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Peter Beattie bent on destruction of Rudd's chances

Just seen the Network Ten news here in Queensland. I believe that Peter Beattie is single handedly destroying Labor's chances of winning office at the federal election.

His latest move - changing legislation at the last minute from fining councils who hold a referendum on whether their people support council amalgamation to SACKING a council which does so smacks of Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen at his worst.

Does he deny the amalgamation in some areas - Noosa. Port Douglas and Redcliffe in particular - is opposed by the people who live in these areas? No. What he's doing is using "Stalinist tactics", as the Liberal leader here said on the news, to piss on grassroots democracy.

On the same day, yet another Beattie Government minister has been charged with a criminal offence, this time for assault. One has already been jailed for attempted blackmail and the other faces very serious corruption charges for conduct which personally enriched him while he was a minister.

Maybe Queenslanders will say, "Yes, Howard's team is awful, but what's better about Labor?" Maybe Queenslanders will say, "since both big parties are full of thugs who won't represent the people or the public interest (remember Beattie went to his election without revealing his amalgamation agenda) let's keep Howard in as a counter to the Labor states".

Beattie is an enemy of Rudd's, because Rudd worked with Wayne Goss to keep Beattie on the back bench when Goss was Premier (it's a factional thing). Has Beattie decided on the ultimate revenge?

What does he expect seethingly angry voters to do? The only thing they can do, I guess - slap down ALP candidates at the federal election.

John Howard has finally found a hot issue with his offer to fund local referendums in Queensland. He's on a winner and he knows it. Because of Beattie, he's back in the game in Queensland.

Who'd have thought an own goal by Labor would bring Howard back from the brink. Rudd needs to win quite a few seats in Queensland. He must be feeling cold at the pit of his stomach tonight.

PS: I'm supposed to be doing something else. This is my last foray into Webdiary for the next 3 weeks  I'm so gobsmacked by Beattie that I couldn't help myself on this one. Please feel free to post relevant links.


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Where was Howard then

Howard was certainly PM when the South Sydney and City of Sydney Councils were amalgamated back in 2004.

According to the Greens:

Documents that have led to the dismissal of Sydney Water CEO Greg Robinson should be made available to the public, not just senior bureaucrats and government ministers, Greens MP Sylvia Hale said today.

“Whistleblowers need to be protected from a witch-hunt by senior bureaucrats, not the public,” Ms Hale said.

“The very people who whistleblowers need protection from are the only people to have these documents.

“Releasing the documents will highlight just how far the Minister for Energy and Utilities has gone to cover up the ineptitude within senior ranks of Sydney Water.

“The Greens will be moving a motion when parliament resumes to make public the result of the internal audit that lead to the sacking of Director General Greg Robinson.

And back then not a word from Howard.

Howard's latest play

The transcript of his announcement is here.

I like this bit:


Do you see any difference between this amalgamation Mr Howard and the amalgamation undertaken by the Kennett Government which was also unpopular?


I haven't examined all the details of the Kennett amalgamation, if my memory serves me correctly, I was not then Prime Minister, I was not even Opposition Leader at the time. I think the Kennett amalgamations took place in 1993 and 1994, just not long after Mr Kennett was elected. I don't remember whether there was any consultation with the local councils but I don't recall, and your memory may be better than mine Michelle on this, I do not recall the Kennett government passing legislation to penalise people who wanted to have an expression of opinion. So if my recollection is correct then the circumstances are quite different. What we are railing against is the denial by the Beattie Government of the right of the people of Queensland to express a view. That's what this is directed against. You asked it in the context of the amalgamations, that's not what.....that's not the principal target of this legislation. The target of this legislation is the outrageously undemocratic punishment of local councils for daring to want to express a view, that's all.

Kennett won power, sacked all the councils and put in administrators who redrew the boundaries. T'was much worse than Beattie's plans. much worse. Not part of his election promises either.

Beattie and Rudd a clever team

Actually I think Beattie's foray into realpolitic is a clever ploy. It is designed to get Howard to call the election earlier than he would otherwise want to if he thinks that he can hold Queensland. The earlier the better from Rudd's point of view. This would have never happened in Joh's day - those power hungry pollies from Canberra would never have tried it on then. Shows how Queensland has changed for people to think that Beattie might lose Rudd the election. But it wonit work because Beattie and Rudd know that Queenslanders still hate any interference from damn southerners even if they hate Beattie at the same time.

PF from Cairns (and southerners to us includes those fascist-bolshies from Brisbane).


Angela, I think the only truly free society is where one is not obliged to work at all. I think we are all slaves. There is always someone kicking at our heels, and everyone else is too busy trying to out-run you to stop and look at the powers that are doing this to us. I feel deeply sorry for individuals who are blackmailed into unpleasant and back-breaking work because of their financial commitments. You rightly describe them as "mortgage hostages".

I find it difficult to accept as moral a society which allows people to be truck drivers at night, or a variety of other thankless professions. Even the law, I think, is inhumane, seeing what it has done to the heart and soul of young people my age. I don't see class as necessarily an indicator of the level of exploitation. The demands placed upon university educated people are, at times, obscene. Corporate professionals often strike me as barely holding off depression and full of a kind of feral promenade, pretending to be "tough" as a defence against accusations of incompetence. I think they sit waiting for someone to tap them on the shoulder and inform them that the world knows they are faking it.

The closest thing to freedom in this world, I believe, is to be able to be your own boss in a career which synchronises with your personal interests and gives provision for your social and family life. Independence from exploitation is in a buried way at the heart of Liberal party philosophy.

The ALP wants to protect people with little bargaining power but this is not enough. The union movement relies on the fact that there will be people with low bargaining power, and, I wonder, if this might not encourage a kind of apoplexy in regards to finding solutions to the basic problem of power imbalances. All they want to do is legislate away the imbalance, which is never going to work because it is artificial, unreal. The law is a paper tiger.

