IN THE BROADSHEETS
The curious part of reading this morning's coverage of the Cronulla race riots was watching various right-wing commentators discovering grievance. In the past there was "no excuse for that sort of behaviour", as in the case of the Redfern riots and disturbances inside detention centres, and certainly they had no time for those wondering about "the root causes of terrorism". Ah, but when the "ugly mob" are Aussie boofheads, well, those simmering resentments are worth hearing about. Try Piers Akerman
for example, as he feels "the painfully deep-seated resentment" arising out of "the failed multicultural policies foisted on an unsuspecting nation decades back". At this rate Piers will feel the pain of the white experiment foisted on an unsuspecting indigenous nation some time back. Or perhaps not. (And there is more of that to be found in the opinion pages, as most of the usual suspects take up their usual
positions in the dreary cultural wars - no wonder people stop reading newspapers when they show such little genuine curiosity about the way things are, and absolutely no hope that they could be better.)
But the good news is that Australia is not a racist country, according to John Howard, even though John Huxley in the SMH and David King in The Oz
highlight the involvement of far-right racist groups, and the Cronulla
mob were waving flags and chanting "no Lebs", and worse. (Apart from
not forcing racists to confront their own racism - which infects us all
to some greater or lesser extent - doesn't the PM's statement run the
risk of being heard by some as a dog-whistle message that they were to
some extent justified?) David Marr
looks at the role of talk-back radio, Alan Jones in particular. All the
papers lead on the second night of violence, with The Australian
reporting ("race warfare divides city") that Sydney exploded into a second night of race warfare
as tensions between rival ethnic gangs escalated into a series of
late-night revenge attacks on white Australian males across the south
and west of the city. The report includes photos of text messages
urging violence, and The Age reports that new text messages, including
one declaring war between Sydney's Middle Eastern youths and Australians, are being circulated.
Coverage in The Guardian can be found here; and the NYTimes here.
In other news, The Australian reports that the resources boom is gathering a new head of steam,
with higher prices for most of Australia's minerals expected to deliver
an extra $22 billion in exports to the nation's miners this financial
year; that Senator Steve Fielding was promised tax breaks for families
as an incentive to vote for the Government's controversial voluntary
student union bill; that tens of thousands of women considering an
abortion will be able to claim the cost of counselling
on Medicare from early next year; and that evidence considered
commercially sensitive or confidential, such as Iraqi wheat contracts,
may be excluded from the federal Government's inquiry into the corrupt UN oil-for-food scandal.
The Age reports that Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks will be granted British citizenship
by the UK High Court today, his Australian lawyer expects, only to have
it taken off him by the British Government; that police investigating
an alleged Melbourne terror cell logged 4392 hours of covert surveillance of their suspects
and have identified 237 secretly recorded conversations that could form
part of the case against the men; and that Victorian Treasurer John
Brumby set out a plan for taking control of more than $700 million
administered by the Supreme Court on behalf of 5100 injured children
and disabled people in May, a letter obtained by The Age reveals.
The Herald reports that three urban planning and environmental
experts have been appointed to determine whether Sydney Water properly
considers community concerns over the Kurnell desalination plant, even though the State Government will ignore critics who oppose its construction; that the Federal Government has pledged to spare unfair dismissal claims awaiting hearing
in state jurisdictions after it conceded their immediate cessation was
an unintended consequence of its overhaul of workplace relations
legislation; that Sydney's house price slump is choking off the home renovation boom; and that the Prime Minister has intervened in an end Liberal versus National wrestling in Queensland before the stoush seriously infects the Coalition in Canberra.
You might also be interested in a study into the wombat's lovemaking repertoire; and burglars broke into Charlie Owen's St Kilda home on Saturday and stole two rare guitars.
The Age: Tim Colebatch
previews the inaugural East Asia Summit, says Australia has been
largely sidelined, and that it is difficult to see it "matching the
rhetoric and inspiration of its founders"; Garry Woodward
says "Australia has a clear moral obligation, reinforced by post-World
War II history, to stand shoulder to shoulder with the ASEAN
parliamentarians" putting pressure on the Burmese junta; Tony Parkinson
says the problems that led to the Cronulla riot have been simmering for
years, with some blame going to police and the media, but most of it to
ruthless Lebanese gangs; and Salam Zreika
acknowledges the problems in the Lebanese community, but says it is
difficult to get her message across that she is a dinky-di Aussie if
no-one gives her the time of day.
The Australian: Steve Lewis
says clamping down on tax avoidance by the rich, mainly through
discretionary trusts, should take priority over tax reform, and reports
that Malcolm Turnbull is about to make another speech on the subject,
this time pushing a simpler tax system; Phillip Adams
looks at the history of terrorism in the 20th century and says it
"attracts damaged and deluded people who dignify their madness by
attaching an ideological label"; Paul Comrie-Thompson
blames multiculturalism for the Cronulla race riots, saying that the
rule of laws should apply equally to everyone (but doesn't give
examples of where it doesn't, merely offers examples of where cultural
excuses have been put forwarded by some individuals); Tim Priest,
never one to miss an opportunity, says the race riots are the result of
lack of policing and "the multitude of racist attacks on young
Australian men and women during the past decade, which have now
manifested into full-blown racial retaliation"; and Arti Sharma
(Centre for Independent Studies) says the changes to the child support
system are fair, but that it is unfair for "custodial parents to expect
to receive full child support when their former partner is sharing the
The SMH: Gerard Henderson
says Australia is a tolerant society , except when it's not tolerant,
is careful to point out the failings of some Lebanese Australians who
were not really refugees, and says multiculturalism and the media
should not be blamed for the actions of an aggressive few (Henderson
use the phrase "we are tolerant" numerous times, as if he is trying to
convince someone, perhaps himself?); Nadia Jamal
nominates some problems within the Lebanese community, and also
discusses the scapegoating that has followed the gang rapes and
terrorism; Bronwyn Winter makes comparison with the Paris riots and says the underlying problem is a culture of machismo in Cronulla and in gangs; and Clifton Evers says part of the problem is the unwritten rules that apply on beaches, and the sense of ownership that local surfers feel.
