About 6 months ago we wrote one of our prods at Christian Kerr noting that ALP candidate George Newhouse had a very appealing family and spouse ..... at least from memory some 10 years back while a colleague at Waverley Council. We saw the Newhouse family as inevitable pictorial assets in the election platform. Hence the real politik comment to Kerr.
Now the whole world knows not least via front page press coverage that the Newhouses have split up, he was dating rival candidate Ecuyer, and is in a tough contest with Big Mal Turnbull.
So now George is vying for the divorcee vote and Mrs Turnbull seems to know it very well with brutal references to her '30 year relationship' with hubby Mal in a public letter. We think it's likely to be damaging to the Newhouse candidacy - she didn't get to be a Sydney CBD mayor once for nothing. One presumes there are more marrieds in Wentworth than single adult voters once you weed out the 40% annual churn of transient Bondi visitors and non traditional lifestylers.
Which all reminds this writer of the reputed talent of the English to be very rude while formally polite. In the immortal words of Bob Dylan, Lucy Turnbull probably prefers to see Newhouse "paralysed" than keep her out of the Lodge as First Lady. Over to Lady Macbeth here extracted by crikey.com.au last week:
"This member is not standing for re-election". So reads the parliamentary website the official reason being a re destribution of the seat of Calare, and a plan to shift to the senate.
The other reason is that Peter Andren has died last Saturday of pancreatic cancer very soon after the diagnosis. Here is Greens Leader Bob Brown on the death of his colleague in grassroots politics:
Saturday 3 November 2007
Peter Andren was a political inspiration for Australia, Greens leader
Bob Brown said today.
"He gave politics a good name. He brought it fresh air. In the
conservative electorate of Calare, his vote grew at each election,
though he tackled the Howard government on the Iraq war, the Tampa
crisis, climate change and its approval of logging Tasmania's forests.
He worked hard for Calare and the electorate loved him. His was
political representation at its honest best," Senator Brown said.
"I extend heartfelt sorrow at his death to his partner, Valerie, family,
friends and the people of Calare," Senator Brown said.
Contact: Prue Cameron 0408 473 379
As Port Phillip in Melbourne prepares for a massive dredging and expansion for imports of more junk, and Port Botany is identified for more expansion for import of .... you guessed it ... more junk, Lynda Newnam writes as follows:
As Port Phillip in Melbourne prepares for a massive dredging and expansion for imports of more junk, and Port Botany is identified for more expansion for import of .... you guessed it ... more junk, Lynda Newnam writes as follows:
The majority of greenhouse pollution is embedded in the goods we buy and transport. A third container terminal, intermodal terminals, tunnels and other $multi-billion infrastructure are being built in Sydney to accommodate the export of empty containers and other ‘trade’ that congests Sydney but some of which would provide opportunities if located elsewhere in NSW.
Further details on BUY NOTHING DAY: http://www.bnd.dk/english.htm and/or email chairperson (at) botanybay.info or just turn up with thermos, binos and camera.
For a no nonsense commentary on why we should ’shift to thrift’ read Richard Glover at http://www.smh.com.au/news/richard-glover/desire-and-the-green-cure/2007/10/18/1192300941282.html Glover says that ”The really radical response to global warming - the one you won’t find in any of the glossy green magazines - would be to rehabilitate the concept of thrift. The advertisers would hate it, but we could once more celebrate it as a virtue - in just the way it used to be celebrated by generations of Australians.”
Further details on Birdwatching: http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/ - This particular day we will also remember Lance Ferris, The Pelican Man, who died 14/10/07. Under the Ports expansion plan the Pelicans which now grace the area have been identified as birds to be actively discouraged.
[Greens media release]
Six month reactor shutdown as nuclear delegates arrive in Australia
The admission by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology
Organisation that Australia's only nuclear reactor will remain shutdown
for six months shows the need for a new direction on nuclear power,
Greens Senator Kerry Nettle said today.
The embarrassing revelation comes on the eve of an International Atomic
Energy Agency conference, which starts in Sydney tomorrow and is focused
on research reactors like the Lucas Heights OPAL reactor.
The week long conference, The International Conference on Research
Reactors: Safe Management and Effective Utilization, is being hosted by
Australia and 220 delegates from around the world are expected to
"The government now has egg on its face as the world's nuclear
scientists gather in Australia," Senator Nettle said.
"Just before Australia hosts a major international conference on
research reactors we learn that Sydney's nuclear reactor will be out of
action for at least six months."
"John Howard called this reactor a 'triumph' but just three months after
his government opened the reactor it has broken down and will now be off
line for at least 6 months."
"There is major gap between the rhetoric and reality of nuclear power in
this country. How can John Howard and ANSTO argue for 25 nuclear power
reactors when they can't even run one small research reactor?"