Whilst WorkChoices is only a bandaid, I think removing WorkChoices is also only a bandaid. The purpose of policy should be to increase the quality and desirability of employees through training and skills education, so that their rights are not dependent upon the fortunes of a particular political party. Howard wants technical colleges to teach "entrepeneurial skills", which I think is a step in the right direction, though in truth it amounts only to more instutionalised education, which is really not going to be all that effective. What we need is deinstitutionalisation of the education system and the workforce.

A Vote for Kevin Rudd is a Vote for Fairness.

I respect Andrew Bartlett a great deal and feel that his "fall from grace" immensely lessened the power of the Democrats.

His letter to the Senators is excellent but, I have serious misgivings as to the "New Order" taking any notice at all.

Howard continues to accuse his opposition of doing exactly what he and his robots are doing. No MSM observation?

The latest insulting variety was his "disgust" at the Queensland government for "making the hard decisions" and "exercising absolute power". Fair dinkum.

If anyone cares to look back at the polls on most of the Howard "New Order" performances, it will be found that, since Howard gained control of the Senate, he has rushed through every peace of radical legislation that he had hidden under his bed.

But then everyone already knows that.

Howard says he is not poll driven. That, of course, is just another lie, I think his sycophantic robots are not quite in step with the jack-booted little U.S. puppet.

The Australian Labor Party should make all voters aware that they have no chance, under this half-Senate election, of gaining control of that House of Parliament to have the checks and balances required.

The best result that Australia can get is for the minor parties to poll well and achieve  an independent control, in which case Howard would buy a simple majority with rewards? (Remember Meg Lees?)

In other words, if the Australian Labor Party wins the federal election, there will be either a return to a Senate of checks and balances through minor party control or the continuing control by the Coalition.

Conversely, a win to the Liberal/Nationalists in the House of Representatives would give them back absolute power because he will do anything to be re-elected - and of course that includes bribery.

Barnaby Joyce has always proved his service to Howard by giving the appearance of being not quite happy. But in every case, Howard got what he wanted.

So, don't be surprised if Howard has Barnaby go through his act again to try to fool voters into thinking that there are checks and balances on Howard's "New Order" when time has proven that there are none whatsoever.

You may even find Howard delaying the half-Senate election. This could maximise his change of maintaining a Senate majority that could block every Bill an Australian Labor Party government may try to legislate.

Well might they say, we wouldn't do that! Remember Remembrance Day in 1975 when the Liberals broke all convention and refused the Government of the day the supply they needed to govern?

Might they say, Howard is above that? Struth.



Crikey. While we’re worried about propping up the Liberal Party’s Pineapple Curtain shire council development spree-orgy-romp, we may also have to prop up a Satanist Hill$ong political orgy.

Some were all agape at Rudd’s banter about compassion and Iraq (oh dear), the fundamentalists were clicked into gear with Kirribilli’s warped and astonishing revelatory ideas on Jesus’s Parable of the Talents. The Parable of the Good Samaritan “informed,” Satan muttered. But the Parable of the talents “guided”:

“… another, less well-known lesson from the Bible guided his policy on small businesses.

"The Parable of the Talents has always seemed to me to be the free-enterprise parable - the parable that tells us that we have a responsibility if we are given assets to add to those assets," he said.

Not that that means the poor miss out under Mr Howard, whatever his detractors say.

"That we're indifferent to the vulnerable, we're only interested in the prosperous middle class and we really don't care very much about others and we're pretty indifferent to the poor in our society - that's a charge that I not only take keenly but I fairly vigorously reject," he said.

Fairly, eh? One would have said so. Not "to the limit," or even "fulsomely," as Howard often grunts in Texas Fundamentalist mock-English.

Howard gave examples, everything from the Government's ongoing intervention into the Northern Territory's Aboriginal communities to its foreign aid program.

Seems to have forgotten Mesopotamia. Now that's more than a widows's mite. K'n huge load of widows and mites, though.

This is a new one. Murder and money as the work of Christ. Only Kirribilli could come up with that one. The Parable of the Giant Expensive Rocket full of Napalm (sounds like something out of John, really). Frying the Assyrians and the Foes of Righteousness.

One imagine AidWatch would agree on the Aid angle. And God knows who’s getting the candy from the Military’s NT thing. $500 million, so far. It’s only money. Or talents, as they say at Hill$ong

Howard clearly believes Christ’s parable is all about him and the investment of money. Lurching into full song on-line from the National Press Club of Australia, subdued dark lilac curtain screened from reality the PM’s sad, deranged features and thoughts, along with his strangely clenched buttocks.

And who would have guessed that Mr Howard would choose the investment parable (Matthew 25:14-30) that ends with “the weeping and gnashing of teeth?” Oh, let us pray. Bring it bloody well on.

I suspect a Rudd plant at work here. A Christian on-line mole, dedicated to crushing the Howard $atan.

Perhaps Kirribilli should have pondered on a previous verse (Matthew 24:36-44, No one knows the day or hour). Also Peter Costello and Kevin Rudd. And Akka.

But as one will freely admit and sometimes unabashedly demonstrate, even the devil can quote scriptures.

I wonder what Howard makes of the Sermon on the Mount? It may well be that it is crudely hacked out of the Hill$ong/Kirribilli $criptures on the grounds of not having enough about small business.

They have people for that. People who hate the word “compassion” with feeling. Kevin Rudd should take note. These people vote, as does Akka. Probably severally. The smartly outfitted Howard Jugend always works the multiple vote rort.

Jihad Jacques, also known as Shimon-Peter, failed Piscador

A Fair Dinkum WorkChoice Debate?

Where were Joe Hockey and Barbara Bennett?

Ms Bennett was reported as coercing her workmates in her department to accept individual AWA's.

The ABC’s Difference of Opinion on 9 August 2007 was very enlightening with respect to the corporation unions and associations battle against the will of the people.

The major spokesman for the corporations was Steve Knott (CEO of the Australian Mines & Metals Association). (The other WorkChoice advocate was Tony Steven, CEO of the Council of Small Business.) After watching Knott’s performance, I understand what Hockey is saying about thugs.