"I lied, says News chief counsel". The Age leads, with the SMH not
far behind, on News Ltd chief general counsel Ian Philip's evidence to
the Federal Court yesterday that he had lied to Telstra, "possibly" defrauded it, and destroyed documents
he feared could be used against himself or News in a court case. And,
The Australian does a reasonable job of reporting on its own man,
although you have to read down into the story to get to the lying,
defrauding and destroying bit: A News Limited senior executive told a
federal judge yesterday he misled pay-TV partner Telstra
so it would contribute up to $14 million a year extra for National
Rugby League football rights, saving the media giant from digging
further into its pockets.
The Age reports that five consortiums have been shortlisted for the second round of bidding in the battle for the Myer department stores ahead of tomorrow's financial briefings; and that investment group Babcock & Brown Infrastructure is set to snare Britain's second-biggest ports group, PD Ports plc, for $805 million.
The Herald reports that the chief executive of National Australia Bank, John Stewart, yesterday agreed to stay on at the bank indefinitely and signed a contract worth as much as $8.375 million a year; that Macquarie--controlled Sydney Airport has refused to concede defeat
in its three-year battle with Virgin Blue over landing fees; and that a
global shortage of enormous digger tyres, costing $US20,000 ($26,000)
each and taking a day to make, is helping to keep the keep the cost of metals and minerals artificially high, according to miners and tyre makers.
The Australian reports that Toll Holdings has made last-minute concessions to the competition regulator
in an attempt to win approval for its hostile $4 billion-plus takeover
bid for Patrick as its offer price continues to lag the market; that
Lion Nathan has conceded that shareholders in Coopers Brewery will
probably vote to remove its rights to buy shares
in the company tomorrow, but has vowed to fight on with its hostile
$420 million takeover bid; and that while Australia is basking in the
midst of a commodity price boom, the country's manufacturing sector has
warned that it is gradually being driven into the ground by a rising Aussie dollar and cheap Asian imports, especially from China.
says that in the midst of soaring foreign debt levels, quotas are the
key to protecting what's left of Australian manufacturing; and Bryan Frith
thinks that unless Toll has badly misread the smoke signals, it has now
ensured that the ACCC won't oppose its $5 billion takeover bid for
Patrick Corp, which means the issue should now come down to price.
The Daily Telegraph:
A second night of violence erupted across Sydney last night, as two
police officers described saving young men from being murdered during
the Cronulla riot; An urgent anti-terrorist security upgrade in the
most vulnerable spots in Sydney will be carried out before New Year's
Simmering racial tensions exploded in Sydney again last night as police
traced chilling new text messages inciting further violence; Top gold
medal swimming hopes for the Commonwealth Games have taken part in a
military-style exercise involving a mock execution of two teammates.
Racial tensions in the Sydney suburb of Cronulla exploded again last
night when groups of men descended on the suburb seeking revenge for
Sunday's attacks; A Brisbane police officer has allegedly bribed a
teenager to have s*x with him in return for dropping a traffic charge.
Conroy Smallgoods was told last Friday to start withholding its
ready-to-eat meats, but the public was only told yesterday of a
possible link to the deadly listeria outbreak; South Australia's mental
health system is so degraded that police officers have become the
"primary carers" of the mentally ill and health care workers are
hampered by a "siege mentality", a parliamentary committee has heard.
The West Australian:
A new survey has revealed that more than four in five West Australians
believe State-of-origin food labelling should be compulsory,
contradicting claims by State Agriculture Minister Kim Chance that
consumers do not want such laws; WA motorists have been ripped off by
the five major petrol retailers which bumped up price margins by as
much as 100 per cent in the months leading up to Christmas, says
Consumer Protection Commissioner Patrick Walker.
In a last-gasp bid to save the state's rail system, the Federal
Government has offered Tasmania a $78million rescue package; A
Tasmanian cherry grower has done the equivalent of selling ice to
eskimos by selling Japanese cherries to Japan.
It was a bridge too far for Sydney FC, who have missed out on a dream date with Liverpool after a courageous 1-0 loss to Deportivo Saprissa in the quarter-finals of the Club World Championship in frigid conditions near Nagoya; A report highly critical of binge drinking on the Kangaroos tour led to the appointment yesterday of Roosters coach Ricky Stuart as the new boss of the national team; Anthony Mundine has called on his fans
to leave it to him to deal with Danny Green when the pair finally go
head to head next April, and not to treat the 32-year-old West
Australian with the same hostility he was shown in Sunday night's
double header at Challenge Stadium; Cricket Australia has defended the right of its players to voice opinions
about the opposition and engage in colourful pre-match banter after the
International Cricket Council took the unusual step of warning players,
and even retired players, to tone down their inflammatory remarks in
the lead-up to the series against South Africa.