Sunday, 27 May 2007

Government by cliched speeches and by hectoring

Nicky Winmar
Prime Minister John Howard said (last night): “Tonight I call upon each of you attending this dinner to kick a goal for indigenous employment by employing indigenous Australians,” he told a dinner ahead of last night's "Dreamtime at the 'G" AFL football game.

This from a man who would not know what "to kick a goal" means (not really, anyway) - it is such a Victorian expression.

I hate superficial political speeches. I have helped draft a few of them, but never stooped to that level, I swear.
***** reports today that: "Mr Howard said all his government's policies over the past 10 years had been directed towards reducing the gap in life expectancy between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians."

“But it is a long process. It is not helped when Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory knock back a $60 million from the Government to fix their housing,” he said, referring to this week's case involving Alice Springs town camps.

“I mean, it is that kind of attitude that impedes progress towards narrowing the gap."



Talk about blaming the victims! Howard has no idea of what he speaks. All he can see is a $ signs. So, he thinks that throwing a few $s, (and in terms of Government programs I mean only a few $s) should solve the problems.

He and Mal Brough MP, (Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs), have no understanding of the value of land to Aboriginal peoples, and the need for fair dealing with the Aboriginal communities.

Monday, 21 May 2007

It starts with little things..... Expect worse to follow.

Remember the H*lton bombing?
Consider the co-incidence of two events in Sydney this year - the APEC Summit, and an election (some time).
Last weekend the Police, SAS, etc. were out playing "war games", in a trial for the APEC shenanigans in September. Don't worry, it's "all right", it has got a code name: "Blue Luminary 2".
Is that JWH, second only to RGM, as leader of the Liberal Party?

A UWS academic warned about the increasing militarisation of Australia.

And now this seemingly trivial incident - a "suspected hand grenade" found beside a railway track in Sydney..... Could it be a scene-setting exercise?
Expect a "show-down" of some kind, probably with some patsies, allowing the Government to make hay. Expect some Islamic groups to be involved.

Monday, 7 May 2007

Qantas and MacBank debacle - a sign of the times

The schemozzle which has been the Airline Partners Australia attempted takeover of Qantas is very instructive. APA's bid was apparently worth Aus $11.1 billion.
The SMH reports:

"Macquarie Bank's crack team, .... assumed complete control of bringing in the 50 per cent of Qantas shares needed to keep alive Airline Partners Australia's $11.1 billion bid for the airline."

That bid to for a buy-out failed spectacularly, over the weekend. The report goes on:

"The failure will also have a heavy impact on the Qantas board, particularly the chairwoman, Margaret Jackson, whose position is now untenable. Many believe she has no option but to resign immediately. It was she who pushed the bid through and then, in an almost hysterical outburst in March, exhorted investors to accept it.

Since then it has been revealed the consortium planned to strip $4.5 billion from the company's coffers in the first year."

Then they report that:
"However, US investors indicated to the Herald over the weekend that they would like to see Qantas's chief executive, Geoff Dixon, and his management team stay on, afraid their departure would create a vacuum."

Finally, it states:

"The first to voice opposition, Andrew Sisson, of Balanced Equity Management, galvanised other investors, who had quietly opposed the bid. But even he has urged that Mr Dixon and his team remain. "There is no reason why the executives can't continue to be leading the company if the takeover doesn't proceed," he said in March.

"Mr Dixon said yesterday he would continue in his job "at the behest of the board". He stood to earn as much as $60 million in performance fees had the deal gone ahead."

What has become of Australia?
We are being played for fools and idiots. This started under Hawke and Keating, and has been followed by the Howard and Costello team. Those Governments first led the charge to asset-strip the country by selling off our precious commonly held assets - Telstra, Commonwealth Bank, Qantas, and many more.

Should we be surprised if the unprincipled "smart boys" from the top end of town follow suit, and asset strip these assets once again?

Macquarie Bank's directors and executives ought hang their heads in shame. They would, if they had any principles, but they don't, so they won't!
It is entirely likely that the MacBank people will be working the phones from this morning, preparing a new bid to buy out Qantas. One wonders:- how much they are being encouraged by the Chairman and the Chief Executive?