« January 2008 »
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
about editor
aust govt
big media
contact us
donations to SAM
election nsw 2007
election Oz 2007
free SAM content
human rights
independent media
local news
nsw govt
nuke threats
publish a story
zero waste
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
official indymedia
ecology action Australia
ecology action
Advertise on SAM
details for advertisers
You are not logged in. Log in

sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Saturday, 26 January 2008
Peter Garrett PR for Australia Day mixes substance and expedience at Bondi
Mood:  lucky
Topic: aust govt

We got the tip off of a media event at 10 am Friday 25th and sure enough it ran on ABC tv news last night in a set piece PR exercise by the theatrical Minister Peter Garrett.

Bondi Beach was to be listed on the National Heritage list of some kind, some 65 hectares from Ben Buckler cliffs to McKenzies point including surf clubs 'and parkland'. And herein is where the listing moves into the area of policy substance (as below) and not simply expedient PR to avoid the high level threats to national heritage in Tasmanian forests, Botany Bay where the British navy first made land fall or indeed Port Phillip Bay subject to highly controversial dredging at the narrow entrance.

In this sense our cynicism hat was in place. But you have to admit the event was done well. Profound welcome to country by La Perouse elder Uncle Les Davison (somewhat beaten down by life but a real survivor) shown in this picture with local Cr Dominik Wykanak centre, and bus driver Steve Raguckas waste campaigner. These three are promoting these recycling bags:


We have written before of the quite bogus attempts to justify a private heavy rail in public parkland at Bondi Beach privatising the revenue of the highly profitable public 380 bus service, itself a preface for Gold Coast style high rise over the sold off airspace rights (plenty of precedent too e.g. Bondi Junction):

We thank a local beach beauty with brains for this angle as we chatted over what the politicians were up to: A local who still remembers the train plan from 10 years back. Quite a parry on our cynical fairly justified analysis we passed on to such as Peter Harvey the veteran attack dog from Ch9 60 Minutes in the audience.

So with any luck this listing will finally knock off that agenda from 1996 - when Cr Paul Pearce joined this writer in opposing that ALP state govt plan when it counted, later became Mayor, then local MP for Coogee and his partner Ingrid Strewe as current mayor of Waverley for the ALP with Garrett as MP for Kingsford Smith. So much for the substance which may or may not have been the real motives of these pollies here:

Because its level of threat that really clarifies the relevance of extra protection designations. The cliche of the Opera House, Blue Mountains or other 'protection' decisions in the total absence of any real threat from the industry or developer lobby (way too smart to stalk politically impossible targets) does get quite grating for vocational conservationists: Never forget the forest giants getting done over right now:


     Logging coupe bordering Snowy River National Park      Old growth logging in domestic water catchment      Logging protester halts clearfelling      Clearfelled old growth forest near Snowy River National Park      Public banned from National Park      micro cop on big log

Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 12:54 PM
Subject: geco needs you!

logging has commenced in high conservation forest bordering the snowy river national park on yalmy road close to goongerah in far east gippsland. it is adjacent to the corrridor between the snowy & errinundra national parks promised to be reserved last state election. with a small crew geco braved difficult wet conditions to lock the coupe down until mid afternoon on monday (see geco.org.au for details).

numbers are desperately needed out here now to defend the last of the largest stands of unprotected old growth forest on the mainland which vicforests have scheduled to log this year.

a base camp is established at the goongerah campground on the brodribb river, bonang road, 70km's north of orbost. come self sufficient & fuel up in orbost.

if you haven't been out b4, visiting the majestic forests of the far east is a life changing experience. the coastal beaches are not too crowded & very beautiful. the orbost exhibition centre is also worth a visit on the way thru...

please come & join geco including bidawell traditional owners in our 14th summer of non-violent direct action & inspiring bush walks.

if not you, who? if not now, when?


We met some of our old sparring partners down at the event. Mayor Stewe waved me into the media tent with my customised name tag (solictor/SAM tag) with a trusting comment, and wary looks of the flak (fair enough too). Guess which one she is here (clue: looking straight back at the dude with the camera wrong side of the plastic taking experiemental pics):


Peter Brennan 4 years as director of planning in cool dark blue suit, and quite amicable out in the sunshine and big fat wage. Such events are always a bit of a mind bender:

For instance another story was running in the press earlier in that day was a mind bender. Water quality in Warragamba Dam affected by an algae growth. A real worry and fair story, but somehow related in timing sense to the return of Minister Koperberg into harness responsible for water, who can hardly be blamed for the weather and rainfall patterns.

Already a senior left wing MP who one presumes will speak against the premier on the big ticket power privatisation when the time comes. We suggested as much to MP Pearce who is also on record against the sell off. At which time he decided to move out of camera frame!

Meanwhile just back from the beach the wheels of commerce continue to turn with renovation of the old ugly singular high rise motel on the strip with no doubt 'existing use' rights in terms of bulk, such are the legacies of life ( more detail  here in a pdf file Nov 05 and also here before the councillors in the weary meeting process:



Posted by editor at 7:33 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 27 January 2008 9:51 AM EADT
More Banksy found and lost in Enmore?
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: culture


Picture: echoes of a 2nd Banksy in Enmore now lost to a giant tagger and replacement door panel?  

We dropped in to the Auscrap folks in Enmore which is one of the last light industrial activities in that part of town. The macho cashier knows me from years of metal recycling now. $50 on the ABN thankyou very much. So I tell him about my previous article here featuring Banksy at Alfalfa House organic food co-op. How it could be worth alot of money too, 'not that I care about that' feigning disinterest.

Now this guy is no art critic and was quite apathetic, didn't really know of Banksy from a bar of soap. But he thinks he remembers him ...(!)

"He did one here too, about a year ago, came in and asked permission. But I think someone went over it. Out the gate and not the first roller door but the second one ... tall guy with long hair." Quite neutral attitude as my excitement and sense of melodrama begins to rise.

Okay, I say let's check it out. There is a suspicious trace of a lower half of "Banksy!!" signature obscured by a giant local tagger. "Yeah that's it" says the cashier.  Would Banksy write "Keep it fresh" or was it the later tagger? 

Who knows. It might or might not have been the dude. It might have been a pretend Banksy sign off?

But then you get to wonder from another stencil location that he's been around - look at this image on his official website,


 and then this smiley face photographed in Enmore two days ago right down to the side creases on the mouth and vertical ovoid eyes, and the cynical "who watches the watchmen". Who knows. Imitation is sincere flattery. Even the power plug is suggestive he's been lurking amongst us. Then again it could be the local fans from the School of Performing Arts in Newtown:

Here is the full panel of the roller door back of Auscrap which looks a real mess now:

"From the dark continent"? "One love" "peace out". Even the overflow up to the top left onto the brick work is a little suggestive.

Counting against this interpretation may well be the signatures of Banksey on the official website are block stencil style, not cursive but they do have the exclamation (one not two).

What makes us more convinced is he seems to like alternative business like the organic shop, and the metal recyclers, that is, a modern environmental theme. It's a cute mystery anyway.

Posted by editor at 6:49 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 26 January 2008 7:31 AM EADT
Friday, 25 January 2008
Banksy pearl diver before swine? Sydney council anti graffiti squad obviously not Banksy fans!
Mood:  mischievious
Topic: culture

The Sydney Morning Herald ran this story recently, which was quite amusing and fitting for the Sydney Festival season:

Details emerge of Banksy's Sydney visit - Arts - Entertainment ...

Famous pair … the painting in Melbourne, left, and Enmore Road.

