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John's last stand




Deputy Prime Minister, Treasurer, my Lord Mayor, my Ministerial and Parliamentary colleagues, my fellow Australians.   I want first of all to say how proud I am to be delivering this speech on behalf of a great and strong and enduring Coalition between the Liberal Party and the National Party.  Our two great parties have shared 11 and a half years in office and we have fought for the best interests of the Australian people, wherever they might live, and the speeches you heard earlier from Peter Costello and from Mark Vaile represent the great talent and the great strength of the team that I lead. 

There are many things that distinguish the Coalition from the Labor Party, but none is more dramatic than the strength of the Coalition team.  It’s a blend of the experience of myself and Peter and Alexander who’ve held our positions for 11 and a half years and the great contribution of three successive National Party leaders in Tim Fischer, John Anderson and Mark Vaile, and then in recent times the great contribution being made by new faces in important areas of responsibility and I can think of none better than that because I’m here in Queensland than the great contribution that Mal Brough has made as Minister for Indigenous Affairs.  

I want to talk to you today, my fellow Australians, about the years ahead of us.  This election is about the future of our great nation, not the past, great though that past is, important and treasured it is as it is to all of us, but this is really about the future of our nation and I want to tell you why I believe the Coalition should be returned.  I want to tell you why I want to be Prime Minister of this country again.  I want to share with you my hopes and my dreams for a better future and in the process I hope crystallise very clearly the important choice that must be made on the 24th of November, a choice given new and greater urgency and intensity because of some of the rising challenges on the economic front, both domestically and from abroad. 

I want to be Prime Minister again so that we can build an even stronger and greater Australia.  We in the Coalition believe that the best years of this nation lie ahead.  I want to complete the transition of this nation from a welfare state to an opportunity society.   I want to pursue with relentless vigour the goal of full employment.  Only the Liberal and National Parties talk about jobs for Australians anymore.  Our opponents have given up talking about jobs, except the jobs of the union bosses in a future Labor government.  I want to keep inflation low, I know that Australian families want to do more than just get by on their pay packets, they want to get ahead.  

The Coalition wants to keep taxes as low as possible.  Peter Costello and I unveiled a bold plan - five days later, 91.5 per cent of course was adopted by the Australian Labor Party - a bold plan to cut taxes and to encourage Australians to work harder and to re-enter the workforce. 

I want to be Prime Minister again to carry forward my principles and those of the Coalition on education.  Australia does not need an education revolution, whatever on earth that might mean; Australia needs an education system that teaches its children to read, to write, to spell and to add up as well as sharing all the technological enhancements that are part of the great learning experience. 

I want to be Prime Minister again to continue my unconditional, my uncompromising and my unrelenting opposition to the scourge of illicit drug-taking in our nation.  Under the Coalition, we will always have a zero tolerance attitude towards drug-taking. 

We seek your mandate to maintain the strength of Australia, to maintain the strength of our alliances, to continue the protection of our borders, to continue to decide who comes to this nation, to continue the great duality of Australian foreign policy over the last 11 and a half years where we have built ever closer relations with our Asian neighbours, yet still remain the great friends and allies of the United States and our other traditional friends.  

We want your support and your votes and your mandate to get the balance right on climate change.  We need to have a lower carbon future, but we need to do it in a way that does not destroy jobs, does not weaken the great coal industry which is so important to the state of Queensland and ensures importantly that all nations of the world pull their weight and play their part in contributing to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. 

I want to make sure in the future that this is a compassionate nation as well as a prosperous nation. I want us to share the benefits of our prosperity to all of those who might otherwise feel excluded. 

I want rural Australia, our beloved bush, to be an enduring part of the fabric of this nation not only economically but socially.  I’ve said before and I’m proud to say it again, I can’t imagine an Australian nation without the bush being an integral part of what it means to be an Australian. 

We in the Coalition want a health system that is more responsive to the needs of families and to local communities and finally, I want to be Prime Minister again so that we can achieve a lasting recognition in our constitution of the first Australians, the indigenous people of this country.  The Northern Territory intervention has been a veritable watershed in the history of this country.  It has brought an end to 20 to 30 years of failure in the area of indigenous policy, and it offers us the great thing that indigenous people need and that is the opportunity, whilst preserving their special place in the affections and the history of our nation, the opportunity to share its bounty by becoming part of the mainstream of the Australian community.  

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve tried in my own words to express to my fellow Australians why it is I’d like you to support the Coalition and why it is I’d like to be Prime Minister of this great country again.  We do have a bright future, but that’s not something that can be taken for granted.  There are stormclouds gathering on the horizon when it comes to economic management, and if we get it wrong, the prosperity we’ve enjoyed over the last 11 and a half years can be severely compromised.  If we elect the wrong people, if we put the Government of this country in the hands of a Ministry 70 per cent of whose members will be former trade union officials, if we choose a Party, the Australian Labor Party that has spent the last ten months smothering all the beliefs and ideals and values it once argued, and turn our backs on the tried and true policies of experience and strength that have brought us the prosperity we now enjoy, our future could be very seriously compromised indeed. 

We need to continue the leadership that has delivered more than two million new jobs, that has proudly brought Australia’s unemployment rate to a 33-year low, that has seen wages grow by 21 per cent over and above inflation, that has seen the level of industrial disputes fall to the lowest they’ve been since 1913.  And I have no hesitation in saying to all of you that I believe our industrial relations reforms have made a mighty contribution to the low unemployment, the low level of strikes and the high real wages that Australians now enjoy.  

I will, whenever I’m Prime Minister, I will not inflict upon the small businesses of Australia the unfair dismissal laws that will come back if Mr Rudd is elected Prime Minister.  And my friends, it isn’t by accident that housing interest rates in Australia today are still only half the notorious peak of 17 per cent that they reached under the former Labor Government.  These achievements have been no fluke.  They’ve been the result of hard work, a consistent policy commitment and a hard-working talented team.  And I want to pay particular tribute to the magnificent job that Peter Costello has done over the last 11 and a half years, because he’s been the principal architect of that economic achievement.  We have a plan to continue prosperity, we have a plan to drive unemployment even lower. 

The other side of politics, the Labor Party, has nothing more than a PR script, a script where the people who once opposed tax cuts now support them, the people who once opposed and it was the first thing Mr Rudd voted against when he entered Parliament, a tax break for private health insurance, now supports it, they once opposed the Medicare safety net but now they support it, they once opposed parental choice in education, they now support it, they once opposed Budget surpluses, they now support them.  I think you all get the idea, although Peter Garrett didn’t seem to on one occasion.  It’s a script for a fairly hollow Labor Party led by a man whose core beliefs are obscure and unknown to the Australian public and perhaps to he himself.  

I said at the start of this election campaign and I say it again here in Brisbane, love me or loathe me, the Australian people know where I stand and what I believe in.  I believe in the individual, I believe in the family as the cornerstone of our happiness and of our nation, I believe in free enterprise and reward for hard work, I believe in the values of the old Australia as well as sharing the excitement and the adventure of the new Australia, I believe very much in the vital role that small business plays in our economy, the two million small businesses that employ some 3.7 million Australians and that the Labor Party wants to return to the clutches of union power.  Queensland is the quintessential small business state of Australia.  Small business makes up 98 per cent of all businesses in Queensland, a Rudd Labor Government on top of a Bligh Labor Government would be lethal for small business here in Queensland.  I believe in an outward-looking ambitious self-confident Australia in the world, I believe in the achievements of the last 11 and a half years, and I want to pay special tribute to the skill and diplomacy and guidance and hard work of Alexander Downer our longest-serving Foreign Minister.  

