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Mark Stapleton
06-23-2010, 01:42 PM
Aussie PM Kevin Rudd will be dumped as leader tomorrow in favor of deputy PM Julia Gillard.

Rudd's problems with Israel came to the surface recently with his criticism of Israel's identity theft during the Dubai assassination in January and criticism of Israel's recent attack on the Gaza flotilla.

Gillard has always strongly defended Israel as far as I know.

Rudd's problems with Israel go back a little further, as this article from the SMH reveals:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/rudds-subtle-israel-shift/2008/08/02/1217097606466.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1

Draw your own conclusions, but Rudd's rapid fall from grace wasn't the result of failed emissions trading negotiations, as has been cited. Most Australians don't care about that.

Criticising the Zionist Power Configuration is political suicide in corrupt western democracies like Australia.

Magda Hassan
06-23-2010, 02:00 PM
Then they will be happy with Gillard, if she is true to form, as she has never said an unkind word.

Your observations on this are true Mark. He didn't go through with the ETS, which I think is a good thing, but he still wants a carbon tax, also a good thing. No one understood carbon trading except the bankers (Turnbull) who were behind it. As for the mining super profit tax everyone was delighted that the miners were at last going to pay some of their share for a change instead of taking more from PAYE work bots. The mining companies were absolutely NOT going to close shop and move overseas. They have it too good here. But they were desperate not to allow it to go through as it would then set a precedent to other countries with major resources, to do the same and that is what they didn't want under any circumstances. They are trying to make it look as if he is lost and confused. I have watched this orchestrated whispering campaign against Rudd being run the last few months and have yet to see any basis in fact not of their own creation. Not being a Rudd or Labor supporter in any way or shape I would love to find something to hate about the man as a leader but I cannot. I feel he is basically a decent man with fairly honourable intentions who has done reasonably a good job in running a right wing social democratic party within those limitations. Obviously against some one's vested interests though. The right wing 'powerbrokers' behind this are bloody disgusting.

Mark Stapleton
06-23-2010, 04:46 PM
Yes I think he was OK except that he was a rabid immigrationist--but that's bipartisan now anyway.

The whole Rudd leadership crisis was manufactured by the mainstream media, imo. They drove him out of town. It shows how much the political class fears the media. It's an Orwellian nightmare.

Peter Dawson
06-24-2010, 06:04 AM
I'm convinced he was booted out over the mining tax. Gillard is already talking about beginning the mining tax negotiations afresh, so we'll have to wait and see the final outcome of that.

The interesting thing I find is how the media in unison avoids mentioning this most obvious of theories - that he's been turfed out over the mining tax. And ironic (correct me if I'm wrong) that Rudd is from a right faction and Gillard from a left faction.

I agree with you, Magda, that the precedent it would set in the mining industry world-wide would be most unwelcome.

(Also, it drives me to distraction that they've cranked up the immigration levels so high in recent years - hundreds of thousands each year - but we're drowned in a sea of scaremongering in the media about "out of control" illegal boat arrivals, totaling under 10,000 per year, many of whom presumably won't be staying permanently. Never mentioning the illegal arrivals who fly in rather than take a crowded leaky boat. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that we co-ordinate with the Indonesians and let them know just how many boats we want them to let through each month ("we" being the people ultimately in control of the governing of Australia, whoever they are), according to the propaganda objectives of the day.)


P.S. Hi all!
:itsme:

Mark Stapleton
06-24-2010, 08:22 AM
The interesting thing I find is how the media in unison avoids mentioning this most obvious of theories - that he's been turfed out over the mining tax.

The media isn't avoiding mentioning the proposed mining tax as the reason for Rudd's downfall. On the contrary, they've been talking about it ad nauseum.

That isn't what got him knifed. The mining tax wasn't unpopular with the people--it was unpopular with mining magnates and wealthy stockholders. John Howard's proposed GST in 1998 was much more unpopular than the proposed mining tax, and he didn't get punted.

No, there's a much less visible reason for his removal--see post #1.

p.s welcome to the DPF Peter.

Mark Stapleton
06-24-2010, 08:25 AM
(Also, it drives me to distraction that they've cranked up the immigration levels so high in recent years - hundreds of thousands each year - but we're drowned in a sea of scaremongering in the media about "out of control" illegal boat arrivals, totaling under 10,000 per year, many of whom presumably won't be staying permanently.



Me too.

Mark Stapleton
06-24-2010, 08:48 AM
One thing's for sure.

The rest of the world's leaders are about to find out what real Aussie strine sounds like.

Suckers.

Magda Hassan
06-24-2010, 09:42 AM
I don't know what faction Rudd is from. Probably some variety of right faction. I know he hasn't come the usual route through the unions. Gillard is nominally left but I don't expect her to actually *walk* left at all. She was conspicuously silent during the Israeli bombing and invasion of Gaza and the subsequent fake passports used by Israel. Like many others who started in the Trotskyist parties she will probably make a good neo-con. I hope I am wrong but we will wait and see. I certainly do not feel any joy or optimism about the change. It is just a palace coup by the right wing union factions. I think she may, at best, be like Hawke, and he was sure was no lefty. Think 'Accord', think of CIA ties to the unions, especially the AWU which is right behind this.

Welcome Peter!

Peter Dawson
06-24-2010, 11:06 AM
The media isn't avoiding mentioning the proposed mining tax as the reason for Rudd's downfall. On the contrary, they've been talking about it ad nauseum.

That isn't what got him knifed. The mining tax wasn't unpopular with the people--it was unpopular with mining magnates and wealthy stockholders. John Howard's proposed GST in 1998 was much more unpopular than the proposed mining tax, and he didn't get punted.

The GST was a tax on the people, and a reduction in tax for business, for the most part. The mining tax is a tax on profits. That entails the prodding of a whole different beast.

They mention the mining tax as part of the mix of reasons for his demise, but I still think it alone was the necessary and sufficient reason for his exit. Or, if you like, it was the only straw capable of breaking that particular camels back.


No, there's a much less visible reason for his removal--see post #1.
Im open to being convinced otherwise, but I think Rudd fell so perfectly in line with the wishes of the neo-liberal ruling class (up until the talk of a mining tax), that hed have had to declare war on Israel (e.g. persistently insist that they start treating the Palestinians better, or something), to motivate the Jewish players to have him ousted. The Jewish community doesnt want the Australian voting public to know that they have the vast majority of Oz parliamentarians under their influence, and if circumstances prevent them from being seen as a beacon of all things good, they will happily embrace news that paints themselves as weak outsiders. Rudd expelling an Israeli operative, months after the incident, weeks after Britain had done the same thing, was a very weak response. Weak, yet harsh, and harsh was the effect Rudd was trying to project...after, Im sure, hed made half a dozen phone calls to members of the Jewish community apologising for the necessary face-saving measure he was about to take.

Peter Dawson
06-24-2010, 12:00 PM
I don't know what faction Rudd is from. Probably some variety of right faction. I know he hasn't come the usual route through the unions. Gillard is nominally left but I don't expect her to actually *walk* left at all. She was conspicuously silent during the Israeli bombing and invasion of Gaza and the subsequent fake passports used by Israel. Like many others who started in the Trotskyist parties she will probably make a good neo-con. I hope I am wrong but we will wait and see. I certainly do not feel any joy or optimism about the change. It is just a palace coup by the right wing union factions. I think she may, at best, be like Hawke, and he was sure was no lefty. Think 'Accord', think of CIA ties to the unions, especially the AWU which is right behind this.

I think she'll be much like Rudd - compliant (to the big end of town) on the big issues, compassionate (re. the battlers) on the small ones, with a few pleasant surprises thrown in, and a few unpleasant ones. I've pretty much lost all hope in conventional politics and politicians, but I was brought up in a Labor household (in Joh's Queensland), and Ive gotta say, Ill much prefer it if she wins the next election. I had a hell of a time ignoring politics for all of the 11 years Howard was in. Its much easier for me to ignore when Labor is in!

Peter Dawson
06-24-2010, 12:43 PM
One thing's for sure.

The rest of the world's leaders are about to find out what real Aussie strine sounds like.

Suckers.


They'll have trouble understanding her, her accent is so broad! That's no problem though, because as with Rudd, she'll most likely have nothing of significance to say that the world need listen to her.

Helen Reyes
06-24-2010, 01:58 PM
Two observations from afar:

1) the mining tax puts Australian federation in question because of promises made to Western Australia (or was it Northern Territories?) at the time of federation;

2) the Pine Gap constituency cannot be happy that Rudd failed to nail Julian Assange down when he had the chance. While small, the Pine Gap district has traditonally wielded undue influence in domestic politics.

Mark Stapleton
06-24-2010, 02:58 PM
The media isn't avoiding mentioning the proposed mining tax as the reason for Rudd's downfall. On the contrary, they've been talking about it ad nauseum.

That isn't what got him knifed. The mining tax wasn't unpopular with the people--it was unpopular with mining magnates and wealthy stockholders. John Howard's proposed GST in 1998 was much more unpopular than the proposed mining tax, and he didn't get punted.

The GST was a tax on the people, and a reduction in tax for business, for the most part. The mining tax is a tax on profits. That entails the prodding of a whole different beast.

They mention the mining tax as part of the mix of reasons for his demise, but I still think it alone was the necessary and sufficient reason for his exit. Or, if you like, it was the only straw capable of breaking that particular camels back.


No, there's a much less visible reason for his removal--see post #1.
Im open to being convinced otherwise, but I think Rudd fell so perfectly in line with the wishes of the neo-liberal ruling class (up until the talk of a mining tax), that hed have had to declare war on Israel (e.g. persistently insist that they start treating the Palestinians better, or something), to motivate the Jewish players to have him ousted. The Jewish community doesnt want the Australian voting public to know that they have the vast majority of Oz parliamentarians under their influence, and if circumstances prevent them from being seen as a beacon of all things good, they will happily embrace news that paints themselves as weak outsiders. Rudd expelling an Israeli operative, months after the incident, weeks after Britain had done the same thing, was a very weak response. Weak, yet harsh, and harsh was the effect Rudd was trying to project...after, Im sure, hed made half a dozen phone calls to members of the Jewish community apologising for the necessary face-saving measure he was about to take.


Kevin Rudd is the first Australian Prime Minister to be replaced by his own party during his first term.

Previous first term Governments have been forgiven by the media for their inevitable cockups and disasters. Hawke, Howard and Keating made many a stuff up, sometimes quite serious. The media criticism of them was often harsh but not monolithic as in Rudd's case.

The timeline of Rudd's political fall from grace closely traces his growing animosity towards Israel and its recent actions. After a couple of years as the golden boy of federal politics, Rudd's private dissatisfaction with Israel in 2008 about the separation wall became very public this year after his comments about the Mossad identity theft in Dubai and the Gaza flotilla massacre.

Israel owns the media so they targeted him, as they often do with their critics. It's not difficult for them. They did the same thing to Gough Whitlam in 1975.

Helen Reyes
06-24-2010, 03:16 PM
Ireland expelled a Mossad agent for the same thing, while South Africa's Jewish foreign minister recalled SA's ambassador to Israel. I don't see Australia as a real priority on Mossad's agenda, but I could be convinced otherwise.

Should we expect to see Nicaragua's government and president pushed from power now? What about Iceland and sanctions against Israeli imports?

This is interesting, Rudd speaks Chinese and stepped on Chinese and Indian interests with the mining tax, apparently:

http://www.thestar.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=4106703


Oz Rudderless as 'Sheila' takes lead

June 24, 2010 Edition 4

CANBERRA: Australia's ruling party ousted its leader today in a sudden revolt that also delivered the country its first female leader and stunned the public.

Kevin Rudd's deputy, Julia Gillard, was elected leader in an uncontested vote about 12 hours after she surprised many colleagues by challenging a prime minister who until recently was one of the most popular in modern Australian history.

The removal of Rudd - best known as one of the West's few Chinese-speaking leaders and for helping to broker the Copenhagen climate change agreement - showed that his party had lost faith that he could win a second term at the upcoming national elections.

The leadership change immediately eased hostilities between the government and big mining companies over a proposed tax on so-called "super profits" from burgeoning mineral and energy sales to China and India.


Gillard halted an advertising campaign that is promoting the tax, keeping a Labour promise that Rudd broke to never use taxpayers' money for political advertising.

She said her government was willing to negotiate with mining companies on the proposed tax. Opinion polls show the tax debate is doing increasing harm to the government's re-election chances.

Rudd had ridden high in opinion polls until he made major policy backflips, including a decision in April to shelve plans to make Australia's worst polluters pay for their greenhouse gas emissions.

But Gillard has not committed to pressing ahead with the government's emission trading scheme, in which polluters would buy and trade permits for every ton of carbon dioxide they produce. She said that as prime minister she would seek consensus on how carbon pollution should be priced. - Sapa-AP

Mark Stapleton
06-24-2010, 03:59 PM
Ireland expelled a Mossad agent for the same thing, while South Africa's Jewish foreign minister recalled SA's ambassador to Israel. I don't see Australia as a real priority on Mossad's agenda, but I could be convinced otherwise.



Lots of countries expelled Israeli diplomats and agents.

Thanks for the news flash.

Every western country is a priority for Israel. Why else do you think they employ their lobby so ruthlessly in these countries?

Criticise us now and we'll target you later. Netanyahu said that.

Mark Stapleton
06-24-2010, 04:05 PM
Should we expect to see Nicaragua's government and president pushed from power now?



Who knows? I don't know anything about Nicaraguan politics so why would you ask me to answer a question as silly as that?

Mark Stapleton
06-24-2010, 04:31 PM
This is interesting, Rudd speaks Chinese and stepped on Chinese and Indian interests with the mining tax, apparently:

http://www.thestar.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=4106703


Oz Rudderless as 'Sheila' takes lead

June 24, 2010 Edition 4

CANBERRA: Australia's ruling party ousted its leader today in a sudden revolt that also delivered the country its first female leader and stunned the public.

Kevin Rudd's deputy, Julia Gillard, was elected leader in an uncontested vote about 12 hours after she surprised many colleagues by challenging a prime minister who until recently was one of the most popular in modern Australian history.

The removal of Rudd - best known as one of the West's few Chinese-speaking leaders and for helping to broker the Copenhagen climate change agreement - showed that his party had lost faith that he could win a second term at the upcoming national elections.

The leadership change immediately eased hostilities between the government and big mining companies over a proposed tax on so-called "super profits" from burgeoning mineral and energy sales to China and India.


Gillard halted an advertising campaign that is promoting the tax, keeping a Labour promise that Rudd broke to never use taxpayers' money for political advertising.

She said her government was willing to negotiate with mining companies on the proposed tax. Opinion polls show the tax debate is doing increasing harm to the government's re-election chances.

Rudd had ridden high in opinion polls until he made major policy backflips, including a decision in April to shelve plans to make Australia's worst polluters pay for their greenhouse gas emissions.

But Gillard has not committed to pressing ahead with the government's emission trading scheme, in which polluters would buy and trade permits for every ton of carbon dioxide they produce. She said that as prime minister she would seek consensus on how carbon pollution should be priced. - Sapa-AP


Uh, from the content of your article, how do you read that Rudd stepped on Chinese and Indian interests? The mining tax is levied on the mining companies in Australia, not the customers in China and India.

In any case, the Chinese and the Indians don't have the power to bring down an Australian PM. Why? Because they don't own the media. We know who does, don't we?

My sayanim alarm is ringing.

Helen Reyes
06-24-2010, 04:42 PM
You're not convincing me, Mark, but I'm still listening.

1) Nicaragua broke diplomatic relations with Israel over the flotilla massacre.

2) Indian and Chinese interests fuel sales to them by Australian mining companies (probably multinationals).

3) Not sure what a sayan alarm is, but if you're implying I'm part of the pro-Zionist Megaphone effort, you're barking up the wrong tree.

4) I have no information on ownership of Australian media, please tell me more.

I'm still listening.

Mark Stapleton
06-24-2010, 11:28 PM
You're not convincing me, Mark, but I'm still listening.

1) Nicaragua broke diplomatic relations with Israel over the flotilla massacre.

2) Indian and Chinese interests fuel sales to them by Australian mining companies (probably multinationals).

3) Not sure what a sayan alarm is, but if you're implying I'm part of the pro-Zionist Megaphone effort, you're barking up the wrong tree.

4) I have no information on ownership of Australian media, please tell me more.

I'm still listening.

Are you just trying to be a pest, Helen?

1. I know. So?

2. Another news flash. As I've already told you, the tax is levied on the mining companies, not the customers. Unlike Zionists, the Indian and Chinese Governments have no history of trying to control western Governments. They couldn't influence public opinion here anyway, because they don't own the mainstream media. I've already told you that too.

3. Sayanim. Google it.

4. Rupert Murdoch, ardent Zionist, owns newspapers in all Australian cities, usually the main tabloid in those cities, as well as the national newspaper, the Australian.

Mainstream Australian newspapers, as well as radio and television stations, including the national broadcaster, are rarely if ever critical of Israel, regardless of its behaviour.

You are not listening, otherwise you wouldn't keep raising points I have already answered. Moreover, who cares if you are 'still listening'? Only someone with a rather inflated opinion of themselves would say this.

Peter Dawson
06-25-2010, 08:23 AM
They did the same thing to Gough Whitlam in 1975.

I know there's plenty of evidence for CIA involvement in Whitlam losing office, but what evidence is there for Israeli/Jewish involvement? Do you just mean, say, general media assistance in generating an anti-Whitlam mood? Or something else?

Mark Stapleton
06-25-2010, 08:53 AM
They did the same thing to Gough Whitlam in 1975.

I know there's plenty of evidence for CIA involvement in Whitlam losing office, but what evidence is there for Israeli/Jewish involvement? Do you just mean, say, general media assistance in generating an anti-Whitlam mood? Or something else?

What I'm saying is that the media's crucifixion of Whitlam roughly coincided with his falling out with Israel after the Yom Kippur war in 1973, as outlined by Colin Rubenstein and Tzvi Fleischer in their 'History of Australian/Israeli relations' from the Institute of Jewish Global Affairs website:

http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DRIT=3&DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=625&PID=0&IID=1927&TTL=A_Distant_Affinity:_The_History_of_Australian-Israeli_Relations


It is generally agreed that, despite a solidly pro-Israeli record up until that point, the election of an ALP government under Gough Whitlam (December 1972-November. 1975) marked a sharp departure in Australian policy toward Israel and Arab-Israeli issues. The Middle East was not a matter of controversy during the campaign and did not feature in the platform of either major party. Whitlam, speaking to Jewish gatherings during the lead-up to the campaign, emphasized his fraternal ties with the ruling Israeli Labor Party and friendship with leaders such as Golda Meir and Yigal Allon, and received a majority of Jewish support.[52]

In office, however, the Whitlam government moved farther from the United States and closer in its foreign policy to the nonaligned movement, where condemnation of Israel was the norm. Although Whitlam described this policy as "even-handedness and neutrality,"[53] such neutrality was a far cry from the sort also proclaimed by his conservative predecessors.

The effects of this new policy became most apparent during the 1973 Yom Kippur War when Australia failed to condemn either the Egyptian and Syrian attacks that launched it or the Soviet airlift of arms supplies to the Arab combatants. However, once the United States began to airlift arms and supplies to Israel, the Australian UN representative, on instructions from Canberra, condemned both airlifts with a particular emphasis on America's.[54] Even before this, there had been repeated one-sided condemnations by Australia in the United Nations of all Israeli reprisals for terrorist and cross-border attacks, but silence about anti-Israeli aggressions.[55]

In a meeting with predominantly ALP-affiliated Jews called to clear the air, Whitlam apparently became angered by hostile questioning. He equated Israeli responses with terrorism, said an Israeli reprisal raid on a PLO base in Lebanon had been "not only a mistake, but a crime," and cited the growing Australian Arab community becoming "more articulate" as a reason to change Australian policy.[56] Most controversially, he referred to those present as "You people"; asked about the failure to condemn the Arab attacks that had launched the war, he responded: "You people should realise that there is a large Christian Arab community in this country."[57]

Under Whitlam, Australia also voted for a resolution equating Zionism with racism at a UN women's conference in Mexico, though it voted against the equivalent resolution in the UN General Assembly.[58] Whitlam later approved the establishment of a PLO liaison office in Canberra and became embroiled in scandals involving the acceptance of Arab loans to Australia and the ALP. In the 1974 Khemlani affair, Australia sought to borrow $4 billion from dubious Arab sources, repayable as a lump sum after twenty years.[59] Even more controversially, during the 1975 election campaign Whitlam secretly approved a scheme to obtain a substantial sum, often said to be $500,000, from the Iraqi Baath Party to help fund ALP campaign expenses.[60] It later emerged that the man at the center of the Iraqi loans affair, ALP activist Bill Hartley, had also written to Yasser Arafat seeking PLO funds for the party.[61] Approaches for funds also were reportedly made to Saudi Arabia.[62]

Helen Reyes
06-25-2010, 03:31 PM
You're not convincing me, Mark, but I'm still listening.

1) Nicaragua broke diplomatic relations with Israel over the flotilla massacre.

2) Indian and Chinese interests fuel sales to them by Australian mining companies (probably multinationals).

3) Not sure what a sayan alarm is, but if you're implying I'm part of the pro-Zionist Megaphone effort, you're barking up the wrong tree.

4) I have no information on ownership of Australian media, please tell me more.

I'm still listening.

Are you just trying to be a pest, Helen?


No, and that's offensive of you to say that.



1. I know. So?


You just claimed not to know anything about Nicaragua.



2. Another news flash. As I've already told you, the tax is levied on the mining companies, not the customers. Unlike Zionists, the Indian and Chinese Governments have no history of trying to control western Governments. They couldn't influence public opinion here anyway, because they don't own the mainstream media. I've already told you that too.


The tax is passed onto customers, of course. "No history" is pretty strong language, and incorrect. I asked you to tell me who owns the Australian media.



3. Sayanim. Google it.


Another offensive reply by you. You used the term. You're implying I'm working to a Zionist agenda I assume, via Megaphone alerts. Please offer proof.



4. Rupert Murdoch, ardent Zionist, owns newspapers in all Australian cities, usually the main tabloid in those cities, as well as the national newspaper, the Australian.


So your theory Rudd was driven out by order of Israel rests on Murdoch owning tabloud newspapers plus the Australian. Am I getting this right?



Mainstream Australian newspapers, as well as radio and television stations, including the national broadcaster, are rarely if ever critical of Israel, regardless of its behaviour.


Does "rarely if ever critical" equate to Zionist/Mossad infiltration, or editorial policy, or general Australian opinion?



You are not listening, otherwise you wouldn't keep raising points I have already answered. Moreover, who cares if you are 'still listening'? Only someone with a rather inflated opinion of themselves would say this.

Yes, I do take myself seriously. I don't like to think I'm wasting my time here. However, this is your thesis. I would like to hear some arguments beyond "Jews control the world" or assumptions of Zionist media control. "Still listening" means I haven't broken off the communication, yet, due to rudeness on your part. But I haven't heard anything convincing yet, including about Whitlam, who was removed by the CIA as I understood it, because of the Hand banking stuff and some threats to intelligence-run drug concessions and production sites.

No offense, Mark Stapleton, but the onus is on you to demonstrate your thesis. I'm just the audience here, not being an Australian, not being a Zionist, not being overly concerned about Rudd one way or another.

Here's an alternate thesis: Rudd's party took the unprecedented step of removing him because the combo of mining tax and COP15 failure, plus some cold political calculations about results in the next election for the party. They did what Labour should've done in the UK when it became clear Blair was not implementing the Labour platform and was leading the party and country into oblivion. The Australians might've factored the Blair phenomenon into their calculations. Just a theory.

Since you sound like you're an Australian, I'd like to ask how much the Jewish community used the press to whip up a furore against Rudd in the preceding months. I'm asking because I do not know.

Does the Australian Jewish community really have the power of the purse strings to dictate to Rudd's party they have him removed? Is this documentable, or is it educated suppostion?

Thank you, Mark, for any clarification you can make to any of the above.

Mark Stapleton
06-26-2010, 12:07 AM
Since you sound like you're an Australian, I'd like to ask how much the Jewish community used the press to whip up a furore against Rudd in the preceding months. I'm asking because I do not know.

Does the Australian Jewish community really have the power of the purse strings to dictate to Rudd's party they have him removed? Is this documentable, or is it educated suppostion?



I can't believe you are naive enough to think that the political process isn't manipulated by those with the money and power to do so.

Western democracies are controlled by lobby groups and the most powerful of all is the Zionist lobby, because they own the mainstream media.

Mark Stapleton
06-26-2010, 12:12 AM
[QUOTE=Helen Reyes;23290]
1. I know. So?


You just claimed not to know anything about Nicaragua.





No, I said I don't know anything about Nicaraguan politics.

The reaction by various world Governments to Israel's behaviour is not internal Nicaraguan politics, but global politics.

I don't appreciate your subtle misrepresentation here.

Mark Stapleton
06-26-2010, 12:17 AM
[QUOTE=Helen Reyes;23316] I asked you to tell me who owns the Australian media.

Why don't you find out for yourself, Helen. I'm not your galley slave.

Mark Stapleton
06-26-2010, 12:36 AM
I asked you to tell me who owns the Australian media.


Please offer proof.


I would like to hear some arguments beyond "Jews control the world" or assumptions of Zionist media control.



No offense, Mark Stapleton, but the onus is on you to demonstrate your thesis.



Your repeated demands that I provide arguments, offer proof and demonstrate my thesis are depressingly familiar to a veteran of these kind of exchanges.

There is no onus on me to provide any more than that which I have already written. It's rude and presumptuous to claim that I must bear a burden imposed by you.

Magda Hassan
06-26-2010, 12:46 AM
Since you sound like you're an Australian, I'd like to ask how much the Jewish community used the press to whip up a furore against Rudd in the preceding months. I'm asking because I do not know.
Not Mark but I just want to comment on the newspaper polls which have been used as a justification to get rid of Rudd. There is no doubt that Murdoch is an ardent Zionist as are most of the main stream media anyway it being a pretty standard operating procedure. Murdoch played a pivotal role, through his media empire, in the removal of Whitlam. The opposition party while they were in power had done nothing, zilch, zip, on climate change and indeed many, perhaps most, in it were of the belief that there was no such thing as climate change and that it was all made up. Rudd comes along and the first thing he does is sign Kyoto. He sets up a ministry of water resources, very important here as we are the driest continent on earth. As part of his Keynesian response to the capitalist meltdown he institutes a stimulus package which involves free and or very highly subsided insulation, solar panels, water tanks installed into homes and schools and workplaces. Millions in subsidies to the car companies to build hybrids. Alternative energy was on the agenda again. The government pushed very hard at Copenhagen to get it all passed which included the ETS. There is no way in the known universe that Rudd could be said to not be pushing hard for the environment especially compared to the other party. However, the ETS scheme did not get through parliament. The opposition party had a change of leadership. The previous leader was supportive of the ETS because he is a merchant banker and the ETS is a wet dream for them as carbon trading is just a new market for the players to make a motza from their new ponzi scheme. The new leader doesn't even believe there is such a thing as climate change. This obstruction by the opposition could have been used as a reason to dissolve parliament and call a new election but the Rudd government didn't and they almost certainly would have won had they done it at the time. Most people have no idea about the ETS but want to do something positive for climate change. A carbon tax would satisfy most people and satisfies Rudd, simple and straightforward, but that doesn't have the support of big business or the finance/speculative sector. Same with the resources super profits tax. Everyone loves the idea that companies will pay something at long last and if it is in the millions even better. What hasn't been explained very well is that this tax replaces royalties, which mining companies have to pay regardless if they find anything or not and if the mining company doesn't find what they are looking for they don't pay tax and may get a refund. But even this is unacceptable to the mining companies and this part hasn't been made clear to the public. Much of the polling has centered on these two issues but the polls themselves have been very biased, of the 'Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" variety and it is these newspaper polls which are being used to drive the whole discussion. There was a by-election in NSW, the most populous state, the weekend before. The former Labor member resigned due to corruption issues. There is no doubt that ruling NSW Labor party is truly fucking awful, brutal, nasty and deeply corrupt and sucks big time and the only reason they are even in is because the other party has even deeper and more corrupt ties to big business though they may well win the next state election because it is so bad for so long here. The post by-election results indicated to the Labor party that they would lose an election as things stood and this also played a role in the events of two days ago but all the ground work was done by the newspaper polls. I don't think Rudd was a Tony Blair in any way. Blair had total MSM support. They just couldn't sell brand Blair anymore because he was comprehensively rejected by the British people having been well and truly fucked over big time by him and Nulab way too many times. The MSM here supported the previous Liberal party like the UK MSM supported Nulab. Nulab took much of their style from our Hawke government. While NSW Labor is truly putrid Federal Labor had made most peoples lives better but has pissed off the mining companies and other big business interests as too much was being spent of people and business was being asked to contribute their share. The poll results are a result of the framing of the polls. The media covers the poll results but not the framing of the polls. The media/poll cycle feeds itself and it becomes self fulfilling. Rudd had his own limitations as it related to his party. He didn't 'consult' well with faction leaders and some were pissed off greatly. No doubt they were involved in framing the poll questions too and would have talked to their friends in the media to help get the ball rolling. The main unions behind this are known historically to be greatly compromised by their links with the CIA. Bob Hawke, a former Labor prime minister, and a direct beneficiary of Whitlam's removal had his start in the union movement. Hawke, the Rhodes scholar, son of a penniless preacher and ardent Zionist and now multi-millionaire businessman was there on the steps of parliament house calming the seething masses and unions from taking any action themselves in restoring their elected government. Hawke was always a totally willing lackey of the US. Hawke and Bill Kelty instituted a policy over the union movement called 'The Accord'. Basically the union leadership aligned with business interests and put the lid on any industrial action, kept wages and conditions down and ushered in the privatization and deregulation required by business. With the exception of a few the unions in Australia are very right wing and non-militant and this is one of the legacies of Hawke. This is also reflected in the Labor party because of their traditional links to the union movement. Rudd is not a union man. All Labor leaders since Whitlam have promised never to be anything remotely like him or his party as it is well understood that what little he did it scared the bejesus out of capital. Whitlam wasn't even from the left-wing. Just independent minded, educated, patrician and Kennedy-esque. Rudd was not like Whitlam either but he still thought he could run his own show. It is interesting though that Rudd gov was apparently more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause than has been the case of any leader here for decades. He also took a strong stand on the illegal use of Australian passports in the Dubai murder and expelled a Mossad agent (but no doubt left others in place). His replacement Gillard's only public comment during the totally disproportionate Gaza bloodbath by the IDF was "Israel has the right to defend itself". Make of it what you will.

