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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Monday, 15 October 2007
P*ssed off electorate to p*ss on pm who should p*ss off
Mood:  sharp
Topic: election Oz 2007

After 6 hours sorting the recyclables from the compostables at the Addison Community Centre Sunday market we got home just in time for the first prime time news story on 7 and 9: The election would be Nov 24. What a dilemma as the a-grade wonk fodder unfolded on my tv screen: After finding a new use for an empty orange juice container (hence the crude headline), and with tv remote control in the other hand swapping channels,  we saw the very first howler of the election. Literally the first speech of the election.

"This country does not need new leadership. It does not need old leadership. It needs the right leadership"

John Howard intoned with that gutteral subliminal swagger of supreme self confidence well known to the trained wonk ear.

It was only next morning we realised the Freudian significance. On the surface level Howard meant 'right' in terms of the correct choice. But what he really meant was the Right leader. That is Ultra Right given both major parties are already quite right wing, pro developer, pro big business  with all those donations. More a case of Keep Right, not Keep Left beloved of road sign graffiti.

On the other hand who is to say Howard wasn't trading on a double meaning because there is no doubt John is the Right leader of his time in Australia -  propping up George W Bush, vandalising Kyoto, ripping into electoral donation laws for the elitist mates, chummy with religous nutcases and human rights abusers like the Exclusive Brethren, pro nuke reactors and Iraq war mongering.

Only keeping Right won't really satisfy after 11 years of the same ideological pap. It won't do on climate change, nor the Iraq war disaster, nor a great many other things.

Both stations 7 and 9 made live interview crosses to Howard and Rudd who each looked very professional and maybe relieved (geddit?) to have started on the formal contest. Similarly 60 Minutes where Howard looked very buff for an old bloke, was echoed the next day in the front page of the Sydney Daily Telegraph about "endurance". But not buff enough with young voters abandoning the old guy 73% against.


We were gratified too with next morning's press front pages echoing our disturbing file picture of the regular Sunday Talkies round up re mutant pollie convergence. Our Talkies report was unusually brief given we were just too busy watching and listening to write, caught in the moment. Here is our pic lifted from SDT July 07


The Rudd and Howard as political dopplegangers this election campaign right down to the blue tie is shown below. But notice too the high circulating press have Rudd to the right hand side of the page ie the 'way forward' side; the natural default of the wandering eye; the 'generational change' side; the editorial spin side of both the Sydney Daily Telegraph, and Sydney Morning Herald indicating the real consensus regardless of the other choreographed 'balance':


We re-gathered our wonky poise this Monday morning just in time with the threshing maelstrom of competing egos grabbing at 'the truth' of this moment, 1st day of the rest of our lives this 2007 election campaign. Fair enough too. It was a Moment and all the political community seemed to be tumbling like kids in a breaking wave including Big Johnny for all his theatrical control.


Then came the next beaut howler this morning after all the AM show jostling here and here and here and here and finally here which was actually a jostle over one versus three debates. And the howler from an unexpected source,  Michael Kroger a "Liberal Party powerbroker" 'in the bunker' segment on abc 702 Trioli in Sydney, who spent alot of time waxing lyrical about Treasurer Costello being "respected".

Kroger's unforced error against a jaded ALP aligned Bruce Hawker (good line though about 'contorted' Costello succession sometime uncertainty), claimed the ALP's Wayne Swan was missing in action in the big media. In fact there was Swan front page of the The Oz last Thursday 11th October only 2 working days earlier in a big picture story with George Newhouse, Swan, Mal Turnbull and rabbi.

Kroger does not read the Oz aka 'Govt Gazette' apparently yet is the crack electoral expert?? Kroger revealing his limitations and his spin with a gratuitious sledge on Swan? Admittedly Swan as shadow treasurer has been low profile presumably swatting on his tax homework that Bill Leak likes to cartoon about. But still its the kind of mistake that Laurie Oakes was referring to on 9 Sunday as a govt under major pressure.

And this is the winning campaign start of the federal coalition? Not.


Earlier that morning Fran Kelly on abc radio national weighed up the pro case for each side along these lines in discussion with Lynton Crosby (Lib), Sol Lebovic (News Ltd aligned polling expert), and Rod Cameron (ALP aligned pollster):


Rudd, Climate Change, Work Choices/IR, Julia Gillard to which we add Costello and Rudd's relative youth and competence


Howard, Economy, anti union, Gillard,  to which we add Howard's experience/competence, Costello.


Psephologists like Antony Green seems to be in furious agreement that here in NSW the seats at risk to fall to the ALP are Parramatta, Lindsay (eg Penrith), Bennelong (Northshore), Wentworth (Eastern Suburbs).


All this reference to "love" in the headlines reminded us of John Howard salivating on camera about marginal seats about 2 weeks ago that "I love youse all" reprising slugger Jeff Fenech about 15 years back, having just won a world title bout and pledging same to Australian fans, when he was alot more respectable but now ominously convicted of shop lifting $100 watches

Perhaps reflecting the diminishing oxygen for the PM, the Libs have resorted to adopting the ALP tactic of calling Rudd "contrived" and insincere via their cipher Piers Akerman in the Sunday Telegraph echoing the ALP claim Howard is "clever" as in a sly smart arse. It felt somehow dirty reading Akerman inviting the reader to schmooze with him over "unfit to rule" Rudd in a faux heart to heart as if in the public interest. When has over stuffed Akerman ever been worried about high morality, as his smear laden Heiner Affair house of cards falls in a heap via the preceding day's coverage in The Australian?

Also curious was Akerman's claim same article above that with John Howard there is "no contrivance", a line repeated in the headline story in Fairfax above  yet arguably we saw exactly that double talk in the timing of the PM's reconciliation speech last week: Because no matter how real Ray Martin might say Howard meant to be on the embarrassing issue of Aboriginal justice, with Ray sledging the "Howard Haters" on Sunday 9 yesterday as in effect unworthy cynics, the fact is the Howard speech timing was all real politik. For instance we reported elsewhere on SAM 6 converging factors quite beyond the moral case for changes to the preamble of the constitution to recognise the Indigenous, and that makes Big John opportunistic too and therefore susceptible to interpretations of ... contrivance.

Imagine that. A big tough winning politician manifesting such tricks. Derr.

And through all of this the drum beat of scary climate change throbs in the rib cage eg sea rise eating at Fort Denison, beach erosion on the north coast (Sun Tele p44 14/10/07), youth writers on Lismore hailstones as big as pumpkins (Hail caesars, do something p60 SunHerald 14/10/07) all swamping the Miranda Devine narks at Al Gore and his Nobel Prize.

Posted by editor at 1:05 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 16 October 2007 9:37 AM NZT
Sunday, 14 October 2007
Sunday political talkies: Long official campaign starts finally
Mood:  party time!
Topic: election Oz 2007



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




 - Sydney SunHerald blowtorch of 'youth' 20-29 yearolds against Howard





- Australian goes to town slam dunking the Heiner scandal as relevant to Rudd suitability for high office - surprising for internecine News Ltd journo cred power struggle. Oz sources teen rape victim now in her thirties, also the absence of documentation about that in the Heiner shredding affair, and manager of John Oxley Centre 10 year silence. No doubt the polarity will march within the News Ltd camp and probably follow the event ie election, possibly seeing jaded Akerman retire?





