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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
Nelson spill motion: It's Costello v Turnbull in late 2009, early 2010?
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: aust govt

Picture: Profound graphic lifted off Sydney Morning Herald in mid 2007 emphasising then PM Howard's obstruction on climate change policies.


Peter Costello, humble backbencher, former Treasurer 11 or so years, keeps his appointment with Fran Kelly on ABC radio national today just before 8am 16 Sept 08. A day late as he cancelled Monday's media appointments to settle down the hysteria perhaps.

Costello has vouched that he 'is voting for Brendan Nelson'. Gerard Henderson in Fairfax and ABC sister station makes the point 'Costello is the best choice to lead and if not running then Turnbull is next best choice'. Yes but in our view that's not the criteria in real politik time which turns on positioning for the prize of prime ministership contest in 2 years time.

Costello is transparently relying on Nelson as his time buffer and blocker. Turnbull has nominated to fly the flag and show his guts, and in our view will likely lose against Nelson, and most MPs this far out will be more interested in their traditional comfort zone of policy and values framework built in large part by Howard-Costello. They want systemic change and serious policy rebuild like a parent wants the flu or a kid likes the dentist. Not at all. The Howard malaise lives on.

Which only means as long as the MP for Higgins remains in the Parliament the significant spill will be 6-12 months out from the next projected federal election not in one hour just after 9 am today AEST. The next election is expected in 2010 sometime, months before the NSW one in March 2011.

So for the ALP the next year or so will be Rudd v slippery Howard proxy Nelson. If Rudd and the centre left of politics slowly crush Nelson as they did Howard, then and only then will it be time for the real change in the centre right of politics on climate change, industrial relations, natural environment, water buy backs in the Murray Darling and so on.

And how has the swing to the right in WA influenced all this? Alot would be our view. It's emboldened the Hard Right to hold fast to the Howard legacy strongest there flush with mining royalties and most infavour of extreme IR agenda, but surely ignores the views of the majority of the population in the eastern states. It's a false dawn for the Liberals and Nats if the ALP and centre Left, Greens based on population spread across the nation, see it for what it is: An artefact of the mining boom.


 Picture: Mid 2007 on the floor of parliament in tense discussion with then PM Howard lifted off the big media websites at the time.

Postscript from 10.30 am: We were wrong!

As it happens the federal Liberal Party have decided to go for real change from the Howard-Costello-Nelson legacy by voting 45 to 41 for sharp blade Malcolm Turnbull. Crikey.com.au say this morning media barracking for Big Mal is simply for better copy (the boredom factor with Nightwatchman Man Nelson). Maybe so. Ominously Nelson has refused any front bench position. Similarly Costello is also back there as lead weight or rival.

The close vote doesn't alter the fact we got it wrong here at SAM. Maybe the blanket coverage of Costello's memoirs in the last week was more surfeit than nostalgia for the colleagues. Maybe there was a critical mass of loathing for the failed old leadership clique and desire for not only clear air but a clean break?

Picture: Shadow Treasurer Turnbull gives his Opposition budget in reply speech to the Canberra Press Club mid 2008. These images lifted off the web feed by SAM at the time.

Turnbull has his chance now to make his mark on the national stage for real and if he succeeds the Liberal Party will be a different creature in 12 months. So will the ALP to meet the Opposition leader's credentials. If he falters or is bested by the Rudd machine Costello in particular may well seek resurrection like Colin Barnett new premier of WA 5 weeks after planning his retirement.

 Picture: lifted off Crikey.com.au in late 2007 (if memory serves).

Here is a collage of the Wentworth 2007 stoush where we could have seeded the electorate with anti John Howard - Not Happy John leaflets from the 2004 contest in Bennelong. We could have but didn't because the ALP candidate Newhouse refused to campaign against the Gunns pulp mill. So I dumped them on Turnbull's doorstep for them to "pulp":

 Picture: visit to the western end of Wentworth electorate in August 2007 by SAM, and then outside the Bondi Junction electorate office same day.

The federal ALP in Wentworth just didn't deserve the help:


And here is one of the victims of Turnbull's 'wet work' as Christian Kerr terms it from The Australian in 2007 pre election - new councillor Rose Jackson elected Sept 2008, wedged over the ultra right in the Eastern Suburbs Jewish community unquestioning support for nuclear armed Israel, with an arguably corrupt Prime Minister:


Posted by editor at 9:53 AM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 17 September 2008 9:46 AM NZT
NSW Police Force ramp up secrecy says News Corp, civil liberty folks
Mood:  not sure
Topic: nsw govt

Back on 27th August 2008 we took a call from Chris Merritt. It went something like this:

'Hi, yeah I know your name you're a senior journalist, legal editor with The Australian, used to write for the Fin Review.

Sure I have Oliver's number, I don't want to cramp your style.'

