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Lest we forget

Lest We Forget
by Melody Kemp

One thing about living the peripatetic life is the richness and variety of friends that one makes. While in Indonesia we became very close to some Dutch Americans with whom we stay in contact. She like some New Woman stereotype, an actress and yoga teacher, he an expert in international finance systems. Taking into account the mercantile history of the Netherlands and their role on Indonesia, his is also as fitting an occupation as one could wish for.

Last week I received a message from him. He had forwarded a flyer that is currently gaining some popular ground in the Netherlands.

The old idyll of an inclusive, humane Dutch society, where permissive and progressive attitudes find a place to flower, seems to have died with this web flyer. And who is the one who has summonsed the ghost of Enoch Powell? None other than John Winston H. (I actually can’t bring myself to utter or write his name: it’s too much like naming the devil). It seems our ex Prime Miniature is now a cult hero amongst born again Aryans. 

ADDED: It should be noted that there is no evidence that ex-Prime Minister Howard actually said any of these things attributed to him, and some are clearly extracted from other sources. A sentence in Melody's piece that could imply that he did has been deleted.

Readers of Webdiary may be interested to see some of the interchange.

First, my friend in the US:

Dear Sister,

I have only one problem with Mr. Howard:

He is playing on popular sentiment. His references to "our God," "our flag," are dangerous.

The fact that Australia was founded by "Christians" is irrelevant. These so-called Christians took the land from the aboriginals to begin with. Australia, like the US, is a secular, multi-cultural state, based on mass immigration. It was populated first by, initially, British and Irish criminals (released from UK prisons), and after that by others from all over the world.

The fact that in Australia there is freedom of speech and of religion, however, is highly relevant.

And the fact that they speak English there is a matter of practicality.

I do agree with Howard on this: Sharia is an absolutist belief-system and should indeed be opposed, because it violates other people's right to freedom of speech and of religion, which are fundamental human rights, which modern states are supposed to support and honor.

Mr. Howard's language, however, sounds rather fascistic to me, when he talks about our God, our pledge, our flag, etc. I object to that language here in the US, and in any country. (Nazi Germany was big on this stuff.) No belief system should be pushed in public school class rooms, or favored by the state and its officials. In a modern state, the only thing that should be observed is "the Law." Nobody is above it; everybody deserves to be protected by it.

I will therefore not just pass this along, if you don't mind. Instead, I will check with my Australian friends what they think about this, Howard's latest tirade. Should be interesting.



Next the Flyer. All emphases are theirs:


If anyone is interested I can forward my response.

A new export earner?


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Richard - send it to me

Richard, send me an example to my gmail box. I would not get too worried at this point in time.

But if someone wants to look into your computer they can, if they really want to. That's why I don't keep anything I would not be willing to share with the world on my computer at home. I post all over the show and am aware whether I do so by a fixed IP address or floating.

Internet service providers are the ones who have a tremendous opportunity to know all sorts of things about you. It's early days yet.

For example I could send you an invitation to visit my website. Drop a tracking cookie into your drive and monitor the sites you visit on the net, and more. This is happening as we speak but people don't really care; service providers do not need to do this for they have your log file - very easy.

Such is life.

I'll Pass On This One

Richard, Alan and others, somehow I can't raise too much enthusiasm with the topic. It is mildly interesting as to how something so petty can grow a life of its own.

It reminds me of Pauline Hanson's maiden speech which was sent to me by a friend while we were living in the US. My friend was excited by the "breath of fresh air and commonsense" that Pauline brought. I was appalled by the jingoism, lack of intellectual depth and underlying malevolence.

Hansonism/Howardism has cast a pall over my life for too long. A pox on the lot of them.

Richard: The've taken my rose-coloured glasses, Roger,and I won't forgive them. This thing though, appears to have been a commercially mutated meme, so to me it's worth following through. If e-pamphleteers are using this to stir up Islamic unrest in the UK, it should be debunked as far as possible. I sigh in sympathy with your sentiment.

