ever present irreverent humour of Aussie folk. The big free media have picked up the vibe widely reporting the exploitation of public revenue for election gain and echoing the cutting satire.

Then today feeding that vibe are an avalanche of credible stories quite negative to the federal government

- a poll by a University of Sydney (USYD) think tank showing Australians are quite anti GW Bush rather than the United States as such

- a big IR/WorkChoices study covering the health, community, finance sector from another respected USYD thinktank, with the added edge of a transparently cheap defamatory attack by spooked govt ministers Hockey and Costello of the academic authors. Indeed Costello on Trioli ABC 702 (2nd Oct) dived willingly into his own version of 'Hewson's 1993 GST cake debacle', by wasting precious interview time on an ideological rant enthusiastically attacking union "contamination" of academics where none was proven. It was nothing more than an egregious "slur" to quote respected Michelle Grattan on ABC radio national today 3rd Oct at about 7.40 am.

- Churches signing up to protect God's creation from dangerous climate change (DCC)

- Climate change conference this week in Sydney jointly sponsored by the CSIRO predicting same DCC from an academic and governance perspective

- Polling suggesting climate worries Australians as much or more than terrorism

- to add the political reality of DCC in our daily lives despite predictions still some 40 years hence, we have the early onset fire season  (pictured above), no doubt more serious because of unseasonal hot weather: Academics last week agreed mega fire is likely to be alot more prevalent with evidence these conditions are already here. The new 38 year old NSW Fire Commissioner looking more like Minister Phil Koperberg's political understudy warns of a long hot fire season (p20 Sept 30 Sun Tele, p90-91 profile same paper). Matt Price has a cutting piece in the latest Sunday Telegraph too about 'Captain Howard misses the boat' at p93 (offline?)

- polling in the electorates of Bass and Braddon, says The Wilderness Society, is highly adverse to the pulp mill proposal for Tasmania's Tamar Valley reports ABC AM this morning 3rd October 07 at this archive in due course.

And still the Howard govt refuses to name an election date, which just compounds the impression of the political community - like Sky News man on ABC radio recently - and increasingly the general community that this vain aged PM is being 'a smart arse' over the schedule.

There's one thing Australians, voting or not, always reject and that is a 'smart arse'. And that's the subliminal message the govt is at risk of promoting with its so called 'climate clever' slogan. Clever = smartarse.

In January 1994 when this writer represented The Wilderness Society and there were literally hundreds of bushfires raging in NSW, we wrote 'a letter of the week' reproduced in The Land newspaper calling for unified purpose and a rejection of divisive politiking, green baiting or whatever. We quoted chapter and verse the well known rural ethic of diverse country peoplepulling their weight against the common threat of bushfire, with greenies in local bushfire brigades as listed there, one with the firetruck in his driveway as he took my call at home in North East NSW.

We quoted statistics in an unemotional way about more fires going into than out of wilderness areas etc and our traditional enemies at The Land agri press gave us a fair go on their letters page. In the Inquiries of that fire season we learned that the greatest factor in those fires was adverse climate. Sure there is plenty one can do about ignition, fire trail maintenance, planning, asset protection and fuel load, but in the end it comes down to climate with even a hazard reduced area burning again a year later if the conditions are bad.

In 2007 there is a broad understanding of that changed bushfire risk profile around climate which was only a suspicion in 1994. And that's why bushfire politics - usually the friend of conservatives - will not deliver any change in polling for the Howard Govt, just as the big bang budget,  smear attacks on leader Rudd, govt adverts swamping the airwaves or the election campaign is likely to change the polling. We think the politically expert ministers in the Howard Govt seem to know it and understandably are unhappy with the certain downturn in their election prospects.

It appears to our eye only John Howard still has faith in himself and will continue to believe right up to the concession speech. The curious aspect of Howard's ego is that he loves the attention win or lose. His colleagues would do well to remember that. Win or lose he is still enjoying the game just as long as he has the spotlight. And that's where they have miscalculated his scant loyalty either to them or to the sustainable future of this country.

This Prime Minister won't be missed.

Posted by editor at 10:58 AM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 4 October 2007 10:44 AM NZT
Sunday, 30 September 2007
Sunday free to air political talkies: Boorish failure by Howard Govt to announce election day climate change
Mood:  chatty
Topic: election Oz 2007




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


- WS FM runs Tommy Rodonikis attacking adverts using tax dollars for playing politics, should be playing football, ALP's Tim Gartrell authorisation at 10.30 am.




