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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
'Moral amazons' Meredith Burgmann and Yvette Andrews with some rattling skeletons out back?
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: local news

The Ernies Book

We got our 2nd free ticket to the Sydney Writers Festival today in a radio competition but we still haven't managed to go. At the tail end of the ABC TV prime time news tonight we noticed a related report about a book on sexism embarrassing various public figures. It's a book by Meredith Burgmann and Yvette Andrews at the Sydney Writer's Festival called The Ernies Book

It's a well practised schtik by these two and it looks like the men of Australia continue to feed them up lots of material.

Just as these two serve up moral skeletons of their own. How ironic.

In Burgmann's case it's the airbrushing of perhaps a million North Korean women who died  (that is 50% of 2 million dead) in that govt created famine in the late 90ies . Airbrushed in this sanitised piece by Burgmann 

Piccolo Diplomacy | newmatilda.com

Not surprisingly Burgmann was not preselected to run for the ALP against Clover Moore MP  who holds the position of mayor of the City of Sydney, and it might be noted a strong Catholic.

 Experience ... Meredith Burgmann points to her long history opposing inappropriate development.

The ALP Premier Morris Iemma is similarly a church goer. Maybe the ALP hierarchy could see some PR problems for Burgmann over the location of 2 million famine deaths as her last holiday choice with not a hint of unease. And they would be right about that with SAM here just being an entre to her predicted election demise. And here is another serve over her parliamentary votes for ALP trashing of the environment. [Declaration: We did electioneer for Clover Moore in 2004.]

Truth is you don't have to be too religious to find a rose tinted attitude to North Korea quite disturbing:

In Yvette Andrews case it has been a dubious involvement in sanitising an irregular (and we say as a solicitor improper) rent free gallery lease provided to her mate as a private art for sale business on public land at Addison Rd Community Centre in Marrickville. 4 years rent free in fact with no financial records to the centre management as we hear it, for at least 2 years while Andrews had a junior and then senior central role on the ARC Board. It's a bit more complex than that but not much more.

Andrews stands accused of sanitising this bogus rent free 500sq metres at the ARC, first as President of ARC Board from her honorary appointment, and then General Manager in a job handed to her by her own (stacked?) Board. This GM job has never been advertised to the public this last 8 months and counting. We've been keeping tabs on this state of affairs a while now:

And here more recently. And here. Andrews is going down on this issue of abuse of public resources as night follows day.

None of this excuses male chauvinist pigs. But the idea these two authors are paragons or even guardians of public morality is frankly a joke, indeed an insult to those who are paragons on issues of gender equity and political integrity. If they are good writers then that's all it is.

In our view these are not two morally superior beings to be sermonising to others. No doubt their book is very popular to establishment sisterhood with undoubted greivances. Only we think the sisterhood might look for some more worthy moral champions within their midst.

Posted by editor at 9:30 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 20 May 2008 10:44 PM NZT
Sydney Uni takes meat axe to heritage aspect of sandstone front entrance? No!
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: local news


Postscript 4 November 2008 - A few months later and the actual constructions on the campus indicate that the impressions of the story below were misconceived. The new Law School building is not blocking the sandstone view but rather is some 300 metres away to the south east. However at the time of writing back on 20 May 2008 the clear impression by the official construction signboard for the new Law School building in the foreground of bulldozers on the lawns in front of the sandstone suggested something alot more radical. What these machines were doing it appears months later was replacing grass with paving stones walkway. That is no impact on the aesthetics or view at least subject to loss of little grass to cope with hoards of pedestrian students. Overall we can say what a relief.






Pictures above and following give an idea of some startling developments on Sydney Uni campus.

The first is a shocker - fully 1/3 of the view of the majestic heritage sandstone quadrangle building 'announced' by the open space front lawns visible all the way from Victoria Park is being obscured with some God ugly modern Law School building. Progress? We wonder. It's one of Sydney's best views reminiscent of Castle Howard in Brideshead Revisited.

Certainly lost open green space. We can't imagine what such doyens of heritage as Elizabeth Farrelly or others there at the urban affairs 'pod' at the Sydney Mornding Herald might think of it.

The other development is more uplifting as below - reclaimed road surface transformed into open space safe pedestrian boulevarde from City Rd into the campus, as well as extended pedestrian overpass. In a sense one can see the planner's logical tradeoff - road surface for building footprint on the lawns. Very pragmatic too. But it's a big impact on aesthetics. You be the judge. Some of the alumni will not be amused.