SMH caption: Famous pair … the painting in Melbourne, left, and Enmore Road.

Naturally we went to check it out in person: And the story gets more interesting again since that went to print on January 17th 08.

Yesterday we saw what Stevie Bee, the information officer of Alfalfa House Food Co-op, notes was an unfortunate example of Marrickville Council workers dilligence in removing tag graffiti also scrubbing the now famous Banksy 'child-pearl diver helmet' figure. As you can see it's starting to fade, and the tag artists are still going at it too:


But we ought not be too harsh on the less than avante guard loving street cleaners. As will be seen there is other proud Australian stencilling that is preserved nearby, but further back from the main street. Are the council workers making a nationalistic point? Everyone's a critic?

Organiser at the great and good Alfalfa had more: The owner they rent from has agreed tentatively to a mural on that side of the building. The wall opposite has been painted over and avoided tag vandalism for a while now. He also amusingly suggested it raises the question whether Banksy is better than the local stuff and who gets to decide?

We took that with a grain of salt until we happened onto nearby stencils of variable merit with the apparent blessing of another wall owner, and see below too the intriguing concrete (!) remote control, making another obscure point about modern existence. Art with kicka*se social comment is far from washed up in Enmore:




Posted by editor at 6:58 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 25 January 2008 7:58 AM EADT
Thursday, 24 January 2008
Adam Spencer plays the comic on abc website
Mood:  happy
Topic: big media

This direct quote below is very funny, and not what you expect on the website for Aunty's main station in Australia's biggest city:

About Adam Spencer

Adam Spencer

702 Breakfast Presenter Adam Spencer's early years are shrouded in mystery.

He was discovered by the famed British explorer and spice trader Spencer Barrington living with Ethiopian wolves (also known as simien foxes or by their scientific name Canis simensis) in the lower reaches of the Afro Alpine Mountains in the early 1870's.

Barrington took the wolf-child, who at this stage walked on all fours, spoke only in deep howls and hunted at night, and returned him to England where he toured with various circuses and public science fairs - all the while Barrington submitted his specimen for analysis by the finest minds of the day.

One journal entry at the time, by a certain Lord Palmerston of Cheshire reads "This crazy wolf-child, hands taut like claws, his back arched and ready to spring, baying and devil-eyed, still, in a bizarre way, emanated a certain humanity - as if speaking to us all as to how thin the line between noble man and savage beast could be".

After several years of constant immersion in the human world, and with absolutely no contact with his wolf brothers and sisters, "Adam" as he had become known (from the Hebrew name meaning "Man of red earth" to indicate his African origins) began to display increasingly human characteristics - by what was estimated to be his tenth birthday he was walking upright.

Adam continues to amaze anthropologists and primatologists alike with his increasing adaptation to western society - with the exception of his limited command of the English language and a fear of modern hygiene regimes he can virtually pass as a regular citizen.

We hope you enjoy breakfast with Adam Barrington Spencer on 702

 Or, you can also read Adam's fantasy bio.

Now if only we could get a podcast of his broadcasts to see the interviews we missed this last 2 days that would be even better. The levity sort of suggests Spencer is not too concerned about the serious news or indeed influencing same with high level journalism, and that's not to say he can't deliver on that either. Is this best service by Aunty's loyal servant? It probably cranks the ratings, while others might prefer it simply sets the standards, which can be a tension.

Posted by editor at 8:31 PM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 24 January 2008 8:55 PM EADT
The sad, sad death of Heath Ledger, Australian actor
Mood:  sad
Topic: culture

When we saw all the front pages similarly reflected on the web here and here about the death of Heath Ledger our initial reaction was 'What's wrong with society?' that such a talent could die at 28. My neighbour a South American guy and parent was chatting and also was shaking his head with 'People who can't handle life, so many poor people have got it much harder'. No doubt common reactions on the street everywhere and many more besides.

We got to pondering about that age bracket:

20ies are such a vulnerable time

This is quite an upsetting fate for this young artist. Sure it's small in the scheme of things but somehow emblematic too of how dysfunctional our world can be. Which is why the Big Media are on the money covering this to address their audience interest. It underlines too why all that lost money on the markets is not really the main game in life.

A big tragedy for a few, a small tragedy for millions, and totally irrelevant to most people in this world beyond Australia or the entertainment industry.

But I do think there is a strong message here. In our twenties we are very vulnerable to misadventure if my own experience is anything to go by. 

By that stage our minds are pretty much fully grown in terms of ability, our body is a blade and seemingly indestructible, with great powers of recovery, but our memory banks are a long way from fully uploaded with hard won experiences of danger and risk. We're like a sports car revving that doesn't know what the tyres are capable of at speed. My own misadventure was an abortive approach to Mt Cook, then malaria for a week in Lae a town on the north coast of PNG after a solo trek up the Kokoda Track. Alone and nearly broke with no plane ticket and help of precious uni friends the only way out when they wired me some dough. No fun at all. It could have turned out quite badly and it was a big teacher. On return and recovery we had a crayfish dinner in Black Mountain resturaunt (towers over the city like a giant hyperdermic) Canberra to celebrate and say thankyou over and above repaying the debt - my shout.

Most of us get to survive and some don't, like that Into the Wild guy Christopher McCandless, and maybe Heath Ledger here. Like the terrible demise of the 2 spray can artists last Sunday in the storm water drain

Some of the press are suggestive he was suffering bad sleep deprivation having gone deep into his role as The Joker, homicidal maniac character, and that his work had been inspired. That's high level acting - a frightening business of psychological maleability losing your id to the work. If I'm right it's a very dangerous business getting lost in an emotional whirlpool of your own mind to feed the entertainment and art monster ... and of course pay the bills, no doubt.

All being well in your thirties you get alot of perspective, learn alot about how to find help without losing your pride or dignity, some real wisdom and skills on sustainability, and in your forties if you avoid the drugs you can build up a profound rythym which can withstand quite a few hard knocks or disruptions a bit like a good cyclist at moderate speed whacked by the odd branch or pothole. 

I find it upsetting because my guess anyone in the 20ies will recognise a bit of themselves in Heath Ledger's death, and anyone who survived probably will too. Damn and blast. It makes it worse when the victim, like some artists, already has such sensitive instrumentation they are at greater risk of being derailed. He might have become more robust with time and contributed so much in a longer life. As Pomeranz on Sydney 702 radio has said what a waste.

Condolences to his family, mother of his child, and especially his child who will hardly know him direct. 

Then we contemplated the immediate specifics of his situation and herein is a strong line of inquiry (?). Indeed it reminds of last New Years Eve when I bunked off a neighbours happy soiree, people I wanted to know and impress but just didn't have the gumption for whatever reason, and the self awareness too. I went for a long walk instead (20km!).  I left them a friendly card next day which worked:

Not so much G'day as goodbye, and so it is

The Herald paper version today carries a headline suggesting he was contemplating his mortality in an interview for the Bob Dylan biopic, but that's what new parents do when they see their genetic function achieved. I think the headline on page 4 of the Herald is probably a bit misleading in this respect. [Also given the Dylan biography is very philosophical.]

I wonder what the social pressure of the G'day set piece tourism, high society function might have meant for him? The reports are that a pall of gloom descended on the event at the news of his sudden death. Clearly there was an emotional link of Heath Ledger to the crowd there - in both directions?

It's well known he reacted adversely to social conflict with the entertainment press, still growing that thick skin I would say, as you tend to do in politics as well.

Could the quandary of not attending the G'day event, and all the history of conflict here in Sydney with the paparazzi have raised big problems for him? Not their fault so much as the private hell of a compatriot?

