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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Friday, 22 January 2010
Howard the nuke weapon candidate for international cricket body?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: peace


Picture: Recent article 14 Dec 2009 in the Murdoch conservative press of choice here, regarding a future nuke weaponised Australia - contrary to current Govt settings. Always a covert agenda of the former Howard Govt via dual use energy reactor policy. An agenda rejected by the Australian people in the 2007 federal election where Howard himself lost his own seat.

Oh no say it isn't so. Ex PM John Howard, arguably Iraq war criminal, touted for an international sports job in cricket. With adverse reaction here too by cricket expert Peter Roebuck:


Do the ICC international body realise this is the candidate whose soul still dwells in the 1960ies? Who wanted to expand dual use nuclear power across Australia before ejection in the 2007 election here?:

Picture: image relating to this: Lateline - 20/04/2007: PM describes new reactor as a triumph, before this: Lucas Heights to stay closed till 2008 - ABC News (Australian ... 25 Oct 2007 ... Lucas Heights to stay closed till 2008. By Sabra Lane ... Australia's new $400 million nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights, in Sydney, ...


A media release from that election campaign by the now Govt of Australia:  

Joint Media Release, Ziggy blows Howard's nuclear cover

Today, at Newport Park on Port Phillip Bay, Anthony Albanese and Nicola Roxon reiterated Labor's opposition to nuclear reactors in Australia.

"John Howard must immediately reveal his promised nuclear legislation and reveal his list of sites for his 25 nuclear reactors. The Head of the Prime Ministerial Taskforce on Nuclear Energy, Dr Ziggy Switkowski, made it very clear today that a re-elected Howard Government would develop 25 nuclear power stations in Australia, and Newport has been identified as a potential site. “John Howard is trying to hide his nuclear reactor plans until after the election, but Ziggy Switkowski has blown his cover" said Anthony Albanese.

 On 30 January 2007, the Australia Institute identified Newport on Port Phillip Bay as a potential site for a nuclear reactor due to its proximity to seawater for cooling, and easy access to electricity and transport infrastructure. John Howard is committed to build 25 nuclear reactors across Australia, and Port Phillip Bay's coastal location and access to the electricity grid and transport infrastructure may make it a prime site for one of John Howard's nuclear reactors.

In response to a Parliamentary Question on Notice, John Howard has specifically refused to rule out the Electorate of Gellibrand as a site for one of his 25 nuclear reactors. To ensure nuclear reactors can be imposed on communities, John Howard pledged on 28 April 2007 to repeal current Commonwealth laws which prohibit nuclear reactors. On 30 May 2007, John Howard stated the Commonwealth should legislate to over-ride State laws blocking nuclear reactors.

"The next federal election will be a referendum on nuclear reactors. The Australian people will face a stark choice between Kevin Rudd's vision for solar power and clean energy, and John Howard's plan for 25 expensive and dangerous nuclear reactors" said Anthony Albanese. "Here in Gellibrand, the community is united in opposing a nuclear reactor at Newport on Port Phillip Bay, but the Howard Government continues to push its agenda for 25 nuclear reactors across Australia" said Ms Roxon. "Hobsons Bay has recently been declared nuclear free and the Victorian State Government has consistently opposed nuclear power generation in Victoria."

The Prime Minister needs to listen to the local community and rule out a nuclear power station in Newport, or anywhere else in Melbourne' s west. Friday, 28 September 2007

 For further information/comment: Antony Sachs (Albanese)  Sarah Toohey (Roxon)

in Joint Media Release, Ziggy blows Howard's nuclear cover [pdf]


Howard surely would have thrown the switch to nuke weaponised aircraft carrier Australia if he had been elected. Howard always admired former war veteran Sir John Gorton and his aggressive posture on nuke weapons:

PM visits Gorton in Sydney hospital

Prime Minister John Howard has visited his former Liberal counterpart Sir John Gorton who was admitted to hospital in Sydney yesterday.

The 90-year-old former prime minister was taken from his Vaucluse home to St Vincent's Hospital suffering from pneumonia yesterday.

