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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Wednesday, 28 November 2007
Green Party update their Senate performance
Mood:  chatty
Topic: election Oz 2007

[Media Release of Greens follows]

Tuesday 27 November 2007

Greens pass million milestone

The Greens' vote in the Senate has exceeded one million. The final count
will near 1,080,000 compared with 917,000 in 2004.

In other outcomes the Greens:

* Supplanted the National Party as Australia's third
largest political party - by a country mile;

* Rescued the Senate's balance of power through winning a
seat in South Australia (Sarah Hanson-Young) as well as Nick Xenophon;

* Busted the Senate quota barrier (14.2%) for the first
time - In Tasmania, with 17.74%;

* Scored a new record high percentage national Senate vote

* Scored a new record high percentage Senate vote in any
electorate (ACT - 22%);

* Gave Labor the preference flow to win 21 seats,
including Bass, Braddon, Bennelong and Bowman;

* May well pass the Liberals in Melbourne to score over
22% (with candidate Adam Bandt) and will peg Labor's Lindsay Tanner to
closer than 55-45 in two party preferred;

* Will go into the next Senate with between 5-7 seats
(1998 - 1 seat; 2001-2 seats; 2004 - 4 seats) and hold or share the
balance of power;

* Increased the Greens Northern Territory vote to 9% from
7.7% after opposing the Howard government's intervention laws which Rudd
Labor supported.

"In the Howard-Rudd context, this has been another electoral advance for
the Greens, who do best when Labor, rather than the Coalition, is in
office," Greens leader Bob Brown said today.

Contact: Prue Cameron 0408 473 379

Posted by editor at 5:45 PM EADT
5th Estate blogocracy has a job of work to discipline the big party Yes (Wo)Men?
Mood:  energetic
Topic: big media
What this means for the media

Margaret Simons writes [Monday 26th Nov 07 crikey.com.au]:

I’ve never been entirely convinced by that saying of Keating’s that has become political cliché – change the government and you change the country.

It seems to me that the changes of the last eleven years have been mainly do with what gets articulated, rather than with fundamental changes of national character. The nation itself changes much more slowly than the political cycle.

I argued this with Robert Manne once, and he replied that a change of articulation is a change to the nation, and I agree with him to a point – but can’t forget all those legions of Australians who have never heard of Robert Manne, or of me, and for whom there is no culture war, let alone victors and losers in that war. Just their lives and the pragmatic, close-up politics of lived experience.

Nevertheless, there will now be at least a change in what elements of the national mindset are articulated in the public sphere, and this will mean a change in the networks of media power.

I am not talking here about proprietors – although the fact that News Limited newspapers split in their pre-election editorials signals that Murdoch gave no binding direction - perhaps a measure of his lack of interest in the Australian branch of empire these days.

I am talking about individual journalists. I have seen the type of change that is now likely once before. When Howard came to government in 1996, over the succeeding months individual editors and journalists were eased out. Canberra Press corps were recast to get rid of those who, rightly or not, were seen as having been too close to Keating. Over the following years editors changed too, and of course new stables of columnists were brought to the fore.

It took at least 12 months, but it happened, and the battlefield and the cultural warriors were established.

No newspaper that wants to be on the Canberra drip can continue with a line-up of reporters and opinion writers which, rightly or wrongly, is seen to have closed its ears to the ideology of government.

The line-ups are allowed to be critical, certainly. But they must at least have ears to hear and understand the new tune.

So we can expect a big shift in the journalistic world over the next year. This will open up opportunities for some, and close careers for others.

Watch for the changes. This will be the hint to what gets articulated in the future.

There are a few words and phrases I hope will die, or at least be challenged. One is “mainstream”. So many columnists in sympathy with the Howard Government have declared themselves to articulate “mainstream” Australian opinion, which includes enormous hostility to the so called left wing “elite”.

I doubt that these people ever articulated the mainstream. Certainly I don’t believe the levels of intense hostility towards intellectuals expressed by columnists and shock jocks have ever been echoed among ordinary people in the suburbs and regions.

And now look at how out of touch, how old fashioned, these people – the Alan Jones’s, the Akermans and others – are looking.

The so-called articulators of the mainstream largely failed to catch the mood of the nation on David Hicks, or Dr Haneef, or Iraq, or workchoices.

But what, in any case, is the mainstream? How do you divine such a thing among all the rivulets and backwaters of Australian life experience and opinion? The truth is the mainstream is taken to be the thing that those with the power of publication decree it to be – until reality rises up and bites them in the bum.