Peter Dawson
06-26-2010, 04:02 AM
What I'm saying is that the media's crucifixion of Whitlam roughly coincided with his falling out with Israel after the Yom Kippur war in 1973, as outlined by Colin Rubenstein and Tzvi Fleischer in their 'History of Australian/Israeli relations' from the Institute of Jewish Global Affairs website:

http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DRIT=3&DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=625&PID=0&IID=1927&TTL=A_Distant_Affinity:_The_History_of_Australian-Israeli_Relations


Thanks Mark. I like it when people can back up their arguments with pertinent documentation. Wish I could! My Rudd-got-rolled-over-the-mining-tax theory is only based on a feeling that has come over me after half-watching the tv news during the few months build-up to this week's events.

These days, I'm always on the lookout for both pro-zionist bias in the media, and for evidence of resistance to the pro-zionist bias in Western politics. Rudd's expulsion of the Mossad agent struck me as a too-little-too-late gesture, perhaps intended more to placate the Australian pro-Palestinian lobby, such as it is, than to chastise Israel and thus threaten the pro-Israel lobby. If the pro-Israel lobby was threatened by Rudd's "anti-zionist activity", and they in turn set about ousting him, then all I've got to say is, by golly, ain't we in a spot of bother!

It would be interesting to dig around to get a better feel for the media climate during Whitlam's time, with a view to determining whether the displeasure Whitlam caused the Jewish community was translated into anti-Whitlam bias in media organs which were indeed infuenced/owned by Jewish/pro-zionist interests. Not trying to set you homework - just adding another thing to my to-do list.

*

Thanks for your post, Magda. As I said earlier, I've limited myself to half-heartedly watching free-to-air tv news only, and I do this in the hope that, in idiot-savant-like fashion, I may come to an accurate deep understanding of what the hell is going on in the world. The most striking impression I got with Rudd's downfall was that from channel to channel, as with so many other things, it was as if they were all reading from the same script. It didn't matter who owned what, it was as if the same organisation owned all of them. The unions certainly don't have that sort of power. They certainly must have been willing accomplices, having arrived at the conclusion that it would be in their best interests to ditch Rudd at this and not some later point in time, but the media was so very accomodating in providing the setting and scenery for Rudd's exit.

In the lead-up to the '07 election, I sensed early on that Rudd had been chosen to win the election. You could just tell by the way he was treated in the news, that he was the chosen one. (Not blokey enough to catch the bloke vote? Tell 'em that yarn about him getting caught in a strip club in the States! Want to make doubly sure of the result? Get some Lib insiders to drop some racially offensive leaflets in people's letterboxes. Then tip off the local Labor Party staffers...)

It's all very man-behind-the-curtain-ish, it seems to me.

Mark Stapleton
06-26-2010, 04:03 AM
His replacement Gillard's only public comment during the totally disproportionate Gaza bloodbath by the IDF was "Israel has the right to defend itself". Make of it what you will.

And it further transpires that Julia Gillard's partner Tim Mathieson has for the last six months been employed selling properties in St. Kilda for the Ubertas Group, whose executive chairman is Albert Dadon, who is also chairman of the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange, which sponsored the trip to Israel last year by a delegation of Australian politicians, led by Gillard.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/julia-gillards-partner-faces-life-in-the-limelight/story-e6frg6nf-1225884482420


As such, he will have a significant public role to play in coming months and -- if things go well for Ms Gillard -- years.

This may well come at the expense of his current job, a full-time position he has held since January, selling apartments in a 50-storey complex in Melbourne's St Kilda Road for the developer Ubertas Group.

Ms Gillard's pecuniary interests register lists Mr Mathieson as a "property agent selling residential properties with the focus on international buyers".

Ubertas Group executive chairman Albert Dadon is also chairman of the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange.

Ms Gillard is understood to have travelled to Israel last year at this group's invitation.

Mr Mathieson is now expected to wind back his work with Ubertas to meet the demands of his new role as prime ministerial partner, a role for which he has been quietly preparing for some time.

Mark Stapleton
06-26-2010, 04:17 AM
What I'm saying is that the media's crucifixion of Whitlam roughly coincided with his falling out with Israel after the Yom Kippur war in 1973, as outlined by Colin Rubenstein and Tzvi Fleischer in their 'History of Australian/Israeli relations' from the Institute of Jewish Global Affairs website:

http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DRIT=3&DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=625&PID=0&IID=1927&TTL=A_Distant_Affinity:_The_History_of_Australian-Israeli_Relations


Thanks Mark. I like it when people can back up their arguments with pertinent documentation. Wish I could! My Rudd-got-rolled-over-the-mining-tax theory is only based on a feeling that has come over me after half-watching the tv news during the few months build-up to this week's events.

These days, I'm always on the lookout for both pro-zionist bias in the media, and for evidence of resistance to the pro-zionist bias in Western politics. Rudd's expulsion of the Mossad agent struck me as a too-little-too-late gesture, perhaps intended more to placate the Australian pro-Palestinian lobby, such as it is, than to chastise Israel and thus threaten the pro-Israel lobby. If the pro-Israel lobby was threatened by Rudd's "anti-zionist activity", and they in turn set about ousting him, then all I've got to say is, by golly, ain't we in a spot of bother!



No problems Peter. I'm always happy to assist those whose motives are genuine if I can.

Yes, and I think we are in a spot of bother. As we have seen, it isn't that difficult for the media, if properly co-ordinated and synchronised, to mould public opinion, especially when an electorate has been sufficiently dumbed down, as in Australia's case.

Mark Stapleton
06-26-2010, 04:47 AM
It is interesting though that Rudd gov was apparently more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause than has been the case of any leader here for decades. He also took a strong stand on the illegal use of Australian passports in the Dubai murder and expelled a Mossad agent (but no doubt left others in place). His replacement Gillard's only public comment during the totally disproportionate Gaza bloodbath by the IDF was "Israel has the right to defend itself". Make of it what you will.

Yes, while Israeli bombs were slaughtering a defenceless Gazan population, Gillard tells us that Israel has a right to defend itself. No mention of the right of Palestinians to defend themselves of course. Apparently they have no such right. She was the only member of the Government Ministry to say this, as far as I know.

And in February this year, amid the global condemnation of Israel's identity theft of citizens of other sovereign nations in furtherence of their covert assassination policy, what does Gillard say about Israel?

Israel is admired around the world, that's what she said:

http://www.australia.to/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1249:julia-gillard-television-interview-on-the-today-show&catid=101:australian-news&Itemid=158

Magda Hassan
06-26-2010, 04:52 AM
Here is an article by the Z Jewish press of the Australian Jewish leaders official approval of Gillard http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/06/24/2739756/new-australian-pm-supportive-of-israel. Interesting news about her partner Mark. I thought he was supposed to be her hairdresser :listen:.
I'm seeing that the Gillard years might be very much like Hawke years. Which should thrill business.

Murdoch has plans to buy out his partners in Foxtel and to do so needs government approval which has not been forthcoming. Another reason for his anti-Rudd campaign. But I'm sure he has mining shares too.

Peter for a good overview of Murdoch role in Whitlam's overthrow I recommend Kieth Windschuttle's book 'Fixing the News' 1981 I think. He was at that time teaching at Sydney uni iirc and realatively sane but has since become a rightwing nut job denying that Aboriginals were harmed in any way by white colonialisation. So despite his present questionable ultra-neo-con persona his early work on unemployment and other social history are good. Worth a read.

Peter Dawson
06-26-2010, 06:45 AM
Peter for a good overview of Murdoch role in Whitlam's overthrow I recommend Kieth Windschuttle's book 'Fixing the News' 1981 I think.

Thanks, Magda. (I had decided that you must have mistakenly written "Whitlam" instead of "Rudd" when you said that Murdoch played a pivotal role in his removal.)

I ordered Pilger's A Secret Country last night - have never read it, to my shame. I'll have a look at Windshuttle's book too.

Magda Hassan
06-27-2010, 01:16 PM
The President Pinera of Chile, which has some of the largest reserves of copper and other minerals in the world made a public statement today to assure investors (and the army that gets a % of every ton of copper sold) that Chile would not be 'dishonest' like Kevin Rudd and will in fact be reducing their mining royalties from 5% to 3% . Looks like the message was hear loud and clear.

Helen Reyes
06-30-2010, 09:10 AM
[QUOTE=Helen Reyes;23290]
1. I know. So?


You just claimed not to know anything about Nicaragua.





No, I said I don't know anything about Nicaraguan politics.

The reaction by various world Governments to Israel's behaviour is not internal Nicaraguan politics, but global politics.

I don't appreciate your subtle misrepresentation here.

No, you refused to answer the question of whether we should expect a Zionist coup d'etat in Nicaragua by claiming not to know anything about Nicaragua. The misrepresentation is on your part.

Calling me naive for not subscribing to your theory that "Jews control the world" based on less argument than Mein Kampf provides, plus your insinuation that I work for Megaphone (you never clarified that accusation, I invite you to do so now) plus your various other comments lead me to believe that you believe in a global Jewish conspiracy, and that you think anyopne who doesn't agree with you is misinformed and/or working for the Jewish conspiracy.

Again, you are the one who should provide substance to your theory. I havent' seen substance or argument, just reliance on an assumption Jews control the world, which I don't find very compelling.

In fact, as a thought experiment, we could consider how Mark Stapleton might be serving his alleged Zionist masters, because

1) if his assertion is true, that Jews control the world, Mark Stapleton is presenting this fact in such a way as to make it appear false;

2) if it's false, he's exaggerating Zionist power, creating the public perception that Israel is much more powerful than it is.

That said, I am not a priori against the idea Rudd was deposed by some Israeli interests. The new "first boyfriend" is an Israeli lobbyist, which doesn't do anything to explain Rudd's removal, but does show the new PM has Zionist connexions of some sort, probably at a personal level.

The executor of Rudd's removal was an Arab Australian whose father was from Libya.

The "smoking gun" used to scare the party was a totally unrepresentational webbot-type word cloud.

Mark, please clarify your accusation I work for Megaphone. I find your style of discussion completely lacking in good faith, and driven by some sort of hatred of Jews, which I do not share.

Magda Hassan
06-30-2010, 01:56 PM
Julia Gillard: Rudd, PM to face off
The Mail (local newspaper in Werribee)
BY CAMERON TAIT
30 Jun, 2010 12:00 AM
WHILE his uncle was sensationally dumped by the ALP as prime minister last week,
Van Thanh Rudd plans to challenge his replacement, Julia Gillard, as she stands
for a fifth term as the member for Lalor at this year's federal election.
The twist has added extra spice to a campaign bound to attract national
attention, given Ms Gillard's sudden elevation to the nation's highest office.
A 37-year-old artist and activist originally from Queensland, Mr Van announced
his intention outside Ms Gillard's Werribee office on Friday. He will contest
the seat for the Revolutionary Socialist Party.
The party's website states: "We stand for the transformation of human society,
from its current basis of greed, exploitation, war, oppression and environmental
destruction, to a commonwealth of social ownership, solidarity and human
freedom, living in harmony with our planet's ecosystems."
It advocates the "overthrow of capitalism and its replacement by socialism" and
bases itself on the theories of Karl Marx and the socialist revolutions in
Russia, Vietnam and Cuba.
A Braybrook resident, Mr Van has been embroiled in a number of controversies
over the years, mostly related to his left-wing artworks and an anti-racism
protest on Australia Day this year in which he dressed up in a Ku Klux Klan
outfit, angry at the government's policies towards asylum seekers.
Mr Van said he believed the time was right to make a stand against the
government and its policies.
"We oppose their stance on asylum seekers and we believe they've propagated a
fear campaign, particularly in light of the current economic situation, he said.
"We're against the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts and Australia's support of the
Sri Lankan regime, which, in part, is responsible for the influx of asylum
seekers.
"We don't have a lot of money and we know we'll struggle to get a large number
of votes."
Mr Van said his party believed the Prime Minister had been influenced by the
unions and the mining lobby.
He conceded he was in a unique position given his uncle's relationship with Ms
Gillard.
"It's unique, but I've been working politics into my art for years and with
Kevin as prime minister, our paths were bound to collide," he said.
"We're not close, but we've never had a bad relationship - we're opposites.
However, he did buy my first set of oil paints."
http://www.themail.com.au/news/local/news/general/julia-gillard-rudd-pm-to-face-off/1872828.aspx

Mark Stapleton
06-30-2010, 02:00 PM
[QUOTE=Mark Stapleton;23297]

You just claimed not to know anything about Nicaragua.





No, I said I don't know anything about Nicaraguan politics.

The reaction by various world Governments to Israel's behaviour is not internal Nicaraguan politics, but global politics.

I don't appreciate your subtle misrepresentation here.

No, you refused to answer the question of whether we should expect a Zionist coup d'etat in Nicaragua by claiming not to know anything about Nicaragua. The misrepresentation is on your part.

Calling me naive for not subscribing to your theory that "Jews control the world" based on less argument than Mein Kampf provides, plus your insinuation that I work for Megaphone (you never clarified that accusation, I invite you to do so now) plus your various other comments lead me to believe that you believe in a global Jewish conspiracy, and that you think anyopne who doesn't agree with you is misinformed and/or working for the Jewish conspiracy.

Again, you are the one who should provide substance to your theory. I havent' seen substance or argument, just reliance on an assumption Jews control the world, which I don't find very compelling.

In fact, as a thought experiment, we could consider how Mark Stapleton might be serving his alleged Zionist masters, because

1) if his assertion is true, that Jews control the world, Mark Stapleton is presenting this fact in such a way as to make it appear false;

2) if it's false, he's exaggerating Zionist power, creating the public perception that Israel is much more powerful than it is.

That said, I am not a priori against the idea Rudd was deposed by some Israeli interests. The new "first boyfriend" is an Israeli lobbyist, which doesn't do anything to explain Rudd's removal, but does show the new PM has Zionist connexions of some sort, probably at a personal level.

The executor of Rudd's removal was an Arab Australian whose father was from Libya.

The "smoking gun" used to scare the party was a totally unrepresentational webbot-type word cloud.

Mark, please clarify your accusation I work for Megaphone. I find your style of discussion completely lacking in good faith, and driven by some sort of hatred of Jews, which I do not share.


It took you six days to come up with this? That's bad.

I know Mark Arbib has Libyan and Italian antecedents. Nice deep cover, imo.

Mark Stapleton
07-01-2010, 12:04 AM
In fact, as a thought experiment, we could consider how Mark Stapleton might be serving his alleged Zionist masters

:rofl:

Helen Reyes
07-01-2010, 07:20 AM
It took you six days to come up with this? That's bad.

I know Mark Arbib has Libyan and Italian antecedents. Nice deep cover, imo.

No, Mark, it didn't take me 6 days. I wasn't paying attention. This is not some chat battle. It's called Deep Politics Forum, not Superificial Political Chat Room.

I understand that there are younger and older members and people with all sorts of perspectives here, and that's good. The topic is also appropriate to a Deep Politics treatment. Unfortunately, I am missing the profundity so far. That's OK, I was once young and capable of making many mistakes in public. I invite you to look deeper. Explore the mechanism of Rudd's removal. Explore other possibilities. Real politics is more complex than "Zionists control the world." Even if it were so, there must needs be collaborators operating out of perceived self interest.

Now, if you feel like answering any of my earlier points, we can continue on a basis of mutual respect. If not, I will not respond to this anymore because it would clearly be a monumental waste of time.

Don't worry, there's no deadline to respond, this is not a chat battle.

You do need to clarify your accusing me of being a zionist Megaphone activist though. That's technically against the rules for you to do, from what I understand.

Good luck on your quest for truth, Mark.

Mark Stapleton
07-01-2010, 08:31 AM
Now, if you feel like answering any of my earlier points, we can continue on a basis of mutual respect. If not, I will not respond to this anymore because it would clearly be a monumental waste of time.




Finally the penny drops!

No, I don't want to continue answering your 'points' or go on discussing anything with you, including your demands for 'proof' (as if everything posted on this forum must be proven beyond doubt), your thought experiments or your disingenuous conflation of Zionism and Judaism.

I don't like apologists for Zionist Israel and I don't respect them, regardless of how fair minded they pretend to be. Moreover, I find your patronising tone to be a total pain in the ass.

Go bother someone else. This thread's about Aussie politics, of which you know very little.

Magda Hassan
07-09-2010, 05:24 AM
New Australian PM put on notice by global markets

By Mike Head
6 July 2010

Little-reported comments by the newly-installed Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard have revealed more about the driving forces behind the political coup that ousted her predecessor, Kevin Rudd.
Last Friday, after announcing her governments capitulation to the demands of the giant global mining corporations over the Rudd governments now-dumped mining super profits tax, Gillard told reporters that she was on notice that the world economy had entered a new round of fear and uncertainty.
In her first remarks on the state of the economy, the new prime minister said that Treasurer Wayne Swanwho had just returned from the G20 summit in Torontohad been briefed on the fragilities and uncertainties in the international economy.
So you know, Im on notice about that, Waynes on notice about that. At the moment [were] monitoring to see if the anxieties and uncertainties crystallise into more than that, to see if we see a bigger change in the global economy as a result. There is nervousness around so we are alert to that, Gillard said.
These comments make clear that the Gillard Labor government is preparing to deliver the dictates of global financial markets, which are demanding a worldwide shift from stimulus packages to austerity measures, in order to claw back from the working class the cost of the mountain of toxic debt taken from the banks onto government balance sheets in 2008-09.
Her statement came as global financial and share markets were shaken by sharp falls, amid renewed fears over European government debt, new concerns that Chinas stimulus package-led growth is stalling and confirmation that the US economy remains mired in recession and mass unemployment.
Each of these developments has dire implications for Australian capitalism, with its heavy dependence on raw materials exports to China. China, in turn, relies on exports to European and US markets.
Gillards comment underscore how swiftly global economic conditions have worsened in the past two months, since Treasurer Swan handed down the Rudd governments 2010 budget, claiming that Australias economy had defied economic gravity by avoiding recession.
In that budget, the government sought to satisfy mounting demands from financial markets for measures to slash the multi-billion dollar deficit, produced by its own business bailout stimulus packages, by pledging to produce a budget surplus within three years.
The centrepiece of its response was the mining tax, which the government claimed would raise $12 billion in its first two years, rising to $9 billion in 2013-14the year the budget was meant to return to surplus. That promise has been undermined, however, by Gillards pact with the big three mining companies to replace the tax with a much lower Mineral Resources Rent Tax.
Over the weekend it was revealed that the headline rate of the new tax, after allowing for deductions, is just 22.5 percentfar below the proposed super profits rate of 40 percent. Claims by Gillard and Swan that their deal with the three conglomerates would only reduce the tax revenue by $1.5 billion over the first two years have already proven to be false.
Treasury Secretary Ken Henry, testifying before a Senate committee, yesterday admitted that the governments claims were based on the assumption that a recent surge in world commodity prices would last for the foreseeable future. This mornings Australian estimates that in reality the government has surrendered forecast revenues of $4.5 billion over two yearsthree times Gillard and Swans $1.5 billion claim. The Melbourne Age has calculated that in 2013-14, when the budget is supposed to return to surplus, the tax will yield only $6.5 billion, a far cry from the governments claim of $9 billion.
The government has also pledged to reduce the corporate tax rate to 29 percent, and to maintain the hefty cuts to high income tax rates delivered over the past decade. This means that revenue shortfalls can only be made up by slashing social spending, including on health, education, housing and welfare.
Sections of the financial and media establishment are now openly urging the Gillard government to call an early snap election in order to hold onto office before the true depth of the economic crisis, and the severity of the measures that must be implemented, becomes obvious.
The Sydney Morning Herald editorialised yesterday:
The new financial year has arrived with a thud as global sharemarkets grapple with the possibility of a double dip global recession. Relief at the passing of the worst of the global financial crisis has given way to new concern about its legacycripplingly high government debt in parts of Europe, and the United States, too. Policymakers increasingly face calls for austerity measures, such as tax increases and spending cuts, to rein in their gaping budget deficits.
The editorial continued: Our central economic vulnerability has been exposed: we are completely at the mercy of commodity price swings, in turn dictated by international demand for our mineral wealth.
Gillard, the editorial went on to insist, having cleared the hurdle of the mining profits tax, had to call a quick election. All the hard work of the past week [on the tax] could be undone in one stroke of the Treasury pen if it is forced to factor in the lower commodity prices prevailing on global markets. Gillard should think twice about delaying an election too long and risking such revisions.
Whenever the election is held, it will constitute a conspiracy against the Australian people, designed to bury all discussion of the savage measures to be unveiled by whichever party, Labor or Liberal, wins the poll. As Rudds removal has already shown, behind the faade of parliament and elections, the policies of the next government will be dictated behind-the-scenes by the corporate elite, and implemented by its agents in parliament.
Precisely such a process has just been carried out in Britain, where the Tory-Liberal Democrat government last week instructed government departments to draw up cuts of up to 40 percent each. The British government is already slashing billions of pounds from social spending and raising the regressive VAT consumption tax to 20 percent, while cutting corporate taxes to 24 percent, one of the lowest rates in the G20. Only two months ago, an election was held in Britain where none of these measures was mentioned.
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/jul2010/aust-j06.shtml

Magda Hassan
07-09-2010, 05:25 AM
http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/Enrol&id=1178

Peter Presland
07-09-2010, 07:56 AM
Flying start for new Aussie PM

Peter Dawson
07-09-2010, 01:54 PM
Interesting commentary on a Greg Sheridan (The Australian) column:

If Only Rudd Hadn't Expelled That Israeli Diplomat (http://middleeastrealitycheck.blogspot.com/2010/07/if-only-rudd-hadnt-expelled-that.html)

Magda Hassan
07-09-2010, 02:12 PM
Here is the original:

THE Rudd Government has over reacted and made a bad mistake in expelling an Israeli diplomat over the Dubai passports affair. This action has already dismayed and divided the Government's supporters. Michael Danby, the Labor member for Melbourne Ports, and the chairman of the parliamentary sub-committee on foreign affairs, immediately condemned the expulsion.
I do not agree with the decision, Mr Danby said.
Foreign minister Stephen Smith cited Britain, France, Germany and Ireland in justifying his over reaction.
Yet of these only the British have expelled an Israeli diplomat and that was the action of a dying Government desperately casting around for minority support.
Surely the Rudd Government is more mature and worldly than the most desperate days of the dying Gordon Brown interregnum?






Australia should not ape its former masters in London in this but embrace some of the sophistication of Berlin or Paris, neither, incidentally, regarded as hives of unreasonable pro-Israel bias.
This is a very poor, very feeble decision by the Rudd Government and it will probably pay a political price for it.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/israeli-diplomat-expulsion-reflects-badly-on-rudd/story-e6frg76f-1225870654825

Jan Klimkowski
07-09-2010, 08:06 PM
THE Rudd Government has over reacted and made a bad mistake in expelling an Israeli diplomat over the Dubai passports affair. This action has already dismayed and divided the Government's supporters.

(snip)

This is a very poor, very feeble decision by the Rudd Government and it will probably pay a political price for it.

As a young Ray Winstone declares in the archetypal British borstal drama, "Scum", Who's the Daddy now?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn7o35NcJwo

Mark Stapleton
07-10-2010, 01:27 AM
Gillard, the editorial went on to insist, having cleared the hurdle of the mining profits tax, had to call a quick election. All the hard work of the past week [on the tax] could be undone in one stroke of the Treasury pen if it is forced to factor in the lower commodity prices prevailing on global markets. Gillard should think twice about delaying an election too long and risking such revisions.



Thanks for posting that piece, Magda, and the unsubtle message the media is transmitting to Gillard in the small passage quoted above is quite important too. The corporate interests which presently own both sides of Aussie politics are desperate for Gillard to call an election immediately, but not for the reasons stated above imo.

Constitutionally, Gillard can call the election as late as April next year. Anytime between August and the end of this year is more likely, and Gillard is already on the record as stating it will be held in 2010.

The one party that the vested interests fear most is the newly formed Stable Population Party, which, for a multitude of reasons, will attract massive support in the electorate IF it stands candidates. It would win a Senate seat in all six states and would probably also do great damage to the two major parties in the lower house, despite the fact that the mainstream media is doing its best to pretend they don't exist.

The problem is that unfortunately they failed to submit the requisite names of 500 members to the electoral commission before the May 20 deadline, so now can't be registered with the electoral commission until October.

I know because I am one of the members, and the SPP emailed members to inform them of this unfortunate development. Good luck trying to find any of this information in the mainstream media.

http://www.populationparty.com/

p.s. there's some good articles in the 'news' section.

Mark Stapleton
07-10-2010, 02:06 AM
THE Rudd Government has over reacted and made a bad mistake in expelling an Israeli diplomat over the Dubai passports affair. This action has already dismayed and divided the Government's supporters.

(snip)

This is a very poor, very feeble decision by the Rudd Government and it will probably pay a political price for it.

As a young Ray Winstone declares in the archetypal British borstal drama, "Scum", Who's the Daddy now?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn7o35NcJwo

Exactly. The Israel Lobby promises retribution to dissenters and ALWAYS delivers.

Never heard of that show, Jan, but its obviously from a while back because Ray Winstone looks no older than he did on a (rare) funny episode of Minder from the mid-1980's called Goodbye Sailor (I have it on DVD).

Jan Klimkowski
07-10-2010, 09:19 AM
Never heard of that show, Jan, but its obviously from a while back because Ray Winstone looks no older than he did on a (rare) funny episode of Minder from the mid-1980's called Goodbye Sailor (I have it on DVD).

Don't want to disrupt the thread, so as a brief aside, the film "Scum" is a very powerful indictment of the violent and racist British Borstal (young offender institutions) culture. As the wiki piece below states, it was originally made as a BBC "Play For Today" in 1977, but BBC management refused to show it. Director Alan Clarke and scriptwriter Roy Minton remade it as a film for Channel 4, and Mary Whitehouse and the courts were furious.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scum_(film)

"Scum" is now frequently shown on British cable TV, and the "I'm the Daddy now" line has become part of popular discourse.

In the Borstal culture, the "Daddy" - not the governor - is the real top dog, the one who controls what happens.