Sir John, who was prime minister from 1968 to 1971, is expected to remain in hospital for at least another day for tests.

A hospital spokesman says Sir John is alert and feeling much better today and exchanged jokes with Mr Howard.

Sir John appeared frail at his last public appearance last month to launch his book.

at http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200204/s543515.htm

Howard whose ideology was to go soft on Rhodesia and South Africa's Nationalists? Just as Hollywood cranks feel good movie Invictus on Rugby World Cup in South Africa under Mandela?

John Howard on Gorton's death in 2002, in his own words, and note the strong theme of science (ie nuke technology) and defence including navy in the Gorton life story, which Howard who never served presumably envied:

Statement from the Prime Minister, John Howard

John Howard, Prime Minister May 20, 2002 - The death of Sir John Gorton, Australia’s nineteenth Prime Minister, marks the passing of a proud Australian nationalist and a very distinguished Australian.

John Grey Gorton was born on 9 September 1911 and educated at Geelong Grammar School and Oxford University.

After bravely serving his nation in the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II, he served in Local Government in Victoria and was then elected to the Senate as a Liberal Senator for Victoria in 1949. He remained a Senator until 1968 when he was elected to the federal House of Representatives seat of Higgins, a seat he held for the Liberal Party until his retirement from Parliament in 1975.

He held a number of important ministerial portfolios in the Menzies and Holt Governments. He was the longest serving Minister for the Navy (1958-1963), a fact he proudly reflected on in his later years. Additionally, he assisted the Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1960-1963, was Minister in charge of the CSIRO from 1962-1968, Minister for Works (1963-67), Minister for the Interior (1963-64), Leader of the Government in the Senate (1967-68), Minister for Education and Science (1966-68)(the first federal Minister for Education), and later Minister for Defence in 1971.

............[at http://www.australianpolitics.com/news/2002/05/02-05-22a.shtml]

Can the ICC be so stupid? A recently picture here of Howard lifted off SkyNews in Dr Strangelove uniform ... at the cricket dreaming of a nuke weapons return to empire?



Posted by editor at 10:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 22 January 2010 10:58 AM EADT
Thursday, 21 January 2010
White power sticker spotted in Melbourne CBD 11 Jan 2010
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: human rights


In our post 3 stories back we refer to a 7 day visit to Victoria, specifically Melbourne, to Warrnambool and back through Melbourne again home to Sydney. The purpose was a school reunion of the class of 1981.

On the swing back we wanted to make our own private pilgrimmage to the scene of a wicked murder of a brilliant classmate, lawyer, Brendan Keilar. Not knowing the area at all, reportedly corner of Flinders Lane (a significant street) and William St, we wandered around every block. After asking a parking officer, office workers, we finally found the plaque erected by the city that we had heard about.

But what we didn't mention in our report was finding a "White" power sticker about 10 cm x 6 cm. We tend to find these thing quite abhorent and decided to tear it off leaving a smear of glued paper. We could have taken a picture and we probably should have - for evidence for the authorities. But we didn't.

It seemed significant to us the sticker was in the vicinity of the infamous King St beer and skin joints, just adding to the menace, from where the thug who killed Brendan emerged after a night of drugs, 2 years ago.

Posted by editor at 9:40 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 21 January 2010 9:43 AM EADT
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Abbott's green 'army' policy angle has form
Mood:  sharp
Topic: aust govt



We commented recently on a crikey.com.au string about the Abbott green army opposition policy announcement - latest in the never ending PR war, with PM Rudd responding with is children's Australia Day book.

Battle of the moral pygmies stuff really. We had to laugh too at the brilliant David Rowe in the AFR Tuesday 20th Jan 2010 showing Tony Abbott like Toni Collette altered states of Tara theme. Green Tony, Pious Tony, Sexy Tony and so on. Brilliant stuff.

Anyway here below is the deconstruction of Big Tony's green army and it's a fascinating traverse in summary of 20 years of green politics. The reference to Cubby is an opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald by Ben Cubby. Also there was another comment in the string which didn't make it through - to the effect about 35% of global greenhouse emissions are shared by tiddlers like Australia all about 1% or less but alot in combination - so if affluent Australia can't cut emissions then neither will the other 34% which is just wrong.


