The incomparable David Rowe of the Australian Financial Review, that Rupert Murdoch correctly states is a genius, with Rudd as the CFMEU bitch boy, aka the pig f*cking scene in movie Deliverance.
Regretably we have resigned from the free legal service effective as of 27th July 2007, that is yesterday evening. Obligations of fiduciary duty solicitor to client still apply.
In the meantime we commend this upcoming event being organised at Addison Road Centre supported by various sponsers including ArtResistance associated in some way with ARTV:
Deadline: August 24th
Yvette Andrews, President, Addison Rd Centre 0408 281 810
The Marrickville Film Festival is supported by Marrickville Council, Addison Rd Centre, Art Resistance Community TV, Sidetrack Theatre and Addison Rd Gallery.
Well what do you know. John Howard blows Steve Bracks (Premier of State of Victoria where we grew up) off the playing field with a constitutional gazump of the control of Murray River waters, everyone knows it including the Victorian Farmers Federation who move to dump him and negotiate with the feds directly.
The VFF presumably understand the old axiom: Money talks and bullshit walks, as Bracks indeed has, and so called best treasurer in Victoria's history John Brumby has probably been a bit worried too on the Vic share of the $10B Murray Darling package the feds have agreement from all the other states except Victoria so far.
Picture: Jimmy Stewart ponders leaping from a bridge in the classic It's a wonderful life (1946) as here on YouTube because crony capitalism has destroyed all hope in the hometown of Bedford, just like Gunns Ltd has for democracy in Tasmania, and may yet for the ALP under Rudd.
This writer will vote Green Party. There is no doubt. There is no way SAM's editor wants John Howard to win the election. Which you might think means I want Kevin Rudd to win. As a member of a union* you might think I support the working class too.
But as a student and participant of real coal face politics as far back as 1996 and more it becomes clear Rudd has crueled his own chances badly on Monday 23rd July 2007. How ironic when he thought he was being clever embracing the forest killers.
Bruce Baird is known as a strong supporter of human rights. We notice Imre Salusinszky on the abc 702 radio just now about Baird may stand again. On Sunday we wrote this during the tv free to air political talkies:
"Its very close [re 9 Sunday web poll 47pc Howard step down before election] in the conservative ranks we think. Bill Heffernan was looking very grim on the vision on abc tv last night over the Cook pre-selection farce to replace Bruce Baird. Baird should re stand. "
Does Imre read my stuff? Or someone? Baird is a vote for Costello in the leadership tensions if he re stands, and that may well be why he will or won't.
His excuse previously was he wanted to avoid familial conflicts of policy interest between his son as state MP for Manly and his own idealistic work in the federal sphere. A pretty lame excuse but that's what he said ... again on abc radio some weeks ago.
Postscript #1 11.15 am 26th July 2007
Bruce Baird has just ruled out running again with Richard Fidler on the Conversation Hour ABC radio: "I was approached on the weekend on what conditions would I consider running again ......after 20 years in politics ... you can stay too long". Ouch PM Howard, there's the hint.
Preface: worth recalling in the 1996 election a Democrat (?) aligned Australian Conservation Foundation leader (Jim Downey), and The Wilderness Society under guidance of then new director Alec Marr moved from a pro ALP position to at best agnostic or deliberately antagonistic.
This resulted in 'a moral chill' going out in the electorate which created a political space for the Howard led Coalition (pre Iraq war, pre the nuke love in) to harvest anti Keating sentiment. In other words, the ALP leader (read Rudd today?) lost his moral veil which all political parties need to garner broader support. Notice yesterday Downer announced a $400M AIDS package for the Asia Pacific region - that's the beginnings of a moral veil of sorts for a whole of govt election platform, similar to Premier Iemma budget allocations for health both prior and since the recent state election:
Also worth recalling, that earlier this year Rudd said he was guided by science on Tas forests but the science is all against him on this latest announcement as per 100 signatories of a top scientists letter in 2004 here
Peter Garrett sounded shocking on PM show last night and on Glover political round up before that both for a very bad cold and for content around a shallow front man for a corrupt policy. Sings other peoples songs, but stands for very little himself. He's a joke compared to Bob Brown as here same PM show http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2007/s1986038.htm
And worth recalling that Kevin Rudd's good mates in the Forestry division of the logging union are responsible for this
Author’s general introductory note (skip this if you know this regular weekly column):
This is not a well packaged story. It’s a contemporaneous traverse of the Sunday television free to air political talkies indicating the agenda of Establishment interests: Better to know ones rivals and allies in Big Politics and Big Media.