- Australian's Caroline Overington's pathetic pandering to Howard regime by continuing to attack Media Watch to stroke Albrechtsen, a Howard mate, in order to get the cover story of their glossy ... on Howard - the man who stayed too long at the party.


- Ramsey Saturday Herald slam dunk of sad sorry Heiner affair as a political strategy versus Rudd, as Sunday Tele runs Akerman tub thump on same thing on shadow even numbered opinion page. Ramsey has the provenance re Sankey Liberal legal trickery too. BUT the Heiner shredding is really a symptom ofthis: the Fitzgerald Inquiry wanted to put the salts through the ALP after doing the Nats over in the 1980ies, but Fitz was prevented from doing so by incoming ALP Goss govt to avoid “a lawyers picnic”. This is the story that hasn’t been written – that Joh’s deep corruption had tainted the ALP too, even if the Heiner matter is a blind alley, echoes of Beattie wheeling Joh’s wheelchair?





- Megalogenis at The Australian, and Hartcher et al Fairfax slam dunk the boondoggle agrarian socialists  in the National Party guilty of disastrous land clearing,and lying (Vaile: $100B economic contribution, only $25B, disjunction of export to food security etc) as to their economic importance. They only exist to prop Howard prime ministership but they are easily on the wrong side of ecological history.






- Laughable hypocrisy of sneering News Ltd on the one hand distributing Climate Clever booklet, and advert page 21 in Sunday Telegraph but calling it “Greenhouse mania” in their editorial in The Australian weekend copy AND $2 Will Bailey …err Tim Blair in Sat Tele calling everyone else hyprocrites for caring about climate with dirt in both papers recently on Dr Karl (Strewth column in the Oz Sept 28, p3 of Saturday Telegraph) for getting involved in the Climate Change Coalition electioneering. Notice the shift in emphasis – yeah DCC is real but its techno fixes and our Coalition side that’s got it covered. Only they haven’t, and it won’t be techno, but cultural, well both really.



- Lib researcher self referential excuses for dirt trawling rather than policy in the Oz by Alan R. M. Morris (sic) 28/9/07.  Hardly good governance focus.





 - interesting piece for a change by Michael Costello about Burma seems to have rediscovered his heart, but no one mentions Optus owned by Singtel owned by Singapore govt  ... in cahoots with Burma drug lords money laundering. A boycott campaign anyone?





- Onya Ziggy, confirms Howard very pro nuclear energy in The Oz.


- Too bad nuclear bomb veterans from Hiroshima occupying force got no respect eh Ziggy: Ramsey 25/8/07 smh.





- Here comes (reports Chris Merritt) the bogus tort of privacy  to enbale big corporates to reassert legal ascendancy after asbestos/Hardies inspired reform of defamation law to really debate the corrupt multinationals and smaller wannabes.




- Tas pulp mill not an economic goer in fact - just all boondoggle corruption really - per Oz p6 28/9/07, repeat of p2 8/9/07. And John Lyons suggests its increasingly as unpopular as equine flu




- Big profile one page profile for media tart Mick Kelty and his 'AFP family' re police remembrance day but as much special pleading on Haneef, elsewhere stories of Chaser possibly to get off with wrist slap major embarrassment, and Mamdouh Habib scandal of forged evidence in The Oz.




- Meanwhile the Climate Change Coalition and Greens (pictured above) are vying for full page adverts in SMH monthly glossy Sydney Mag, and Good Weekend respectively on populist DCC. Greens have the machine for my money.


- 2 page advertorial by GHD promoting Al Gore visit and business sustainability in The Oz, Thursday or so (advert offline)




- Perhaps the most uplifting aspect of the weekend press is Kessing getting a $40K handshake from the big media for doing his public duty only to cop a conviction and 3 year legal merry go round and lose his job.




- Another uplift - NSW govt contradicts its own nature by saving a few red gums for now, say till the federal election?




- Idealistic media run images of caged reality 'installation' on Bondi Beach in Fairfax, Australian and ABC tv news etc, so naturally Saturday Telegraph runs a 2 pages 25, 26 spoiler about : 'Beirut' Bondi with repeat pics of same Mekano digger, repeat pics of same high rise renovation, and repeat of same story we ran here on SAM ie allusion to 'battle ground Bondi' ...oh was it April or May 07? Having voted as councillor 10 years ago for the west side of Campbell Pde upgrade the real story is why the Federal Govt continue to spend next to nothing on Bondi Beach maintenance when tens of millions visit per year. That's a real story.