My comment just now on Cubby opinion piece in the SMH reacting to same news:

1. TA references on 7.30 last night to outdoorsy interests is recreation not conservation. So first fallacy.

2. There is nothing practical - Howard or TA - in woodchipping mature wet forests 1996 to present. Shameful, wildfire promoting landuse policy.

3. TA is seeking a reverse wedge just as Howard did on 1996 $1B Telstra sale heritage trust fund. It worked on ACF and TWS sitting on their hands back then.

4. ALP wedged back in 2007 using climate, which also worked. But now Coalition has more to play with like business friendly WWF at peak level, to offset ACF and TWS. [ALP has annexed Garrett and ACF despite protestations.]

5. Both Coalition and ALP are wrong footed by Hansen/NASA, IMF, McKibbon etc calling for a carbon tax, not cap and trade. Only Greens have the intellectual framework right so far as science bears down us all.

6. Greens and indy senators Troeth and Boyce can make glorious changes if Rudd shifts ground towards Greens for a majority vote on climate. Ironic.

7. Abbott’s green corp 1998 was always about pre empting the ‘Jabiluka express’ phenomenon where hundreds of the cream of Oz youth [bused up from SE Aust and] blocked a U mine in NT in alliance with traditional owner Yvonne Margarula. And similar forest blockades of the 90ies [which helped changed state govt in NSW in 1995].

The gambit was to harvest and re-direct youth. Cynical? Soon after Jabiluka infusion to society up there, NT state referendum defeated, ALP elected first time in 30 years in NT. Ouch. No wonder he wants a youth busy painting rocks.


Oh a couple more things after a closer read:

a. In holiday mode pollies talk about green stuff, so it has to be read down a bit, just as press run a natural history story every Monday because folks have been out and about. It’s trade work rather than sincerity as such.

b. Hepburn is right but he got active after Jabiluka above, if memory serves. Freudenberg too, though recall WWF were very pragmatic when Howard exploited their ambition in 1996 to step up into the peak level of national affairs, preface to current oil industry refugee leader now. (Head of Greening Australia (nsw?, previously national?) was ex WWF CEO in 1996.)

c. Never forget only 10% or so of farmers were card carrying members of Landcare pioneered late 80ies by National Farmers (umbrella group to state bodies) and ACF (again more umbrella than numbers?). Sincerity is very limited in our society when it comes to sustainability.

d. note similarly Rural Fires Service in NSW claims some 60K vollies but a captain said to a public meeting last year really about 15K or so! Ouch!

e. Ironic that TA is virtually parading the Turnbull agenda - irrigator efficiency in MD basin, confronting his own side of politics about the environmental policy framework. On a live blogging by TA on SDT I wrote but was omitted, “Saul, what’s it going to take for you to fight for your planet?” referencing to Paul/Damscus, but also Rural Fire Service tv adverts last month for bushfires ‘what will it take for you to fight?”.


Lastly, I noticed TA on 7.30 biblical reference to ‘not hiding his bushell’. So is he Tony or Saul? Every year the Green Party vote trends up by 1% just as the rate of change in sea level goes up (on a J curve).

.......................[end crikey publsihed comment string Friday 15 Jan 2010]



Posted by editor at 10:09 AM EADT
Bondi's missing front tooth
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: local news

We lived in Bondi 8 years and noticed some things on a recent visit. Unusually a chunk of the main strip shop area on Campbell Pde was missing in December 2009, like front tooth missing. It must be 20 years since a gap like this has appeared so we thought to record the scene.

 This site is next to Bondi Hotel and takes in the previous rear drive in bottle shop - no great loss. One assumes a big set of units possibly like that pictured further below.

We also had a picture of the proverbial black dog surveying the scene but in this case you can see it's about as happy, well fed, and docile as a pooch with 3 legs can be:



Posted by editor at 9:41 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 20 January 2010 11:16 AM EADT
Monday, 18 January 2010
CBC + St Anns, now Emmanuel, class of 1981 Reunion in Warrnambool
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: local news

Picture: People don't walk to the airport anymore, if ever. Pity really as they miss urban landscapes like this with Sydney CBD in the far distance.