Indeed it’s the tv version monitoring task similar to what Nelson Mandela refers to here in his book Long Walk to Freedom (1994, Abacus) written in Robben Island prison (where he was meant to die like other African resister chiefs of history in the 19C), at page 208
“..newspapers are only a shadow of reality; their information is important to a freedom fighter not because it reveals the truth, but because it discloses the biases and perceptions of both those who produce the paper and those who read it.”
Just substitute ‘Sunday tv political talkie shows’ for "newspapers" in the quote above.
For actual transcripts go to web sites quoted below except with Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.
continued ... full story here
I get Peter Costello’s argument: Resisting personal ambition to sustain a stable team and thus keep the Coalition govt show on the road 'is the right thing to do for the country'. Even at his own expense, despite gibes, slings and arrow.
I get why this pause and reflection while he still has relative youth at 49 is cause for both
- Howard loyalists in the Nats or ultra right of the Libs to pander to his patience with gentle praise he will be PM, will be one day, the way nirvana never arrives, in fact piss in his pocket, and
- on the other hand the attack dogs of the ALP misinterpret the pause as cowardice and lack of ticker like Beazley, even as he keeps an eye on economic health of the country.
Well there has been logic to that approach for quite some time now. But the time has gone and a new reality has evolved slowly since I stood amongst the Canberra press gallery outside the Phillip St offices in Sydney in July 2006: Having a natter to the odd Cabinet Minister Minchin and Coonan and alternatively ingratiating myself and scolding the Riley’s, Middletons and even grand old man Oakes. The assembly was waiting on what we fully expected to be and was the Clayton's Costello challenge. [Claytons being a non alcoholic drink here.]
Costello eschews loyalty to his own career ambition for the national interest. I give him credit for that as defined according to his own lights.
But we are approaching a much greater moral reality for the national interest as follows:
- the biography of Howard reveals an emotionally secure and mildly successful intrinsically average man. We don’t say mediocre. We say determined, nurtured supported and inculcated with a iron clad value of hard work. Notice not enough to get top grades at school but strong enough to keep going industriously. Combine such endeavour with 45 years of practice at anything let alone politics and one does become good. Very good… from experience. One learns for instance to grab and co opt far greater intellects for one’s own exploitation.
- This is the place Costello like many unusually talented people finds himself in. Exploited by lesser mortals like Howard. Ensnared and harnessed (and paradoxically marginalised) to a player of some 19 years greater experience. Just think it – a man like Howard who has lived twice as many adult career lives virtually. And yet Costello conceding such a huge headstart is still seen as competitive to some degree. Incredible.
- Rudd similarly 19 years junior and seen as far more competitive, indeed triumphing in the polls … so far, even as Morgan late Friday shows a 4% point improve for the Coalition on the Haneef fracas trawling the simpleton One Nation vote.
Picture: The Sydney Daily Telegraph running interference today on the real news about a stupid legal farce in the Dr Haneef case that reflects quite badly on federal governance of law and order around terrorism issues. This "farce" seems to have been caused by the systemic break down in the rules of subjudice under the supervision of Howard loyalist Phillip Ruddock as Attorney General. As a result the whole case is being run in the pages of the Big Media instead in the courts.
- But Howard for all his 48 years experience or more in politics remains exactly what his brand signifies – average. An average intellect, an average ability, an average sensibility. Like his friend George Bush. The only really unusual thing about John is his enormous emotional security gifted from his mother, and career longevity. So we don’t say mediocre. We say a triumph of hard work and time and the power of a mother’s emotional nurturing generating a sublime self confidence, and a very helpful disdain for pretension and privilege in a time of disproportionate wealth appealing to voters. But also of course cunning/wisdom built up on the long long road, and school of hard knocks.
- These are fine qualities when everything is going pretty safely with the world. A Cold War is over. Economic reforms of the 80ies and 90ies have kicked in. The current PM Keating is suffering a political disjunction from the same average mob of voters he actually needed to take with him, however long it was going to take but didn't have the patience. A steady hand on the tiller indeed.
- But we don’t live in that world anymore. Greenhouse driven climate change is threatening the globe. It takes real intellect and foresight to get this and listen to the best and brightest and honest scientists, that an unprecedented situation is arising. Cleverness and tricks won't replace quality in such a situation - and a good marriage just won't do it either. Again, a new phase of decaying USA empire is making life tricky for a middle power wedged between China and Uncle Sam, not least loose cannon military industrial commercial agendas sucking the public revenue dry in the USA and here. And not just keeping us poor but feeding them into cataclysmic nuclear technologies. Planning for the inevitable down turn distinct from squandering a boom in mineral resources - if only because China is choking on its own hyper development and may hit domestic turbulence - takes real brightness.