"Evidentiary" evidence?

Melody Kemp: "I find it interesting how Australians have moved from the big picture into evidentiary politics."

Is this the same thing as "evidentiary" evidence?

Mr Howard is most definitely a witch.

I am suprised that many of you did not get that, or maybe it's too many years of isolationism.

I'm thinking this "isolationism" didn't have a Court system that's changed much since, I don't know, the 5th century BC? Apart from that, you probably learnt a lot.

I find it interesting how..

I find it interesting how Australians have moved from the big picture into evidentiary politics. As Fiona has said, it is not up to anyone to produce evidence that Howard said these things. What is important is that Howard's little blue book of quotations is either being made up or being attributed to him as the rallying call for conservatives in both the US and Europe, largely I gather spearheaded by Duch and Dutch expatriates. In this way Howard is being uplifted to the heady heights of Thatcherite style beatification. Maybe the Pope can follow up when in town.

I am suprised that many of you did not get that, or maybe it's too many years of isolationism.

Geert Wilders?

Melody, are you hearing from Dutch expats you come across that they support Geert Wilders?

Advice from experts

With any web site you have about 15 seconds to attract the attention of the visitor and make them want to stay. To do this requires a professional web design that has traditionally cost several hundred or even several thousands of dollars.

That's from the original letter-writer's company's website.

The cost of a chain letter? Nothing (well, a few bucks to a scriptwriter). The effect? Priceless

Off on a tangent

"And who is the one who has summonsed the ghost of Enoch Powell? None other than John Winston H.(I actually can't bring myself to utter or write his name: it's too much like naming the devil)."

Oh, pu..leeeeaaase!

Unsubstaniated and biased piffle.

"If Howard did not say it than the publishing of Melody's piece is pointless."

Well said Roger!

And I am no fan of Howard's either. I do like to think that I am a little objective though!

Btw. Where is the blue book?

We are off on a tangent here folks.

Richard:  Roger has conceded that there is at least some merit to all this, Kathy.  Especially if we find the underlying motives for the spread of the pamphlet and chain mail.   Oh, and as for Melody's writing being biased -  hasn't she, like you, a right to be if she chooses?  It's time you wrote us a piece, milady!

Enid Blyton Explains

Or rather, a blogger on Enidblyton.net

In theory it's a great idea, and should spread the word about the city in a matter of hours. Invariably this helps Jupiter, Bob and Pete solve their mysteries. But there are some problems. First, it relies on each friend phoning five others, IF they have five friends to phone. What if one of his friends is Billy No Friends? And what are the chances that the same circle of friends will be called time and time again by other friends participating in the same scheme? If Joe phones five of his friends, he'd have to tell each not to phone the other four, just to avoid repetition. That could be a nightmare, especially after a couple of rounds of calls.

Now consider the idea that in this case "a couple of rounds of calls" might have been the desired outcome.

Questions for the Albatross

Given your expertise in statistical profiling, what information would tagged chain emails return to a gatherer?


My nine year old daughter has a friend who passes along lots of chain stuff, games to play, etc, with extollations to send to everyone on your list. I opened a couple, so the best I could do was explain what I thought was going on to her little ladyship and teach her not to pass things on. Am I being paranoid?

In the first case, even a number of people who opened it could give an idea of by how many it was believed.  Perhaps the idea has worked so well that it's being repackaged as an e-campaign in different countries? 

Shuidahua 胡說

... is right.  I've been googling a few of the phrases, and invite others to do so.  The origins of this flyer appear to be in 2005, with elements of the current version traceable to earlier years. It seems to bounce via "forwarding" sites the most, and from there crops up in a few bogs.  The Snopes.com version of events seems plausibe, and checking one link there shows the words to be closer to Costello than Howard.  However, it is shown at this site that the "We speak English, not...." was lifted from a US-centred circular in 2002, and Snopes claims that this segment is an addition to this year's version.

Fiona has mentioned Lindsay, and there are a few parallels to what we are dealing with here. It could well be that anti-Howardists have propagated this as a shiitsheet in the same manner that the Libs did the same to the ALP. 