This was all in response to this briefing I sent to the acting editor of The Australian Media Section here in this email string about a civil liberties/right to know/citizen journalism situation involving NSW Police:

Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 12:43 PM
Subject: as discussed, for Lara Acting Editor The Media

Oliver who had his charge dismissed is email at far bottom in the string. Then next back from there is my response to him, then first below is my package to the civil liberties types making out the pattern of 4 different cases I'm aware of brazen police over reaching (even when they have good cause it seems for those arrested same time as my guy Oliver Hopes.)
The hook for the Right To Know folks probably is the incredible invitation from the Police hierarchy as per articles below) for citizens to get involved in citizen reportage (actually dobbing - just not on the coppers!) as below. 
I can't let you have the letter I wrote to the Redferm Command without Oliver's permission due to legal confidentiality as former client (suggesting just drop the charges/it's a waste of time - diplomatically leaving out that it could also result in ....).
But I can tell you the policeman who gave dubious if not outright dishonest evidence and issued the Court Attendance Notice dated 26 May 2008 was Constable ..... Command.
The charge was "Hinder police". It was dismissed last Friday 22 August 2008.
Yours truly
Thomas McLoughlin (solicitor in NSW restricted certificate)
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 10:21 AM
Subject: in confidence, Oliver Hopes hinder police case dismissed in Local Court last Friday! Damn good.

I refer to previous correspondence about pro bono case, which ended up with Slater & Gordon on a fee basis. Also copy to civil rights campaigner Kristian Bolwell of the Fire Brigade Union, nsw solicitor.
Barrister was Mr Crawford Fish apparently. (Bragging rights here: Barrister apparently said my letter to police to drop the charge was "very good". Too bad they didn't - wasted court's time and lost the case. Good show all round by defence team.)
There is definitely a pattern of behaviour going on here by local Sydney police to avoid reportage: See also Matt Khoury story in The Media (bible of the media industry) in The Australian 2 months back as linked below. There was another fairly high profile in the Sydney Morning Herald pre World Youth Day too:
with this extract posted Sunday 13 July 08:

Picture: Saturday 12th July 2008, 10am. The bonhomie was mixed with the heavy security in the tunnel under Central Station . The plods and pseudo plods really didn't like me passing my card to this coloured gent. Nor did they appreciate me standing 10 paces away, nor did they appreciate me taking a picture of them from 40 paces away, and indeed the short blonde copper (Constable Phillips, City Crime - Commuter) made it her business to stalk over to me 40 paces away and officially ordered me to leave the area. "On what legal basis?" I asked and  "Because you don't want a witness? Is that what you are saying?". "Because you are intimidating" came the smooth practised reply. So there you have it - taking a picture of police in the course of their duty is "intimidating".  All under the flag pictured above of our fair democracy you understand. 


Nor is this the first time local inner Sydney cops have tried these tactics over recording of their police work. We are well aware, as is the ABC, of a case yet to be heard in court regarding police confiscation of a camera phone from a witness to a brawl outside a local inner city pub earlier this year, who we understand was then ordered to delete the footage in a police cell while being stood over by two local policemen.


Very very ironic given these two reports here exhorting exactly this kind of citizen media:

As a riposte we told one of the security guards about our readersip figures to which he said with contempt "You only see one side of life." Well actually we did see the aggressive drunk the night before and were glad for the security being present then. What worries us is fare evasion (not that we know the facts) leading to more serious charges for a public transport service that should be near to free anyway on public policy grounds.

Yours truly
Tom McLoughlin, editor www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog tel 0410 558838,
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 8:55 AM
Subject: yeah! you earned it, fortune favours the brave, smart, honest Re:

Hey Olli,
this is great stuff having your charge of hinder police dismissed last Friday. I rang and spoke to your mother earlier this morning sort of by coincidence as I found a story in the press here on the weekend doing my catchup, which is a BIG echo of your experience, and remembered you were about due for your hearing.:
And you know about my experience a month back too during the start of World Youth Day reporting/observing an arrest at Central Railway.
I'm so pleased you kept your nerve, got the help you needed, and have got the charge dismissed, and your mum got a barrister too and you got the result you deserved. You deserved to get costs I think, only fly in the soup.
I would love to do a report on my micro news website anytime. And ....
Kind regards,
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 10:18 PM

hey tom, we won the case on friday. we didnt get awarded costs but atleast i dont have a criminal record. thanks again for all your help. many of the things you told me .... helped alot. are you taking on coca-cola? sounds like a david and goliath battle. how were they so rough to you? hope things are well. olli.


[For those eagle eyed you may be wondering why this writer didn't progress the case himself - the reason being after intial correspondence and first appearance our principal solicitor chucked in his practising certificate (or something) end of 07-08 financial year and we couldn't act unsupervised past 30 June 08, hence Slater's took on the case as house lawyer for the family's employer. We remain an out of work 'junior' lawyer though under s.63 of the Land & Env Court Act 1979 we can do pro bono as a court agent in that jurisdiction.]

All this resulted in this article by Chris Merritt here next day 28th August 2008 in The Media section of The Australian in terms of right to know agenda, even though google lists it as Sept 1st for some reason: 

28 Aug 08 Call to reform police powers | The Australian

Chris Merritt, Legal Affairs editor | August 28, 2008

CIVIL libertarians have called for reform of police powers after a Sydney art student was arrested and pressured to delete video footage of a violent clash between 20 late-night revellers and between 30 and 40 police.