Text of email to reunion organisers Kerrie Sobey and Felicity Clancy (nee King) based in Warrnambool Victoria with this great beach here:


Sent: Saturday, January 16, 2010 2:17 PM
Subject: some pics/info for you about reunion

Special thanks Kerrie and Felicity for all your organising and especially Felicity and family for hospitality. What a great way to visit the 'Bool. Say hello to Peter and children young and not so young again for me too.


After breaking the anxious ice at the hotel Friday night before (and wasn't the place humming with the re-union event and locals more generally), the dinner was fascinating, surprising, shocking. Well worth the trip.
So many the same but so different as well.


The possible paths we all might have taken. Some for better or worse. Great to see many achieving so much with family and career. Quite moving really. Was really pleased to meet up with St Ann class mates in first year of Coed experiment, now the rule.


Here is an email I found for Terry Mugavin. He may be interested in this compilation pic lifted from the DVD copy you provided to all there:
Terry showing early form top right. Those who know know!


Here are some sad images from near where Brendan Keilar was killed so wickedly. I checked them out on the way back through Melbourne. The Mural (1967) close by is particularly surprising given what happened 30 years later. The Sun Herald writes around July 2007 of this mural and the staff sent in by police at 15 William St until they have finished their work at the crime scene:

[Picture: A pilgrimage to a crime scene. We were shocked to see this prescient mural figure from Greek mythology not unlike sadly missed crime victim classmate, lawyer Brendan Keilar: As if clothed in funeral shroud ascending out of body, as he died in the street nearby the same building 15 William St Melbourne CBD June 2007. The 'levin flash' reminds of the hot bullets into warm flesh. RIP hero.]


I was going to send this on to Harry Parkinson in Sydney at firm Salomon Smith Barney (took over CitiGroup if memory serves). But I don't have his email.

Lastly some pics of moi:
Left to right - Lee Oakley - sweep, Ricky Clissold (from W'bool Tech, 1st stroke) , Tom McLoughlin 2nd stroke, Lewis Atkinson 2nd bow, Peter Ryan bow. Winners Vic state title 1981, and 1982, junior boat crew.
Those surf boats apparently are around 410 kg back in the day, now only 200kg! And the oars are hollow carbon fibre! Ripped off!


That's progress. Old saying in boat crews: Not very smart but we can lift heavy things. Now finally they are smart too.


Thanks and hope to see you all again not too far down the track.
Yours truly


Some images above relate to our class mate Brendan, a property lawyer, was murdered in Melbourne 2 years ago with national press coverage given it was a rescue of a woman from a gun wielding thug on drugs.


At the hotel night before the reunion we met Dave McLean now an IT manager for Australian Conservation Foundation. We always saw him as the brightest student of that year. He got 100% in physics year 12. But he said he was the brightest now after Brendan Keilar was murdered. We all took it hard at the time. Another class mate is now po-lice in Warrnambool. He seemed to agree with our view the thug's survival time was limited given he was surplus to organised crime for bringing the heat. Even in gaol now. Indeed he went to the cops to avoid his the drug brothers. Sounds like life in hell.


On the way back through Melbourne we took these photographs around Footscray and CBD (like hi tech laptop guy in a cubby made of cushions to view the screen):

Picture: Dancing Dog cafe Footscray with cute chicken wire sculpture

Picture above: Melbourne Federation Square with hi tech 'laptop man' in distinctly low tech cushion cubby house to shade his screen under cushions to avoid sun glare. Raising the question - why bother dude? (Perhaps we are just jealous as our clunky laptop crashed and burned on the same trip.)

Picture: Footscray business - so called hot shots pool hall ....with broken windows!

Picture: The ominous News Corp building seen from Federation Square in Melbourne.

Picture: Unintended juxtaposition: Banks as hustlers?

Picture: Into the maw? Crown Casino car park where no doubt many sad and sorry people enter hopeful and exit in financial pieces?