Posted by editor at 4:11 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 4 November 2008 8:22 AM EADT
Monday, 19 May 2008
Prof Alan Fels and former AFR editor deceptive on competition in logging industry?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: ecology

Prof Allan Fels is determined to stir up various hornet nests in some kind of profile build this last 3 weeks, as here:

Sent: Monday, May 19, 2008 3:14 PM
Subject: fels profile build Re: [chipstop] Letter in response to Fels, Brenchley NAFI propaganda

I think this article of mine a week back might be relevant to Fels postures on anything vaguely pro industry at the moment from easier approval of shopping centres (see World Today show 19 May 08), to sloppy analysis of logging industry on greenhouse as per Harriet here, or as here big banks:
Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Prof Allan Fels profile build to stalk Graeme Samuel's ACCC job?
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: aust govt

and then there is this pretty overt attack on firstly Howard ex regime but also Graeme Samuels here, again with AFR ex editor
So much for reining in big business | businessday.com.au 

Allan Fels and Fred Brenchley; May 3, 2008 ... Even the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Graeme Samuel, appears at sixes and

Yep, Allan Fels is making himself a real pain in the butt all over the place but probably insinuating himself very effectively with the Rudd machine?

This was the latest source of aggravation about loud mouth Allan Fels and his mate former editor of the AFR Brenchley:

Sent: Monday, May 19, 2008 12:51 PM
Subject: [chipstop] Letter in response to Fels, Brenchley NAFI propaganda

Hi greenies
Letter in response to Fels, Brenchley NAFI propaganda

Letter to the Editor
So, the forestry industry is “greening up its act.” (SMH 17-18/5:45,47). If we read between the lines of the National Association of Forest Industries(NAFI)’s latest piece of self serving propaganda repackaged as “climate friendly,” we see they want to continue woodchipping our forests and count them as carbon sinks, too.
Under the Kyoto protocol, of course, they can. Kyoto doesn’t distinguish between a 500 year old forest and a six month old regrowth.
But NAFI doesn’t just want business as usual; it also wants a pulpmill and is asking the Government to redefine its old dream of burning native forests for fuel as “clean and renewable.”
If it seriously thinks this will “end Australia’s emotional debate over logging and even woodchipping” it is mistaken.
Harriett Swift



Have a read of this business horror story here (and yes we do mean you Prof Fels, Brenchley):

Some policy rhetoric in a response to the lines in the Fels/Brenchley article.


- The 1992 National Forest Policy Statement was a set of weasel words used to summarise the excellent Commonwealth Resource Assessment Commission 1992 Forest and Timber Inquiry Final Report of March 1992. The RAC was headed by Justice Don Stewart formerly of the National Crime Commission appointed by Bob Hawke. His chief of research was one Clive Hamilton. Keating as new PM had no love of Hawke creations and RAC was soon disbanded.


- The findings of RAC included, to paraphrase 'that no example of ecologically sustainable native forest logging was identified anywhere in Australia'. This was not for lack of searching. They do not exist because logging is highly mechanised, destroying canopy, dominated by high intensity woodchipping to transform the public land into pseudo plantation for private profit. All aided and abetted by corrupt accounting within state forest agencies.


- The bipartisan NSW Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee of 1990 found for instance that profits from plantations were being channeled into the loss making native forest sector at considerable lost public revenue and lost public heritage. The PAC recommended the NSW Forestry Commission be split into two parts to prevent this covert cross subsidy. In NSW the agency was simply rebranded as 'State Forests'.


- The so called Regional Forestry 'Agreements' of the late 90ies involved state to federal govt agreement with industry but never had consent of the public, represented by reputable polling against woodchipping or non government group membership representing some million or more Australians.  In this sense the RFAs are a fraud on the public by special interests in Canberra and highly paid PR operations. 


- perhaps the worst ongoing impact of this high intensity logging from a general public perspective is that huge swathes of landscape have been dried out due to disruption of humidity preserving canopy in natural forest. This is a recipe for megafire upon ignition. A megafire scenario aided and abetted by intensified woodchip driven logging.