Meanwhile most Australians get on with living their quite diverse lives, with political points of view arising from their lived experience.

The Rudd Government has as one of its defining polices fast Broadband Internet. This carries symbolic as well as practical importance. The power of the op ed writers, the journalists and the commentators is not as complete as it was in 1996.

As we have seen in this election there is always an alternative, published, point of view, accessible to anyone who wants to look for it.

So watch for the players of the media game to change – but watch, too for the game itself to alter.

Posted by editor at 9:14 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 28 November 2007 5:44 PM EADT
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
No cash for community media from either major party in this election: CBAA
Mood:  irritated
Topic: independent media

[Direct lift from CBAA on Sydney Indy Media 25th Nov 2007]

No cash for Community Radio & TV

The community broadcasting sector is unhappy that, on the eve of the election (and the sector’s annual conference) neither of
the major political parties have committed anything to sustain the future of community broadcasting.

Politicians of all persuasions have been very strong in espousing their support for the sector throughout the more than 100 meetings
that the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia has had this year. Those comments haven't been backed up with firm
policy commitments though, according to the CBAA.

CBAA General Manager Barry Melville has told radioinfo:

"All of the politicians and candidates we've met have been warmly supportive of community broadcasting [but] despite this, neither
the Coalition nor the ALP have responded positively to our funding requests."

Earlier this year, community broadcasting sector representatives presented a funding submission to representatives of all political
parties, hoping to underscore the future sustainability of the sector. Key elements of the submission included:

1. Content production: $7.2m

2. Infrastructure: $5m

3. Training: $2.8m

4. Sector coordination: $1.8m

“Given the budget surpluses of recent years these figures seem a remarkably modest ask,” says Melville.

The only party to release a policy on community broadcasting is The Greens. Their policy ‘Supporting Community Broadcasting,’ i
ncludes a commitment of an extra $10m per year in core funding to the sector. The Greens also support a recently released report
from the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Information Technology, Communications and the Arts which commits
to funding for stations to subsidise management, training and improved governance.

Under its Arts Policy, the ALP has announced a commitment to fund the Australian Music Radio Airplay (AMRAP) project, which
is “very welcome,” according to the CBAA. The project, which has successfully connected thousands of independent Australian
musicians with community radio stations, is due to be wound up in early 2008 should it not receive further funding.

The CBAA opens it 35th annual conference in Melbourne today, without the hoped for funding promises. Over 350 community
broadcasters from around the country will attend the event.

At the conference the CBAA will be calling on the major political parties to “show their appreciation for the integral role the sector
plays in supporting local communities and enhancing Australia’s broadcasting landscape.”

Melville says: “It would have been simply fantastic to open the conference and say that no matter who wins the federal election
on Saturday, the community broadcasting sector would receive strong support from Government. I guess instead we’ll open it
with ‘great work everyone – sorry about the government’.”


Posted by editor at 9:07 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 28 November 2007 9:13 AM EADT
Monday, 26 November 2007
Brett Solomon the new Peter Garrett: ALP, Green or genuine NGO?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: election Oz 2007


Picture: Orange is the theme colour of the Sydney City Hub December 07 cover (rescued from the paper recycler with 9 other copies at Addison Rd Centre on Nov 25th 2007). Appropriate as orange is the Get Up livery as well. And by 'coincidence' its also the colour of choice of leading Left ALP MP Anthony Albanese on all his korflutes throughout local seat of Grayndler.

When you are called to serve the country, one must accept the invitation. But how best to serve? Brett Solomon has been covering his Evan Thornley/ALP aligned tracks for quite a while now. The 230,000 progressive movement (churning?) of Get Up is a marvellous form of political capital.

But will Get Up strengthen and consolidate what it has in terms of non aligned character, and cut the strings from mother US Democrat/ALP, with all the cruelling of access and fundraising opportunity?

Where the touchstone issue of forest protection is no longer "off the table". That specific approach is bogus. To be agnostic about a crucial issue of our time - Tas pulp mill/forest slaughter - is frankly not good enough. Lacks spine. Lacks credibility. Echoes the mediocrity and in the end moral confusion of the captured and wasted Peter Garrett MP.


We noticed on 10's Meet The Press vision some weeks back Brett Solomon in person on the picket line with the Greens inspired street protest with Senator Kerry Nettle in Phillip st federal govt offices. So agnostic about forests doesn't even wash dear Mr Solomon.