Should he go, where ostensibly he belongs in the mileau of successful Aussies, yet knowing it would be hell to be in the crowd with the paparazzi insecure at how they might treat him? Or how he might behave?

There's nothing quite like a party that you can't face going to, with all those 'happy folks' already reported in the media, of his kind of people Aussie Americans, to cause emotional strife, worry, sleeping pills? The confusion of wanting/not wanting to go. Ashamed or fearful of his own unhappiness in the Brideshead Revisited sense?

Death by emotional anguish? An Australian Abroad who was taking water, who'd lost the ability to swim in a brewing sea, no one close by with the life belt and he wasn't even waving the arm for help? Damn and blast.


Postscript #1 25th January 2008

And so Heath Ledger 'got the chills' and goes 'ramblin on' as this great old song of folk bard Pete Seeger made famous, a song recalling the very tough 1930ies depression times of such as Woody Guthrie:


And by the same artist Pete Seeger captures the current situation with great acuity back in 1963 re the death of Marilyn Monroe, so very strong in the singing too, unfortunately not on YouTube:


Who killed Norma Jean?
I, said the City, as a civic duty,
I killed Norma Jean.

Who saw her die?
I, said the Night, and a bedroom light,
We saw her die.

Who'll catch her blood?
I, said the Fan, with my little pan,
I'll catch her blood.

Who'll make her shroud?
I, said the Lover, my guilt to cover,
I'll make her shroud.

Who'll dig her grave?
The tourist will come and join in the fun,
He'll dig her grave.

Who'll be chief mourners?
We who represent, and lose our ten percent.
We'll be the chief mourners.

Who'll bear the pall?
We, said the Press, in pain and distress,
We'll bear the pall.

Who'll toll the bell?
I, screamed the mother, locked in her tower,
I'll pull the bell.

Who'll soon forget?
I, said the Page, beginning to fade,
I'll be the first to forget.

Words by Norman Rosten
Music by Pete Seeger
TRO (c) 1963 (renewed) and 1964 (renewed) Ludlow Music, NY


Ledger was on Enough Rope in late March 2003, speaking out against the Iraq War soon after 250-500,000 marched against the war in Feb 2003 in downtown Sydney, perhaps emboldened to take the peace position into the public domain 'contra mundum' ie 'against the world', at least the big business world of 2003 who controlled his professional life out of the USA or News Ltd here.

The paparazzi are generally sub-contracted out like organised crime from the Big Media, doing stuff to get content the corporations would never openly authorise their retained staff to do, so they can sneakily buy in the often ill gotten images. The sneaking around windows, the photos over fences, the constant stalking. Pathetic stuff.

Nicole Kidman has been 'fair game' in much the same way with movies like The Interpreter boosting the stature of the United Nations at a sensitive time in geo politik in 2005 also against the Iraq War and effectively W Bush presidency.

The Interpreter film poster

This is why Ledger ended up using a similar tactic to what we like, carrying a camera and clicking the grubs doing the dirty stalking work indirectly for the Big Media, to meet their arrogant harrassment. We strongly suspect the sub text in Ledger's case was News Ltd green lighting harrassment for a political position in favour of the Iraq war. 

Certainly it's a whole new experience for the self aggrandising paparazzi wankers getting their picture taken. Money can't save them then. It's publicity discipline on PR thugs. Just as the journos don't really like their work being reported on sharply, without fear or favour. There's power in being behind the camera, and I know they don't like their picture taken, the same way I prefer to not be in the frame for my own privacy.

And so the battle of perception moves on. RIP Heath Ledger. 

Posted by editor at 12:05 PM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 27 January 2008 7:01 AM EADT
Wednesday, 23 January 2008
Mike Carlton aka Predator at work at Turrella IMC base 2001-2003
Mood:  special
Topic: independent media


This and similar coverage yesterday relates to 'urban caving' and  prompted our memories of Mike Carlton aka Predator, so named due to his front teech being somewhat curved. In fact he was very laid back and mild mannered, more the intellectual albeit adventurous in so many directions. As will be seen below he came a cropper in a legal disagreement with this writer but there is no gainsaying his profound contribution to global community media self publishing via Sydney Indy Media from the mid 1990ies which became a phenomenon and still is to some degree. He was an information technology champion of the community sector and revered by many to this day as a secular saint for his intrepid work in the IT field.

We knew him vaguely at a Lord St wharehouse in St Peters, now gentrified, at a neighbouring office but much more at Turrella as pictured below. My favourite memory of him was being confronted by no electricity feed and no help from the energy company while negotiating the lease. We went to look at the factory (legally via real estate agent license)  in about August 2001 and he immediately vaulted up to the gap at the top of the door, no easy feat, to look into the substation inside. This was a privately owned facility feeding the factory, a high user. We ended up hiring a qualified electrician but you couldn't doubt Mike's enthusiasm for the task and experience in tight places. Something I was to learn alot about doing temporary plumbing after the factory employees (according to rumour) ripped off all the copper piping in 1999 or so.

Our experiences of Mike were brief and might have been alot more positive but for the influence of  what we think of as 'dark arts' during that time. Our practical antitode was to get into gardening and murals:




Though grim and ugly from outside, the recycled factory spaces inside were very comfortable. It's a real tragedy images of the inside working spaces have been lost. This image is indicative only.


This gate [pictured below 2008] is a sensible addition to the safety of the site as the neighbourhood children used to come exploring when the place was empty for 2 years 99-01. We would warn them off from the occupancy starting late 2001.

This (below) is the location of the vaulting Mike Carlton up to that narrow space at the top. He was a whippet like character. Lithe and strong.


With all the attention on public safety, and criticism of extreme risk taking, it's worth noting this was a decommissioned factory site, and these files/diagrams pictured below were a legacy of the operational factory space of 1995, closed in 1999. Even so the 2001 lease terms were careful to exclude any liability for the 'abandoned' state. This was indeed an industrial adventure 'playground' and we were the colonisers of a dormant space making it more palatable for a furniture business and other tenants thereafter: As often happens with property redevelopment phases from disaster to gentrification. 

Above is the rural inspired polypropylene temporary plumbing, not as easy as it looks, strung through a hole in the external wall and then 50 metres of the (usually) non trafficable services level not visible here (imagine a dirty liftwell turned on its side, with room to crawl) to toilets and kitchen.

Old machines were still in place and quite ugly but they were softened at the time by local attempts at the Gaudi treatment. 

If we'd had out time over we would have been alot more discerning about who was brought into the project and on what conditions. We took a totally open minded view initially, so much so we were left very unprotected when the time for enjoying the result and accounting for (labour/financial) equity. Now we are very careful to invest in our own equity up front when it comes to community work because it's very easy to be exploited by the carefree (careless) commons or those with nothing to lose. Live and learn.


Gaudi influences straight from Barcelona in 2002 are shown here below, channeling all that legal and political frustration in a constructive way into the outdoor spaces that no one cared to contest.



Not so long after this notice we had our stuff dumped on the street briefly which also happened to one of the Sussex St ALP hard cases at one point (Albanese, Faulkner?) too and look at both of them now. Fortunately there was plenty of initiative left in the tank and supporters over the years after an inspiring world trip and soon it was us refusing to sign a confidentiality clause in a settlement deal before the Supreme Court in 2003 a few months later hence the detail here.