- Danielle  'Swiss can't pronounce'  Ecuyer "glamourous" pic in the Oz via feminista Overington, echoing sympathetic junior feminista Saffron Howden in the Daily Telegraph earlier. Looking to be a strong surivivor of ALP sleaze policy and break up with big George Newhouse in Wentworth electorate. Yacht club dinner end of October under banner of peak green group ACF and her own Women's Alliance For Change will be a great gig probably at $60 a throw. But has she really broken up, praising George's better nature away from ALP head kickers? Methinks my disabled secular Jewish buddy Carol and I should attend that luncheon. Ex banker DE looking at being a candidate too, split progressive vote thus damage ALP, and help Greens who are quoted in the story. Also notice Bob Brown gazumps locals preference to ALP encouraging people to direct as they please (ah those eastern suburbs memories). Ouchy alp.




- Everyone sure election will be called today. 5 or 6 weeks. No flying back to Canberra for local MPs







Meet the Press




Joel Fitzgibbon, Opposition Defence spokes, looking fresh, alert, nuggety, articulate, element of steel in the guy's delivery, will fit in with army types well, likely more than silvertail Nelson?




JF agrees Iraq an unholy mess, with 25 year old looking woman via facebook echoing front pager above case in point.




Death penalty, all happy families in the ALP. Against death penalty but defacto not for both parties "inconsistent" says Paul Bongiorno.


Panel -




Stunt of the week - 'stunt block', Xenephon in SA 'sticking his neck out' at the giraffe enclosure




first adbreak -IR grandson less rights than in my time, pro union anti work choices.Old rockers advert, bit of a worry re demographic target (mid life crisis etc).




Alsion Carabine 2UE (the John Laws station, JL retiring next month), Ian Mcphedran News Ltd


Discussion - Iraq, Afghanistan - "wants to make a difference". New White Paper. Have consulted with the 'CDF'.



Very very good pulp mill animation by Peter Nicholson re The Chainsaws rock band Mal with $ guitar, Howard and Garrett sing same song and Bob Brown is the hostile 'groupie'. Choice, and accurate.



2nd guest, Steve Fielding Assembly of God ultra right candidate in 'Family First'.






2nd adbreak Get Up climate change spoof.





Steve Fielding - Greens are extreme, just another word for pioneering in fact. Projecting his own extremism eg homophobic policy, pro forest destruction, anti climate change. Never forget the AoG church in the heart of Orbost, the woodchip capital of East Gippsland.


Petrol taxes answer to climate change complete non sequitor, and denial of the issue. "horrified" to think the Greens would hold the balance of power.


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


Myspace web address:










7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary  -

Circus theme of fast and loose money. Taxpayers dosh.


Rudd gravitas tone getting a road test [my observation]. Quite an amazing collation of money references.


Death penalty - Howard for the death penalty defacto. For it, against it. Rudd, Downer, Howard, all craven.


Q & A outside govt house in Canberra for election instructions. [My tooth is hurting already.]












Insiders 2




All in the shadow of the election announcement. Paul Kelly says it will be very hard for Howard to get back. Flick from 2 to 9 and back constantly.


Young everypersons on death penalty quandary in hard cases of Bali bombers.


Lots of relieved laughter that finally its on and Rudd is just like Howard.


Get well Matt Price.


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






Sunday 9




All in the shadow of the election announcement. "Impressive" Mal Brough feature, Laurie Oakes with Alexander Downer looking punchy and ill at ease.


LO agrees Downer and govt ill at ease. They need 'big mistakes of the ALP in the campaign but Rudd is very disciplined'.

Bill Shorten unionist now candidate feature, the "practical person" as in very flexible practical sleazy politician? Certainly very articulate. Quite a bubble head. Exclusive Xavier college. Law degree and MBA at Melb Uni.  Running for the seat of Maribyrnonrg in Melbourne. Slated for ministerial future, even PM in a generation.




Posted by editor at 9:49 AM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 14 October 2007 12:10 PM NZT
Friday, 12 October 2007
Malcolm Turnbull's view on ultra right Jewish extremism would be?
Mood:  sad
Topic: election Oz 2007

We notice the front page of the Australian grandstanding credentials with the Eastern Suburbs Jewish community by various political VIPs: Turnbull's rival exposed to Gunns fire | The Australian

But it's the picture that really is the weight:


We assume all of those pictured above do not support political assasination of middle east peace makers but we wonder if this is uniformly the case: We had cause recently to write to an interested stakeholder as follows:

"Lastly and perhaps most instructively:

When I was an elected councillor there at Waverley, late 1995 the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200511/s1498430.htm   was assassinated by an ultra right wing Jewish extremist. I wrote a diplomatic neutral (I thought) kind of letter (being an ambitious youngish bloke) to the main synagague in Bondi Junction expressing condolences to the community and the view that all those who support peace would be shocked and saddened at this turn of events. The reaction is instructive and also why George is a bit unusual in terms of the right wing of Jewish politics there, which frankly I gave up on, much as Antony Lowenstein seems to have from his own ethnic milieu:
(I am legal tutor as a friendly solicitor to a disabled Jewish woman over there [name withheld] by the way)
Perhaps 6 or 12 months later I heard some feedback to my letter:  That this letter was not really appreciated at all. The conclusion I took from all this was that the majority view in Sydney's Eastern suburbs Jewish Community was quite right wing, pro settler, pro expansion in the West Bank, quite likely anti Rabin. If not supporting the assasin, nor were they openly condemning. I think this is the [name withheld] view of the world for instance - a successful [occupation withheld] at some point with family ties in the area. Obviously there will be a spectrum of left to right, green to brown, in any ethnic group, but it shows the right wing leverage that Sally Betts will be promoting to curry favour with Mal Turnbull and the federal party regime by seeking to tap into any veins of ultra right stuff.
By the way you may know of a quite popular Jewish tree planting group called Jewish National Fund, might be some green synergy there, although again it is implicated in West Bank annexations possibly. 
Sally was always the most strategically determined and maybe effective warrior for the Liberal Party from my recollection. Hence no surprise she was in the story in the Australian earlier this week.
Another subteranean dimension of eastern suburbs politics .....:
Westfield is the heart and soul of retailing now, more a regional sized facility in a sub regional location, thus over sized, but it served the purposes of one Paul Keating as covert consultant to Lowy's mob 97-99 after Keating lost the 96 election. WBJ crushed the anti ALP Double Bay financial viability which shifted to the ALP dominated Bondi Junction, which used to be half Woollahra, half Waverley. I was the one who proposed a boundary redraw which went to Dept of Local Govt and they agreed so all BJ is now Waverley. It was basic logic but it couldn't happen until the Waterloo incinerator closed in 97 due in some part to moi, because each council owned half and needed to keep the diplomatic peace. Once it closed in 1997 there was no necessity to be mates with the conservative Woollahra council anymore, so the ALP went for their best asset."

