Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Costa's Last Stand

As readers of this blog will know, I hate this guy:

Costa shows MPs the seat of power

Andrew West, Alexandra Smith and Brian Robins
August 27, 2008

MICHAEL COSTA has been threatening Labor MPs that their electorates will be starved of funding unless they support the Iemma Government's bid to privatise the power industry.

As the Government desperately tries to convince rebel MPs to back the legislation when it is introduced tomorrow, the Treasurer issued the ultimatum to a recent meeting of 100 Labor branch delegates at the Cessnock Rugby League Supporters Club in the Hunter, the former cabinet minister and Cessnock MP, Kerry Hickey, said last night.

"His words to us were: 'There would be no money for any person who opposed the sale'," Mr Hickey said. "I have 100 delegates who will vouch for me. Mate, this is too good to make up."

One of the delegates, the Cessnock City Councillor Catherine Parsons, confirmed Mr Hickey's account and said that after Mr Costa's comment, she leaned over to her husband, a local ALP stalwart, and said: "Whoa, that sounds like a threat."

The Treasurer overheard her and replied: "No, it's a promise."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Top End Tale

I will go to the Northern Territory again but I think I will fly in, have a look at the rock, visit Kakadu and fly out. It's a big place and unsettling. My last venture there followed on from my trip to Cairns but couldn't involve hitchhiking. It's just not safe; too many lonely miles between nothing and nowhere, as Aus filmmakers have woken up to with their more recent spate of thrillers set there.

I failed to heed a warning less fatal as I heard backpackers in one of the two hostels I stayed at in Cairns discussing how awful the Darwin youth hostel was. Thinking that the Youth Hostel organisation had strict requirements about membership, I found its location - well out of town - and got off the bus there and wandered in. Well, it looked like a shearer's camp. There was a big hole in the floor. I headed straight back out, accidentally cutting across a machinery yard in my haste to depart. "You won't do that again!" yelled out the owner. And he was right, I never have.

I stayed in a lodge in town where the fans went all night and visitors stood in the pool reading a book during the heat of the day. The first night there was a guy moaning and shouting gibberish. "He's gone troppo" explained another guest.

King George V

Government Residents of the Northern Territory when annexed to the colony (later state) of South Australia:

Government Resident (1846 to 1912)

* Sir Charles Augustus Fitzroy; 21 February 1846
* Boyle Travers Finniss; 3 March 1864
* William Bloomfield Douglas; 27 April 1870
* George Byng Scott; 6 October 1873
* Edward William Prince; 1 July 1876
* John Langdon Parsons; 19 March 1884
* John George Knight; 16 July 1890
* Charles James Dashwood; 24 February 1892
* Charles Edward Herbert; 1 February 1905
* Samuel James Mitchell; 1 April 1910

Commonwealth of Australia (1912 to present)

Administrators and Government Residents of the Northern Territory after transfer of control to the Commonwealth Government:

Administrator (1912 to 1919)

* John Anderson Gilruth; 25 March 1912

Director (1919 to 1921)

* Henry Earnest Carey; 1 August 1919

Administrator (1921 to 1927)

* Frederic Charles Urquhart; 17 January 1921

Government Resident (1927 to 1931)

There was a brief experiment splitting government with an additional Government Resident (Centre Australia) in Alice Springs.

* John Charles Cawood (Government Resident for Centre Australia); 1 March 1927
* Robert Hunter Weddell (Government Resident for North Australia); 1 March 1927
* Victor George Carrington (Government Resident for Centre Australia); 11 December 1929

Administrator (1931 to present)

* Robert Hunter Weddell; (12 June 1931 - 1937)
* Charles Lydiard Aubrey Abbott; (29 March 1937 - 1946)
* L. H. A. Giles; (1946, acting)
* Arthur Robert Driver; (1 July 1946 - 1951)
* Frank Joseph Scott Wise; (1 July 1951 - 1956)
* James Clarence Archer; (1 July 1956 - 1961)
* Roger Bede Nott; (1 April 1961 - 1964)
* Roger Levinge Dean; (1 October 1964 - 1970)
* Sir Frederick Chaney; (4 March 1970 - 1973)
* T. A. O'Brien; (1973, acting)
* John Norman Nelson; (10 December 1973 - 1975)
* E. F. Dwyer; (1975 - 1978, acting)
* John England; (1 June July 1, 1978 - January 1, 1981)
* Commodore Eric Eugene Johnston; (January 1, 1981 - July 1, 1989)
* James Muirhead; (July 1, 1989 - 1993)
* Austin Asche; (1 March 1993 - 1997)
* Neil Raymond Conn; (17 February 1997 - 2000)
* John Anictomatis; (28 November 2000 - 30 October 2003)
* Edward (Ted) Joseph Egan; 31 October 2003 - 31 October 2007
* Tom Pauling; 31 October 2007 - present

Chief Ministers of the Northern Territory

Chief Minister Party Period in office
Dr Goff Letts 1 Country Liberal Party 1974 - 1977
Paul Everingham Country Liberal Party 1977 - 1984
Ian Tuxworth Country Liberal Party 1984 - 1986
Stephen Hatton Country Liberal Party 1986 - 1988
Marshall Perron Country Liberal Party 1988 - 1995
Shane Stone Country Liberal Party 1995 - 1999
Denis Burke Country Liberal Party 1999 - 2001
Clare Martin Australian Labor Party 2001 - 2007
Paul Henderson Australian Labor Party 2007 - present

and, though you've probably got some of the colour of the place, normal life and commerce up north.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Fucking stupid

and if you don't believe me about Iraq

David Kilcullen, a former Australian Army officer who is now an adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, has described the invasion of Iraq as "fucking stupid".

Amen, brother. Preach it.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

War of words, a word on war

Let's cut the bullshit on 'what the Left believes about war'. While there are pacifists aplenty in our ranks, we do not all subscribe to 'a peaceful solution at all costs' thinking.

Because there are plenty of us who are individuals (that's what going against the status quo requires), we have different beliefs and varying perceptions on how the world is constructed

and of who the enemy is.

I am bemused at the Right's attempt to categorise left wingers as all of one bloc, just because they form allegiances against one prevailing ethic or another. What do the atheist right think they are doing when they get into bed with the evangelical Christian, how does the fiscal conservative reconcile the reckless spending that characterises their Party in power? If anything, the Right are far more inclined to vote as one, despite their differences, and this has long been known to electoral analysts who see the mainstream Left's vote being eroded by a lack of support by the various anarchists, left libertarians, socialists and so forth who either vote for a minority party or refuse to vote at all.


I can't speak for every liberal or anti-capitalist, but I opposed the Iraq War in particular because I thought the reason for going in was flawed - and severely ethically suspect, given that the same men responsible for going in hard were the same who were propping up Saddam Hussein and supplying him with weapons.
Compare this with another war under the present administration: the routing of the Taliban in Afghanistan. This really was taking the fight to the enemy and I have no problem with it (so much for 'you lefties just oppose all war').
When you've got the weapons inspectors telling you there are none and you go in anyway, you're asking for karma to bite you on the ass. And that's exactly what happened. But rather than being big men - like they claim they are - and admit their mistakes, they keep making excuses and even claiming a premature victory, as if the act of stating something makes it so.

The protesters were right, not with the benefit of hindsight but with the benefit of foresight. Until the Right stops being mealy-mouthed cowards and admits that, they're pissing in the wind.