The incident has raised concerns that police are sending mixed signals about the value of "citizen journalism" in fighting crime, as well as their treatment of reporters who might film or photograph them in action.

It took place one month after they appealed for the public to send them videos to help identify criminals.

Art student Oliver Hopes was charged in April with hindering police after he used his camera-phone to record them using capsicum spray to subdue violent revellers in April.

The charge was dismissed last week after Mr Hopes' barrister, Michael Crawford-Fish, presented the Downing Centre Local Court with separate footage of the incident that had been taken by a security camera.

"The whole incident has darkened my view of the police," said Mr Hopes, who did not save the footage after he was told by police to stop filming.

He said the deleted footage would not have shown any misconduct by police.

"It's not another Rodney King," he said, but it could have shown the extent of the violence. "They saw me filming and told me to move back, which I did. They then said 'Turn that off' and I kept filming. He said 'Give me the phone' and I turned it off and put it in my pocket. He said 'Give it to me' and I said 'It's off. It's cancelled'. And he then said 'That's it, you're under arrest'."

Later, when he was being held overnight, police entered his cell, handed him the phone and told him to delete the footage.

"They told me it was against the law to film people and there were special provisions covering the media," he said. He explained that the footage had never been saved but he was still charged with hindering police.

The action over Mr Hopes' camera-phone forms a sharp contrast with the launch in March of a scheme in which NSW police had invited the public to send video footage of crime directly to a police website. The scheme, known as Project View -- Video Image Evidence on the Web, had been developed by assistant commissioner Bob Waites.

Last November, NSW police arrested journalist Matt Khoury after he witnessed a raid on a nightclub and made it clear to police he would be filing a story on the incident.

Mr Khoury had been charged under "move along" legislation but police withdrew the charge just before the case had been due to go to court.

NSW Civil Liberties Council president Cameron Murphy said police generally had no authority to order video footage to be deleted. But they would sometimes be justified in seizing footage if it were needed as part of an investigation.

He was deeply concerned about both incidents.

"There has been a steady increase in police powers to stop people, search them and move them along," he said.

"This is very dangerous and it's the sort of thing that over time will lead to a police state," Mr Murphy said.

Nice for Cameron Murphy of NSW CCL to get the quote, truth is they are so under resourced or something they didn't answer ANY email or telephone approaches by this writer over the months of this saga. Nor did NSW Ombudsman. Only PILCH charity referral service responded and then in the negative. And of course News Corp above for the gritty story.

Now we have yesterday a quite serious feature by the Sydney Daily Telegraph about another burgeoning aspect of NSW Police secrecy while keeping in mind the press mainly want to have access to the juicy news stories and therefore mixed motives - as they say in the media game 'if it bleeds it leads'.

The links to this latest unresolved front in right to know/public safety versus good policing practice/operational confidentiality is here:

15 Sept 08  Stalkers preying on our schools | The Daily Telegraph

15 Sept 08 Community alarm over silence of police | The Daily Telegraph

15 Sept 08 [offline] Attacks on children increasing (Sydney Daily Telegraph

15 Sept 08 [editorial] Hamstrung by NSW Police's new communication system Sydney Daily Telegraph

15 Sept 08 Police radio blackout is a concern for civic safety | The Daily Telegraph ...

Posted by editor at 7:46 AM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 17 September 2008 6:58 AM NZT
Monday, 15 September 2008
Nelson ... agricultural Nightwatchman Man ...wants to bat on past lunch on day 2
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: aust govt

The ABC and no doubt other big media are reporting a spill motion in the federal Liberal Party room tomorrow morning.

What it shows is the tactical cunning of Nelson with a pair of twos in his hand given Costello while in the Parliament will not contest for now. So Nelson can win on that front.

For the same reason Costello doesn't want to go so very early in the tedious 2 years out election cycle his rival Turnbull will not find the spill tomorrow morning very convenient.

So as agricultural as Nelson is, and mind numbingly determined to survive, so he also can damage Turnbull by exposing him as not having the balls if he also doesn't challenge.

Which only leaves Turnbull to grab the holy grail too early only to burnout in time to fit Costello's timing of a year hence to really make a run within reach of the federal election. Is this the tag team Nelson and Costello have been cooking?

And why would Nelson want to stay in the miserable job anyway at such low polling and drag the party to the destructive divisive Howardista Right? All we can come up with is that Nelson must be a masochist.

Sure while he remains in the middle - to further tease out the 5 day test match metaphor - the scorer has to record him, the crowd have to notice him unless they nod off or leave the stands altogether, which judging by the polls they are indeed doing.

Nelson can't win this test match all he can do is play for time and get a draw by not getting out, even as the crowd and the scorer know in their heart who is the better team. In this sense Nelson is Kevin Rudd and federal ALP Parliamentary Party's best friend.