Families are the building blocks of a good society and the policies that we’ve developed over the last 11 and a half years, the family tax benefits, the baby bonus and many others, have supported families at every stage of life expanding the horizons of their choices.  My opponent talks a great deal about working families, he utters the phrase just about every time he does an interview, but he never seems to talk about what is the source of economic security for working families and that’s work.  For dad or mum or both in whatever combinations they choose nothing can replace a steady job with rising wages as the basis of family security.  Today is a very different Australia than the one we inherited when we came to Government 11 and a half years ago.  We’re not only talking about the employment opportunities for middle aged and older Australians, for mum and dad.  One of the great experiences I’ve personally had in this campaign, and I had it again last Friday in Penrith in Western Sydney, was to talk to scores of young people who’ve just finished school and are literally bubbling over enthusiasm about getting into the labour market knowing that they can confidently not only get a job but also get the job they want.  

What has struck me is this great sense of optimism, this 33-year low in unemployment.  I just feel so tremendously proud that I’m privileged to be the Prime Minister of a country that has given them that opportunity.  I think of how people 15 and 20 years ago in that same age cohort left school with hesitancy and pessimism and with little hope about getting a job, let alone the job that they wanted.  And I don’t think there is anything more important for all of us than to preserve that sense of hope and enthusiasm and optimism amongst our young for years into the future. 

Today I want to talk about a number of initiatives that are part of the next chapter of our plans to put more power into the hands of individuals and families rather than governments and bureaucracies. It’s a plan that speaks to Australians of all ages, while recognising that each generation faces unique challenges in their own time. It evokes the timeless hopes and dreams that transcend generations of Australians. They include the desire for a good job, the impulse to raise a family and to give one’s children the best possible start in life, the urge to self-improvement, to education and the desire ultimately for a place called home. The home being an almost sacred part of the Australian Liberal creed stretching back to Menzies’ memorable evocation of homes material, homes human and homes spiritual in the forgotten peoples speech of 1942. And what unites our creed of optimism is the belief that the Australian people do not need governments instructing them about virtue. They are more than capable of charting their own course towards a good life for themselves and for their families. 

And today I want to announce three new measures that go to the decisions that matter most to families: the care of children in early years, parents’ investment in their children’s education and the dream of home ownership.

In 2004, we introduced the childcare tax rebate to provide extra financial help for families covering 30 per cent of out of pocket expenses. Today, families can claim up to $4,354 per child a year for out of pocket expenses. We have continued to look at how we can ensure the amount of money parents have to pay upfront is reduced and so, a re-elected Coalition Government will pay families childcare tax rebate in advance to the childcare provider ensuring fees are reduced before parents pay. This should cut the upfront cost for families by 30 per cent. As a result, more than 500,000 families will have their current childcare costs dramatically reduced, and families will see the benefit of reduced fees from the first of April 2008. We will also increase the number of childcare places in areas of greatest need. We will provide capital funding to local governments of up to $1 million to build or extend childcare centres in the areas where there are no vacancies. 

Together with our goal of full employment, building a culture of savings and home ownership is a big part of Australia making the transition from a welfare state to an opportunity society. The Coalition is committed to Australia remaining a great home-owning society, indeed one of the greatest in the world, where the dream of home ownership remains at the heart of the Australian experience and within reach of each successive generation.

Today I announce new measures to assist Australians looking to get a foot in the door of their first home. This is a comprehensive plan to make home ownership more affordable for young Australians by boosting their capacity to save for a home. From 2008-09, a re-elected Coalition government will introduce tax-free home savings accounts for all Australians who have yet to own their first home.  Contributions of up to $1,000 a year will be tax deductible, all interest and earnings from the accounts will completely free of tax. Under our plan, as it applies to Australians under 18 years of age, parents, grandparents and others will be able to contribute up to $1,000 between them each year to a tax-free home savings account for children. Savings will be accessible to purchase a first home once the account holder turns the age of 18.

For Australians aged 18 and over, a maximum of $10,000 a year can be contributed to a tax- free savings account for adults with only the account-holder eligible to claim a tax deduction of up to $1,000 for their contribution. Child accounts will become adult accounts when the account holder turns 18. In the case of adult accounts, the account holder will be able to withdraw their account balance to buy their first home at any time after the age of 18. 

I can also announce today that a re-elected Coalition Government will, subject to economic conditions and the state of the Budget, look to make contributions from future Budget surpluses to these tax-free home savings accounts. These accounts will help young Australians to develop the habits of saving and managing money and today we are also releasing a policy to build on the fine work of the Financial Literary Foundation chaired by Paul Clitheroe to give all Australians access to accurate independent information on money matters. Evidence from around the world shows that a culture of saving and home ownership, even among families on modest incomes, is associated with an orientation towards the future: household stability, stable marriages, steady employment, educational attainment, healthy lifestyles and local civic involvement. This is the essence of the opportunity society I want Australia to become, where people are encouraged to work hard, save and look after their families and contribute to their communities. In addition, capital gains tax will be removed for Australians who share equity in a family member’s first home. This will facilitate the desire of a lot of parents to assist their children in buying their first home through a shared equity arrangement. 

To further assist with housing affordability in the near term, I am today announcing a series of new measures that tackle the supply problems of housing affordability. A re-elected Coalition Government will expedite the disposal of Commonwealth land, totalling 961 hectares in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT, following the recent Commonwealth audit of land holdings. A further impediment to more Australians owning their own home is State and local government infrastructure charges that inflate the price of house and land packages. As a result, home buyers are often paying for infrastructure that benefits the wider community and should therefore be paid for by the wider community.

To tackle this problem, a re-elected Coalition government will commit $500 million over three years to fund on a 50/50 cost share basis with State and local governments common-use community infrastructure associated with new developments and urban consolidation.  This could include community halls, libraries and sporting grounds.  Funding will be on a competitive basis and subject to criteria, such as demonstrated improvements in approval processes.  

Let me now turn to the crucial area of education.  The Coalition has a distinctive approach to education policy, with a clear focus on choice, high standards and greater national consistency.  Unlike our opponents, we have never had hit-lists of independent schools.  Unlike our opponents, we have always believed in the unconditional right of Australian parents to choose the nature and the quality of the education they want for their children.  We are unashamedly the parties of parental school choice.  The blossoming of low-fee independent schools in the last decade, which we have supported, has given many families for the first time real choice over the school to which they send their child.  Choice is a vehicle for driving better school performance across the board because it empowers the consumers of education services and that’s the students and the parents.

Today I announce a policy that will further increase choice and improve education opportunities by helping parents make the investments in their children’s future that matter so much.  I know that for many parents this is the most important investment of all but, of course, they face many competing pressures on the family budget and so a re-elected Coalition Government will introduce a new tax rebate for education expenses including, crucially, school fees.  This will apply for every student, beginning with preschool – that’s kindergarten in some States – until the end of secondary school.  Parents will be refunded up to $400 annually for each child at primary or preschool and they will be refunded up to $800 annually for each secondary school student. 

This initiative has four key features.  First, it is broad.  It will apply to a wide range of education expenses including all school fees and the so-called voluntary contributions and levies that have increasingly crept into government education systems.  It will also cover school text books, uniforms, camps and excursions, as well as extra costs of elective subjects like music and drama.  And, of course, it will cover tools to help our children learn, like laptops and broadband connections.  Unlike Mr Rudd, I do recognise that the costs of education extend well beyond laptops and broadband connections. 

Second, this rebate recognises that our children’s education begins before school.  The importance of early childhood learning to later life outcomes is well known, which is why we have deliberately structured this initiative to include the costs of children attending government, community and private preschools, or kindergartens in some States, in the year before they commence formal schooling. 

Thirdly, this measure recognises the higher costs of educating older students.  This will be a refundable tax rebate of 40% for expenses up to a maximum of $2000 per secondary school student and up to a maximum of $1000 per student at primary or preschool.  And finally, let me emphasise that all Australian families will benefit from the full value of this rebate irrespective of their income.  This rebate is very much about practical assistance to help parents make the best possible choices for their children’s future, so that Australia’s children can have the best possible start in life. 

My friends, I commenced my remarks in speaking of how the choice on the 24th of November had very much crystallised around the issue of economic management.  The economy isn’t everything in life, we all know that, but a strong economy is central to the capacity of this nation to deliver the things that we all want. 