Posted by editor at 8:00 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 12 October 2007 10:24 AM NZT
Thursday, 11 October 2007
PM Howard spins electoral necessity as virtue on Aboriginal referendum symbol
Mood:  sharp
Topic: election Oz 2007


The ABC PM show and ABC 7pm tv news and 7.30 Report are all carrying the unusual speech of PM Howard at the Sydney Institute at 6 pm or so earlier tonight.

The "mea culpa" speech recognising the special position of indigenous Australia will have the journalists running to make their deadlines for the press tomorrow. [The SMH carries a report here next morning: PM's 'new reconciliation' as does the rival SDT here Howard's reconciliation backflip and The Australian here Howard's 'new reconciliation' ]

We detect a real politik convergence in this latest development:

1. Howard's career has involved variously "bucket loads of native title extinguishment", and broken election promises in both 1996 and 1998 over a $40M funding of the Cape York Land Use Agreement which effectively became a dead letter after so much pioneering work by so many, the attempt to promote the Jabiluka uranium mine and lots more. Nothing can sanitise these sins of commission.

2. Howard is chronicly losing in the polls and has been failing to wedge the Rudd led ALP from the right flank of politics with variously capital punishment, logging of world heritage forest/pulp mill, intervention in the NT and Cape York welfare reform, guilotine of the Sudanese refugee programme and no doubt others. This has resulted in the infamous 'me tooism' of ALP 'leader' Rudd. The PM might as well have a go at some traction trying to wedge Rudd from the left flank on reconciliation with the Indigenous. Nothing else is working. Aboriginal tactician Noel Pearson might even call this Karl Rove inspired triangulation.

3. Another aspect of badly losing in the polls is that PM Howard needs to take out insurance on his impending legacy. Point 1 combined with point 2 above means he needs a mitigation strategy and perhaps the biggest figleaf in Australian political history if the upcoming election really is the annihilation he himself contemplated months back. This mea culpa is ideal if and when he loses the election. Alternatively we hear some (abc) journos are already interpreting this speech as a 'man of the future' pitch to rival oppponent Rudd's comparative youth.

4. Minister Andrews is being swamped by incredulous criticism from the big media and little media about the factual underpinning of a new Sudan refugee policy mentioned above. All made worse by a heartbreaking funeral getting alot of visual coverage over an 18 year old murder victim by two alleged white perpetrators in Melbourne in the last two weeks, as here p3 The Australian 10th Oct 2007:


 But we believe Andrews is 'taking a bullet', in the old West Wing tv show sense, presumably for the Cabinet decision to outflank the predatory Pauline Hanson from the ultra right flank, who caused so much splitting on race in the 1998 election. Howard needs a new focus in the 24 hour media cycle of a colour coded nature to rescue Andrews in yet another sticky PR predicament. A good old gazump is needed to 'mind f*ck' the big meeja.

And sure enough here it is sans Sudanese black face replaced with Aboriginal one in today's News Ltd broadsheet front page of their website and filling p1 of the press 12th Oct 2007: 

Palm Island man Lex Wotton talks to Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough. Picture: Michael Chambers More


5. The unemployment figures are such - a theoretical 4.2% or 'lowest in 33 years' - that the industrial sector needs more employee cannon fodder, including Black Australians to keep the economic machine ticking over. Willing wage slaves of all colours, race and creed are welcome. For those lost in poverty traps, then of course intervention and training is a basic pre requisite as per intrusion into domestic affairs in the NT to get the workers job ready.

6. Cardinal Pell in charge of Sydney Catholics has given grudging approval to the ALP's education and independent schools policy on page 2 of the Sydney Daily Telegraph pictured in his black penguin suit 11 Oct 2007: 

 George Pell"THERE is little difference between the Liberal and Labor Party policies in the lead-up to the looming election, Australia's most influential Catholic leader believes."

This is an overt signal, including via front page of the sister broadsheet, to conservatives Rudd is 'safe' to switch to, and thus very damaging to the Coalition conservative voter base, hence the squealing by Minister Tony Abbott last night on PM about meddlesome priests? Howard needs a big ticket moral riposte before this Pell bushfire gains ever greater traction because then it won't just be 10-12 points gap in the polls.

7. Last but likely most profound is that Howard, as he conceded in his speech, has finally travelled into the heart of Aboriginal Australia and been embraced by young kids who just want someone from the govt to care about them and help them. Even new grand dad Howard would find it hard to ignore their innocent embrace. And so the great laggard and cultural philistine has arrived where so many others have walked decades ago, to recognise a grand timeless culture that makes white fellas look like blow ins - people like ex diplomat Bruce Haigh on the conversation hour on ABC radio earlier this week: A man of uncommon impressive experience in the Kimberley, the military and foreign govt service including South Africa, and now farmer. And a worthy exemplar for such as media junkie John Howard?


The fact PM Howard's mea culpa is virtually throwing his personal record of the last 11 years on the bonfire of old news is no sweat for a real politik warrior like John Howard. A little bit of personal embarrassment is nothing compared to points 1 to 6 above. Ever the power politician. Nor should JH feel too bad about losing in the next election as we think is inevitable - he's changed the country (for the worse regarding the environment) and can laugh at the thought that the ALP has resorted to a genuine facsimile: Kevin Rudd, who on the other hand may cry on election night with emotion over the 'successful' transmogrification into his nemesis. Similarly environmental carpet bagger Peter Garrett will be reflecting he finds himself mutated into chief apologist for logger thuggery and vandalism, Michael OConnor of the national logger union.

Such is the price of love with that thrilling mistress Power, and the road to hell is paved with ....


Posted by editor at 9:33 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 12 October 2007 10:38 AM NZT
Monday, 8 October 2007
Solar champion, Greens wants economic development for Tasmania
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: election Oz 2007


Sent: Sunday, October 07, 2007 11:19 AM
Subject: [Greens-Media] Tasmania's choice: Pulp Mill or Solar factory

Low Head, Tasmania, Sunday, 7 October 2007  Australian Greens Climate Change Spokesperson, Senator Christine Milne, today called on the growing opposition to the Gunns Pulp Mill to get behind clean, green and clever developments in Tasmania, such as the solar factory proposed this morning by Chinese-Australian solar billionaire, Dr Shi Zhengrong.

Senator Milne said "The turnout at today's rally against the Gunns pulp mill at the mouth of the Tamar River shows that attempts by both the old parties to sweep this issue under the carpet will not succeed. There is a great momentum behind this campaign now, and Tasmanians, and many other Australians, will not simply stand by and let it happen.

"Tasmania has developed a reputation in recent years for moving towards clean, green and clever development, with our food, wine and tourism recognised around the world as clean and green. Building this pulp mill in this place would massively undermine that hard work.

"After returning to Tasmania on Friday from the Solar07 Conference in Alice Springs, I was very excited to hear Chinese-Australian solar billionaire, Dr Shi Zhengrong, saying this morning that he'd like to return to Australia to set up a solar factory here. Tasmania should work hard to attract that investment, as well as investment in wind turbine manufacturing and other renewable energy developments.

"The Sun Fund policy I released in Alice Springs, to shift the $300 million of annual R&D subsidies for fossil fuels across to renewable energy would certainly help bring that kind of development to Australia.