Sooner or later Brendan Nelson is going to have to face his own Hippocratic Oath in light of his support for the murderous Iraq blood for oil scandal. Until then he will keep batting on in denial. Anything is better than facing that. Facing himself.

Posted by editor at 9:39 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 16 September 2008 9:29 AM NZT
Sunday, 14 September 2008
Sunday Political talkies: Concussion wave through NSW, WA, federal Lib establishments
Mood:  chatty
Topic: aust govt


Author’s general introductory note

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.


For actual transcripts and/or video feeds go to the programme web sites quoted including Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.


Media backgrounders


Big storm in Huston Texas region – begs the question of climate even if only by perception.


Federal ALP gets critical mass to whack the Nats in NSW by buying water rights to Toorale for Warrego into Darling River, with NSW Govt support and Qld premier Bligh gifting another slab of water as well. All good.


Important article by Michael Duffy explores so called credit rating agencies who frauded the subprime market with their bogus advisories while still be quoted as gospel by Michael Costa on NSW creditworthiness. Maybe, or maybe another crock of baloney from either or Moody’s/Standard & Poors, MCosta.


Falling behind meta reportage recovering from Coca Cola Amatil litigation in LEC last 3rd and 4th Sept, and ongoing saga of illegal sandmine near Wollemi World Heritage national park. Got the clips, just not the time.


Fscists seeking to destroy Left wing led ALP NSW Govt eg Michael Costa, Brendan Nelson.


Too much political upheaval is not enough as HG would say re NSW and Costellology.


NSW Stateline’s Dempster and others refuse to repeat what Steve Price stated last Thursday morning on commercial radio – that ex Planning Minister Frank Sartor was seen the day before with Imre Salusinszky who wrote the lead in The Australian that saw new Police Minister Matt Brown resign. In other words that Sartor was “the drop”. But the other journalists are providing cover for Imre’s source. Is this real reportage? Or protecting their own careers?


Price himself doesn’t repeat the allegation re Sartor in his Sunday Telegraph column today – important because it could determine if Sartor stays or another byelection in yet another seat – and remember doubling of M5 East will be another big ventilation stacks problem in seat of Rockdale.



Impressions as electoral commission booth worker (long day 7.15 am to 8.30 pm) South Ward Marrickville – included serving John Sutton CFMEU national secretary, and older bother of Canterbury Mayor Rob Furolo etc etc. Good day. ATL vote 380 Greens, 244 ALP, 180 independent in white picket fence/semi industrial mix.


Reading up on drinker Eric McLoughlin (relative) 2nd Fairfax war correspondent (ever?) and first Australian correspondent to WW2 ‘Eastern Front’ actually a 1000 km from Moscow in comparative luxury/safety in Soviet Union under strict censor, booted out back to London eventually already hints of a boozer. ‘Extraordinary rapport with Robert Menzies’ says chapter 11 of the MUP book.


Grylls as youngish Nat townie business man decides to today who will form govt in WAS after backlash against Carpenter ALP. Notably supports clean skin Alan Carpenter as a person.


Hard working Linda Silmalis doing the NSW Govt backgrounders for News Corp in Sydney Telegraph building her journalism career.





10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am


Press round up includes NSW local council elections favouring Greens and Independents like CBD Mayor Clover Moore with swings of “up to 20% to her in heartland ALP in Roseberry” contrary to compromised Meredith Burgmann )whose co-author still hasn’t done a competitive selection process for her sinecure at Addison Rd Community Centre.


Guest is Nick Minchin from marginal state of SA talking big trying to obscure the obvious that Costello is still in the seat of Higgins.


First out take  takes Nelson self deprecating joke – walk on water complain couldn’t swim.


Panel is Cobber Grattan – Age/Fairfax and John Stanley 2UE. Bread and butter budget issues. Postures and honking mostly. Toyota Landcruiser tax says Minchin. Squibs tax on luxury cars tried on in his own ex Cabinet as ex Finance Minister. Great question that.


2nd out take Tandberg very busy cartoon – missed the gist.


2nd guest is Senator Barnaby Joyce. Rabbits on. What he doesn’t realize is that Costello likes the discomfort of the Howard Hard Right that he is still there. Get used to it.



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



Riley Diary 7, 8.35 am


Costellogy memoirs. Nice shot of Chris Uhlmann with peter Costello strolling in corridor. Great footage of Costello electorate stuff and some wit. Footage of Hewson re Costello lacking balls to grab leadership.


Riles – most ‘over this’. Only about promoting his book claims Riles. Nice genuinely funny, blames Howard, wife, Downer,






9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.40 am


Joe Hockey Opposition on ….? Is talent. Started at least by 8.37am 8.41 onward here. LO goes hard on s.56 constitution. Nelson to press club Bill to “seek to increase”. Turning interview into a a bloody visit to the dentist. Hurts to listen to Joe banging on. Joe takes it manfully on the chin, loyalty to Nelson uppermost. Even smiling bravely. He’s a gutsy speaker is the Hock under severe fire. An interview that begs for a leadership change.