Sometimes we suspect Mike's supreme self confidence hit a reef with this outright reversal regarding the position of influence he took on the lease dispute. He couldn't have known the money I put up personally to secure the bond, float the substantial initial rent or long hours cleaning buckets (about 10) of rust off high metal girders to make spaces rentable, crawling through grease to connect the water, or research and negotiations to sub let so many spaces. I think such a logical character was misled by a critical mass of grifters most of whom were foreigners with little or no loyalty to the existing ngo landscape or genuine credentials. To them it was all about privatising control over rental space earmarked for public bodies.


...............#1 of 2 

[Imc-sydney] Re: [Catkore] situation I Henry St Hub/IMC


[Imc-sydney] Re: [Catkore] situation I Henry St Hub/IMC



Mon, 12 Aug 2002 15:47:55 +1000


Hi Tom,

sorry about what must be a difficult homecoming for you.

Let us know if we can help resolve it somehow.


Hope you don't mind me forwarding this to the IMC list. Thanks for

filling cat in, but we really aren't the IMC itself, and we need

to keep IMCers who aren't in cat informed too. Best to write to

both of us.





Tom McLoughlin wrote:


> Please note: this list is archived and searchable via the web.


> Hello, after 3 months travelling distant lands.


> Yesterday 8th August I had a good chat with the real estate agent for 1

> Henry St which includes IMC and he confirmed that until I complete legal

> formalities I remain a joint leaseholder of 1 Henry St with Friends of the

> Earth and Donald Urquhart and jointly/severally liable for finances

> including payment of rent.


> I said I would get off the lease AFTER considering the situation and when I

> am ready. Now I have asked in writing for a financial report from Donald -

> who is now my ex business partner (and who is also on the lease with FoE) -

> as the rental account I maintained in a healthy state is now at zero (but

> with August rent paid).


> IMC doesn't pay rent but over 9 other non profit tenants do (including

> artists) and I negotiated lease agreements fully or partly with most of

> them. So my concern is that future rent, provision for bond, provision for

> power bill, provision for maintenance, advance rent, which were all

> consolidated in that rental account all still exist as legally required.

> Otherwise there could be a rental default on the head lease affecting

> everyone or misappropriation of funds. I want to keep my good relations with

> these community groups.


> I've asked for this financial report within 3 days as it has not been

> forthcoming yet. It may be all is well but before I get off the lease I need

> that reassurance.


> Secondly, in the two weeks before I left on my trip a proposal was made by a

> live in tenant to keep the room next to IMC promised to the City Hub as a

> dining room and put the Hub inside the IMC space. I actively blocked the

> scheme because:


> 1. the original incentive for IMC to move out to Turrella was exclusive

> space for IMC's uses. I saw dumping the Hub and its substantial office needs

> into IMC as a breach of faith and unethical business, possibly illegal given

> the original implied contract between the head leasees and IMC. I was

> incredulous at the suggestion.


> 2. My then business partner Donald had also agreed to the Hub moving into

> the empty room on certain rental terms, and the commune of live in tenants

> had also specifically agreed to the room being available to the Hub also at

> a formal meeting a week previous.


> 3. The Hub takes a significant amount of radical politics to a city audience

> that would normally never use the IMC or similar information providers.

> Given the threats to our democratic political system this is incredibly

> valuable. There was obvious synergies with other activities at 1 Henry St.


> The installation of the Hub was difficult with some hiccups because no one

> else helped me. I made some mistakes in the set up and had to fix them. I

> was forced to confront a late attempt to  establish a dining room despite

> polite forewarning of the Hub move being operational. Still the office and

> phone lines were installed and the owner of the Hub was completely satisfied

> with the set up.


> But it seems some or all of the live in commune as distinct from majority

> other tenants, despite earlier approval of the Hub deal by the leaseholders,

> were determined to retake the room for dining and/or reject the Hub or its

> owner. A phoney rent dispute seems to have been created at a time when the

> owner had 15 days of rent still paid up and 30 days rental bond in place.

> How this could happen is a mystery to me. Another live in tenant at Turrella

> lost her sales job with the Hub at this time mainly from lack of sales which

> didn't help. The owner gave up and moved everything out but according to him

> still has rent paid/bond paid up until Sept. 15th! It does look like a rough

> deal on the Hub.


> I have an interest in all this because I am doing paid delivery work for the

> Hub again, because I jointly made the original deal and believe in business

> ethics, and because Sydney needs the Hub or similar. I have being surveying

> the situation, the empty Hub office, the phoenix like dining room, the

> excessive corridor space, the extra fit out work here which does look

> impressive, the Hub phone lines which have mysteriously gone (it took me

> alot of time and work to connect those lines physically myself).


> Overall its my strong view Turrella Centre has lost an important political

> voice and opportuntiy in the Hub and it may be that Sydney could still lose

> the Hub too as it is not particularly financial. A democratic political

> system is a privilege and it has to be nurtured and defended especially at

> the moment - its not God given - and the Hub is part of that struggle for

> democracy. If you can help in some way to support the Sydney City Hub I

> think it would be energy well spent.


> Yours truly,


> Tom McLoughlin, Ecology Action

> joint leaseholder 1 Henry St Turrella

> Hub distribution manager


> 9th August 2002






................#2 of 2

[Imc-sydney] that's 2pm 5th Dec: free speech - its hot, its great, lets keep it

Tom McLoughlin Tue, 19 Nov 2002 06:40:29 +0000

I welcome Predator's feedback which is his right. Please also note:


- catkore is a specialised mail server for cat members mainly and cat has

free rental/electricity space at turrella, hence polite notification of a

meeting relating to the future of their space.I imagine potential demolition

is of interest at least to some of them. The free rental/energy subsidy

results from all the hard establishment work I helped with in sept01-May02.


- Pred didn't mention he represents the wonderful FoE Sydney who seem to be



- I'll be careful to bcc in future.


- The dates of the meeting were raised simply as a proposal weeks ago in an

open memo to everyone around, allowing for a couple of weeks lead up. There

were no complaints about those times being a Thursday at 2pm. Jill of AR did

email from overseas about returning on Dec 3rd, so it is with respect to her

(they pay 1/4 the total rent) I have rescheduled. There was no feedback from

Pred. Maybe his prediction will be correct that


" it will not be attended by most of the people/groups with an interest in

the premises,and any decisions made there will be unrepresentative."


I don't have his crystal ball. Why pre-empt? There is no perfect time. I

just wrote a proposal, copied it around, waited for feedback, and followed

up. I think a discussion on the upcoming election and demolition plans are



We should be clear the real estate agent "represents" the owner and no one

else, especially in relation to future development. He takes my rent, gives

me my own copy of the electricity bill on 11th Oct (for $3,100). He

obviously has some legal relationship to me.


It is true my name was crossed off the lease while I was overseas, in July I

think, without permission. Imagine my surprise. The agent somehow (?)

thought I had moved out (when in fact I had paid rent till end August and

was still owed alot of money with bond.) On 3/10/02 the agent wrote all the

joint leaseholders including me on my fax machine to say:


"the lessor's support for the proposed arrangements [the change in the names

on the lease] has been withdrawn [underlined]" and "support[s] the original

intent of the lease"


He said to me the owners quite rightly don't agree with "people taking

matters into their own hands". Probably something to do with the law of the

land ?


I gave Energy Australia a briefing on the redundant half of the transformer

yard - which is quite big - a fortnight ago. They wrote me on 8th November

saying "thankyou for your assistance" and to the agent same day saying:


"a recent site meeting with Tomas McLoughlin ...proved most helpful

....access has been gained by several people at various times [including

Predator I expect]...Energy Australia has no ohjection in principal to the

southern [redundant] area ... being segregated ... in order for the area to

be used by others ... Energy Australia will be pleased to assist in this



They also note the factory substation unlike normal substations belongs to

the factory not them, but they need to be consulted re safety. Basically

there was absolutely no proximity of my signage work and the dangerous area

30 metres away. An extra internal fence is a good idea - my idea actually to

Energy Australia. The next entry into the space will probably be to build

such a fence!