"The Greens believe that we can boost manufacturing, boost growth, and boost jobs, while at the same time protecting the environment. I set out this plan for Tasmania in 1992 with the Greens' Business and Industry Strategy driving a transition from a resource-based to a brains-based economy. This is even more critical in the face of climate change. I set out a national agenda for this economic shift in my report, Re-Energising Australia earlier this year, and we Greens will campaign strongly on this as we head into the federal election."




Subject: [Greens-Media] Pulp Mill is "Howard's cup of poison" says Brown

Sunday 7 October 2007

Gunns pulp mill will be fought in the legal arena, at the ballot box, in
the forests and in the houses of finance which might think to fund it,
Greens leader Bob Brown told thousands of people at Low Head at the
mouth of Tasmania's Tamar River today.

"Last Thursday Prime Minister Howard sent us a cup of poison, and
tomorrow he is coming to Tasmania with a begging bowl. He wants our
votes. We, along with millions more Australians, will show him the exit
door," Senator Brown said to thunderous applause.

Senator Brown told the rally, organised by the Wilderness Society and
Tasmanians Against a Polluting Pulpmill, that Peter Garrett claimed he
is "perfectly comfortable" with the pulp mill which will wreck 200,000
hectares of wild forest, pollute the farmland, vineyards and fisheries
of the Tamar Valley and put 64,000 litres of effluent into the Bass
Strait ecosystem each day.

"Well, Peter Garrett, we're not perfectly comfortable with you," Senator
Brown retorted.

He also said that Malcolm Turnbull had become, in the words of Geoffrey
Cousins, Australia's minister against the environment.

Senator Brown said that barristers reviewing Turnbull's decision had
told him that the law does not authorise the minister to grant an
approval where the minister did not understand and was not properly
informed about he impact on the sea from the effluent.  There are also
arguable constitutional issues. He said that those threatened by Gunns
pulp mill would consider their legal options very seriously.

There were support protests today in Sydney and Adelaide and a video
opposing the pulp mill was launched in Melbourne.

Senator Brown said that voters were left with the Green option: Tom
Millen in Bass, Karen Cassidy in Lyons and Paul O'Halloran in Braddon
and his senate team with Andrew Wilke second on the ticket.

Further information: Prue Cameron 0408 473 379

Prue Cameron
Senator Bob Brown
GPO Box 404
Hobart TAS 7001

Ph: 03 6224 3222 (Hobart)
Ph: 02 6277 3170 (Canberra)

Fax 03 6224 2999 (Hobart)
Fax 02 6234 1577 (Canberra)
Mob: 0408 473 379




# 3

Sent: Saturday, October 06, 2007 12:14 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] Ben Quin demonstrates no room in old parties forcandidates with a conscience

Hobart, Saturday, 6 October 2007  Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne today welcomed the decision by former Liberal candidate for Lyons, Ben Quin, to quit his party over the decision to give Gunns' pulp mill the go ahead.

Senator Milne said "There are too few people in the old parties who are prepared to stand up for what they believe in. Mr Quin's actions today are in direct contrast to those of Peter Garrett and even Malcolm Turnbull.

"Mr Turnbull lectured the rest of the world at APEC about the greenhouse gas ramifications of deforestation and was proudly touting the Sydney Declaration in Washington only a matter of days ago. Now he has given the go ahead, with Mr Garrett's blessing, to the logging of primary forests in Australia and a massive injection of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

"The pulp mill campaign will continue as momentum builds against the mill in the lead up to the federal poll, and a decision by Mr Quin to contest the election as an independent would only increase the pressure.

"The increased pressure on financial institutions such as the ANZ, and the increased level of interest from the investment community, should shine a spotlight on the financial viability of the mill, and especially the wood supply agreement, which must be made public.

"Even more Australians will be outraged when they learn that Gunns can access native forests to feed the pulp mill at bargain basement prices because the Lennon Government has tied royalties to the price of pulp. If the price of chemical pulp falls on the global market, the Government will reduce the royalties they charge accordingly. This shifts all the cost and risk to the Tasmanian community, the taxpayer, and the environment, while guaranteeing Gunns' profits.

"Which other company in Australia has such a sweetheart deal with government that discounts the input price whenever the market price falls? Tasmanians will end up paying Gunns to take away their forests. It is a scandal.

"Ben Quin has demonstrated that there is no place in the old parties for those willing to stand by their principles, and the Liberal and Labor parties will increasingly find it difficult to attract candidates. Perhaps they should consider the Greens' policy to give representatives a conscience vote on all issues, a decision which would improve the quality of our democracy tremendously."

Contact: Tim Hollo 0437 587 562




October 7, 2007

Two faces, one mind: Victorian Greens YouTube ad on Gunns pulp mill

The Victorian Greens have released a YouTube clip that takes a swipe at
Peter Garrett's acquiescence on the Gunns pulp mill.

As protests mount across the nation against the polluting mill, the
Greens lead Senate candidate in Victoria, Dr Richard Di Natale, said
Labor's decision to back the mill is a disgrace.

“We had expected better of former environmentalist Peter Garrett, but
he's looking more and more like his Liberal counterpart each day,” Dr Di
Natale said.

“It's clear that only the Greens are providing the leadership the
country needs to oppose projects like this which not only pollute the
environment, but rip apart our precious native forests as well.”

The YouTube ad draws parallels between John Travolta and Nicolas Cage in
the movie Face/Off.
The two swapped faces in their struggle to outwit each other.

“To beat him, he had to become him,” says the ad, accompanied by a split
image of Turnbull and Garrett.

The clip can be viewed at: greens.org.au/greenvideos

Further information: Richard Di Natale 0425 771 246

Media inquiries: Jim Buckell 0400 465 459



Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Poll vindicates Greens' strong pulp mill stand

Today's Marketmetrics Research opinion poll showing the Greens' vote in
Bass has doubled to 18 per cent, indicates votes draining from both
Labor and the Coalition to the Greens as the unpopularity of the Gunns'
pulp mill proposal bites, Greens leader Bob Brown said today.

The poll also shows a jump in the Greens' vote to 9 per cent in Braddon.

"The pulp mill issue will bite the old parties all the way to the ballot
box.  Labor and the Coalition have ignored traditional supporters to
curry favour with Gunns.  The poll indicates that either party will win
Bass if they heed public opinion and reject Gunns' proposal," Senator
Brown said.

Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603



Former judge questions independence of Gunns pulp mill approval process


FELICITY OGLIVIE [journalist, abc]: Gunns pulled out of the process earlier this year in March, saying it was simply taking too long to get approval. Do you think that they've got an approval or an answer any faster than they would have got by sticking with the RPDC?

CHRISTOPHER WRIGHT [former judge]: On the timelines that we had prepared, it seems that they've saved about six weeks.

FELICITY OGLIVIE : What do you see is the benefit that Gunns has gotten by pulling out of the RPDC? Has there been any benefit to the company?

CHRISTOPHER WRIGHT: Well, according to what Mr Gay is reported to have said, there's been a fortuitous financial gain, but I can't comment on that. I don't know whether it's accurate or not.