The only difference is that they are certainly in the corporation unions which obviously dismantles the claim that only worker's unions have thugs.

The supposed rep for the small business seems to have forgotten that the globilization policies of the Howard "New Order" will put most of those he represents out of business.

The debate left me feeling that the two people opposing Howard's draconian laws had virtually the entire audience in concert.

They were Professor Geoff Gallop, Director of the University of Sydney's Graduate School of Government and Zana Bytheway, Executive Director of JobWatch inc. on employment rights legal centre.

It is quite amazing how Howard and his robots continue to get away with accusing the opposition of doing what they are doing themselves. Must be because of the failure of the MSM to report the absolute facts?

I have always been against the 19th century laws. However, there is more to Howard's corporation government than he would like to admit.

For example:

  • They claim that WorkChoices are moving us into the future and yet, those laws are only slightly different to the individual contracts of the 1850's! Fair dinkum.
  • The small business rep claimed that with these laws he is able to smooth out the wages of his employees by ignoring the days, hours and type of work they do for the worker's convenience. Struth.
  • The corporation's thug was horrified to think that, while his company is a member of several corporation unions, some people from a worker's union may have the right to argue for the employees. Absolutely horrified!
  • The great majority of the audience was not impressed.
  • It seems that the corporations are indeed afraid of workers having the basic right of collective bargaining or the right to decide if they want a union like the employers.

If it is fair enough for the corporations to have unions then isn't it also fair for the employees to have unions?

Why are Howard and his corporation masters so afraid of employee unions? Could it be that the collective voice of the employees would interfere with the autocratic control of the workplace? Which takes us back to the 1850's!

In short, the case for the WorkChoices legislation fails to meet the reality test.

We should all keep our eyes of the ball.


Beattie is small cheese!

I don't believe that council issue in Queensland will have much bearing on the Federal election at all. I think that hostility to Howard and his IR laws will be the main factor in his demise.

Besides, I believe that most people think that there are too many levels of government anyway.


They said WA loved General John

But the Westpoll has Howard losing almost every seat in WA because of the interest rates rise.

It might interest people to note that the person with the biggest mouth runs a tin pot council with 1000 people in the area.

He is to be amalgamated with Roma and Beaudesert and the folks of Warroo will love the new services within a week.

Queensland had plenty of time to digest the changes; the report was across the board and bipartisan.

It is also now law.

Now Alan Curran, perhaps you might like to comment on the usefulness of having a referendum that will cost our money and achieve nothing?

Sorry to disapoint you, Alan

...but I happen to be a small businessman myself and I stand by what I have said.

Never Ever Trust the Howard "New Order"!

Come off it, Howard, you really do think that our people are stupid!

An election of the Howard "New Order" would bring about massive losses of basic human rights and anything that is left of privacy.

Just remember that Howard "never ever" keeps his promises. As his wife Janette has said: "John is not into making firm commitments". How true that is.

I cannot think of one thing that he has done over eleven years that has been of benefit for the people and the people alone, without strings attached. Every one of the micro-small tax breaks has been more than dissipated by the interest and cost of living rises.

I am also amazed by the claim, originated by Laurie Oaks, that Kevin Rudd is copying Howard. Heaven forbid.

Anyone with half a brain is aware that Kevin Rudd is smart enough not to be trapped into a Howard wedge of an issue of importance by just a few hidden problems. No sir.

However, the copying began when Howard had no new future plans and "me too'd" Kevin Rudd on climate change, the Murray-Darling, broadband, cost of living, housing un-affordability, health, and education policies etc. Now that is copying big time.

How come the MSM is not aware of that? Strange!

Howard's own ideas include: a cheap broadband for the bush, extended censorship laws, cheap political intervention in Tasmanian governance, ditto in Queensland, fostering the breach of law, more take-overs of welfare to all Australians not meeting his personal criteria for child-minding, similar to the attack on Aborigines – and there will be much more!

The only way to handle Howard's "New Order" (all of them) is to take whatever they offer you without commitment and then vote them out of office for insulting your intelligence.

The latest Pinocchio trap from the spiteful little schoolboy is offering free filtering of your internet if you apply for it.


Howard has been able to completely, or at least partially, control every form of information that moulds our perception – except the Internet. (He tried it in Victoria and failed).

Margo's Webdiary is testament to that fact.

BUT if you apply for this free filter, you have agreed to its use on your PC – and it is administered by Howard's Federal Police!

Oh - didn't he mention that?

There is not much protection these days against these radical fascists so, as Howard himself has said so many times when asked to protect the public, caveat emptor.

Never ever trust the Howard "New Order".

Bring on the election.



Ernest William, Howard has been able to completely, or at least partially, control every form of information that moulds our perception – except the Internet. Margo's Webdiary is testament to that fact.

Are you suggesting that Howard controls Webdiary? And that he filters everything you and I write?

Corporate excess

Both parties are indeed subject to corporate pressure. There will be other pressures: moral, ideological, social and religious but corporate power is supreme because it has the wealth to back up its power. Under right-wing ideology it also has moral authority, based on the seductive allure of "freedom", which means citizens are not protected from corporate excess.

I think Michael De Angelos's point about the business community driving fascism is astute. It should be the state, at the behest of the people, that reins in corporate power. We are taught to fear the state over all other power structures: the family, the churches, the education system, the military and the business community. I think this is wrong - we should fear all power structures equally, because they all have equal potential to exploit our person.

It is wrong, also, to demonise any one class of people, both ethically and as a matter of conscientiousness in interpreting the world. Power and authority are not abstract concepts but are administered by real people with a range of strengths and weaknesses. I don't doubt the integrity, for example, of Johnson & Johnson. Yet I would spit on a cigarette company executive if I ever encountered one.