What's it to be? Perhaps we will find out soon with some 'Refreshing' honesty that Get Up seeks to promote?:

Sent: Monday, November 26, 2007 2:04 AM
Subject: An extraordinary night

Dear friends,

What an extraordinary night - and now, a new beginning for Australia.

Saturday night, as we were in the tally room, we saw a clear march of voters back towards the progressive issues that we've all been fighting so hard to put back on the agenda - with our campaigns on climate change, a fairer economy, indigenous rights, and the war in Iraq all having a major impact on this election. And GetUp members have been right there at the centre of it all - emerging as part of a powerful people-centred movement for change.

Last election we did not exist. Now we are 230,000 strong, having built the foundations of an unprecedented grassroots movement for the 2008-10 parliamentary cycle. In the words of one commentator, GetUp has "evolved from political experiment to a voice Australian politicians cannot afford to ignore."*

Allow us to express our profound gratitude to those of you who have worked so hard with us in this election year to inject accountability, honesty, and progressive policies into this pivotal election. Together we've run the most ambitious and effective non-partisan grassroots electoral program in Australian history:

- In Bennelong alone, over 800 GetUp volunteers campaigned on the ground over the last eight months, with every single polling booth staffed by GetUp volunteers handing out party comparison scorecards on Election Day. Your presence was unmissable and instrumental.

- Yesterday, thousands of you flooded polling booths nationwide with a sea of orange to distribute GetUp materials - ensuring that the issues you care about were front and centre in the minds of over half a million voters. (If you volunteered at a polling booth, tell your day's story here.)

- Our campaign to restore balance to the Senate is looking to have succeeded, with the Coalition set to lose one Senator in Tasmania and one in South Australia - enough to end one party control of the Senate (Victoria and the ACT are still too close to call).

There's a lot more that we could say about the implications of last night's election results and your work over the past six months, but enough from us. Join the discussion on our election blog.

Finally, we all know our job didn't end on Election Day. In fact, our task of keeping politicians from all sides accountable to you is just beginning. We, like you, will take the next few days to catch our breath, but later this week we'll be in touch with our new GetTogether program, the next steps with Promise Watch and our exciting plans for this grassroots movement - to ensure the new Government builds the progressive Australia we all have in mind.

Today, we begin the journey to reshape our future.

The GetUp team

PS - GetUp's Refresh Conference, a national meeting of Australia's progressive movement to evaluate the election, share skills, and plan next steps, will take place Dec 7-8 (Fri-Sat) in Sydney - and you're invited! It's fillling up quickly, so RSVP now - and apply for one of our travel scholarships available for those from outside Sydney.

*Larissa Dubecki, The Age, 29 Oct 2007


Postscript #1 30 Nov 07

Crikey.com.au seem to have cottoned on to this emergent Orange theme yesterday 29 Nov all set in train by Get Up livery. This image here itself echoes an orange korflute Mal Turnbull used to sledge Peter "we'll just change it all" Garrett in the seat of Wentworth with a call to "don't risk it". Given Big Mal rebuffed a national adverse swing and is known from Ozemail days to be a net savvy guy, we presume he bummed the livery off Get Up too.


But maybe all these serious players should recall that the original Orange People, or Rajneeshies, including here in Australia were very unusual if not strange like here deifying a rich guy in a Roller. It may be that's enough orange for everyone now?

Image:Osho Drive By.jpg

Posted by editor at 9:53 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 30 November 2007 1:36 PM EADT
Matt Price dies in the light of a political dawn aged 46
Mood:  special
Topic: big media



Journalist and author Matt Price, right.

Matt Price has died at 46 (45?). He was a rascally, bright, kind, dedicated toiler in the big media with an eye to the compassionate approach. The fellow with the gasp at the forefront of the vision on the close election of Mark Latham to ALP leader 3 years ago, and shown above with John Howard in his role with the Canberra Press Gallery.

On the centre leftish side of The Australian press gang, perhaps as a foil to Dennis Shanahan or other right wingers, Matt was a regular on ABC too.

He stumbled intellectually about mid year and now we presume it was almost certainly the brain tumour that has now taken him. How many ferocious deadlines did he make, how many pressure cooker news rooms, did he endure? Was it the genetic lottery? Lifestyle? It hardly matters. He's gone before us. But we are all going down the same road.

