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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Friday, 7 September 2007
Chaser stunt adds to inspiring PR effort of non government sector at APEC Sydney
Mood:  special
Topic: human rights

Well the non govt sector has really risen to the occassion so far in a many act Shakespearean struggle for the hearts and minds of the voting public here in Sydney. Depending on the weather the main act may well yet be the anti war rally/march on Saturday morning 8th Sept 2007 at Sydney Town Hall at 10 am.

The big media have been putting in some pretty amazing balancers at times too. On the Sydney Morning Herald website yesterday before say 7 am they led on the front page with a graphic cartoon of Howard and Bush both wearing "I'm with stupid" T shirts pointing to eachother. The graphic didn't make the paper cut or even the daytime web readership, but it would have gone across the world back to the USA Democrat aligned bloggers.

Similarly on abc talkback midday yesterday a caller manager to calmly ask "why are we allowing a mass murderer into our country" (take your pick I suppose, the caller meant GW Bush, but think China, Indonesia etc). This created quite an awkward moment for compere James Vallentine worried about "slander" and balance. Or was he?! Only he knows.

The big media are featuring a courageous stunt by the Chaser comedy team here:


SECURITY experts and world leaders must be asking today how a man dressed as the 9/11 mastermind could get 10m from George Bush's APEC hotel. Not even The Chaser crew thought they would they get that close.
Video: See the belated arrest | Map: How they waltzed in to APEC
Statement: Read their explanation | Gallery: The farce in photos Blog: Praise or pan the pranksters | Poll: Was this going too far?
Gallery: Daily Telegraph reader pictures of APEC | Send us yours More
But at least as worthy is this page 7 of the Sydney Morning Herald 6th Sept 2007 half pager by business man human rights campaigner Ian Melrose

Which also reminds us of this in another direction all in the mix of this APEC calling up questions of wretched abuse of human rights by greedy corporations, such as the right to a sustainable environment, the right to a just work place (notice sticker from the Living Green festival sponsored by the Sydney City Council recently), the right to honest politics instead of the pulp mill planned in Tasmania.



Posted by editor at 8:26 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007 8:52 AM NZT
Thursday, 6 September 2007
Why is Thales Corporation, arms maker/dealer sponsoring APEC, including flags in the CBD?
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: peace


As the NSW Govt joins a beat up this last half hour against democratic protest over multinational corporations bad behaviour, with civilian protesters on one side (at least allegedly), and the NSW Chamber of Commerce and NSW Govt on the other side (like Deputy Premier Watkins on abc radio just now), these establishment folks don't want to talk about Thales Corporation.

Most thinking people have heard of the classic documentary about the psychological dysfunction of corporations made famous by The Corporation Film: Welcome

But the public and big media might not know that down at Darling Habour Tumbalong Park flying proudly are flags with the sponsorship name "Thales".

You can forget your Nike, or Starbucks, or similar greedy corporations known for exploitation or even collusion in sweat shops and murder of unionists in the case of Coca Cola in places like Columbia, at least for a moment.

Here is more of the involvement of this arms maker and dealer at APEC on their official website

APEC Australia 2007 

28 March 2007- Showcasing Thales Australia at APEC Australia 2007™ Transportation Ministers Meeting Thales Australia. 26 March 2007 - APEC Transportation ...

Thales describe themselves in their own words:

"THALES Australia's origins
can be traced to the Colonial Ammunition Company, registered
in Victoria in 1888. The fully privatised ADI Limited
was established in November 1999, when the Department
of Defence approved the sale of the company to the
Transfield Holdings and Thomson-CSF (now THALES) 50:50
joint venture. In October of 2006 THALES Global purchased
Transfield Holdings remaining share of ADI to form
THALES Australia."

It's all here in blatant military industrial vanity:

Joint Strike Fighter: Industry Capabilities | THALES Australia

THALES Australia is Australia's premier provider of systems, products and services in the defence, security and civil markets. THALES Australia's origins ...

blah blah blah.

This is the same corporation that sold off the huge ADI site full of native fauna for Lend Lease to clear and build urban development in Western Sydney.

And they have been having some embarrassing moments too at APEC here:

APEC pass farce: it's no go - National - smh.com.au 

Mr Johnson said an APEC staff member said the database, run by the defence company Thales Australia, was not uploading correctly to the APEC computers. ...

And yes they are prominent corporate sponsers on the APEC flags flying over our CBD, using our taxpayers money to take over our city and provide them with corporate welfare, security services at the cost of of some $330 million dollars.

That is, we are paying for their war machine off on a Sydney junket with their international clients, literally.

So it seems Deputy Premier John Watkins is now working as a PR merchant for international arms manufacturer Thales, and other similar corporations at APEC?

Gee John, and we thought you were from the left of the ALP? Power and money changes everything obviously.

