Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Bob Collins's passing - and the politics of hatred.

The death of former NT Senator Bob Collins has unleashed the "Politics of Hatred".

The webshite - the "Newspulse", the email "flier" they send out - has a foul headline "Bob Collins killed himself- Report". The article to which it links is slightly more considered - but the NEWS LIMITED website editor had no such qualms - he states Collins's death as suicide, as fact. That is outrageous.
***** states:

"FORMER Northern Territory Senator Bob Collins may have committed suicide, according to a report to be published today. The report, by Darwin-based writer Paul Toohey in The Bulletin, says the Northern Territory coroner is to investigate whether the Labor icon took a drug overdose three days before his trial for child sex offences.
The article also says Mr Collins:
  • TRIED to kill himself by driving his Toyota LandCruiser into a tree at high speed in Kakadu after the child abuse charges were first laid in 2004; and also
  • TOOK an overdose of pills in hospital in Adelaide while recovering from bowel cancer.
Toohey told the Northern Territory News last night: "Collins didn't die of cancer - I know that for a fact."

The Howard Government might now be thinking that they ought allow Parliament to return for another session, which would allow the Howard "Government of Shame" team of headkickers, and haters free reign vent their collective spleen in the safety of "Coward's Castle" under Parliamentary Privilege.

A proposed State Funeral offered to Bob Collins's family is likely to be withdrawn, or rather the family is being asked to reconsider their acceptance of a Government offer (in accordance with the Protocol Office standing rules). How gutless is that little dodge - putting pressure on the family, rather than the Government actually making a decision of its own.

So a major Politician, a former leader of the Opposition in the NT, and a former Senator for the NT, is to be buried under a slur of sexual abuse, which can never be tested in the courts.

Let me just say that from people who know some of the characters involved in this story, there are two sides to this whole business.

Let us not pretend that the Politics of the NT is above the Politic of Hatred. It is not. Lots of "respected people" in the NT resent the good things which Bob Collins did for the people of the Northern Territory. Those same people are prepared to listen to "tittle-tattle" from individuals with whom these "respected people" would not normally share the same room.

But if there is some "scuttlebutt" to be aired about Bob Collins, anything and everything is suddenly credible enough to be printed.

This is the Politics of Hatred - nothing more. It reveals the depths to which politicians and journalists will stoop.

Monday, 24 September 2007

"I Know Nothing". Howard's "Manuel" defence.

It has started. Mad political smearing, lies and innuendo. Cop this lot, from a single article in today's Fairfax Digital news feed, from the Age.
  1. A gay sex allegation, initially blamed on the Labor Party, turns out to have come from the Liberals themselves.
  2. The Big Business funded "Pro-Work-Choices" Ads used persons with criminal records to play the Union guys. Then Joe Hockey defended it, as "method acting"!!!
  3. Then the Liberals claim that the Labor Party is being funded by the TWU, and demands "TWU candidates" for the Labor Party be disendorsed. It turns out that one was once a TWU worker more than 10 years ago, and the other candidate left the TWU in 2000 (7 years ago).
Read about it here:

Gay sex smear traced to Liberals

Misha Schubert and Ben Doherty
September 24, 2007

AMID an escalating brawl over political mud-slinging in the countdown to the election, the latest smear on a Liberal figure has been traced to his own party.

Claims that a married federal minister visits gay bathhouses and sexually harasses other men in political circles surfaced yesterday in News Limited papers, which said the Government blamed Labor for smearing the minister, who has children — although the articles made clear Labor was not the source.

Veteran journalist Laurie Oakes, the Nine Network's political editor, said he too was fed the same story by a Liberal as part of an internal power struggle. Prime Minister John Howard refused to comment on the innuendo, which he said he knew nothing about.


The exchange came as big business was reeling from revelations by The Sunday Age that two actors playing "union thugs" in its pro-WorkChoices advertisement were notorious criminals with records for drug offences and violence. One had also faced sex charges. The ads were pulled on Saturday night.

ACTU president Sharan Burrow was incensed by the depiction of the unionists. But Workplace Minister Joe Hockey suggested the men were "method acting" — because "we have a number of union officials out there who have criminal records".


In another controversy, the Transport Workers Union was accused of running a secret multimillion-dollar slush fund. Mr Howard and Mr Hockey demanded Labor leader Kevin Rudd investigate to ensure the union was accountable to its members.