Trioli has spoken of his death this morning on 702 ABC radio. He would have revelled in analysis of the Rudd years. Especially this image of the 'Jed Bartlet/West Wing' stance (episode #43 on Wikipedia if memory serves), ie hands in pocket, made up his mind, set his course with that high power intellect, only this time it's no actor but new PM Rudd in Price's own newspaper this morning:

It's an image with a subliminal for the insiders like Matt who surely enjoyed the USA power sit com drama. He was visited by PM Howard last week indicating his credentials.

Just yesterday Barrie Cassidy gave a brief soliliquy for Matt Price on Insiders ABC as "strong and positive and that's the way forward". Such irony, maybe intended, maybe not.

Damn, damn, damn. God bless your soul Matt Price. We never met but we liked you alot.

Posted by editor at 8:46 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 26 November 2007 9:15 AM EADT
Sunday, 25 November 2007
Sunday tv political talkies: (delay in transmission) It's a new same ol' same ol'
Mood:  lazy
Topic: election Oz 2007

Stay tuned.

................................advertisement ......................................

Picture: Osti at Addison Rd Sunday Market 25th November 2007 agrees with PM elect Kevin Rudd that "a strong cup of tea" to celebrate all big occasions ...hot chai tea in fact ... is well in order.



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

Last two days press hedged a bit on Howard coming back in the late poll but their real preference was summed up in the front pager of the Saturday Telegraph on Saturday (?) with “Whoa ho ho ho”. As in whoa there tradies, don’t swing back to the old guy, and we all know father Christmas is a fiction and the phrase in the banner headline is subliminally like the laugh of the villain Mwha ha ha ha. There was no serious swing back. Final result 53.4 to 46.6 two party preferred.

10 Meet the Press

It’s a “Ruddslide”. Talent is Mike Rann for his mild tones, don’t scare the horses in a new govt to keep big capital from revolting or sly capital strikes.  Softly softly catchee monkee is the federal ALP game. True tribal nature revealed by this comment “Jackie Kelly in Lindsay was the rabbit punch on the way down”.

Bit of chat about national water deal.

Panel Patricia Karvelis and Mal Farr both ‘News’ Limited hacks.

Get Up with some kind of advert with a kid brushing his teeth, missed it.

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  -

Gushy tedious (?) piano retrospective on Howard ex PM, likely ex Bennelong [in fact so]. ‘People rejected Costello as PM too’ strong line. ‘Libs will have to match New Leadership with new leadership’. Ominous for PC, rings true, and sure enough next day was proven correct with PC resignation [Bolt on Insiders pushes same line].


Insiders 2

- wrap up footage of the election night. Stuck with Downer as guest while Oakes has the juice with Gartrell (below)

- Paul Kelly becomes more interesting than Gartrell after all. But Kelly too over eggs the pudding – saying there was “no” ALP mythology in Rudd’s victory speech re “true believers (wrong ‘toiled in the field and we have prevailed’) missing “union alliance”  – could have fooled me, reference to trade union safety role and Bernie Banton heroism. Kelly argues Rudd calls for a consensus message, unite the country.

[yeah true enough he does as all new PM’s do, BUT really Kelly is projecting his own newspapers thin ice here. They need a friendly rapproachment after their right wing fangs attacked climate change and unions and the ALP for years under Howard. The only word Kelly couldn’t use was “mercy, mercy”.]

Meglogenis with strong insight about Brough repudiated in swathe of seats for single mothers welfare to work. Lost his seat and others turned too.

[Rudd victory speech, joined the ALP 25 years ago which makes it 1982 the height of the Franklin River Dam campaign, how ironic with the massive disgusting pulp mill today. What a shameful eco dunce ALP]

Bolt Costello repudiated too not just Howard. Echoes Gallup from the left yesterday.

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

Sunday 9

Great opening question by Oakes with  Tim Gartrell as ALP national campaign manager ‘You were supposed to be no good, what happened?’ – quotes senate control/work choices in echo of Geof Gallup on abc RN with Doogue morning before re ‘mortal sin of Australian politics is extremism’.

- Gartrell presents as very rhetorical and dogmatic as a tribalised warrior (suggesting the lack of class Keating was referring to).

- Great interview footage with Sinodinis as ex Howard man who got out when Howard couldn’t.



Posted by editor at 11:09 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 10 February 2008 10:06 AM EADT
The 'right' government wins in historic turnover witnessed by Carl Bernstein
Mood:  hug me
Topic: election Oz 2007
Carl Bernstein at the 2007 Texas Book Festival.


Picture: Carl Bernstein of All the President's Men and Hilary biography (Barnes & Noble.com - Books: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein ...) has in effect been witnessing a 13 million strong poll on the George W Bush presidency for November 2008 national election there: Truth beats the idiot culture, says news sleuth - National ...