- The emerging profitable plantation estate was evident as early as 1990-91 and was already underway well before the official tax incentivised 'forestry managed investment schemes'. The greater agri efficiency of plantation timber was out-competing hunter gatherer native forest logging as per published economic analysis of Judy Clark (later known as Judith Adjani) at that time. Out competing and replacing native forest logging. By 2000 it was clear that, in both volume of timber and jobs, plantations completely dominate the sector making the native forest sector look a niche cottage sector - apart from massive clearing via woodchipping to annexe public land. For instance a story "CSR, Boral form vehicle for sawmill operations" By Damon Kitney  in the Australian Financial Review, p27 17th February 2000, indicates:

  • the massive 550,000 m3/yr plantation sawlog industry around Oberon based on the existing plantation stockpile - dwarfing for instance the highly controversial native forest volume of 42,000m3/yr allocated on the NSW south coast, or 48,000 m3/yr at Tumbarumba/Tumut region;


- The MIS tax breaks accelerated the plantation domination, but also the traditional industry desire to clear and annexe as much public forest estate for higher efficiency plantation, as rent seekers of free land rather than establishment on existing cleared land. This has been a grotesque market distortion and public subsidy exploiting our water catchments and natural carbon store to lazy but politically powerful special corporate interests always interested in more free land of sufficiently high rainfall profile. The greed of private interests at the expense of the public estate in this respect is grotesque. For Fels to lend his weight to this agenda is a betrayal of his own principles.


- For Prof Fels to endorse the NFPS of  late 1992 as good competition policy is an insult to the RAC report earlier in 1992. Indeed Clive Hamilton spoke at a public rally in the Domain in Sydney around 1994 about the attack on our sovereign democracy by narrow corporate interests trying to annexe public forest for private profit. And he was right. Fels and Brenchley completely misconceive the internal federal ALP Parliamentary politics of 1991-96 in the transition to the Keating years when anything Hawke pioneered was trashed. Or indeed the role of industry front group 'Forest Protection Society' funded by NAFI (not dis similar to Westfield's bogus 'community groups against rival shopping centre developers) that supported woodchipping of Old Growth mature public forest. The FPA was forced under threats of legal complaints under section 52 of the Trade Practices Act and/or rhetorical expose to change their name, which they did to Timber Communities Australia - that still supports woodchipping of old growth forest today.


 - In short nothing NAFI submits in terms of natural forests in the public estate can be trusted and this pretty much reaches all the way back to the RAC report of 1992 and Keating's weasel words interpretation in the NFPS. In 1996 both the Australian Conservation Foundation and The Wilderness Society took the extraordinary step of repudiating the ALP under Keating and remaining neutral in the federal election of that year, not least for wanton public forest destruction, which allowed the Howard led Opposition to portray themselves as at least competitive on the environment.


This was true in the sense that both major parties were in a race to the bottom as seen most starkly in the corruption of landuse and govt process in Tasmania today over the Gunns Pulp Mill.

Prof Fels must recant to protect his own professional reputation.

Tom McLoughlin, Bsc/Llb hon

More context about those times relating to then Industry Minister John Button here:

John Button

Wednesday, 9 April 2008
On the actual merits of forest protection to preserve carbon store for climate protection this advert ran in the Canberra Times on the weekend of the 2020 Summit:



Posted by editor at 10:56 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 20 May 2008 8:48 PM NZT
Our backgrounder on Kirkpatrick Simpson repeated here
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: local news

The local press has gone big on 'Simpson' as in 'Simpson and his donkey': 

Simpson doesn't qualify for a VC

JOHN SIMPSON KIRKPATRICK, the man with the donkey, one of the most enduring of all Anzac legends, will be denied the ultimate recognition of courage and sacrifice - the Victoria Cross.

When we first got this micro news SAM going January 2007 we did a background based on an interview with a dedicated retired union man Alf Rankin who really knew Kirkpatrick's family on first name terms:

Here it is, and it may be a gem of Australian history research, word of mouth:

Sunday, 14 January 2007

Posted by editor at 6:05 PM NZT
Brian Langton's good reputation on public transport 1995-1997, beaten down by rival Scully
Mood:  cool
Topic: nsw govt

Have a look at this from one of our dusty old files above. The truth is Brian Langton former NSW Transport Minister 1995-97 had a good reputation back then amongst the green/non govt movement. But no doubt he was beaten senseless by Carl Scully MP as then Roads Minister over big construction projects like M2 and Eastern Distributor.