Mr Hockey accused the TWU of funnelling more than $3 million to the Labor Party in recent years, and demanded scalps.

"If Kevin Rudd is fair dinkum about his zero tolerance approach to the unions' dirty tricks, he will return the TWU money and disendorse his TWU candidates — Corio candidate Richard Marles and Victorian Senate candidate David Feeney," he said.

Mr Feeney has not been employed by the TWU for more than a decade, and Mr Marles left the union in 2000.

With AAP

Source: The Age - Fairfax Digital.

Prime Minister Howard is desperate, and is relying on the defence used by "Manuel" from Fawlty Towers all those years ago - "I know nothing".

Saturday, 15 September 2007

North-west Passage opens

The "legendary" North-west Passage (in the top end of the Atlantic Ocean) has apparently opened up, thanks, presumably to global warming.
The Americans are non-believers in global warming, but that does not stop them from seeing this event as an "opportunity" for both a new arena for "strategic opportunities", and also for resource exploitation.You may read more about this, courtesy of the BBC Website.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Costello's "Substance" abuse problem.

Peter Costello has a "Substance" abuse problem.

In the report in today's "Age", we find Peter Costello claiming: "Substance is what counts, you've got to have substance in politics if you are going to deliver jobs and successful businesses," he said.
Source: The Age - Fairfax Digital - 14 September 2007

Given that the main body of the article (and the Headline) is about "Rudd "arrogance" - out of control", the concluding sentence (quoted above) amounts to "substance abuse". In that report, there is not a single word of substance issued by Mr Costello, just abuse of Mr Rudd.

Costello's ideas of "Substance" apparently are limited to abusive words: Arrogance, Triumphalism, Arrogance and then a prediction that the Labor Party's new advertising campaign "will not get much traction with (sic) the electorate".

This amounts to "Substance Abuse".

Thursday, 13 September 2007

PM acts to spread the blame for his failure.

You have to hand it to PM, John Howard. He is a cunning rat.

Tonight he has come out and said that he will retire during the next term of Parliament if he is elected. And that he would expect to hand over to Peter Costello. Well, that's hardly a surprise. The Labor Party has been predicting that for ages.

"I would probably certainly form the view, well into my term, that it makes sense for me to retire and in those circumstances I would expect - although it would be a matter for the party to determine - that Peter would take over," Mr Howard said.

"Now that's the honest position."

Source: ABC News Website

Whether or not that statement is "honest", it is not just a statement to be taken at face value. So, what is he really saying?

As I see it, this means he is taking Costello at his word, that he and Howard are a "team" (right? - NOT). So, if the poll results - as predicted - come true, then Howard can say that it was not just he who lost the election, but Howard and Costello, and that the people have rejected them both.

All the polling shows that the public like Costello as Treasurer, but do not want Costello as leader. So that's what Howard is explicitly promising us.

It an amazing strategy. He is really prepared to wreck the entire party to spite Costello's faltering leadership ambitions.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

US "Surge" failure

Despite what General Petraeus might have told the US Congress, the BBC tells us that the "Surge" has failed. (We are talking about the boost of troops which George W sent to Iraq - to try and improve their chances of getting a result.)

Their survey results are extraordinary - just look at the top line. Something like 90% of the people surveyed (Iraqis - how novel is that?) say that the Americans ought leave NOW.
The General was quoted (by Dennis Shanahan, from "The Australian") as saying that "there had been a 75 per cent reduction in religious and ethnic killings in the capital between December last year and this month."

That article by Shanahan was taken to task by the ABC's Media Watch this week, as a complete overstatement. Despite the fact that there was apparently a correction made later, the original statement is still up on the web.

The ABC's Tony Jones has a much more sceptical report, based upon the views of a retired US Air Force Colonel, Sam Gardiner.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

"Clap - if you believe in Fairies"

In the final scene from the musical version of Peter Pan, Tinkerbell is in danger of dying. So the audience - usually kids who are in tears at this stage, are asked to: "Clap - if you believe in fairies".
Of course they do clap and Tink is rescued from the brink of oblivion.

There are so many parallels with the present situation in Australia.

Firstly, there is Howard as "Tinkerbell". With polls plummeting ever lower, his ability to keep flapping his gossamer wings is doubtful. He looks likely to expire at any moment.