We are busy drafting our invoice (!). Should it go to Mark Arbib? Or maybe Senator John Faulkner? Both are well known machine men. About $5,000 for good community media service would be my guess.

A donation of course, not for actual cash for comment. But a valuable contribution to the  ALP federal election win all the same:


Who can forget that 'Uh oh Rudd's vote goes up' headline of ours at 6.30 am one Sunday morning after the strip club front page blowtorch, backfired through courage under fire before Laurie Oakes some 3 hours later?

 [Posted by editor at 6:26 AM 19th August 2007]

Uh oh Rudd vote goes up after NY strip club scandal from Sept 2003
Mood:  cool
Topic: election Oz 2007

Well I'll be horn swoggled as the yankees would say. The Big Meeja have switched to vaudeville at Ruddy's expense, from a Costello barracker in the Press Gallery no less, feral News Ltd journo Glenn Milne in today's Sunday Telegraph who ever regards his role as a player not just reporter:

But here's the kicker - Rudd's vote will actually go up. Eh, how so?

There's one thing about the Christian evangelical vote - it's all about redemption of the sinner. So as long as Kevvy the Silly Lad can grovel and confess and plead human frailty and isolated lapse of judgement, well then he's one of us brothers and sisters in Christ. Even my old man DLP and father of 9 used to watch Alvin Purple, I could hear him chortling across the hall as I drifted off to sleep suffering serious envy.

On the other hand the red neck hard drinking hard working blokes in the back blocks will give a sigh of relief, thank heavens (there is the religion aspect again) he has actually got red blood in his veins. Drinks and likes women. Therese (his loyal wife) get him in the dog house, woof.

The ALP proper will see the ghost of reformed hard drinking Bob Hawke who won his big election star turn in 1983.

The Costello backers will see Rudd's polling go up and get the leadership yet, in a draft from aging sinking but wily battling PM John Howard? Greater good and all that.

The balance of the Right of politics will shake their head knowingly about those free thinking lascivous Democrat towns like New York (the blue (!) ones, or is that red on their electoral maps?).

As for the rest of mainstream society. Well, we all think about such places even if we haven't been there on a 'fact finding tour' as the parliamentary jargon goes.

So we will all have a damn good laugh at his expense but not in a censorious way which is against our Convict heritage of calling a spade a shovel. Sex is another management issue in Australia, not an impeachment crusade. Just as long as he didn't do anything or catch anything to hurt anyone including himself or his sainted wife.

We always said grog was a real problem in society so mitigate your folly Ruddy and do something about the grotesque influence of those clubs & pub lobbyists as per front page of the Sydney Fairfax press same day (story about $150M alcohol driven project for Sydney's CBD).

And for God sake win the election, sooner rather than later too, we are all getting bored senseless (as per Mike Carlton column), and as Max Walsh formerly of The Bulletin stated on Breakfast RN with Doogue yesterday, the polls have stabilised for the ALP. Which probably explains the lurid attack story. Or maybe it comes from malcontented ALP types of the Lathamesque pursuasion annoyed by Rudd's success - a bit of tickle up as the burly crew coiffured one might say.

Our traverse of Sunday political free to air tv talkies later today should be a quite a doozy. Never done a prequel before either.


Or the psychological insight that whatever kernels of grief, genetic id, or emotional confusion of the boy in the man from his farmer dad's sad death in a DUI, Big Kev actually defines his own adult professional character now. Not his father RIP. Not his DLP mother RIP. But this ALP PM in a new chapter of his life. That 80 hours of watching the West Wing straight was quite useful, especially this one when Jed, err Kev, can't sleep combined with some of this writer's own hard won lessons in life.

Picture: 3 snapshots of PM elect Kevin Rudd's victory speech last night with our interpretations for what they are worth:

1. checking his speech notes on the next topic - the terminal illness of Bernie Banton in hospital and his praise of the loyal and effective trade union movement on toxic asbestos. A moment of deep emotion like the impending death of his father all those years ago? Notice Therese also on track with the script over his shoulder.

2. A moment of pause at the rousing sincere loyal trade unionist cheer at this acknowledgement of their successful honourable role of support to dying Banton. Looks like an "I do" organisational consolidation moment of leader and formidable ranks.