FELICITY OGLIVIE: Now, what about the conditions that the mill will run under? There's permits from state government and now there's 48 conditions from the Federal Government. Would the RPDC have done a similar thing if it had approved the pulp mill, would it have put extra conditions on the mill?

CHRISTOPHER WRIGHT: Look, I think that's entirely likely, but we were cut off at the knees before I was able to get fully into the assessment process.

FELICITY OGLIVIE: The State Government came up with their permit system out of the SWECO PIC report, but Malcolm Turnbull, when he was writing to the State Government a few weeks ago, he said his assessment had such a limited scope and a lot of the people making comments to him actually had issues that were the state's responsibility like log truck traffic, effluent washing back up onto the beaches, air pollution and odour from the mill.

Do you think that the State Government has adequately dealt with those issues or would the RPDC have done a better job?

CHRISTOPHER WRIGHT: I have some doubt about whether they'd been adequately covered and the process of submitting it to a parliamentary approval process, it was most unusual, in my assessment. But I can't say, I haven't followed the matter through in detail by any means.

FELICITY OGLIVIE: What has Tasmania lost by losing the RPDC process?

CHRISTOPHER WRIGHT: I think a lot of people would say though, the independence of the process has been abandoned. It certainly was no longer an independent process in the way that it went forward after March of this year, and I think the lack of a process, which included public hearings, is very regrettable.

Posted by editor at 10:00 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 8 October 2007 1:22 PM NZT
Mainland corporations are killing Tamar Valley and Tas forest?
Mood:  blue
Topic: ecology

Why should mainlanders be concerned about the environment in Tasmania when we have big problems here including over consumption by rich folks, and destruction of Botany Bay? Because it's the same over consumption/poor governance driving both, so the problem there is the same thoughtless problem here. We spent 6 hours yesterday separating waste at a community market - turning 6 bins of general waste into 2 recyclables, 2 compostables, and 2 unusable plastics or similar. Sounds like grovel but actually it was an uplifting social interaction that people enjoyed.

This is the change we have to see in all of society regarding issues of sustainability. And the social lesson was, it wouldn't have happened despite signage without external intervention by this agent of the centre management at Addison Rd Community Centre because people are thoughtless, lazy, ignorant or in a hurry.

It takes intervention to protect the environment. Here is an instructive deconstruction of the false Wentworth versus Tasmania debate amongst environmental locals of demonstrated goodwill over many years:


----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, October 08, 2007 6:49 AM
Subject: 'mainland' overconsumption is exactly the point with Gunns pulp mill also Re: Tasmania, all 500K population massively subsidised by .... mainlanders e.g. Wentworth? Re: PULP MILL AND BOTANY BAY

Just to clarify a few things here ....


In fact Tasmania has the largest per capita land clearing rates (read over consumption) in Australia in fact, and that's saying something with 2M Ha cleared in NSW in the last 12 years out of 80M full area, and Qld very likely same crude area of ha cleared. Source is Prof Jamie Kirkpatrick and others eg ABC Earthbeat programme now slashed. One needs to recall that profits from ANZ (main lenders), Perpetual Trustee (15% owners), and probably super funds and others, all mainland institutions, are keystones to the Gunns pulp mill proposal.


The idea that it's a 'Botany Bay-overconsumption in Wentworth' versus 'parochial Tasmanian rights to economic development' doesn't ring true to me. Actually the over consumption here is the exploitative financial backing for Gunns there too as outlined above in the corporate financial food chain.


Both need sustainable management not either or. I take a far more sophisticated view and the green movement need to pick up their game too. When Senator Brown says its evil he is no fool and its based on a good 30 years of know how. It's no surprise to me as an ecologist that it's all connected and that your point on overconsumption actually reinforces why Gunns pulp mill is bad.
This is a similar false debate about land clearing as 'the real issue' not Tas forest protection in the last 2004 federal election, as per Woodford of SMH and WWF big adverts versus TWS and a 100 top scientists and the rest of the green movement on Tas forests.


And climate change concerns causing ocean level rise ...in Botany Bay just reinforces the convergence of all this socio-economic connnectivity on sustainability problems. There is a very similar demarcation debate with Cape York economic development versus conservation agenda of wild rivers going on too but also a false debate forced on little people by Big Capital and ruthless Howard Govt who broke his election promise 96 and 98 to fund economic sunrise industry sectors with $40M so the Cape York Land Use reconciliation package became a dead letter. Noel Pearson was thus forced to play Howard's welfare reform agenda. It's all very nasty, deathly stuff.


I explain alot more of it here:


Sunday, 7 October 2007 
Sunday political talkies: New rodent species Howardensis discovered in forest, eats giant freshwater cray Malcontensis
Mood:  party time!
Topic: election Oz 2007


There are some really good pictures in there you might enjoy. Thus endeth the rebuttal grasshopper!


Yours truly, Tom


PS note Ingrid Strewe feedback, new Mayor of Waverley below in the string.


----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, October 06, 2007 10:15 PM
Subject: Fw: Tasmania, all 500K population massively subsidised by .... mainlanders e.g. Wentworth? Re: PULP MILL AND BOTANY BAY

Hi Tom
I neglected to comment on this line:
 Truth be told Taswegians should be asking the rich people in Wentworth permission to go ahead because chances are they pay more tax dollars into Tasmanian services than anyone else. At least the companies they own do.
The ACF commissioned study - reported front page of the Herald in August - concluded that the largest proportion of an individual's ecological footprint came from consumption of goods.  The  bigfoots were found to live in areas like Wentworth while Tasmanian was the state with the had the lowest ecological footprints.   Instead of singling out the loggers and miners what about looking at the complexity of the individual footprint. 
Cheers, Lynda


From: [Ingrid Stewe, Mayor of Waverley]
To: "ecology action australia"
Sent: Sunday, October 07, 2007 10:59 AM
Subject: Re: Tasmania, all 500K population massively subsidised by .... mainlanders e.g. Wentworth? Re: PULP MILL AND BOTANY BAY

> Quite right.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, October 06, 2007 5:55 PM
Subject: Tasmania, all 500K population massively subsidised by .... mainlanders e.g. Wentworth? Re: PULP MILL AND BOTANY BAY

The best simple answer to this furphy is Tasmania is significantly subsidised by mainland Australian taxpayers, including sadly via over exploited Botany Bay. This tin pot 'parliament' no bigger than Sutherland Shire in population of about 500K population live off our backs here in NSW and especially WA and Qld eg the massive subsidy to the Mersey Hospital being the latest, but uneconomic broadband and everything else we subsidise from the mainland too. If you really want to hear squealing, we could make Tasmania fully pay it's own way, then we could expect to hear, help help help federation, federation, equal services, equal funding, citizenship rights etc.


If taxpayer hypothecation came into it we would have Tas Parliament located somewhere between Perth and the Kimberley from mining profits because that's what keeps them financial. And just consider all the financial subsidies from Tasmania's 'gubberment' to the loggers is in turn subsidised from the mainland when we mainlanders put into their consolidated revenue. Truth be told Taswegians should be asking the rich people in Wentworth permission to go ahead because chances are they pay more tax dollars into Tasmanian services than anyone else. At least the companies they own do.