- these are not times like 1996-2002 for average intellects who play the game of ‘leader’ by being just behind the bow wave, and following the real vanguard once it is safe to do so: Who run interference on the real news like The Sydney Daily Telegraph today above. No, we are going to need the best and brightest and talented Australia has to offer. Some guy who can master multi tonal Mandarin for instance (Rudd). Some guy who can against all expectation find legal rights in common law to beat the union in an ALP-ACTU federal milieu of the early 90ies (Costello). Our next PM in 4 months has to be a very smart and indeed brilliant person for the demanding times. With creativity to reorganise our carbon economy. Someone who is not easily led on the path of least resistance by bully boys in say the nuke industry, or USA/China geo politik or even geo capital markets when it comes to private equity and takeovers. Average guys are not okay in extraordinary times. Mechanics are no good as brain surgeons so don't expect them to be or give them the wrong job. The family car, yes. The health of your kid - no.
In summary this is why Costello should challenge lose, win or draw. In his heart of hearts he must know a Rudd prime ministership is better for this country than a Howard re-election, as would a Costello victory. Australia can’t afford another term of an average guy, the way Curtin replaced Menzies in WW2 because he was intrinsically smarter, indeed brilliant. It wasn't about helping the forgotten people, it was about bare survival, forging an inclusive alliance across the breadth of society left to right, rich to poor, and now today greenie and brownie.
There are some things that experience just don’t deliver. There are times when average is not enough. And that time is here. Yes, a challenge will fracture the Coalition and cause a lot of turmoil and could even result in a defeat. But then a Coalition Opposition would be in much better shape for the next 3 years to compete again. On the other hand the country would be better led, and there is no saying such a loss is inevitable. Hawke replaced Heydon late in the piece and won, colour and brilliance over steady and bland.
So we say win lose or draw Costello should run for PM. If Howard stays and wins we all lose. If he stays he will probably lose anyway against the quality of Kevin Rudd. In these terms it’s a no brainer Costello should run for PM for himself, sure, but far more importantly for the well being of the country, and in our own humble way, the well being of the world.
The only other patriotic option is to retire pre election. Because sometimes losing is also winning, and vice versa.
What say you Peter?
Postscript #1: early Monday 23rd July 07
Well the Sunday Telegraph yesterday 22nd July 07 following our column above was a doozy. Never seen such a harsh, indeed savage, attack on the Howard led Coalition from the ALP inspired focus group sledging of Howard via Costello supporter Glen Milne front page over to several pages, to ex Nat Senator Bill O'Chee banruptcy/life problems (keeping in mind its the Nats who prefer Howard for his agrarian socialism).
If yesterday's conservative Telegraph is not a proverbial tap on the Howard shoulder in his own city then what is?
Further, call us slow but we have realised there is a third option for the Treasurer Peter Costello turning 50 in the several months (distinct from challenging or retiring to cause Howard to be replaced as PM), namely to be drafted by the Coalition. As you can see from the Shanahan Weekend Australian headline above Costello is saying ostensibly "I won't challenge" presumably to keep Coalition Party unity fairly stable. This may well carry the sub text - you must draft me.
Australia May Sign Up to US World Nuclear Energy Partnership - Bloomberg - 9 hours ago
Australia won't become nuke waste dump: PM - Melbourne Herald Sun - 2 hours ago
Friday, 20 July 2007
Howard-Bush nuclear deal puts Australia at risk - Greens
The Prime Minister's plan to sign a nuclear pact with President Bush risks Australia's future security and environmental wellbeing, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.
"A thirty percent reallocation of current electricity supplies through energy efficiency, to meet future industrial, retail and domestic needs is a much safer, cleaner, cheaper option to dangerous nuclear power," Senator Brown said.
"Mr Howard's proposed pact with President Bush will anger neighbours like Indonesia and Malaysia and foster nuclear installations in our neighbourhood. The massive radioactive leak in Tokyo Electrics' giant nuclear plant this week shows how dangerous nuclear power stations on Java could be."
"The Howard move will inevitably bring Australia under pressure to become a global nuclear waste dump. It will increase terrorists' focus on Australia and will create a direct incentive for nuclear power plants to be built near our major cities, like Sydney and Melbourne," Senator Brown said.
Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603
Howard’s US nuclear push turns up heat on Iemma’s weak laws
Media release: 20 July 2007
Greens NSW MP John Kaye said he would be pushing ahead with his
legislation to trigger a plebiscite in the event that the federal
government tried to impose a nuclear facility on this state.
Dr Kaye said: “The only way to counter John Howard’s desperation to
join President George Bush’s nuclear club is to allow the people of NSW
to have their say.
“The problem is that the existing state laws that supposedly protect
the state from nuclear facilities are toothless.