I think back over the last 11 and a half years and I recall how we’ve been able to rebuild the defence forces of this country and how very proud I felt a few weeks ago to go to Enoggera, not far from here, and announce that the trigger point for the establishment of the second of the new battalions that we’re able to raise had been reached.  And how recruitment levels into the armed forces had grown despite the fact that we have a near full-employment economy.  And I’m very proud to say that one of the greatest achievements of this Government has been to increase by no less than 47% in real terms the amount of money that we spend on defence.  And we all know what a wonderful job the men and women of the Australian Defence Force have done for us over the past years and what tremendous service they render in our name and in the name of our nation in many trouble spots around the world.  

But whether it’s defence, whether it’s roads, whether it’s education or whether it’s health, it’s all being made possible because we have built a strong economy.  Never forget what we inherited.  Never forget the $96 billion of debt.  Never forget the 8.2% of unemployment.  Never forget that interest rates reached 17% under the former Government.  Never forget that we were told by our opponents that the leaders of Asia would not deal with this country, and yet eleven-and-a-half years later we have achieved what I call this remarkable duality in foreign policy - a close, enduring relationship with our great ally, the United States, but side by side with that we have built a constructive and enduring relationship with the fastest growing nation in the world, China. 

The Australian Labor Party wants the Australian people to believe that the Australian economy is on autopilot, that it just happens automatically, it’s all due to the resources boom, it’s got nothing to do with the quality of the people in charge.  They want to sort of slip by unnoticed.  They want their past record to be consigned to oblivion.  They don’t want to be reminded that they opposed all of the reforms that have built the prosperity that we now have.  We have an obligation, we in the Coalition, not to let the Labor Party get away with that deceit.  

And I want to say to all of my fellow Australians that the choice you face on the 24th of November has become more intense and more urgent because of some of the stormclouds that are gathering on our economy both domestically and internationally.  With the right leadership, the skill that people like Peter Costello have displayed over the last eleven-and-a-half years, we can continue to see it grow.  We can reach that great goal of full employment.  We can once again walk the shopping malls and the streets of this nation and meet enthusiastic young people bubbling with hope and pride and confidence about their future job prospects. 

But if we get it wrong, if we hand it over to inexperienced people, a government dominated by 70% of former trade union officials, if we have a nation for the first time in its history with a Labor Government at every level, coast to coast, wall to wall without lead or hindrance, isn’t that a huge risk – isn’t that taking too big a risk with the prosperity that we have worked so hard to build? 

My fellow Australians, it has been an incredible privilege to be the Prime Minister of the greatest country in the world, but there is much to do in the future.  There is much work ahead of us.  There are great responsibilities to be discharged.  I ask for your support and your votes to continue the great work of the last eleven-and-a-half years on the 24th of November.

Thank you.


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The Hypocritical Howard "New Order".

Using Howard's past record as a guide, I would have every reason to expect a re-elected "New Order" would do - among other things:

The failing volunteer numbers for Howard's US-led wars will be corrected by him with overseas service by the Reservists (already provided for by legislative changes) and a platform for conscription of the Menzies style for Vietnam.

Older people will remember that Menzies introduced the US "Ballot of Death" to conscript young Australian men to assist the massive blunder called the Vietnam war.

I recorded a letter from the Canberra Times written on 13 August 2005 and entitled: From an Old Digger.

"This two-faced government rules through fear and lies.  Robin Gollan, Scullin.

A few days ago, like thousands of other old men and women, I received a shiny medallion and a letter signed by John Howard and De-Anne Kelly.

They thanked me for my part in protecting "the Australian way of life in times of conflict" and for helping to build "our community in times of peace".

It made me think of Ivan Barber, a Western Australian wheat farmer, who substituted for me on an operation so that I could take a few days leave, and died in my place.

I wondered what he and the more than 40,000 men and boys who died defending our country in World War ll would feel about John Howard's Australia.  Certainly most people are materially much better off than we were in 1939-45.  We have shared in the bounty of the one-fifth of the world which has become rich.

But we have become a country which is governed by lies and fear.

John Howard has surrendered the self-reliance, for which we fought, to curry favour with the most dangerous military power in history.  He has stoked the fear of terrorists who may target us because of his fawning subservience to United States President George W. Bush.

He boasts that he stands for mateship and egalitarianism at the same time as he attempts by his industrial relations "reforms" to destroy the institutions on which those qualities have been nurtured.  The chief law officer seems not to understand the principles of the rule of law, and calls those who do "armchair critics".  He and Howard are undermining the very principles of democracy in the name of defending them.

The Foreign Minister rails against those who don't accept his opinion as fools.  He supports his stand by some weird interpretations of history.

Yes.  We would not have survived without the American alliance but the Americans I served with believed, correctly, that we were defending a great democracy.

Today the alliance, for which Howard and his coterie are prepared to sell our soul, is a militaristic plutocracy.

I'm sorry Ivan.

Robin Gollan, Scullin.

Death Penalty

As someone who opposes the death penalty I cannot vote for a leader whose life long partner supports such justice.

Star Recruits

Ern, another Star recruit bites the dust (Newhouse). Is there no end to the incompetency of Labor.

Garrett, no idea what Labor's policy is.

Mike Kelly, no idea what Labor's policy is.

Corne, no idea what Labor's policy is.

Combet, does not fancy living in his electorate, probably not good enough for him. It must be hard being a millionaire ex union official.

As you rightly say, "have we been informed honestly?".

In the election of 1998,

In the election of 1998, when I believed that the spiteful little schoolboy would be justifiably pushed back into the opportunist category of Australian politics, I could not believe how the plans of this person for absolute control was created without a murmur from his robots or the media.

Nothing succeeds like success.

Howard's long-held objective of absolute power was immediately implemented by his control mechanisms, for example, against the public service and the independence of the judiciary.

This created a one party political objective that only had the burden of the democratic method of three year elections to overcome.

Hence Howard's threat that he has more to do.

Our vote in a democracy is only worth some of these questions:

  • Have we been informed honestly?
  • Has the most recent political events effected us personally?
  • Do we vote with the major consideration of the welfare of our nation and its citizens? Or just ourselves?
  • When the security of our nation is in jeopardy, who are called upon to defend our security?
  • Is it acceptable that our prosperous nation must maintain a haves and have nots society?
  • How many of the Howard "New Order" have voluntarily served our nation?

I hope that some of the Webdiarists feel as passionate as I do about the vote for change.


Employment, Nuclear and Climate Change.

Profit - a nasty word? And at what price?

I hope that the people of Australia have not forgotten the Howard "New Order's" intention of increasing the WorkChoices regimentation of the middle and working class poor. And to force us into a nuclear Australia.

It is a truism that the industrial world has not appreciated the damage that they have done to the natural environment of our planet. But was it born by the desire to make life easier, or to make a profit, or both?

I believe this confidently because it would be simply crazy to even suggest that people like the Australian Koories have helped to cause the climate change disaster we now face.

Can anyone deny that the biggest danger to the environment from humanity has always been big business?

The destruction of forests, the pollution of rivers and lakes, the acts of war against one another, the escalation of more refined ways to kill each other, and then - the false claim that nuclear reactors, which created the first unbelievable single mass killing bomb in human history, are the way to help reduce the adverse effects of which they were an integral part in creating?.

Isn't it Howard's belief that we, as a nation, owe our present bread on the table largesse to kind and charitable big businesses for providing "any job is better than none" for Australians?

And nuclear reactors will not increase employment - quite the opposite.

IMHO, nuclear reactors were created originally to harness energy and to be dominant, whether it be for the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or any aggressive threat from America's perceived enemies.

And so the universal attitude of me-tooing has merely increased the technology of how to kill each other.

And under that smoke-screen, we as humanity are dying slowly but surely by the effects of the very big business methods, which now claim to provide the employment necessary to survive. Fair dinkum.

Sort of a catch-22?