Posted by editor at 12:37 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 6 September 2007 1:26 PM NZT
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
'Common sense decision' to ban protest march route or beat up of anti Bush critics?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: legal


Funny to be at the Supreme Court and hear Judge Michael Adams give much of his judgement - at least from 2.30 pm - and then hear the 5pm news bulletin on the ABC (and 5.30 bulletin with its own error too).

The last sentence at the 5 O'clock bulletin stated words to the effect of 'in evidence to the court police said if the protest went ahead it would result in unprecedented violence'.

Is this exageration, or bias even, to the police view of things?

More seriously is this wrong and dishonest reporting by the ABC police reporter? Is she participating in a softening up of the Stop Bush Coalition of 30 peaceful protest groups, and as such acting as participant in the news making?

Picture: Here are two observant onlookers at the Supreme Court today, actually both Australian Federal Police intelligence officers.


Earlier today we posted on how the same ABC police reporter to our ears mis reported the actual or real meaning of police evidence which the Supreme Court Judge summarised as amounting to "a possibility of violence at the protest march", which was a very far cry from the ABC radio report of the police evidence being that a "protest march would probably involve violence". Not could, would.

That was straight out false reporting and bad news work to our ears.

In other legal contexts this kind of mis characterisation is the difference between say evidence amounting to an acquittal on the presumption of innocence, and a life sentence for murder.

So in the next phase of the news cycle after the scheduled 2pm court decision the ABC police reporter has again it seems got it badly wrong  by saying evidence in the court from the police was categorical of 'a protest march would lead to unprecedented violence". Again not could but would.

Given we missed the first 30 minutes of the Judge's soliliquy this writer checked with a Sydney Morning Herald journalist close to their filing deadline on whether they heard this kind of "police evidence the protest march would cause unprecedented violence". He said certainly the judge never conceded there was evidence of that. I was at the hearing of all the police evidence for 4 hours this morning 7-11.30 am, and as I said the judge found police evidence of 'a possibility not a probability of violence'.

It's true we didn't get to read the police documents submitted but the judge's findings are highly suggestive no such evidence was submitted by the police that the protest march categorically "would cause unprecedented violence". Certainly they did refer to G20 violence and other world leaders meetings where there was lots of civil strife in the past. The judge wasn't categorical at all saying it was "a possibility".

The judge also said this morning that of all the Stop Bush Coalition literature, none of it attacks APEC as such, or denies the right of the attendees at APEC to be kept safe. Their protest is against Bush and the war in Iraq clearly.

Yet in the 5.30 bulletin on 702 radio, the SBC is described as one "anti APEC group". Misleading again. Yet this might be understandable given the police barrister revealed that some 81 applications for permits to protest had been made by diverse interests during the APEC period.

 Picture: Keith McHenry, global founder of Food not Bombs Movement attends the hearing.

We rang the ABC executive producer for news on 702 radio and asked him what the hell is going on? Why is the evidence in the court being misdescribed, and giving the last word to some kind of bizarre police perspective, maybe outside the court and untested, compared to the balanced summary of what the Judge actually found was really in the police evidence to him - namely that 'the vast majority of protesters wanted and defended peaceful protest', the Stop Bush Coalition had no form for violence tactics in the evidence, yet it would be "PolyAnnerish" to deny there was no risk of violence by some people not associated with the SBC.

The Judge also said it made a big difference that the police commissioner had proposed a protest march route 'only a few blocks away' to allow free speech, and freedom of assembly.

Picture: Lone busker at Circular Quay behind the so called lockdown today, with this writer on pushy.

It seems quite apparent that the ABC police reporter, or the police outside the court evidentiary process, or both are spinning in an incredibly exagerated and favourable way to the law and order merchants in the NSW Police to damage the SBC position. That might be a good way to get more stories on the career drip from her police sources.

But it's not good or fair or ethical reporting, neither by the journalist or the ABC.

Today Crikey.com.au ran this editorial which is rips into the fawning to Law and Order Authoritarianism:

" Dear Sole Subscriber,

Another sole subscriber, Crikey reader Ben Pearson, has been musing on APEC.

The ongoing campaign by police and pollies warning against ‘violent’ protests at APEC -- dutifully reported by the fourth estate -– masks the fact that all three of these actors actually benefit from a bit of public argy bargy and thus exaggerate both the threat and occasional occurrence of it.

Premier Iemma rails against ‘vandals’ and ‘violence’ to show that he is tough on law n order. Prime Minister John Howard, on the other hand, is hoping that a couple of university proto-anarchists will distract attention from the fact that APEC is nothing more than the mother of all inconveniences for Sydneyites. As for the media, they are hoping for the kind of dramatic stories and photos that sell papers. As the industry says – "if it bleeds, it leads”.