The easiest way to understand power is to observe yourself and see who has influence over you, who compels your actions, who limits your choices and who alters your consciousness to suit their goals. The corporate world, literally, has a grip over our hearts. Consider that cardio-vascular disease kills more people than any other disease and that a great variety of corporate products actively facilitate heart disease and others do not. This is not a matter of free choice; this is a matter of corporate power doing violence to our people, hurting our people, for its own selfish gratification.

It is hard to know who to trust in this world but the way to learn to trust is to look and see who looks after your physical health, first. The government is actively campaigning against dangerous driving, alcohol abuse, smoking and sedentary lifestyles. So are some corporate elements and they deserve all credit and support for that.

Hi Solomon

Beautiful post, Solomon, you sure are back in form :)

I can see I misunderstood you before when I uber reacted . I was also particularly lacking in compassion for your own journey.. Please accept my apology. I have been thinking of it for the last week or so, a flailing here, a flailing there ... just kidding, metaphorically…

I think one of the problems is that those in power at present like the way things are going, and those not in power haven't the slightest clue of the path being travelled until they start seeing the ads or are affected themselves – then the reality hits home.

We forget noblesse oblige (help Fiona! Fiona: None necessary, Angela), where those better off have a responsibility for those less well off. And that, Alan, includes power of position. For the educated and financially secure it is easy to say shove the job, I ain't signing that (unless it is doubled :), but for the worker, the single parent, the mortgage hostage, a job is a job and must be taken as is. Only certain areas of the economy are job excess, some are the other way.

I suspect the pendulum will swing again into conflict between workers and boss. And bosses will discourage gathering and workers will realise that is their only power.. History has already done all this – do we really need to go back to Howard's 50s? And then 60s?

A society is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable. How would you score yourself there, Alan?



Angela, "A society is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable. How would you score yourself there, Alan?"

I think I would score pretty well on that count.

I just think that all the nonsense regarding WorkChoices is a scare campaign by the unions because they want their power back. I agree that some people are having problems with the IR, but more people will suffer if Labor tears up the legislation and unemployment starts to rise. If the unions and the bosses are embroiled in a fight, the bosses are going to win and the workers are going to be the patsies.

new candidate hardely a unionst, eh?

Hey Alan, naturally you would.

Now, Victoria is choosing some formidable candidates:

“…Rodney Cocks, an Australian Army officer and United Nations security adviser, will now contest the Victorian seat, held by the Coalition's Jason Wood by a 5.9 per cent margin.

"The party's national executive will rubber-stamp Mr Cocks next week to replace the union official Greg Pargeter. The ALP now considers La Trobe a winnable seat and Mr Cocks was considered a first-class candidate.

"Mr Cocks, the 2005 Victorian of the year, was serving in East Timor but holidaying in Kuta at the time of the 2002 Bali bombings. He was awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal for his actions in the aftermath.

"As a UN adviser in Iraq, he was injured in the 2003 suicide bomb attack on the UN's Baghdad headquarters but still helped the wounded and dying. He is now serving in Afghanistan…..”

A great guy! But I wonder if he has to resign if he gets the seat? Hardly a unionist heavy, eh?

Ah well, keep to the script. Can't accept some plan to have diversity in a parliament, can we?


A Truly Independent Decision by Peter Beattie.

Howard is always capable, as one journalist has written, "Able to talk 19 to the dozen without saying one thing that he really believes".

Under the Beattie Australian Labor government, Queensland has improved greatly since my wife and I have been coming here every year.

I am disappointed that some Labor supporters can only see a federal disaster (at this time) in Beattie's changes  for ALL of Queensland.

At least he has surely shown all and sundry that the latest mad attack on the State Australian Labor Governments by Howard is, as always, a deperate act of a person mad with power.

It was as apolitical as it was courageous to act as he did on this issue and other infrastructure that Queenslanders will benefit by.

Do they forget that his government has had stewardship over the increased employment and living standards in this State?

It is sad that some people consider that Queenslanders react without thought and that they will punish Beattie for considering their future before his own.  I don't believe that and I hope they are wrong.

The spiteful little schoolboy is again appealing to the worst in our citizens and is prepared to order the Australian Electoral Commission to have plebiscites in all of the affected areas.  Struth.

Let me just remind the Queenslanders of another of the characteristics of fascists:

Reference: A Fascist Australia

Article 14.  Fraudulent Elections.  Electoral rules are manipulated and media reports distorted, and cooperative judges legtimise the outcomes.

Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham.  Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media.

Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.  End of quote.  Sounds like the "New Order"?

So, since Howard controls the Australian Electoral Commission and, it appears, the High Court, will his well-known manipulations at each election time continue unchallenged?

Keep the faith in Kevin Rudd and the federal Australian Labor Party, people - it's time for a change for the better or we may never see that chance again.


Keep the faith

Ernest William, "Keep the faith in Kevin Rudd and the federal Australian Labor Party, people".

You must be kidding: they are a treacherous lot riddled with factions and "paybacks". They just cannot be trusted at any level.

Richard:  Oddly, that's exactly what the ALP says about the Libs. 

Scott Dunmore.  "The timing and methodology, however, are brainless. Of what is Beattie thinking? Where is the urgency? This could have waited, and Rudd must be spewing. Queensland is critical to the aspirations of federal Labor".

That's it: wait till after the election to bring on all the nasties, just like in NSW where the ferry strikes only occur after the election. More union thuggery.

On the subject of nasties

Yes Alan, just like Work(lack of)Choices. Gimme a break a break and btb you're lucky you didn't take my 5/4 on the coalition: it's blown out to 6/4.


Scott Dunmore, What do you mean, "lack of choices"?

If you don't want to sign an AWA just go and get another job. There are plenty of jobs out there. You don't have to do what the union bully boys say - it is a free country.

Both wings of the business party

Thought-provoking comments, Michael. Recently I have been reading some ASIO files from the 1950s-1970s. The secret police, it seems, have always been prying and spying on people for participating in the democratic process. Now of course, it is so much easier with the technology available. 