In other words this very selective parochial state based sovereign exclusion argument is complete opportunistic bullsh*t. Any mill that chews 4 millions tonnes of natural forest a year in our country is evil and the rest of Australia has a duty to object. Though we should look after Botany Bay too. No doubt.
Cheers Tom McLoughlin
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, October 06, 2007 4:40 PM

This letter appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald today:

I find the opposition to the Tasmanian pulp mill by people in other states to be hypocritical. Why don't you clean up that stink hole you call Botany Bay before sticking your nose in the industrial development of other states?

Tasmania is by far the cleanest state in this country and will continue to be so even after the pulp mill is built.

Brett Rutherford Devonport (Tas)



Lynda Newnam


protecting environment = protecting people



Posted by editor at 8:53 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 8 October 2007 9:15 AM NZT
Sunday, 7 October 2007
Sunday political talkies: New rodent species Howardensis discovered in forest, eats giant freshwater cray Malcontensis
Mood:  party time!
Topic: election Oz 2007

Picture: Christian Kerr in Crikey.com.au here A tall tree tumbles in Wentworth

reckons Minister Turnbull is a oncer who is about to be pulped. The lead story last Friday went to upwards of 40K A1 email demographic in this country. This cartoonist above today in the Sunday press seems to agree. PM Howard will be glad one rival is gone from his team which is why he gave him environment in the first place?

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 drum beat of climate change scaring the bejesus out of every serious objective thinker in the land just keeps, well drumming, the reverberations right in the chest cavity there and the loins as regards our genetic descendants and their prospects. Quite fundamental stuff really:

* Temperature likely to rise warns CSIRO - 5 degrees by 2070 quoting Dr Penny Whetton whose qualification is never mentioned by AAP in the News Ltd section (?) 6-7 Oct p10 Resources section of Careers in The Australian.


Cash to cut and run by admirable Asa Whalquist on agri industry welfare.


* Climate inaction will hit output economics of climate


* Looks like Chile and other spanish speaking Latins are sacrificing their rivers for hydro power for lazy Australians who failed to promote solar, as per Sunday 9 story today, or is that just too cynical?


* "Roaring Forties change course as clean energy targets get wind farms out of the doldrums", yeah that's actually a headline.


* Chic Saffron Howden pushing forward some strong features in the News Ltd Daily Telegraph these days:




- It becomes clear, as per the headline, Turnbull former federal organisational treasurer and leadership aspirant has been first parked in the death's head portfolio of environment for a coalition/national party govt, then against odds on say water reform was getting too successful again, and now has been wedged on approving the pulp mill by forces within his own Liberal Party support base.


All of this is very cute and expedient from vain old powermonger Howard's perspective keeping the rivals in his tent busy and battling each other, Howard the climate change vandal and laggard, forest destroyer his whole career, who has woodchipped Costello's spirit, and now has to beat off Turnbull who is even more fearsome than the Treasurer, in order to control his succession and legacy. Glenn Milne seems to be helping out Mal the Coalition Minister with this splitter in the Sunday Telegraph (possibly offline) p5 today at the expense of the ALP's George Newhouse closing in as long as he holds his nerve:


But the hammer blow is Ramsey here, the old goat can still butt something fierce - 50 year legacy indeed:


Endless other articles about fallout of the pro pulp mill decision, the challenge is to see the weight such as

Elizabeth Knight at Fairfax on Perpetual with 15% ownership of Gunns, and


* ANZ 'starved of global liquidity' as lender of $2B for a $1.3B business seeking to double its value for dubious pulp quality from old growth native forest. Laurie Oakes echoes with a question to Vaile today on Sunday 9 also.


*  John Lyons at News Ltd carries strong dense writing too. And this front pager by Matthew Denholm.


* Matthew Warren at The Australian running red neck industry interference on pulp mill narrow view greenhouse neutral when 4M tonne native forest feedstock, 10M tonnes gh effect. As if.


* Graeme Wood of $950M Wotif IT business in The Oz business pages and on Doogue radio national Saturday to work against pulp mill decision.


* Even The Australian editorial knows this pulp mill stinks literally and in terms of good governance and economics


* And this indirect front pager in the seat of the Howard ancestral home in Earlwood, the smiling eyes "I accuse ....




and other cartoons abound speaking of betrayal of our future here .


....which calls up this poster of Feb 1999, with nary a mention of Peter Garrett on the bill although repeatedly invited with a perfunctory ACF reference second from bottom. You see PG was always an ALP prostitute on forest destruction and this was well understood even by the ACF's Noel Plumb on the bill and their aligned Forest Campaign Group (FCG) in Sydney . It's called selfish careerism:





- Gay friendly Sydney City Hub October 07 monthly edition publishes Christopher Pyne's name in the scurrillous hubris column. Circulation about 100? Just joking. More like 10,000 innner Sydney. With pro Liberal Party out Victorian MP Andrew Olexander  in a feature in Sunday Telegraph p87 with the other serious agenda features, surprisingly sober and dare we say straight piece about the politics of minority sexuality. Probably offline. Gutsy stuff. Called Throw open the closet.

- Sexy Eco Worrier Oz colour supplement, so called green is new black in p1 teaser


- Caroline Overington colour supplement in The Oz last week carries profile of Howard - hangs together until the last page where it falls in a discreditable heap both for the writer and for PM Howard. For instance:

* "loyal backbencher Jackie Kelly" who is also quitting on her leader Howard. So loyal.


* Jackie reckons Howard is worried about ALP wall to wall but not about very close to wall to wall Liberal in 1996 (eg gun law reform period, Carr ALP in power in NSW). Can't have it both ways.


* concedes foolishly the electorate is "bored" with Howard. You bet. [Just look at Dr Zhengrong Shi story below on Sunday 9 to understand how stagnant Howard really is.]


* Overington says Howard "has run and only lost once - and it was 20 years ago". That's a joke analysis of his career having lost the leadership twice as Mr 18%.


*Sol Lebovic touting there, and elsewhere for more work at Newspoll continues to massage the comeback thesis when its a 10-12 point margin stabilised for months. He would say that. If the ALP just keep on as they have this last 9 month election campaign, the polls aint' changing, formal election campaign or not. And notice Howard saying it will now be before early December, not 'by Christmass' reacting to the allegation he is being a smart arse, which he is still being.


* laughable reference to Howard's Rockerfeller idol contra distinction presumably with Rudd's anti fascist Bonhoffer.


Even so it was a funny read. She's a good writer.


- Reba Meagher stories - depressed fragile divorcee not coping with curnch job of NSW Health Minister because of personal life ? Feel sorry for her, but more sorry for NSW Health system and the citizenry. She is walking wounded propping up Iemma's power in the govt. If she falls will Iemma?


- amusing article by the always bright Imre ZZ here. Secret handshake indeed saying their machine has more fairies than the Greens. Mmm.


- ALP messy stuff in the North East Seat of Cowper here, which reminds me of some bloke Combet?

- last stretch kinder to incumbents says Sol Lebovic, probably true even if touting for Newspoll.