Posted by editor at 10:20 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 20 January 2010 11:19 AM EADT
Tuesday, 5 January 2010
Some serious questions for Peter Spencer support club
Mood:  not sure
Topic: ecology

Peter Spencer is famously gathering momentum behind his aerial hunger strike against land clearing laws in New South Wales.

We notice Michael Duffy has rushed into print in the Sydney Morning Herald today too. We will have to read him closely to find fact from fiction.

But here are some preliminary questions worth pursuing by the Big Media during this rather shallow silly season period:

1. Is his land crown leasehold? If it is then like all leases there are terms and conditions. There is no general unfettered right to develop and/or clear crown leasehold land. If it is free hold that doesn't mean that is the case in much of the rest of NSW which has always had a long history of crown leasehold subject to many government obligations. Check the land tenure before generalising about rights to clear vegetation and sterilising private property.

2. If Senator Joyce is so sure a property right has been resumed and should be 'financially paid for or returned', does he apply the same standard to Govt benefits like drought assistance and flood emergency assistance? Or remote area taxation benefits? Should these payments be returned in times of profit down the track?

Joyce can't have it both ways - privatise the property rights but socialise the government subsidies in times of disaster.

3. Have the protesters in general with placards calling for freedom and liberty from government interventions on the environment willing to give up all the other social benefits of government support, when complaining about the costs?

If Mr Spencer, or Senator Joyce want to secede from the Australian Constitution which provides for the welfare, order and good government of the place with all the benefits and costs involved maybe they are living in the wrong country?

Posted by editor at 12:58 PM EADT
Natasha Verco story: A brief clarification on local FoE green group provenance
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: local news

 Picture: The historic FoE Australia newsletter archive rescued from the badly unravelling FoE Sydney local chapter in 2003, which folded about 2005, to be rebooted by Ms Verco et al new broom in current form today.

The SAM editor spent 7 struggling years trying to reboot the under powered Friends of the Earth Sydney group 1995-2002. We became a student of it's structure and history during this time. This was well before now famous Natasha Verco's involvement we understand to be from about the mid noughties.

References to Copenhagen climate protester Verco as "founder of Friends of the Earth here" in the big media (eg ABC) recently need some clarification: No doubt referring to the Sydney rather than national chapter, and Sydney version 2, not version 1 established from the 1970ies or 80ies. Indeed if it was otherwise she would be a grey haired retiree.

This local FoE group itself has a significant history: Originally sharing office space with nascent Greenpeace (Australia), and Movement Against Uranium Mining (the evocative acronym MAUM) here in Sydney early 80ies. The story as told to us by Steve Broadbent, aka Stevie Bee today, was that GP got acquisitive and pushy as it grew, causing an office dispute and lock out. The resolution came as GP decided to moved into new space. Jumped or pushed is lost in the mists of time. GP was just another aspirational small greenie group.

The massive operation of GP now is a matter of history after the Rainbow Warrior and lots more, but it was all in the balance back then.

That history of the Sydney green movement is prescient in some ways regarding FoE Sydney pathway, which as we understand it has always been a separate incorporation entity within the FoE Australia network.

In our time we failed (heroically?) to get FoE Sydney on a healthy basis in the face of closed shop tactics by 3 aged males in the group: From our perspective they seemed to have perfected the method of co-opting the place for exclusive territory. Mmm. Details of functioning alcoholic, porn addict using public resources, bipolar character with tunnel vision, are not necessary here but every community group will know the experience. It's great working with the public - except for the public (!) We've since learned a green vocation as policy analyst and media rep should be distinct from social work.

The last we heard most of  FoE Sydney office was being loaded into a giant industrial dumpster in 2005 at Turella old ice cream factory 3 years after we made out escape to concentrate on saving a large chunk of the Andes (another story). But not before we saved the newsletter archive held by FoE Sydney pictured here 1975 to 2002.

We reached the conclusion more in sadness than anger version 1 of FoE Sydney needed to be killed off so it could be rebooted fresh. This indeed happened by about 2003-4 including a swing through the NSW Supreme Court over a lease dispute where this author won comprehensively.