- WWF report damns Howard Govt strategy: Fri 28th Sept Sept p3 SMH by Marian Wilkinson, seriously smart new 'environment editor', next to




- We noticed page 5 of The Oz 3 picture splitting story (show above)about Not Happy John team getting a chill from charmer Maxine McKew in The Oz, who doesn't want the abrasive aspect to her outreach. This writer felt a twinge of criticism, but agree with the notion Howard Hating is no way forward for previous supporters of Howard because it provides no room for dishonourable disengagement from the Rodent. And the real point is as Silas once of NHJ and now of Get Up will tell you, Maxine has her own new 'NHJ' run by Brett Solomon/Evan Thorley et al. So dear John Valder it is time to focus on Wentworth where they enjoy a bit more biffo compared to Epping. Mind you Darling Point and Double Bay are very Epping too even if the white picket is more deck and balustrade than fence paling.





- Interesting splitting angle by Howard's office promoting ex ALP PM Hawke as the current PM's confidant, probably on yellowcake, as Hawke does ALP tub thump tour in WA to great effect. A prime ministerial warning to silver bodgie to back off or the rep get's it? All leveraging Hawke/Keating hostility with sledge of latter woven into the story, where else but p1 Australian 28/9/07





- Bloggers are newspapers 'best friend' for effectively promoting their online adverts by links




- Errol Simper blows the whistle on axing of the Natural History Unit at the ABC who 'coincidentally' broadcast the anti logging The Last Valley. You join the dots. Similarly Amanda Meade notes Kim Dalton not welcome at Eureke awards.




- 'Rangoon detains activist over rally' - August 27 2007, The Australian p12. That is the tragedy there was brewing at least 5 weeks ago.




- Hans Blix plea for nuclear disarmament was lost in all the APEC palaver, 28/8/07 p13 SMH




- nice to hear Cats win the AFL grand final, because we didn't bother watching after the 3rd quarter in disgust at the mismatch, and the surly 'play the man not the ball' mediocrity of the Port Adelaide defence. You have to be hungry for the ball and that's the real joy of the game, not the other side. Port were psychologically misdirected.


- oldie but a goodie, battery charged bicycles for the hills in Sydney. 28/8/07 SMH p14.





Meet the Press




Drought climate nexus Vaile is talent. Press roundup re Cats win afl grandfinal. Union slush fund story, Telstra to target Howard Coalition, poll Nov 24 last Saturday in November?


Voter drought? Vaile smirks re date no confirmation. Vaile doesn’t discount dangerous climate change (DCC) causes drought at least in tone while quoting history of previous “cyclical droughts”. True but sounds like he is scared too. As he might be.


Vaile admits agri welfare like auto and TCF sector. “Survival mechanism” ironic ie of National Party [that will only have pro mining economic support after farm shrinks]


My space question ‘kid’ from Toowoomba Qld student. Ans re full employment stay in regional Australia.  Outtake scratchy my space questions.


1st advert Get Up spoof of govt climate change PR strong on sleaze aspect of hypocritical govt record re Kyoto spoiling etc. As per 1st quarter of AFL yesterday.


Annabel Crabb Fairfax, Glenn Milne in News Ltd. Rudd footage on positive agendas.


How many Nationals in Cabinet if they win? Depends on the vote. To and fro


Question on $1B road election promise leak in Daily Telegraph. AC tries to flush out extra to budget $22B to 2014, old money or not? Vaile fudges. Still negotiating.


Nuclear – over the next 10 years turn to this? AC bouncer again. AC steel in velvet glove with her pinny dress. Again Vaile fudges.


‘Same sex marriage’, my space question – traditional line, keep word as it meant. Moved along way on property, super etc discrimination rights.


Animation from The Australian – laugh out loud, dream runner stops for another bloody inquiry on anything [but post Fitzgerald ALP which gives some logic misdirected Heiner business]


2nd adbreak – IR advert bonuses for corporate board, strong impact.


Kortlang moonlighting from abc spin doctos with Trioli, Liberal Party provenance but acute open amusing all the same. Lib leadership polling dynamics. Pretty “amazing” Turnbull is no.4 after Howard Costello Downer. It’s time? No – Affair with Kevin Rudd,everyweekend goes home to Howard. Over next 5 weeks Rudd is going to say have to live with me.


Long campaign like Hawke in 1984? Peacock got closer when had nothing. Howard longer campaign to close Rudd down. Only differences really Kyoto, Work Choices, troops out of Iraq, rest is campaign he implies re stumbles and bumbles.


www. Myspace.com/meetthepeople


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


Myspace web address:



7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary  -


Fairly dry and serious about election postures as footy takes over this weekend, alleged Rudd team arrogance, cocky etc, splitting tactics etc Elevator music is too much to bear. Rudd controls Cabinet personnel and portfolios. Grand final images. Q & A lots of cover laugh, grating music is the message in fact, when the hell are you going to call it, “boring us to tears” aspect.