For the cops, APEC is a vision of the world as it should be. Expanded powers, new equipment, media support, and maybe a chance to try out new toys like the water cannon.

The warnings and hype about ‘violent’ protests mask another agenda in which politicians and certain elements in the media stigmatise the very notion of protest, and by creating and reinforcing an association between mass protests and violence, they seek to de-legitimise the former. Public protest is the right of all Australians. Pollies may not like it, and it may not sell many papers, but it’s part of what democracy is all about.

And we think Ben has a point."

Where indeed is the specific 'police evidence to the court that a protest march would cause unprecedented violence'? It wasn't in the submissions by the barrister for the Police Commissioner between 10.30am - 11.30 am this morning to this writer's certain knowledge while present in court. If there was such evidence the barrister would have been parading it and pressing it home.

If it were categorically an inevitable result of a march to a police barrier at King/George of unprecedented violence, then surely a march along Park St to Hyde Park (a route in fact supported by the Police Commissioner in the court today) would result in at least a comparable risk of violence, in which case the police would never support that either? It's totally illogical. The police actually admitted in the witness box they had no evidence of violent tactics of ANY of the 30 or more affiliated Stop Bush Coalition groups including The Greens party, teachers and other civil society groups. 


If the ABC or the reporter can't produce that evidence by the police to the court the protest march "would cause unprecedented violence" the journalist should resign and the ABC should make a retraction and correction of legal misreporting.

In fact we are advised that when GW Bush was here last in October 2004 an anti Bush rally achieved 5,000 attendance which was in the manageable range from what we heard in court today from Judge Michael Adams. But he obviously thought the huge publicity being given to the APEC event meant it would be bigger this time.

He was greatly influenced by the more confined space of George St compared to Park St.

On balance this writer favours the police option of travelling down Park St and making that decision as soon as possible to promote it far and wide in order to maximise the turn out to embarrass both George Bush and John Howard. Not because we think the Stop Bush Coalition has anything to be guilty or fearful of as regards their own supporters and the mainstream public supporters. More for practical political reasons to keep it smooth and effective, and to sideline the trouble makers who could be attracted to such a bold or sexy march now that the police have committed to a road barrier. It would be a total tragedy to conflict with the police when GW Bush and Howard are the real problem to focus on.

Lastly, though the police won their court action today, the court conspicuously did not award costs against Bainbridge and Stop Bush Coalition, nor did the police lawyers make the mistake of even asking for costs. Because they knew they were in a pre meditated mugging of democracy and the court and everyone else seemed to know it.

By the way the court was packed with onlookers too but you can't take pictures up there.

Posted by editor at 8:53 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 6 September 2007 12:48 PM NZT
Decision on APEC protest march at 2pm in NSW Supreme Court
Mood:  not sure
Topic: legal


The ABC seem to have mis reported the Supreme Court proceedings of NSW Police Commissioner v Alex Bainbridge matter no. 030096/07 before Judge Michael Adams at 7.00 am this morning in Court 10a of the Common Law Division of the Administrative Law List. Having said that their 1 pm report by their police reporter seems more accurate.

These misreports were at 12 noon and World Today bulletin in these two respects:

1. The evidence to the court from two senior police especially Chief Superintindent Steve John Cullen, Commander of the Riot and Public Order Squad, amounted to a POSSIBILITY of violence. It was NOT ever submitted there was a PROBABILITY of violence.

Rather the issues of public risk appear to be around a POSSIBILITY  of a splinter group might seek to hijack the event.

Whether this is being said outside the court to the media by the police/govt spin doctors is uncertain, but it wasn't the evidence in the court attended for 4 hours this morning by this writer, and as a trained solicitor observer.

2. The change in protest march route was caused by the police and not a back down on the intention of the Stop Bush Coalition to march into Martin Place.  The police barrier at the corner of King and George St was only advised by the NSW police in the last day (4th Sept) to the protest group Stop Bush Coalition. This police barrier across King and George IS THE CAUSE OF THE CHANGE IN ROUTE. The judge admitted this morning he has no power to rule on that barrier given the new police APEC legislation. There is thus no pre emptive buckle by the protest march organisers. Once they became aware that the Supreme Court had no power to decide on the legality of the police barrier at King and George St under "extraordinary, unprecedented" APEC police powers, Bainbridge and others decided to march to the barrier "hold speeches and disperse from there". This apparently is to highlight their intention to take the protest march past the highly "symbolic" US Consulate and War Memorial to protest agaisnt the Iraq War now thwarted by oppressive laws.

Apart from these important clarifications note also

A. The barrister for the NSW Police Commissioner thus applied for a second different order of the court to prohibit this new march route to the King/George St barrier. This will be decided on at 2pm today.