Ed Jewett
07-20-2010, 03:30 AM
U.S. Supported Mining Corporations Behind Coup in Australia

19th July 2010
http://s7.addthis.com/static/btn/lg-share-en.gif

From: Mathaba | mathaba.net | 2010/07/19
http://www.antifascistencyclopedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/bhpbpshell220.jpg (http://www.antifascistencyclopedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/bhpbpshell220.jpg)The U.S.-sponsored Gillard coup highlights a disturbing flaw in Australia`s political processes and is explained as the government is taken over by corporate mining interests
(Mathaba) The role of the United States of America and the corporations it represents in the June 24 political coup against former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is clearly supported by the evidence, analysts point out.
Last December, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ruled out the dispatch of any further Australian troops to Afghanistan when the White House announced its surge of 30,000 additional US troops and called for its allies to commit more forces.
Rudd insisted that an increase in the Australian contingent from 1,100 to 1,550 personnel in May 2009 was sufficient to demonstrate the Australian governments commitment to the disasterous war and the US-Australia military alliance which places Australia at the service of the U.S.
One third of all Australian casualties in Afghanistan since the October 2001 invasion, a total of 17 killed and 143 wounded, have occurred this year as a direct result of U.S. President Obamas surge. In June, more than 100 soldiers of the U.S.-led occupation force were killed in the space of one month for the first time.
Nine years since the invasion of Afghanistan Obamas surge in troops has failed to stem the growth of the Taliban-led Afghan resistance and no one predicts victory. American and NATO casualties are soaring, the puppet government of Hamid Karzai is viewed as corrupt and illegitimate and its security forces are dysfunctional.

Australia Troop Withdrawal Reversed by Coup
A few days before the June 24, 2010 coup, Australias Defense Minister John Faulkner, one of Rudds closest advisors, announced that he would not continue as defence minister if Labor won the coming election. Military analysts and political insiders say his resignation was due to his alarm over the rise in Australian casualties and his belief that the Afghan war was a lost cause and that Rudd had formed similar views.
On June 23, just hours before the coup, Faulkner said that the Labour government of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd would consider withdrawing Australian troops from Afghanistan within two to four years.
Faulkner announced a tentative timetable for troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, with the clear aim of placating popular opposition to the mounting Australian deaths and to the war itself. An Essential Media Communications opinion poll in June showed 61 percent of respondents wanted the withdrawal of Australian troops, an increase of 11 percent compared with 15 months earlier.
What it means is that at some point within that two to four year time frame we would see our training mission transition to an overwatch role, Faulkner told a press conference. And that would obviously mean at that time we would start to see a reduction of the number of Australian troops in Afghanistan.
The Obama administration had a clear interest in reversing Australias withdrawal timeframe. Numerous U.S. allies that have supplied troops are facing mounting popular opposition and are increasingly nervous about being embroiled in a war without end. With the Netherlands and Canada already preparing to withdraw, the Rudd governments stance could have become the starting point for a wider abandonment of the U.S.-led occupation.
Prior to the coup, Rudd and Faulkner had taken steps to appease U.S. dissatisfaction with their Afghan policy. Australian special forces were made available for use in Kandahar province. The result, however, was some of the heaviest fighting yet seen, and a spike in the Australian death toll. The Australian losses coincided with a deepening crisis of the Rudd government.
Publicly, the Obama administration refrained from criticising the Australian position and praised Rudd as a reliable ally. In March 2010, however, veteran journalist Rafael Epstein published a report in the Sydney Morning Herald that the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan at the time, General Stanley McChrystal, had had a bitter exchange with the chief of the Australian Defence Forces, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston.
According to Epsteins sources, McChrystal told Houston in December 2009 that the Rudd governments refusal to allow Australian troops to take the fight to the Taliban was impairing the U.S.-led war effort. The U.S. general allegedly warned that Rudds refusal to allow Australian troops to deploy outside of Uruzgan into the regions being targeted by Obamas surge was doing permanent damage to the US perception of Australias military commitment.
Two planned visits to Australia by U.S. President Obama were cancelled, the first excuse being due to the stalemate in passing his health legislation and the second due to the BP oil spill.
Popular dissatisfaction in Australia over a range of Labor policies, including the war, was being exploited and manipulated by the Murdoch media and major mining magnates. The mining corporations began financing a multi-million dollar advertising blitz, denouncing the proposed Resource Super Profits Tax (RSPT) as a threat to jobs and investment. Opinion polling showing a collapse in electoral support for Labor was trumpeted in the media as evidence that Rudd would be swept from office, and utilised to fan speculation about a leadership challenge by Gillard.
It is now known that Labor MP and former union boss Bill Shorten had approached Gillard two weeks earlier and guaranteed that he and other factional powerbrokers would ensure she had the numbers to defeat Rudd in a leadership ballot. Gillard had refused, however, as the time was not right for her U.S.-supported coup.
On Tuesday, June 22, Rudd survived attempts to remove him, as his entire Labor Party caucus met that morning for the last time before an eight-week winter break, with no challenge being made to his leadership. The Labor politicians were reassured that, even with the decline in the opinion polls, the numbers still meant the government would be returned to power at the next election.
At the same time, Rudd and Treasurer Wayne Swan were making moves to strike a deal with the mining companies in order to bury the RSPT controversy. Yet the following evening of June 23, Julia Gillard walked into Rudds office and informed him he would be removed as prime minister the next morning.
Rudds replacement, Julia Gillard, on the very day the coup brought her to power, stressed her total commitment to the US alliance and the Afghan war. In an opinion piece published in major daily newspapers, she also repudiated the announcement made by Defence Minister John Faulkner on June 23 just hours before the coup plot against Rudd went into action that the Labor government would consider withdrawing Australian troops from Afghanistan within two to four years.
Gillard wrote: Bringing home our troops cannot be to a pre-set timetable. The war was at a critical stage and we must maintain our commitment to seeing it through. Her government, she stressed, will remain steadfast to the mission we have set ourselves in Afghanistan.
The C.I.A. and the U.S. embassy in Canberra were likely involved in the anti-democratic conspiracy to overthrow Rudd just as they were in the 1975 coup that brought down the Whitlam Labor government, according to analysts.
Rudd certainly appears to have concluded that the U.S. had a hand in the coup. Sydney Morning Herald journalist Peter Hartcher reported from the U.S. on Monday that Rudd had irritated some senior US officials in the past fortnight in numerous calls to Washington. One official told Hartcher: Kevin has been whiny and mopey. Theres been too much if only this and if only that. He needs to just suck it up and get on with things.
According to Hartcher, Obama telephoned Rudd following the coup, before he called Gillard. The president allegedly conveyed his shock, before pointedly suggesting Rudd may want to seek a career outside politics. Obama apparently let Rudd know that he would provide assistance for the former prime minister to obtain a lucrative international position and support from the Carlisle Group presumably similar to those enjoyed by the likes of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
If he were to avail himself of the opportunity, Rudd, who is married to a multi-millionaire, could grow even richer. The price, of course, would be to keep quiet on the circumstances of the coup and just suck it up to the U.S.
Obama allegedly concluded the phone call by making clear to Rudd that he looked forward to working with Gillard. The attitude of the White House and the broader US political establishment to Gillards installation was spelt out on Tuesday by Kurt Campbell, Obamas Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
In comments provided to the Sydney Morning Heralds Hartcher, Campbell stated: Not that we needed any reassurance, but nevertheless we are deeply appreciative of the continuity, of the statements of strong support [from Gillard] on the centrality of the US-Australia alliance, and all I can say is the Presidents very much looking forward to working with the new prime minister
An Australian official in Washington told Hartcher that the US establishment was not concerned about Gillard or the manner in which she had risen to power, because they know her and they know her views.
At a speech in 2008 to the Australian American Leadership Dialogue Gillard had told the assembled audience: Our alliance is bigger than any person, bigger than any party, bigger than any period in our history together.

Corporations Players Behind Coup
Elsewhere, the subservience of the U.S. government to major corporations such as Halliburton, BP et al has been widely documented, as well as the buy out of major workers unions leaders by those corporations, as in Australia.
The leaders of the political coup that last month on June 24 removed Australias Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd from power and installed his former deputy Julia Gillard, were not just faceless numbers men, as sections of the media have insisted.
Labor heavies Bill Shorten, Mark Arbib, David Feeney, Paul Howes and Gary Gray have direct connections to big business, especially the mining industry. Their personal histories reveal a seamless movement between the Labor machine, including the unions, and the boardrooms of Australias largest companies.
In toppling Rudd so swiftly (the coup was executed within the space of just 15 hours) Labors faction bosses were simply taking action on behalf of the mining chiefs and other corporate executives, and their opposition to Rudds proposed 40 percent resource super-profits tax (RSPT).

Bill Shorten
As events unfolded on the night of June 23, television viewers were informed that Labor MP and parliamentary secretary Bill Shorten, former head of the Australian Workers Union (AWU), had been sighted in a Canberra restaurant with a mobile phone in each hand, making calls and ticking off names from a list of Labor parliamentarians. But who exactly is Shorten and on whose behalf was he making those calls?
Shorten was elected to parliament by residents of the working class electorate of Maribyrnong, in Melbournes western suburbs. With the Murdoch medias help, he has carefully crafted an image as a working class hero.
In fact, his impeccable connections, both personal and professional, are altogether those of the ruling class. Shorten, who attended Melbournes expensive and exclusive Xavier College, was married to the daughter of Liberal Party politician and leading businessman Julian Beale. Julians father, Sir Howard Beale, was a Liberal Party minister in the Menzies government, and, upon his retirement from politics, was appointed Australian Ambassador to the United States.
His marriage gave Shorten a direct link to billionaire Richard Pratt, a close friend of Julian Beale and at one time Australias richest man. In May 2006, Shorten borrowed Pratts private jet to fly to Beaconsfield in Tasmania, wasting not a second of the media spotlight when a Beaconsfield coal miner was killed and another two remained trapped kilometres underground. Shorten, who had had no experience with either mining or rescues, and had apparently never been to Beaconsfield, saw an opportunity to become the public face of the mine collapse during two weeks of blanket media coverage of the event. He is now married to the daughter of Governor-General Quentin Bryce, Australias head of state.
While national secretary of the AWU, a union with members in the mines, Shorten was embraced as friend and confidant of leading executives of the countrys largest mining and steel companies. The reason for these friendships was not hard to fathom. Shorten proved himself willing to act in the interests of these companies by ensuring a compliant workforce and industrial peace. For instance, he was praised by steel bosses for his assistance in pushing through a merger of steel giants Smorgon and Onesteel, despite the loss of hundreds of jobs, amid AWU crocodile tears, once the deal went through. Smorgon Steel managing director, Ray Horsburgh, said after the merger: Id class Bill Shorten and other union officials as mates weve worked closely together to resolve problems. I would say that in the 10 years that weve been a listed company weve lost only a few days due to industrial action with our core employees.
Horsburgh also praised Shorten for opposing attempts by electrical contractors at Smorgons steel plants to reduce their working week to 35 hours. Bill Shorten actually encouraged us to fight against it because he didnt want to see it happen. As is natural for those who scale the heights of the Australian union movement, Shorten was also on the board of directors for Victorian Super Trustees, thereby directing billions of dollars of workers entitlements into the stock market. This role has brought him into direct contact with leading players in the financial sector.

Paul Howes
Shortens activities as AWU head, and the connections he was able to develop while in that job, shed light on the role played in the coup by his AWU replacement, Paul Howes. Reports are that Howes spent the afternoon before Rudds downfall directing key Labor caucus leaders to abandon the prime minister. A turning point in the former prime ministers demise came when Howes was interviewed on the Australian Broadcasting Corporations flagship evening current affairs program and announced that the AWU, one of Australias largest unions, had, without any sort of ballot of its members, abandoned Rudd for the good of the country.
This was genuine double-dealing. Howes had spent the previous six weeks publicly selling the merits of Rudds mining tax to his members and to the media. On May 9, in a syndicated opinion piece, Howes told readers that mining had made a lot of people very wealthy. Very wealthy indeed. Members of the Australian Workers Union have been proud participants in this tradition, but Ive parted company with the big mining giants on the super profits resource tax. Howess opposition to the tax, however, proved to be no obstacle to his participation in ousting Rudd. Moreover, since June 24, when Gillard became prime minister and announced a cave-in to the mining companies demands, there has been complete silence from the AWU on the mining tax issue.

Tip of Iceberg
Links between Gillards union backers and mining industry bosses are just the tip of the iceberg. As journalist Nicki Savva reports, the director of public affairs at BHP Billiton (Australias largest company and one of the worlds largest mining firms) is Geoff Walsh, a former ALP national secretary and former advisor to Labor prime ministers Bob Hawke and Paul Keating. Tim Gartrell, who succeeded Walsh as ALP national secretary, now works for Andrew Twiggy Forrest, the billionaire head of mining company Fortescue Metals and one of the RSPTs chief detractors.
BHPs senior media relations executive, Amanda Buckley, is a former advisor to a previous Labor leader, Kim Beazley. Colin Parkes, a former press secretary to Bob Hawke, is now a senior media consultant to BHP, while Mark ONeill, another former advisor to Paul Keating, is head of government relations at Rio Tinto (Australias second largest mining company and the worlds third largest iron ore producer). Finally, and perhaps most tellingly, the head of Kevin Rudds 2007 election campaign, Neil Lawrence, organised the Minerals Councils anti-RSPT media blitzkrieg. It was that campaign that prepared the ground for Rudds removal. The behind-the-scenes role of these various Labor insiders was, no doubt, critical.
Gary Gray, a former national secretary of the ALP and one of the partys most influential backroom deal-makers, also played a leading role. Grays connections to the resources sector could not be more direct: his former paymasters were among the most vocal opponents of the mining tax. From 2000, after leaving Labor head office, Gray became a special consultant to Woodside Petroleum, Australias largest national gas producer, and eventually that companys corporate affairs director. Grays brief was originally to use his government connections to repel a takeover bid by Shell, but he was later key to Woodsides natural gas agreement with Chinas state-owned PetroChina, a deal projected to produce revenues of $35 billion to $45 billion over a 15 year period. Gray returned to a Labor job in 2007, this time a safe Western Australian seat in federal parliament. He continued his role as mining lobbyist, but this time from inside the legislature. Two weeks before Rudd was removed, Gray began preparing the ground for the Gillard coup by publicly breaking ranks with Ruddthe first senior Labor figure to do soand indicating the tax had to go. Despite Grays deep mining connections, a quiescent media made no enquiries about his riding orders.

Mark Arbib
Not every one of Labors coup leaders has overt mining ties. Mark Arbib, David Feeney and Don Farrell are all Labor and union apparatchiks, from New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, respectively, whose only recorded contribution to politics has been their sordid role in arranging support or opposition for this or that factional pick. However, these back-room heavies have been of critical importance in the implementation of the miners demands.
Arbibs personal history is a case in point. Kevin Rudd came to power in 2007 on the back of Arbibs patronage and rewarded the new senator with a government ministry. Before his move into federal parliament, Arbib, a NSW ALP state secretary, blocked the rise to power of NSW premiership hopeful Carl Scully and installed instead right-wing stooge, Morris Iemma. In doing so, Arbib acted in accord with the demands of the states powerful real estate and development lobby. He has now reprised his unsavoury role as NSW big business go-between, although with far more chilling implications, at the national level. Arbibs record speaks volumes for what Labors factional gangs are really about. They are associations defined by neither loyalty nor tribalism (the corporate medias meaningless tag-line for the factions) much less ideology. On the contrary, they have become conduits for whichever arm of the ruling elite demands their services.
The role and character of Arbib, Shorten, Gray and the others underscore the fact that the official political establishment is incapable of reform. The current political crisis, which will intensify as governments around the world turn from fiscal stimulus to implementing savage austerity measures, is not a question of deteriorating personnel or a lack of vision, as the media would have it. Maintaining even a semblance of parliamentary niceties has become completely incompatible with the demands of the financial and corporate elite for a major assault on the social position of the working class. The political coup against Rudd, orchestrated behind the backs of the population, is a warning of preparations being made, also behind closed doors, for far more repressive and authoritarian forms of rule.
Compiled and edited by Mathaba News Agency from analysis by James Cogan and Alex Messenger

http://mathaba.net/news/?x=623952



http://www.antifascistencyclopedia.com/allposts/u-s-supported-mining-corporations-behind-coup-in-australia

Magda Hassan
07-22-2010, 01:40 AM
The New Warlord Of Oz

July 21, 2010 By John Pilger

John Pilger's ZSpace Page (http://www.zcommunications.org/zspace/johnpilger) / ZSpace (http://www.zcommunications.org/zspace/)

The Order of Mates celebrated beside Sydney Harbour the other day. This is a venerable masonry in Australian political life that unites the Labor Party with the rich elite known as the big end of town. They shake hands, not hug, though the Silver Bodgie now hugs. In his prime, the Silver Bodgie, aka Bob Hawke or Hawkie, wore suits that shone, wide-bottomed trousers and shirts with the buttons undone. A bodgie was a Australian version of the 1950s English Teddy Boy and Hawkes thick grey-black coiffure added inches to his abbreviated stature.

Hawke also talked out of the corner of his mouth in an accent that was said to be ocker, or working class, although he himself was of the middle class and Oxford educated. As president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, his popularity rested on his reputation as a hard-drinking larrikin, an Australian sobriquet once prized almost as much as an imperial honour. For Hawke, it was the disguise of one whose heart belonged to the big end of town, who cooled the struggles of working Australians, during the rise to power of the new property sharks, minerals barons and tax avoiders.

Indeed, as Labor prime minister in the 1980s, Hawke and his treasurer Paul Keating eliminated the most equitable spread of personal income on earth: a model for the Blairites. And the great Mate across the Pacific loved Hawkie. Victor Marchetti, the CIA strategist who helped draft the treaty that gave America control over its most important spy base in the southern hemisphere, told me, When Hawke came along he immediately sent signals that he knew how the game was played and who was buttering his bread. He became very co-operative, and even obsequious.

The party overlooking Sydney Harbour on 12 July was to launch a book by Hawkes wife, Blanche dAlpuget, whose effusions about the Silver Bodgie include his single-handed rescue of Nelson Mandela from apartheids clutches. A highlight of the occasion was the arrival of the brand new prime minister, Julia Gillard, who proclaimed Hawke her role model and the gold standard for running Australia.

This may help explain the extraordinary and brutal rise of Gillard. In 48 hours in June, she and Mates in Labors parliamentary caucus got rid of the elected prime minister, Kevin Rudd. Her weapons were Rudds slide in the opinion polls and the power and prize of Australias vast trove of minerals. To pay off the national debt, Rudd had decreed a modest special tax on the profits of giants like BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. The response was a vicious advertising campaign against the government and a threat to shut down mines.

Within days of her coup, Gillard, who was Rudds deputy, had reduced the new tax; and the companies campaign was called off. It was a repeat of Hawkes capitulation to the mining companies in the 1980s when they threatened to bring down a state Labor government in Western Australia. Like her predecessors, Gillard is pursuing a landgrab of the one region of Australia, the Northern Territory, where Aboriginal Australians have land and mineral rights. The deceit is spectacular and historical. The government claims it is protecting black Australian children from abuse and neglect within their communities. Official statistics show that the incidence of child abuse is no different from that of white Australia and the true cause of Aboriginal suffering is a systemic colonial racism that denies housing, water, roads, adequate health care and schools to indigenous people and harasses and imprisons them at a rate greater than in South Africa under apartheid.

Since her coup, Gillard has reaffirmed this racism at the heart of policy-making. Australia takes fewer refugees than almost any country, yet Gillard is using their threat to outdo the hysterics of an especially primitive parliamentary opposition led by Tony Abbot, known as the mad monk. Gillards hardline on refugees has been welcomed by the openly racist former MP Pauline Hanson as sweep[ing] political correctness from the debate. Hansons One Nation Party is the equivalent of the white supremacist British National Party. Gillard, an immigrant from Wales, demanded that refugees heading for Australia be processed (dumped) in East Timor, an impoverished country whose genocidal occupation by Indonesia was backed by Australian governments. Now liberated, the East Timorese have read their massive, under-populated neighbour a moral lesson by saying no.

Many of the refugees come from Afghanistan which Australia invaded at Washingtons insistence. Our national security is at stake in Afghanistan, said Gillard on 5 July, linking a faraway tribal war and resistance to foreign invaders with three terrorist attacks in Indonesia in which Australians were killed. There is not a shred of evidence to support her statement. Australias security is probably unique; since 1915, an estimated 22 people have died as a result of politically motivated violence.

The new prime ministers partner is a former hair products salesman called Tim Mathieson. This would be of no interest had he not been given the job of Australias mens health ambassador by one of Gillards cabinet colleagues, the health minister, even though he had no experience in healthcare. Mathieson is now a rising star in real estate, thanks to one Albert Dadon, whose company is seeking planning permission for a contentious high rise development in Melbourne. Dadon can claim membership of the Order of Mates. As head of the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange, he arranges admiring tours of Israel for politicians and journalists. Gillard went on such a junket last year in the wake of Israels massacre of 1400 people in Gaza, mostly women and children. She who would be the first female prime minister of Australia drooled her uncritical support for their killers.

Mark Stapleton
08-06-2010, 11:14 AM
It looks like the Australian media is supporting Abbott to win the election on August 21. The bookies still have the Labor Party as strong favorites, so I'm inclined to think Labor will still win, although in the final analysis it doesn't matter which group of talking heads is elected, because they are all going to answer to their corporate masters anyway.

One issue that does my head in is the incredibly misunderstood issue of Government (public) debt. The Conservatives alarmist TV Ads stating that public debt racked up by the Government will engulf and destroy us all are incredibly dishonest.

Australia's public debt currently sits around $50 billion. The Government's broadband rollout and other spending initiatives are expected to blow it out to about $90 billion by 2013.

However this amount pales in comparison to Australia's private debt, currently $1900 billion--forty times the size of the public debt level.

Private debt is comprised of household, personal and business debt. Household debt (86% of which is mortgage debt) comprises $1000 billion (one trillion) of the total private debt. $140 billion is personal debt and $750 billion is business debt.

It doesn't take an economic genius to see that our massive increase in private debt--in particular mortgage debt (it has increased from 20 to 80 percent of GDP in the last decade, I think) is the biggest economic problem the country faces.

Former PM John Howard irresponsibly encouraged this mortgage binge, and introduced the first home buyers grant to back it up. Thousands of people who couldn't afford it jumped on the mortgage bandwagon.

Now we're left with a property market so overheated that most people need to spend half or more of their income on rent or mortgage. With all that income tied up in housing obligations, the wider economy suffers.

When the housing bubble bursts and the foreclosures start mounting, those unfortunate people will be told by the media that the cause of all their problems was reckless Government debt, because of reckless Government spending.

Steve Keen's blogs were right all along.

http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/papers/KeenHouseholdDebtIntegratedFigures.pdf

http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/

Magda Hassan
08-06-2010, 01:25 PM
Agreed Mark. I've been noticing this too. "The polls show that there would be a coalition win today" blah, blah. There is no way that Abbott could legitimately win given his generally being despised by almost all the people including half his party (except for those who answer polls apparently) but there sure is a push to make it look it aint so. :fight:

Mark Stapleton
08-06-2010, 02:16 PM
Agreed Mark. I've been noticing this too. "The polls show that there would be a coalition win today" blah, blah. There is no way that Abbott could legitimately win given his generally being despised by almost all the people including half his party (except for those who answer polls apparently) but there sure is a push to make it look it aint so. :fight:

Yeah. Abbott would be a scary result, with all those crazy nutcases on the front bench--not to mention Abbott himself. I might be proven wrong, but I can't believe the electorate would be stupid enough to elect a right wing conservative Government in the middle of a major deflationary downturn.

Of course, we live in an idiocracy.

Peter Dawson
08-21-2010, 12:49 PM
Thanks for those articles and websites, Ed, Magda and Mark. All good stuff.

Well it's election day today, and it's a very close result, with neither major party likely to be able to form a government without the cooperation of one or two independents or greens. Which may not be such a bad thing.

So sick of the election campaign, so glad it's over.

Magda Hassan
08-21-2010, 01:35 PM
Not everyone wanted to vote for Rio Tinto.
A shocking election campaign by both parties. How not to do it. Labor honchos have a lot to answer for their rolling of Rudd. Pleased the Greens did so well though.

Peter Dawson
08-21-2010, 01:36 PM
And they're obviously having a little joke with us - Idiocracy is the late night movie on one of the main tv channels this election night.

Mark Stapleton
08-28-2010, 02:42 PM
Thanks for those articles and websites, Ed, Magda and Mark. All good stuff.

Well it's election day today, and it's a very close result, with neither major party likely to be able to form a government without the cooperation of one or two independents or greens. Which may not be such a bad thing.

So sick of the election campaign, so glad it's over.

73-72, 4 Independents and a Green in a 150 seat Lower House. Nine Greens in a 76 seat Senate. It's a great result from where I sit.

The two party system in Australia is as dead as a dodo--at last.

The conservatives are squealing about it. Piers Ackerman is calling for another election. It's very funny.

Peter Dawson
08-31-2010, 06:51 PM
Here is Wayne Swan having a funny handshake with Bob Katter (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/election/independent-trio-on-song-if-not-always-in-tune/story-e6frgdbf-1225910123176).

How strange is that?

Mark Stapleton
09-04-2010, 02:41 PM
A shocking election campaign by both parties. How not to do it. Labor honchos have a lot to answer for their rolling of Rudd.

Labor honchos were just following orders Magda. He insulted Israel remember?

The end of the two party system should be celebrated. Whatever the altenative, it can't be worse than the status quo.

I feel sorry for the US of A. The two party system is locked in there. They'll need a revolution to overthrow it.

Peter Dawson
09-05-2010, 12:45 AM
I like the dynamics of a minority government. When I was living in Canberra, due to the Hare-Clark(?) voting system used, the local ACT Assembly always had minority governments, and everybody was forced to negotiate every last damn thing, and it seemed to be a very democratic way to do things.

It'll be ironic if Gillard gets in as first female PM, because she won't be allowed to rule the roost like almost every previous male PM has done - she'll have to negotiate with everyone about everything, all day every day.

A fate all politicians deserve.

*

It was interesting to hear talk that Mark Arbib and others - the Labor "powerbrokers" - were getting blamed for stuffing the whole thing up for Labor. For a time I almost believed that that was the whole of the story, but it does seem more likely that they were folowing orders from someone - I just can't see how the likes of Arbib could be the beginning and end of behind-the-scenes powerbroking within Labor. Still there's no conclusive proof re. who actually was calling the shots.

Magda Hassan
02-24-2012, 07:28 AM
Well, just back in time to watch some thing quite spectacular here. Kevin Rudd, our former PM, who was replaced by the current PM Julia Gillard, has called a press conference and stated his intentions to a leadership challenge on Monday. It was refreshingly frank and he spoke of his removal as a 'coup' and that Australia has had enough of 'outside' interference.

For any one that is interested you can see the full thing here (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-24/live-blog-labor-at-war/3849716).

Interesting times.
Some of the reasons the powers that be might not have liked Rudd:
Kevin Rudd wanted Israel to have inspections of their nuclear reactor and arsenal.
He was livid that Australian passports and identities had been used by a foreign government to assassinate a Palestinian leader.
He does not want to hand Julian Assange over to the US on a platter (Gillard does)
Expansion of the universal health care system.
Government infrastructure programmes.
Economic stimulus programmes for schools, remote health clinics and other community based programmes.
A small tax on mining company billion $ profits.
A carbon tax.
Closer ties to Asia.
A more worker friendly industrial policy.
Looking for alternatives to Neo-Liberal policy.

Jan Klimkowski
02-24-2012, 04:28 PM
A very Australian coup.

Sponsored by the Usual Suspects.

Spun by Their mockingbirds.

Peter Lemkin
02-24-2012, 05:56 PM
A very Australian coup.

Sponsored by the Usual Suspects.

Spun by Their mockingbirds.

Something I'm not informed about [but would be interested to hear from 'down under'], is does R. Murdoch still have much of 'presence' in news/propaganda in OZ? ....and how are those 'assets' responding to all this?

Magda Hassan
02-24-2012, 10:52 PM
A very Australian coup.

Sponsored by the Usual Suspects.

Spun by Their mockingbirds.