 It appears though, that in a more politically radical climate, this circular was created to assist in fomenting anti-Islamic sentiment by would-be warmongers.  That the current version contains older US-based material suggests that this is still the case.  Yep, I reckon it's meant to be taken seriously and supported.

It's all got a bit of a Filipino Monkrey feel to it.  There could be the addition of some reverse psychology involved, as Roger fears, and it could actually be a double-bounce of what was originally pro-neocon propaganda. 

I'm going to see if I can track any more of this after a much needed night's sleep.  But there you go, at least some of this is indeed bogus, so the whys and wherefores are worth thinking about.  

What do you think now, Roger? Why is this "info" gaining a resurgence now?  Perhaps to influence international susceptibles into supporting certain doctrines?  I notice that anti-Iranian White House P.R. is on the rise again...

How's This Then???

Melody, when did we move exactly? As for myself, I have not moved at all. Bullshit is bullshit no matter where it comes from.

Your conclusions about Howard, as detestable as he is, are suspect if not outright bogus. Firstly, point to where we might view "Howard's little blue book of quotations". I would like to verify that it is blue, that it is little and that he actually wrote something in it.

You "gather", you say. Well gather away, "largely" or not, proof it is not! You must admit that you don't know whether anything about this piece is true.

I could anonymously write something salacious about our next G-G. You know, just make it up like some in the journalistic profession are prone to do. You can then have it published in WD as something of public interest.

My view on your piece is that it has no merit and should be withdrawn.

Google it

Roger, I Googled "The right to leave" and it is amazing what turned up.

One site said that the SA government had allowed a Muslim women to have her photo on her drivers license with her face covered up. Another version said that the city council in Birmingham UK had done the same thing.

I agree this piece by Melody Kemp has no place on WD, Not Happy Margo.

Richard: Alan, having had a few days away from the site I've been surprised by this one. That the flyer exists, for whatever motives, isn't surprising, and we all agree that it might have been composed for nefarious purposes. Its derivations and mutations make it all the more fascinating. The fact that there's been such a strong reaction on this site make it an oddity in itself.. The situation is therefore quite notable.

What if, and its likely, that we learn that; the thing was created by right-wingers to exaggerate their platform at U.S. election time?



Richard, this leaflet was written in the days after September 11, 2001, by Barry Loudermilk, an Air Force veteran from Georgia and frequent columnist in the The Bartow Trader, a local newspaper. Given the politically charged condition society was in at that time, other papers quickly picked it up.

Some feel Loudermilk's remarks are dead-on, while others consider it racist. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, this one has become one of the most popular rants about what many perceived as political correctness run amok.

Its message, apparently, is universal. In 2005, unidentified forwarders adapted the message to appeal to international audiences, with Australian and English versions leading the pack.

Richard:  It's an interesting new form of mythology to those who aren't familiar, Alan. Can you point us toward the English version?

Have a look

Richard, have a look at this http://www.glodark.co.uk/immigrants.htm

Richard: I'l slip back to here (running out of posts). Thank you, Alan, yes it's the same thing. So are these mutations accidental or contrived? By accident or design, it's a hardy little virus, to adapt to its new host so easily. Do you think, like I, that it might be being helped along?

This gets better and better

I found an anonymous blog entry referring to an English adaptation, Alan, but have not gotten further. This writer, though, on a post written in March, agrees with much of what you say.

It appears that the story of the SA drivers licence picture-in-scarf accompanies the text in a chain letter instigation circulating in the US in 2006 and it does appear to be targetting US readers and attempting to be a ralying flag.

Still looking, and loving it. This has "hoax" written all over it.

You may find this interesting, Richard

Barry Loudermilk is the owner and president of Innovative Network Systems Inc (INSI), a "network engineering, design, consulting and IT services vendor" based in Chartersville, Georgia and primarily serving the US south-east. He's ex-military (US Air Force) and ex-Defence industry (Honeywell). He became a politician in 2005.