I mean really what's a little meeting amongst all the assembled friends of

the dirt?




Tom, ecology action sydney



From: <predator@cat.org.au>

To: <Undisclosed recipients:>

Sent: Monday, November 18, 2002 5:44 PM

Subject: meta-spam email



>Another day, another load of spam from the indefatigable Mr McLoughlin!

>My apologies for perhaps emulating this behaviour in attempting to keep

>you informed.


>Tom has persisted in posting multiple unsolicited emails to catkore (a

>publically archived and searchable list), and since he has included _your_

>email address in cleartext (sometimes several of your email addresses) in

>these messages, you can expect an increased load of unsolicted advertising

>in your email intray. This is due to the fact that spam-robot email

>address harvesters trawl the Catkore archives (and every other archive,



website, newsgroup, etc), so your email addresses will be added to the

>lists of valid emails to which junk email will then be sent, and within

>short order you'll be made aware of fabulous savings to be had on human

>growth hormones, Nigerian banking scams, obscure surgical procedures, etc.


>The rescheduled date for Tom's proposed meeting is not one which has been

>arrived at by any sort of negotiation process with most of the groups Tom

>would like to attend the (proposed) meeting, and it appears to be changed

>mainly to suit his own schedule. This maximises the number of people who

>are disadvantaged by Tom's inability to _negotiate_ (rather than simply

>impose) a date and time to attend; if it goes ahead at all it will not be

>attended by most of the people/groups with an interest in the premises,

>and any decisions made there will be unrepresentative.

>Until such time as Tom actually asks all parties concerned to suggest

>convenient dates that they can all attend, any dates/times he proposes,

>and any draft agendas he offers, should probably be ignored.


>The agent remains silent because the agent is not in a position to

>represent Tom since (despite his repeated claims) Tom is not a leaseholder

>and it is therefore not the agent's onus to represent him.


>Tom should not be encouraged to do any additional signage work since, in

>order to do it, he trespasses into a fenced-off, energised 11,000 volt

>transformer yard and in so doing risks severe injury and death by

>electrocution. He has now been told not to enter into the enclosed

>transformer yard by Sydney Electricity.

>Please feel free at this point to return to your other, infinitely more

>exciting, electronic correspondance. Sorry to bore you with this stuff.

>Kind Regards -





Ever since the Rum Rebelliion Sydney seems to have been defined by land use politics. Who would have thought it was no different amongst the good guys? The above materials do indicate ngo, Green Party, local council/developer and community media machinations of diverse characters all over this cheap rental space: 1000 sqm p.a. at $30 sqm, or $2860 per month.  Very cheap 30 minutes from the CBD yet still a big ask for poor activists in a large raw unserviced space. Mike Carlton played a strong role in helping the set up before the conflicts set in.

This period of our career was equal parts vaudeville, fear and loathing and legal gymnastics. We felt very sorry for Predator aka Mike Carlton suffering a fatal illness in 2003-4 perhaps conned into signing the false eviction notice above. It can't have done his state of mind any good.

In 2001 Mike  helped investigate (legally) how to re connect power to a 1000 sq metre fraction of the mothballed Streets Ice Cream Factory. We were stuck in a grey area between Energy Australia and Pacific Power after market contestability was introduced but neither wanted the universal service obligation for a minnow. Now we notice a wholly new power pole on the frontage in 2008. We had a lease for the space but needed to connect water, power and make it safe for use with incredible residual plant all over this huge food factory space.

This writer who alone discovered this factory site opportunity for the community sector despite what you might read then tipped off a reputed desperado looking for real estate in about August 2001 namely Dillon about an even rougher space adjacent to 1 Henry St, technically 3 Henry Street which is now known as Mekanarky going 6 years now. They had a huge task setting up too.

We took many inside photographs at the expiration of the formal 3 year + 1 year option in late 2005. Sadly we either lost or had our camera stolen which may explain why we can't find the evocative images of factory spaces renovated for reuse. We had some 15 different tenants which this writer negotiated the great majority, as well as 50% of the fitout over 6 months then 3 month world trip to return to litigation to defend the achievement. The Indymedia and Catkore IT spaces were impressive, as were the 5 art studios, tv studio, with office spaces.

It was all a bit too close to M5 East Stack pollution in nearby Turrella Reserve shown below but a very educational experience for the 4 years we worked and lived there. The school rezoning and DA 2002-04 never went ahead. Just another vested interest seeking to gazump the lease amongst many.

It was very fitting that Predator's wake was held at Turrella. It was the better part of discretion to not attend but he was a very significant contributor in his own way.

Posted by editor at 6:47 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 24 January 2008 10:47 AM EADT
Monday, 21 January 2008
NSW Energy privatisation: Trusties on new committee make it a sell off stack?
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: nsw govt

Cartoon via Sydney Morning Herald 2007

Apparently Morris Iemma has been promoting a colour brochure of his effective leadership within the NSW ALP Parliamentary party. This must take the role of spin by the ALP machine to even greater heights:

Premier calls in spin doctors to help power sale bid | The Daily Telegraph  19 Jan 2008

It also suggests Iemma is really quite worried about his $15B privitisation agenda crashing and his leadership with it. Today we read of a new so called committee "to consider the effect of the sale on the state's electricity industry".

Unsworth to head electricity committee 21 Jan 2008

On face value it looks an obvious stack of the committee despite overwhelming public opposition, a numbers game fix beloved of Iemma & Co for a sale, as follows:

A FORMER ALP state premier, Barrie Unsworth, will chair the group established by the State Government to consider the effect of the sale of the state's electricity industry./As a former union official who started his working life as an apprentice at Bunnerong power station, his selection has been endorsed by union representatives on the committee.

Comment: Barrie arguably is a dependent of the Sussex St machine in retirement. He will want to deliver whatever they want in a majority report. Union endorsement suggests they believe Barrie's spirit is still willing on the idealistic front but we still think the flesh will be weak in time honoured ALP back room fashion. Unsworth will try to be an honest broker and mediate a deal for the machine.

Other members include three union representatives - Ben Kruse of the United Services Union, Matt Thistlewaite of Unions NSW and Steve Turner of the Public Service Association

Comment: all three will oppose privitisation unless instructions from the their union membership suddenly change. Unlikely. 

- and two community representatives, UnitingCare's Reverend Harry Herbert ...

Comment: Harry Herbert looking at welfare concerns has a history of constructive collaboration with the NSW ALP. He won't try to oppose the govt on principle but seek to salve his ethical conscience over loss of a natural monopoly/essential service out of public hands by mitigating impacts on the poor. No overt side deals on policy tradeoffs but you never know, like ongoing govt support for the MSIC

 .....and Jeff Angel of the Total Environment Centre.

Comment: An honest representation would have included someone like Professor Stuart White of Institute of Sustainable Futures,  or Dr Mark Diesendorf of the Institute of Environmental Studies UNSW. Both of these are experts on renewable energy and conservation with good credentials as indepedent of politics. Angel, or "Angel of Death" as one cynical Greens local councillor refers to him has a highly controversial record in the broad green movement - inclusive of substantial Green Party with 3 MP's - for gazumping green campaigners with tradeoff deals with this NSW ALP Govt when they are in a tight spot. This well understood aspect of Angel as an ALP trusty keen for a deal is generally not reported by the Big Media fearful or contemptuous of more radical independent voices out of the ALP's grasp but the links provided here remain strong evidence of govt collaboration and we argue demonstrably at the expense of the public interest.