Then there is the APEC charade: $350 million to produce what, exactly.....?

"I don't want to overstate it, but it is a big step forward to get China, Russia and the United States, the major polluters to agree on the need for an aspirational goal (to cut emissions by 2050)." Source: Fairfax Digital

Its like half the leaders of the world all hold hands, close their eyes, and say: "Yes, I believe in fairies too" - maybe something wonderful will happen and the world will survive without Global Warming. OK, can we go home now???"

The Americans don't believe in global warming, and carbon emission limits. They refuse to sign up for the Kyoto Protocol. India and China didn't sign up. Australia didn't sign up.
But its all right folks, we have a self imposed "Aspirational Goal" --- to do "something".

That's right boys. Hold hands, "Clap - if you believe in fairies"

Tinkerbell is still waving her little flimsy wings just a bit. Maybe Howard can survive the week. Maybe.

There, that was worth $350 million, wasn't it?
Sydney's reputation as a tourist magnet is in tatters.

Late news has it that Turnbull and Downer have decided that Howard has to go, (according to an ABC interview a few minutes ago, with a Sky News representative - David Speers). ABC 702 radio - 9:40am.
Read the story here.

What cost to the nation, to stoke the ego of a fading politician?
I don't think it was worth it, do you?
But then, to be honest, I never did.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

"The Final Cut" scenario?

Paul Kelly wrote a long opinion piece several days ago, and word has that if it were not for AP*ec, Howard would have been "tapped on the shoulder" by now. The article concludes:
"Howard’s response to the Newspoll was illuminating: he pledged to work harder. It was well intentioned but inadequate.
Howard can work as hard as he likes, but the problem transcends diligence and capability.
Howard’s formula is that he would stay leader only as long as his party wanted him.
The party is not going to depose Howard and Peter Costello is not going to challenge him. Howard’s leadership lies in his own hands.
For 12 years he has stayed Liberal leader because he judged correctly that he was the party’s best election winner. That was true in 1995 and it was true in 2006. But is it still true in September 2007?
What is the real message of the polls? Is it for Howard to bring on the election? Or is it that the public has closed its mind against him?
Howard has no intention of walking away from this battle because for him that would be an act of panic and cowardice.
But if the Liberal Party really believes the election is lost, then Howard must consider his responsibility as leader. He needs, at least, to re-examine his position and decide whether its logic remains valid.

Effectively Paul Kelly is doing the tapping on the shoulder himself (and he is not alone - someone in Crikey did much the same a few days ago, but I think that was Richard Farmer, who is an old buddy of Hawkie's, so Howard would take no notice). Paul Kelly is different.

Watch out for a resignation in the next week. My Blogging colleague, Miss Eagle has stated publicly that she wants Howard to stay on and face the people's judgement. If Paul Kelly's instinct is right, Howard might resign to "spend more time with his family" very soon (what a nasty thought!***) for while the Party is unlikely to challenge (how gutless are they?), Howard might be persuaded - after all, he said yesterday he was "listening to the people" (more or less), and he has always said he would stay as long as his Party needed him.
Kelly is saying they need you to go.

As I write, Paul Kelly is speaking on ABC Radio 702, (Sydney local Radio) with Richard Glover, saying that Costello is too weak, and the Party does not have enough confidence in him to bring on a challenge, so he is predicting a Howard-Rudd election. Miss Eagle would be pleased to hear that view.

I wonder, though?

*** Does anyone else recall the BBC TV series "House of Cards"?
That trilogy ended with the third series "The Final Cut" where the wife of the PM had developed into a powerful figure "in the background". She arranged for his personal body guard ("Corder") to ass** ass ** inate the (fictional) P* m. She knew the Leader needed to go out a hero, but could not work out how to achieve it himself. I wonder if the AP* ecian Se** curity scenarios included the "Fi** rst La** dy" as the Number One Threat?

If you didn't see the series, or think I am dreaming, read the three précis stories in Wikipedia.
Is Janette up to the role completed by her counterpart (Elizabeth Urquhart) from the TV series?

For Lit** tle Joh** nnie's sake, he had better hope not!
For a little light relief, let me add that there's more than enough "hardware" and "Hardheads" in Sydney right now.....
Mitre 10 is a large "ironmongers" store as one of my ancient uncles used say.
Hardhead is a common name for a species of Duck!
(Aythya australis )

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Howard is delusional.