Beattie is displaying the arrogance of a Government that has no checks or balances. Unlike other States, Qld has no upper house of review, where some sort of negotiation is usually required to get legislation through. It is a similar position to Howard, who basically controls the Senate and can get legislation through without having to consult (much). And as others have said Jeff Kennett carried out radical forced amalgamations in Victoria and sacked all the councils, appointing ddministrators until the heat had died down. For anyone over the age of 25 in Victoria it means losing connection with places and names, as shires disappear and some new entity appears with a name that has no connection to place.

The arrogance of Government is clearly articulated by both wings of the business party, Liberal and Labor. There is no doubt that a hornet's nest has been stirred in Qld although many of the bloggers (Brisbane Courier Mail) seem more outraged by Howard's intervention. As Beattie and Howard have shown this week, rushing legislation through parliament without proper debate is something neither Lib/Lab has a  monopoly on. 

That is why it is so important to have other forces in politics, The Greens, The Democrats, One Nation all contribute to making politics less about the two business parties and more accountable to other legitimate views.

A new model of government?

John Pratt, couldn't agree with you more. How about scrapping state governments completely and replacing them with super regional councils run totally by techno-bureaucrats employed as public servants obviating politics but tempered by public inclusion?

Without knowing any of the details I'll suggest that the reforms are probably a good thing: we've had an amalgamation of councils in our area without the parochial backlash evident in Queensland.

The timing and methodology, however, are brainless. Of what is Beattie thinking? Where is the urgency? This could have waited, and Rudd must be spewing. Queensland is critical to the aspirations of federal Labor.

Yep – it’s Fascism

Never quite trusted Beattie and more so because he was supposedly such a virulent anti-Joh campaigner in his youth. He's done more to perpetuate the legend of Sir Joh than any that followed the old crook into the QLD state parliament. There are many qualities about Beattie that remind one of the so-called Washington Neocons, swinging from raging lefties in their youth to the hard-line right as they got older.

Beattie could give Bob Carr a run for his money any day when it comes to betraying traditional Labor values. Take a gander at the God awful monument to tackiness, the Gold Coast, QLD's equivalent of Carr's NSW glorious Macquarie Bank tunnels. Joh got the place up and going but Beattie's taken the ghastly home of every conman and spewing teenage boozer this side of the equator to glittering new heights of hideousness.

Those who think they have secured their retirement with their "investment" units in this squalid town should have listened to the great Kath Walker who always said the place was built on sacred Aboriginal grounds and was doomed to be swept away one day in a cataclysmic event, an idea dismissed as a ludicrous fantasy although just imagine the 2004 tsunami striking Surfers – it would make the devastated Phuket look mild.

Kath never got things wrong – she also predicted the current Indigenous land grab. A great poet but a psychic as well.

This could be the first chink in Rudd's armour, but the worst aspect is the forces that are entrenching themselves in the event of either side wining. We'll all be joining the dots later but not until it's too late.

The revolting Mal Brough has already signalled the way in which things will go and not one single Howard minister sneezes without the little dictator's say so. So you are with the "child abusers" if you don't agree with Brough's methods in the dispossession of Aboriginal lands – words from his own mouth just the other day.

This is the one that really gets everyone hot and bothered and frighteningly only yesterday we had both Howard and Rudd addressing Christians. Internet controls would be introduced to save your children from downloading porn! (what next – chastity belts?) and no-one is picking up on who has driven this proposed legislation: MySpace which, by bizarre coincidence, happens to be owned by one R. Murdoch.

So there you have it: the first moves for control of the net and the announcement that the AFP are to have their "net nanny" squads doubled – think middle-aged policemen spending days tapping out tantalising sexy thoughts as they pose as a 14 year old girl / boy ( surely someone capable of this ability needs a visit from a shrink themselves) – hoping to lure some fantasist into accepting a tempting offer to meet in a park to be handcuffed and paraded for a salivating News Ltd newspaper (owned by errr ... R. Murdoch).

What a perfect co-joining of investments – a Federal police force famous for its pursuit of child abuse (except if they happen to black, of course) actively trawling the net for child abusers – MySpace is promoted at every step of the way and (just the first) internet controls are swiftly moved into place (and there's surely a reality TV program in this).

And the announcement that the bizarre entity, the "sex offenders registry” – one of the most recent puzzling and blatant attacks on civil rights of the past few years – (oh you don't think so? – give me some reasons why it works given that less than 5% of sex offenders re-offend, the lowest of any re-offence rates by a mile and we are quickly going the way of the USA where some 30,000 kids, 14 years old and under are now registered "sex offenders" for life). It's the great Trojan Horse quickly snapped up by that "ever so nice" little Mr Iemma.

As the PM and PM-in-waiting were addressing their Christian audience, quietly announced by Iemma was the fact that registered sex offenders in NSW would also have to register their email addresses. And who drove this new law with a presentation of the need? Why, MySpace, which by pure co-incidence is owned by one R. Murdoch! NSW has already been a state whose laws are dictated by the "outraged" readers of the Daily Telegraph (not that I've ever met one) but now MySpace is on the act as well.

And if you think that within five years there won't be a reason to have your own email addresses registered and inspected by law then you have rocks in your head. The laws are already in place for the Feds to enter your house, read your files and hide secret cameras and you need never be told. Magistrates and judges are being "interviewed" as we speak to see that they will comply with the (probably unnecessary) permission to carry out these abuses of our rights.

Thank God I'm an old man now but I've read enough accounts of elderly German citizens who observed events around 70 years ago as they watched in despair: first they came for the terrorists (well – Brisbane doctors in this case) ... then the "sex offenders" (some even created by the cops themselves) … maybe dole bludgers (Aboriginal ones first) … perhaps single mums are in for round of bashing ... Muslims of course etc etc etc. And forget about protesting at an APEC meeting or maybe any other event in the future...you get the picture?