Specifically on energy privatisation we can report this indicative anecdote of 1996 as reported by John Connor then exec officer of NSW Nature Conservation Council (later ALP aligned Climate Institute), with others including Jeff Angel in the foyer of Bob Carr's office for a lobbying meeting: There is a delay. Staff emerge and speak openly to these allies in the tough state election battle the year before: 'We are looking at a $450 million green fund out of the sale of the state's energy assets, like the Telstra $1B Natural Heritage Fund'.  Significantly the ALP advisers were cocksure of support of narrowly focused peak green group reps like Angel they had cut policy tradeoff deals with already and given the nascent Green Party were still no threat to that PR approach. Since 1996 this compromise on public interest policy has been greatly reinforced on such as:


Government representatives are the director-general of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Robyn Kruk, and David Richmond, the co-ordinator-general of NSW, ....

Comment: Both loyal govt public servants they will seek to deliver the energy industry sell off as instructed by their ministers/Premier.

 ....and two state ALP politicians, Steve Whan and Michael Daley.

Comment: Both right wing Sussex St machine men. We understand Whan was pro Snowy Hydro sale until the wheels fell off in 2007 and will want to manage the politics of that again, otherwise do Iemma's bidding. Daley in Carr's seat in Maroubra is a creature (advisedly) of the Right who we understand has showed concern or at least agnosticism to noisy local branch members but privately stated it should have been sold years ago, and if the sale and similar policies eventually led to an economic crash (like the fear in the USA) then it would be after he's gone (!)

According to this head count above we have 3 against and 2 possibly swinging (Unsworth, Herbert) but arguably for, and 5 for the sale for whatever reason. Worse case scenario for democracy it's a fix at 3 versus 7 despite overwhelming public opposition to the sale.

Postscript #1

This is the biggest govt policy play in town and for a long time too. Not surprisingly there is an update story already here early afternoon:

  • 1:53pm | NSW unions will try to halt power sale
  • Postscript #2

    In our main post above we suggest Diesendorf or White as worthy experts on renewables and conservation policy rather than Angel. On Tuesday 22nd Jan 08 Clive Hamilton of the Australia Institute (to step down sometime) has entered the fray. He is indeed a highly credible expert on resource economics as it relates to greenhouse/climate policy and could also have been added to our list of possibly greater reliability to Jeff Angel to tell it straight, no side deals. Maybe or maybe not, because like Angel, Hamilton is also very connected in the ALP. Arguably even better than influential Jeff Angel, having once been head of research for the Hawke inspired Resource Assessment Commission.

    We wonder if the against case within the ALP Family have already moved to annexe Clive's expertise by either lobbying or employing him to do his "independent" report much like one lawyer in a stoush retaining experts to the exclusion of the rivals? A scan of Clive's paper suggests a non financial motive of getting square with "climate sceptic" NSW Treasurer Michael Costa: Clive would reject outright he is a gun for hire, or even if so that it might affect the integrity of his research & analysis, and there is no doubting his commitment to the view climate change is the over arching environmental problem (he lambasts opponents of wind farms for not getting the gravity of the threat). We do tend to trust him.

    In any case Clive is a top academic and must be taken seriously. He effectively gazumps Jeff Angel which we find quite ironic. Always a bigger fish as they say. Here's the link to Clive's presser (a samll PDF), and full paper (a 5 page PDF) and to a Herald report on this important turn of events, and notice the very big sting in the tail [bold added]:

    Taxpayers face $15b power sale sting Sydney Morning Herald Date: January 22 2008

    Andrew West and Brian Robins


    NSW taxpayers could be forced to pay more than $15 billion to indemnify private companies bidding for the state's power assets, a report has found.

    The indemnities - against losses that privatised coal-fired power stations would face under a new national carbon trading scheme - would wipe out the $15 billion revenue boost the Iemma Government expects to gain from the privatisation.

    An analysis by the independent think tank the Australia Institute has revealed the carbon trading scheme the Federal Government intends to introduce to combat global warming would dramatically reduce the value of coal-fired generators.

    According to the author of the report, economist and institute director Clive Hamilton, the cost of the indemnity could reach $15.4 billion.

    "This amount would be the cost borne by NSW citizens if the NSW Government indemnifies private buyers against future carbon liabilities," he concludes.

    Under the proposed national emissions trading scheme, scheduled for 2010, all electricity generators and other producers of carbon will need permits to cover their greenhouse gas emission. The scheme aims to impose a cost on electricity generated through fossil fuels and remove the price advantage that coal enjoys over gas and other renewable energy.

    The State Government has challenged the institute's findings. Alison Hill, a spokeswoman for the Premier, Morris Iemma, told the Herald last night: "There will not be an indemnity."

    But the Iemma Government has set a precedent by indemnifying Bluescope Steel for the next 25 years to ensure new investment in its Port Kembla steelworks.

    "The Government has form on this issue," Dr Hamilton said. "And they will come under even greater pressure from potential buyers to offer them indemnities, too. There is nothing to say the Government could not, and would not, do this in secret, using all sorts of commercial-in-confidence provisions, and the public may know nothing about it for 20 years."

    The NSW Government said last night the indemnity given to Bluescope did not apply if a carbon trading regime was introduced.

    The Rudd Government is yet to clarify the details of its trading scheme, adding to doubts raised by the institute about the liability NSW taxpayers face.

    "It's a bad time to be selling electricity assets when there is so much uncertainty about the carbon liability of coal-fired power plants," Dr Hamilton said.

    The institute's report warns that no prudent investor would commit to major expenditure in such a risky commercial environment, predicting that "carbon liability and the indemnity issue will dominate negotiations in the sale process".

    The electricity industry is asking the Federal Government to grant carbon permits to offset the immediate financial penalty operators of coal-fired power stations would face from a carbon trading scheme.

    "We would seek a one-off allocation of permits to generators so that their position would be preserved, so they would be willing to consider investing in new generation technology," the executive director of the National Generators Forum, John Boshier, said.

    Dr Hamilton doubts the Federal Government will agree to the electricity industry demands because such permits would undermine its carbon trading system.


    Posted by editor at 12:12 PM EADT
    Updated: Wednesday, 23 January 2008 6:46 AM EADT
    Malcolm Turnbull buys the Wentworth election for a cool $2 million?
    Mood:  irritated
    Topic: election Oz 2007

    Who really doubts Malcolm Turnbull bought his election back into Wentworth? This instructive letter ran recently with no contradiction to date that we know of:

    Big Mal is never far from big money as suggested by this shopfront photo pre election:

    And if you doubt the power of money beyond the excellent democracy4sale website of The Greens, complimented by one no less conservative and cynical as Michael Duffy in print, then notice this full pager in hazard warning colours last week of the hard fought election, in fact election day 24th Nov 2007 Sydney Morning Herald:


    But methinks Turnbull and his mates taking the hardline on Newhouse technicalities, even post election as per news today here and here, is probably looking a gift horse in the mouth: If the ALP had taken the high road on opposing the Tasmanian pulp mill corruption it was almost certain Turnbull would have lost - $2M in campaign funding or not - as this photo indicates: A box full of Not Happy John materials for Wentworth sacrificed and left harmless at his doorstep because the ALP cruelled George Newhouses green platform over the pulp mill:


    The more the Liberal Party and Big Mal pursue Newhouse the more the electorate are reminded that ultimately ....