Something I'm not informed about [but would be interested to hear from 'down under'], is does R. Murdoch still have much of 'presence' in news/propaganda in OZ? ....and how are those 'assets' responding to all this?

Murdoch is media down here. Always was always will be. The journalists I have known here have worked in fear of losing their jobs if they do any thing too risky because they would basically be unemployable given that most such positions have a Murdoch pay check. Murdoch is backing Julia by the way.

Just for some more recent back ground information on Australian media the bits that are not Murdoch are the ABC which is government public broadcasting and Fairfax print media. Australia's richest woman Gina Rinehart,a mining magnate, who is so reactionary it seems even her ultra reactionary father, Lang Hancock, couldn't stand her, has just bought her own tv station, channel 10 and stacked it with anti climate change mouthpieces. She is in the middle of a take over of Fairfax media likey for the same reasons. This came after a meeting with Lord Monckton who recommended Australia get its own version of 'Fox News' and the Tea Party. Here is a video of a private meeting of Lord Monckton and the mining lobby here in Australia discussing how to manipulate the media:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX2kMAfJggU

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3807130.html

Magda Hassan
02-25-2012, 02:13 AM
Political stench of 2010 coup haunts Australian PM By Peter Symonds
16 February 2012 Confirmation that Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was plotting to replace her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, at least two weeks before his ouster on June 24, 2010 has further undermined her leadership and compounded the ongoing political instability in Canberra.

A “Four Corners” program aired on Monday on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) revealed that the Obama administration knew of the moves to oust Rudd two weeks before the coup. US involvement in the events of June 2010 points to the significance of mounting tensions between the US and China in the removal of Rudd.

This highly sensitive aspect of the ABC program has been studiously ignored in the Australian media. Instead, attention has focussed on a “victory speech” written for Gillard by her advisors a fortnight before the coup. She continues to insist that she only made the decision to challenge Rudd on June 23, 2010, and absurdly claims that the speech was simply the work of overzealous speech writers.

The latest revelations are particularly damaging because Gillard’s leadership has been tainted from the outset by the stench of the June 2010 events. She was installed in an unprecedented inner party coup, orchestrated by a handful of Labor and union factional bosses operating without the knowledge of most ministers and Labor parliamentarians, let alone the public. She has never been able to dispel the widespread belief that she betrayed Rudd, that her actions were anti-democratic and that her government lacks legitimacy.

Gillard’s patently false version of events was further undermined by statements to the media yesterday by Labor MPs who confirmed that she had shown them polling depicting her in a better light than Rudd. “The MPs are now prepared to speak on a background basis because they are disenchanted with her leadership, angry at her level of candour in her public comments this week, and no longer prepared to support her in any party ballot for the leadership,” the Sydney Morning Herald wrote.

Comments and articles abound on the current leadership manoeuvring inside the Labor Party. Nothing, however, is being written on the implications of the previously unknown fact that the Australian ambassador to the US, Kim Beazley, met with the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in early June to discuss the possible removal of Rudd. Along with domestic considerations—above all the demands of big business for tough austerity measures—US hostility to Rudd’s foreign policy was a decisive factor in his ouster.

The ABC program stated: “Four Corners has learned that about two weeks before the eventual coup, Ambassador Kim Beazley was driven the few blocks to the State Department for a meeting with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. Four Corners has been told that Clinton wanted to know what was happening in Australia, and sought assurances that the relationship between the two nations would not change under a new leadership. What Beazley knew or told his hosts is not known, but it seems they were better informed than most government MPs, who were unaware that Rudd’s enemies were circling for the kill.”

The account cannot be taken on face value. “Four Corners” itself noted that the key Labor coup plotters, as revealed in WikiLeaks cables, had long been secretly informing Washington about the internal workings of the Labor government. The same cables make clear that the Obama administration was disenchanted with Rudd over a range of issues, especially his attempts to moderate rising tensions between the US and China. Gillard, on the other hand, was viewed in positive terms as someone who could be counted on to toe Washington’s line.

The latest revelation confirms the assessment made by the Socialist Equality Party just four days after Rudd’s removal: “Thirty-five years ago, in the midst of the last major global crisis of the capitalist system, the Whitlam Labor government was sacked in a coup involving the highest levels of the state apparatus, as well as intelligence agencies including the American CIA. No doubt these same forces were either directly involved in, or at least had knowledge of, the ousting of Rudd.” (See: “The Australian Labor Party coup: a warning to the working class (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/jun2010/sepa-j28.shtml)”)

So sensitive is the question of US involvement in the June 2010 events that the “Four Corners” program made no effort to further probe the issue. No attempt was made to elicit a response from Beazley or Clinton. The WikiLeaks cables were mentioned in passing but not examined in any depth. The Australian political and media establishment has treated the topic as taboo, with barely a reference to the Beazley-Clinton meeting.

While no date was given for the Beazley-Clinton meeting, the events of that period indicate Washington’s hardening attitude against Rudd.

The Australian government expelled an Israeli diplomat on May 24 over Israel’s use of forged Australian passports in the assassination of a top Hamas leader in Dubai. The decision undoubtedly alienated not only Israel and the Zionist lobby in Australia, but the Obama administration as well. Greg Sheridan, foreign editor of the Australian, later commented that the expulsion might have been “the single foreign policy issue that did Rudd the most harm.”

Growing resistance by Rudd and Defence Minister John Faulkner to the Pentagon’s demands for an expanded Australian military presence in Afghanistan culminated in an announcement on June 23 that the Labor government would consider withdrawing Australian troops within two to four years. The decision cut directly across the Obama administration’s push for greater involvement in the Afghan occupation by US allies.

Above all, it was Rudd’s opposition to the Obama administration’s increasingly confrontational stance throughout Asia against China that disturbed the White House. The Australian prime minister had proposed an Asia Pacific Community which, as he explained in an essay for Foreign Affairs (never published), was “to help prevent a US-China strategic fault line through East Asia.” Clinton, on the other hand, was aggressively intervening to undermine China’s influence, declaring at the ASEAN summit in July 2009 that the US was “back in South East Asia.”

Rudd was one of two political casualties in June 2010. On June 2, Japan’s Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama resigned, following bitter wrangling with Washington over his government’s election promise to move a US Marine base off the Japanese island of Okinawa. Like Rudd, he was committed to his country’s military alliance with the US, but indicated a certain shift toward greater cooperation with China and South Korea. Hatoyama was replaced by Naoto Kan, who immediately pledged the closest cooperation with the US and took a more antagonistic approach to China.

An ominous warning sign that Washington had dropped its support for Rudd was Obama’s decision on June 4 to unexpectedly cancel a planned trip to Australia, on the pretext that he had to deal with the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The US president was due to arrive in Australia on June 19—just days before Rudd’s ousting—suggesting that the White House not only knew about the coup in general terms, but was more directly involved and had detailed inside information.

Having ousted Rudd on June 24, Gillard delivered her “victory speech”—prepared, at least in part, two weeks before—outlining her unconditional loyalty to the US-Australia military alliance. On the same day, she held a 20-minute phone conversation with Obama and met with the US ambassador. Four days later, Gillard repudiated Faulkner’s statement on Afghanistan, declaring in an opinion piece that “bringing home our troops cannot be to a pre-set timetable.”

The Gillard government quickly shifted diplomatic gear to full support for the Obama administration’s intervention in Asia. In July 2010, Clinton provocatively declared that the US had a “national interest” in the South China Sea and sided with ASEAN members in their maritime disputes with China. Gillard’s backing for Obama culminated in his visit last November when the two unveiled plans for the stationing of US Marines in the northern city of Darwin and a greatly expanded use of Australian naval and air bases by the US military. A key purpose of the US-Australian military collaboration is to tighten American control of vital sea lanes used by China to import energy and raw materials from Africa and the Middle East.

As in the case of the Beazley-Clinton meeting, the Australian media and political establishment has maintained a deafening silence on the Gillard government’s decision to put the country on the frontline of a conflict between the US and China. Any discussion would only exacerbate the dilemma confronting the Australian ruling class: how to balance between China, its number one trade partner, and the United States, its longstanding strategic ally.

Despite the mounting political crisis surrounding Gillard, amid moves by Rudd’s supporters to mount a leadership challenge, powerful sections of the Australian ruling elite, while unhappy with the current Labor government, remain adamantly opposed to the return of Rudd. One of the more bizarre expressions of the Murdoch empire’s support for Gillard appeared in yesterday’s Australian—a front-page comment by political editor Dennis Shanahan which, in the face of indisputable evidence to the contrary, began by unequivocally declaring that he believed Gillard’s account of the June 2010 events.

Shanahan’s declaration of trust expresses the frustrations of powerful sections of the Australian ruling class with the fact that they are stuck with Gillard because they have no faith in either Rudd or Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to hold together a viable government. Amid intensifying geo-political rivalries in Asia and a worsening global economic crisis, the stage is being set for an explosive political crisis that could quickly dwarf the events of June 2010.

This author also recommends:
What was Washington’s role in the coup against Australian prime minister Rudd? (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/jul2010/wash-j15.shtml)
[15 July 2010]
WikiLeaks cables cast fresh light on coup against former Australian PM Rudd
(http://wsws.org/articles/2010/dec2010/aust-d08.shtml)[8 December 2010]
Australia: WikiLeaks cables reveal secret ties between Rudd coup plotters and US embassy (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/dec2010/aust-d09.shtml)
[9 December 2010]
WikiLeaks cables expose US hostility to Rudd’s Asia Pacific Community plan
(http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/dec2010/rudd-d31.shtml)[31 December 2010]
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/feb2012/gill-f16.shtml

Peter Lemkin
02-25-2012, 06:25 AM
So....It was Whitlam light?! Seems that the powers behind the scenes down under simply will not allow anyone left of pretty far Right to hold top offices - How does Rudd hope to get around this power-structure and the Murdock propaganda machine?! I know the USA was fully behind the Whitlam massacre via the British as proxies via the Australian Right as second proxies - what was the order of battle this last time?

Magda Hassan
02-25-2012, 08:46 AM
So....I was Whitlam light?! Seems that the powers behind the scenes down under simply will not allow anyone left of pretty far Right to hold top offices - How does Rudd hope to get around this power-structure and the Murdock propaganda machine?! I know the USA was fully behind the Whitlam massacre via the British as proxies via the Australian Right as second proxies - what was the order of battle this last time?
Murdoch was initially a Whitlam supporter and there is a great book of the time called 'Fixing the News' which clearly shows the turning point. It was literally one day. The morning headline supported Whitlam and the evening headline he was calling for him to go. No doubt it was around the time Murdoch probably had his conversation with Ray Cline and Ted Shackley and co and probably after the likely generous deposit from Nugan Hand. So policy was changed in mid stream. There was just about to be a media inquiry here as a result of the hacking scandal in the UK. This had huge public support and luke warm support form the parties and still hasn't been played out so it will be interesting to see how it plays out here. Murdoch will back the Liberals which is like the Tories or Republicans here but in the contest between Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd he will back Julia who is the more acceptable choice of the ruling classes here and the US. The people resoundingly support Kevin Rudd over Julia. She never lost the stench from the deception of the 2010 coup and lack legitimacy in the eyes of most. Though the party elects the leader and people vote for a party not a person like in the US people's perception is that 'they' voted for Kevin Rudd and he was taken from them by outsiders. And not much will change that perception and certainly not before the next election. The US want either Julia or the Liberals. They absolutely do not want Kevin. Rudd is by no means a radical or even left but too much for the powers that be as was Whitlam. There are US moles in the Labor party, Mark Arbib and Bill Shorten being the likely candidates and more recently another candidate may be former Labor leader and now ambassador to the US Kim Beazley, who happens to be a Rhodes Scholar and former defence minister....with all that entails....And who just returned from a trip to the US and met with Hilary 2 weeks before the coup....None of this is discussed in the media here but hasn't gone un-noticed by many.

While Rudd has the support of the people, voters, today, he got the backing of one of the big players in the party Anthony Albanese. He was very emotional in his press conference in his declaration of support for Rudd. He also stated that what happened to Rudd in 2010 was not right.

Members outside Australia might not be able to watch this with out an Australian proxy IP but it is a very interesting programme which was screened last week before the challenge about many events to do with Kevin Rudd. http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2012/02/10/3427070.htm

Jan Klimkowski
02-25-2012, 11:50 AM
Magda - many thanks.

Australia was once an English colony.

It is now, quite clearly, an American colony.

And treated as such by the American military-multinational-intelligence-complex.

Peter Lemkin
02-27-2012, 06:04 AM
Magda, anyone, can you explain how the current vote of confidence was pulled off yesterday.

Magda Hassan
02-27-2012, 06:24 AM
Well, Kevin Rudd lost. So we still Have Julia Gillard as PM. She is handled by as bunch of US lackies. I suppose it will be business as usual.

Peter, it works like this. There is no secret ballot, one of the things that Kevin was wanting to change. All the votes happen in one room where everyone is together with the heavies standing by the exits keeping an eye on the proceedings and giving the evil eye to those who are suspected of not voting the right way. When it is finished they wash the blood from the walls and floor.

Peter Lemkin
02-27-2012, 06:29 AM
Well, Kevin Rudd lost. So we still Have Julia Gillard as PM. She is handled by as bunch of US lackies. I suppose it will be business as usual.

Peter, it works like this. There is no secret ballot, one of the things that Kevin was wanting to change. All the votes happen in one room where everyone is together with the heavies standing by the exits keeping an eye on the proceedings and giving the evil eye to those who are suspected of not voting the right way. When it is finished they wash the blood from the walls and floor.

Now I see why OZ is so good at Rugby. By the way, don't the PEOPLE have a say in all 'this'...or are they only spectators in the 'rugby' scrum? Good luck in getting a democracy some day.....I know we don't have one in my country either. The various forms of 'representative democracy' the elites have figured out are all constructed to give them near total power and the People all but none!

Magda Hassan
02-27-2012, 06:37 AM
Yes, definitely spectators. The leader of the party is elected by the party members in their caucus. Not even all party members get to vote on it. Just a select few, around 100.

I just heard a very interesting and positive development. One of the traitorous men identified as the source in the wikileaks cables has resigned his position.
From ABC news (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-27/arbib-resigns-from-parliament/3855488)


In a shock development in Labor's internal wrangling, right-wing powerbroker Mark Arbib - known as a 'king maker' in the party - has resigned from Parliament.Senator Arbib is quitting his positions as Assistant-Treasurer, Small Business, and Sports Minister as a "gesture to unite and to heal".His support was key to elevating Kevin Rudd to party leader in 2006, and then in 2010, to dumping him in favour of Julia Gillard.He hopes his decision will help the party heal but he also wants to spend more time with his family."I have been a faction leader and I've had to make tough and unpopular decisions, but I have always loved the Labor party," he said.The Senate vacancy will be filled, as is the convention, by the NSW Premier appointing another ALP member.More to come.

Peter Lemkin
02-27-2012, 07:16 AM
Yes, definitely spectators. The leader of the party is elected by the party members in their caucus. Not even all party members get to vote on it. Just a select few, around 100.

I just heard a very interesting and positive development. One of the traitorous men identified as the source in the wikileaks cables has resigned his position.
From ABC news (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-27/arbib-resigns-from-parliament/3855488)


In a shock development in Labor's internal wrangling, right-wing powerbroker Mark Arbib - known as a 'king maker' in the party - has resigned from Parliament.Senator Arbib is quitting his positions as Assistant-Treasurer, Small Business, and Sports Minister as a "gesture to unite and to heal".His support was key to elevating Kevin Rudd to party leader in 2006, and then in 2010, to dumping him in favour of Julia Gillard.He hopes his decision will help the party heal but he also wants to spend more time with his family."I have been a faction leader and I've had to make tough and unpopular decisions, but I have always loved the Labor party," he said.The Senate vacancy will be filled, as is the convention, by the NSW Premier appointing another ALP member.More to come.



You had mentioned him as a possible US mole....but, why would he resign after a successful manouvre? Interesting in light of my rugby analogy he was also Sports Minister :mexican:

Magda Hassan
02-27-2012, 07:33 AM
He was identified as a mole in the Wikileaks cables. When confronted by it it was really embarrassing how there were so many in the party who were also doing the same thing and really saw no wrong in giving state secrets to the US. :unclesam: :banghead:

Yes, I've been wondering about this too. The old "I want to spend more time with my family" fade out. Perhaps Rudd had more support than they are letting on. Or there had to be some scalps in return for Rudd's silence on some matters. I will be watching this with interest.

Magda Hassan
02-28-2012, 12:50 PM
Australia: Key 2010 coup plotter quits government after leadership voteBy Patrick O’Connor
28 February 2012Within hours of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s defeat of Kevin Rudd in yesterday’s Labor Party leadership ballot, Labor Senator Mark Arbib announced that he was quitting politics. A career apparatchik within the powerful New South Wales Right faction, Arbib played the key role in removing Rudd and installing Gillard as prime minister in the June 2010 coup. In this, he worked closely with Washington, having been a secret “protected source” for the US embassy in Canberra from early on in his political career.Arbib indicated that his decision to resign was centrally bound up with the coup. While insisting that he “stands by the decision” to axe Rudd, the senator declared that “we need to close the door on that period and we need to start afresh.” He continued: “I want to be able to mend some of the conflict that has happened in the past... What I’m trying to do is try to ensure that the party gets over the past week, the past period, it’s a gesture of goodwill to the party.”The media’s universal response was to declare Arbib’s decision to resign completely inexplicable. The 40-year-old senator was regarded as an ambitious soon-to-be cabinet member, whom Gillard had promoted to the position of assistant treasurer less than three months ago. Moreover, in an apparent attempt to modify his image as a factional boss, Arbib had previously quit his roles as national convenor of the Labor Right faction and as a member of the party’s national executive committee. The Age’s political editor Michelle Grattan described the resignation as a “complete mystery”, while the newspaper’s national affairs editor Tony Wright reported: “Confused hacks in the press gallery ventured increasingly wild theories.”No one in the media has raised the possibility that US officials might have played a role in Arbib’s decision. During the 25-minute press conference held yesterday afternoon, not a single question was put to the senator about his ties to the American embassy. This is consistent with the continued blackout of the real reasons behind the 2010 coup, and the extraordinary insistence that there were no policy differences behind Rudd’s decision to resign as foreign minister and challenge Gillard for the Labor leadership.Diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks, however, have provided details of aspects of Arbib’s intimate relations with American officials, and his role in the lead up to Rudd’s removal. Before he even entered federal politics in 2007, Arbib was plugged into the long-established network between the NSW Labor Right and the US diplomatic-intelligence apparatus.A US embassy profile of Arbib, sent to Washington in July 2009, noted the politician “has met with us repeatedly throughout his political rise” and described him as a “right-wing powerbroker and political rising star.” Arbib was among the American assets within the Labor factions and trade union bureaucracy who worked closely with the US embassy before the 2010 coup. In October 2009, that is, eight months before Gillard was installed in unprecedented circumstances, the senator informed American officials about the emerging leadership tensions, about which the Australian people knew nothing.The WikiLeaks’ cables established a growing concern among US officials at Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s practice of launching important diplomatic initiatives without first securing their approval. These initiatives included the proposed Asia Pacific Community, which Rudd regarded as a potential means for mediating between US and Chinese strategic interests in the Asia-Pacific. This orientation, however, cut across the Obama administration’s “pivot” to Asia, which focussed not on accommodating China’s rising diplomatic and strategic influence, but on aggressively countering it, including through a heightened military presence in the region.At the same time as dissatisfaction with Rudd escalated, Gillard curried favour with the US and Israel. One diplomatic cable dispatched in mid-2008 notably wondered if Gillard had suddenly become more enthusiastic for US operations or if her dealings with embassy officials merely reflected “an understanding of what she needs to do to become leader of the ALP.”The June 2010 coup laid bare the extent to which the US state is involved in every aspect of Australian political life. It marked only the latest episode of American interference, following the CIA’s involvement in the destabilisation campaign against Gough Whitlam’s Labor government in 1975,which culminated in the infamous Canberra Coup. The axing of Rudd also demonstrated the hollowed out and rotten character of the Labor Party apparatus. It provided a glimpse of how power is really wielded, behind the facade of parliamentary democracy, and made clear the Australian ruling elite’s willingness to resort to extra-parliamentary methods of rule. For all these reasons, discussion of the real issues involved in the coup remains entirely off-limits in political and media circles.Many questions remain about Arbib’s statements yesterday. One possibility is that he was told by the US embassy that his services within the Australian Labor government were no longer required, because he was too closely associated with the political stench of the coup and because too much detail about his relationship with Washington had been publicly revealed.Prime Minister Julia Gillard, addressing journalists yesterday after beating Rudd in the leadership ballot by 71 votes to 31, emphasised that there should be no further discussion on how she was installed. “I have had the opportunity to explain the circumstances of 2010 and how I became prime minister,” she declared. “I accept that I should have explained that at the time. I have now had the opportunity to do so, but having taken that opportunity, I believe the discussions about 2010 should now be at an end, our focus is on 2012 and all the years that lie beyond for the Australian nation.”According to Gillard, her recent bitter denunciations of Rudd’s leadership—that it was chaotic, dysfunctional and caused the government to become “paralysed”—constitutes an explanation of the unprecedented events of June 2010. This is an attempt to rewrite history. Gillard’s account, moreover, is absurd on its face. It has been established that on the night of June 23, 2010, Gillard met in Rudd’s office, together with Senator John Faulkner, and agreed to give the prime minister four months to improve the government’s standing. She then left the room and returned, 10 minutes later, to renege on the deal and insist that Rudd had to go. Why did she give her initial undertaking if the government was effectively on the brink of collapse? And even more importantly, with whom did she speak when she left Rudd’s office? What was said to her to make her change her mind?Gillard has never shaken off the deep public hostility to the antidemocratic events of June 2010, and her latest attempt to evade the issues involved will prove no more successful than her previous ones. Nevertheless her government is desperately trying to distance itself from the events of June 2010 in order to try to prove to the corporate and financial elite that it can implement the agenda being demanded.Gillard has declared her determination to proceed with various pro-business “reforms” and to return the budget to surplus, inevitably involving significant cuts to public services and major layoffs in the public sector. The prime minister was issued clear directives today in newspaper editorials for austerity and further cuts to working conditions.

http://wsws.org/articles/2012/feb2012/aust-f28.shtml

Jan Klimkowski
02-28-2012, 06:47 PM
"One may smile, and smile and be a villain."

Goddamn it! We've got one of them.

Magda Hassan
05-30-2012, 03:05 PM
I'm putting this here as it is a continuing saga of the previous posts and says a lot about the state of play here at the moment.

Since Kevin Rudd was deposed (almost certainly at the behest of Washington) and replaced with Julia Gillard by the right wing faction that frequent the US embassy here there has been an unrelenting campaign to get rid of the Labor party altogether led by the Liberal (read Tory) opposition and cheered on by the Murdoch media minions. Like other right wingnut parties around the world they are pushing for 'austerity' and are dominated by religious zealots and climate skeptics and mysogynists and closeted gays who will likely be busted in compromising situations before too long. As far as managers of capitalism go the current governmet is doing a pefectly adequate job and there is no reason to complain. The 2 things that are siezed upon to beat them with are a new carbon tax and a new levy on some mining operations. With regards to the carbon tax the opposition also supported it at the election time but political amnesia has set in and the media are busy keeping it that way. The miners in question are all billionaires and do not pay tax and a screaming at this class warfare as they call it and the prospect that they may have to fork over some dollars. They are busy buying up local tv stations and print media and installing house trained journalists (I use the term loosely) to put their story across which isn't really need to go to all that trouble in any case as the rest of the media have been more than happy to carry their anti-goverment ads wall to wall. They can't pack up and move overseas like the manufacturing industry did but they are trying to bring in overseas workers for their mines.

Oh, and there was a very weak and half hearted inquiry into the media, which carefully avoided several elephants in the room, when an inquiry was demanded by many here due to the Murdoch hacking crimes being exposed in the UK media and the Leveson Inquiry there. In any case the government has ignored any recommendations and Murdoch will not be being brouht to account in Australia any time soon.

One of the reasons for the virulent persecution of the Labor government, apart from the born to rule mindset, is that the opposition are in with a chance if they can just get rid of one MP. The Labor government is a minority government and only governs with the co-operation of some independents. There are 2 MP's they have focused on as possibilities to remove. One is Craig Thomson who they accuse of corruption and financial misappropriation in his previous job of union boss of the HSU (representing some of the poorer health industry workers) The other MP is one of their own for 9 years who left the party and who they now claims is involved in rorting travel vouchers and has sexually harrassed a staffer. All have been trumpeted by the Murdoch media as the crimes of the century and demads for them to resign and therefore hand government over to the Liberals and the rest of the media have followed obediently. It has been up to some handful of independent media and bloggers to uncover the truth of the matter using plenty of stuff already our there and published which the MSM have failed to make use of or ignored totally. They are still ignoring it. So here it is.