“The construction of the OPAL reactor at Lucas Heights proved how
little power or political will there is in the NSW government to oppose
the expansion of the nuclear industry in this state.
“We have given notice of legislation that would automatically trigger a
referendum if any federal government tries to force this state to accept
a nuclear facility.
“Our bill is a direct challenge to the Iemma government to strengthen
their stand against nuclear power by giving the people a direct say in
their own future.
“The Greens are confident that there would be an overwhelming vote
against any move to impose nuclear reactors, enrichment, reprocessing or
storage onto a neighbourhood in this state.
“No community wants to risk poisonous waste, toxic leakages and
“No society should tolerate the economic damage and geopolitical
destabilisation that a nuclear industry would bring.
“If Premier Iemma is serious about keeping NSW safe from John Howard’s
nuclear ambitions, he will join with us in strengthening state laws and
making sure that the people have a say before they end up with a reactor
in their back yard,” Dr Kaye said.
For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455
"the confrontation of good and evil"
This via Benny Zable long time peace activist we have adopted as patron of ecology action australia
Sent: Sunday, July 22, 2007 10:17 AM
Subject: Australia poised to sign nuclear deal with US
This email .....confirms what has been going on behind the
scenes of clearing the way for Nuclear Dumps and the railway links
Halliburton is building.
We need to highlight the ramification of what this deal is truly about, of
why produce more radioactive waste products.
"Fueling a new breed of Nuclear Weapons."
I am heading off to New York City on Wednesday and will be discussing this
matter with Nanci Callahan who produces and directs ECOFEST at the Lincoln
I will also be performing in New Jersey on Hiroshima Day.
Yours Benny Zable
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, New York
446 E. 86 St.
New York, NY 10028
Sent: Friday, July 20, 2007 7:13 PM
Subject: Australia poised to sign onto GNEP with US
[Sydney Morning Herald writer Anne Davies article follows:]
Australia poised to sign nuclear deal with US
Anne Davies, Washington
July 20, 2007
According to draft plans seen by The Age, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer
and Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane want the deal announced when US
President George Bush comes to Australia in September for the APEC leaders'
The deal could advance Prime Minister John Howard's push for Australia to
embrace nuclear power, including providing access to the latest
"The proposed action plan would help to open the way for valuable nuclear
energy co-operation with the United States," a briefing note says.
"It would also be consistent with the Government's strategy for the nuclear
industry in Australia. An action plan on nuclear energy would also have
bilateral advantages further broadening our relationship with the United
"While the US has not raised the possibility, the action plan may be a
possible 'announceable' for President Bush's visit in September."
But the proposal appears to stop short of recommending Australia sign up
with the controversial club of nuclear nations, the Global Nuclear Energy
Partnership (GNEP), being championed by Mr Bush.
An initiative of Washington, the GNEP is seeking to control the
distribution, reprocessing and storage of nuclear fuel around the world.
Member nations include Russia, China, the US, Japan and France.
Mr Bush has said the initiative is central to tackling climate change, and
that its aim is to ensure the safe growth of the nuclear industry while
limiting the risk of proliferation of nuclear material for weapons.
US officials have indicated that Australia's status as a "totally reliable
and trustworthy" nation could allow its inclusion in the plan as a fuel
But the proposal is controversial for Australia partly because storage of
nuclear waste by GNEP partners is an integral part of the arrangement.
The Federal Government has repeatedly said Australia will not take other
The GNEP countries met in Washington in May and agreed to work on plans that
control the supply of all nuclear fuel and its reprocessing and waste
disposal. Non-partnership countries would be leased fuel only if they
complied with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Australia, the world's biggest exporter of unprocessed uranium, and Canada,
another big supplier, have expressed interest in GNEP.
But GNEP is seen by some developing nations as highly divisive, and
Australia's membership could alarm neighbours including Indonesia.
It would also rekindle heated debate in Australia over the development of
nuclear power, and would inevitably raise the spectre of a nuclear waste
Officials working on the US-Australia initiative flag this concern in their
note, saying that signing "a joint nuclear energy action plan would be on
the basis that this would not limit possible future choices regarding
Australia's nuclear industry. It will be important also to ensure there is
no misperception on the United States' part that conclusion of an action
plan could have implications for the Government's policy of not taking other
countries' radioactive waste or spent nuclear fuel."
A US Energy Department spokeswoman, Angela Hill, said: "The vision of GNEP
is something we would hope Australia and other countries can support."
A spokesman for Mr Downer confirmed that discussions on an agreement were
under way, focusing on safeguards and research and development.
Alfred Meyer, Program Director
Alliance for Nuclear Accountability
322 4th Street NE
Washington, DC 20002