Insiders 2: 9- 10am


Sunday Telegraph cover shown about Turnbull sitting tight is different to my copy about council elections “Poll-axed”.


Intro re Costellology. 2010 still in parliament. No long term future as backbencher says Andrew Robb in the studio – showing the reach on struggling Opposition.


Panel is Fran Kelly, David Maher Fairfax/SMH, and Tim Blair DailyTele/News Corp. Something about 15% support for ALP in NSW Govt alleged. Blair looks more relaxed and focused, clipped which is the tv mode.


Andrew Robb waxes on cult of messiah unhealthy echoing Costello ‘cult of leadership’ unhealthy in Liberal Party. Robb on Grylls any coalition with ALP is “farcical”.


Everyperson segment in gym with young blokes in a mob ‘spin session’ on exercise bikes.


Paul Kelly re Costellology – Menzies and Howard both spent many long desperate years in Opposition to become successful prime ministers. Just untenable that PC will stay as backbencher.


Kelly says Nelson’s lack of cut through has not been just about Costello interference.


Maher and Blair expose some real wit and good tv. Grubby Politics as good name for a band.


Antony Green – Greens take Leichhardt and Marrickville, Clover takes Sydney CC, Libs resurge in Waverley behind Greens and ALP, and Libs resurge in Randwick also.


TB right that ALP in NSW has its own opposition.


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




Posted by editor at 12:02 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 15 September 2008 9:26 AM NZT
Friday, 12 September 2008
Memo Ellen Fanning, don't cross the fine line* on our ABC
Mood:  sharp
Topic: big media


What's carrots on the road got to do with good broadcasting? Alot more than the local government election ward system apparently.

So we exercise junkies learned pre 7am this morning taking snaps of the wonderous Cooks River in the dawn light listening to 702 compere Ellen Fanning standing in for big brain Adam Spencer.

But that's not really good enough is it on standard bearer ABC.

It's been a good and even great week for stand in broadcaster Ellen Fanning having been dumped along with the rest of Sunday 9 quality current affairs show.

A real talent, mature professional savvy, yet Fanning betrayed pride before a fall in judgement this morning. Earlier this week she pulled off two great and influential interviews:

1. Peter Coleman as co-author of the Costello (-ology) literature hitting the stands any day now;

2. Noreen Hay MP in breaking story about sacking of Matt Brown MP as Police Minister and all round goose.

The mis-judgement in our view was honking on (and she should watch out for that descriptor) about squashed carrots in the shadow of the 6-7 am low ratings period preferring to cut short the role of local government with a sledge.

Yes this writer has spent 4 years 1995-1999 in that milieu. Yes we are offended at the soft headed, overpaid, condescending, dismissive tone about the grassroots level of government. And I just know the hundreds and thousands employed in the same sector will agree with me. Them's ratings Lady.

The level of govt closest to the people. That do the most with least amount of money. That look their ratepayers in the eye week in and week out.

The economists and big media on the drip of multinational corporations one way or another will say it's an indulgent inefficiency. Anachronistic wards based on ridings of yesteryear for Godsake.

Only they would be wrong - when you look into the reality of grassroots politics because it's the great anchor of social cohesion along with the welfare system. When an MP or journalist at either State or Federal level - all invariably on a wage well over $100K per year and haughtily secure in that knowledge as Warren Beatty so insightfully noted in Bullmore - give the People a cold shoulder in their cosy sinecures it's Local Govt they get a hearing.


And vice versa when council loses the plot back to the other 2 levels. Governance in this country is a three string puppet, not two and we are lucky to have that depth of stability. Like the old mining propaganda advert you'd miss it if it wasn't there.

Thankfully sharp blade Fanning noted the laughably "hypothetical" nature of the recall of NSW Govt idea just because it's a Left faction premier: Hence the barracking by Opposition Iraq war champ Nelson at federal level, and sundry numbskulls keen for another Chile 1972 capital strike by big business (not least Fairfax board). Vale Allende. Such are the saving graces of Ms Fanning and indeed our ABC.

* Fine Line, 6 part sbs documentary by Ellen Fanning on the media industry made in 2000 as here http://nla.gov.au/anbd.bib-an000028661694


Posted by editor at 9:24 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 12 September 2008 5:17 PM NZT
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
Lifestyle change for Della Bosca pays off in press today
Mood:  energetic
Topic: nsw govt

What is the political price for being fat? It's pretty high would be our guess.

We predicted back on 15 May 2008 that an exercise regime for big John Della Bosca could counter intuitively be the saving of his career. Sure enough the often cruel Sydney press today are all very approving. Credit where it's due now medium size John. Here was the prediction:

15 May 2008 Della Bosca's bright political future on two wheels?
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: nsw govt

Here are some stories today:

Della Bosca slim, trim and back to health - National - smh.com.au  9 Sep 2008

Smaller Della Bosca has a big role | The Daily Telegraph 9 Sep 2008

Posted by editor at 2:19 PM NZT
Sunday, 7 September 2008
Sunday Political talkies: 'climate' of high variability in Australia
Mood:  chatty
Topic: aust govt


Author’s general introductory note



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.