B. In police evidence it was admitted in court that there was no evidence of any of the 30 odd groups including Greens, teachers, others have any involvement in violent tactics. In this sense the organisers and the 30 affiliated groups came out of the hearing this morning smelling like a bunch of roses in terms of their own character and commitment to peaceful protest.

C. In submissions on the so called potential for crowd crush at the King/George St crush the judge noted the crowd estimates are anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000 which affects his assessment. In submissions by barrister Bozic for Council for Civil Liberties acting for Bainbridge, it was pointed out there would be plenty of warning at the start of the march of a halt at King and George, also plenty of points of egress at Park St, Market St and west along King St toward Darling Harbour. The Barrister for Police argued inter alia that the Hilton Hotel is a declared APEC area in George St along the route.

D. It seems very likely to this writer that the police commissioner will get their order against the second march proposal to the King/George St barrier. But as the barrister for the Police said, the commissioner even today would take an application for a march from Town Hall along Park St to Hyde Park in some fashion.

We suspect this is what is likely to happen but time will tell sometime after 2pm.



Posted by editor at 2:36 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 5 September 2007 3:23 PM NZT
Gandhi's confronting non violence
Mood:  special
Topic: peace


Gandhi making his own clothes ...
.. talk about subversive!


Gandhi's ten principles of nonviolence:

1. Humiliating or deliberately provoking your opponent invites violence.

2. Knowing your facts and arguments well helps avoid violence.

3. If you are open about your cause your opponent is less likely to be violent.

4. Look for common ground between you and your opponents to promote trust and understanding.

5. Do not judge others.

6. Trust your opponent. They will sense this trust.

7. Compromise on inessential items to promote resolution.

8. Sincerity helps convert your opponent.

9. By making personal sacrifice you show your sincerity.

10. Avoid exploiting weakness in your opponent. Aim for integrity, not simply to win.

We at ecology action presume to add this: The next unexpected tense situation you find yourself in, try copying this presecription for group harmony and anonymously pinning it up somewhere it can be seen. You will be surprised by its effect as everyone who notices finds themselves automatically agreeing with its common sense albeit idealistic and often unachievable in total.

In the process of so agreeing each person actually opens a door to tolerance and a new idea of how to relate to their protagnonists ... in the work place, the home, in politics or where ever. But notice Gandhi was not passive. He promoted peaceful confrontation of injustice.

In our world there are endless causes for peaceful confrontation especially in an environmentally unsustainable western world.

Click here for one of many web links on the life and teachings of nonviolence guru Gandhi, still with the power to profoundly change people and make life easier.

Posted by editor at 8:03 AM NZT
Tuesday, 4 September 2007
John Lyons and the rocket launchers page 1 The Australian today
Mood:  not sure
Topic: peace

Today The Australian carries a worrying story about up to 9 missing rocket launchers on page 1 of The Australian here: John Lyons: Just who has missing weapons?

Only SAM's editor wrote abou this very real worry for all Australians of whatever pursuasion back in May 07 here:

"Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Missing rocket launchers still at large in
lead up to APEC in Sydney?

Mood: don't ask

 This is a press release we noticed today from the legal authorities posted on
Melbourne Indy Media a few days ago relating to a high profile mainstream media
report in early April 2007:


charges over stolen rocket launchers
This is a
joint Media Release between the AFP and NSW Police.

As a result this report from the Murdoch press around the same story


"TWO Sydney men, including an Australian army captain, have been
refused bail after being charged with the theft of 10 army rocket launchers.



.....Mr Collins said only one anti-tank rocket launcher has been
recovered by police. He said extensive searches had been carried out in
bushland for the missing seven weapons, but their whereabouts were unknown.



......Police said the missing rocket launchers had been taken
into account in security preparations for the APEC summit
in Sydney in



The individual posting on Melbourne Indy Media states there is no update on
the police website and speculates that this means the "seven" rocket launchers
are still at large.


We find this state of affairs very scary including for innocent peaceful
protesters who might be at risk.


We also wrote about a real worry for public safety which again has nothing to do with usual public protest, and that is the petrol tanker scenario, with an accident like this one in Rockdale some 5 years back literally melting the tanker in half


Police setting APEC pre publicity tone is a
self fulfilling prophesy of aggressive clashes and ignores real
Mood: not sure

Picture: Truck accident in Rockdale about 5 years ago.
Images taken by this writer as a local resident/witness. If one looks closely at
the top image you can see a truck has flipped onto its side and is being lifted
about a metre aloft with wheels at right angle to the ground. It looks strange
because the heat of the fuel fire has literallly vaporised half the metal tank
on the trailer. No one was killed in this accident which in itself must have
been a minor miracle. There were some people sleeping in the burnt buildings
nearby at the time of the one vehicle accident at a sharp corner just before the
rail bridge.