Richard:  I wasn't game before to say that this sounded like Rendon psychology, Craig. Thanks.  Let's keep looking.  I might have a squizz at INS' background.


Needs must

Craig, I found this 2006 piece today while looking for anthem stuff:

When the president was asked at a Rose Garden question-and-answer session whether the anthem should be sung in Spanish, he replied: "I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English, and I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English."

He made his remarks on the matters during a wide-ranging briefing with reporters.

"I think people who want to be citizens of this country ought to learn English," Bush said.

The president's comments came amid a burgeoning national debate—and congressional fight—over legislation pending in Congress, and pushed by Bush, to overhaul U.S. immigration law.

Would it be too "conspiracy theorist" of me to suggest that the pamphlet might be a contrived component of an immigration control campaign? Reinvigorated at appropriate times, such as when that legislation was being passed?

Whatever the case, it has been as successful in polarising opinions as Pauline's maiden speech was, but has most likely influenced a lot more people.

Justin, thank you, I will do so in the morning. There are too many conflicting opinions on this sort of stuff and I'm looking into shadows over my daughter's shoulder. Never thought I'd be that kind of parent. Needs must.

A similar hoax

Media Watch have done a couple of items this year on an email that has been circulating, and being published as an ed-letter across the country, saying that refugees receive more handouts than pensioners.

The show tonight was mentioning that the email had been read out on Sydney radio last week by Alan Jones, and that MW had been pestering him to correct ... Jones wasn't a happy boy.

The show jogged me to have a look around tonight. I found this in 10 secs


The text and figures used in the letter appear in a number of Canadian emails, websites and internet chatrooms which attribute the complaint to Canada's payments to refugees and pensioners. This suggests that the complaint neither originated in, nor originally related to, Australia.

In Australia's case, refugees granted permanent visas are permanent residents, and can gain access to Centrelink benefits if they need them on the same basis and at the same rates as any other Australian permanent resident.

Sandi Logan
National Communications Manager,
Department of Immigration and Citizenship

I wonder if you could make a living writing these things and selling them to political parties?

Spreading like Vegemite

Amid the heaps of posts supporting "Howard's speech" I found myself agreeing with this one in January:

It's kind of depressing that so many people think this speech is great,spread it around the world and blog about it for months. What chance have humans got when teenagers - as I found during a google search -think such propaganda is great because they lack the skills to either dissect it, critically appraise it or argue against it?

This isn't an anti-Labor set up, Roger. I'm glad Melody has posted it here, so that we know what's going on. It's like a Lindsay shitsheet sent to 100 million people. Machiavelli would have loved it.

I'm still not finding independent English versions, Alan, only discussion of the Aussie one on Expat sites and stuff. Hey, have you noticed that all of the postings of the "Howard speech" are under pseudonyms?

Maybe if we circulate this amongst ourselves, American citizens will find the backbone to start speaking and voicing the same truths ! If you agree please SEND it on!

This, from the poster at that FWDiton.com link, seems to imply what's happened.

WD Needs To Lift Its Standards

I would like to add my voice to Eliot's. We can't publish such things until all sources are checked and verified.

Melody, I abhored Howard's leadership of Australian and there are few people that I would admit to detesting but Howard (along with Mugabe and now, perhaps, Mbeki) is one.

In spite of that, I have researched Howard's supposed statements on Google and nothing that could be attributed to him came up.

Various of the statements supposedly made by Howard are being bandied about, word for word, in a number of Internet blogs and forums but Howard is not the author.

This WD forum should be taken down immediately before it completely sullies our hard-won reputation for dealing with real issues.

David R: but I'd contend that it is a real issue - Melody doesn't say that these are exact quotes of JWH's views, she points out that these are being promulgated on the net as JWH's views, and that is an issue. And no, we don't take pieces down once published, and certainly not after several days. It's up to people in comments to point out issues like this, and for readers to make up their mind. The only reason we would take it down would be if you could prove that the offending internet circular didn't exist as claimed.