IMHO - I do not believe that our military personnel, over a period of 200 years, have voluntarily served to defend this country of ours against various methods of fascism, only to sit back and watch that very same political enemy take over our nation.

We should not allow ourselves to be forced to follow the Bush Administration. We do not have to please Howard's friend. We do not have to accept Howard's propaganda that a nuclear Australia is our future or that it is the answer to climate change. We do not have to be employment beggars in our own nation especially with the fire sale of our natural resources.

A nation is only as wealthy as its poorest citizen.

Surely a nation, which Howard claims is prosperous, can afford to look after our means tested pensioners, which include aged, disabled and veterans? Why has he declared war against pensioners especially the veterans?

Those who are old enough will remember Hitler's master race. It had a goal of the perfect race: no pensions, no disabled, no deformed, no burdens on the State, concentration camps, and the "hard decisions" to remove human rights.

This happened because a person who really wanted to improve the welfare of the oppressed people of Germany achieved total and dictatoral control of the hearts and minds of a decent race of people.

The result is history.

Let's keep our eyes on the ball. Every major issue is a part of the big picture - WorkChoices, climate change, nuclear proliferation.


MS: I am so pissed off I could swear.

Oh, Maralinga, please don't k'n swear.  Save it for polling day, when you come across ne'er do well Exclusive Brethren/Liberal gangsters, goondahs and dacoits.

And I think the Electoral Act is silent about asking these vermin what they really think of d**k ch**ney.  As whacko Neo-Con sado-masochistic torture and bondage goes.

Then don't forget the quail gun incident, and ask them if they have any pig masks in their cars.  Bloody scum. 

Dr Woodforde, OAM, strictly a non-k'n swearer

Read What I Write

Paul Walter

Not as good as private school you say, Paul Morella?

No, I most certainly did not say that!

As a matter of fact my parents made me go to a government school. There was certainly not much difference (I never found out) between the two. I now send my children to a non-government school because I like to know what is being taught - times have changed.

What I did say is that the middle-class are now the drivers of what is and is not acceptable. The middle-class are also the people that make the government. If you are angry at anything be angry at middle-class trends.

Think and Reason - and vote accordingly.

More and more Howard tries to regain absolute control of the playing field with massive injections of billion dollar promises.

This is a person who, quite proudly, reduces funding (in real terms) to all areas of Federal responsibility - who abhors any form of welfare as though his "business" is less profitable because of it.

Howard unflinchingly removes the fiscal leveller of the means test in all of his (and Costello's) financial enterprises like sub-prime mortgages.

They use the "Pinocchio" trap method of $7,000 to first home buyers, without means testing, so that the wealthy, who can really afford a first home for their children, are primarily catered for. 

The money is only a trap for suckers to lose their aspirations of a home of their own and it goes straight to the real estate agents.

They offer $5000 to move their families to WA without a means test. This could be a cheap trip for the wealthy children?

They introduce a 30% rebate for private health insurance without a means test and it is immediately absorbed by the exact increase in costs!

They now offer funds for child care - to be paid to the businesses - no means test - so the business can absorb that funding and continue the cost to the needy.

It is a fact that Australians are slowly realising. The Howard government governs for the wealthy and those on welfare are vexatious to the soul.  But then, extreme nationalists don't have a soul.

The Australian voters have a clear and present opportunity to test the validity of the many accusations of a fascist Australia.

Either we want to be totally regimented or we want to have a say in our future.

Simply put, do any of the genuine Australian people, from all walks of life, from whatever religion, political persuasion, poor or rich, really believe that the Howard "New Order" has egalitarian plans for our future?

That is one of the basic questions for November 24, 2007.


Howard, Vaile and Downer - all must go.

Let's not be too surprised at Mark Vaile's welching on his radio promise to face a lie detector test.  It was a good question from the farmer but he seems to be absent without leave. As Richard has noted, Downer is keeping his head down on the AWB as well as Vaile. 


If memory serves me well, the Cole inquiry (even with Howard's extremely narrow terms of reference) found that eleven of the AWB's hierarchy should face prosecution. 


Especially the gun-toting Flugge. But then he did threaten Downer that if he (Flugge) was prosecuted his barrister would put Downer on the stand and cross-examine him about the reported 34 times he was warned about the kick-backs to Saddam. 


To the best of my knowledge nothing has happened, and the cost of the Cole inquiry was another Howard cover-up and a waste of taxpayers' money. 


The recent notion that Howard would even entertain, let alone agree to the opinions of communities regarding hospitals and nuclear reactors is also a sick joke. 


Howard "never ever" pays anything more than lip service to the opinions of the public (except before an election), and he never will. 


What sort of a monster, without a mandate, would send our service personnel into an illegal war and against 87% of the people polled? 


What sort of a control freak would approach the Turks and jointly destroy the Gallipoli heights for commercial reasons? 


What sort of a moron would, on Remembrance Day, mention only two of our soldiers who died recently on active duty? He left out both Private Kovco and the 19 year old who died in East Timor. They too were sent there by him (he says the buck stops with him). 


To maintain the mean and tricky style of corporation governing, what sort of unprincipled robot (Nelson) would foul up the return of a soldier's body by using a cheap third world mortuary in Kuwait


What sort of a Foreign Minister (Downer) would ignore US intellegence that there was to be a bombing of Westerners in Bali.  And therefore would be complicit in the death of 88 Australians? 


What sort of media would allow those crimes to go into oblivion without any justice at all? 


It is true that the crimes of the Howard "New Order" would fill a very large book, as would his wedges and deceptions. 


The only opposition Howard cares about now is the public because every three years, they get a chance to remove him and his robots. 


One more term would allow him to completely destroy human rights in Australia


Let's keep our eyes on the ball. WorkChoices, Iraq, AWB, funding for public schools, funding for public hospitals, abolition of the aborigines' legislated rights and privileges, nuclear quarry and a nuclear waste dump Australia. 


And while we're at it, regarding the public's caution about Howard's nuclear plans - Canberra's nuclear power play against states


All of the above are clear and present dangers, and should not be forgotten on November 24, 2007. 




AKKA: "where the Teachers Federation run [sic] the show"

Now Akka - you know that's a deliberate falsehood pedaled by rich neo-nazi goondah tax bludgers who have spent 11 years smearing excrement al over our kids' schools. Give it a rest, lad, or we'll have to keep you in to study your Latin prep.

Rev Dr Woodforde, OAM, aka Dr Thwackum

Rudd’s policy launch (Verdict: A for effect.)

Rudd’s policy launch (Verdict: A for effect.) - Andrew Bolt

Very good speech overall, with fine imagery, a good slogan and hard hitting of Howard where it will hurt. The headlines will be positive, especially on education (that “future” image again). That’s Rudd’s last big challenge out of the way. Play it safe from here on, and Labor has won. ......... 2:56pm: Tells his wife he hasn’t forgotten it’s his wedding anniversary today. Howard can start packing now.


Margo has asked me to give my take on the activities of Caroline Overington in offering The Mistress a front page in return for her announcing that she would preference TOM.  Her initial feeling was that it might be capable of constituting bribery under s 326 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act which is in the following terms:


326  Bribery

             (1)  A person shall not ask for, receive or obtain, or offer or agree to ask for, or receive or obtain, any property or benefit of any kind, whether for the same or any other person, on an understanding that:

                     (a)  any vote of the first‑mentioned person;

                     (b)  any candidature of the first‑mentioned person;

                     (c)  any support of, or opposition to, a candidate, a group of candidates or a political party by the first‑mentioned person;

                     (d)  the doing of any act or thing by the first‑mentioned person the purpose of which is, or the effect of which is likely to be, to influence the preferences set out in the vote of an elector; or

                     (e)  the order in which the names of candidates nominated for election to the Senate whose names are included in a group in accordance with section 168 appear on a ballot paper;

will, in any manner, be influenced or affected.

Penalty:  $5,000 or imprisonment for 2 years, or both.