3.  A monkey off his back, carried for 40 years? The big break through personally and professionally for the brilliant Kevin? Just prior to this is a  light hearted reference to the death of his father. 'He would be surprised being in the Country Party' was the gist. This shot is a bare moment of reverie. And then what we call the Jed Bartlet stance as Mrs Landringham might say : "You know what? Without family we are nothing". And on he goes like a politician version of Bob Dylan in the sense of a constant work in progress - maybe left, maybe right, maybe green, maybe brown. Sui generis (ie one of a kind). A lonely reality in many ways but the only one he's got so do your best.

During the victory speech if you watched carefully at one point Rudd looks down and we imagine travels back decades, maybe even to his father's hospital bedside. And returns instantly by teleporter and on with the Kevin Rudd Story. Indeed this could be the strong cup of tea reference to avoid the booze on big occasions because it's not for you Kev, just as it's not for me, worse luck. We did like our booze, past tense.

As the senior journos have been noting these last few days: The guy is starting to grow bigger as a personality and indeed grow into the job. In this sense he is ready, just as he calmed the exuberance of the crowd at the set piece victory speech to the ALP faithful with an understated authority.

We might have been happier for the PM (!) except for a few things. Certainly we felt the history of the moment as did no doubt Tanya Plibersek quoting Vaclav Havel. Classy comment.

And Julia Gillard moved to deep emotion before the camera on one station (as all 5 free to air SBS, ABC, 7, 9 and 10 and the ABC radio took the live feed, but not thankfully TVS Ch31) and yes admiration for Rudd her leader, no doubt about that.

Yes even Arbib seemed to evidence some boyish charm with his brash grin over powered by a greater stellar force. Shades of the "f*cked by Keating" glow of pink cheeked lobbyists who lose their script close to the throne.

Nothing exceeds like success but Rudd even seems to get that concern with ironic references to "a strong cup of tea" as a heady extravagance. Which reminds being tea total this last 18 months is just another line item on "the invoice". With the attached credit card statement at $3,972 in the red on a $4,000 overdraft, and underpaying the last monthly rent, no outgoing mobile calls for the last 2 weeks.

Yep we would have felt happy for Kevin, Therese, kids and Aussie Chinese son in law Albert if we weren't so worried about the environment and just so bugg*red since starting this non aligned micro news and political website on January 3rd 2007, writing every day, slowly getting better at it. Re-learning our editing and grammar skills, with plenty more to go.

Only we got called in to Plybers' (aka Flubbers') seat of Sydney at 10.30 am. The AEC had "lost our expression of interest" - unlikely as it mentioned this website in relation to the declaration of neutrality. Seems they had 'a situation' and could I go to the Redfern booth in Albert St pronto. Yep a queue of 150 and a watchful police eye in this humble area.

I wore my "Globalise Love" T-shirt, a bit threadbare now, printed by veteran greenie Peter Schnelbogl (!). They threw me in as queue monitor. Gee thanks. We got it down from 20 minutes to walk through, from chaos to kindness imbued by the democratic buzz like some down market concierge:

"sir, come through please, 2nd from the end lady in the pink top/ black top/ black singlet/ 3rd from the end/ just here/ right at the end on the right".

By 5.30pm it was quiet on a booth of about 2,000. Soon it was down to counting and after a nerve jarring exhausting grovel, leavened by the marvellous provisions via the Greens scrutineer to all the booth workers gratis,  and the working class grace of Jackie of Fairfield uncanny resemblance to Helen Santos character in the West Wing. Cute and smart, 2 kids both with red hair. "It's alll go with the kids" she says with dignity, been doing this since 2001, training to be a nurse. The stern Islander lady Nas with the sharp wit, classy international studies student Ivy, the highly efficient Thai Aussie guy, 'Newtown' Jill and range of others on the absentee table ably led by Cary.

By the wrap at 10.30 pm my teeth hurt. Really hurt. The 30 year old cap punched out by the school bully. The collapsed molar in the upper right for lack of dental care. I'd already spent the AEC cheque in my head. The only question which dentist and how soon I could get there. 6 months of Listerine and sugar free had got me over the line, but only just as we crashed to our bed with an aching headache. [A prescient form of solidarity, read following post.]

We might have been happy for Kevin but we had other things on our mind.

Posted by editor at 6:40 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 26 November 2007 9:50 AM EADT
Saturday, 24 November 2007
Verity's hot air counsel in Grayndler vote as Lib preference Greens, throw money at Wentworth
Mood:  sharp
Topic: election Oz 2007

"I'm sick of them" said our gallery owning 'friend' in the 2005 byelection of the ALP's Ms Tebbutt to the lower house seat of Marrickville. "They [Anthony Albanese MP and spouse Carmel Tebbutt MP] are on $500,000 a year. I'm going to run against them."