How Jackson, Lawler and Abbott tangled Thomson with the HSUPosted by admin (http://www.independentaustralia.net/author/admin/) in Crime (http://www.independentaustralia.net/category/life/crime/), Investigations (http://www.independentaustralia.net/category/independent-australia-journal/investigations/), Politics (http://www.independentaustralia.net/category/politics/) on 16 May, 2012 1:36 am / 11 comments (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/how-the-hsu-tangled-jackson-lawler-and-thomson-with-abbott/#commentspost)

retweet (http://button.topsy.com/retweet?nick=admin&url=http%3A//www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/how-the-hsu-tangled-jackson-lawler-and-thomson-with-abbott/&title=How%20Jackson%2C%20Lawler%20and%20Abbott%20t angled%20Thomson%20with%20the%20HSU%20%23Coalition %20%23corruption%20%23Craig%20Thomson%20%23crime%2 0%23featured%20%23HR%20Nicholls%20%23HSU%20%23Kath y%20Jackson%20%23Michael%20Lawler%20%23Peter%20Rei th%20%23Tony%20Abbott%20%23Unions)710 (http://topsy.com/www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/how-the-hsu-tangled-jackson-lawler-and-thomson-with-abbott/?utm_source=button)

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There are many suspicious features about Craig Thomson’s Health Services Union imbroglio, but notable among them are the apparently close links between HSU “whistleblower” Kathy Jackson and Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. Peter Wicks (http://www.independentaustralia.net/about/ia-contributors/peter-wicks-bio/) uncovers a very tangled web.


http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Lawler_Jackson_Abbott-1024x497.png (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Lawler_Jackson_Abbott.png)Fair Work Australia vice president Michael Lawler; his partner, HSU “whistleblower” Kathy Jackson; and friend.
The major saga embroiling the Federal Government at the moment, besides the curious Peter Slipper and James Ashby affair (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/on-the-slippery-slope-with-slippery-pete/), is the Health Services Union (HSU) debacle.
Firstly, let me start by saying that I do not endorse anyone spending over $6,000 on prostitutes on a union credit card — that is reprehensible behaviour. Nor do I endorse not declaring vast amounts of money to the Electoral Commission on election campaigns. However, these allegations are yet to be proved — and are vigorously denied.
In any case, I think I smell a rat.
Union whistleblower Kathy Jackson has been ripping into both the Labor Party and the former (until February 2012) President of Fair Work Australia, Geoffrey Giudice (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Giudice), for months now over the goings on within the embattled Union and the investigation resulting from her claims.
Kathy Jackson has caused the union movement untold damage and brought the Federal Government to the brink of collapse. One would assume that the public may be interested in knowing a little more about her and any conflicts of interest she may have.
One vital piece of information that is not widely known about her is that her partner is a man named Michael Lawler.
Who is Michael Lawler?
For starters, according to reliable sources, Michael Lawler is friends with a man named Tony Abbott. Apparently, the two of them socialise regularly. Conveniently, Tony Abbott is also the leader of the political party making so much ground out of the claims Michael’s partner is making.
Michael Lawler works for an organisation called Fair Work Australia, where he is a Vice-President (http://www.fwa.gov.au/index.cfm?pagename=aboutmemberslist) on a salary of $400,000 a year. The only person higher than him at that organisation is Iain Ross, who just replaced Geoffrey Giudice – the one who Tony Abbott and Lawler’s partner Kathy Jackson were attacking daily – as President of Fair Work Australia.
http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Jackson_Lawler.jpg (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Jackson_Lawler.jpg)On the 11th of October 2002, according to the FWA annual report (http://www.fwa.gov.au/documents/annual_reports/ar2003/2002-03_annual_reports.pdf), Michael Lawler was appointed Vice President of Fair Work Australia — although back then it was called the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. Previously, Lawler was a barrister who made his mark representing employers in employment disputes. The man who appointed him (http://www.vexnews.com/2012/05/whipped-high-ranking-fwa-official-michael-lawler-flipped-from-opus-dei-to-the-dangerous-cult-of-kathy-jackson/) to the AIRC was none other than Tony Abbott — who at the time was Employment and Workplace Relations Minister under John Howard’s Coalition Government.
On his appointment, Tony Abbott gave a speech praising Lawler (http://www.tonyabbott.com.au/LatestNews/Speeches/tabid/88/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/3711/ADDRESS-TO-THE-AUSTRALIAN-INDUSTRIAL-RELATIONS-COMMISSION-SYDNEY.aspx) in a remarkably personal and intimate fashion. Here is some of what he said that day:

“Intellect combined with common sense, compassion tempered by realism, ideals shaped but not dimmed by experience, some grasp of the nobility and waywardness that contend in every man: these, in my view, are some of the qualities which Vice President Lawler will bring to the demanding and often lonely life that lies before him.”
At a function to farewell Tony Abbott (http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/12/12/1071125658231.html) from his position as Employment and Workplace Relations minister the following year, Lawler was one of just four members of the AIRC to attend.
Independent Australia requested confirmation from Tony Abbott’s office about the relationship between the Opposition Leader and Michael Lawler, but had not received a response by the time of publication.
The Opposition always refer to Fair Work Australia as Julia Gillard’s “baby”, but Lawler was certainly Tony Abbott’s appointment.
Of course, all these things may be purely coincidental…
However, it does appear strange that Mr Lawler seems to have become involved in factional battles within the union on his partner Kathy’s behalf.
Carol Glen was the Victorian Divisional Secretary of HSU East for three years before resigning recently. At the time, Kathy Jackson was National Secretary of HSU East, and Michael Williamson was the General Secretary of HSU East.
Carol resigned due to the factional fighting within the union, particularly between Jackson and Williamson.
However, Jackson clearly did not want Carol to resign, as she feared that Williamson would replace her with a Divisional Secretary loyal to him.

http://resources2.news.com.au/images/2012/02/05/1226263/181234-carol-glen.jpgFormer HSU official, Carol Glen
This is the point where Lawler became involved in the factional battle within the Union, even though he was not a part of the HSU himself.
Carol Glen, in a written complaint to former Fair Work Australia President Geoffrey Giudice, (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/industrial-relations/fair-work-australia-vice-president-drawn-into-hsu-row/story-fn59noo3-1226263184928) alleges she received an “aggressive” phone call from Lawler, who told her:

“You can fuck off and take sick leave if you don’t want to do the work and still be paid, but you can’t resign.”
Michael Lawler did not work at HSU East (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/industrial-relations/fair-work-vice-president-caught-in-health-services-row/story-fn59noo3-1226260070545), and this complaint went directly to his only superior in Fair Work Australia, Geoffrey Guidice.
Then, just a few days later, Lawler made corruption allegations against Carol to NSW Police and Strikeforce Carnarvon was born.
It is odd that this type of complaint would come from Lawler — as he was not part of HSU East or even a member of the Union.
As part of his complaint of corruption, Lawler made reference to a cheque that was being picked up by Carol — something he said she had mentioned in an email. The inference was that this cheque was some sort of pay off.
The Australian details the claims (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/industrial-relations/fair-work-australia-vice-president-drawn-into-hsu-row/story-fn59noo3-1226263184928) made by Lawler and the subsequent reaction by Glen:

Mr Lawler claims Ms Glen may have been given an inducement to give false evidence, noting that in a private email exchange with her partner in December, she had referred to a cheque she was going to pick up.
“I had ordered a bank cheque to pay my rent,” Ms Glen said, questioning how Mr Lawler had obtained her emails. She says she finds it extraordinary that Mr Lawler, the second highest industrial judge in the land, would engage in such a campaign.
Mr Lawler’s associate said it would be inappropriate for him to comment.
So, in fact, the cheque was a bank cheque ordered by Carol to pay her rent — totally innocent and unrelated to any Union business at all.
However, the question remains: how would Lawler know about the cheque? Given he mentioned a “private email exchange”, it would seem certain that he somehow had access to Ms Glen’s emails. So, how did Lawler have access to Glen’s private emails?
We don’t know, because as soon as he was asked about this detail, Lawler’s associate clammed up.
All decidedly suspicious.
http://p.twimg.com/Ar3YUE1CQAE_zva.jpg
On the 2nd May, police officers from the NSW Fraud and Cybercrime Squad raided the HSU East headquarters in Pitt Street, Sydney, in a much publicised operation.
However, my inside sources have pointed out a few anomalies about the official story of the raid (http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/union-head-allegedly-tried-to-remove-documents-as-police-raid-hq-20120502-1xxzj.html) that was reported in the press. Police were offered the option of using the service elevator and the rear entrance to the building to make things simpler, safer, and faster for officers — but this offer was rejected as the police were reportedly keen to use the main entrance, where the press had been assembled. Sources also state that the large number of boxes shown on TV being carried out by officers were all virtually empty — it was allegedly all done for show, to make it look like there were mountains of documents seized. Also, sources say, the story about HSU boss Michael Williamson trying to sneak out a back door with evidence was total rubbish — done presumably to implicate guilt. In fact, Mr Williamson left the office via the entrance the police were offered access to, as his car was parked in the car park opposite; the things he was carrying were taken by police as a routine part of the operation, as were his personal items — and probably a sandwich as well.
Of course, Kathy Jackson has acted very strangely for a so-called union boss.
In Melbourne, Jackson has hired Stuart Wood (http://www.vexnews.com/2012/04/shark-jumping-kathy-jackson-gets-wood-from-the-hr-nicholls-society/), a former Vice President of the HR Nicholls Society, as her lawyer. The HR Nicholls Society is a right-wing lobby group with close ties to the Liberal Party, set up as a think tank dedicated to Industrial Relations “reform”— much of which fed into the architecture of the Howard Government’s infamous “WorkChoices” policy.
It would seem valid to question why the Secretary of a union would hire a solicitor that is anti-union — and, indeed, one whose ideas you have apparently spent your whole working life fighting against. A quick look at HR Nicholls Society’s website (http://www.hrnicholls.com.au/archives/archives-author.php) shows just how close its ties are with the Liberal Party. Former Howard Government industrial relations minister Peter Reith is a board member, for example, and other notable names on the list of who contributes to this Society are Tony Abbott (there’s that name again), Eric Abetz, Peter Costello, Michael Kroger… the list goes on and on — even Andrew Bolt gets a mention.
Even more strangely, for a union rep, Jackson is due to be guest of honour and give a speech at the HR Nicholls Society annual dinner on June 12th. Strangely, Mal Brough – who has been accused of being implicated in the allegations against Peter Slipper – fronted the HR Nicholls Society only a week or two ago [note below video].

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2nrqF0fZb6M

And, in yet another strange coincidence, Peter Slipper accuser James Ashby is using Kathy Jackson’s Sydney lawyers (http://www.vexnews.com/2012/04/coincidence-kathy-jacksons-sydney-lawyers-are-the-same-as-peter-slippers-sex-harassment-accusers/).
On the 14th May, on the Chris Smith programme on radio station 2GB, Kathy Jackson said that rumours of the Liberal party paying for her vast team of lawyers were rubbish. These lawyers, expensive lawyers, were all working for her for free – pro bono – she stated. Chris Smith, however, chose not to pursue the matter…
People can say whatever they like about Craig Thomson’s credibility and his explanation of events, however most people would find it totally unbelievable, and absolutely inconceivable, that these right wing lawyers, one of them from a Liberal Party aligned union busting “think tank”, would provide their services free to a union boss — especially one who pays herself a $270,000 salary.
So, it would seem there are many questions to be asked — and not just of Craig Thomson.
The mind boggles as to how someone who is a former employers’ barrister in their disputes with unions and was appointed to the AIRC by Tony Abbott as well as allegedly being a personal friend, is able to allegedly hack the emails of a Union official and then make a criminal complaint regarding this Union even while being the Vice President of the organisation actually in charge of investigating the same Union — as well as being the partner of the Union whistleblower most deeply enmeshed in the whole affair, who is soon to speak at a function for a union busting Liberal Party-aligned think tank, and who is being represented in all her actions against the union for free by the Liberal Party’s favourite lawyers — and yet none of this is widely reported in the media, or seemingly of any major interest to police?
Talk about conflicts of interest.
What is really going on here?
In my mind, all this puts question marks over the entire investigation — and makes me wonder about the Coalition’s direct involvement. After all, George Brandis repeatedly kept pushing for more investigations. If nothing else, Jackson, Lawler, Abbott – and the NSW police – have some serious questions to answer.
I don’t know how deep this runs but, like I said, I smell a rat.
http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/how-the-hsu-tangled-jackson-lawler-and-thomson-with-abbott/

Magda Hassan
05-30-2012, 03:08 PM
The Jackson and Lawler HSU tangle: Part TwoPosted by admin (http://www.independentaustralia.net/author/admin/) in Crime (http://www.independentaustralia.net/category/life/crime/), Investigations (http://www.independentaustralia.net/category/independent-australia-journal/investigations/), Politics (http://www.independentaustralia.net/category/politics/) on 17 May, 2012 10:25 pm / 3 comments (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-jackson-and-lawler-hsu-tangle-part-two/#commentspost)

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Peter Wicks (http://www.independentaustralia.net/about/ia-contributors/peter-wicks-bio/) reports on more murky events involving HSU union boss “whistleblower” Kathy Jackson, and the Vice President of the organisation charged with investigating her serious claims against Craig Thomson MP — her partner, Michael Lawler.
http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Jackson_Lawler.jpg (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Jackson_Lawler.jpg)[Read Part One here.] (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/how-the-hsu-tangled-jackson-lawler-and-thomson-with-abbott/)
In what can be described as an “action packed” lead up to the long awaited speech to be given in Parliament on Monday by embattled MP Craig Thomson, today came confirmation of a “knockout blow”.
Some of you may have read my report on the tangled web surrounding the Health Services Union HSU (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/how-the-hsu-tangled-jackson-lawler-and-thomson-with-abbott/), Fair Work Australia and the Coalition that was published here yesterday — now more information is coming to light.
The big news is that Michael Lawler, the Vice President of Fair Work Australia, has today been distanced from FWA affairs.
I contacted Fair Work Australia today after anonymous sources informed me that he had been stood down. Initially I spoke to Michael’s PA, who informed me she knew nothing — only that he was not in the office all day.
But the rumours persisted and I made contact with the FWA to ask about their veracity. Late this afternoon I was contacted by FWA’s Communications Manager, Judy Hughes, who informed me that in fact Michael was on what she called “Long Leave”.
She would not expand on what this meant, citing “privacy reasons”, however based on my earlier conversations with both her and Michael’s PA, I was left with the impression that this decision was taken rather suddenly.
Reasons for his “Long Leave” are, as yet, unclear — however questions are being raised as to whether it is connected with the HSU investigation into which his partner, Kathy Jackson, was the Union “whistleblower”. Questions have been raised about Lawler’s relationship with Tony Abbott, and how this may have had an influence on any investigations taking place in FWA which involved Craig Thomson.
The Fair Work Australia investigations findings were also dealt a heavy blow yesterday when the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) found that almost all (http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2012/s3504389.htm) the Union funds used in Craig Thomson’s election campaign had indeed been appropriately disclosed, with a question mark remaining over $17,000. This appears to have taken the sting out of the tail of both the FWA Investigation and the Coalition’s calls for Thomson’s vote to be considered “tainted”.
A source, who cannot be named, has today leaked to us an email trail that was saved as a PDF document, allegedly by Kathy Jackson, from what appears to be a computer within Fair Work Australia. The document has the name “Jackson” in the documents properties, and in the same properties it also tells us that the license for the software comes from Fair Work Australia.
We cannot share the contents of this file with you, though we can say that it involves an angry exchange of emails between Michael Williamson, and several HSU Representatives.
http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Kafka.png (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Kafka.png)Note name and date


http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Kafka1.png (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Kafka1.png)Note company


It is not totally clear why Jackson was allegedly distributing the emails, however the date is noteworthy. According to the document properties it was created on the 6th of May — the day before the findings of the FWA investigation were released. If this Jackson is Kathy Jackson, as our source alleges, it raises not questions about why Jackson, as the HSU secretary, would have access to the computers of Fair Work Australia — let alone on the day before it announced its findings on the investigation into her union.
At this stage, these facts are not confirmed and we cannot, of course, vouch for the veracity or authenticity of the document we have been leaked. However, FWA should be in a position to confirm whether Jackson has access to FWA computers and, through its logs, whether they were accessed at the time listed in the document properties.
In a strange parallel, we noted in Wednesday’s piece that Michael Lawler somehow seemed to have access to Union official Carol Glen personal emails.
From The Australian (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/industrial-relations/fair-work-australia-vice-president-drawn-into-hsu-row/story-fn59noo3-1226263184928) [February 2012, emphasis mine]:

Mr Lawler claims Ms Glen may have been given an inducement to give false evidence, noting that in a private email exchange with her partner in December, she had referred to a cheque she was going to pick up.
“I had ordered a bank cheque to pay my rent,” Ms Glen said, questioning how Mr Lawler had obtained her emails. She says she finds it extraordinary that Mr Lawler, the second highest industrial judge in the land, would engage in such a campaign.
Mr Lawler’s associate said it would be inappropriate for him to comment.
While we are on it, Craig Thomson has been painted by certain members of the mainstream press as something of a delusional man (http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/thomsons-alternative-reality-didnt-fit-the-facts-20120511-1yi4f.html) over the last few days, it’s fair to say. It is hard not to feel sorry for Craig’s family who must be having a hard time dealing with all the extra attention. I also spare a thought for Craig’s staff, who face the public daily in his electorate, as those seeking to make political capital try to act as judge, jury, and executioner.
Kathy Jackson has been touring the country telling anybody who will listen that Thomson’s conspiracy theories regarding fiddling credit cards, setting up people with prostitutes, and elaborate private expenses on a union credit card are all nonsense (http://www.news.com.au/national/craig-thomson-set-up-a-fantasy-says-health-services-union-whistleblower-kathy-jackson/story-e6frfkw9-1226353978753) — absolutely unheard of ridiculous stories.
As it happens, however, there was remarkably similar story (http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/craig-thomson-saga-hes-in-another.html) from a few years back, which also involves prostitutes, credit cards, and a HSU official being set up at the HSU:
From the The Weekend Australian (http://www.pitcher.com.au/Uploads/041109%20Cash%20Flows%20Put%20Union%20In%20A%20Jam %20-%20Weekend%20Australian.pdf) – April 2009:

“The statement of a Bendigo Gold Visa card allegedly issued to Jackson shows expenditure on services that fall far outside his normal duties. It includes a string of prostitutes, designer clothes, dental work, gourmet food and drinks at a favourite Melbourne hotel. Jackson challenges the authenticity of this credit card account and dismisses allegations he has misused any funds as part of a “dirty tricks campaign” mounted by opponents within his union…”
Of course, Kathy Jackson may have not remembered this case, as it was a while ago. Except for one minor detail — the person apparently set up, Jeff Jackson, happens to be her ex-husband. You would have thought she might remember that when she scoffingly dismissed Thomson’s claims.
In the meantime, Kathy Jackson has been travelling around doing interviews, telling everybody that will listen how badly the HSU East branch had been run.
Kathy has spoken out about how her members are doing it tough, as members are mostly made up of low paid workers. Therefore, Kathy tells us, it is sad to hear of members’ funds being wasted.
I wonder if she has spared that any thought as she travels around giving interviews, not to help members, but to condemn Craig Thomson. I also wonder how much she pondered on members funds when she set her own salary at over $270,000 per annum, making her one of the highest earners within the trade union movement. Maybe it was a consideration when she decided that the Union should supply her with a new SUV to get around in.
Once again, these latest events cast a huge shadow of doubt over any investigation that has been done into the HSU. As this story gets even murkier and less clear-cut by the hour, we await Monday’s parliamentary speech by Craig Thomson with bated breath.
http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-jackson-and-lawler-hsu-tangle-part-two/

Magda Hassan
05-30-2012, 03:11 PM
Craig Thomson’s kangaroo courtPosted by admin (http://www.independentaustralia.net/author/admin/) in Crime (http://www.independentaustralia.net/category/life/crime/), Law (http://www.independentaustralia.net/category/philosophy/law/), Politics (http://www.independentaustralia.net/category/politics/) on 20 May, 2012 8:31 pm / 6 comments (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/craig-thomsons-kangaroo-court/#commentspost)

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Craig Thomson has been only convicted in the kangaroo court of mainstream media and conservative politics — he is entitled to the presumption of innocence. Peter Wicks (http://wixxy.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/hangman-jury/) comments.

http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Craig_Thomson.jpg (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Craig_Thomson.jpg)Craig Thomson has been cruelly pre-judged by the Australian mass media.
I was thinking today how lucky we are to live in a country like Australia.
Australia is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but there are some things we can always rely on — well, nearly always. The presumption of innocence until proven guilty, for example; and at the end of the process of determining guilt or innocence, a punishment is only handed down upon guilt being found beyond reasonable doubt.
Some of you may have seen my posts last week on the serious questions that remain unanswered relating to the HSU saga; if not, here are links topart one (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/how-the-hsu-tangled-jackson-lawler-and-thomson-with-abbott/) and part two (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-jackson-and-lawler-hsu-tangle-part-two/). It is fair to say that I have received all types of correspondence, as has Independent Australia, since publishing these posts. However, it is interesting to note that not one person has disputed any of the facts mentioned in the posts — not one.
I did, however, want to take the opportunity to clear up some misconceptions and clarify a few points.
Firstly, I did approach some main stream media before doing the story myself. I won’t name any of the media outlets — however I will say, in their defence, that one of their major issues was time. My primary source had work commitments and it was unlikely that a story – that in part relied on access to that informant – was going to be able to be put together for broadcast or publication before Craig Thomson’s speech tomorrow. In addition to that, the person in question was not entirely comfortable fronting the media — given their own particular circumstances.
There are, however, those who have said that simply because the story did not come from a mainstream media source, then therefore it was unreliable. In fact, those who followed the links in the story would notice they led to numerous official documents, as well as mainstream media sources. So, my posts are as credible as those sources.
As I said, the facts presented in our stories do not appear to be in dispute. So, why aren’t they being reported in the mainstream media?
There are those who say that bloggers, and independent media publications like Independent Australia, do not have the accountability of those in the mainstream media and do not have as much to risk. To this argument, I would say: “What utter crap”.
The notion that somebody would rather take on a mainstream journalist or columnist, who has the backing of, say, News Ltd or Fairfax legal teams and their employers’ deep pockets, quicker than they would run the risk of taking on me, with my pocketful of change, or Independent Australia, in a defamation suit is, quite obviously, an insult to our intelligence.
On this note, both I and Independent Australia have received all kinds of information and correspondence relating to this story since its publication. Not everything has been published.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4fplHwc3jkI

Much of the information we received was both relevant, and also quite explosive in some cases. However, we chose not to publish information that could not be verified, or information that we considered private, such as emails. On the contrary to not being credible — I would regard our approach as more credible and ethical then the standard practices we see in much of the mainstream media. We did our due diligence — and then some.

On a different topic, what has completely humbled me is the number of messages, tweets, comments and feedback that we both have received from members of the Health Services Union. Every single one of these has been a message of support — and happiness that some previously unrevealed truths were starting to emerge.
We had all seen and heard Kathy Jackson telling her side of the story constantly for the last couple of months. I had also noticed the mysteriously sudden change of heart towards union members by both right-wing commentators and Liberal politicians — and their solemn words of concern for the Union’s well-being. It was really was quite touching…
Then after receiving all the correspondence from members of the HSU, a thought occurred to me.
That thought was:

“Never in my living memory has a union’s membership been so well spoken for, while ultimately nobody gets to hear what that membership thinks — or even what it wants heard.”
Plenty of people are speaking for them, but nobody it appears, is interested in using their words. How frustrating that must be…
That is one of the true tragedies in this whole sordid affair. After all, it is their money we are all talking about.
The other main misconception I want to address is that I am out to prove Craig Thomson’s innocence.
This has never been my intention, I am not in possession of all the facts in this case — and do not claim to know all there is to know. It would be irresponsible of me to declare Thomson innocent. However, it is just as irresponsible for anybody without ALL the facts to declare his certain guilt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=V3wj0cjujM0

If Craig does happen to be innocent, he must feel a little like Lindy Chamberlain must have felt all those years ago. Judged guilty by the press and public for years, only to be found innocent after years of horrendous abuse and suffering — even jail, in Lindy’s case.

If there is one thing worth believing in, it is the concept of innocent until proven guilty. I expectantly await Craig’s speech on Monday and will listen to what he says with an open mind. My only hope is that the rest of the nation does the same.
You may remember, at the start of this post I mentioned “reasonable doubt”.
In my mind, after researching the things I have published in my last two posts. I believe that there is ample evidence to suggest prima facie that there reasonable doubt about Craig Thomson’s guilt. Whether he is guilty or innocent will ultimately be determined by the courts, not politicians or the mainstream media — neither of which are in full possession of the facts, as we have shown.
I just hope that the debate after Monday can be kept civil.
After all, there is a family, and thousands of union members, whose heart breaks a little more each day as this debate rages like a wildfire out of control — and becomes more about character assassination and the desperate desire for political power, rather than any honest seeking of the truth.

http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/craig-thomsons-kangaroo-court/

Magda Hassan
05-30-2012, 03:15 PM
Craig Thomson under the rainPosted by admin (http://www.independentaustralia.net/author/admin/) in Crime (http://www.independentaustralia.net/category/life/crime/), Investigations (http://www.independentaustralia.net/category/independent-australia-journal/investigations/), Politics (http://www.independentaustralia.net/category/politics/) on 22 May, 2012 9:51 pm / 15 comments (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/craig-thomson-under-the-rain/#commentspost)

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After Craig Thomson’s speech to Parliament, many in the media and Opposition side of politics have gone back to their roles as judge, jury and executioner. Peter Wicks (http://www.independentaustralia.net/about/ia-contributors/peter-wicks-bio/) looks at some of the discrepancies — in the stories of his accusers.
[Read the other stories by Peter Wicks on IA about the Craig Thomson affair: Part 1 (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/how-the-hsu-tangled-jackson-lawler-and-thomson-with-abbott/), Part 2 (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-jackson-and-lawler-hsu-tangle-part-two/) andPart 3 (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/craig-thomson-under-the-rain/).]

http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Thomson_jackson.png (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Thomson_jackson.png)Craig Thomson (not Thompson) and his chief accuser, Kathy Jackson.
ON MONDAY, 21st May 2012, the Thomson Circus finally rolled into Canberra.
Twas the day the Honourable Member For Dobell, Craig Thomson, made his long awaited speech before the parliament and a packed press gallery. His aim? To prove the word “Honourable” in his title is justified.
I’m not going to try and convince you it was one of the greatest speeches ever in our parliament; nor am I going to try and convince you that it was a poor effort. You are all able to make up your own minds. Every journalist, commentator, shock jock, blogger and media hack – along with pretty much anyone with a Twitter account – has a view on Craig’s performance. And of course, all of them are right — apparently. I don’t want to talk about that.
What I want to talk about is the fallout from Craig Thomson’s speech. Whether his credibility is enhanced or diminished as a result of his speech and about those, apart from Craig, upon whom the spotlight will fall when some tough questions are finally asked of them — as must surely happen.
Firstly, regarding Craig Thomson’s claim of a set-up — about which in Parliament today Coalition attack dog Christopher Pyne dismissed as totally lacking any credibility.
This appears to be a strange statement, as there appear to be a few fairly obvious discrepancies in the evidence against Craig Thomson, which can be easily identified from the public record.
Firstly, let’s talk about Craig Thompson; that’s right, Thompson — with a “p”.
On the credit card imprints reportedly offered as evidence in December 2010 by Fairfax Media in their defence of Thomson’s defamation proceedings (which were eventually settled out of court) it was a person named “Thompson” (not Thomson, as Craig Thomson spells his name) who had received the notorious escort services.
According to Fairfax (http://www.smh.com.au/national/mp-linked-to-prostitutes-20101206-18mxe.html?skin=text-only) reporter Geesche Jacobsen, in a story published (http://www.petermartin.com.au/2011/08/maybe-craig-thompson-will-greet.html) on 10 December 2010 (emphasis mine):

‘The court was hearing legal argument in a defamation case brought by Mr Thomson, the Labor member for Dobell, against Fairfax Media, publisher of the Herald. The paper last year published allegations concerning the use of a credit card issued by Mr Thomson’s then employer, the Health Services Union.
‘Fairfax’s barrister, Sandy Dawson, told the court credit card statements for $2475 and $385 in Mr Thomson’s name showed two entries in the name of Keywed Pty Ltd Restaurant in Surry Hills, on April 9, 2005 and August 16, 2007. That company name was linked to the escort agency Sydney Outcalls, he said, and it was not unusual for adult services to make the entry on financial records ”look like a culinary experience rather than a more sensual one”.
‘The credit card vouchers for the transactions were issued in Mr Thomson’s name, were signed and noted a driver’s licence number. According to subpoenaed RTA records, a licence with that number was issued to Mr Craig Robert Thomson of Bateau Bay. NSW drivers’ photo licences can be used to verify a person’s identification.’

http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/2ue-Craig_Thompson.jpg (http://www.petermartin.com.au/2011/08/maybe-craig-thompson-will-greet.html)Evidence reportedly tendered by Fairfax in defamation proceedings brought against them by Craig Thomson.
As you can see by the image above, the surname on the credit card imprint purportedly made by Craig Thomson clearly says “Thompson”.
It is also a manual credit card imprint from one of those old fashioned credit card machines, which results in a receipt showing a carbon copy of the face of the credit card. In other words, the credit card alleged to have been used by Craig Thomson had his name spelt wrong.
Now, last time I opened a bank account they were pretty fussy about ID. They are quite careful to make sure your name is right for rather obvious reasons. Identity theft is, after all, a pretty big issue these days.
I would assume this to be even more important with a credit account — given it’s the banks money you are spending.
This evidence was introduced by Fairfax as “forensic evidence” of Craig Thomson’s use of prostitutes with a HSU credit card. Are they truly saying that Craig Thomson was using an official HSU credit card that was not even issued in his own name?
Has anyone questioned whether the credit card used for the imprint was actually such a poor forgery it didn’t even get the name of the target precisely correct? Bear in mind that the card was swiped manually, not through an EFT console, so any forgery would only need to duplicate the face of the card and not the magnetic strip.
Perhaps Fairfax’s investigative crime journalist Kate McClymont (https://twitter.com/#%21/kate_mcclymont), who wrote 12 stories about Craig Thomson without interviewing him once, as he noted in his speech, can explain this apparent discrepancy? We look forward to this obvious question being answered.
On the face of that, Craig Thomson’s arguments about identity theft appear to gain weight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=uFIT21YgSms

Secondly, Thomson stated in his speech that he had a water-tight alibi for three (http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/craig-thomsons-full-address-to-parliament-20120521-1z0vj.html?rand=1337582947420) of the occasions he was alleged to have used a brothel.
Craig Thomson said:

“Of the seven occasions that are set out, three of them could not be me. There are alibis: on two occasions my being with other people, and on one occasion being in Perth and not being in Sydney for the month around the alleged incident.”
Craig Thomson did not have an immediate alibi for the other four occasions, he said, which the usual talking heads in the media world and the Opposition seem to be inferring proves guilt. But, wait a minute… if he had an alibi for three of the occasions, doesn’t that actually actually show that his identityhad been stolen for at least three of the incidents. There is no other way to look at this — if Thomson truly can prove his whereabouts for those three incidents, then his argument about identity theft is proven. If this is the case, then the rest of the incidents must be called into question. Or, put another way, if Thomson’s identity was stolen on three occasions, then there obviously is a conspiracy against him — which throws the entire matter into doubt.
We would urge Thomson to come forward and show evidence to categorically prove his whereabouts for any of the incidents. If he cannot do this, his story loses credibility; but if he can, his assertions gain weight.
Without a thorough analysis of the source and circumstantial evidence, it is impossible to adjudicate on Thomson’s guilt or otherwise. But in any case, as we have shown, Thomson’s alleged use of prostitutes is not as clear-cut as it has been portrayed in the media, or by the Opposition, and should be left for the proper authorities to consider with all the appropriate facts at their disposal — not through a media/political Kangaroo Court (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/craig-thomsons-kangaroo-court/) as is currently, depressingly, occurring.
Next is the allegation that Thomson misused Union funds for his election campaign. Indeed, HSU Acting President Chris Brown alleged, after Thomson’s speech, that the money taken by Thomson for election campaigns had not been approved by the Union. After all, said Brown, as he was on the committee, he would have had to approve the expenditure. That leads me to a couple of queries.
Firstly, why has the Union not asked for the funds to be returned?
More importantly, if Chris was in charge of the Union’s funds, why did he not notice these funds go missing without sign-off? We are talking about a substantial sum of money here. Was he asleep at the wheel, bad at his job, just plain dumb, or maybe even complicit? These are reasonable questions that do not seem to have been asked by anyone.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=yeZm8vsG98o