We predicted FoE Sydney version 2 would inevitably re-seed via the dominating FoE Melbourne head office. This is where Natasha Verco in the news today has been reported "as a founder of Friends of Earth" ( actually Sydney version 2 around 2005, 30 years after version 1 was commenced).

Version 1 of FoE Sydney included respected and successful campaigners like Stuart White (now UTS), John Denlay, Joe Wacher, Mim Bucchorn and others too. Many had moved on by our time of there. We would like to think we also had some success like:

- closure of $40M dioxin spewing Waterloo Incinerator,

- expose of Enron style power industry privatisation agenda in 1997, and

- gruelling expose' of Carr Govt policy failures on woodchipping, and indeed other planning corruption.

With some consequent reputational blowback by the ALP slime machine in NSW including inside and outside the green movement to this day.

By the looks the energetic sisterhood via Ms Verco et al are running FoE Sydney from the mid noughties - and it's a good thing too. Good luck Ms Verco, onwards ....



Posted by editor at 9:49 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 7 January 2010 9:02 AM EADT
Monday, 4 January 2010
Post impressions of a 12 hour drive to and from Canberra’s National Gallery
Mood:  happy
Topic: local news


It was always a big ask. Hawkesbury into Bondi Beach, then back out to Canberra’s National Gallery 4 hours away for their show of Post Impressionists. All in one day.

The trip was partly self interest after walking for hours through European galleries mesmerised back in 2002. The Prado in Madrid and the Louvre in Paris.

But it was also a reward for Carol after a 2 year journey navigating the Guardianship Tribunal and NSW Supreme Court for 4 days mid December 2009. Carol has special needs ably supported by her CBD lawyer Pam Suttor, and barrister Chris Simpson (SC). There is nothing Carol likes better than a gallery of paintings and social day out. She can ride in a car trip watching the world forever. 12 hours with a few breaks – no sweat. It’s the driver who is under the hammer, with or without free coffee from the SES bloke at Lake George.

A quick drive by and a short break at Subway for lunch at Manuka shops, while getting vaguely lost then back for the main event.

So how was the show? Well we read the art critic in the SMH just now and the 2 page feature in the Review in The Australian. This is what we thought for better or worse: Yes, the carpark is a dogs breakfast of construction but we got a place close by immediately and the underground parking was open – we never found out if it was free.

A half hour wait in the ticket queue, yet it was under cover, in a cool place inside, surrounded by other art works, with cheerful well to do casual dressed Australians in summer shorts and shirts nearby. There’s a lot worse places to be on a hot Saturday. The concession entry at $16 was reasonable.

The first of 6 rooms of affluent portraits was not worth much of our time, merely to set the scene for what followed. The next room of pointilists while bright and gracious and mildly interesting seemed a somewhat perverse sidetrack from the main course in room 3.

There we saw Van Gogh and his contempories. I got to thinking he drank with these peers nearby, aspiring to a deep authenticity that Vincent achieved most of all? Somehow VV’s flowers, self portrait, starry night over the Rhone turned other respectable works back towards the cartoon end of the spectrum. We felt an involuntary smile.  So deep and textured outrageous and endearing. I wanted more.

Only Gauguin had his orange variants. And Bonnard and Vouillard their striking vibrancy. I got the feeling however that the exhibition was a bit skinny. There was only one Rousseau as dramatic as it was. The overhead lights on the panel sized decorations by Bonnard in room 6 glared - did they have overhead lights in 1890?

The glass protecting the works was virtually invisible, cleaner than any window I’ve seen. The crowd was full of beautiful people, presumably art students. The audio commentary seemed a bit of a gouge so we skipped it, perhaps unwisely having travelled so far. The merchandise shop was busy like the obstacle course it was meant to be.

The images are very vibrant again in the press reviews back in Sydney. They contrast with black and white newsprint. One realises most of the works could sit on your wall and keep on giving for many a long year. Carol had a great time too.

As we got back to Sydney the southerly storm burst. We took the cheapskate Cowpasture Rd alternative to the M7 in a surreal combo of sunglasses and windscreen wipers at full bore. Carol then took the ride back on the rail to finish a satisfying gallery adventure.