    Picture: Rudd supporters coincidentally (really) drop by our information stall about forests weekend before the federal election.




    Posted by editor at 9:21 AM EADT
    Updated: Monday, 21 January 2008 2:15 PM EADT
    Sunday, 20 January 2008
    Big Catholic world youth day in Sydney a threat to healthy spirituality?
    Mood:  quizzical
    Topic: culture

    Picture: The Apology scene, episode 4 in the ground breaking 13 hour long Brideshead Revisited TV miniseries of 1981 (Granada Television) of the Evelyn Waugh book of the between the world war years of an aristocratic Catholic family in Britain. Broadcast here around that time.

    Dypsomania/homosexuality in an intolerant society or systemic dishonest religious emotional sado-masochism? This is quite a quandary posed in the great Brideshead Revisited tv miniseries. And a useful exploration of why the English have held such an anxiety about the power mongering Roman Catholic church too, justifying quite the extra effort by actors and crew despite industry strikes and remaking of production norms. This was a work of great discipline and loyalty by television people to their craft.

    As to the quandary, a close viewing will tell you it's the latter, not the former which explains the implosion of young Lord Sebastian Flight.

    If only it were the relatively simple issue of the former the Catholic Church would have far less trouble in its heart.

    It may have been young minister Joe Tripodi we saw skipping up the steps of St Peters in Rome in July 2002 taking his confession at the seat of Roman Catholicism, on a very hot summer day in his double breasted suit, flanked on either side. It was the tail end of our world trip away from years of hack political work in NSW.

    It may even have been the pitch by very Catholic Joe for World Youth Day in Sydney later this year 15-20 July 2008. At St Mary's Cathedral in the CBD one can see an arch lit like a game show back set just across from Hyde Park, counting down the days, 180 or something to go:

    Later this year Big Catholicism is going to get up on its hind legs and make the happy clappers at Hillsong, corporate christianity franchise central who dare not look at a camel too closely, look like a suburban McDonalds outlet. Predictions are of 1 million or more faithful at some $350 per head. A religious tourism bonanza for the local economy. A crushing of the brand of the splinter faiths. A proud flexing of muscular Catholicism by Cardinal George Pell gathering in the converts.


    Caligula's 30 metre high obelisk in the middle of St Peters Square which is actually an oval, the seriously big Vatican City walls, and the shining gold memorabilia of ancient popes/saints in the Basilica itself, proves that the old dame does grandeur like no other Christian church might. It's the original and best. It's had 2000 years continuous practice. And they know their business which is to coral superstition and fear of death.

    (A bit like micro news blogging here. You really have to be stupid to not get better at it with practice - 12 months now, running at 17,000 page views a month.)

    So where is the risk to youth exactly from this hyper event in July? Certainly one ought not lightly disrespect the saintly heroes of Catholicism, like this fellow here, killed by Pinochet's neo Nazi thugs in Chile:

    Or these other unrecognised folks referred to in this sharp article. Or recently the role of their church as a refugia for human rights in East Timor.

    So where is the harm in an even bigger, perhaps more authentic Hillsong event to be held at Randwick Racecourse? The intensely crafted and subtle Brideshead Revisited carries the cautionary missive: Prosletizing Catholicism can be a fanatically ruthless power game corrosive of balanced healthy relationships at either familial or societal level.

    We know this as we know our own 9 siblings and parents of a devout, pious Catholic drunken Irish family and wracked with neuroses. It must have been at 7 or 8 years of age as we took the sacraments of confession, holy communion etc that we also made a profound promise to ourselves to never end up like that. A precocious promise physical health superficially and in the last 3 years we kept the promise as middle age spread threatened - teatotal, totally lapsed, physically fit. But it was also deeper than a child's mind might conceive. To seek happiness, not Church endorsed misery by way of the (Irish) Catholic strictures. My parents taught me by contrary nagging loveless example.

    In retrospect we fortified ourselves from the depradations of 'religous duty' so corrosive of human potential, and ironically, spirtual fulfillment. We took up the agnostic religion (!) in Victoria of Australian Rules Football (then known as VFL) and other sport in idolatory:

    Brideshead Revisited was also broadcast at a pivotal time in the early 80ies as we prepared for endless years at University courtesy the tail end of Whitlam's free education policy. Not a sandstone but the new spread eagled campus of ANU Canberra, the alma mater of PM Kevin Rudd and now it seems the top uni in the country. Nice to have two degrees from there now.

    At 14 we threw off the imperatives of the local priest for a life of independent thinking like we threw off the alter boy's red and white vestments. Not for us the hierarchical blatherings of an anti women, anti ecology institution, in love with its own exclusive history, perversely leading mankind to dangerous climate change not least via excessive population and bogus hierarchical sophistry about contraception. Disgusting arrogance to be sure.

    Some writers comfort themselves the doomed Sebastian character in Brideshead Revisited was a fairy such that religious neurosis led him to alcoholism. But the thesis doesn't stack up and the Catholic church can't escape the devastating critique of the book so easily. Catholic Author Waugh also has the father Lord Marchmain who is undoubtedly straight being a drunkard until he runs away (which rings true). Shown above is his martyred wife played by Claire Bloom,  expressing with exquisite clarity the moment of shock recognising the mercurial absconding husband in her own son. History repeating. Both hating her oppressive annexation of their very life force to vicarious service. She only comprehends the sting of cruel disloyalty. Her mission is to prevent the second one escaping like the first.

    Anthony Andrews who interprets the part above so effectively gives a commentary as a special extra on the DVD set of Brideshead along with vague ponderings by producer Derek Grainger. Andrews is so very perceptive and enthusiastic, albeit decades later, in his analysis essential to getting to Sebastian's character and this is quite moving in itself for the obvious commitment to his art. The actor tells of knowing two others in real life whose religion led them to drunkeness, one a Jesuit priest no less. He notes the 'terrifyingly manipulative steely' character of the matriarch, married into a rich family and who never stopped seeking more influence. Our gloss would be grieving for her magnificent brothers killed in the war, determined to avoid that searing pain again by keeping those she loves close by calculating willpower till their natural life energy is squeezed out of them. A controlling philosophy she cannot sustain long term because it drives off that which she most seeks to keep. So much for psychological motivations for power mongering. 

    Andrews expresses great compassion for his character "at the height of his confusion" given the taboo of mater fear and loathing, shown above breaking down on the step. Just as the immensely bright Charles Ryder character (who sees all) warms to Van Gogh's flowers as early as the 1920ies evoking the real beauty of life, and by contrast sees through the mother's attempt to covertly "suborn" him to her will. Just as she in turn presumably was suborned by her church in time honoured hierarchical fashion, to a life of weary martyrdom in a failed marriage, and the priest had sought to suborn this writer as a child into ongoing service to the alter.

    The whole Brideshead story is resplendant with social power-mongering under cover of piety, just as Big Catholicism is in Sydney.

    Oppressive mindless religous dogma is surely a sickness of self denial leading to bodily dysfunction (in Lady Marchmain's case cancer, Sebastian's drunkeness, in others gluttony, obesity, exhaustion) through habitual self deception over decades: As if the example of Christ calls for constant suffering by his followers. The gospel says he suffered for us, not that we should suffer as His mimic. Man's conceited pretence at playing God?

    Thus the perversion of the gospel takes it's course. We like St Paul here on personal suffering:

     If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, enough to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions and hand over my body to be burnt but do not have love, I gain nothing. [bold added]: From St Pauls 1st letter to the Corinthians

    We say it's not long suffering masochism that Christ exhorts but honest emotional life leavened with healthy discipline. We submit He didn't want or need a life of misery in symbolic aping of the crucifiction. What a horrendous idea. A real blashemy. Such pain was surely meant to be redundant.