And sadly many also observed that, while it was a politician named Adolph and a host of small-minded nutters presenting these insane ideas, it was the business community that provided the means – a fact left out of most historical accounts until recent years (as though it was a minor factor and not the driving force) of the rise of Fascism .

But they're also coming for that free forum we have enjoyed so much but for really only a relatively short time – the Internet.

And it's all been brought to you by John Howard.

I'm reminded of the comments made by the controversial former East German spy and journalist Marcus Wolf who attended the Nuremburg War Trials. As he sat in court and observed the assembled war criminals, listened to their testimonies and observed them closely for weeks on end, he just couldn't get over what such ordinary little and harmless looking men they were: men of really very little ability on their own and certainly no great intelligence but a capacity to seek out the like-minded and change the world.

It's done; let's get over it.

The Queensland Parliament has passed laws cutting the number of regional councils from 156 to 72, ending a fiery night of debate in the House.

The controversial Local Government Reform Bill was passed at 4am AEST, in the longest debate since the Beattie Government was elected.

It's now law, the world hasn't changed. Port Douglas is still the same. There is no threat to life as we know it. Commonsense has prevailed. The councils that have amalgamated were not viable. The old system was failing. Howard should be ashamed of himself for interfering: we need efficient local governments to provide the services at a fair price. The next debate, do we need state governments? If Howard wants to fix the problems he should hold a referendum on federalism.

It seems to me that strong regional governments, looking after local issues, and a federal government looking after national issues, are what we need The first step in that process is to get strong regional government. Living in Cairns, I am sure that Port Douglas will be better served from a local government 60 kilometers away than it will ever be served by Brisbane and Canberra, thousands of kilometers away.

It's done get over it

John Pratt,  "It's now law, the world hasn't changed. Port Douglas is still the same. There is no threat to life as we know it. Commonsense has prevailed".

It's the same with WorkChoices: there is no threat to life, only a threat to Sharon Burrows and the rest of the union thugs.

How about the picture in SMH today of the union thug complete with balaclava at Minto? A sign of things to come if Labor wins. Beattie is doing the country a favour if he costs Rudd some seats in Queensland. If things are so bad, where do the unions get the money to buy balaclavas and baseball bats?

I predicted the Queensland grenade

Margo, in that piece I wrote a while back re Costello, I predicted a Queensland grenade. I knew something would come out of Queensland and it would change the dynamic. We all know how important Queensland is to this election.

I didn't know when I wrote that piece what the Queensland grenade would be but I now think we are seeing it.

What Beattie has done sickens me. You are right to identify Douglas, Noosa and Redcliffe as major problems.

Doesn't this prove that Labor's path to absolute power is one the people will now consider more carefully? Doesn't this prove that checks and balances will be removed when Labor has control of everything? Are wall to wall Labor governments a good idea?

Welcome to the Queensland grenade. I knew it would come and I bet there is more. Queensland is delicious. Invariably the maverick and invariably exciting.

Why should the people of Redcliffe have to redraw their map of home? Redcliffe and Noosa local government areas both have populations in excess of 50,000. Beattie talks about tiny populations and about non viable local government. These councils are viable and are in vibrant areas. Beattie is a liar.

Most of the councils around where I live in Sydney have populations lower than Redcliffe and Noosa. They'd never discuss amalgamation here. We love our local government just how it is.

What about Port Douglas, tourist icon of the Douglas Shire? This shire is also a rich agricultural district. Why on earth does it have to be part of Cairns?

Are the ferals in Cairns going to put shopping centres and ugly hotels into Port Douglas? A Red Rooster and a Burger King on Four Mile Beach?

How can Beattie eliminate local government entities without a referendum? I know it has been done in the past in Australia but that hardly makes it good. Two wrongs to not make a right.

Douglas Shire will no longer have a mayor. It will no longer exist. Instead they will be ruled by a bunch of ferals in far off Cairns. It makes no sense at all.

Noosa and Redcliffe speak for themselves.

Beattie hates democracy. He proved it initially by not allowing the people of these governments to have a say in the elimination of said governments. Make no mistake; these things are not amalgamations of equals. They are takeovers where the smaller council is eliminated. Thus Cairns survives and Douglas dies.

Beattie finally proves how much he hates democracy by saying he will dismiss mayors who consult citizens.

He is mad and it is the Queensland grenade. Pull the udder one, Beattie.


Whatever happens way up North with their crazy little banana & mango-fringed Shires, one hopes that the PM won’t disaggregate the giant, well-run Shire of Greater Brisbane. Leave the little shires to struggle along for themselves without sewerage &c, but keep Brisbane whole. It's important for the Liberal Party, and we must think of reasons the public will warm to.

It is larger than Tasmania, ands superbly run by Campbell Newman, a lovely little chap. Good, sound man. Needs no referendum, like those little places that can’t get the sewerage on or a health surveyor for god knows what. Over the years, Brisbane has taken up quite few shires and councils which Campbell runs impeccably. He could actually do with more, and possibly become a state or territory himself, like the Torres Strait Islands.

AND, if the socialists do happen to storm in at the poll with their echonomics and Stalinist hammer and sickle banners, Campbell will be the only thing stopping us from a wall -to-wall blood red curtain over Australia. Campbell, a non-disaggregated little island of light.

If Campbell goes, interest rates will skyrocket. And insolent union thugs will loiter on every street corner, brusquely asking for our “papers” and demanding 125 New Rudd Roubles for the slightest service. Plus GST, which they won't abolish. Another broken promise.

Campbell, the most senior Liberal in the country. It has a lovely ring to it. A stalwart ring.

And a good base from which we can slowly but surely clamber back to power, utilising every skerrick of our vital powerbase - our enormous Senate majority, which will hold the filthy Rudd by the collar, that he may not loot our just assets.

Remember, Australians! It was in Queensland that True Liberalism - neoLiberalism - gained the Senate majority in 2004 as in 1975.