Langton lost the power struggle in a competitive dynamic engineered by Premier Carr. But it would be remiss not to stand up for Langton today on the tough work he did for public transport though eventually beaten down by ruthless Scully. True Langton kicked an own goal and lost his job over expenditure issues. Who knows maybe he was depressed over the policy beating at the hands of Scully, enough to depress anyone?

We last saw Mr Langton, at least if memory serves, in coverage of the VIP attendance at the memorial for Milo Dunphy held at Governor House around that time, who was founder of Total Environment Centre (and mentor to this writer).

We think Langton should be given credit where it's due, despite attacks on his past in the press today. At the least the good with the not so.

Here is more context of that hard fought policy and community politics dispute for which Langton was clearly on the side of the public interest ....when the Metropolitan Air Quality Study was showing 400 premature deaths from poor air quality per year. Indeed Sydney is suffering the escalating car fleet and road dependence even worse 10 years later.

In this sense Langton is vindicated on policy if not expense accounting, even as the political loser.

And one last comment: For those who sledge cyclists as free loaders on the roads. These car lovers never mention the capital cost of the land upon which the roads are built, around 1/4 to 1/3 of the whole city land mass when one includes all private and public land for car/truck usage including parking and services. That's a very very very big subsidy in free/cheap land.



Posted by editor at 3:30 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 19 May 2008 7:14 PM NZT
Police Minister Campbell tasers 'travel rorts' story in Sydney Morning Herald?
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: nsw govt

Arguably overfed police minister David Campell was exposed recently for alleged 'travel rorts':

17 May 2008 Surf-and-turf police jaunt costs $40000 - National - smh.com.au

David Campbell.

David Campbell.

He needed a new media focus and quick smart especially in this phase of public energy sell off 'friendly fire'.

Now he seems to have tasered (if such a word exists) the travel rorts allegation story via his loyal Police Commissioner Scipione and 229 tasers.  Ex Premier Bob Carr would be proud of the spin management:

Taser guns rolled out to cops | NEWS.com.au

 NSW top cop says tasers not fatal - Breaking News - National ...

He'd be alive if we had tasers: police chief - National - smh.com.au

More NSW police to be issued Taser guns - ABC News (Australian ...

As for tragedy of Roni Levi shooting in 1997, as local Bondi Ward Councillor 1995-99 we helped his relative organise an art exhibition of his art after the death, and helped staff the Bondi Safety Committee during that time against riotous behaviour. Significantly there is a major art work in the offices of Justice Action led by Brett Collins featuring Roni surrounded by officers with guns drawn. It's very sad and moving.

Later we also helped police peacefully arrest/help a confused and paranoid neighbor with a pot habit who was shaking the kitchen draw - meaning searching for a knife as we stood at his door. I intervened actually. We think this might have saved the neighbour's life by getting him to open the door without dramas and be admitted to an outpatients service. Next morning he was back at home on planet earth.

Frankly these tasers scare the hell out of us, not least in public protest situations, after APEC 2007, or as below in close quarters in the anti Forbes protests 2005 (!?):

Police Liaison for the 30A Forbes Global CEO Protest, 30 August 2005

Just imagine Chas from the ABC Chasers writhing in pain on the ground in his Osama costume. It's quite a worry, especially if its media cycle spin related policy making?

By the by, the first picture of Forbes 2005 collage below shows a cheeky editor of SAM here, holding a bundle Sydney City News free press work, normally hand delivered to the Opera House as advertising client for same published by Alternative Media Group (also publish Sydney City Hub). Clearly we couldn't access the public's Opera House which was the point of that photo and lawful presence, to make the point about Forbes disruption of commerce and tourism and public space. Yes it was cheeky.


Posted by editor at 10:46 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 20 May 2008 1:58 PM NZT
Sunday, 18 May 2008
Sunday tv talkies: Turnbull prospects ramp up, parties in 20C political economic confusion
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: aust govt



Author’s general introductory note (skip this bit if you know this regular weekly column):



This is not a well packaged story. It’s a contemporaneous traverse of the Sunday television free to air political talkies indicating the agenda of Establishment interests: Better to know ones rivals and allies  in Big Politics and Big Media.