For actual transcripts and/or video feeds go to the programme web sites quoted including Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.


Media backgrounders



Missed the start at 8.40am


Rodney Cavalier as NSW ALP historian on Doogue Saturday breakfast abc radio national with profound round up of history of ALP with 3 labour parties in parliament in the 1940ies until Curtin, Chifley, McKell got them to unify and made NSW an ALP state for 80% of the time since. That Iemma lost the plot with that role of nurturing the party and the government both in the job description.


AM programme does round up of byelections in Mayo and Lynne and WA state election this Sunday morning – check their website for transcript in due course. Caught a bit of Julie Bishop running the line anti federal ALP vote – like new tax on domestic gas etc.


90c half price deal for Sunday Telegraph today in joint promotion with NRMA for father’s day. 




10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am



Press round up shows Greens strong performance in lower house seat in Mayo over saving the Murray River and Climate Change issues.


Joe Hockey – happy fathers days all round, Paul Bongiorno. General chat about electioneering with due Coalition spin. Argues anti Federal ALP vote


Blooper outtake of Lib missing a division forgot to be Pavlovian.


First adbreak with dad about public education for Teachers Federation.


Skirmishing over dental plans with footage of Min Roxon.


Panel is News Corp’s Steve Lewis and similarly Jennifer Hewitt with their The Australian.


Footage of Turnbull about something about economy/interest rates.


Second adbreak teachers advert.


Ross Garnaut report last third of the show – John Sutton national sec of CFMEU. Emissions scheme permits raise funds for welfare – moving away from coal as energy source? No hasty retreat from coal. Big export industry, good at it.  Issue is techno fixes.


Q from SL not as alarmed as Paul Howes from AWU – ans all shoulders to the wheel including big corporates. Takes a mild approach. Argues significant funding to technofixes – CCS, demonstration plants, pour resources into this and make it a winner. A lot of voices in this not criticize Paul Howes. Range of energy sources in future.


Footage of credits shows JS of CFMEU very stiff and cool. Takes two drinks of cup rather than chat in the out take. SL says nothing. It takes Paul Bongiorno to engage in social chit chat. Normally the guests chat a lot. Sutton was mild in presentation but this body language suggests serious grim attitudes otherwise?


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



Riley Diary 7, 8.35 am


Battlers, aspirationals, working families evolution of language. “working families” grab from West Wing, running line by Rudd and Barak Obama. “Working farmers” get’s a walk out.

Gillard picfac with innocent school children – standard lazy big media big politics exploitation.  Girls emancipation agenda probably valid.

Chats about Belinda Neil and Nelson and Julie Bishop on another feminist political dynamic.

Riles: Stunning week in politics, Libs by fingernails in Mayo, WA cliffhanger, NSW change of premier and cabinet blows up, Lynne big shift to Independent. Theme in all this of want change. Fed up with spin. Want action, or give heave ho or gives themselves the heave ho. Stop talking and do something. Question about pollies educate can’t do much – question own reason for their existence. Local and intimate terms. Politicians on notice – not a bad way to be.



9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.40 am



LO with Kevin Swan as treasurer. Lost govt in WA, NT big hit, waiting for a whack at NSW.  Shift is on? KS stick to good policy.


Borrowings in NSW are higher so interest rate impact is higher, compared with other states not as badly affected. Disproportionate affect also more exposed in to international finance sector industry.


LO says Costa says basketcase in NSW and new premier agrees. Will you bail out?


KS speaks a bit franticly which he might think feels like energetic but might not realize that it’s the weight of his words and he might better do well to sound firm and sure rather than panicky. In times of worry he needs a high reassurance quotient.


Resubmiting luxury car tax.


Q. could you live on the pension? Says no – gave $500 bonus last year.


[clever Coca Cola advert promo “no artificial colours or flavours, never has, never will” most popular drink in the world … including with Michael Costa sugar free – he is a caffeine junkie for sure hence the mood swings.]


Great report on music for prem babies as a buy in from USA. Quite charming – human condition says the Doc.




Insiders 2: 9- 10am



Wrap about WA in hung parliamentary situation with National Party holding the key. Is it conceivable the nationals do a deal with the ALP. Grills is a young party leader. Nats won a seat of Libs, not impressed by big office or dep premier position, look at seat of Lynne lose their identity. Non negotiable point is royalty for regions – not getting the benefits. Colin Barnett due to retire big success story – first two weeks taken up with Olympics – backfired, sprinted 2 weeks to the line. On verge of premiership.


Runs deeper for Labour – a lot of blame for negative campaign. Campaign collapsed – Carpenter talked about green issues about against uranium mining and against gm crops.


In seat of Mayo – 52 to 48 against Greens without ALP running. [That’s a serious funding boost to the Greens to wisely invest.]


Interview with Rob Oakshot new federal independent now in Lynne. Leveraging tension between ALP State history and coalition rivals. His own qualities just makes it easier to go that way.