- African refugee programme cut, image in Weekend Australian at p27 demonstrates Govt claims, refer discussion in Insiders below too. Fairfax running positive images by comparison.


- The Australian chips (gotta love that) The Daily Telegraph's Hackerman over Heiner whiner story with Far Right behind Shreddergate bid


- Nasty little story about extreme secondary boycott anti free speech law if federal Parliament returns before the election, at page 38 of Inner West Courier 2/10/07.


- Not a good look for NSW police shoving local pro Burma democracy activists when 200-300 of their compatriots are getting shot and beaten to death. Sure Bathurst races have needed riot control in past years as has Bondi but a pro democracy protest? Please, get a grip and a perspective will yer Chief Scipione et al







Meet the Press




Footage of Bret Solomon outside Phillip St Sydney office of Turnbull/Howard Govt, chief organizer of Get Up with Sylvia Hale MP Greens in background, condemning pulp mill decision as anti democratic.


Guest is Peter Garrett, footage of Bob Brown exposing PG as impotent, useless.




Garrett reruns script on support [for 50 year pulp mill


Facebook question climate change, pulp mill backward step. Garrett sings ALP pro pulp mill song, proving beyond all doubt he is an ethical prostitute. All the cartoons show this understanding. PG was always bad on forests from at least the Sydney Town Hall meeting of 1500 greenies Feb 1999 which he snubbed as ACF president [this writer was a key organizer of that event, which the Carr ALP hated]




First adbreak Climate Change spoof by Get Up with Brett named. Good work.




Panel Michelle Grattan Age, Peter Hartcher SMH both serious weight thinkers.




Q. 5 deg C by 2070 increase. Footage of Sen Milne, more than akubra hat and bandaid cheque.




MG – no medium term targets? PG - Sledge of govt. Ross Garnaut report info for that. A lot of info cop out? [PG effectively avoids responsibility, claims virtue of need for more detail, really avoid wedge by Howard in the election]




PH – pulp mill, broaden scope of Env Protection Act. How?  Change discretion.




PH – great question – tax payer subsidy of major carbon emitting industry like pulp mill?




PG avoids question, sledges govt. …..




Farmer audit of land – lays out formula for that wise defensible policy against agri corporate welfare.




Coal, claims $500M clean coal research is good. Ethical prostitution again.




Out take 2nd adbreak – animation from Courier Mail, Costello using ALP theme song what about me but about leadership with Howard placating whimpering PC.




IR advert Liberal managerial voter shafted by Work Choices, real people real stories.




John Robertson Unions NSW - won't do vote for Greens in the Senate deal on Work Choices campaign.





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


Myspace web address: www.myspace.com/meetthepeople






7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary  -




 Bathurst races coverage, no Riley Diary one presumes, and see media backgrounder above re police politics.











Insiders 2


African refugee intake has been cut to zero, guest is Tony Burke Opposition Immigration Minister.


$5M beachhouse, $10K per week rental holiday house. Rudd denies buying it or offering for it. Insiders exclusive apparently.


Every person retirees from Figtree club noting conservative popularity re integration, note competition of alp and coalition re social harmony politically,


Footage of PM Howard in Bennelong very instructive on Sudanese refugee politics. Problems in Melbourne says PM [yeah PM managing nasty racist ultra right wing side of politics by appeasement to avoid wedge from the ultra right, ALP effectively playing a dead bat on the merits of the policy to similarly sideline it, just like the pulp mill]


Paul Kelly soliloquy quite scathing Minister Andrews lack of competence in presentation, thin evidence. [We think all are missing the point, its this picture in Sydney Telegraph re shutting down Hansonism as per 1998, that Abbott had to work so hard on to put genie back in the bottle 1999-2001 with legal actions etc.




Pulp mill, politics different to 2004, much more sensitive issue. Much more opposition to 2004. Might work for ALP wonders Cassidy out loud.


Classic battle of subliminals between Cassidy seeing Henderson’s missing Newhouse (still in bed, and refer Telegraph sleaze article being leveraging very slyly) with a  Liberal candidate in Bass quitting. Well done Barry. Hend is a ruthless bastard.


Academic Buchanan defended/attacked by panel by usual suspects on panel. Akerman says he was politics in the pub, find this very hard to believe. Is it true, it is at Gaelic Club just near Holt st Harlot.


Lurid picture Howard gawking at a woman’s chest apparently in the press today from Ryde ( I didn’t see it).


Howard going to Tasmania tomorrow 8th October says Akerman, real test of pulp mill issue.



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



Sunday 9


Good feature on govt funded feeding frenzy.


Laurie Oakes LO tackles Mark Vaile deputy PM on $200M largesse figure by ALP pollster Rod Cameron.  Vaile sounds like we raised it via GST and strong economy so we can squander it.


Polling bad for Coalition in city and suburbs, what about nationals?


Fanning notes re online polling questions re pulp mill, troops from Iraq, that electorate more worried about “economic security … interest rates, child care, tax rebates …than national security”.


Chinese dance troup advert forbidden fruit


Feature by irrepressible Ross Greenwood, on Dr Zhengrong Shi (Dr Shi) ‘Emperor of the Sun’ fantastic solar entrepreneur lost to Australia [ and thus a real embarrassmint ! to quote John Valder] covers much of the same ground of 60 Minutes, and other quality media eg 4 Corners, 7.30 Report. Backbencher Michael Johnson in the story as is Bob Carr ex Premier. Everyone agrees Australia stuffed up losing him.


Says Tasmania with hydro power good place for expanding his business.


Hard to keep up with Insiders too.


His Phd was “as good as any ever done, and in record time”. That’s quite a wow.

Howard biographer Van Olsen (?) and ALP snot nose out of cheap take off of West Wing talks fast Andrew Soter.




Posted by editor at 10:27 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 8 October 2007 8:03 AM NZT
Saturday, 6 October 2007
Minister Reba needs help, at risk of self harm (?), Iemma is responsible
Mood:  sharp
Topic: nsw govt

Picture: Saturday Sydney Telegraph 6th October 2007 at page 91 offline by the looks except world press display subscriber service


It would be presumptuous to pry into Ms Meagher's private life, but sometimes it takes impertinence to help someone in real trouble i.e. to intervene. She is so fragile its a cruel situation and she needs support, including help to stand aside if that's what it takes. In our value system a minister's portfolio responsibilities should not include ritual humiliation in public as a result of a medical condition.

[And we notice the relatively judicious and compassionate approach to Reba Meagher's career prospects pp 88-89 in the Sunday Telegraph 7 Oct 07, while correctly demanding performance in a key role.]

Anyone who saw Stateline last Friday with any real life experience, or survivor of trauma, knows the Minister is in serious trouble. We were on notice from Andrew Clennell's dramatic language earlier in the week at the SMH referring to her comprehensively folding at a press conference. We couldn't bare to watch she was so shaky. If Dempster was not such a decent professional it could have been an execution, nor did Dempster appear to withhold the steel under the velvent glove on issues of merit at say Royal North Shore hospital.


The feature story by Simon Benson, no fool, in today's Telegraph is also instructive. 5 weeks holiday as a senior minister is also indicative.