YEAR 1975!!! Thence was one John Winston Howard was flung into government and began changing us into a wildly prosperous regional superpower and a force to be reckoned with among the brown Islamofascist Doctor hordes clamouring and slavering at our flimsy borders. Thanks to Mr Howard, we have more peace, stability and democracy (+prosperity) than a hatfull of Iraqs, Saudi Arabias, Syrias and even Israel itself.

Frère Jihad Jacques OAM née Woodforde, from behind the sugar cane curtain

Rudd's chances

Margo, Beattie is an enemy of Rudd's, because Rudd worked with Wayne Goss to keep Beattie on the back bench when Goss was Premier (it's a factional thing). Has Beattie decided on the ultimate revenge?

What does he expect seethingly angry voters to do? The only thing they can do, I guess – slap down ALP candidates at the federal election.

This is why the electors cannot trust Labor to do the right thing. Their factional fights in public and the deals done with the union bosses will bring Rudd to his knees before the election.

Here in NSW the users of public transport are suffering because of a union dispute with the government. It is supposedly about staff shortages according to the union. However, these union idiots did not bring this up during the recent election and tell the people what the true state of the transport system is all about.

History repeating itself?

Glad that someone else has grasped this angle to the issue.

As has already been pointed out on Online Opinion, those who have read Mark Latham's diaries will see history repeating itself. Last time it was the NSW, Victorian and Tasmanian State Governments that largely destroyed Federal Labor's chances. This time it will be Peter Beattie's Labor Government. The astonishing hegemonic brinksmanship of Beattie and Local Government Minister Andrew Fraser, when he is clearly opposed by Queensland public opinion as well as by the people in the areas of the councils to be forcibly amalgamated, has to be seen to be believed. They are now threatening to instantly dismiss any local council that attempts to hold a referendum on these amalgamations. They are almost behaving like dictators.

Frankly, I believe the whole supposed 'confrontation' between Howard and Beattie is a staged performance by both of them in order to ensure that both their respective governments survive. As Carr put it in 2001: "Published polls and the Party's polling starting to show Federal Labor edging up. Can't believe it. ... (Michael Egan, NSW State Treasurer said,) 'We'll be the ones weeping if Labor wins.' Yes - the secret agenda: State Labor wants to run against a rotting hated Coalition Government in Canberra. A Labor Government there only makes a third (State) term harder." (quoted in The Latham Diaries and quoted, in turn, on the above-mentioned discussion thread.)

I think those of us who understand what is going on need to raise our voices as loudly as possible and condemn unreservedly Peter Beattie and his whole government for what they are now doing.

This should be done for the sake of the communities who stand to have their autonomy taken away from them, and for the sake of ordinary working Australians who desperately need to have Howard removed from office.

Fiona: Welcome back, James.

Will John Howard Save Demo

(As a result of encouragement from some of the people behind Webdiary, I am cross-posting here an article I have already posted on my own site at  candobetter.org.)

John Howard, the same man who privatised Telstra against the wishes of 70% of Australians and even more strenuous opposition from rural Australia, and who sold out the interests of beef and pork producers in signing the Australia US Free Trade Agreement in 2005 has emerged, in the past week, as the unlikely saviour of Queensland democracy.

What fair democratic-minded person could possibly have objected to the following words coming from the mouth of our Prime Minister on Tuesday 7 August?

"I challenge the Premier of Queensland, let the people speak on your amalgamations proposal," he said.

"Let the people of Queensland decide and let this be a reminder that if you remove the check and balance of this system, if you have Labor governments at every level, this sort of behaviour will become the norm.

"Within the limits of the constitution, we will do what we can to force the Queensland Government to consult the people of Queensland, to force the Queensland Government if necessary - to shame the Queensland Government into actually consulting the people of Queensland."

John Howard since backed up these words by offering to fund, through the Australian Electoral Commission, putting the question of amalgamations to the affected residents of Queensland through referenda to be held concurrently with the forthcoming Federal elections.

This offer, along with attempts already underway by Queensland Councils to consult with their communities, has drawn over-the-top responses from Queensland Premier Peter Beattie and the Local Government Minister Andrew Fraser. At the last minute, when the legislation was being rushed through Queensland parliament in the early hours of Friday 10 August, amendments were added to the legislation that would allow the Queensland Government to instantly dismiss any Council that attempted to conduct any referendum or which requested the AEC to conduct a referendum.

The Courier Mail of 11 August reported that Andrew Fraser had threatened to dismiss councils even for counting or collating votes returned in response to ballot forms already sent out.

So far, the Mayors of Warroo, Boonah and Nebo shires have indicated their intentions to defy Fraser's edict. It is to be hoped that more mayors follow their example and take advantage of John Howard's offer to allow the AEC to conduct referenda on their behalf.

However, many Queenslanders, who now are now rushing into John Howard's arms, need to ponder whether Howard is sincere in his apparent indignation against the Beattie Government's dictatorial conduct, or whether they may only be being used by John Howard, and Peter Beattie, also, as pawns to suit their respective cynical purposes.

As a correspondent wrote to The Courier Mail of Saturday 11 August of the forced amalgamations in Victoria in 1994:

(Liberal Premier) Jeff Kennett ... sacked all the councils in the state, replaced them with administrators sympathetic to his objectives, then set out to determine how the boundaries should be redrawn. As a result, all the councils were run under the tight control of the premier for 18 months or so while the amalgamations were implemented. There was no chance for referendums or consultation or negotiation with mayors or Councillors. There was no agonising over "the voice of the people". Everyone was sacked and out of the way while the process was driven through."

Prime Minister John Howard, although only Federal Opposition leader at the time, nevertheless did nothing to dissuade his Victorian colleague from a course of action which was every bit as dictatorial as that which is now being undertaken by the Queensland Labor Government.