Indeed it’s the tv version monitoring task similar to what Nelson Mandela refers to here in his book Long Walk to Freedom (1994, Abacus) written in Robben Island prison (where he was meant to die like other African resister chiefs of history in the 19C), at page 208



“..newspapers are only a shadow of reality; their information is important to a freedom fighter not because it reveals the truth, but because it discloses the biases and perceptions of both those who produce the paper and those who read it.”



Just substitute ‘Sunday tv political talkie shows’ for "newspapers" in the quote above.

For actual transcripts go to web sites quoted below except with Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.



Media backgrounders



- 17 May 2008 "Nelson nitwits" - Libs hash the Budget strategy | The Daily Telegraph


9 Sunday 7.30 – 9.30 am


Features on bikies and civil liberties, flesh eating bug drug resistant – ate young man’s lungs! Yuk.


Footage damaging from NBC (?) of China chaos in rescue effort there of 50K fatalities earthquake.


Good roundup of Forescue and emotional Twiggy Forest on his patriotic vindication via magnetite in Pilbara at say 40% quality ‘which is high’, comparision by Ross Greenwood with Norway high class problem of how to manage ‘resource curse’ namely $300 billion (US, Aus $ ?) for 4.5 million citizens (re oil there), compared to $100 b for 20 million citizens here. Implication that it is low compared to Norway.


Need sovereign funds to manage for the future this blessed financials. But vote at the ballot box re whether it should be held by super funds, and private savings than govt funds like $40 billion.


Interesting feature on civil liberties for freedom of association of bikies [political winner though even though in SA after murder of Brendan Keilor, my school mate actually, in Melbourne last year]


Strong feature about MRSA, staph infection. [exhortation to healthy living, for natural immunity, no smoking, drinking, exercise, fresh whole foods, not processed. Natural immunity is the key probably and care with wounds. Exponential growth.


Young adult son killed by MRSA – missed most of this but a really good worthy story I thought.



Laurie Oakes ‘forensic test of shadow Mal Turnbull – going to be rough. “free kick” first re health funds major leakage to public system. LO in attack mode.


[It’s the leadership interview]


Surcharge intro to high income folks to join, now affects middle lower income folks. Tax policy previous govt carryover, addresses that. Consequence now says MT must be worried.


Inconsistency – carrot and stick approach to medical insurance.


Budget in reply – cut in fuel excise, block tax alcopops. Where $ from – out of surplus or savings. Not in govt to really give chapter and verse. LO on high horse. Costello demanded costing. Turnbull concedes point “as Dr Nelson said” which is subtle departure dumping responsibility on Nelson for his approach. Too cavalier. MT concedes “is a large amount of money” …. “not in govt” another subtle message to party about quality fo leadership. Hits govt about watching not doing. Cut on exercise. Moderate measure.


Technical analysis of GST on excise back to states anyway. Explaining Nelson quite patronizing ‘what he meant’ ouch.  MT red tie is a real look at me choice. Smile by MT on bit of a rabble comment by LO. MT very relaxed at the accusation. Ouch again. The fin is in the water!


Alcopops – John Herron ex Lib minister council on drugs,  likes Govt approach – support for battling bingeing. [‘White spirits/dark spirits’ – what a bogus distinction also used by Riley. ] MT refers to economic evidence alcohol use is inelastic – not responsive to price increase [maybe true like petrol?, only 4% less on youth drinking.


LO refers inequity of anamolies re alcohol products wine, to pops to beer etc. Joe Hockey referenced, more anomalies. Needs to be fixed right across the board. Henry Ergas tax review to look at this.









10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am


Footage of Wayne Swan, flattering. Press leads with Fairfax SunHerald on health funds leakage claimed. Swan is guest which is high kudos to early MTP show and possibly a quid pro quo to Paul Bongiorno for his general moderation in news work.


Swan looking settled, still a hint of smart arse in his presentation but well hidden now [you see it in absolute language ‘no economic credibility of coalition’ truth is adjusted cuts because of the business sensitivity to swingeing cuts and cycle inflation coming down by late 2009/10, and smarter politically to offer faint praise to Nelson for ‘trying’]


Chat about reception of the budget. Health funds story. States cost 1.7 billion$ worse off. Says bigger investments in hospitals infrastructure.