             (2)  A person shall not, with the intention of influencing or affecting:

                     (a)  any vote of another person;

                     (b)  any candidature of another person; or

                     (c)  any support of, or opposition to, a candidate, a group of candidates or a political party by another person;

                     (d)  the doing of any act or thing by another person the purpose of which is, or the effect of which is likely to be, to influence the preferences set out in the vote of an elector; or

                     (e)  the order in which the names of candidates for election to the Senate whose names are included in a group in accordance with section 168 appear on a ballot paper;

give or confer, or promise or offer to give or confer, any property or benefit of any kind to that other person or to a third person.

Penalty:  $5,000 or imprisonment for 2 years, or both.

             (3)  This section does not apply in relation to a declaration of public policy or a promise of public action.


The Australian Electoral Commission puts out “Electoral Backgrounders” and the relevant one is No 16 (http://www.aec.gov.au/pdf/backgrounders/16/EB_16_Influencing_Votes.pdf).   It says that there is no caselaw on the section but the better view, using State Court decisions on similar provisions, is that the section is directed at candidates influencing voters rather than the other way around.   That might accord with the general sentiments expressed by Brennan J in Sykes v Cleary (see Wentworth Worries).    Be that as it may, I think a far better candidate is s 327 which relevantly provides:


327  Interference with political liberty etc.

             (1)  A person shall not hinder or interfere with the free exercise or performance, by any other person, of any political right or duty that is relevant to an election under this Act.

Penalty:  $1,000 or imprisonment for 6 months, or both.


Arguably, the decision to recommend an allocation of preferences is a “political right” “relevant to an election under” the Act.     Nevertheless, what the journalist did, although clearly intended to influence The Mistress (and now she’s had a go at the short dark Jewish person as she called Mr Newhouse – at least she’s evenhandedly obnoxious) it is not an attempt to influence the freedom of an elector to allocate those preferences.   Although we are all assailed on polling day by glossies telling us how to do it, the decision is still ours to make.


The only decided case the AEC refers to is Hudson v Entsch [2005] FCA 460 but I cannot find a functioning weblink for it.   In that case, no breach was found as a result of Entsch inciting someone to knock down Hudson’s campaign poster.   Nor should there have been.    Everyone knows what I think about campaign posters.


Still, I wouldn’t want to be in Mistress Overington’s shoes.


Funny that...

Funny people would waste that money when a perfectly worthwhile state school probably is just up the road, out of mere narrow-mindedness and snobbery.

Not as good as private school you say, Paul Morella?

Is that because so much taxpayer money has been diverted from the proper destination of community-based state education, instead placing these at an increasing disadvantage to further damage rational secular education and further create snobbery, ideological wedge and division in our society?

Fascists lie in their teeth.

The drive of Howard is pure arrogance and going by his shameful history, if anyone would or could fix an election, it would be him.

In A fascist Australia? it states:

  • fraudulent elections: electoral rules are manipulated and media reports distorted, and cooperative judges legitimize the outcomes. 

Article 14.  Fraudulent Elections 

Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham.  Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or eve 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. 

 Alison Broinowski goes on to say et al:

All of these characteristics of fascism, you will notice, are now evident in the United States.  Number 14 electoral fraud, appeared in Florida in 2000, but has not yet migrated to Australia: not unless you count the use of taxpayers' money for fraudulent political campaigning, or government overriding the expressed will of the majority.  But some aspects of all the others apply to Australia. So according to most of Britt's 14 criteria, our Federal government is fascist too, or on the way to becoming fascist. 

The behaviour of the Howard "New Order" is extremely similar to that observation.

He has in the past, had aborigines' votes made too difficult by wording, advice and using even the wet season. He will probably have his henchman Mal Brough "visiting" the many areas controlled by him.

He has altered the regulations to inhibit the involvement of young voters as much as possible, thereby increasing the percentage of conservatives to possible Laborites.

His appointees to the High Court have been so far successful for him, not unlike George Bush's Supreme Court.

The behaviour of Gary Nairn, the "New Order" Liberal member for Eden-Monaro when he was reported as telling an AEC member to shut up when the agent complained about the hasty and incorrect decision on an issue. 

These are just a few of his sneaky approaches to elections which are more and more skewed to his methods of wedging, dividing and lying.

He abuses his power as the incumbent, and breaches all conventions and even the rule of law with all his tricks.

IMHO his current bubbling behaviour [with a feigned attitude of humility] is possibly an indication that he is aware of something, that perhaps, not even his robots know about?

Could this be why he doesn't want to talk about the polls?  Because if they are still in landslide territory for the Australian Labor Party in the election week, a sudden "come back" would be less believable?

 Again I quote A Fascist Australia:

Fascism can be defeated by rational argument (that's why fascists hate intellectuals), by genuine democracy (that's why they despise civil libertarians), by legal principle (that's why they criticise independent judges), and by international conventions (that's why they fulminate about the United Nations). 

November 24th will indeed be the defining day for all of us.


Welfare Or Tax Return?

 Mary j Shepherd:

Why the hell do rich people who can afford $19,000 a year in school fees largely funded by the government anyway need another $400 to pay the fucking fees?

You will probably find that most people claiming a percentage return of fees are strictly middle-class. I would think your example is of the minority. The driving of both private education like private health is strictly middle-class. The only possible way such things could continue to grow in strength. People are speaking through their pockets.

Given the middle-class are the group of people needed to win elections (government is for the middle-class by the middle-class), and given those same people are the harshest judges of poor people it is a fair assumption to make, irrespective of wins the election, that you in your own immortal words are well fucked.

perish the thought...

Heaven forbid we should have need-based rather than greed-based funding, eh Alan

Funny thing is, even some of the richest private schools in Australia have enough regard for the purposes of education to disown  Howard's nasty wedge politics masked as education "policy". 

Actually Mike Kelly has the right opinion.

G'day Alan. It is easy to use a Howardism to excuse Mike Kelly like "we are a broad church and he is entitled to his opinion".

But that would be hypocritical of me because I am more inclined to the adage "user pays" - so I agree with Mr. Kelly.

If parents want the system of independent schools, whether it be for an exclusive style of teaching or the hubris it may engender, a democratic nation should certainly be open to their existence.

But with that freedom to buy the best must come with a price - and that price should be borne by the wealthy themselves.

The arrangement of funding private schools in Australia is not only elitist but improper in the way it is provided.

The Howard government is reported to be funding more to the elite, per capita, than the public schools, yet the inherent intelligence of children is not defined by the wealth of their parents, only the opportunity to be more "aspirational".

Under Howard's direction, his Education Minister is blackmailing the teachers of public schools into a fascist style of regimentation with the typical big stick of withholding funds. A gross imposition when that doesn't apply to private schools.

In so doing, Howard is continuing his policy of the haves and have nots - worsening year by year.

The situation is as unfair as it is unnecessary. The cost of clothing and instruments of education is not only expected from the elite, but they are nevertheless, more able to afford them.

The taxes of a country should be directed primarily to basic services for its citizens and one of those must be to provide a free and reasonable education in what we call public schools.

Yes Alan, I do agree with Mike Kelly.

Cheers mate.


No Angela Ryan that is no longer correct in NSW.   I shall try to post the references by the week-end.

Look at their past and care about your future.

It is a basic fascist principle that to unite a people you have to have a scapegoat, an enemy, a terrorist or a dangerous organisation.

That is, some person; faction; religion or organisation et al, which happens to have a different idea of ideal humanity than the powers that be.

I have always believed that the much vaulted freedom of the press has only become a transfer of the power of persuasion from a decent belief in honesty to a captive of political and profit motives.

Currently we have a media that is generally reporting that which we consider to be sensationalist. That sells newspapers.

The global power of the unelected Murdoch media is an example of the abuse of that freedom.

Currently in Australia, we have a Howard government that relies entirely on the powers that be. Both true Liberals and Labor have warned us against the intentions of this spiteful little schoolboy.

Should we want more removal of human rights, the Howard "New Order" will deliver it.