    We say the purpose of life is a society based on honesty spontaneous emotions free of calculation. In short a love of truth and innocence. Not the cynical reliance on the ever available confessional to conveniently wipe the slate clean week in week out not least conceited brutal power games because 'we have the superior Catholic brand' and the prosletising end justifies the means. As if such a truly good message in the Gospel needs such machination. No. It's only people's vanity that feels the need.

    What these dogmatists don't imagine is that confession may bring God's forgivenes, but mainly allows forgiveness of oneself. If it becomes a cheap moral get out of gaol free card, a convenience, then its healing function is lost. A device to sanitise any vicious power game much as the highly Catholic NSW ALP Right in NSW practice as their daily bread, especially if it is rationalised as gloriffying the church itself. A power game 'cardinal' Gerry Gleeson was reputed to have played not least in the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority:

    At the 11th hour, however, an unknown representative of the authority telephoned Rothschild signalling that a surprise late bid was on its way. IN HIS heyday as Wran's favoured mandarin, Gleeson elicited a mixture of fear and respect among both ministers and the public service. Today, just a fortnight before his 76th birthday, Gerald Gleeson still retains a legendary aura. Renowned for his rigorous Catholicism, commanding presence and steely demeanour, he once said he did not seek to get close to people: "I'm not looking for love. I'm looking for respect."

    When Gleeson stepped down on June 10, 1988, after nearly 30 years of senior civil service, he spent the Liberal years collecting a swag of directorships on boards at the big end of town. Among them were Capital Investment Holdings, Catholic College of Education Australia, Commonwealth Bank, Grocon Developments, Amalgamated Holdings and briefly, Transfield.

    He remains a director of the Australian Catholic University and is still active in the Catholic community.

    In 1995, when Labor was returned to power, one of Bob Carr's first acts was to lure the uber-bureaucrat back to Macquarie Street. In the early years, he quietly acted as a significant Mr Fix-It for Carr, brokering several major deals, including the early forestry agreements and fixing the Olympic hotel bed tax issue.

    Gleeson chaired the Statutory and Other Officers Remuneration Tribunal, which sets Senior Executive Service pay packets. And as chairman of the Darling Harbour Authority he oversaw the venue's final construction.

    Then, in 1998, he began his increasingly controversial reign as chairman of the newly formed Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority. With one stroke of the cabinet room pen, great swathes of Sydney became his turf, including the Sydney Cove Authority, City West Development Corporation, Luna Park and even the Australian Technology Park in Redfern.

    Since then the crisscrossing of his growing empire and board interests has become grist for the rumour mill.

    Said a senior Government source: "Over the years, he has wanted more and more authority and, at one point, even came looking for Olympic Park." Last October, with the Sydney Entertainment Centre management rights tender fresh on everyone's mind, Gleeson sent a memo to the director-general of the Premier's Department, Col Gellatly.

    in Going once, going twice by Paola Totaro May 29, 2004 Sydney Morning Herald

    Indeed in terms of youth Big Catholicism is just about opposite to this very popular somewhat chaotic yet practical inspiration in youth friendly format:

    It's a message youth can enjoy and embrace without travelling any distance at all from all over the world to Sydney for World Youth Day thanks to the beauty and perils of the internet.

    And if that's not quite your taste then try this - and why does 'the devil' have the best music anyway?:



    Posted by editor at 8:48 AM EADT
    Updated: Monday, 21 January 2008 4:11 PM EADT
    Saturday, 19 January 2008
    Local SH Ervin Gallery Sydney '72 pics reprise Led Zeppelin London 02 Arena reunion Dec 10 2007
    Mood:  lyrical
    Topic: culture

    We were a teenager in 1980 when we discovered Led Zeppelin, which is quite behind the wave but you don't care at that age. Volume 4 was great, 4th highest selling album ever apparently. We even wrote a fan letter.

    Back in December 07 we made a story (below), and trust the You Tube songs are still up there (with a later addition of Whole Lotta Love, given we couldn't find a quality version for a while). And don't miss this soul from 'old man' Plant with Alison Krause in Bob Dylan/Time Out of Mind mode, getting his spiritual second breath:

     Polly Come Home - Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

    Today a gallery show in Sydney kicks off with similar charity aid for children vibe behind the 07 reunion show. Ain't that grand? Children in Brazil will be the beneficiaries. Gotta love that.

    SH Irwin information follows:

    19 January - 02 March 2008
    The Led Zeppelin World Tour - an exhibition of photography and contemporary art

    1978 - 2008 Celebrating 30 Years of Australian Art

    National Trust S.H. Ervin Gallery

    Watson Road (enter from Argyle Street), Observatory Hill, The Rocks, Sydney
    Gallery Hours:           Tuesday–Sunday 11am-5pm.  (Closed Mondays)
    Exhibition admission fees: $6/$4 National Trust members, seniors & concessions.
    General information:   02 9258 0173
    Media information: 02 9258 0150
    Education officer:  02 9258 0122  group bookings & school tours welcome
    Public ProgramSundays @ 3pm  (talks subject to speakers availability).
    Exhibition introductory floor talk each Tuesday @ 12 noon.

    Trust Café, Arts Book Shop & on-site parking.

    S.H. Ervin Gallery will open on Australia Day Saturday 26 January 2008


    ...............................ABC Webpage entry follows:

    In exhibiting this works, Harvey hopes to raise awareness for Rockphoto aid – helping to support children who live in extreme poverty in Brazil, a project he and his wife are committed to.
    Led Zeppelin continue to be held in high regard for their artistic achievements, commercial success, and broad influence. The band have sold more than 300 million albums worldwide and recently played a reform concert in the UK.

    The exhibition also presents responses from contemporary artists Adam Cullen, Nicholas Harding, Geoff Harvey, Euan Macleod, Lucille Martin, Alan Jones, Craig Waddell, Chris O’Doherty (aka Reg Mombassa), Danius Kesminas and Gareth Samson.

    The photographs were first exhibited in an exhibition called 'One Night Stand' at the Lismore Regional Art Gallery.[More pics and story]

    The exhibition opens January 19 to March 2, 2008 at the S.H. Ervin Gallery, National Trust of Australia.

    Photographer Ted Harvey in front of one of his 100 iconic images of Led Zeppelin that were forgotten for more than 30 years

    AudioRelated Images


    Thursday, 13 December 2007
    Led Zeppelin reunion concert on YouTube: Viewer numbers flying along
    Mood:  special
    Topic: world

    The excited flush of the tv news announcers last night on most channels seemed to indicate it was a great show. And when you see the skyrocketing viewer numbers on YouTube and the quality of the soundtrack for these old guys, you just have to shake your head at their impressive command of the art form. And it was a charity show too apparently. Really beaut.

    The setlist from their December 10th reunion show in London is as follows:

    "Good Times Bad Times"
    "Ramble On" (live debut)
    "Black Dog"
    "In My Time of Dying"
    "For Your Life" (live debut)
    "Trampled Under Foot"
    "Nobody's Fault But Mine"
    "No Quarter"
    "Since I've Been Loving You"
    "Dazed And Confused"
    "Stairway To Heaven"
    "The Song Remains The Same"
    "Misty Mountain Hop"
    "Whole Lotta Love"
    "Rock And Roll"














    Posted by editor at 8:05 AM EADT
    Updated: Friday, 1 February 2008 4:21 PM EADT

    Newer | Latest | Older