Petrol pricing thrust by Nelson, says 22b cost to budget and too uncertain. Petrol prices will rise says PB, re greenhouse for instance. Yes agrees. Emissions trading system later. PB re solar panels cut in subsidy. Means testing of solar panels. Fully subscribed – means test as responsible – gives the game up – too successful.


Out take of Costello hitting at Michelle Grattan – reported first (?) by SAM here as improper attack on admired icon of the gallery, but more revealing the accuracy of MG observation he is indeed feeling “sensitive”.  Footage bears it out.


Adbreak skip to 9.


Panel Hartcher Fairfax – insufficient downward pressure on inflation [fact is inflation cycle up then down, so Swan actually responded to Turnbull analysis by lessening cuts to steady as she goes, a non debate, more adversary masking consensus].


Says 7 b cuts, but PH net increase and stimulating tax cuts.


Jennifer Hewitt – The Australian (?) on panel.


Mis timed says PH? Swan says cuts demand. Costello spending inflationary last 4 budgets.


Alco Con? Asks JH. Substitution affect?  Sticks to his guns.


Footage of big funds accusation re slush fund 40b. Swan refers to [pious] BAF evaluations etc. PH still notes political control. 


Amusing re trust us, we are the govt. An old ironic cliché. Both laugh.


Footage of Tuckey (?). Out take about middle class winners versus over 150K Bentley drivers Zannetti cartoon.


Carer call in, sober Rudd listening in radio station. Contrary to stupid Harris demand. Swan sympathy mode to carers. Rudd wants to act – the mother’s voice is his mother talking. He is an open book to such women and it’s also a very appealing aspect to this PM’s character. Who cried at the loss to his colleague Latham. Keep going carers and mothers.




Meet The Press - Watch Political Video Online - Channel TEN.




Riley Diary 7, 8.35 am


Budget coverage – Robinhood  - fox cartoon character. Elephants trumpeting. ‘working families’. Satirical music. Works over those clichés. Riley recall is highest paid press gallery 200K plus – calls up Bulworth classic movie. Ethical moral debate in cartoon characters. Whinging wendy type pensioner.

Double triple the taxes with. Missed visual pun. Nelson Turnbull inconsistency. Nelson knives in back budget in reply. Spending too much, spend more. High taxing high spending high interest rates.

Nelson lower taxes on petrol, watching doesn’t. Pensioners stripped, Family First, strip stunt. Naked ambition of Steve Fielding.

Q&A - Mark Riley – what does it mean as rich media folks whinge themselves – suggests keep going , Riley notes the same point, quite good self awareness that. Working man drink habits tactic by Nelson. Notes health funds story over million going back to public health. Sam says very scary, big worry. Arc up over the next week.


No follow up Q& A Ellen to LO? Would be good tv that, but conflict with Insiders bang on 9 am too.






Insiders 2: 9- 10am


Fat Tony on news footage.


Cassidy intro flatters Federal ALP budget. Swan at press club – first one tougher? Don’t confuse tough with stupid. Not slam economy into wall.


Nelson says block tax on a pops. Got a laugh on watching petrol price. ALP govt says nothing in silence – quite eloquent that.


Panel is Annabel Crabb. Re NSW Lib director.  [Good story about low range speeder Della yesterday human normal thesis].


Funding medicare surcharge – 425K, may be double. Sunday press says Gerard Henderson drop out or not join close to 1 mil. PWC figures or treasury unsure but it’s a big figure.


Don’t accept says Swan on MTP. Questions modeling of treasury.


Meglo says private health framing the debate as a ‘public good’. Playing govt off a break. What going to do on public health.  GH says elective surgery private, Meglo public for emergency.


Nelson feisty and confident performance – Nelson is the cross. Rings/bags under eyes are alarming. Hair and eyes. May be falling apart? Turnbull also looked weary but still together with LO on 9.


Confirm block alco con? Get’s on positive foot – “yeah” which is a good sound. BC – leadership off the floor? Rudd govt not evidence based. Showing his medical expertise here on the stats. Not integrated approach re alcohol abuse. Price signals part of it but RTD to other drugs. Long list people who do support Govt, disagree with you, for Rudd policy. Says happy to address because they have a lot more in policy more integrated. Chair of govt policy.


Nightwatchman [our metaphor and it’s a cutting one] looking and sounding fairly okay actually. Hair a bit greyer and flattened, speaking strongly. Arguably make it worse. As much as says stupid to swap baggy green cap for beer commercial.