Craig Thomson’s address to Federal Parliament (http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/craig-thomsons-full-address-to-parliament-20120521-1z0vj.html?rand=1337582947420) made mention of the behaviour of the press — in particular Channel Seven. Thomson broke down when he spoke about them lurking outside the bathroom window as his pregnant wife showered.
This is not the first time this Network has been attacked for going the extra mile in its portrayal of the news.
Who could possibly forget Tony Abbott criticising Channel Seven for their job on the infamous “shit happens” story (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/s-happens-tony-abbott-to-troops-after-lance-corporal-jared-mackinneys-death/story-e6freuy9-1226002358548)last year.
Before that, in NSW, we had the legendary David Campbell incident (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/media/seven-escapes-censure-despite-campbell-gay-club-privacy-breach/story-e6frg996-1226003624743). MP David Campbell was filmed leaving a gay club one night, with the flimsy public interest purpose offered by Seven being an allegation that he had driven a Government car to the premises.
Nevertheless, Channel 7 denies (http://images.smh.com.au/file/2012/05/22/3314912/seven-statement-may21.pdf?rand=1337614974563) Thomson’s allegations of hovering outside bathroom windows and, it seems, the majority of us accept it.
Some of you may have seen Kathy Jackson being interviewed on 7.30 (http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3507772.htm)by Chris Uhlmann, or heard her having a chat with Chris Smith on 2GB last week (http://www.2gb.com/index.php?option=com_podcasting&task=view&id=29&Itemid=41); if not, I have included links to the full interviews.
Chris Smith knows a little about workplace relations, having had some interesting experiences himself (http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/27718.html). Smith, prior to introducing Jackson, gives a summary of events that was, at best, a gross exaggeration and, at worst, a total fabrication.
But, rather than focus on that, I wanted to go over Jackson’s responses to Chris Uhlmann — who was a more objective interviewer than Smith. The following is taken from the transcript of the programme, to which I have added my comments underneath.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cSUIRCTyHNY


CHRIS UHLMANN: Did you witness a confrontation where a union official Marco Bolano said he would ruin Craig Thomson by setting him up with prostitutes?
KATHY JACKSON: I have never witnessed such a confrontation or meeting or clash or whatever you want to call it. That has never occurred.
Marco Bolano recalls things differently; he did recall the meeting, (http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/jackson-bolano-hit-back-at-thomson-claims/story-e6frg12c-1226362999025) though he denies any mention of prostitutes. He said the meeting was with a “half brother” of Thomson’s and that it was, indeed, a heated exchange.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Are you aware of any union officials before Mr Thomson being accused of consorting with prostitutes?
KATHY JACKSON: No.
For somebody who constantly refers to Thomson as “delusional”, this is an interesting answer. (In fact, Jackson calling Thomson delusional is itself an interesting statement, given Kathy Jackson herself reportedly suffered a mental breakdown and was committed to psychiatric care (http://m.theage.com.au/national/union-boss-in-thomson-probe-has-breakdown-20110903-1jrq3.html) in a Melbourne Hospital just last year.) But her disavowal here of any knowledge of any other officials being accused of visiting prostitutes is very interesting, when we consider the following link to a story in The Weekend Australian (http://www.pitcher.com.au/Uploads/041109%20Cash%20Flows%20Put%20Union%20In%20A%20Jam %20-%20Weekend%20Australian.pdf), which describes exactly the same kind of allegations being made against her very own ex-husband, Jeff Jackson, in 2009 — and which mentions her throughout as someone intimately involved in the whole affair.
Brad Norington writes (11/4/2009):

‘The allegations against Jackson, a senior figure in the ALP’s Victorian Right faction, have only come to light because of leaks after a nasty power struggle within the HSU’s No. 1 division. No one emerges as a cleanskin in this battle: certainly not Jackson’s main opponent, the HSU branch’s president Pauline Fegan. But the sloppy and sometimes sordid details of union spending at the HSU have emerged in the same week that one of its former officials, federal Labor MP Craig Thomson, has been forced to fend off allegations that he, too, used his union credit card on prostitutes before entering parliament at the 2008 federal election.’
Are we to believe that Kathy Jackson has an incredibly short memory span? Or is perhaps delusional herself? It would seem difficult to forget ABC Lateline filming you and your ex-husband only 3 years ago, as Norington writes in the same piece (http://www.pitcher.com.au/Uploads/041109%20Cash%20Flows%20Put%20Union%20In%20A%20Jam %20-%20Weekend%20Australian.pdf) — at the same time as providing some tantalising clues about Jackson’s possible motivations:

‘The position of Kathy Jackson in the HSU’s accounting mess is particularly crucial, because she was the whistleblower who alerted her union’s executive to the need to review credit card expenditure by her union predecessor Craig Thomson.
‘She is also central to the puzzle as Jeff Jackson’s feisty former wife and the head of a Victorian HSU branch in her own right (known as HSU No. 3). During an interview with ABC TV’s Lateline program on Thursday evening, Jackson could be seen telling her intruding former husband, “Thanks Jeff, shut the door.”
While the pair are estranged personally, they are believed to be on the same side politically. So Kathy Jackson’s method in seeking mass resignations and fresh election could be a tactical move, based on the belief that her ex-husband has enough support within the union to win back his position at the expense of Fegan.
Now, back to the ABC 7.30 interview between Uhlmann and Jackson:

CHRIS UHLMANN: Well Mr Thomson’s made many accusations about you as you have of him. He points out that you drive a union paid for Volvo, that your child care and gym fees are paid for, you have taken numerous overseas trips at the expense of the union and that you’re salary doubled in the weeks after he left at $270,000.
KATHY JACKSON: I reject all those claims. What I do say about the salary I’m quite interested in, what did he say …
She rejects all those claims? Jackson does, in fact, drive a union paid for for Volvo SUV.

KATHY JACKSON: [Discussing her $270,000 salary.] At mediation last week in the courts, as part of that mediation process, I put my hand up and said that I should get at least $100,000 salary cut, and that was rejected.
Wait up. Last week? Well, that’s timely. Her pay was, according to her in the same interview, massively increased to $270,000 in May last year — why did she accept such an increase if she thought it was exorbitant? And Jackson brought this up at a “mediation”? Now, unless the issue is within the terms of that particular mediation, it will be thrown out automatically as irrelevant to the proceedings. This seems to me to be a pre-planned tokenistic gesture….

CHRIS UHLMANN: Is there a conflict of interest here because your partner Michael Lawler is the vice President of Fair Work Australia?
KATHY JACKSON: No, not at all and I reject that claim totally. And Craig Thomson’s allegations are totally wicked against him. Michael Lawler is the Vice-President of Fair Work Australia, formerly the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Michael Lawler has suddenly gone on what FWA are calling “Long Leave” (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-jackson-and-lawler-hsu-tangle-part-two/). This happened last Friday in such a hurry that even his PA was unaware of it when I spoke to her. The question must be asked: why has Lawler suddenly vacated the scene – without his partner – if there are no suggestions of a conflict of interest?

CHRIS UHLMANN: Has Michael Lawler ever been involved with you in any of the strategy meetings with the HSU about any of the actions that you have got going?
KATHY JACKSON: Well, obviously, as my partner I talk to Michael about what I’m doing and as my partner I talk to him about not just HSU issues but other issues as well.
http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Abbott_judge_jury_executioner.jpg (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Abbott_judge_jury_executioner.jpg)Now, this shows the colossal conflict of interest. The police operation set up to investigate the HSU, Strikeforce Carnarvon was set up after Michael Lawler made the original police complaints (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/industrial-relations/fair-work-australia-vice-president-drawn-into-hsu-row/story-fn59noo3-1226263184928) about union corruption. The prospect of the Vice President of an investigative body being the partner of, and discussing the case with, his partner, who is head of the body under investigation, is an atrocious look for any investigation. Indeed, there are excellent grounds for this situation to be investigated by the Independent Commission Against Corruption. It is somewhat akin to Ivan Milat going out to dinner and spending the night with the judge at his trial.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Does Michael Lawler have connections with the Liberal Party as Craig Thomson suggests?
KATHY JACKSON: Not that I know of.
Should that perhaps be “No Specific Knowledge”, the Coalition’s current standard get-out clause (http://trademinister.gov.au/transcripts/2012/ce_tr_120505.html), used ad infinitum by Pyne, Brough and Abbott over claims they assisted James Ashby in his case against Independent MP Peter Slipper?

CHRIS UHLMANN: You mentioned the HR Nicholls society, who is paying your legal bills?
KATHY JACKSON: I’m paying my legal bills. Um … I’ve got a $40,000 debt already. That the union won’t pay for. And Brett Shields for Reid Zafp are doing all the work pro-bono and so is Stewart Ward.
With Chris Smith on 2GB, Jackson stated “no-one is paying those fees” and that “all are doing it pro-bono” — so, where did the $40,000 debt figure come from?

CHRIS UHLMANN: Are you still using Harmers workplace lawyers?
KATHY JACKSON: Yes I am.
CHRIS UHLMANN: And are they doing that work pro-bono?
KATHY JACKSON: Yes they are.
CHRIS UHLMANN: Are you aware that it’s the same law firm that’s representing James Ashby the man who has accused the Speaker of sexual harassment.
KATHY JACKSON: I am now.
Given the media attention, it would seem to be beyond belief that Jackson would not have been aware of this fact by last night. In any case, she did not look in the slightest bit shocked or surprised at this revelation in the interview.

CHRIS UHLMANN: And why do you think Harmers workplace lawyers is representing you pro-bono?
KATHY JACKSON: I think they are representing me pro-bono because they believe in my case. I’m not making this up. The allegations that I have taken to the police are serious and genuine. I have not made these allegations to set Craig Thomson up or anybody up.
How nice of them. If legal firms operated in that manner, they would only charge a fraction of their clients — as I’m sure they believe in many, if not most, of their cases. By Jackson’s logic, if Harmer’s charge a client for their services, they must think they are guilty, or not believe in their case — a ridiculous proposition and one that shows a lack of transparency by Jackson.
In my view, for the reasons described – and others – Kathy Jackson did not seem to me to be at all a convincing witness, especially given her statement contained significant unexplained discrepancies with the public record. Her response on 7.30, in all, would appear to lend added credibility to Craig Thomson’s claims. Of especial note is that Jackson did not deny that Michael Lawler was involved in strategy meetings with the HSU.
Of course, all this may be entirely coincidental and the Jackson-Lawler-Liberal connection may be entirely innocent. Thomson may, indeed, be guilty. However, he deserves the presumption of innocence — especially given the waters are so murky.
In any case, the debate about Craig Thomson’s guilt or innocence will rage on for a while yet, since the Independent MPs Andrew Wilkie and Tony Windsor say they will not support any motion to suspend him from Parliament.
If there is a positive outcome from yesterday’s speech, it is that it was good to see and hear another side to the story starting to come out at long, long, last.
We can’t know who is guilty of who is pure at this stage. At this stage, only one thing is really for sure — and that is that the accusations will keep raining down thick and fast.
It will be interesting to see who is best covered — and who remains dry after the downpour…
http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/craig-thomson-under-the-rain/

Magda Hassan
05-30-2012, 03:19 PM
Thomson and Jackson 5: Sticky fingersPosted by admin (http://www.independentaustralia.net/author/admin/) in Crime (http://www.independentaustralia.net/category/life/crime/), Investigations (http://www.independentaustralia.net/category/independent-australia-journal/investigations/), Politics (http://www.independentaustralia.net/category/politics/) on 25 May, 2012 5:30 pm / 10 comments (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/thomson-and-jackson-5-sticky-fingers/#commentspost)

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She spoke out not to get Craig Thomson MP, she said, but to clean up the HSU. But, in a stunning IA exclusive, Peter Wicks (http://www.independentaustralia.net/about/ia-contributors/peter-wicks-bio/) uncovers compelling documentary evidence to suggest HSU “whistleblower” Kathy Jackson may have herself misappropriated Union funds.


http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Kathy_Jackson.png (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-05-03/the-hsu-anatomy-of-a-labor-nightmare/3986558)HSU national secretary Kathy Jackson (image courtesy ABC).
It has been almost a week now since Australians sat mesmerised as they watched Craig Thomson tell his side of the HSU saga in an address to Federal Parliament, where he still sits — although now as an Independent member.
And it has been almost 2 weeks since Independent Australia first broke the story of the tangled web behind the scenes of the Fair Work Australia Investigation. A web made up of a Liberal Party aligned think tank; the Liberal Party’s favourite lawyers; a factional battle; a Union “whistleblower”; this whistleblower’s partner; the whistleblower’s partner’s mate, the Opposition leader; and the whistleblowers partner’s organisation – where the partner is 2nd in charge – doing a five year investigation and finally issuing a report full of findings — most of which were dismissed (http://www.news.com.au/national/craig-thomson-cleared-of-dodgy-election-funding/story-e6frfkvr-1226357611368) by the Australian Electoral Commission within just a few days.
If you have not read our previous articles, it is worth reading them here for background into this investigation.
[Read the previous stories in this series: Part One (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/how-the-hsu-tangled-jackson-lawler-and-thomson-with-abbott/), Part Two (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-jackson-and-lawler-hsu-tangle-part-two/), Part Three (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/craig-thomsons-kangaroo-court/) and Part Four (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/craig-thomson-under-the-rain/).]
The original article Independent Australia published was highly controversial. It highlighted a web of connections that have raised questions about the credibility and good faith of the union whistleblower, Kathy Jackson, and exposed the massive conflicts of interest of Fair Work Australia’s Vice President, Michael Lawler.
These issues have placed a huge question mark over the entire Fair Work Australia investigation and its findings — most of which have been disproved by the AEC anyway, as we said before.
It is worth remembering that there have been seven – that’s right, seven – prior investigations that have each concluded that Craig Thomson had no case to answer. This FWA investigation, however, has been the first investigation to be conducted by the body for which Craig’s accuser, Kathy Jackson’s partner, holds the position of Vice President. With this in mind, the results should come as no real surprise.
The FWA investigation was set up to investigate financial irregularities within the Health Services Union. Most of the findings, however, centred around Craig Thomson. Kathy Jackson, in contrast, comes up smelling like roses in her partner’s organisation’s investigation — what a shock that was.
http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Jackson_Lawler.jpg (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Jackson_Lawler.jpg)
The FWA investigation lasted five long years — longer than World War One; longer than many people spent in high school; longer, even, than every Australian Big Brother series to date combined.
In the process of their investigation, FWA had access to the HSU files, records, offices, computers, staff, and even organized a police raid. Over five years, they had all the time, resources and personnel for a completely thorough and meticulous investigation of every aspect of the HSU.
However, in just over five days, with none of the other resources FWA had access to, we have uncovered new evidence that FWA – Kathy Jackson’s partner’s team – conveniently missed.
It is fair to say that the allegations against Craig Thomson are based primarily on information provided by Jackson. The evidence, which Thomson disputes and the other seven investigations dismissed, was presented by Fair Work Australia — the organisation where Michael Lawler, Jackson’s partner, is Vice President.
Paramount to the Opposition bringing Craig Thomson down, is maintaining the integrity of Kathy Jackson, Michael Lawler, and the Fair Work Australia investigation. That combined with a sickening display of personal attacks from the Coalition that have highlighted the inner ugliness of some of the Liberal front bench. And after all the muck-racking and personal attacks from the Coalition frontbench, Tony Abbott today had the audacity to suggest that Craig Thomson resign from Parliament (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/craig-thomson-should-be-allowed-to-quit-tony-abbott-announces/story-e6freuzr-1226366800399) — apparently for his own good. This whole Craig Thomson affair has a nauseating stench to it — and very little of it seems to be coming from the man so much under attack.
Especially given I have in my possession many documents that have come from within the HSU that go towards the integrity of Craig’s accusers. These include copies of transactions, copies of cheque butts, original cheque requisitions, and remittances with signatures — all show details of transactions would appear to be extremely irregular.
For legal reasons, we cannot show most of these documents, however there are a few we will share with you here. Both myself and Independent Australia would like to make clear that all of the original documents that are in my possession will be made available for any investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption or any Police investigation. I am also happy to provide copies for any kind of parliamentary enquiry. Some of these documents raise important questions that I will put out there now.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cSUIRCTyHNY

Firstly, as some of you may remember, during an interview on ABC’s 7.30 (http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3507772.htm) programme on Monday, Kathy Jackson answered “I reject all those claims” when asked whether the Union paid for specific things such as her gym, car, and also child care.
Here is the relevant exchange:

CHRIS UHLMANN: Well Mr Thomson’s made many accusations about you as you have of him. He points out that you drive a union paid for Volvo, that your child care and gym fees are paid for, you have taken numerous overseas trips at the expense of the union and that you’re salary doubled in the weeks after he left at $270,000.
KATHY JACKSON: I reject all those claims….
This link (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Child-Care-Documents.pdf), however, shows records of payments from the Health Services Union to Minifie Park Child Care Association. Some transactions are identified as “Staff Benefits”, and one as “Staff Uniforms”. Some of the electronic transaction records even show Kathy Jackson’s child’s name as a reference.
http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Minifie_child_care.png (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Minifie_child_care.png)
The Minifie Park Child Care Centre is, quite literally, just around the corner from Kathy Jackson’s residence, where she allegedly spends most nights with Fair Work Australia’s Vice President Michael Lawler. When I contacted the child care centre, I was told that they do not have uniforms. However, when I asked what staff benefits there are being paid for with HSU member’s funds, I was told by their Director, Julie Oliver, quite abruptly, to contact their solicitor, whose details I was not given.
These transactions seem to suggest that not only was Jackson concealing the truth during her interview on 7.30, but also that she may have been using Union funds to pay her substantial child care costs and was allegedly hiding the transactions in different accounts as general HSU expenses.
Secondly, I also have original cheque requisitions (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Cheque-Requisition.pdf) and remittances in my possession that bear the approval signature of a Kathy Jackson. These documents detail payments, and have matching cheque numbers for payments, made to a company called Neranto No 10 — mostly for consultancy services. There are a rather large number of these payments, so I thought it best to have a look at Neranto No 10.
A company search (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Creditor-Watch-Neranto-Pty-Ltd.pdf) shows that Neranto No 10 was from 1994, until it was deregistered on 16 November 2008, owned and directed by Jeffrey Peter Jackson and Katherine Koukouvaos. Koukouvaos is Kathy Jackson’s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Jackson) maiden name and Jeffrey Jackson is her former husband.
http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/neranto10.png (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Creditor-Watch-Neranto-Pty-Ltd.pdf)
There are also documents that give a detailed breakdown (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Requisition-13-March-97.pdf) of the hours of consultancy work being invoiced, and also details of travel expenses (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Requisition-18-April-97.pdf). These hours are totalled up and invoiced (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Remittance-25-august-98.pdf). It is important to remember that at the time these hours were being invoiced from her company, Neranto No 10, Jackson was also being paid a wage by the HSU.
There are several companies registered in Victoria that bear the name Neranto, they go all the way to No 15. It would be interesting to know how many of these are owned by Jackson, and which organisation is their biggest client.
The HSU No 3 Branch of which Kathy Jackson was General Secretary before the branch merged into HSU East, declared expenditure of $276,028 for consultancy fees between 2004 and 2008, that is over a quarter of a million dollars. I believe it warrants investigation in order to determine just how much of that expenditure ended up being paid to a company owned by Kathy Jackson — the person, it would appear, who approved the cheque requisitions.
Of course, there may be a perfectly innocent explanation for all this…
In the meantime, I believe what the union members would like to see is some transparency from Jackson. By this, I mean opening up the financial records of these companies so that it can be determined to what extent the membership were invoiced for the companies “consultancy services”.
I do have to ask though, if these seemingly irregular transactions could be found so quickly by me, then shouldn’t one question the why Fair Work Australia did not uncover them. With glaring irregularities such as this missed, and Craig Thomson bearing the brunt of the allegations, I have to question why.
Given that these irregularities involve Jackson, the partner of Fair Work Australia’s Vice President, Michael Lawler, only heightens my curiosity.
Also given that Craig Thomson’s expulsion from parliament would likely cause the Labor Government to collapse, thus elevating Tony Abbott – the man who appointed Lawler to his position – to Prime Minister makes the investigation seem even more questionable.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Wm28jYV7388

It is my belief that the financial irregularities within the HSU that involve Kathy Jackson warrant further investigation. I am not saying that she is guilty, as I believe guilt should be determined by a court, not by me, or the Leader Of Opposition Business. I would also like to see someone ensure that any funds that may have been taken fraudulently from members are returned as soon as possible — if such a thing is proven to have occurred.
Given these findings, and given the relationship between Kathy Jackson and Michael Lawler, whom Kathy acknowledged discussing HSU matters with on the ABC’s 7.30 this week, I have major questions as to the integrity of the Fair Work Australia investigation. Particularly when one considers that as she was discussing these matters with her partner he was Vice President (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/how-the-hsu-tangled-jackson-lawler-and-thomson-with-abbott/) of the organisation investigating the Union where she was Secretary.
In addition to this, you may remember, from one of our previous articles (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-jackson-and-lawler-hsu-tangle-part-two/), that Jackson appeared to have access to a Fair Work Australia computer which she appears to have saved documents from. Imagine an organised crime figure being allowed access to the investigation files on his crime syndicate while an investigation is in place
Adding to my doubts on the investigations integrity, is the decision for both the head investigator of Fair Work Australia, and Michael Lawler to suddenly go on “Long Leave” last Friday. This was the working day before Craig Thomson’s speech, and also not long after Independent Australia raised questions regarding Lawler’s involvement and conflicts of interest.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2nrqF0fZb6M

It is fortunate for Jackson that she is receiving free legal services from both James Ashby’s lawyer, and also Stuart Wood in Melbourne. You may remember Wood is from HR Nicholls, a Liberal Party aligned Think Tank dedicated to destroying trade unionism, with former Coalition frontbencher Peter Reith as a board member and contributors such as Andrew Bolt, Eric Abetz, Peter Costello, Michael Kroger, and of course Tony Abbott. Kathy Jackson is, against the wishes of the HSU, soon to speak at a HR Nicholls function — strange behaviour for a trade unionist. (You can see who attends and speaks at these functions by watching the video above.)
As I said before, we are happy to provide all the documents we are in possession of for any official investigation into this matter — we have them in a safe place. Again, we are not stating that anybody is guilty or innocent of any crime, only putting a case forward for further investigation into the Union and maybe even Fair Work Australia itself.
Suddenly, Craig Thomson’s so called “conspiracy theories” are beginning to look more and more believable — as details and documents, such as the ones shown here, emerge.
Tony Abbott has called Kathy Jackson “credible” and “heroic” (http://www.cqnews.com.au/story/2012/04/10/jackson-credible-tony-abbott/) — and this is something he may come to regret. Call it a hunch, but I think Jackson’s free legal services from one of the Liberal Party’s nearest and dearest may come in quite handy.
But, then again, that’s just a hunch.
http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/afternoon_tea.png (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/afternoon_tea.png)
http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/thomson-and-jackson-5-sticky-fingers/

Magda Hassan
05-30-2012, 03:24 PM
Thomson 6: Kathy Jackson and the HSU $½ millionPosted by admin (http://www.independentaustralia.net/author/admin/) in Crime (http://www.independentaustralia.net/category/life/crime/), Investigations (http://www.independentaustralia.net/category/independent-australia-journal/investigations/), Politics (http://www.independentaustralia.net/category/politics/) on 29 May, 2012 11:00 pm / 13 comments (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/thomson-6-the-falling-few-and-the-fall-guy/#commentspost)

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Another ground-breaking investigative report from Peter Wicks (http://www.independentaustralia.net/about/ia-contributors/peter-wicks-bio/) shows evidence of huge unexplained payments being made to HSU “whistleblower” Kathy Jackson — as Craig Thomson’s so-called “conspiracy theories” begin to look more and more believable.