Year of the phoney campaign, longest he can remember. Riles has perfect teeth. What a bastard. Old chestnut 4 year set terms, [should be but never will be]










Insiders 2




Indy edition with Bob Katter and Tony Windsor. Latter torpedo re PM ad hocery in face of Rudd, and supports renewable energy too. IR sleeper issue.


Paul Kelly soliliquy - missed a fair bit, and every person segment.






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





Sunday 9




Goes the TWU follow up with Tony Sheldon. Using discreet fund to run election related campaign on IR which is what unions do, just like business. Get out your egg beater eh 9? As Ray said off transcript last week - won't the coalition love that story. Well der it was their story.


Adbreak with pro IR WorkPlace Authority of Govt - straight electioneering ad we paid for. Corrupt.


TWU gets badgered by Ross Coulthard. Ray says "I'm sure Mr Howard and Mr Costello will love those non answers."


Next story is electioneering - young voters enrollment issue. Angus from Sydney Uni SRC with Albanese all over the issue. Token balancer story from conservative ch9?



Feature is Iraq war troops thesis both sides very similar. Weird referral of foreign policy to troops on the ground. Since when?



Orange background is nice, what is the subliminal? A burnt DCC future? Turnbull with square wall features says something too.


Laurie Oakes with Mal Turnbull back from Washington. Does spade work on carbon trade system. Oakes skeptical about USA Bush accepts problem but does nothing [echoes embarrassing footage of smirking lying Bush on stage]


Again stolid presentation, probably jet lag. Praises Howard at APEC, developing countries have to contribute. Furphy by Turnbull here. They were in Kyoto waiting for unified west to get real on conditioning their imports, but Australia and USA sabotaged that by cheating on the preparations via Kyoto to put the binders on.


Oakes, cut off our nose to spite our face given no clout at Bali critical meeting coming?


Howard sounds like a dill attacking subsidy previously Nov last year, now is okay, been all over the place says LO. Turnbull chuckles but avoids buying in at the invite.


Embracing ALP policy including renewable energy policy.  


Tas pulp mill, LO go ahead this week? Decision this week, won’t reveal a decision. Going to follow chief scientist recommendations. Fully invested in that report author.


Election, Govt win, Howard lose. Find him a seat for PM still? Just a hypothetical.



Posted by editor at 10:31 AM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 3 October 2007 9:57 PM NZT
Thursday, 27 September 2007
Singapore, India 'trading' partners can promote justice in Burma
Mood:  sharp
Topic: human rights


We received this forlorn email today from an environmental friend which is a message from the global version of Get Up called Avaaz.org:

Burma is ruled by one of the most brutal military dictatorships in the world. For decades the Burmese regime has fought off pressure--imprisoning elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and democracy activists, wiping out thousands of villages, imposing forced labour, creating refugees-

But last Tuesday Buddhist monks and nuns, revered in Burma, began marching and chanting prayers. The protests spread as hundreds of thousands of ordinary people and public figures joined in, finding the hope they’d lost. Now they’re facing crackdown – so please, show your solidarity to this movement towards reconciliation and democracy and sign the emergency petition supporting the Burmese people -- it'll be delivered to United Nations Security Council members and international media all week:


In the past, Burma's military rulers have massacred the demonstrators and crushed democracy. The world must stand with the Burmese people at this time, to show the military rulers that the world will not tolerate repression and violence.

Right now, global leaders are gathering in New York for the annual United Nations summit. In speeches, press interviews but also in real actions, we need them to show Burma's military junta that the global community is willing to act in solidarity with the protesters.

Show your solidarity to this movement for peace and democracy and sign the emergency petition supporting the Burmese people. It'll be delivered to UN Security Council members and the UN press corps all week:


Thank you for your help!