On petrol exercise policy – practical thing to do – expects to be bagged. Duck savings to fund hole from this? Says it’s an election policy. NRMA notes difference – [petrol is a public good natural monopoly?!]


Notes pre election ALP didn’t submit to treasury costing – fair point from memory.


Confusion about pensions coalition policy – plays sympathy mode, increases by them in past, Rudd ignores in this budget (high profile naked protest echoes). How improve? Too soon hedge but inquiry conducted, deserves “hell of a lot more”. Sledges Cate Blanchett baby visit not protest in Melbourne.

“Madness “of cutting solar subsidy [reached saturation] destructive of small business. On a winner with this critique. Unity ticket with Bob Brown. Christine Milne by the sounds on this.


Chat in panel re ‘fraud’ of both sides re alcopops.


Paul Kelly soliloquy – very targeted pain. Not a robinhood budget. Private health insurance – policy and politics. Mildy deflationary. Big picture – sustainable re inflation – questions sustainable or not. New funds 40b infr health and education. Not locked box. Draw down capital. Immigration 300K strong immigration prime minister. Says right thing to do. Signficant political problems. Nelson had to give back bench some red meat. Understands re morale boost. Weak opp leader pop tactics, bear in mind, Lib party one great asset ec policy credentials of Howard govt. Great risk will walk away from those credentials.


Everyperson panel of fashion models, modest presentation, eyes glazed.


Back to panel – Costello face – poker face on Nelson petrol price. Footage of Howard 2006 no simple way, cutting excise, 10c a litre meaningful. Not a durable undertaking says AC. Absolute disastrous policy says GH. Reluctant conclusion only 2 capable PC and MT. What fundamentally wrong? Bad economic policy. GH goes across the bridge against Nelson. Where’s the $ coming from [as per MT on with 9 with LO]. Trashing policy for survival says AC in so many words. Listener parrot.


GH goes back to Menzies, leadership unpopular decisions and worked. As did Howard/Costello. Populist leader. Nelson correctly predicts thrashing from ‘the couch’. AC warns couch it’s a fight Nelson chooses.


Footage of 9 LO with MT – clear split MT and BN. Interesting development, too right, leadership is correctly in play.


MG says leadership is terminal references BC, didn’t know MG gone so far. Too late for fruit and too early for flowers.


[Panel in real time news mode can see it’s on, ready to jump to their keyboards as soon as cameras stop rolling.]


Hockey, alco props nice use of language.


AC is very cute with her flouncing wordage.


Footage of Rudd Garrett pre election, inconsistency re solar. Very hard on young people. Transcript April 2007 250K not a lot of money – bogus – draw down on assets if not. Have equity as reassurance – move location. GH argues very serious mistake. Hardly. GH squealing for his constituency works in big media with Howard closed shop on power but that’s all gone to smithereens.


Meglo big picture slaps down GH and BC adds to that. GH has lost the plot in this political economy respect. GH goes way too personal with Meglo shows his underlying thuggish nature post Howard.


High achievers should have foals. Class snobbery there. From Tuckey footage.


Environmental and economic madness claim by Nelson applies to petrol too.


Which all reflects the 20C economy settings of both ALP and Coalition.


Latham sly dig at Rudd, very amusing re fiction or true. Rudd response – not credible panel concludes. Rudd is indeed an elitist. And Mark is indeed highly envious.


Cornwall from crikey.com.au good kudos, mainstreaming consolidates access to budget lockup. Looks like the proverbial cartoonist too. He’s smart as, sometimes over my head.


Peter Costello ‘luxury liberal party airbag’ . Mike Bowers self referential but it’s a stunningly good photo – beautiful work MB.


Footage revenge as per 10 MTP re sledge on Michelle Grattan, on Peter Costello about theatrical attacks on media. AC says shrinking band of pirates for PC.  No truth at all in quokka cruelty from blogger source.


UK politics – Gordon Brown, junior PM .


My friends in the ALP says GH, Costello would have done better to JH, not beaten him. Missed time not second half of 2007.


Roxon footage on ALP spin.


Moving tribute to Irene Semmler rescuer of 2000 Jewish kids in WW2 by GH.