Iemma must get involved here and help Reba Meagher. If I could talk to Reba Meagher I would tell her some compassionate things:

1. a career in politics is not the main purpose of life. Life is the main purpose of life. If a divorce has knocked you down and left you shattered then hooray welcome to the family of humanity. It's okay. It's normal. You will have to stop and recover. Really. You can't hold down a super hard job like Health Minister in NSW in what everyone calls the bear pit of Australian politics and deal with a shattering experience at the same time.

2. its just the breaks. No one's fault. Life is not simple, never was. Your boss - Premier Iemma, Kaiser in the Premier's Office, whoever - they are responsible for protecting you and all ministers psychologically and emotionally in the workplace when you can't for whatever reason protect yourself. They must help you as a professional duty to stand aside to recover.

3. Everyone in professional politics can see you are way too fragile at that level. This watcher is worried for the minister's well being. We thought earlier in the week Reba were getting an attack of the Lathams 'out of love with the ALP' syndrome. Or maybe it's the domestic home front. Geof Gallup tell her she has to save herself.

39 or 29 or 19, when you cop an emotional haymaker you just have to take time out. Like quit your job, go fishing, whatever. You owe it to yourself, you owe it the job of Health Minister and the people of NSW, but mostly you owe it to yourself so you can start work on the next chapter of a rich and fulfilling life.

Remember while your down there at the bottom , as you survive and gradually rebuild you will be just that more able and effective. But it will take time - a year maybe more.

Listen to me Reba as if you would read this news blog, you are at risk. It's okay to let go. So you can start remaking your life.

4. Emotional toughness and well being has nothing to do with intelligence or innate talent. You might be a political genius but it's no use if you are emotionally broken beyond repair - the talent will just be squandered. That toughness has to be developed through hard troubling experience. It's painful because there is no way around really living that trouble. That's life for real.

There is light in the tunnel Minister but you have to change your life, that's the point. Good luck.

Posted by editor at 4:58 PM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 7 October 2007 11:22 AM NZT
Friday, 5 October 2007
Sudanese human rights, and out flanking the white supremacists at the next election?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: peace

Hanson/Australians Against Further Immigration/white supremacist vote in 1998 caused mayhem for Howard/Abbott Coalition by splitting their vote. In 2001 Howard actually adopted the strategy to get that bigot vote back in the infamous Tampa Affair. Decency gradually shut down Hansonism and the Tampa strategy for being what it was - "dog whistling" and the "race card". So what is going on this time around issues of colour as the Americans call it in 2007?

Consider some apparently disparate facts:

Falung gong in their email broadcasts argue that Chinese Communist Party regime fund the Sudanese civil war (to annexe the oil) creating widespread misery.

Caller to Trioli 702 abc radio (5/10/07) - tension between Africans and the Asian shop owners in the Adelaide market area. Barely contained mutual hatred is the implication.

Eyewitness report from our source in Inner Sydney re Asian Australian Christian outreach folks, run in with African guy who upturns their table. Quite irrational, sad, unacceptable. Atypical contrast with the vast majority of African youth both well behaved and welcome in this diverse coffee coloured area.


Join the dots: The pragmatic Howard Govt need (according to their self interest I mean) to neutralise and shutdown the white supremicist ultra right at their heels in case their vote splits the Coalition again in a 2007 election already looking too tough. It was called One Nation 9 years ago, now its Pauline Hanson Mark II. On the other hand they need to avoid the muck of the racial gutter or be correctly condemned and lose the mainstream too. Their interim partial answer to Hansonism - just stop the flow of colour.

The Africans refugees with their very recognisable (and we say appealing) physical traits are an easy mark for the ultra right bigot/simpletons to the right of the Coalition govt. Ironically it was this same distinctiveness that served a useful real politik for the govt against the left pro refugee groups by demonstrating with symbolic small numbers of African refugees a moral riposte. But the bigots have closed down that Coalition govt angle now too. The govt in real politik terms is walking the tightrope of mainstream decency and ultra right jackals in a very fragile election profile.

To guillotine the African refugee programme is a real sign of electoral weakness by Minister Andrews , not so much appeasing racism as fearful of the 1998 demonstrated effectiveness of their evil ways.

We submit the African refugee potential Australian citizens enriching our society and pool of talent - are just another victim of this long drawn out election season for complex reasons.

Less a case of racist motive by Minister Andrews, more a case of real politik survival.  One hopes post election decency will return on a bipartisan basis. Depressing to know the 5% racist vote are having their pound of flesh if only for a month or two until the vote.

Posted by editor at 11:30 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 8 October 2007 1:05 PM NZT
Voters in Wentworth have already voted to close a 'remote' dioxin spewing factory, circa 1997
Mood:  special
Topic: election Oz 2007


Wentworth voters (Waverley, Woollahra Councils' ratepayers) OWNED the dioxin spewing Waterloo Incinerator and SUPPORTED closure of the highly polluting monster sited well outside their councils' area in 1997 after a determined campaign by Greens/ Greenpeace/ Friends of the Earth, South Sydney Council media consultants, resident groups, from at least 1992 onward, at significant asset loss ($40M) mitigated by land sale, and higher waste management costs this last 10 years.

Yet the Wentworth voters gave their real politik support out of public goodwill to Zetland/Waterloo folks at risk of cancer. They did it out of growing environmental consciousness. They did this because it was the right moral thing to do despite the cost.

Picture: Some documents from a dusty file on dioxin polluting Waterloo Incinerator owned by Wentworth voters as ratepayers, closed in 1997, sold to Landcom (see pdf file here) and due for demolition this year apparently. We passed on our main file when we got the hell out of the Eastern Suburbs branch of the Greens back in 2000, exhausted, a little bitter and twisted but mostly just tired.

There was no political backlash in 1997 to the Greens when the NSW Environment Protection Authority brought the guillotine down on the rebirthing of the facility in 1997. Waverley voters elected this writer in 1995 on the election platform to close the brute, they remained loyal in 1997 and were rewarded with dedicated service for the full 4 year term by this grassroots representative. The voting pattern supporting the Green Party is indicative with increased councilor reps 95 (1) to 99 (3, 1) to 2003 (3, 2) in both councils respectively.

At one point former ALP council colleague and later Mayor Peter Moscat asked this writer "What have done to those people down there?" meaning Bondi Beach ward, referring to their greater tendency to feral community driven politics. At the time I was flummoxed by the question but on reflection the answer is this: "I gave them 'permission' as their local representative". A permission they didn't really need from anyone but but maybe just wanted a little encouragement from a path finder.

The same will likely apply in terms of Wentworth voters concern for the Launceston folks at risk of dioxin and furan water pollution, and rotten egg gas air pollution too, from the Tamar Valley pulp mill decision this week.

Posted by:

Tom McLoughlin, editor, former Greens Councillor Waverley 95-99 (retired), Chair Environment Committee, member Finance Committee, ex officio co director of Waterloo Process Plant (ie Incinerator), Friends of the Earth 1995-2001.

Posted by editor at 10:36 AM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 6 October 2007 5:30 PM NZT

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