In government, John Howard has lowered the standards of democracy and government accountability to levels many would never have believed possible before. As a house of review, the Senate has been emasculated. All manner of important legislation is rammed through, in exactly the same way that the forced council amalgamation legislation was recently rammed through The Queensland Parliament with little or no opportunity for scrutiny of the legislation. Bills which have become law in this fashion include:

  • Telstra Privatisation
  • "Work Choices"
  • Bills currently before the Senate to take away the rights of aboriginal communities to manage their own affairs and to alter their land tenure

The misnamed "Work Choices" laws, which have changed the very fabric of our society was not even put to electors in the 2004 elections. In 2005 Howard announced his intention to enact industrial relations 'reforms' to be known as "Work Choices". Even before the bills were presented to Parliament, an unprecedented saturation level campaign of TV, Radio and Newspaper advertising was launched. This cost the taxpayer AU$55 million. Since then, the Government itself, by having belatedly changed the original legislation in election year, has acknowledged that the claims made in this advertising campaign were false.

During the 2004 election campaign Australian electors were bombarded with all kinds of advertising material promoting the supposed achievements of the Howard Government. One of these was the notorious "Strengthening Medicare" campaign, the claims of which were known, even at the time, to have been false. This campaign cost taxpayers AU$20 million.

John Howard's Government has shamelessly used the pork barrel to win votes in strategic marginal seats.

The Howard Government has also cut the funding to organisations which have been in any way critical of Government policy. Scientists working for the CSIRO who have been critical of the Governments inaction in the face of the threat of global warming have been sacked.

So, it would seem that John Howard's new found commitment to democratic principles may not be quite as strong as his moving condemnation of the Beattie Labor Government's outrages would lead many of us to believe.

In fact it is striking how congruent the policies of Howard and Beattie are:

·  Both support the export of every possible tonne of Australian coal in spite of the obvious and growing peril that this poses to our global environment.

·  Both encourage rampant population growth to suit property developers and land speculators

·  Beattie, in common with all Labor Premiers indicated their support for the Australian US Free trade agreement, which grossly disadvantages Australia farmers, even before Federal Labor had adopted a policy on it in 2004

·  Both are engaged in extensive programs of privatising publicly owned land and other assets.

As Mark Latham pointed out in "The Latham Diaries" the Victorian NSW and Tasmanian Labor Governments all acted to harm the electoral prospects of Labor in 2004, apparently to suit their own selfish interests.

The upshot of all of this may be, unless we are careful, that Howard will win in 2007, thanks to a swing against Federal Labor in Queensland, but will fail to reverse Beattie's amalgamations just as he failed to reverse Kennett's earlier unpopular and ill-considered amalgamations in Victoria. When Queensland Labor next faces the people in 2009, the horrors of the re-elected Howard Government may well cause many to forget Beattie's current outrages against democracy as previously happened to Bracks in 2006 and to Iemma, Carr's successor, in 2007.

Howard's paper thin hypocrisy on amalgamations

Howard's paper thin hypocrisy on amalgamations

 Media release from Independent MP Peter Andren

The Coalition Government has exposed its hypocrisy on council amalgamations with its current attack on the Queensland Government according to Independent Member for Calare, Peter Andren.

"When I took a delegation of local mayors to Canberra several years ago to see then Local Government Minister Wilson Tuckey, he was enthusiastic about the need for mergers of councils," Mr Andren said.

"Evans, Oberon and Bathurst Councils were then facing amalgamation and he voiced strong support for amalgamations in the interests of better council management.

"Both Liberal and Labor Governments have never backed away from such policy.

"The Prime Minister talks of giving people a say in the process. How come the limited public input into the recent federal electorate boundary changes was largely ignored, especially from people strongly opposed to the ridiculous boundaries for the new Calare?

"There are no referendums for state or federal boundary changes, why the concern over local government boundaries determined by the same commission process?

"This is pure unadulterated election year populism from a government that is philosophically at one with any state labor Government in wanting to wind down local government to a more politically controllable entity.

"I personally oppose council amalgamations unless there are overwhelming financial reasons that will benefit ratepayers. But the major parties are as one in their desire to reduce local people power.

"Wilson Tuckey proved that when he was federal Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government," Mr Andren said.

Richard; James, I take it you agree with the sentiments? 

I do fundamantally agree with Peter Andren's views

Richard, yes I do fundamantally agree with Peter Andren's views.  Sorry, I did not make that clear.

However, I might disagree on one subtle, but important point, that is that I believe that the choice between Howard and Rudd is still an important one, whatever serious flaws Rudd and the Labor Party possess.  It is unfortunate, if understandable, that Independents like Peter Andren won't come out and say this.

Lennonist conspiracies.


What a contrast to Kevin "bloody" Harkins, who stepped down from standing for a seat in Tasmania in the interests of Australia. Are we witness to a rerun of the Lennonist conspiracy of 2004?

I know many broadly of my trajectory as to politics actually support the councils legislation as necessary for the removal of National Party porkbarelling and cosiness with developers, and there is also the usual all-consuming mantra of "efficiency” also being cited in justification for rude haste. But with the example of my home town of Adelaide in mind, I must say personally am sceptical. I feel large councils only further reinforce removal of control of councils from their communities.

And I reject neolib theories about "efficiency", as to this sort of issue, NOT the only, much less the "main" event". Too often used an excuse to damage the common weal in the name of a dishonestly proffered abstract accounting benefit. Even with the reasonable chance that this aspect may indeed be true, the objective would surely be of sufficiently minimal import to be left 'til later in favour of something more universally important and then done more democratically, given the lessons of Howardism and a grievously injured democratic text and 2004 as to lack of unity for a reformist party. Becomes difficult for Labor to criticise the undemocratic nature of indigenous affairs legislation or Dr. Haneef as to human rights when near the same indecency of haste and authoritarianism is employed by a state Labor leader.

As with Tasmania, 2004, parochial issues and the priorities of vested interests are again put before the welfare of the many. Personality rears its ugly head before principles.

Surely, Peter Beattie, the Australian people have suffered enough of Howardism without you jeopardising their best chance in a decade for relief from it?

Look to the belated example of Kevin Harkins. Let it drop and regain the (self) respect of being a Labor man!

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Margo Kingston

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