We have slowly but surely lost our rights over the last eleven years.

We have possibly only one chance to save our society.

Don't vote for Liberal or Nationalist.


How can we

Ern,  It's the second time Mr Kelly has contradicted Labor policy during the election campaign. These two idiots Garrett and Kelly are doing more to get Howard re-elected than anybody else. There is still two weeks to go, so I'll bet you and the missus are sweating in case some other idiot on Rudd's team open their mouths.


Ern, Mike Kelly (Star recruit) has said that if Labor is elected they will change the funding to independant schools, but Rudd says the opposite. "Dishonesty and deceit are their tools of trade", as you rightly say. 

As long there are private schools, parents have the opportunity to give their kids a decent education. The public education system is a disgrace as far as the kids are concerned. It is alright if you are a teacher: you have a nice cushy well paid job and you don't have to answer to anything. The Teachers Federation sees to that. Today I watched as Rudd visited his old school and said that in 35 years the woodwork classroom has not changed one bit, but I'll bet the teachers staff room has all the goodies.

How can we believe Howard?

I watched ABC's 4 Corners last night and, having tuned in after it began, I thought it was one of Howard's taxpayer funded ads.

Quite frankly, I am amazed that, considering the eleven years of criminal negligence, the Howard "New Order" is even being given a chance of winning this election.

Sure there are terrible events occurring throughout the world but, if our ship is like a sinking Titanic, it is surely a worthless exercise to spend our energies in trying to save some other ship in distress.

The consistent Liberal/Nationalist unaccountable behaviour is sickening and we should put a stop to that if nothing else.

It is stupid and a cop-out to excuse the behaviour of the "New Order" by saying "they all do it"!

Even if that was true in this case, it would be as sure as God made little apples that our democratic right to vote against a dishonest government is our responsibility and duty as the only opposition that the Howard's "Aspirational Nationalists" cannot control (as yet).

I continue to harp on the undeniable similarity between Howard's laws and those of a fascist society.

Everything Howard says is supported by his robots. And most everything he says has more than one meaning.

It necessarily follows that all of them must accept the burden of guilt for the dishonesty and unaccountability - because their leader certainly won't.

Over the next two weeks, just reason and think about what the "New Order" says. They have already claimed that they had a mandate for WorkChoices which is a blatant lie. Their constant lies are to demand - "prove me wrong" Another diversion.

Everything they have mentioned during the last three years will be selectively claimed as a mandate should they be re-elected.

While we remember their past incompetence and depraved indifference, let's translate that into fearing Howard's control freak attitude.

What does anyone think Howard means when he says "I have a lot more to do"? Certainly more of the same - but worse.

A national saturation of WorkChoice AWAs, a nuclear Australia as commercial interests desire, widening censorship laws, disenfranchising the States and their voters, outlawing unions and associations, increasing monopolies to the disadvantage of small business etc., to mention just a few.

We could surely write a book on their crimes and misdemeanours - and we could write another on the lack of substance in the election rhetoric of these trained monkeys.

Dishonesty and deceit are their tools of trade, and fascism is their objective.

Analyse their past record and consider what "more of the same" really means.


"Never ever" believe the Howard "New Order".

On ABC South this morning there was a short opinion of Howard's election campaign that resonated with me.

I have no recollection of who the person was but his description of Howard's so-called "funds for all" private and public schools was that it was a scam.

His message suggested that the public schools are in dire need of Federal support and therefore Howard's promise will help to reduce the vacuum in their impoverished state. [My words not his].

On the other hand, Howard's promise of equality is deceitful because it simply adds to the already well funded private schools.

So one attempts to fill a vacuum and the other is cream.

Isn't this the principle of Howard's regime? He has "never ever" made an economic decision based on the needy.  He has a hatred of the word "welfare".

The problem with capitalists is that they do not have a soul.

Any time he has been forced into recognising poverty and distress, he simply spreads largesse in a way that he and Costello call "evenly".  "Never ever" believe that that is in any way a remedy for poverty.

Even in his recent election rhetoric, he warned that, if re-elected, he would move us further from a welfare state to one that is - in my words - fascist!

If he considers that to be the normal act of a prosperous country, then he must be fascist, and in my opinion he is.

No matter what he makes core or non-core promises to do, he cannot avoid his intention to favour the rich. 

As in America, money wins elections and while Howard's numbers are small their wealth is supreme.

Let's keep our eyes on WorkChoices, fascism, health for the rich, education for the rich, wealth for the rich, power for the rich - no true democracy can sustain that system.


Why indeed?

Mary j Shepherd: " Why the hell do rich people who can afford $19,000 a year in school fees largely funded by the government anyway need another $400 to pay the fucking fees?"

I would imagine they don't want to take the chance that their kids are educated in the public system, where the Teachers Federation run the show and do not allow any scrutiny of their poor teaching skills.

For the Punters

Betting market tracking and analysis

    * Database last updated at 12:01 November 13 2007 (Sydney time)

    * Analysis tracks prices offered by three agencies: Centrebet, Portlandbet, Sportingbet

    * ALP favoured to win in 77 of 150 seats (# seats with average ALP win prob > .5)

    * ALP Expected Seat Count: 79.7 out of 150 seats. Yesterday: 78.93 out of 150. Computed as the sum of the  3-agency-average seat-by-seat ALP win probabilities.

    * National Market, 3 agency average probability of Labor win: 0.706 (Yesterday: 0.711)

    * National Market:

      Agency            ALP      Coalition    ALP Prob    2007-11-12
      centrebet         1.35      3.20            0.703             0.698
      portlandbet      1.33      3.30            0.713             0.720
      sportingbet      1.35      3.20            0.703             0.714

News from the North

A long-time Webdiarist sent this to me. I am publishing it anonymously, to avoid damage to the 'Diarist's reputation:

Police in Brisbane have announced that they have detained two suspicious looking characters loitering near the PM's launch.

"One was was wearing a wig and the other a painted on moustache," said Inspector Doppler,  "So our suspicions were immediately raised. The one with the moustache gave his name as Marx, which had us certain that he was a subject for attention. The one in the wig refused to talk. However he had to be handcuffed to a chair as he persisted in chasing after any blonde officer who entered the room. We were forced to place tape over the mouth of the other due to his constant smart aleck comments. He denied any political affiliation by saying he would not join a political party that would have him as a member. We are detaining them whilst we make further enquiries, such as ascertaining whether Karl Marx had any brothers and, if so, how many, as the one with the moustache has threatened us with 'Wait until my brothers hear about this'. We are also awaiting  a report from a member of our squad who has been to school as to when Karl Marx lived. We did make inquiries on the matter with ASIO but the person we contacted, on hearing mention of the name Marx, began babbling incoherently except for the ocasional 'The commies are coming'."


If it really all gets too much, you could tune in to Radio Annabel:

That young man [at the Howard family hyper-picnic in Brisbane] was Angus Benjamin Howard McDonald, who is only 11 weeks old but already enjoys some considerable advantages of birth.

Or, as Homer Simpson might say, smacking his chops:  “Mmmmmmmm, McDonalds …”

That Annabel Crabb is a bloody funny, dry, laconic sort of bugger, aint she?

And reading it takes one’s mind off the absurd masquerade l’il Angus’s plumb crazy Gramps is strutting at the microphone.  And remain calm everybody.  Please, nobody go crazy and kill him, not until after the election.

When a vengeful Janette and the gathered NOK will do it with a plastic bag and some veterinary Nembutal™.  The Last Tango in Kirribilli. Crazy reference and uncalled for, some would say, particularly if the Howards, as desperate for money as an ex-Spice Girl, release a DVD of Janette doing the thing with best quality butter from the Kirribilli Chef.  You know the rest.

Rabbinical Code Interpreter in Chief, Dr Sir Jihad Jacques Woodforde OAM, Croix de Guerre, Ho Chi Minh Star, Principal Euthanasia Advisor to the Mad Marchioness of Wollstonecraft.

arrested for a joke? Pre-emotive anti-joke strike by QLD plice?