Note this pre publicity by the police and their captured political
representatives in State Government in the press today:

gets tough on protesters | The Daily Telegraph

This writer spent 2 years on Bondi Safety Committee 1996-97 as an elected
local councillor and we learned to never let the police set the tone of pre
event publicity. The principle looks the same today even as big as the APEC
conference will be in Sydney in September 2007.

Police inevitably predict aggressive clashes with the public and suggest
criminal behaviour by protesters which is the police paradigm and in fact what
they plan for. This has the effect of promoting their own importance and budget
in a highly convenient fashion for the bureaucracy. It is also self
fulfilling prophesy because the minute number actually looking for sport at the
police expense take it as an invitation to come on down and box on.

In a sense they all get what they want at the expense of the broader public.
But there is a much more serious aspect of distraction from real risk profile
for such an event.

What worries this writer most is not loud ferals, even pushy ones,
or mindless street violence. And certainly not organised recognised non govt
groups who never want the reputation for violence. What worries me, and should
worry everyone not least Big Media and Govt:

1. is those 7 or so missing rocket launchers reported in the Murdoch
press and media release of the federal/NSW police. Still missing?

2. Canberra is set up for gatherings away from the largest centre of
population, not just for one offs like APEC, but to avoid opportunistic coups
via a big rally taking over the parliament house (theoretically possible in
Sydney of 4M but not Canberra).

3. Is Howard secretly hoping there will be an attack to get votes in a
patriotic fervour?

4. The petrol tanker scenario. See these pics above of a truck accident
in Rockdale 5 years back we locals of the time witnessed - large volumes of
fuel and a spark can destroy anything, including melt the tanker in half, like
a hot knife through butter. That's scary.

None of these are protester related, marbles or stuff like that. Those
are so marginal and in truth this writer has never ever witnessed that
in 15 years of ngo activity as God is my witness, 6 or so arrests for peaceful
protest without conviction, and solicitor now. That said, we don't like seeing
anyone get hurt, democracy activists police or anyone. For moral reasons but
also quite practical - draconian blow back by the system. Gandhi is my way even
if we can't be a saint like him.

We were quite surprised indeed to read the quite calm and brutal article in
the Herald recently on the history of lethal attacks on political
leaders. This was suggestive of activity way beyond the aims or objectives of
the local ngo movement I've known this last 15 years in Sydney. Here is the
reference, and we had to wonder how responsible the article was but here it is
anyway relying on the Herald as precedent:

for democracy works, just don't miss - Opinion - smh.com.au

Posted by editor at 4:36 PM NZT
Our SAM news website viewer stats for August 2007
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: independent media
August monthly viewing stats are here via this screenshot (which does not lie) and see comment below* for some curious pre APEC speculations about interference with our stats counter?

July 2007 - 7475

June 2007 - 9675
May 2007 - 9, 059

April 2007 - 12,087

March  - 6,684

February - 5,372

January -  2800


* Comment

For most of August 07 when we checked our daily statistics counter it invariably said we had 1, 0, 0, 1 etc "page views" for the preceding day. Yet our monthly total stayed up close to 9,000 views for the month (just under). This is simply impossible. If the daily report was accurate we had only 30 page views for the month but the monthly counter showed no such thing.

Then just as APEC kicked off 2 days ago 1st Sept 07, magically the daily counter seemed to revive and as you can see in the graphic screenshot above it was a decent 145 for the day on an upward trend. One does wonder what the authorities have been  up to with their well known cyber monitoring and one presumes of the media sector as per past decades re the govt broadcaster ABC.

We notice these suggestive reports of vigorous cyber intrusions by the intelligence agencies, which we don't necessarily criticise if it really keeps people safe but we do if they are causing a vandalistic nuisance to our daily counter, that is, legal democratic activity (speaking as a solicitor in NSW):

Concern over how AFP got comments, p7, August 2nd 2007 Sydney Morning Herald (seemingly offline)

and similarly

Wicked pedia: Vatican, CIA edit online entries - web - Technology ...

Security checks on children | The Australian

Secondly we need to clarify that Sydney Alternative Media (SAM) here, as it plays an increasing role in community media, has no legal or commercial or editorial relationship with Alternative Media Group (AMG) who publish the City Hub/Bondi View/Sydney City News, or IMC/SIM (Independent Media Centre/Sydney Independent Media).

Even so in the spirit of capacity building of community media generally we hope and trust these remain viable and effective in a robust and diverse sector.

Lastly, in our piece yesterday about lame duck president George Bush (which it might be noted still has until January 2009 to wield power -  represented by a yellow duck cartoon figure in chalk) we found the old axiom about doing media and promoting democracy to be true: A snot nose News Ltd security guard falsely claimed protection of the Privacy Act in a public street and sincerely offered to punch our editor if he took a picture of him or their building.