"There is still no clear answer to the cause of the reactor shutdown and
who will foot the bill."
"The admission that the reactor will remain closed also undermines the
claim that it is necessary for nuclear medicine. ANSTO says it is
spending $90,000 a week to provide nuclear medicine while the reactor is
shutdown. The reactor cost $400 million to build so for the cost of
building a reactor Australia could have had 100 years of medical
"The government should cut its losses, keep the reactor closed and focus
on real solutions to climate change like renewable energy and energy
For more information: Damien Lawson 0419 253 342
Picture: In flight free magazine Sydney to Avalon 30th Oct 07. PM Howard is on Insiders beating up the notion that Garrett (who was always a bolt on to the 100 year old ALP party), is somehow now the engine and steering wheel. Only dupes or the incredulous could be fooled by such self interested rhetoric. Sure Garrett (like all pollies, let alone ex rock star front man) is egotistical but the real test of his postures is whether he could deliver a radical change to the conservative, vandalistic ALP policy platform. And the resounding answer is NO, just as Bob Brown has cautioned the ALP will change PG, not vice versa. Unlike Howard who as leader does indeed deliver eg deception of the voters in 2004 by introducing unprecedented disruption to IR. Deception of voters again in 1996 to bring in the GST. Conclusion: Howard is projecting his own abuse of power onto Garrett. No wonder Howard is beating as much as he can.
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.
- We were on the bicycle/aeroplane/hike/train and back for three days and missed the micro detail [or maybe we didn't really] but even in South West Victoria (pictured below) we learned that Peter Garrett made a 'gaffe' as per the headline above, echoing a front pager Sydney Morning Herald leader on Saturday referring to "Labor's double talk/ We'll wield the axe". It's a story actually about Kevin Swan swearing to hang tough on financial management, but in close proximity and aimed at neutralising another front pager about said Peter Garrett including picture in his "sorry" suit on the Olympic stage.
- Another howler in the so called Garrett-gate affair. But not by PG in fact. Rather John Howard as quoted in today's Sunday press:
"You don't joke about what your intentions are in government three weeks out from the election."
Nod head sagely, oh yes such serious matters for serious men.
Unless of course you are Peter Costello and joking about your own leadership profile and 'in govt' intentions four weeks out from an election as running mate for same John Howard?! Was it the Treasurers debate in the Q&A session where Costello was asked why should the Liberal Party hand over leadership to Costello in 18 months if he agrees with everything John Howard does? To which of course Costello smirked and parried with a joke about wondering the same about Rudd being the same as Howard and so why vote for the ALP leader?
Here is the ABC transcript of the jokey exchange:
News Limited's Sue Dunlevy raised the leadership question that hangs ever-present around the Coalition: "In two years time, if the Prime Minister honours his promise to stand aside and allow a leadership change in the Liberal Party, you could be the Prime Minister of this country.
"Could you please tell voters, who are going to the polls in just over three weeks, what the three main differences will be between a Costello government and a Howard government, and if there are no differences, is there any point in a leadership change?"
Mr Costello answered: "Well, it's a question I often think when I listen to Kevin Rudd tell us how there'd be no changes between him and John Howard.
"Sometimes I wonder why Kevin wants to be elected when he wants to be so like John Howard."
But no, he did not answer the question.
But it got a good laugh while cutely avoidingCostello's 'intentions when in the govt/leadership succession'. So is Howard condemning Costello as well as Garrett now for flippant lack of gravitas or even maturity or indeed honesty? I don't think so. More's the pity.
- Warrnambool Standard tries to wake up dozy voters if not candidates in the otherwise safe seat of Wannon held by David Hawker (The Speaker) and also this Sydney based writer's home district.
One voter is in such despair she tries to drive off the Hopkins River boat ramp, and then the breakwater 6 weeks later (last Thursday). She is rescued both times, 2nd time unconscious floating face up frothing from her mouth with local fishers watching on agape. They go back to fishing.
10 Meet the Press
Press roundup Pakistan dictatorship with Purves Musharif. McKew looking strong in Bennelong ahead of Howard still.
Wombat otherwise known as Mark Vaile blathering on as guest with compere Paul Bongiorno. Claims credit for $10 billion road package.
Sleaze about climate change no big problem (hiding his big mining donation interests for the Nats). First adbreak is Get Up spoof on Govt advertising. Well worn but still effective.
Out take with Nicholson animation is strong re ‘double talk’ theme with Howard backflips constantly on climate, reconciliation, other?
Panel is looker Cath Hart from The Australian, and Steven Spencer of 2GB. CH goes for interest rates asap. Spencer on climate with pandering question (?).