Posted by editor at 1:14 PM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 5 January 2010 8:16 AM EADT
Silly season #4: Please save the kids ... from politicians on the schmooze
Mood:  energetic
Topic: big media

Back in another life we were on the Bondi Beach Public (primary) School Committee with the principal and local worthy parents. This was part of our role as a ward councillor at Waverley 1995-99. We were invited onto the panel as distinct from the local ALP or Liberal ward people - which was nice.

In addition to monthly meetings about school matters we would attend once or twice a year to presentation days. Even the most jaded activist or local pollie would notice the life energy and enthusiasm of childhood in full array. A subtle reality in one or 3, but impressive amongst a chattering hall full.  Their intense interest in token prizes. Their sponge like absorption of the social dynamic. It was easily one of the most optimistic experiences of a ward councillor. One could not help smiling. Perhaps it was just surviving all those years and tribulations still to face them.

Picture: The child Kristine Kersher Keneally at bottom right. One assumes the image was released by her own family: Indicating a very personal media embrace unlike ex premier Nathan Rees to his undoubted detriment career wise, but perhaps wise in terms of private space.

Which brings us to the calculating, cynical practice of politicians everywhere to schmooze big media picture opportunities with children, usually strangers, to self aggrandise their own career postures. We regularly see PM Rudd, Deputy PM Gillard, no doubt opportunistic opposition leaders too. Lately it's been Premier Keneally with her own sons. They all want to coat tail on the energy of youth vacuumed up by the cameras like a dishonest fizzy drink advert – drink Coca Cola and you can play with bikini girls too. Only in this juxtaposition it’s 'look at me I’m kind to children, wholesome and responsive so vote for me'. Af if the children know any better.

The incredible hypocrisy in all this is that big media play along as if they can literally smell the revolving door to their own sector. But if children are taken by protesting parents to a rally or similar they seriously risk approbrium for politicising innocents. Double standard? You betcha.

These naive children have no policy insight or vote. They just look like innocents. Politicians from all parties and big media should front parents, and teachers and voters of adult age, otherwise they are exploiting children for cheap picfacs.

Picture: The author aged 12 or so.

Yesterday it was a cute variant of PM Rudd as a child book author. Oh please.

Posted by editor at 12:25 PM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 5 January 2010 8:36 AM EADT
Silly season #3: Right wing nutcases go to the movies (they hate) too?
Mood:  sad
Topic: big media

There is something pathetic about frothing right wingers like Greg Sheridan/News Corp’s Sydney Sunday Telegraph generalising about Hollywood’s Avatar alleged ideology. Sheridan suggests laughably that anything lefty comes out of  Hollywood. Memo Greg West Wing (Warner Bros TV), and Michael Moore famously of Flint Michigan, are avowedly not Hollywood.

Warner Bros tv studios are at Burbank California apparently, and Michael Moore is based practically everywhere in the USA except Hollywood. At least he didn't suggest The Wire was anywhere but Baltimore.


Another Sheridan howler: Team America, a slick R rated ("motherf*cking yeah") puppet musical, might have exaggerated (?) the Blackwater style shoot up of Paris and a Cairo bazaar, but it also showed various "FAG" (Film Actors Guild) shallow lefties as if getting their just desserts’ in a fierce morally confused gunfight full of guilty pleasures in the name of satire. That’s pretty even handed.


Sheridan whines on about Avatar referencing a huge American company as the fictional evil doer. Well the USA has a 14 trillion dollar economy putting all other countries in the shade including China and Japan. So that’s pretty representative actually.


Devine at the Herald predictably buys in as well same weekend with her depressive rant against Avatar having tired of encouraging toddlers to drown in ungated backyard swimming pools: Rival Sydney Daily Telegraph have run strong on pool safety while Devine takes the side of hapless landlords tied up in 'red tape'. Just wait for Devine’s next splash on why traffic lights are contrary to liberty and all things individual expression.


Here’s the perfect gift idea for the right wing nutjob in your family, and don’t we love them: A Ronald Reagan Golden Years of Hollywood box set, right back the boomer glory days of the 1950ies ...... where they belong.

Posted by editor at 11:58 AM EADT

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