Our reply is a bit more lateral:

We need to target Singapore which provides cover for the illegal drug trade there in Burma by providing money laundering, while hanging their own odd drug trafficker and user, to sanitise organised crime at senior govt levels of Singapore. We should also target India as a big customer of Burma's Junta. China another big customer for raw materials is probably retreating from active influence in the lead up to Beijing Olympics to sanatise its own tragic record on human rights. Normally China props up several dictators e.g. North Korea and Burma as a buffer from western norms of transparency, just as it abuses its own internal diversity:
My impression the fate of the Burmese and North Koreans, is the fate of 70M Falung gong inside China's border. That is extreme fatal violence.
Alot of the world's media are targetting the evil crazy Junta in Burma specifically, but the geopolitiks looks alot more sordid and corrupt than just the internal dictators of Burma. They are a prop as best I can tell. Just like Saddam was for the USA versus Iran, and the pathetic Saudi Wahabist royals vis a vis the rest of the Arabs.
One reason I would guess Burma's people are stirring right now is because China is retreating from the Junta with the approach of the Olympics given pressure on human rights in China itself to be sanitised. So Burmese dictators have to make do on their own to manage geo political pressure for change. Without as much Chinese support we see more economic unravel like rising petrol prices. We see less effectively organised state power against democratic opposition. What hope the little folks in this evil power mongering in the shadow of the next Olympics?
One hopes greater democracy for the Burmese might be a consolation prize to the world for giving Beijing the Olympics?

Posted by editor at 3:36 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 27 September 2007 4:26 PM NZT
Should the world boycott the Beijing Olympics for Chinese human rights abuse?
Mood:  sad
Topic: human rights

On August 3, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, the Ranking Member on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight, introduced a House Resolution to boycott the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.

He explained, "The Olympics represent the noblest elements of humanity and the Chinese regime represents the opposite. The Olympic torch is supposed to be a beacon of light shining upon mankind's higher aspirations in the world and it's a travesty to have that torch hosted by a regime that is the world's worst human rights abuser."


Because she practiced Falun Gong, Ms. Wei Fengju was tortured to near death in the Heizuizi Forced labor Camp. Unable to recover, she passed away on July 11, 2007.

On March 28, 2007, actress Mia Farrow, a good-will ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund, drew the world's attention to the Beijing Olympics when she and her son Ronan wrote an op-ed article for the Wall Street Journal [1]. In the article, Farrow launched a campaign to label the 2008 Olympics the "Genocide Olympics." Her forthright candor gave voice to the world's awakening shock at Communist China's ever-burgeoning atrocities, its total disregard for human values and its severe human rights violations.

Not only is China bankrolling Darfur's Genocide [2]; for more than eight years it has sought to eliminate Falun Gong, which in 1999 had an estimated 70 million practitioners in China; it has likewise abused democracy activists, lawyers, human rights defenders, religious leaders, journalists, trade unionists, Tibetan Buddhists, Uighurs, ''unofficial'' church members, and political dissidents.

In 2004, Asma Jahangir the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions stated, "The Special Rapporteur continues to be alarmed by deaths in custody in China. Reports describe harrowing scenes in which detainees, many of whom are followers of the Falun Gong movement, die as a result of severe ill treatment, neglect or medical inattention. The cruelty and brutality of these alleged acts of torture defy description."

... full story continues here

Posted by editor at 2:59 PM NZT
The land clearing hoax in detail, reports David Paull
Mood:  irritated
Topic: ecology

Great Australian land clearing Hoax

Compiled by David Paull [Sept 2007]

02 68424940

·        Land clearing laws have not stopped Australian land clearing as all efforts at compliance have been ineffective.

·        Official satellite monitoring figures are suspect, as monitoring systems underestimate all vegetation clearing.

·        Official clearing approvals continue at rates similar to that before the introduction of new Native Vegetation legislation

·        Any real decrease in deforestation are more likely due to the fact that natural vegetation systems are fast disappearing and are becoming more endangered

·        This is all in the context of global warming.

Every year since 2002, the Federal Environment Minister has put out a press release to accompany the publication of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory stating that Australia is “on track” to meet the target set under the Kyoto Protocol of an average of 108 per cent of 1990 emission levels over the period 2008-12.

Because of good agricultural conditions, the late 1980s and early 1990s happened to be bumper years for land clearing, particularly in Queensland. This raised Australia’s emissions in the Kyoto base year of 1990 by about 30 per cent, making the 108 per cent target far cheaper and easier to achieve. Due to the Australia clause, any reduction in land clearing could offset emission increases from burning fossil fuels.

This is precisely what has occurred. Between 1990 and 2004, emissions from most sectors have sky-rocketed. For example, stationary energy and transport emissions increased by 43 per cent and 23 per cent respectively. However, these increases have been offset by a 73 per cent decline in emissions from land use change, providing an apparently respectable 2.3 per cent increase in overall emissions.

But has land clearing really stopped?


Full story continues here

Posted by editor at 1:59 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 1 January 2008 6:33 PM EADT

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