At Fairfax on the footpath next to Darling Park precinct the 4 scrambling security guards were far more professional, but also nervy with adrenalin after all the hysterical big brother security hyperbole by the federal and state govt. Never was a stick of kids play chalk so threatening to institutional power it seems. How ironic and magnificent that in the computer age that freedom of speech via stone age scribbling could be so subversive.

As an after thought we started scribbling "Iraq, Iraq, Iraq" much like the quack quack quack you would expect of a duck, and now fiction has resembled fact with GWB making a stopover there for 'a council of war' on the way to Sydney by 10 pm Tuesday 4th Sept 07 tonight Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).

My gratitude to the NSW Law Society and their membership card for their professional embrace which surely prevented excessive force in both cases ... in defence of democray no less.



Posted by editor at 9:02 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 4 September 2007 11:05 AM NZT
Monday, 3 September 2007
Where's George Bush? Has anyone seen George?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: corporates

Is he here at Sydney Town Hall ticking off Deputy Lord Mayor Cr Chris Harris who wants to 'cage him' according to a certain banner proposal?

Is he in the office of his US Citizen 'Kane' Murdoch checking the latest attack front pager about a group smaller than a football team that no one has ever heard of, which apparently costs $300M to deal with?

Maybe he's over at Rupert's rival Fairfax trying to shake their tree a bit after that nasty Alan Ramsey column on Saturday? I mean what a curmudgeon....

Maybe he went in to tell those disgruntled  Greenpeace, Caritas and other civil society groups [pdf link] they can stick their NGO media room on the ground floor of the Labor Council building in Sussex St?

Doggone it, where is the varmint? Centrepoint Tower or World Tower? Or maybe he's pondering community and sustainability somewhere with Microsoft, and Thales defence industry corporation named on the APEC flags down at Darling Harbour tourist precinct?

Is he taking a tour in a cheuffer driven Mercedes here, contemplating why we don't have the death penalty like Texas?

Quack quack, where is George the lame duck President? Everyone is waiting, some will offer bouquets some the unvarnished truth.

NSW Treasurer Michael Costa said on ABC radio this afternoon 'we are not about stopping peaceful protests'. Amen to that. There's plenty to worry about in this world.





Posted by editor at 8:31 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 6 September 2007 12:23 PM NZT
US President expected in Sydney soon ... quack, quack
Mood:  spacey
Topic: corporates

We notice

- only 4,000 out of an expected 7,000 APEC visitors are to attend Sydney CBD this week putting a red splash through elite hotel profits.

- Greenpeace activists have been charged with 'malicious damage' (like this writer back in 1999 for red paint on the woodchip pile, no conviction recorded) namely a paint slogan on a coal ship,

- lawyer Cameron Murphy in the Weekend Australian notes police are on a collision course with otherwise peaceful protesters,

- Kerry Chikarovski former Liberal Party leader in NSW says the security is very annoying and "over the top" on ABC radio this morning,

- PM Howard is sledging what he calls 'the mob' on YouTube of whom 250-500,000 protested against his Iraq war in Feb 2003,

- most others lament a wasted $300M on security for a vain ageing prime ministerial junket,

- NGOs have set up an alternative media room representing 20M supporters in APEC countries, and

- legal academic Dale Mills of Human Rights Monitors has 40 legal observers to help keep NSW police honest and non violent.

Meanwhile a 24 hour city watering hole coincidentally not far from APEC flunkies meeting at the Darling Harbour convention centre yesterday Sunday 2nd Sept, is making a strike against dangerous climate change

But drinking was the last thing on the mind of these Asian Australian people in George street in front of Sydney Town Hall




Posted by editor at 2:10 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 4 September 2007 1:42 PM NZT
Sunday, 2 September 2007
Sunday free to air tv political talkies. Johns and Howard tell 'I took drugs/told lies my whole career'?
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: election Oz 2007

Picture: Recent press running in Sydney the biggest city and real star of upcoming APEC conference unfolding like a Raymond Chandler epic: Cops, drugs, killers (and that's just the politicians), civil strife promoted by vicious right wing press, helicopters, army bases. God knows what else. But we are struck by the similarities between John Howard (aka Rodent) and Joey Johns fallen star. Both sports tragics, both world beaters in their chosen field, both with serious moral worries. Whereas Joey admits he was a long time recreational drug user on a world class athletic frame, will Howard ever admit that he is a long time liar top performing machine politician?


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.



Media backgrounder 

The irony of the Joey Johns affair is not lost on the Big Meeja or this writer noticing the above mailout top right of the image on doorsteps through the inner city this weekend and costing million$. If Johns has been taking drugs for the last 10 years at the top of his sport, idolised by hundreds of thousands, isn't it a bit late to be doing mailouts? Hasn't the proverbial horse bolted in terms of social integration of drug use, and all that implies with organised crime, destroyed lives, and burden on the health budget? Is PM Howard's drug policies just another lie, another example of authoritarian populism to borrow a phrase from Quentin Dempster of Stateline NSW last Friday night. Education material but actually electioneering material?