THE NEWS has finally broken (http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/shorten-to-take-advice-on-lawler-letter-20120529-1zg2q.html) in the mainstream media.
At the Senate Estimates Committee hearing yesterday, the recently appointed Fair Work Australia President, Justice Iain Ross, scotched any suggestions his colleague and 2IC, Michael Lawler, had in any way interfered in the Fair Work Australia investigation into the Health Services Union — where Lawler’s partner, Kathy Jackson, is the national secretary.
Mr Lawler had assured him this had not happened, Ross averred, and no-one had provided him, personally, with any evidence anything untoward had occurred and, in any case, he didn’t even have thepowers to investigate a lofty senior “member” of the judiciary — which is what Lawler is, apparently. So, that’s that.
You can read more about Justice Iain Ross’ comments, who also appeared on ABC 7.30 (http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3512917.htm) last night, byclicking here. (http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/political-news/no-evidence-of-interference-in-hsu-inquiry-says-fair-work-president-20120528-1zdu7.html)
Michael Lawler was, of course, unavailable to answer questions at the hearing yesterday, as he had been away on “long leave” — whatever that means. Clearly, his recreation was more important than appearing in front of the Senate.
Also unavailable to answer questions from the Senate was the single FWA investigator, Terry Nassios, who prepared a report (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/fwa-report-into-hsu.pdf) so damning of Craig Thomson, now an MP, that it may have the power to bring down the Federal Government.
[Download Terry Nassios’ report into the HSU in PDF.] (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/fwa-report-into-hsu.pdf)
Now, there is no reason to suggest, apart from Thomson’s allegations of bias (http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=754891&vId=), that Terry Nassios is anything other than the career public servant doing his job “without fear or favour” — as he said he described himself to Craig Thomson when Thomson first raised the issue of Michael Lawler and Kathy Jackson with him. And, like Ross suggested, there may not be any immediate evidence of Lawler interfering in the investigation — indeed, Nassios claims, in his report, never to have spoken to Lawler — and there is no particular reason to doubt him.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kA40bwaZ15Y

However, as we have written about (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/how-the-hsu-tangled-jackson-lawler-and-thomson-with-abbott/) over the past fortnight, with the evidence of Michael Lawler’s massive conflicts of interest, which also includes his active involvement in HSU politics on behalf of Kathy Jackson (as has now finally been reported by the ABC (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-05-28/fair-work-australia-vice-president-deeply-involved-in-hsu-fight/4038274) in the last 24 hours), Lawler’s seniority within the FWA does lead many, including us, to have deep misgivings about the even-handedness and veracity of the FWA investigation. This is magnified when we consider that it appears as if Kathy Jackson has had access to FWA computers, and used them to send HSU material, as we’ve previously reported (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-jackson-and-lawler-hsu-tangle-part-two/).
[If you have not read our previous articles, it is worth reading them here for background into this investigation: Part One (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/how-the-hsu-tangled-jackson-lawler-and-thomson-with-abbott/), Part Two (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-jackson-and-lawler-hsu-tangle-part-two/), Part Three (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/craig-thomsons-kangaroo-court/), Part Four (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/craig-thomson-under-the-rain/) & Part Five (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/thomson-and-jackson-5-sticky-fingers/).]
These reservations are multiplied again, when one considers that when Nassios asked the HSU to provide all the financial and management records for the time period that Craig Thomson was working for the HSU — it was Kathy Jackson who personally delivered the 4 boxes of records, containing just 12 folders.
That’s right, Craig Thomson’s main accuser was the one who checked out all the records and then personally delivered them to the FWA.
Once Nassios checked through the records, he found that many documents he had expected to find, like the minutes of all HSU national office board meetings, were not included in those 12 folders.
Nassios says he rang the HSU but was unable to talk to Kathy Jackson as she had left the country, so he asked other staff there if there were any records that had failed to be delivered to him. The staff assured him that he had been given the records but couldn’t confirm that this was, in fact, the case. All they could say definitively was that Kathy Jackson had checked out all the records — none of them were present when she delivered the documents.
Strangely, Nassios concludes in the report that since the documents – like the minutes of the board meetings – had fone missing and since the staff of the HSU say all of the documents were sent to him, then that this must mean that Craig Thomson didn’t make these records. This is despite Thomson asserting repeatedly that all the records and minutes were there when he left the HSU.

http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Boxes_from_jackson-1024x392.png (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/fwa-report-into-hsu.pdf)From Terry Nassios’ investigation into HSU, p.36

The first question that should be asked is why a senior union official, who was being paid over a quarter of a million dollars per annum, plus benefits, was doing such a mundane job as being a courier?
Secondly, what proof is there that she actually delivered all the records?
Thirdly, why did Nassios not question the fact that Jackson had just had unrestricted access to the records immediately before they came into his possession?
It seems that one of the reasons the FWA report took so long to complete was that Nassios was, right up until the 2nd half of last year, still trying to get the missing board minutes from the FWA. If Craig Thomson is actually telling the truth about trying to implement proper procedures, controls and standards of accounting at the HSU while being actively resisted by Kathy Jackson— then those minutes going missing would indeed be most advantageous to Jackson, as they would be the exact records that could prove this one way or the other.
It is an unusual element of the Nassios report that is damning of Craig Thomson and Michael Williamson, yet mentions few other parties. About Kathy Jackson, was just minor one adverse finding, as opposed to the scores listed against the other two, who were both Jackson’s factional enemies.
From our investigations, however, it is abundantly clear that the rot in the HSU was far more extensive than just one or two corrupt individuals. And the more I look into it, the more information I uncover, and the more documents that find their way into my hands — the more I understand why HSU members are so livid. The following video is instructive as to the extent of the factional in-fighting and allegations of corruption by multiple officials at the HSU:



There are those who have pointed out to me that, according to the Murdoch press (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/abbott-has-sympathy-for-thomson/story-e6freuy9-1226364243419), Craig Thomson has over $500,000 worth of union money to explain. Many of these people point out that the approximately $26,000 of questionable Union funds that we have exposed – which Craig’s accuser Kathy Jackson needs to explain – is small-fry in comparison.
Contrary to those assertions, the Australian Electoral Commission has cleared (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-05-16/thomson-cleared-of-most-campaign-spending/4014284) has, in fact, cleared most of the accusations about Craig’s electoral funding, which apparently made up the bulk of the $500,000. This in turn has brought the amount of unexplained funding down to about $17,000. It must also be remembered, these funds were used for union advertising, as part of the anti-WorkChoices campaign — not going straight to Thomson’s bank account. There are no allegations I can find that suggest any payments had been made directly to Craig Thomson.
Craig’s main accuser, the so called “union whistle blower” Kathy Jackson, would like us all to believe that she had the union members best interests at heart — that she merely wanted to clean up the HSU (http://www.cleanuphsueast.com/).
On the ABC’s 7.30 (http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3507772.htm), she told Chris Uhlmann that she thought she was overpaid, and had tried to have her salary reduced by $100,000:

CHRIS UHLMANN: Doesn’t that seem a little excessive… [discussing Kathy Jackson’s pay rise to $270,000]
KATHY JACKSON: Yes, it does.
CHRIS UHLMANN: … for someone who represents some of the poorest workers in Australia?
KATHY JACKSON: I agree with you but let’s look at the history of this. As I said previously this was rammed through the council, by Michael Williamson and his people. We objected to it. The Victorians ran a case against it to the council, it was in camera.
I wasn’t at the meeting. We were asked to leave. The New South Wales councillors rammed this proposal through.
At mediation last week in the courts, as part of that mediation, process, I put my hand up and said that I should get at least $100,000 salary cut, and that was rejected.

<em style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: none; outline: 0px; ">
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSUIRCTyHNY&amp;feature=player_embedded

It appears, judging by this statement, that Jackson does not like to see unnecessary expenditure and, indeed, is willing to make personal sacrifices for the good of the members. It is commendable, yet rather odd, that after receiving this salary for years, she had only chosen to address her excessive pay now — still, better late than never, I guess.
While Kathy Jackson’s statement on 7.30 may seem honourable to some – including Tony Abbott, whocalled her a hero (http://www.cqnews.com.au/story/2012/04/10/jackson-credible-tony-abbott/) – documents that have come into my possession paint a rather different picture.
[NOTE: All documents, by the way, will be turned over to any police or official investigation upon request. We want to make clear that we have no – and never at any time had any – intention of retaining possession of these documents and will make all reasonable efforts, once our investigations are complete, to return all items to their rightful and lawful owners.]

http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Honorarium-1024x533.png (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/63K-Honorarium-Payment.pdf)From the HSU Vic No. 3 Branch minutes: Kathy Jackson’s “honorarium”
According to these documents, Kathy Jackson claimed, and was paid, $63,000 on 30 June 2010. The payment was called an “honorarium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honorarium)” and was, according to the HSU – Victorian Branch No. 3 minutes (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/63K-Honorarium-Payment.pdf), simply performing her duties as the Branch Secretary and were in addition to her $270,000 annual salary. If somebody really wanted to reduce their wage by $100,000 then, to me, it would seem logical not to claim an extra $63,000 when it was not necessary she do so.
Even more seriously, the 2010 Auditors by Agostinelli and Perlen (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/2010-Auditors-report.pdf), Chartered Accountants, into the HSU – Vic No. 3 Branch has a payment that stands out alarmingly, to say the very least.
On page 18 of that report, it shows an amount described as “Key Management Personnel Compensation”. The only recipient listed is Katherine Jackson — and it is for $522,570. That’s over half a million dollars taken from some of the nation’s lowest paid workers.
Now, it doesn’t take Albert Einstein to understand that this is a lot of money for a union official to receive in a single payment. Also, bear in mind that this is also in addition to Jackson’s $270,000 salary as well as all of the “consultancy fees” her companies have charged the union — which have totalled $36,867.46 for Neranto No 10, and $4,860.72 for K Koukouvaos Consulting, where as an ABN does not appear on the invoice, I understand this makes them direct payments. (Given no ABN appeared, it would also be useful to know whether all the appropriate taxation has been paid on these fees.)

http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Jackson-payment-2010-1024x320.png (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/2010-Auditors-report.pdf)From 2010 audior’s report: Key Management Personnel Compensation for Kathy Jackson
One of the other worrying things in the auditor’s report is on page 19. Considering the over a half million dollar payment detailed on the page before, it is a timely reminder that Kathy Jackson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Jackson) was, until very recently, also a trustee of H.E.S.T. Australia — the Industry Super Fund for the health industry.
Independent Australia and I have both have received numerous anonymous tips to look into the HESTA fund and its trustee’s. Unfortunately, we have not had the time to thoroughly do so. It is, however, interesting to note that on 15 August 2007, there is a payment for Accommodation and Travel (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/HESTA-Travel-Payment.pdf) to Kathy Jackson marked ‘HESTA’ for $13,100. That’s some travel expense.
Indeed, in just two weeks, we have found payments to Kathy Jackson, and to her children’s Child Care Centre, totalling $659,063.18. Bear in mind that Kathy Jackson is not an investment banker, she is a union official representing low-paid healthy service workers.
Below is a breakdown:


$4,860.72 – K. Koukavaos Consulting (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/J-Jacksons-resignation-and-more-consultancy-payments.pdf)



$36,867.46 – Neranto No. 10, for consultancy services (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/thomson-and-jackson-5-sticky-fingers/)



$13,100 – Katherine Jackson direct, for Accommodation and travel HESTA (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/HESTA-Travel-Payment.pdf)



$12,500 – Katherine Jackson direct, for postage and shipping (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/postage-payment.pdf). Apparently lots of shipping…



$63,000 – Katherine Jackson direct, for an Honorarium payment (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/63K-Honorarium-Payment.pdf)



$6,165 – Minifie Park Child Care Association, apparent staff benefits and uniforms (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Child-Care-Documents.pdf)



$522,570 – Katherine Jackson direct – Key Management Personnel Compensation (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/2010-Auditors-report.pdf)

Documentation of these payments may be accessed on our site via the links mentioned above.
Of course, there may be reasonable explanations for all these payments.

http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Jackson-friends.png (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Jackson-friends.png)In happier days: (from left) Kathy Jackson; Christa Thomson (Craig’s former wife); former HSU official and now Victorian Labor MP Kaye Darveniza; and an unknown person.
It is worth noting that all of these payments were discovered with extremely limited access and in only 2 weeks; one can only imagine what a forensic accountancy team would find with full access over a month.
We have had mountains of documentation to wade through, and there is much more to come in this saga. I have been lucky enough to have my wife Felicity going through documentation and helping to proofread my posts, as well as IA managing editor David Donovan who assisted in the investigation and putting together the final versions of the stories. I would also like to thank the vast numbers of people who have sent messages of support, and particularly to all the HSU members who have offered information and assistance. These good people just want their union back from those who have hijacked it.
It is starting to appear as there could be a large number of people who were using HSU funds like personal bank accounts. It may be that of the many involved, all they needed was a fall guy; and who better than someone who was, perhaps, trying to clean up the Union — Craig Thomson.
Of course, this is speculation and again, I must stress, we are not claiming that Craig is innocent; what we are saying, though, is that he should be considered such until proven guilty by a lawful and properly constituted (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/craig-thomsons-kangaroo-court/) court — as should Kathy Jackson.
In the thousands of messages we have received, there was just one that expressed concern for Jackson’s partner, Michael Lawler, Vice President of Fair Work Australia. Lawler has, as we’ve reported (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-jackson-and-lawler-hsu-tangle-part-two/), been on “Long Leave” suddenly the working day before Thomson’s address to parliament and has been keeping a low profile since.
We have some good news for that person, and anyone else with concerns for Lawler. According to several eye-witness reports we have received, he was spotted last week looking dapper and as fresh as a daisy in a café, having a cuppa with his partner Kathy Jackson, along with the manager of Opposition Business Christopher Pyne.
The same Christopher Pyne who had a late night drinking session James Ashby (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/on-the-slippery-slope-with-slippery-pete/).
Hmmm…

http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Jackson-and-friend.png (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Jackson-and-friend.png)Kathy Jackson and Victorian Labor MP Martin Pakula.

http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/thomson-6-the-falling-few-and-the-fall-guy/

Magda Hassan
05-30-2012, 03:40 PM
Some uncovering of the Peter Slipper scam.



The Peter Slipper illusionPosted by admin (http://www.independentaustralia.net/author/admin/) in Politics (http://www.independentaustralia.net/category/politics/) on 6 May, 2012 12:01 am / 6 comments (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-peter-slipper-illusion/#commentspost)

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With LNP powerbrokers Mal Brough and Christopher Pyne now having been revealed to have met James Ashby at least six times (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-05-05/labor-seizes-on-brough-slipper-link/3993338) in the immediate lead-up to his civil and criminal claims against Speaker Peter Slipper, Ian Harris (http://www.theblowfly.com.au/2012/04/slipper-affair-could-be-illusion.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+theblowfly+%28The+Blowfly%29) asks if the whole affair is just an illusion.
http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/peter-slipper-and-james-ashby.jpg (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/peter-slipper-and-james-ashby.jpg)James Ashby and Peter Slipper

I have been pondering the current state of politics in Australia.
I am a keen reader and recently came across a quote from Galileo:

“Long experience has taught me this about the status of mankind with regard to matters requiring thought : the less people know and understand about them, the more positively they attempt to argue concerning them, while on the other hand to know and understand a multitude of things renders men cautious in passing judgment upon anything new.”
It also neatly aligned with my recent re-discovery of the notion of illusion in our lives.
You might recall that George Bush and John Howard went to war in Iraq because they had ‘evidence’ that Saddam Hussein had ‘weapons of mass destruction’ at his disposal. This proved not to be the case.
Financial collapses are often born out of illusion. The figures show one thing but, when you get in behind and understand the reality, another scenario is revealed.
Magicians are working with illusion all the time. They cut people in half and put them back together again. They pull a rabbit from a hat. A coin from behind their ear. Illusion was Harry Houdini’s bread and butter.
And politicians work with illusion too!
Many people see the current situation with the Speaker as being a failure of Gillard’s judgement in trying to retain some semblance of advantage in a hung parliament.
Others see it as the result of a successful campaign by an Opposition leader who sees it as his divine right to become Prime Minister.
But it is possible that there is a deeper more complex agenda playing out behind these obvious facades which fill our newspapers, TV’s, radios and web-pages.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNUJ_lQiqAA&amp;feature=player_embedded

Let me speculate for a moment.
Let’s say that you were a purveyor of oil. You have wells, refineries and service stations all over the world. Your turnover might well exceed that of many sovereign nations.
A small nation then passes legislation to introduce their populace to the benefits of ‘clean energy’. They want to wean them off fossil fuels and provide them with potentially cheaper sources of energy. The Sun is one such source. Muon-catalysed fusion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muon-catalyzed_fusion) is another. Not to mention geothermal. And waves in the ocean.
Your revenues would, in the long term, be decimated. In the short term, they would also take a hit because you are going to have to spend huge amounts on research and development to stay competitive. You will also have to spend huge amounts on public relations to ridicule the need to move to a ‘clean energy future’.
The value of your shares will most likely fall as you face these pressures. The wealth of your shareholders will decline considerably.
Now, let’s say your shares were tightly held by only a few families. And let’s say that the banks who funded you were also fairly tightly owned by only a few families.
Would you expect that these families would move to protect their positions?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&amp;v=ymy9hEBdTpI

Absolutely!
Where would they start?
Well, with the country who has passed the legislation.
That’s because a ‘clean energy future’ might catch on. You would have to stop it before it gets on a roll. Other countries might come to see the benefits to their populace of cheaper energy and emulate the initiative.
So what you might do is to start to undermine the parliament of the country that has passed the legislation.
After all, this is not rocket science. This country has managed to get this legislation through a hung parliament. Just imagine how more swiftly it would’ve occurred had they had a substantial majority. Other nations have such majorities.
So, you devise a cunning plan.
You have the Opposition leader in place. He’s a good one because he is a conservative and a Catholic to boot — with a strong relationship to a Catholic archbishop!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&amp;v=ZvYzLIywCiA

(Remember that it was the Catholic Church who managed to delay the populace understanding the remarkable discovery that the planets revolved around the sun rather than the other way round. So why would they not move to support their interests given their real estate holdings and their revenues.)
You have some strategic alliances in place too! This government has also had the audacity to suggest that the people of this particular nation should be entitled to a greater share of the non-renewable mineral wealth under its soils. Wealthy miners are lining up to support you.
You could organise something similar to the Charge of the Light Brigade.
But you are more subtle than that!
You start with the institution of government. A simple undermining strategy!
You manage to exploit a situation where a beleaguered female Prime Minister sees an opportunity to get an advantage to pursue her social agenda.
You put in place a debonair, disenchanted Liberal with a slightly exaggerated sense of his role to play and you set him up beautifully.
Firstly, with some simple Cabcharge dockets. And then you raise doubt in the populace’s mind as to whether this disenchanted Liberal might be gay. He is the moderator of behaviour in the parliament and he can’t possibly do that if he is gay! In the UK maybe — but not here where real men are bronzed and muscled.
There are other tricks that you have up your sleeve to scratch this government out of existence too. They are even more subtle!
http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/perform-sleight-hand-magic-tricks-800X800.jpg (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/perform-sleight-hand-magic-tricks-800X800.jpg)
And in due course, this government is wiped out at the next polls and your Opposition leader becomes PM and repeals the legislation with his huge majority.
The populace of this country are saved from a clean energy future and they have the pleasure of remaining dependent on fossil fuels for the rest of their days.
Your wealth is retained.
All you have to do is to keep on funding the research that says reliance on fossil fuels is not causing our planet to heat up to the extent that it will become uninhabitable. This is a minor impost to your profits. That’s because many of your allies are scientists who are funded by the public purse, via universities and government grants.
Boy, these illusions are fun!








On the slippery slope with Slippery PetePosted by admin (http://www.independentaustralia.net/author/admin/) in Politics (http://www.independentaustralia.net/category/politics/) on 8 May, 2012 2:00 am / no comments (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/on-the-slippery-slope-with-slippery-pete/#commentspost)

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James Ashby’s allegations against Peter Slipper appeared to be the golden goose for the Coalition, but it has turned around to bite them, says Dr Benjamin Thomas Jones (http://www.independentaustralia.net/about/ia-contributors/benjamin-jones-bio/).

http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Brough_Ashby_Pyne2.png (http://www.independentaustralia.net/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Brough_Ashby_Pyne2.png)The three amigos: Mal Brough, James Ashby and Christopher Pyne each met numerous times in the lead-up to Ashby allegations.
When news broke that the Independent Speaker, Peter Slipper, was being investigated by the Australian Federal Police for travel fraud and was facing an allegation of sexual harassment, it appeared to be yet another scandal for Julia Gillard’s shaky minority government. In the Machiavellian world of politics, things are rarely as they seem. Independent Australia was the first to suggest something was amiss in the curious case of the speaker and the staffer (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-curious-timing-of-the-staffer-against-the-speaker/). Now, in the words of Lewis Carroll, the case has becomecuriouser and curiouser!
It is little wonder that Joe Hockey came out yesterday pleading for an end to “all of this speculation” about Slipper. Problems first arose for the coalition last week when Chris Pyne claimed he could not remember meeting with James Ashby. It has since been revealed that Ashby – a former Liberal party member and Slipper staffer, who now claims the former Speaker sexually harassed him – not only met with the senior Coalition figure Christopher Pyne in the immediate lead up to Ashby’s lawsuit for a two hour late night drinking session, but less than 20 minutes after that rendezvous, Pyne sent an email and text message (http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/pyne-email-surfaces-as-coverup-claims-persist-20120503-1y1df.html) seeking Ashby’s details. Pyne has accepted the evidence, but maintains he doesn’t remember asking for the contact details…
It is understandable that Pyne now wants to forget the whole affair — like Hockey. Even more damaging for the Coalition is the revelation that former Howard Government minister Mal Brough – who is planning to challenge for Mr Slipper’s seat of Fisher – met with Ashby on numerous occasions and urged him to take action against the Speaker, even meeting Ashby with a lawyer on at least one occasion (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/i-urged-slipper-staffer-james-ashby-to-go-to-court-says-mal-brough/story-fn59niix-1226347306699). It was revealed yesterday that Ashby had contacted deputy opposition leader Julie Bishop’s office and that opposition whip Warren Entsch had tried to ring Mr Abbott (http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/opposition-slipper-story-slips-20120506-1y72f.html) the night before Mr Ashby’s allegations were published. Pyne and Brough’s stories seem to change daily (http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/broughs-new-story-on-slipper-20120505-1y5lb.html).


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&amp;v=bNUJ_lQiqAA

Opposition MPs, including Abbott, are now using the precise term “no specific knowledge” when asked what they knew beforehand about Ashby’s claims — implying, in the minds of many, that they certainly knew something. Indeed, Tony Abbott, normally the first man seen in a flouro vest and hardhat for a photo stop, has not been sighted in several days, after abruptly walking out of a press conference (http://m.news.com.au/TopStories/pg/0/fi1369810.htm) after journalists began pestering him about the links between Pyne, Brough and Ashby — and what he knew.
More curious still.
It can hardly be disputed that the Opposition was feigning surprise when the story first broke. It is clear that several senior figures were well aware of the impending story and it is difficult to believe Ashby has not been coached by the Liberal Party to gain maximum impact. New foreign minister, Bob Carr, drew afiery response from Hockey (http://www.news.com.au/national/leave-james-ashby-alone-demands-joe-hockey/story-e6frfkvr-1226348397916) for commenting:

‘This Ashby seems more rehearsed than a Kabuki actor’.
With the numbers in the House of Representatives so precarious, the Opposition had a lot to gain from Slipper’s removal which forced Labor to provide another speaker and lose a crucial vote. The man with the most to gain is Brough, who is trying to remove Slipper from a seat he has held for all but three years since 1984. Alarmingly, the press at large has been reluctant to join the dots in the Slipper case. Annabel Crabb, who has returned to Fairfax, even wrote an article (http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/dont-tell-anyone-but-the-shocking-truth-about-conspiracy-theories-is-20120428-1xrj6.html) mocking supposed conspiracy theorists. She concedes that it is ‘intensely convenient’ but ridicules the idea of ‘a sophisticated plot for the Liberal Party’.
It may well be asked, how sophisticated does the plot need to be? When Slipper left the Liberals and took the Speaker’s chair, he cost the Coalition one vote and gave Labor one — courtesy of Harry Jenkins returning to Labor’s backbench. It is natural enough that the Coalition would welcome any tarnishing of Slipper’s name, but the accusations made by Ashby are hopelessly unconvincing. Even Coalition senator Barnaby Joyce has dismissed the sexual harassment claim noting that Ashby was “not a boy in his teens but a man in his 30s”. The allegations made to the police were made public and they simply raise more questions than they answer. The Coalition is clearly not interested in protecting a vulnerable staffer, but are focussed solely on attacking a vulnerable government.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&amp;v=ymy9hEBdTpI

Should the claims against Slipper prove to be false, the whole slippery affair may come back to bite the Coalition. If this happens, it will be history repeating itself in very short cycles. Just three years ago, Malcolm Turnbull as opposition leader desperately tried to bring down Kevin Rudd’s government with theUtegate scandal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utegate). With the allegations proving false and a key email having been forged, the Liberals were left with egg on their faces. They had tried to exploit Godwin Grech, a passionate supporter of the Liberal party, to bring down the Government — but when your main weapon is so openly partisan, suspicions will inevitably be aroused. Ashby is also known to have made two videos (http://www.smh.com.au/national/slipper-accuser-ashby-was-secretly-helping-rival-20120504-1y4in.html) for yet another Liberal pre-selection candidate vying for Slipper’s seat along with Brough — while he still worked in Slipper’s office. Ashby, like Grech, is a current or recent Liberal Party member (http://www.vexnews.com/2012/04/brisbane-buzzes-was-james-ashby-paid-50000-to-make-his-sexual-harassment-complaint-against-slipper/) and is known to have ties to senior Liberal figures. He is also a man with a criminal past (http://www.news.com.au/national/peter-slipper-accuser-james-ashby-convicted-over-offensive-phone-calls-to-dj/story-e6frfkvr-1226335352067) and, in Joyce’s words, “he seems only slightly less dodgy than Slipper”. And there are other, even more unsavoury, allegations (http://www.vexnews.com/2012/05/life-of-the-party-james-ashby-accused-of-procuring-unwitting-young-men-for-hiv-positive-millionaire-mate-for-pleasure-palace-partying/) surrounding him.
The Opposition have never really recovered from their landslide 2007 defeat. They have been highly effective at criticising the Government, but have failed to construct and sell effective alternative policies. The situation has become even more acute following the hung parliament of 2010. Abbott, like Turnbull before him, is banking on a great scandal to bring down the Government. He is desperately hoping he will not have to wait until the next election and that a vote of no confidence, an Independent crossing the floor, a legal allegation, or an unexpected by-election, will gift him the prime ministership. As with Grech, it is doubtful the Ashby claims will topple the government.
In Australia to promote his new movie, The Dictator, comedian Sacha Baron Cohen demanded to know where Slippery Pete was, so he could add him to the staff of his fictional ministry. It was an appropriate jibe, as the whole affair, frankly, is a joke. The Government, in all likelihood, will survive a full term and it is up to Abbott to prepare strong alternative policies with full costings. For the immediate future at least, it would pay for the Coalition to focus less on stunts and ambitious young staffers, and more on the weighty task of forming the next government. If not, Abbott could well pay the same price as Turnbull for trying to take the easy ride to high office.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&amp;v=nvY3U_SsX0g
http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/on-the-slippery-slope-with-slippery-pete/