I Don't Agree

David, I do not agree. This is the sort of article that is the favourite tool of Piers Akerman, Andrew Bolt and other ratbag conservative travellers. Internet bloggers may contend anything that they wish but it does not make it true.

If Howard did not say it then the publishing of Melody's piece is pointless. Howard may think it, he may wish it but until we have solid proof of his authorship then we are engaging in the type of demagoguery that I have understood WD has always stood against.

I repeat my request for this piece to be taken down until Melody can prove that these things were actually said by Howard and are not the musings of anonymous authors who cannot be taken to task.

Nelson has quite a few ideas, but he won't tell anyone.

"I have quite a few ideas but I'm hardly going to come here and tell Mr Rudd what my ideas are for Australia's future."

(The Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson at the 2020 summit.)

If Nelson is so full of ideas why would he keep them to himself? Surely the point of being in parliment is to put your ideas forward whether you are in opposition or government. This is one of the problems of the party system - politicians in opposition will attack the government's ideas while putting forward no ideas of their own.

The beauty of the 2020 summit is that all can put their ideas on the table.

Rudd is standing for a spirt of cooperation. Nelson and his party are stuck in the past.

Hard Labor (sic)


Not if mafia Frank baby has his way; I suppose when we have our homes taken from us for the profit of Labor's mates we may feel some empathy for our original immigrants.

 SMH this morning:

THE State Government plans to give its agencies and councils power to compulsorily acquire private land to re-sell to developers at a profit - or, if they choose, at a reduced price so the developers make even more money.

The sooner the NSW Labor party disappears up its own backside the better for all.

Phillip Game or John Kerr, where are you?

Sack the bastards!

No Time For Mistakes Yet

Alan & Eliot, give it 18 months - everything is still a policy to date with little actually put into action. When they are and if they fail that's when you can call them a failure.

Looking for the Howard brochure amongst my papers.

No time

Michael, I am just trying to point out all the things that Rudd has promised that are not going to happen. I can wait 18 months, but the so called battlers are going to be stuffed.

Marn Ferson doomed....

Alan Curran: "Eliot, have you noticed how nobody seems to pointing out the things that Rudd the Dud has got wrong?"

Have you noticed how Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan have become the joint-ministers for delivering Bad News? While Kevin stays permanently in electioneering mode, pressing the flesh and waving to the camera?

Somewhere or other I predicted Peter Garrett would become the most hated Environment Minister in this nation's history. I'd better find it fast and do a screen dump before anyone else finds it.

 My tip? To keep the illusion of Rudd's "greatness" alive, they'll start hunting for scapegoats pretty soon. First up, Martin Ferguson?


Eliot, did you see Ferguson being interviewed by Kerry O'Brien? It was a disaster. Ferguson is also still in election mode: he prattled on with the same well learned parrot phrases and said nothing. The look on O'Brien's face was priceless as he tried to make sense of what Ferguson was saying. You are right about Garrett, he is an embarrassment, and will be gone in the next Cabinet reshuffle.

Looking to substantiation here

Michael de Angelos: "I have a similar flyer printed by the ex-Prime Minister and distributed to all his constituents when I was living in the Ryde area."

Michael, could you link us to an image of that? Maybe scan it and put it on Panoramio or something?

 Melody Kemp: "Next the Flyer. All emphases are theirs:"

I don't quite understand what you are saying, Melody. Are you saying the flyer respresents a transcript of something John Howard said?

I must have missed something, because I cannot see it as attributed to him anywhere?

When is he supposed to have said these things? Is there some independent source to confirm this?


Eliot, have you noticed how nobody seems to pointing out the things that Rudd the Dud has got wrong? "The 1st. Home Savers scheme": ill thought out and in tatters. "The One Stop Child Care": uncosted and unlikely to happen in our lifetime. "Fast Broaddband": the tender process is a shambles another cobbled together scheme. "A computer for every schoolchild": great election promise but it is not going to happen, the same with a "Technical College in every public school", a pipedream that kept the Unions happy.