Press roundup – Annabel Crabb with heart on her chest (chunky jewellery – so nice) round up pic Sunday Times WA – pics re hung parliament Carpenter v Barnett happy. Sunday Mail winners are Lib and Greens. Mal Farr says incompetent campaigning of Libs. Brian Toohey – NSW politics sensible to sack Costa and Reba Meagher but how to address economy etc.


Brendan Nelson – minor party give a fright in Mayo? Nelson avoids question most cynically talks about WA. No Labor candidates and no preferences, Family First 11% with renegade Bob Day up from 4%.


Sledges Rees and Tebbutt as same production team as Carr and Iemma but wrong faction so not so plausible, also mispronounces Rees as in peace not please. Irony is lost of Mr 12-17% giving ‘the worst govt in Australia’ advice. Nelson calls for constitutional changes to bring on election – typical born to rule alarm at left wing leadership. Discusses Belinda Neal.


Everyperson – sail blokes from NT. Harsh on federal libs. A lot of work up there.


Paul Kelly soliloquy, says NSW turmoil was party breaking the govt – ‘crisis in goverannce’ pure big business narrative spiteful about failure to privatize and gorge on public assets of a natural monopoly. Says it will damage the economy and public will suffer – doubt it just big shareholders and overpaid executives.


Chat about byelections – Toohey urges Barnaby Joyce be made leader asap.

AC describes “amazing”  presser by Costa breach of confidences once out of cabinet.


Farr reckons petition of parliament immediate recall. No confidence motion be put and govt win on the numbers. Nathan Rees biography discussed. Belinda Neal anger management etc.


Talking pics “our David” referring to David Rowe – genius. Lots on shootin candidate Palin and Putin too.


Palin similar to Obama compelling personal stories and great advocacy ability.


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

Posted by editor at 12:12 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 9 September 2008 7:50 PM NZT
Saturday, 6 September 2008
6 year old child delivers NSW premiership to Nathan Rees and saves Marrickville air?
Mood:  rushed
Topic: nsw govt

Well whaddaya know? The weather reminded of a big blow on another "momentous day" for NSW politics branded on our brain - Friday 13th Sept 1994 but that's another story.

Yesterday it was this, surely scooping all other press, if not electronic media as we caught the train at Martin Place after a judgement at the Land & Environment Court was adjourned - and notice the cruel soccer head reference by those cards at News Corp.

Some initial take outs of the weekend morning press and our own musings starting with this a month ago we said at the time involved 'huge implications' - but do they listen?!:

Deputy Premier Tebbutt only returned when risk of ventilation stacks spreading smog (and cancer) in her electorate of Marrickville was ruled out 4 weeks ago. She departed cabinet solidarity 18 months ago ostensibly and no doubt to nurture her 6 year old child Nathan, but the timing of her return is just too coincidental: With the demise of the M4 East truck tunnel from Port Botany to Rozelle (near the big fire on Victoria Rd today actually) so also has been her participation again in NSW Cabinet. Careful what you wish for Morris 'it will be great to have her back' Iemma!

For this we say based in Marrickville - well done Ms Tebbutt, well done young son Nathan.

And it's only the ascension of Ms Tebbutt courtesy of ex Deputy John Watkins jumping (as one wag said ship leaves sinking rat) which has tipped the hand of ex premier Morris Iemma (the 'rat' running opinion piece in strike breaker edition of the SMH) in a broader reshuffle, that in turn caused a jack up and Iemma's own departure. Then another spill and cabinet reshuffle. Yep that's a hurricane of Gustav proportions.

And the kids in Morris's own family are at least in part the explanation and beneficiary of his willingness to go that way too. The kids in fact rule.

It's turning into a script for a Hollywood movie like Deep Impact here made in 1998 where a politican quits, ambitious journo smells a scandal only to find he wants to spend time with his kids before the cataclysm - for which we might well read dangerous climate change on the same day Garnaut releases his next installment on where to for Australia. Is that tough guy Iemma in this story?

Interesting to hear new Premier Nathan Rees (pronounced as in 'fleece', not as in 'ease') calls himself " a greenie in the broad" on Stateline last night.

We like that Rees has done hard manual work yet also has an honours degree in English Literature. Nice combo.

We are indeed impressed at the political version of a 12 foot rock climbing dyno move going to the top job - avoiding some really scary potentially lethal bare rock face in between (!).

Eh, like what? Well if you are lucky or unlucky enough to spend alot of time looking at the management and enforcement of water licences in NSW (only a handful of proscecutions for licence breaches over 10,000s of licenses) as we have been as per this letter below from the now Premier himself, then you will know it's "diabolical":


Suffice to say our polite detailed response was a policy can of worms about systemic unlicensed water use by any number of sand miners etc in the age of dangerous climate change such that the Minister cannot easily hide behind a 2005  LEC decision regarding a poorly advised litigant.