2nd guest is Galaxy pollster sees Howard replaced by same younger Rudd as long as he gets there without looking risky. Notices big contrast general to marginals, says Lindsay and mortgage belt seats gone, but rural regionals different again (which way?).
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
- Very amusing parallel of Howard and Forest Gump. Great soundtrack. One of the best satires this year? All a bit silly and ragged. Good focus on Abbott stuff ups with sorry music everywhere and ouch comparison with macho Mark Latham ie doesn’t play well at all. Pugilist Abbott pretty much revealed for what he is – a slugger.
Howard interview. Gets in a lather about Garrett and some so called boasting by Garrett about changing their platform post election. It’s a path that Howard has ploughed all too well on GST, IR etc but he was leader, not a bolt on like Garrett whose main qualification is singing someone else’s lyrics.
Home page is http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/
Round up as above of the week of politics.
Feature on senate minor parties including proto fascist party Liberty and Democry Party (eg gun ownership) and Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party supporting Barnaby Joyce.
Important interview with Kevin Rudd and Laurie Oakes, addresses Garrett postures/double talk/joke as he is driving the ALP and delivering the platform eg the pulp mill.
Q&A with Laurie, Howard looking like "Captain Cranky", Rudd looking more relaxed.
Laurie looking fitter than ever. Well done Old Man.
Garrett destined to junior ministry thinks LO.
Reserve Bank business - interest rates likely to go up.
Feature with Naomi Wolf, about USA down the path of totalitarianism, and subvert early 2009 election. Ten steps dictators always take. Tipping point.
Saffron Howden of the Daily Telegraph yesterday, with the help of the dizzy folks at The Wilderness Society, and the Fairfax Sydney Magazine give Bob Carr (always the thespian) some great PR profile recently.
Picture: At left Bob Carr whose govt during his watch waved through the James Hardie legal trickery to offshore their assets to avoid asbestos liabilities of $4B or more, next to Nick Griener who is now a company director for Big Tobacco, also in the legalised business of killing people.
But the truth is oh so different from the Great Spinner trying to rehabilitate his public reputation after being forced out as premier after a respectable 10 years anniversary. (This is also the Bob Carr who also said the internet was irrelevant to electioneering in one of those typical hubristic interviews alongside Gore Vidal, which gives you the clue to the skinny mans patchy credibility as opposed to manipulative acting skills.)
Carr created 350 national parks some of them big, some of them postage stamps but he also condemned the other 50% to destruction with 20 year logging resource security when climate change was bearing down on us. Here are some of our eye witness field trips sometimes at personal risk:
We were careful to keep a web record of Carr's real legacy:
and in particular this big logging list in over 100 precious forests on his watch 1995-2005:
Ex Premier Bob Carr's breach of an election promise to end woodchipping of native forest by 2000 in NSW - not just any promise that actually got him over the line in marginals like Coogee in 1995 - had drastic consequences over the border in Victoria's once grand East Gippsland forests in places like Goolengook which were firebombed after devastating clearfells sent to the Eden chipper Carr promised to close.
Indeed there was such alarm at Carr's failure here is the very same The Wilderness Society election leaflet 2003 condemning the guy they just went on a bushwalk with as reported in the Daily Telegraph above ...
Picture: NASA image of warming globe
'India and China aren't required to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) under the Kyoto Protocol' says PM Howard and Foreign Minister Downer in the big media this last 48 hours. Meanwhile senior minister Mark Vaile panders to climate change deniers altogether.
But this is narrow 'rodent' half truth rhetoric from the Coalition. The Opposition leader Rudd and Garrett have got it right on Kyoto as a framework for leveraging China and India irrespective of unilateral initial targets by the West. For instance consider the other crucial tool not mentioned much in the discussion of treaties - the ability in the local jurisdiction to shut out unwanted products (eg GHG intense Chinese/Indian imports) from lucrative domestic western markets. This is the sovereign power of every Western country just like the ban on kids toys with lead paint, or toxic food, import of endangered animals, or CFCs (see below). Similarly the terms of Kyoto are only the tip of the diplomatic iceberg when it comes geo politik of enforcement of such global environmental reform. Most of the power is not in the treaty, it's in the black list 'here' leveraging our buying power if our Govt is serious about action.
An excellent precedent case of this geo politik dynamic is the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) (see more background here) which covered China and India as developing countries, but only after many years, dragged kicking and screaming to binding ODS targets on products with chemicals like CFCs and HCFCs. The effect of an import barrier on Chinese and Indian ODS intense products into Europe/USA markets focused the thinking of China and India: The West was serious in fixing the ozone hole to save our future. And it worked.
Thus it is the West's overt willingness to go for economic sanctions, or not, that is crucial to China and India accepting binding targets that can also make the Kyoto Protocol work - not binding targets up front per se.