Last week were sent these stickers by a confirmed Howard Hater:

As we watch the first of several shows namely Meet the Press with Peter McGauran soft selling his government's 'huge failure' of the Eastern Creek quarrantine system sending the racing industry into meltdown one gets the impression of deep anger in the community at being told bullshit, a culture of avoidance of responsibility for failure.

It seems the Howard Govt have taken the Carr Govt option of $2 billion in advertising over policy substance which always catches up with propagandists in the end, not least little news websites like this one. For instance crikey.com.au last week pointed out that according to the US White House press briefing the official residence of the PM is in Kirribili Sydney. But it's not as Crikey point out.  The official residence of the Australian PM is The Lodge in Canberra and we believe the main reason Howard doesn't use it is because he is now too old to cope with the travel of a PM for a whole big country and prefers to rest in Sydney.

Alan Ramsey, a fixture of the Canberra Press Galley drives the point home with a large acid piece in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald about Bush and Howard as 'spent' political figures: 

Two dead men walking come to town

Finally, we've reached the pits. A sickening humbug of a Prime Minister genuflects to a parody of a US president rather than the anger and foreboding of the Australian people, writes Alan Ramsey.


Our advice to critics however is 'beware bites from a cornered rat'. Crikey again, carries last Friday the Morgan Poll with a 4.5% recovery for the Federal Govt back to 41% two party preferred (said to relate to share market correction and Coalitin alleged economic superiority). Similarly we are noting endless govt tv adverts on diverse govt messages, as well as Rugby League charity spin. That's hugely wasteful incumbency taking its corrupt pound of flesh off the taxpayer.

Illustration: Ward O'Neill, Sydney Morning Herald

Meet the Press




Federal Agriculture Minister Peter McGauran eats a sh*t sandwich on equine flu economic disaster for horse industry due to quarantine failure, and refuses an independent inquiry into the same [investigating itself, as per PM interview last Friday].


Panel Maria Hawthorne AAP, John Stanley 2UE.


Nicholson animation is risqué leveraging poll jump after strip club beat up in the News Ltd press


Veteran now retired diplomat Richard Woolcott re Bush visit on APEC.  Notes Rudd voted against Iraq war. Confirmed this recently. Outcomes measure Saddam gone, not the intention of the invasion, Iran is dominant power now, massive destruction there and huge number civilian deaths, huge number of refugees. Very difficult with only bad options to deal with.


At 1989 initial APEC conference held in Canberra only about 12 countries involved, now 21. Pre eminent regional forum Australia participates in – congenial atmosphere, Japan US China and Australia as host. Useful work behind scenes. Plenty of work still to do, says compere Paul Bongiorno looking a bit fitter.



Transcript in due course www.ten.com.au/meetthepress





7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary  -


Very good very insightful on Darwin shopping mall walk by John Howard. But first quite moving footage of Aboriginal kids hugging John Howard (even if not deserved?).


Vox pop friendly and hostile, including angry anti uranium protester. Water off ducks back for old veteran Howard, shows him at his toughest really facing his critics which will impress the Right. Quite apparent the less telegenic, ungroomed images were critics and  the friendlies were all so ‘nice looking’. That’s the shallow subliminals.


MR says Penrith mall walk previous week was much friendlier, a marginal.


Very amusing but also problematic footage of Chaser comedian and lithe stripper chasing after Kevin Rudd semi nude (the stripper not Kevvy turning at every chance to get the hell away).


APEC topic in Q and A at end: Climate change only aspirational target prompts compere Andrew.  Iraq surge, body count continuing Bush announcement in the next few says says Riley Riles. Sydney is very disrupted and 'not very free for the leader of the free world' – cute but also fair language, and brave comment.





Insiders ABC 2

Intro with good images of banners against pulp mill and weak Peter Garrett. Garrett interview from Tasmania, past caught up with the present.


Garrett claims opening of world’s best pulp mill by Visy in Tumut [we know a lot about his project, party in the Commission of Inquiry, totally different project not native forest].


Q&A PG mostly blather, hangs his hat on ALP policy ‘never changed’ [support pulp mill if world’s best practice – demonstrably not re Old Growth feedstock for a start, PG has always been a sleaze back to 1999 Sydney Town Hall meeting when he was at ACF and refused to attend.]


Parades his climate change advocacy, sledges Cousins ill informed.


Says ALP forest policy is a good policy that he supports – but its not a good policy.


Sledges Malcolm Turnbull as fed minister and Tasmanian process [but won’t use word Premier Lennon].