"But I want the public to know that I haven't stopped listening to them,"
- thus speaks John Howard.

When did that happen - I mean that John Howard ever started listening to us?

Was that on 26 May 2000, when more than 250,000 people walked across Sydney Harbour Bridge in a show of solidarity for reconciliation with the Aboriginal people of Australia?
Was it when thousands marched against the imminent invasion of Iraq - proclaiming it to be an illegal invasion of a sovereign country? Walk against the War - 16 February 2003.

Howard is delusional.
There is one cure for his condition - a resounding defeat in a Federal Election.

Bring it on!

Monday, 3 September 2007

How many schools or hospitals would AP*EC money buy?

With polling showing almost three-quarters of NSW residents believe the $300 million APEC bill is a waste of money (full story in today's APEC Survival Guide), the Prime Minister urged people to be more positive.

It was "the most important international meeting ever to be held in Australia", John Howard said, an opportunity for Australia to be paraded as a "modern, sophisticated, tolerant, multiracial society".

Mr Howard also announced $70 million worth of initiatives on climate change, an issue to feature prominently during the talks.

Source: SMH 3 September 2007.


I simply ask how many schools and hospitals could be built with this money, or if you prefer, how many Doctors and teachers could have been employed, instead of uniformed thugs?

Think about it. Who makes a greater contribution to society - a doctor or nurse working in a child health clinic, or a polis-man driving a $600,000 water-cannon?

Sunday, 2 September 2007

I'm too angry for this Blog

Tonight's posting might be the last until after Next Weekend when the men in silly shirts have gone home. Here's how I have sought to explain the preparations to a good Canadian friend of mine. And I am so angry about the extraordinary waste of money, and the potential civil disturbance which is about to be inflicted on Sydney and the political disaster which the Forces of Darkness are hoping will be unleashed on Australia. Forget the silly spellings, just read it all phonetically.
You might have seen mention that Da Shr*ub and his mates are coming to Sydney for AP*eC - one of those stupid "lets all wear silly shirts and hats" meetings - in Sydney this week.
You Cannuckistanis might not be invited, not sure (bits of your country are on the Pacific Rim, so your guy ought qualify as much as Da Shrub). Anyway, the Fe**deral Go*v*ernment is going hysterical. They are a conservative (right wing) client state Government, in bed with Da Shrub - even more than your people. Stupid thing is the State (i.e., Provincial) Government is Labor (supposedly left wing, and supposedly opposed to the Federal Govt), but they are the creatures of their own State Police Force, which has seized the opportunity to buy all this "terrific anti-t*rr*rist gear", such as a $600,000 water ca**nnon (which arms salesman saw these guys coming first?) and the harbour is full of guys on jet-skis, and Rub*ber Du**ckies, scooting around looking for b*mbs under the Opera House, and the Harbour Bridge, etc. Jet planes are zooming around overhead, and half of the city has been divided by a huge metal fence (including the main harbour ferry terminal (Circular Quay) through which multi-000s of commuters travel every day).
It is a shambles, and worse is about to occur. The State Police are effectively taunting pro**testors saying we are ready for you, your nasty aggressive, violent demo**nstrators. But nobody has done anything (yet). The psychology of this is just terrible. The Bov-ver-Boys (in uniforms) are just itching for a fight. And with a conservative Government looking likely to lose the forthcoming election (due some time in the next 2 months) there is nothing the conservative press and conservative Govr't would love more than provoking "civil unrest". And the stupid lefties look like they're going to provide the camera footage the forces of darkness want (to use against them), in order to scare the population at large.
It is a self-fulfilling prophecy of disaster.
I hope to chrissake it does not eventuate, for that outcome looks like the only thing which could save Howard from electoral disaster, if he and Georg eW become the "victims" of "nasty com**mie lefty thugs", requiring the water-cannonistas to sweep the streets clean.
Buses have already been converted to mobile prisons, with shatter-proof glass, and steel cages inside. Extraordinary. The country's forces of darkness are itching for a civ**il whore! And we have spent an absolute fortune on all this equipment, which is just aching to be used, to justify its expenditure.
I hate everything about this sh**t.

Beam me up, Scotty. This planet is not worth wasting time on.