Indeed only last Thursday Sept 4 in Kettle/Coca Cola Amatil v Gosford City Council, Diamond (intervenor) one Margaret Pontifix - secretary of Mangrove Mountain District Community Group and local landholder, retired science teacher in the local area for 40 years - gave sworn evidence in open court implicating an (unnamed) officer of Rees department DWE soliciting a bribe for an increase in water allocation. We have the officer's name. We have the details. It will surely end in tears.

Quite apart from this brewing situation Premier Rees, now ex minister for desalination plants, is going to need any number of those dyno moves: People don't forget Nathan, only journos do:

Overall we wish him luck too. It's not worth much but we give it. Politics is such a gamble as this amusing graphic illustrates with another message altogether:

Here is new Premier Rees fronting the critics over desalination at a public lecture at UTS Sept 2007, sharing the platform in quite a coincidence with ... his main rival now, Mr OFarrell, leader of the Opposition. Surreal huh?

In terms of Premier Nathan 'who the hell is he' Rees according to the polls I reckon any politician would be happy to be mistaken for either a footballer in a sports obsessed country, or a weather man - reliable, helpful, trustworthy, possibly a bit plain.

As for Minister Burney in seat of Canterbury adjacent to Morris Iemma's Lakemba one gets an impression from the vision last night she is in need of another powerful ally in the white knuckle ride that is NSW politics. She was reported as looking shell shocked. Fair enough too.

Note also Rodney Cavalier as NSW ALP historian on Doogue Saturday breakfast abc radio national 6th Sept with profound round up of history of ALP: 3 labour parties in parliament in the 1940ies until Curtin, Chifley, McKell got them to unify and made NSW an ALP state for 80% of the time since. That Iemma lost the plot by not realising that role of nurturing the party and the government both in the job description.



Posted by editor at 2:31 PM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 7 September 2008 10:55 AM NZT
Fairfax ethics take a walk says business bod Green in censored opinion
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: independent media

[Via Stephen Mayne's Mayne Report - http://www.maynereport.com/

Fairfax should reinstate Walkley funding

By John M Green
September 5, 2008

This is the text of an opinion piece that former Macquarie Banker John Green submitted to The AFR and The SMH about Fairfax's decision to axe its Walkley sponsorship. Green has since stepped in to fill the breach.

Shareholders of Fairfax Media may nod cautiously at its restructure plan. But they should shake their heads with dismay that the national media group is axing its support for the prestigious Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism.

The Walkleys are to Australian journalism what the Pulitzers are to American journalism and the Oscars are to their movies. For journalists, a Walkley is recognition by their industry peers they've attained the pinnacle of excellence in a particular journalistic field. What's crucial and special about the Walkleys is they are bestowed by the industry not by any one self-promoting proprietor.

In place of continuing to support the Walkleys, Fairfax management propose to launch in-house excellence awards. This is both good and bad.

What's good is that Fairfax wishes to recognise and applaud excellence among its own people. Their rival, News Limited, already does that for its people. But in-house awards can't get close to matching the stature or impact—the thrill—of a widely respected honour from industry peers. Thus, News Limited also supports the Walkleys.

What's bad is the symbolism when the country's oldest national media group apparently believes it can, without consequences, casually dismiss a national media institution that is widely recognised as representing the high water mark of Australian media excellence. It is unlikely Fairfax intends to weaken the Walkleys, but its action is likely to bear that outcome.

If Kevin Rudd announced the Australian Government had axed its support for the Order of Australia, but still wished it well, what would we think?

As a company director, it's not my practice to speak out about the internal decisions of other firms. As a business commentator, I avoid writing on specific corporate circumstances. But this case is special.

Whether Fairfax's decision to wave off the Walkleys arises from short-sightedness or a simple mistake is irrelevant. The decision is wrong. And Fairfax would be applauded for reversing it. I have written to the Fairfax board to urge them to do that.

Meanwhile, to shore up the Walkleys void left by Fairfax, my family has stepped in to replace Fairfax's funding. The award we are sponsoring is Newspaper Feature Writing.

Fairfax has previously sponsored the International Journalism Award, awarded in honour of the late Robert Haupt & Peter Smark. We intentionally chose not to sponsor that award to encourage Fairfax to reinstate its own support for it.

We're backing the Walkleys through our family's new book publishing venture, Pantera Press, which we're aiming to launch in 2009 and where we have a ‘profits for philanthropy' motivation.

Fairfax, properly, has a shareholder profit objective. Using shareholder funds to continue supporting the Walkleys and the vitality of the media industry is entirely consistent with that.


Radio interviews

Listen to John Green's September 4 discussion with Deborah Cameron on 702 ABC Sydney and check out The World Today's story as well.

And here is the
press release which triggered the media interest.

* John M. Green is a company director and a writer, and was formerly an investment banker and a lawyer.

Posted by editor at 2:21 PM NZT
Friday, 5 September 2008
Pageview stats August 2008 for SAM micro news - 1 day late
Mood:  energetic
Topic: independent media

Under construction - full contextual post later on, refer previous months under same subject tag at right hand side "independent media". Trend at or just above 25K per month reader figures.


Posted by editor at 9:37 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 5 September 2008 9:41 AM NZT

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