Hi Fiona, well really, habits in Joh's land die hard, don't they?

I had thought that in NSW a person can refuse to go with the police unless they are arrested, in which case they must be told on what charge and must not resist. Is this not the same in Qld?

I suspect that ,just as having the tools of burglary in one's possesion is a crime indicating the intention to burgle, so too will be having the tools of comedy upon one, indicating the intention to make a joke. One could take it anywhere from here, but the fact that Howard intends to resign and leave Abbott and Costello as a team should thus make Howard planning a joke an hence able to be arrested for such. Pre-emotive anti-joke strike.

Why, the list of public persons one could arrest is almost limitless. What will we do for sport viewing?

Perhaps the arrest shows a sense of humour in the Qld police, now a potential butt of jokes, and hence should be arrested, all of them.

Imagine the drop in crime.Will John shave off his eyebrows for protection?

Look out leading ally leader, next visit they will be waiting.......although France is starting to look a leading contender for Joke leader.



“ …if a police officer reasonably suspects a) a breach of the peace is happening or has happened; or (please turn to Sir Joh who will gibber from Hades, “You, you, you people, don’t you worry about that!)” Christ, Anna Bligh – now we are scared of blokes dressed as rabbits, but not out-and-out crooks from Kirribilli doing Prime Minister impersonations. We can only hope that the Chaser is spurred to new and more embarrassing satirical heights and not cowed by born-again, Farr-Norff fascism.

Dr Woodforde, OAM, of the City Watchhouse


From Jane Nethercote in today's Crikey (subscription recommended):

Chasers frontman Craig Reucassel and two of the show's cameramen were primed for action ahead of yesterday's Coalition campaign launch in Queensland. However, they were foiled by police who detained them for the duration of the launch.

According to Reucassel, six or seven Queensland Police officers confronted the three men who were then taken (in two paddy vans) to Brisbane's South Bank Police Station. "They were very polite", says Reucassel, "not like the old days". The men were then held without charge until the Coalition launch was over. Reucassel tells Crikey he was put up in an interrogation room, while the camera crew was held elsewhere.

Under what legislation were they actually detained? "Anti-lame-joke legislation"? ventures Reucassel.

Nope, the PPRA, a Queensland Police spokeswoman told Crikey today. Which section? They couldn't say. In-depth research suggests section 50 of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000, which has a little bit of a Sir Joh feel to it:

50 Dealing with breach of the peace
(1) This section applies if a police officer reasonably suspects--
(a) a breach of the peace is happening or has happened; or
(b) there is an imminent likelihood of a breach of the peace; or
(c) there is a threatened breach of the peace.
(2) It is lawful for a police officer to take the steps the police officer considers reasonably necessary to prevent the breach of the peace happening or continuing, or the conduct that is the breach of the peace again happening, even though the conduct prevented might otherwise be lawful.
Examples for subsection (2)--
1 The police officer may detain a person until the need for the detention no longer exists.
2 A person who pushes in to the front of a queue may be directed to go to the end of the queue.
3 Property that may be used in or for breaching the peace may be seized to prevent the breach.
(3) It is lawful for a police officer--
(a) to receive into custody from a person the police officer reasonably believes has witnessed a breach of the peace, a person who has been lawfully detained under the Criminal Code, section 260; and
(b) to detain the person in custody for a reasonable time.

The Chaser's style of "breaching the peace" is unlikely one anticipated by the legislation, which is more routinely applied to the drunk and disorderly -- a "reasonable time" for detention could be defined, for example, as the time it takes for someone to sober up.

And detention does seem a little selective; it was not how the Police chose to handle the 100 or so protesters who were heckling John Howard as he arrived.

Were the Police briefed to nab Chaser members if they saw them? Mere speculation, and a suggestion that the Queensland Police media unit was unwilling to comment on. In fact, details were thin on the ground this morning, and no word on what standards would apply for tomorrow's ALP launch, also in Brisbane: "We're not talking about the preparation and planning", said a police spokeswoman.

They would say however that yesterday, "there were cordons in place" and the Chasers were approached because they "looked suspicious, wearing a fake wig and moustache." The ''men'' -- Queensland Police did not wish to confirm their identity because charges weren't laid -- were "searched, spoken to by detectives and released."

silence of the lambs

It is interesting that David Eastwood should (optimistically) speak of people "frothing" at the Howard election launch, in view of Eliot Ramsey's comments elsewhere concerning the curent "lull".

If I read Fiona Reynolds correctly, it is to do with remaining patient.

Margo Kingston explains this partly in referring to the depressing run of current affairs on ABC last night, including the moral delinquency of over recent times of infantile growths like Ruddock, Vanstone and Andrews.

But for this writer at least, relates to stunned amazement at the substance of commentary concerning education (discussed in 4 Corners last night), through to Michael Long's comments on inflation today lunch time, this morning on radio.

How could individuals (Costello, Howard ) be so utterly lacking in even the semblance of a sense of responsibility, so soon after the second interest rate rise of the prolonged election campaign, when the message from the Rerserve Bank (twice) has been so explicit?

Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can...

Prime Minister John Howard has given the clearest indication so far of when he will retire and hand over to Treasurer Peter Costello, saying he plans to be in office for at least 18 months if he wins re-election.

"Peter Costello, if we win, will not become the prime minister until well into the next term, and that would be a matter for him and the party to decide in the tradition of the Liberal Party," Mr Howard said.

"It would be a choice that could be made by the new deputy leader, but that's two years on at least - or 18 months, two years on."

Another (swan)song for Mr Howard: "I'm just a guy who can't let go..."?

Sad, really.

Glad I didn't watch it

I avoided watching the campaign launch and having seen the text I'm glad I did (I usually prefer text to audio/visual - it is quicker and I can skim more easily).

I suppose it is what is expected from a campaign launch.

My guess is it will make no difference.  By now those who are decided have decided and those who haven't will wait to the last day or minutes.

How I wish there was some substantive discussion on Global Warming.

As to Whitlam and Fraser, the legislation that politicised the public service received bi-partisan support.  So I don't see that changing without a huge campaign from members of the public. 

Margo:  Take a stand - vote Green! Especially in the Senate.

Don't you worry about that

Just heard on local ABC radio (no link yet) - the Chaser team tried to attend the Liberal Party Launch yesterday but were removed by the Queensland police and detained at a police station until the launch was over. Not charged, not arrested, just detained.... Interesting....

Margo: Just like the sheep lady! It's getting obvious, isn't it. Unlawful imprisonment and kidnapping is becoming the norm, isn't it. And when the Libs want action, the police and the AEC jump, don't they. Enough!


At the risk of sounding like a damp squib...

I'm no fan of the Howard government.  It offends my secular Liberal Humanist sensibilities, but the ever increasing clamour of "Go now, Go now, Go now " chants is starting to sound a bit like the frenzy that built up in international media and diplomacy for Saddam's removal a few years back.  We all knew WMD was BS, but it was OK because he was basically just a bad dude that we all agreed just had to be gotten rid of, no matter what.  And, not too many people thought anywhere deeply enough about the aftermath...

We're committing the same crime here.  Overlooking potentially serious flaws in the other side, masked equally by their small target strategy.  And, while they may well be the best option around right now, we would be negligent not to apply the blowtorch to them from well before day election +1 in my view.

Balance, please...stop frothing!

Me too backbite

'Rudd is mere me too' has swung back to bite Howard:

YESTERDAY it was John Howard's turn to play the election game of mine's the same, but sort of different.

The three big giveaways of his farewell campaign launch dealt with policies where Kevin Rudd has already made a pitch to voters...

Come on Kevin. NOW is the time to show you're different. Now is the time to get real. How about a big effort on climate change in your launch, and modest new spending. For all of us.