But something happened on the way to that place. No nomination. No splitting of the ALP vote in the 2005 state byelection, and the marriage of left wingers and millionaire ALP aristocracy marches on ascendant to the popular Greens in the area ... so far.

Today in this election it's not the state but the federal seat of Grayndler with Carmel's other half Anthony Albanese. "The best you are going to get in the ALP" said one Green voter in his T-shirt last week riding his bicycle who didn't look like he was from the property classes.

Yep there is alot of hot air in Grayndler most of it from the comfort of a big fat political wage leading the poor people to the ballot box by the nose with sophistry. Even the local Liberal Party seem to have got tired of it and preferenced The Greens candidate Saeed Khan conspicuously prominent in the small business friendly indy suburban press The Valley Times.


Upward envy probably is a fertile area of campaigning for the Greens in relation to the ALP leaning poor folks. We didn't detect any rhetoric along these lines perhaps indicating the nice and fluffy nature of the Greens who may or may not adopt the "whatever it takes" attitude of the institutional ALP.

Take for instance the concern over greenhouse gases by Verity Firth in the neighbouring state seat of Balmain some of which presumably falls in Grayndler. The huge issue here as she knows are motorway tunnels and their inevitable smog stacks:

$5b secret road under Sydney | The Daily Telegraph

and massive diesel train intensification where apparently 1 diesel loco equals emissions from 6,000 normal trucks

Trains do the heavy lifting in plan to expand Port Botany - National

to be shepherded through by ALP colleague Albanese as Shadow Infrastructure Minister at the expense of his own electorate's health and amenity.

Verity Firth logically has been promoting the clean air "credentials" of brand ALP albeit from a state govt perch. Here she is 15th November 2007:

Sydney's air 'cleanest in 15 years' - ABC News

The New South Wales Government says an analysis of Sydney's air shows it is cleaner and healthier than at any time over the last 15 years, but says it may crack down on polluting lawnmowers.

The results come from an audit done by the Government.

Assistant Environment Minister Verity Firth says the data shows emissions of harmful air pollutants have decreased significantly during the period.

Ms Firth says the positive result has been achieved in spite of Sydney's population increasing by 23 per cent and 640,000 more cars being put on the road in that time.

"We're doing well but we do know that we have to keep the pressure on, that we need to maintain the momentum towards clean air," she said.

"We know that we need new actions to meet the ambitious goals that we've set for ourselves."

She says while the results are encouraging, NSW needs new measures to deal with the pollution that comes from equipment like lawnmowers.

"The interesting thing about lawnmowers is that a four-cylinder lawnmower pumps out as much pollution in an hour as four cars," she said.

"Lawnmowers are actually quite a polluting instrument so we will be working with councils about lawnmowers."

But Greens MP Lee Rhiannon says the data compiled by the Government cannot be trusted.

"Why we're saying it has been fudged is because we don't have accurate figures," she said.

"When you close down a quarter of the air monitoring stations in Sydney, you don't have sufficient data to be able to make a reliable assessment that the air quality of this city is improved."

So is legally trained Verity Firth BA LLB MP 'horsing' around with our lungs and our minds?


The Hon. Verity Helen FIRTH,  BA, LLB MP


One notices the proxy contest with Rhiannon MP of the Greens already smelling a rat.

And sure enough even Jeff Angel of Total Environment Centre couldn't stomach the hypocrisy. Here he is 23 rd Nov:

Sydney's 'sewer' air quality | The Daily Telegraph

AS the NSW government praises itself for meeting four of six national standards for clean air, a leading environmental group warns the state faces an alarming future.

"In Sydney ... we've treated the air shared like a sewer,'' Total Environment Centre executive director Jeff Angel told the Clean Air Cool Climate forum in Sydney today.

Its air quality assessment has found NSW is "poor'' in several areas and exceeds emissions for ground-level ozone and fine particles.

Mr Angel blamed the breaches mostly on pollution from transport.

"What this means is we are not doing enough and we have to lift ourselves many quantum leaps to improve our investment in public transport,'' Mr Angel said.

The Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water, Verity Firth, disagreed with Mr Angel.

Hot air Verity? Firth strikes back with yet another grab at the air pollution cherry right up to the election day vote with a policy to be implemented by ....2015 .... maybe, with that nice (too?) slick John Watkins at her side, 23 Nov 2007:

NSW petrol stations forced to cut fumes - ABC News (Australian ...

which in 'true' ALP form is a rehash of this of the 23rd August 07

Plan to reduce petrol fumes in NSW - ABC News (Australian ...