Original sources?

I agree Alan 胡說 胡說 胡說 胡說 胡說 胡說 胡說

Alan: "it might suprise you that 95% of Australians would agree with its contents. "


Name them.

"Immigrants not Australians must adapt..."

We are all immigrants, it's just that the majority have arrived over the last two hundred years. We didn't adapt to this country  - we made it adapt to us; with unfortunate environmental consequences.

This country has been developed over two centuries of struggles...

...and theft, rape, murder, exploitation, greed and lies.

We speak mainly English...

Most of us poorly. We Orstrayans don't even have a language of our own (original immigrants excepted). How patriotic is that!  Had to copy whinging poms. Though we are pretty good with bad language. (I'm a f***ing expert)

Christian principles founded this nation...

Nonsense; theft, rape, murder, exploitation, greed and lies are not Christian principles. Period.

We accept your beliefs..

Nonsense: How can you accept the beliefs of others if you have not got a clue what they are, nor take the time to find out.

Many Orstrayans wouldn't have a clue what they believe, but simply regurgitate  the ubiquitous rantings or two bob opinion writers and garden variety dickheads.

"This is our COUNTRY....But once you are finished complaining...."

Hahahahahah who's complaining!!!!!

If you aren't happy then leave...

O please do and the sooner the better.

Sadly it's religious extremists (a small percentage of the whole) who try to stuff it up for us all. These galoots are neither Christian, Muslim or Calathumpian;  just attention seekers who have their own shallow and pathetic agendas.

Now let's stick that in our VB sport;  then we can all bash the shit outa one another.

To me, it seems a dreadful indignity to have a soul controlled by geography.

George Santayana

There ya go Melody;  nine comments now and hopefully we'll get some god (Christian of course) fearing half wits over to bash da crap outa me.

Melody - "the principal part in a harmonic composition". What a lovely name; rather poignant in this context.

Another flyer

I have a similar flyer printed by the ex-Prime Minister and distributed to all his constituents when I was living in the Ryde area. It listed the vast amounts of WMD in Iraq, the location and the exact quantities and specifically stated that no war would be undertaken with Iraq for the purposes of regime change. It  is signed : John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia.

It's complete bollocks as well.

95% of Australians? Nah, 77%

Nah, Alan, don't you remember Margo's quotation (as used by The Herd): It's only 77%.


Can you provide evidence supporting your claim of 95% agreement, Alan Curran?


Flyer 2

Fiona Reynolds, don't take my word for it, print out a copy and go out in to the streets,clubs & pubs and shopping centres and see what response you get, this is what I did. Do not go to Lakemba in Sydney. They cannot read English there.

Fiona: Alan Curran, I have only one word to say to you: Lindsay. However, if you'd fund me to do some proper research, I might have more than that word to say...


And it is this. That Fiona you have two words, not one and they are the same as mine.

Fiona: Nearly, but not quite, Scott. I had to restrain myself from asking a question - but then, I've been told I will never make an advocate.


did you choose to edit my comment?

Fiona: Because I feel like a sensitive little petal this evening.


Poem for a " sensitive petal."

You ask me why I live in the Jade mountains.
I smile, unanswering. My heart is calm.
Peach petals float on the water, never come back.
There is a heaven and earth beyond the crowded town below.

- Li Po.

Fiona: You inspired me to find one of my most precious books - A Garden of Peonies (trans. Henry H. Hart) - which my grandmama gave me when I was 11, and which she had treasured for many years. A good thought - Chinese poetry to restore my mind to equanimity. Thank you, Kathy.



I cannot read Chinese, but it only took seconds to learn that "胡說" means "nonsense".


Melody Kemp, this flyer has been around for ages, and it might suprise you that 95% of Australians would agree with its contents.

I have only made this comment because I know you usually get a very poor response to the things that you write, so at least you will get one response.

For your information we still have a Prime Miniature, but this one speaks Mandarin, and most of what he says is 


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