The launch showed Howard still sees climate change as a little side issue. Spend a few bucks and move on to big ticket bribes, including the the wealthy, a lock in of rising house prices and the dismissal of Australians without family money behind them from the dream. Vote Howard for no future. Hard economic times ahead, says Howard, but no saving for the rainy days.and if he wins he'll cut and run, leaving the pain to Costello. What was that Costello quote in the Howard bio, the one about Howard's reckless disregard for economic responsibility come election time?

Howard does a Hanson

 In 1998, Hanson left her policy speech to the last week, so people couldn't criticise it too much. I led a journos revolt because we weren't given costings, as promised. Here's Howard in 2007:

Details of the $8.5 billion in policy pledges were contained in documents distributed to journalists in Brisbane, after the speech was over.

In Canberra, it took another hour for the policy information packs to be distributed, allowing media organisations to tally up the spending. It was getting pretty late for the evening news to pore over the figures.

By 7.30pm last night, there was still nothing on the Liberal Party website, beyond the campaign speech...

I have had a gutful

The betting markets didn't move a muscle today except against the government so this new bribe will not work.

Fucking rich man's welfare while the poor kids get screwed again by this pack of fucking liars and cowards.

In 1973 I became a single parent at the ripe old age at 20 having been raped by my best friend's husband, deserted, and not allowed to have an abortion because it was pre-Roe v Wade in the US and therefore illegal.

I love my daughter more than life itself - I went back to work when she was 2, I retrained as a nurse when she was 3,  I was off work for 9 years because she was a chronic asthmatic and kept nearly dying, I went back to do matric when I was 33, taking my then 4 year old son to child care on the way and having to catch 8 buses for the day and walk about 3 miles.

I did not have my children simply so I could pay some other mother to raise them in faceless child care centres as they do today.

Why the hell do rich people who can afford $19,000 a year in school fees largely funded by the government anyway need another $400 to pay the fucking fees?

Howard has moved away from the notion of welfare for the poor, like tertiary students get no help at all again, single mums, the sick, the poor, the disabled will all fail again.

More money for the rich to buy houses for their rich brats, houses will rise in price, interest rates will go up and up and up and still the poor will be homeless and unable to buy a home.

Rich man's fucking welfare.

I am so pissed off I could swear.

Will the lies stop?

I was prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt, I really do not want to vote Labor - sorry those here passionate that way - and so listened, hoping the leopard had changed his spots.  Hoping the lies and manipulation were over. He sounds so sincere,so genuine...then he said just a little line.

"if we put the Government of this country in the hands of a Ministry 70 per cent of whose members will be former trade union officials,"

Hey wait.  Last week I heard Costello or Nelson taken to task about the ads as they were misleading and Labor already debunked that one, and here he is - children overboard,  Iraq WMD, etc all over again just waiting to come out in another need ....

Liar. Blatant. Not worthy of our vote.

May it be a landslide and may he lose his seat. Rodent out.

And I heard today Whitlam and Fraser both calling for a ministerial integrity and responsibility enquiry. Amazing if disgust at the Howard deceptions brought those two together in forgiveness before they die.

I admire both of them already - Whitlam for what he did in office and Fraser for what he did after office.  Imagine if he had had a decent treasurer at the time.


Now, now Margo


I'll complain - they're getting used to that. 

Margo: Please do! I'm sick to bloody death of the AEC. They're now not even trying to do the job they're legally obliged to do. they're utterly subservient. Fatally compromised. come on labor, where your gutsy policy on this.

Malcolm, how about a legal opinion for Webdiary on that section in the Act, section 326 I think it is.

Howard, please leave now

"This election is about the future of our great nation... We do have a bright future, but that's not something that can be taken for granted."

Just seen Lateline. Mr Tran's horror in unlawful detention, and still the government is screwing him. Home grown terrorism, courtesy of ASIO/AFP. The Government and The Australian, in league to get Turnbull preferences from the Labor candidate's ex. And when she complains? A bash from the journo in the paper. The castrated democracy guardian guardian, the AEC, says it can't say whether the Oz journo concerned has breached the Electoral Act, but will "have a look" if someone complains! There it is, laid out in front of all of us.

Enough. Please, enough. 

Another reason not to vote Coalition

- further undermining of the public school system with financial incentives to "choose" to go private.

A 40% tax rebate for fees amounts to about $100 per year to parents of our local high school community and the full $800 annually to parents at the private school it competes with.

Why not give the schools an extra $800 per student and require them to reduce their fees by 40%?!

Margo: Why not put back the funds they've stripped form private schools, which, as they well know, ends real choice for parents.  And the affordable housing policy - lucky are those with parents with assets. Poor kid? You're fucked, cause this policy will keep house prices on the up. Middle class welfare gone completely  crazy. No words on public housing. Nuttin.

We're better than this crap, aren't we? Hi Robyn. how's it going in Adelaide?


"And what unites our creed of optimism is the belief that the Australian people do not need governments instructing them about virtue. They are more than capable of charting their own course towards a good life for themselves and for their families. "

Hmmm... Where does the intervention in the Northern Territory sit with this belief?

What to say

The above speech reminds me of many historical speeches made by those whose aim was ideological oppression by deceit. It does show fantasy land is alive and well within the primitive unevolved of our tribes. I await, with bated breath, the stunning revelations coming forth when 'me too' waves his flag.

A matter of identity

Like many males of his generation, John Winston Howard defines himself in terms of his job. Remember that interview just two months ago with Kerry O’Brien on the 7.30 Report:

Well Kerry, what matters is the party has decided that they want me to stay. I want to stay. I've got a lot of fight in me, there's a lot of things I want to do, and I have resolved very much to fight this election campaign like none other. And there are a lot of things I want to accomplish, and that's why I'm staying in politics. I heard Peter Beattie say the other day that he has lost interest in politics; I haven't. I love politics and I'm still determined to try and do the best thing for this country, and I'm still determined to give my party and the Coalition a real chance of winning what will be a very difficult election.

I've given a lot of thought to this, and my position to the next election, and this is what I'll be telling the Australian people is, is very simple. If the Australian people are good enough and kind enough to re-elect me again, there are a lot of things I want to do, and I would want to approach those things with enormous energy. But I would expect well into my term, and after those things have been implemented and battered [sic] down, I would probably, certainly form the view well into my term, that it makes sense for me to retire...

Frankly, I love the job. It still stimulates and energises me. There's a lot of things I want to do for the Australian people. and that's why I would hope that they might be kind enough to re-elect me because I want to serve them. And I won't find it easy if I am re-elected to retire. I won't find it the least bit easy because I am very committed to this job, and I will not like leaving it.

Coincidentally, I had finished reading Errington and Van Onselen’s biography of Howard a few days earlier. The book, and his language in the interview – I love politicsif the Australian people are good enough and kind enough to re-elect meI am very committed to this job and I will not like leaving it – left me with an overwhelming impression: this is a man who has entered into a Faustian bargain, and the time for payment is nigh. He no longer has an identity of his own – he has been consumed by political power. So if – and I am by no means convinced either that the Coalition will be voted our, or that Howard will be defeated in Bennelong – the reins are twitched out of his hands on 24 November 2007, he may well implode.

Can one feel sympathy? At one level, yes, at another, no. However, considering the importance that Howard has for so long given to his place in history, I shall, like Andrew West (analysing another Coalition politician who struck a Faustian bargain of his own) remind the Prime Minister of Antony’s words from Julius Caesar:

The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones.

Down on 'drugs'

... but not a word about the damage being caused by binge-drinking and alcoholism.

FF on child care

Statement by Family First leader, Senator Steve Fielding

John Howard today missed an opportunity to help all Australian families by not giving a childcare payment to ALL parents.

Family First’s policy is to give ALL families with children under five a $4000 Childcare Payment every year so they can choose the childcare they want, whether it is in-house care from a grandparent or neighbour or a childcare centre. This would replace the childcare rebate, which only some parents can claim.

Childcare is about ALL children, not just those in childcare centres.

All Australian families should get the same childcare help, regardless of the childcare they choose.

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Margo Kingston

Margo Kingston Photo © Elaine Campaner