Yep Grayndler is a worry.

One thing that will happen way before 2015 is a massive expansion and intensification of traffic via Port Botany with devastating transport impacts on Grayndler. But you won't hear that from the ALP this federal election. That's not in the business plan so reliant on tax revenue into personal income.



As to the overall result we found Crikey.com.au yesterday for the first time this last 6 weeks made redundant by a later Newspoll than their usual middle of the day deadline. But even so we feel this late poll revival by the Howard regime of Thursday/Friday will like every other poll this year be checked by the contrary view or ambivalent big media press of Thursday/Friday/Saturday. In other words the ALP in a canter despite Howard's legendary chutzpah.

In a sense these last few days are a contest of competing Aussie norms: The power of the Big Media (which John Laws recently described as the real power) for Rudd overall, versus the traditional inclination for "right" as in Right governments.

Howard is banking on the second of these. Rudd the former because he is pretty right wing himself. Our faith is on the Big Media power but it probably is a close run thing. If Howard get's back the Big Media know it will not be good for the country and they would be right.


Picture: A red and white theme at the polling booth in the ALP held seat of Grayndler, matching the group's colours, Socialist Alliance, and by coincidence the Christmas theme front page of their enemies in the Big Meeja Daily Telegraph today (in turn echoing our picture report yesterday of an unauthorised "Xmas" signage late 2005). The SA perhaps do not fully appreciate that their creative paper mache can't have any effect in this safe ALP seat (Grayndler, Illawarra Rd/Warren Rd Booth Marrickville), or at most swinging to the Greens, in any case both non Howard results. Bennelong or Wentworth might have been more impacting? The Liberal How To Vote form does in fact confirm Liberal preferencing to the Greens, but not reciprocated.

Neck and neck at the final turn


In Wentworth its busy, busy, busy including this full page State Liberal Party advert p12 Sydney Morning Herald desperately (?) sewing seeds of doubt:


Posted by editor at 6:58 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 24 November 2007 11:41 AM EADT
Friday, 23 November 2007
'Maggot' won't be missed according to signage of dedicated Howard Hater
Mood:  not sure
Topic: election Oz 2007

Uh oh moment of unauthorised signage "incident" of Christmas 2005-6 referred to as somewhat of a joke in a speech by the Honorary President Yvette Andrews of the Addison Rd Community Centre (ARCC) on the occasion of the NAIDOC day celebrations of July 2007.

The reference was in her introduction speech of respected Aboriginal person Linda Burney, local ALP MP for Canterbury. "I think he is a maggot" said Ms Andrews to the packed public event in the gallery. Andrews is also co author of the book about the feminist satirical Ernie Awards with founder Meredith Burgman, former long time MP in NSW.

The signage, which was painted over within a day or so, raises the question of whether this approach really is the best way for left wingers to advocate and wean voters who have favoured Howard 4 times already off their electoral habit


Andrews, current President of the ARCC,  is pictured here below next to recently deposed Mayor of Marrickville Morris Hanna 3rd from right, as the chess play in the lead up to the AGM of November 28th approaches:


Posted by editor at 8:38 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 23 November 2007 9:16 AM EADT
Last day press: Lame duck PM, Rudd the 'assassin', Tele turns, Grayndler vote Green
Mood:  energetic
Topic: election Oz 2007

Where is The Oz in Marrickville? The Daily Telegraph was half an hour late at least at the local newsagent arriving after 6 am. The Australian is not sighted after 7am at the deli either.

Here are some interesting subliminals above. The Herald slyly suggests a lame duck PM with its front page, the Tele has a hammer blow editorial, but a qualified front page image of "half chance" Howard. To get inside the blue collar battler's mind we have an allusion to Kevin 007 as the 'killer' of PM Howard's career in the Drive section cover

A local battling independent related to south end of Grayndler, called the Valley Times has a subliminal green image (geddit?) with the Libs preferencing the Greens who will indeed come third to the Greens then calculate the 2 party preferred. [postscript - correction the Greens polled 3rd, so no great flow of conservative preferences there.]

Apparently they all editorialise for a change to Rudd's ALP but cautious observers like Michelle Grattan on radio national with Fran Kelly in survival mode says "you never know". And indeed that is the essence of real democracy.


Posted by editor at 7:34 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 27 November 2007 6:36 AM EADT

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