This is why unity of purpose amongst the rich Western markets is critical more so than between rich and poor countries. The latter will follow in due course, as the Howard and Bush cynics well know: The music stops for China and India on GHG intense production when the USA and Europe decides that from a certain time it will not buy. No doubt it does take commitment and courage for the West to pull the developing countries into Kyoto (or similar) Protocol because it causes pain for both the West/USA and China/India
- in economic restructure (we like those cheap goods, they like making them),
- in diplomacy (China and India will be pissed at the upheaval and extra work to make the changes, the West are going to have to subsidise the cost),
- in security (any cheating will cause serious frictions, and enforcement within and across national boundaries of targets won't be fun either) and
- confusion generally (how to regulate let alone educate globally).
In this sense Kyoto to be next considered in Bali, Super Kyoto, or Post Kyoto, are just labels for when in a timing sense the unified West rich markets are really, finally, ready to put real economic pressure on the developing countries: For instance declining all those cheap products in K-mart mostly made in China which may be produced in unacceptable ways. Howard is deceptive to stereoptype the foreign developing countries as holding us back. Rather, go looking for developing country GHG emitters and likely you will find they include us - indirectly as buyers.
The great irony is that the Chinese govt already knows Kyoto or similar must happen, just as the implementation of the Montreal Protocol on ODS was a global training run. The Chinese want the Planet and the human species to survive as much as anyone. The logic of the combined effort on the ozone hole and common sense tells us so. Thus China is developing renewable energy in huge measure - to be ready for the big shift.
All the USA/Australia sabotage of Western unity in the Kyoto Protocol amounts to is pure cynicism - yes make us 'Kyoto energy reform' virtuous, but not yet.Yet the longer we wait the worse it gets like a bad tooth leading to blood poisoning and even death.
Very significantly China and India said it was impossible to reform ODS under the Montreal Protocol in the 1990ies yet they retooled in 5 years after they realised their market was really at risk. It's true GHG is a much much bigger (though partly related reform) compared with phase out of the aggravating ODS but it is even more unavoidable. Cie la vie.
Howard and Downer are playing with words and for time. In fact with Australia such a huge exporter of coal and with Howard's value system about revenue above all else, our PM is talking like he is actually in the shoes of China and India who want as much dirty energy development as possible before the world takes the cure. Howard talks more like a Chinese dictator when it comes to saving the environment, than a western leader. Which is a worrying omen given the very poor environmental situation in China. That's not leadership by Howard, that's intellectual and moral cowardice in the face of scientific reality.
But then Australia under Howard is just proxy for the Bush regime in the USA saying we aren't ready for Kyoto yet. The Bush-Howard regimes are literally playing chicken with science and the future of the Planet and the survival of all species including humanity.
Our Catholic upbringing tells us this dangerous climate change and dithering over solutions is a modern form of Evil that Satan would approve.God's creation deserves better, the fundamental question underpinning this report in the Good Weekend Oct 13 cover story
Well time will tell. But the veteran Brown is looking like a Melbourne Cup bolter this last 24 hours. A spring in his step, the rumble of the ocean in his voice, a strong tonic of relevance syndrome like a ring in to a Fantastic 4 movie script on tv last night.
Picture: Images lifted from Fantastic 4 chortler, with Bob Brown in the Ioan Gruffudd role attempting to pursuade a pneumatic potential green voter, hanging in there electorally and very worried about Mr Hot, his friend or fatal super nova?
There he is, not for nothing, on Meet the Press, Insiders couch where Matt Price should be (and is not forgotten Matt in his darkest hours), and ABC tv prime time evening news correctly noting that "for the first time as national leader".
In this way the acutely diplomatic Brown, that this writer has much less time or interest in pursuing as the world crashes around us, is well placed to rein in the ideological left wing in the NSW division, and keep a subliminal ecological theme running strongly. The real green in Green. And thank God (!) for that.
And the ALP are getting it. The green in Greens are not for turning, getting a .5% increment every year on average, and the whole song and dance has to move stage forward to our position because we have the moral trumps on preserving creation and survival of our species including, God's creation as you please. There is no bargaining on such an issue.
Truly dangerous climate change is in fact Satan.
This morning in Sydney 800 km south of Lismore (in the aftermath of a tornado - let me say that again, a tornado) the temperature at 6 am pre daylight saving, 7 am post daylight correction - was 25 degrees ("inside the truck" says the dead cow delivery guy outside a local butcher next to the local newsagent).
That folks is a subtropical climate shift bearing down on Sydney. A cyclone 800 km away last weekend but actually in Sydney in our lifetime. That's right - a cyclone in Sydney in our lifetime.
Climate Change is Satan. Are you reading this George Pell?