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


Posted by editor at 12:02 PM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 18 May 2008 1:25 PM NZT
Saturday, 17 May 2008
NSW public energy heist?: Enron 'smartest guys' free 109 min film on Google Video
Mood:  special
Topic: nsw govt

As indicated in this profound film, staff of Enron (a US $65 billion corporation, 7th largest in the USA, which went bankrupt in 24 days in 2002) were regarded as the "best and brightest" in business. This has an eerie ring to it echoing a phrase for those selected for the recent 2020 summit blessed by PM Rudd.

PM Rudd also as it happens has endorsed the public energy sell off plan of the NSW Premier Morris Iemma who is in China as we write presumably to further progress the $15 billion sale  'the best and brightest idea' he can come up with for future governance of NSW! Enjoy (!?) the film. We will.

When you've digested that "magic of the market" and "de-regulation", have a look at this 60 minutes plus BBC doco on Youtube of the history of the public relations industry based on the theories of psychoanalyst Freud. It's a cracker.

And if you are still up for it this chestnut, less than one minute:



Posted by editor at 10:28 PM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 18 May 2008 12:49 AM NZT
Coca Cola Amatil 'not a good corporate citizen': Ian Cohen MP
Mood:  sad
Topic: corporates

Media Release from Ian Cohen MLC                                       

15th May 2008
Greens to Coca Cola: “stop political donations, start container

As Coca Cola Amatil (CCA) emerged from their AGM today, Greens MP Ian
Cohen called on the company to refrain from using their influence to
frustrate community efforts to expand South Australia’s successful
container deposit scheme.
“Coca Cola have donated almost two million dollars to the major
political parties in this country over the last nine years,” said
Upper House Greens MP Ian Cohen.
“What the developer donations scandal has revealed in NSW is that
political donors make donations in order to gain preferential access to
and/or treatment from MPs and Ministers.
“He who pays the piper calls the tune. There should be a moratorium
on all political donations from beverage companies, particularly while a
national review of the viability of a container deposit scheme is
“Voluntary waste management schemes have consistently failed to
achieve targets for recycling and resource recovery.
CCA’s Chairman David Gonski today told the AGM that the company has
‘engaged a sustainability manager to work with our customers and
we’re gathering ideas from many of our people on ways to reduce waste
and maximise resources’.
“Container deposit is a proven system for minimising waste. If Coke
were serious beyond greenwash, they’d be heeding calls supported by
90% of the community to introduce a cash back scheme for bottles and
“Self regulation has maintained status quo where recycling rates of
beverage containers have been stagnant for years. Is it a coincidence
that nine years of donations have coincided with nine years of self
regulation and nine years of chain dragging on waste issues?
“Once the company has embraced container deposit, they might like to
look to their sister company in Germany for guidance on how to set up a
refillable system. The German PET Coca Cola bottle on my desk has been
refilled 20 times – now there’s an idea,” said Mr Cohen.
For more information: Ian Cohen 0409 989 466 or Nic Clyde 0417 742 754

Posted by editor at 8:49 PM NZT
Brazilian environment minister quits, refusing to be policy pimped anymore, meanwhile in NSW ...
Mood:  sharp
Topic: nsw govt


Reuters Marina Silva: departure greeted with dismay

Our comment extracted from a string on crikey.com.au string here:

Tom McLoughlin
Saturday, 17 May 2008 4:10:54 PM
The pimping of the good reputation of Marina Silva, now ex minister for the environment in huge country Brazil, has a parallel in NSW. On Friday the SMH reported ['NSW attacks climate report' Marian Wilkinson, Environment Editor May 16, 2008 ] that Jeff Angel who sat on an 'independent committee' appointed by the govt to assess the public energy sell off plan, and indeed endorsed it 'on condition of no exemptions from the emissions trading scheme', this same Jeff Angel, was brushed aside after doing his PR dance, in a strong submission for the whole of NSW govt to the Garnaut Inquiry. The submission urges exactly those same ETS exemptions. In other words Angel was pimped. But we say he already knew that was his role and purpose. Silva has resigned so she can be her own person again. This "duchessing" is EXACTLY what founder of Total Environment Centre (1972) Milo Dunphy mentored me to avoid. And so it shall be. May he rest in peace. Listen up Jeff you're on notice a long time now.


Posted by editor at 6:13 PM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 17 May 2008 7:26 PM NZT

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