Any difference to Howard? Claims yes, ‘world best practice’ mill.  Big long procedural blather. Argues hand over to Chief Scientist by MT. Pleads for time to see latests documentation.  Claims best independent credible science is most important [but ignores best forest scientists as per their 2004 letter by supporting a pulp mill].


Will documentation MT getting be enough evidence base for PG/ALP? PG hedges on ‘all relevant material’, not all material on the website, always information exists in govt. Giving himself wriggle room. Court appeal in train – claims ALP not fully briefed, all public and other material. Reserve positon.


Moves onto whaling, whether navy intercept in Australian fishing zone. Claims difference actively surveil and monitor. See transcript.


APEC relevant forum on climate change.  Good line MT set bar low on pulp mill and Howard too high on climate change. UN FCC building on Kyoto. Turning up at its funeral? No G8 significant shift by USA. Howard dismissive of UN parallel process. Got to get on to reaching targets not


67% Australians unfavourable view of President Bush not Americans as such. Not a fan of Bush or his policies. Held the world back on climate change and Oz been part of it. Have to liberate the market to get on with it too. Been very obdurate.  If ALP wins you would seek environment. Up to Kevin but would love that job. Find the balance, always be tough, hope to be part of it.


Garrett was impressive hence the leading question about portfolio, but has a lot to answer for over sleazy ALP policy. Jim Middleton refers indeed to “wriggle room”. Akerman notes echo Rudd/Howard based on evidence forthcoming. Meglogenis – let it slide, caretaker position.


Paul Kelly soliloquy: MT critic of mill, Howard barracking for it, and big Liberal Party pressure for, so divided.  Unlikely to decide before election, any delay 100% be due to MT. Thinks MT stronger in Wentworth than most realize [tears for South African Jewery immigrants speech?].


Footage of Bush re meeting Rudd. PKelly thinks Rudd will be  friendly but firm to partially withdraw in a negotiated withdraw. [Covert meeting undemocratic] PK is salivating at wanting to be there.


Everyperson segment: 20 -30 year old professionals on environment – very skeptical of Turnbull and Peter Garrett, upcoming APEC should look at climate change coal use of China. Bit of friendly disagreement .


Discussion, Meglo notes govt average on polls is still flat lining at 40% primary vote.


Barry Cassidy and Middleton sledge lack of strategic sense of G8 protesters in Melbourne. [All reflects my paper on civil society groups sleep walking into a law and order trap - big ngo groups have pulled out to do a media room instead as per SMH



"A group of non-government organisations is setting up an alternative media centre instead of throwing its weight behind the protests. The centre will be staffed by Greenpeace, the Climate Action Network Australia, GetUp!, Tearfund, Caritas and the Christian World Service to give an alternative view of the summit."


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






Sunday 9


Coulthard looking into tough story of failed quarantine in equine flu scandal.


Oakes interview Robert McLelland Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister on Iraq mostly. Didn’t see much of it. Drug trade in Afghanistan financing Taliban and Al Qaeda. Competent, stolid persona, some good points about ‘weak’ Downer, agrees on other things.


Feature story on APEC protest and policing story. Dramatic footage of civil strife.


Heavily predictive of violence, lots of emphasis of police powers. Pip Hinman, Kerry Nettle, Police Chief Scipione, MUA rep in hushed tone Warren Smith, Barrister with NSW Civil Liberties Council


Fred Nile, a marginal fringe right winger not worthy of the air time.




This boosting of the $6 billion security industry as paragons, completely ignores this real Australian experience page 1, Sydney Morning Herald 12th Septemeber 2000 reporting on the World Economic Forum meeting in Melbourne that year where police thugs hurt protesters, with barracking by big centre right politicians dependent on corporation donations for their power.


which resulted 7 years later in this:


Bracks defends payout to injured demonstrators. 05/03/2007. ABC ...

Victorian Premier Steve Bracks says a decision to payout about $700,000 to demonstrators injured during violent protests six years ago was made based on ...

And the whole feature conspicuously fails to report police agent provocateurs in masks and carrying rocks in Quebec exposed by civil society as also reported by the SMH recently and other quality big media in Canada. That being said the .01% of deranged/egomaniacal protesters who cause violence are no loss to the peaceful protest march expected in their thousands.


Nice feature story here about cause related wild rockers in their youth, with some profound comments about shallow Australian society:

The Singing Priest
Father Themi was bass player in one of Australia's first pop groups — The Flies. But Themi — then a devout athiest and Marxist — had a vision of God that changed his life. He now works with some of the poorest people in the world, in the slums of Kenya, and he has been inspired by Mother Theresa to build schools, child care centres and teachers' colleges. more




Posted by editor at 9:33 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 4 September 2007 8:39 AM NZT

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