Magda Hassan
07-11-2012, 11:05 AM
Gillard Govt coup: timelines & cables reveal why Assange has to be ‘removed’.
POSTED BY ANONYMOUS (http://darkernet.wordpress.com/author/newseveryone/) ⋅ JULY 11, 2012 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT (http://darkernet.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/gillard-govt-coup-timelines-cables-reveal-why-assange-has-to-be-removed/#respond)
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Crucial to the US war against Wikileaks (http://alexaobrien.com/secondsight/wikileaks/grand_jury/) is the support of a compliant Australian Government. The United States Government decided that Julia Gillard was the right person to lead Australia (at least in terms of their interests) and so, like a game of chess, pieces had to be moved into place.The following timeline is adapted from the Jararparilla website (see link at end of this posting) and includes additional links via Darker Net searches to cables and other files that show a synergy between moves by the US to outlaw Wikileaks and political manoeuvres in Canberra.So, no wonder Julia Gillard and her ministers are not providing assistance to Assange in his fight against onward extradition to the USA. It is a political not a legal decision and has nothing to do with ignorance of the facts surrounding the case, or apathy, but because the very survival of the Gillard Government depends on Assange’s removal from circulation (if not worse) and the destruction of Wikileaks.Timeline of events surrounding Gillard coup24 November 2007 – Rudd wins election after a campaign in which he called climate change “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time” (http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/rudd-speech-to-the-united-nations-20090924-g3nn.html). He promptly signs the Kyoto Protocol (http://www.smh.com.au/news/environment/rudd-signs-kyoto-deal/2007/12/03/1196530553203.html), leaving the USA isolated. Australia withdraws remaining “combat troops” from Iraq (http://www.theage.com.au/national/troops-pull-out-of-iraq-20080601-2kjh.html).29 November 2007 – Rudd directly chooses his frontbench, breaking with more than a century of Labor tradition whereby the frontbench was elected by the Labor caucus, with the leader then given the right to allocate portfolios.13 June 2008 – US Canberrra Embassy cable (http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=08CANBERRA609) titled “Deputy PM Julia Gillard Star In Rudd Government” notes: “At this point, Gillard would have to be considered the front-runner to succeed Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister, which would make her Australia’s first female Prime Minister. Several contacts caution, however, that Rudd is ambivalent about Gillard, who is not from Labor’s Right Wing like he is, and he will avoid creating a potential rival. By the time Labor is thinking beyond Rudd, Gillard may well face more serious competition…. Many key ALP insiders have told pol offs that Gillard, who joined the ALP as a member of the Victorian branch’s Socialist Left faction, is at heart a pragmatist. New South Wales Right powerbroker Mark Arbib (protect) described her as one of the most pragmatic politicians in the ALP. Michael Cooney (protect), from the ALP Right and a former senior adviser to ALP leaders Mark Latham and Kim Beazley, said she has been very impressive as a minister: knowledgeable on the issues, listens to advice from subordinates and civil servants and is not afraid to delegate responsibility. When we reminded Paul Howes (protect), head of the right-wing Australian Workers Union, that ALP Qof the right-wing Australian Workers Union, that ALP politicians from the Left, no matter how capable, do not become party leader, he said immediately: “but she votes with the Right.” … Although long appearing ambivalent about the Australia-US Alliance, Gillard’s actions since she became the Labor Party number two indicate an understanding of its importance… Although warm and engaging in her dealings with American diplomats, it’s unclear whether this change in attitude reflects a mellowing of her views or an understanding of what she needs to do to become leader of the ALP. It is likely a combination of the two. Labor Party officials have told us that one lesson Gillard took from the 2004 elections was that Australians will not elect a PM who is perceived to be anti-American.”10 November 2008 – Rudd votes against Israel on two UN resolutions, ending Howard government’s unswerving alignment with the United States.11 Feb 2009 – US Canberrra Embassy cable (http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09SHANGHAI321) notes: “Rudd, who likes to centralize decision-making in any event, undoubtedly believes that with his intellect, his six years as a diplomat in the 1980s and his five years as shadow foreign minister, he has the background and the ability to direct Australia’s foreign policy. His performance so far, however, demonstrates that he does not have the staff or the experience to do the job properly… In October, Rudd’s self-serving and inaccurate leaking of details of a phone call between President Bush and him cast further doubt on his foreign policy judgment… In January, after the press published a story that the U.S. had asked Australia to accept some Guantanamo detainees, the Government responded to the story by issuing a statement publicly acknowledging our confidential request and stating that they were not likely to accept the detainees.”4 May 2009 – Rudd delays implementing an emissions trading scheme until 2011, defers Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme legislation until 2013.June 10 2009 – US Canberra Embassy cable (http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09CANBERRA545&q=gillard) titled “Gillard: on Track To Become Australia’s Next Prime Minister” notes: “Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard – who visits Washington later this month – has positioned herself as the heir apparent to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as ALP leader… Gillard, a product of the ALP Left in the state of Victoria, has shifted towards the political center since Rudd became ALP leader and is now a strong supporter of the Australia-US Alliance and Israel. Although she is still seen as a leftist by key right-wing union powerbrokers, that is not likely to stop her from succeeding Rudd as the next leader of the ALP… Gillard recognizes that to become Prime Minister, she must move to the Center, and show her support for the Alliance with the United States… Don Farrell, the right-wing union powerbroker from South Australia told us Gillard is “campaigning for the leadership” and at this point is the front-runner to succeed Rudd, conceding that the Right did not yet have an alternative. Agriculture Minister Tony Burke, one of the early NSW Right backers of the Rudd-Gillard team, confided that Gillard is the clear front runner to succeed Rudd and in the end, the ALP caucus will follow the opinion polls if she is the one the public wants… At present, the question of a successor to Rudd is probably two elections away. Several Rudd confidantes have told us that Rudd appreciates Gillard and sees her as a possible PM, but that he wants to avoid anointing her to head off a possible leadership challenge when his poll numbers inevitably sag. The PM’s brother Greg told us in April that Rudd wants to ensure that there are viable alternatives to Gillard within the Labor Party to forestall a challenge. Mark Arbib once told us a similar story, though he stressed that Rudd appreciates Gillard’s strengths. However, another Rudd advisor told us that while the PM respects Gillard, his reluctance to share power will eventually lead to a falling out, while Gillard will not want to acquiesce in creating potential rivals. In the meantime, Gillard has proven her value to the Prime Minister and we expect her to remain the most important member of the Rudd Government, after the Prime Minister himself.”July 2009 – Wikileaks releases report of serious nuclear accident at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility (related to later Stuxnet virus).July 20 2009 – US Canberra Embassy cable (http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09CANBERRA665&q=gillard+rudd) titled “Mark Arbib: Clout-wielding Ascending Leader” notes: Arbib is a close adviser to Rudd and is his key conduit to the ALP factions… We have found that Arbib (http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/yank-in-the-ranks-20101208-18pwi.html) is an astute observer and able conversant in the nuts and bolts of U.S. politics. He understands the importance of supporting a vibrant relationship with the U.S. while not being too deferential. We have found him personable, confident and articulate. A strong supporter of the alliance, he has met with us repeatedly throughout his political rise.”4 August 2009 – US Canberra Embassy cable (http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09CANBERRA709) on ALP Forum: “Rudd, to the bewilderment of many observers, remains highly popular with voters across the political spectrum. This is the bedrock of Rudd’s unchallenged authority over the party.”October 2009 – WikiLeaks publishes Joint Services Protocol 440, a British document advising security services on how to avoid documents being leaked.Dec 23 2009 – US Canberra Embassy cable (http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09CANBERRA1123) discusses Rudd’s reshuffled cabinet: “Foreign Minister Smith stepped out of Rudd’s shadow and the resignation of Joel Fitzgibbon as Defense Minister proved to be a blessing for the government. Support for the U.S. Alliance, and the mission in Afghanistan, remained strong…. Labor Right factional powerbroker Mark Arbib – close to the Prime Minister – was rewarded with a ministry despite his inexperience… [Gillard] remains Rudd’s clear heir apparent. Colleagues continue to be in awe of her mastery of detail and confident performances…Rudd has unprecedented power for a Labor leader; one MP told us he had never seen a Labor Caucus as subservient to its leader, noting Rudd’s control over promotions. Another told us she was surprised at marginal seat holders’ acquiescence on the ETS. However, powerbrokers confide the factions will assert themselves when Rudd’s popularity wanes.”18 February 2010 – WikiLeaks publishes REYKJAVIK13 cable (http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09REYKJAVIK15&version=1314919461), dated 13 January 2010. This is the first published Cablegate file.April 2010 – Polling shows Rudd government was highly popular until this month.April 2010 – WikiLeaks publishes Collateral Murder video (http://darkernet.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/collateral-murder-wikileaks-iraq-youtube/).May 2010 – Bradley Manning is arrested after online chats with Adrian Lamo. US State Dept goes into damage control over release of cables. Australian Mining industry launches media “ad war” against Rudd’s Minerals Resource Rent Tax (http://www.theage.com.au/business/let-rudds-fate-be-a-lesson-on-minerals-taxing-rio-chief-20100709-1047s.html).10 June 2010 (approx) – Australia’s US ambassador and former Labor leader Kim Beazley meets US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to provide a briefing on the coming leadership change.23 June 2010 – Gillard announces leadership bid for next day.24 June 2010 – Rudd steps down, becoming the only Australian Prime Minister to be removed from office by his own party during his first term.October 2010 – WikiLeaks release Iraq War Logs (http://www.wikileaks.ch/wiki/Category:Iraq). See also here (http://warlogs.owni.fr/).December 2010 – Fairfax journalist Phillip Dorling publishes WikiLeaks cables (quoted above) showing Australian ALP politicians were in regular contact with the US Embassy.To see the original of the above timeline with an introduction but minus links and cables, click here (http://jaraparilla.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/was-us-govt-behind-coup-that-toppled-oz.html).
To see the ‘Wikileaks Australian files’ (http://www.smh.com.au/technology/wikileaks), via the Sydney Morning Herald website.

http://darkernet.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/gillard-govt-coup-timelines-cables-reveal-why-assange-has-to-be-removed/#more-4107

Magda Hassan
04-09-2013, 12:44 PM
It's because he couldn't be controlled by the US that really pissed them off. He actually though he could run the show.

WHEN Kevin Rudd was prime minister, the accepted wisdom was that under his leadership Australia lost its way. Julia Gillard responded by rolling Rudd from the nation's top job. But with the leaking of secret US diplomatic cables leaving Rudd's foreign-policy credentials in tatters - showing Washington held serious doubts over his judgment from early in his time as PM - Gillard has a new question to confront: is Rudd the right person to spearhead Australia's engagement with the world?
''Kevin Rudd is doing a fantastic job as Foreign Minister,'' Gillard was quick to state yesterday when asked about his suitability for the job.
''Kevin Rudd is a man who throughout his adult life has devoted himself to expertise in foreign policy. He's bringing that expertise to bear for the Australian nation and doing an absolutely first-class job.''



Kevin Rudd Photo: Glenn Hunt
So far, the cables that have been released have not shown Rudd to be engaged in any wrongdoing. They are predominantly character assessments and political analysis. Rudd is one among many leaders around the world finding out what the Americans truly think of him.
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But courtesy of WikiLeaks, Rudd has even more baggage to cart around the world on his diplomatic sojourns: an American view that he takes a ''haphazard, overly secretive'' approach to making decisions, for example, or the public disclosure that Rudd has a penchant to privately describe China's leadership as ''paranoid''.
Fair or not, Rudd is presented as a man with a forked tongue. ''People who are looking to have frank dealings with Australia's Foreign Minister will be put on their guard by these revelations,'' says Andrew Shearer, a former diplomat and foreign policy adviser to John Howard.
As more cables come to light, questions about Rudd's performance will continue, adding to the already heavy burden of his job - not only when dealing with foreign leaders, but also with officials of his own department. The cables from the US embassy in Canberra reveal the depth of frustration Australian diplomats felt during Rudd's time as prime minister. Morale within the foreign service had ''plummeted, according to our contacts inside as well as outside the department'', then US ambassador Robert McCallum wrote to Washington in 2008.
A year later, the situation was worse. ''Prime Minister Reigns Over Foreign Affairs'' was the title of a secret cable marked for American eyes only. ''Rudd is a centraliser by nature who will only grudgingly share the decision-making on foreign policy,'' wrote Dan Clune, acting ambassador at the time.
Clune wrote that while the foreign service suffered a series of savage cuts to its budget, foreign policymaking was centralised in the prime ministers' office.
''Rudd has appropriated control of foreign-policy formulation and decision-making, leaving his foreign minister to perform mundane, ceremonial duties and relegating the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to a backwater,'' Clune continued.
Particularly galling to Stephen Smith - Australia's foreign minister during Rudd's time in The Lodge - was the prime minister's habit of going directly to key ambassadors for advice rather than his cabinet colleague. But, according to the cable, Smith had accepted being out of the loop as ''inevitable''.
''Rudd,'' the secret US assessment continued, ''undoubtedly believes that with his intellect, his six years as a diplomat in the 1980s and his five years as shadow foreign minister, he has the background and the ability to direct Australia's foreign policy. His performance so far, however, demonstrates that he does not have the staff or the experience to do the job properly.''
Even Labor powerbrokers were frustrated. Mark Arbib, one of Rudd's number-crunchers when he rose to the leadership, told the Americans that ''Rudd's staff would like to get their boss to spend less time on foreign policy and delegate more, but that they recognise that this is a hopeless task''.
Now, having marginalised DFAT and been criticised for it by the Americans, Rudd is back on his old stomping ground with a reputation for an abrasive style and chaotic work practices. He is also seen as a person who nurses a grudge. As prime minister he vetoed the appointment of former university colleague Hugh Borrowman and then senior official in the Prime Minister's Department, who had been proposed as ambassador to Germany. Borrowman and Rudd had clashed over Rudd's decision-making style.
Andrew Shearer, now with the Lowy Institute, believes the evidence from the cables - of senior foreign affairs officers complaining to the US about Rudd's foreign policy attitudes while prime minister - is bound to complicate his relationship with departmental staff.
''I suspect we've only touched the surface. I think there will be a lot of very nervous people all around Canberra desperately trying to remember what they might have said to American diplomats and crossing their fingers it wasn't recorded or attributed directly to them,'' he says.
Before the WikiLeaks cables surfaced, Foreign Minister Rudd was already driving the department hard. This was welcomed by some insiders, who held the view that as Rudd was no longer prime minister, foreign affairs was now back where it belonged - with the diplomatic service.
Gillard had declared international affairs was not her ''passion'' and appeared content to let Rudd take the running.
Rudd himself made an effort to be personable, walking the floors of the department's headquarters and introducing himself. Department secretary Dennis Richardson, a highly regarded, no-nonsense operator, kept a restraining hand on Rudd's impulsiveness.
But within the department there are plenty of grumbles, too - that Rudd is demanding instant briefings of subjects that then seem to have little follow-up; that his travel schedule is relentless and lacking strategic purpose; that the infamous temper tantrums during his time as prime minster are being felt anew.
During the recent visit of Hillary Clinton, for example, Rudd insisted he be included in the ABC television broadcast with the US Secretary of State and was annoyed at being left out.
Yesterday Gillard skirted the question of whether she would give an assurance that none of the Australian diplomats named in the cables as having criticised the Rudd government would suffer any repercussions.
''I'm not commenting on the contents of cables,'' she said. ''We select our diplomats on the basis of competence and their ability to represent Australia and I've got every confidence in the diplomats we've selected.''
This has become the government's stock line in response to the cables - to offer no comment, then try to put the best gloss on the content. Rudd took the same approach yesterday when asked repeatedly if he was abrasive, impulsive and a control freak.
''I mean, are we waiting for a diplomatic cable which says Kevin Rudd is a, you know, witty, charming, relaxed, down-home sort of guy who is constantly cracking jokes and does everything we want him to do? Well, of course not.''
Rudd might claim the criticism in the cables is ''water off a duck's back'', as he did yesterday. But as Shearer sees the problem, Australia's most important ally has decided the country's Foreign Minister is not terribly good at managing foreign policy.
''That's not really sustainable. It makes it all the more damning that senior professionals in the field judge him as they do,'' Shearer says.
Nor does Rudd's old political sparring partner, Alexander Downer, buy into the government spin. ''Of course it's not water off a duck's back,'' Downer told ABC radio yesterday. ''Anybody would say that, but of course that's not true. This is excruciating for him.''
Meanwhile, Rudd is off abroad again, travelling to Indonesia, the Middle East and South America. The note-takers in his meetings will doubtless be especially wary their scribblings don't wind up in the newspapers. But it is easy to imagine that the WikiLeaks cables will be at the forefront of their minds.
''Every foreign minister and every head of government in the world is dealing with this stuff at the moment,'' Rudd admitted yesterday. ''And it's just one of those things that happens; you just deal with it and you move on and you get on with the business. The big challenges of international relations remain.''
Biggest among them is China. Australia had already been through an awkward patch in its China relationship. The WikiLeaks cable confirms Rudd saw Australia's military expansion as a direct response to China, ''if everything goes wrong''. In the cables, Rudd also described China's leaders as ''sub-rational and deeply emotional''.
''It's very hard to see how he could have any prospect in the future of being a credible person in charge of Australia's engagement with China,'' says Paul Barratt, a former Defence Department secretary.
Barratt says Rudd will fare better with the US despite the former American ambassador's response to Rudd's leaking the details of his phone conversation with then president George Bush.
''He showed exceptionally poor judgment in trying to aggrandise himself at the expense of Australia's most important relationship,'' McCallum wrote.
Fixing international ties is one thing. Rudd must also convince his boss, Julia Gillard, that he can be effective as Australia's envoy to the world.


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/the-man-for-the-job-20101208-18psf.html#ixzz2PyBeVKgK

David Guyatt
04-09-2013, 01:12 PM
It's because he couldn't be controlled by the US that really pissed them off. He actually though he could run the show.


That's exactly what it sounds like, doesn't it. It also sounds like Oz's Foreign Affairs Department is an adjunct of the US State Department.

Magda Hassan
04-09-2013, 01:41 PM
It's because he couldn't be controlled by the US that really pissed them off. He actually though he could run the show.


That's exactly what it sounds like, doesn't it. It also sounds like Oz's Foreign Affairs Department is an adjunct of the US State Department.
It absolutely is. Not a move is made with out their permission.

Magda Hassan
06-26-2013, 09:53 AM
An interesting evening. Rudd is back as PM and the person who was holding the knife in his back last time chose to put the knife in the back of the PM he replaced Rudd with.

Anthony Thorne
06-26-2013, 11:24 PM
The photo revealing Shorten's grim expression just prior to entering the room to vote was one for the ages. As journo Tim Lester (from my home State of Tassie) noted yesterday, Shorten hates Rudd, Rudd despises Shorten, and for Shorten to re-empower the man who would happily drop him off a cliff into a grey ocean would be a large bottle of bitter pills to swallow.

Magda Hassan
06-27-2013, 12:28 AM
The photo revealing Shorten's grim expression just prior to entering the room to vote was one for the ages. As journo Tim Lester (from my home State of Tassie) noted yesterday, Shorten hates Rudd, Rudd despises Shorten, and for Shorten to re-empower the man who would happily drop him off a cliff into a grey ocean would be a large bottle of bitter pills to swallow.
Good . I hope he chokes on them. Rudd should drop him off the cliff. Apart from being a duplicious two faced traitorous power mad Machiavellian wrecker he spends waaaay to much time visiting the US embassy to take his marching orders to have any thing to do with Australian politics. I'm pleased he did what he did last night though. Now he can just ffffffade away. And hopefully take his other traitorous friends of Washington with him.

Peter Lemkin
06-27-2013, 05:11 AM
The photo revealing Shorten's grim expression just prior to entering the room to vote was one for the ages. As journo Tim Lester (from my home State of Tassie) noted yesterday, Shorten hates Rudd, Rudd despises Shorten, and for Shorten to re-empower the man who would happily drop him off a cliff into a grey ocean would be a large bottle of bitter pills to swallow.
Good . I hope he chokes on them. Rudd should drop him off the cliff. Apart from being a duplicious two faced traitorous power mad Machiavellian wrecker he spends waaaay to much time visiting the US embassy to take his marching orders to have any thing to do with Australian politics. I'm pleased he did what he did last night though. Now he can just ffffffade away. And hopefully take his other traitorous friends of Washington with him.

A change for the better, it seems to me, from afar. How'd this happen?! I mean, we rarely expect good outcomes in politics, these days! Might this have any effect on how Oz deals with Assange at all. Any other likely practical effects - other than not so supinely taking orders from D.C.?

Magda Hassan
06-27-2013, 11:50 AM
The photo revealing Shorten's grim expression just prior to entering the room to vote was one for the ages. As journo Tim Lester (from my home State of Tassie) noted yesterday, Shorten hates Rudd, Rudd despises Shorten, and for Shorten to re-empower the man who would happily drop him off a cliff into a grey ocean would be a large bottle of bitter pills to swallow.
Good . I hope he chokes on them. Rudd should drop him off the cliff. Apart from being a duplicious two faced traitorous power mad Machiavellian wrecker he spends waaaay to much time visiting the US embassy to take his marching orders to have any thing to do with Australian politics. I'm pleased he did what he did last night though. Now he can just ffffffade away. And hopefully take his other traitorous friends of Washington with him.

A change for the better, it seems to me, from afar. How'd this happen?! I mean, we rarely expect good outcomes in politics, these days! Might this have any effect on how Oz deals with Assange at all. Any other likely practical effects - other than not so supinely taking orders from D.C.?

Well, it was very interesting the way it happened. Gillard was never going to be accepted by the voters for a number of reasons but primarily the way she achieved office. She lacked legitimacy. The voters love Rudd. And in their eyes he was taken from them. &nbsp;There was no way the voters were going to vote for Julia. The party absolutelywould have lost office. But Rudd was so hated by a section of the party that many refused to have him back even if that meant losing office and the government changing to the far far right. As it is 7 ministers resigned their portfolios and several leaving politics altogether rather than work in his government when he was elected to the leadership (again) last night. However, there were enough Rudd supporters and there were enough pragmatists who defied the death wish of the others. The person who was a prime mover behind the coup removing Rudd, Bill Shorten, &nbsp;this time supported him and used the knife against Julia. He is preserving his own tenuous hold on his seat too and has his own leadership plans. One of the cliques that was dead set against him was the Washington/Zionist clique. For their liking he was far too independent of the US and too close to China and he speaks Mandarin too and has a Chinese son in law. His missus is a millionaire several times over so he is not in the game for the money and can't be bribed. He was outraged that Australian passports were used by the murderers of the Palestinian man in Dubai and was demanding answers. He also wanted Assange to have all the legal and consular protections available. While Gillard was slandering Assange and saying that Assange had broken laws and must be punished Rudd was saying that no (Australian) laws were broken. I hope he does some thing concrete for Assange now he is back in office. For sure Assange would have been gladly handed over to the US on a silver platter by Gillard and company. I will be watching with interest if he keeps his independence or caves in to the pressure. I don't suppose too much will be done in the short term as there is a federal elelction in September and this can also be brought forward to August. He still may not actually survive the election. Certainly the opposition are dirty players here and have the big money behind them. But if he wins the election it will be a most interesting time.

Jan Klimkowski
06-27-2013, 07:26 PM
Magda, Anthony - it's great to have some analysis of Australian politics I can actually trust.

Magda Hassan
06-28-2013, 12:14 AM
Another thing that isn't known by a lot of people is that Bill Shorten, the Labor power broker and lover of Washington who played a key role behind the original coup against Rudd and who this time put his vote in supporting him, well, he is married to the daughter of the Govenor General Quentin Bryce.
This interesting article gives a few clues to Bill's interesting connections. http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/shorten-with-ggs-daughter/story-e6freooo-1111117539805
H (http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/shorten-with-ggs-daughter/story-e6freooo-1111117539805)is first wife was a stockbroker and also the daughter of a politician from the so called 'other' party and a grand daughter of the former cabinet minister and Australian ambassador to the US. He is highly ambitious and has leadership aspirations and favored by important people.

Anthony Thorne
06-28-2013, 11:02 AM
A worthwhile article by Shaun Carney on the career of Gillard - Carney is an astute writer who was axed from The Age during the last round of Fairfax cuts, but he typically makes good observations:

http://theconversation.com/the-political-tragedy-of-julia-gillard-15588

Summary from The Age on Shorten's thought processes over the past fortnight. For newcomers, Shorten is the fellow in the second image down at the following link who looks like he's just won a year's worth of proctological examinations in the lottery. Rudd sits immediately to Shorten's right, keeping his distance as if Shorten has cooties.

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/two-agonising-weeks-before-kingmaker-turned-on-his-queen-20130627-2p06h.html

And something to ponder. The day after Rudd regains office, an article appears noting how a cache of explosives has gone missing in Jakarta, and security now needs to be reinforced just prior to Rudd's imminent visit to the country.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/dynamite-goes-missing-in-jakarta-on-eve-of-rudd-visit-20130627-2p05k.html

Stay safe Kev.

Magda Hassan
06-29-2013, 03:09 AM
Slightly hysterical but some salient points made.



The Political Crisis in Australia
By Patrick O’Connor

June 28, 2013 "Information Clearing House (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/) - "WSWS (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/06/28/pers-j28.html)" --- The sudden reinstallation of Kevin Rudd as Australian prime minister and the removal of Julia Gillard, less than three months before a scheduled election, is an event without political precedent. Rudd’s comeback has been courtesy of the same Labor Party operatives who suddenly removed him as prime minister and installed Gillard in the inner-party coup of June 2010.

The extraordinary political turmoil belies the international image of Australian capitalism, assiduously promoted by the political and media establishment, as a bastion of political and social stability. Labor, the party that has served as the lynchpin of the parliamentary set-up and two-party system for more than a century, on behalf of the Australian bourgeoisie, is now wracked by a terminal crisis.

Three years ago, the 2010 coup was engineered, behind the backs of the Australian people, as a means of orchestrating far reaching policy shifts, both foreign and domestic. The corporate elite were demanding the junking of the post-financial crisis stimulus spending measures that were associated with Rudd, and the implementation of austerity measures aimed at slashing the living standards of the working class. At the same time, Washington was determined to put an end to Rudd’s diplomatic initiatives that were aimed at pressuring the US to cede some of its strategic influence in the Asia-Pacific to China. In Gillard, the Obama administration found a compliant instrument to realign Australia with its aggressive “pivot” to Asia, in order to encircle, and prepare for war against, China.

Three years later, the conflicts and crises that drove the coup have only intensified. Obama’s pivot, then outlined as a strategy, is now a reality, involving a major US military build-up in the region and continued provocations against China that have inflamed dangerous flashpoints throughout the Asian region.

The world economic crisis has likewise accelerated, and is now finding far more direct expression in Australia. The China-driven mining export boom, which provided a certain buffer for Australian capitalism in the immediate aftermath of the global financial crash, is now over.

A Bloomberg article, published yesterday, compared the Australian economy to a collateralised debt obligation (CDO), one of the “toxic assets” that triggered the financial crash in 2008. “Australia is a leveraged time bomb waiting to blow,” Albert Edwards, Société Générale SA’s London-based global strategist, declared. “It is not just a CDO, but a CDO squared. All we have in Australia is, at its simplest, a credit bubble built upon a commodity boom dependent for its sustenance on an even greater credit bubble in China.”

Already several Australian states are in official recession. Mass layoffs are accelerating across the economy. In the last twelve months, 18 mining and energy projects worth a total of $150 billion have been abandoned or deferred. The mining and construction downturn is threatening to burst the property and stock market bubbles, with the leading share index down by about 9 percent, or $135 billion, since mid-May. The Australian dollar is now plunging in value against other currencies, driving up the cost of fuel and other imported products upon which working people depend.

Rudd has been returned to office in anticipation of explosive social upheavals and a new period of class struggle.

The immediate aim has been to prevent the outright collapse of the Labor Party. Under Julia Gillard’s leadership, the party was forecast to suffer an unparalleled defeat in the federal election later this year. So acute and widespread has been popular hostility towards Gillard, because of her role in the anti-democratic ousting of Rudd—a reaction that the coup plotters had utterly failed to anticipate—that Labor was on the verge of being reduced to a small and deeply divided parliamentary rump.

For the Australian corporate elite, the implosion of the Labor Party threatens to deprive it of its most critical mechanism for containing the class struggle and for preventing working class anger and hostility to its austerity agenda taking dangerous, extra-parliamentary forms. Gillard began the shift to austerity, entrenching a long term budget schedule of deep spending cuts, targeting single parents, the unemployed and other welfare recipients. But the ruling elite is demanding nothing less than a European-style social counter-revolution, with permanent, sweeping spending cuts to public education, healthcare, welfare, other basic services and social infrastructure.

Rudd is the only Labor politician who retains any degree of popular support—due solely to his status as victim of the anti-democratic coup. As a result, he is regarded by the corporate and financial elites as the only viable means of salvaging the careers of dozens of Labor politicians, preventing the collapse of the Labor Party, and of implementing their stepped-up offensive against the social position of the working class.

In his first speech after being reinstated, Rudd pointedly placed particular emphasis on the need for Labor to win back young people disgusted with the entire parliamentary setup. He is well aware that, beneath the surface appearance of social stability in Australia, class tensions are rapidly reaching breaking point. As in Egypt and Tunisia in 2011, and in Turkey and Brazil this year, mass unrest will erupt suddenly and in unanticipated forms. Rudd has been installed in a desperate attempt to channel the coming social explosions back within the parliamentary framework.

For Washington, the maintenance of the two party system in Australia is likewise of strategic importance. The US has invested considerable resources in the Labor Party over the past 70 years, ever since Labor prime minister John Curtin effected a strategic shift away from the British Empire and towards Washington in 1941. US embassy and CIA personnel have for decades cultivated a wide network of assets within the Labor Party and trade union bureaucracy. Notwithstanding Obama administration concerns about Rudd, it no doubt understands that Labor’s collapse would leave the US-Australia alliance in unchartered waters.

In fact, some of the very same US “protected sources” within the Labor Party that orchestrated the coup in 2010 were behind Rudd’s reinstatement this week.

Deep divisions nevertheless remain, both within the Labor Party and the opposition Liberal-National coalition. Rudd retains the backing of significant sections of the American foreign policy establishment that oppose Obama’s “pivot” and are urging a more conciliatory approach towards Beijing. Former national security advisor Henry Kissinger is a prominent figure within this faction and, in recent years, has developed close ties with Rudd. The two had been due to speak today in Beijing at a government-sponsored foreign policy forum. Rudd also enjoys the confidence of those layers within the Australian ruling elite that have been alarmed by Obama’s reckless and provocative stance towards China which, they fear, will disrupt Australian capitalism’s crucial economic ties with Beijing.

Jan Klimkowski
06-29-2013, 10:41 AM
Rudd has been returned to office in anticipation of explosive social upheavals and a new period of class struggle.

Good luck Down Under, then.......

Peter Lemkin
07-19-2013, 07:18 PM
Is Rudd the PM of Australia, or of Papua New Guinea?! The new 'immigrant' policy is nothing short of ugly and inhumane. If he's 'progressive', I'm the Pope.

Anthony Thorne
07-19-2013, 08:37 PM
Rudd may well have a progressive streak in him but the toxic legacy of John Howard's lengthy span in government still lingers. Howard shamelessly used cruel and racist tactics to wedge the opposition, and encouraged national fear-mongering against refugees for the late 2001 election. (The best book on this incident remains Mungo MacCallum's entry in the Quarterly Essay series, GIRT BY SEA: AUSTRALIA, THE REFUGEES AND THE POLITICS OF FEAR.) Labor foolishly capitulated at the time, giving credence to Howard's shaping of the public narrative, then (pathetically) did little of note to reverse things for years later. Howard even stacked the board of the government funded national ABC TV network with conservatives, all of whom gradually dragged the tone of the station to the right and demanded 'equal time' for conservative perspectives on issues such as refugees. Labor also acquiesced to the various radio shock jocks (mostly from Sydney) who Howard courted during his time in Government, rather than shunning them as the domestic equivalent of Fox News mouthpieces. Opposition Leader (conservative) Tony Abbott has spent the last few years proclaiming he'd 'stop the boats', and Gillard stupidly did little to encourage a more humane viewpoint. Without supporting it at all, I read Rudd's latest actions as an attempt to neutralise Abbott prior to the imminent election - Rudd has seemingly been running through a list in the last couple of weeks addressing each of Abbott's cudgels against the government, and this is the latest. (I'm sure Rudd expects few Labor voters to depart over the issue, and the ones that do will vote Green, which preferences the Labor party anyway). If Rudd regains office, I wouldn't be surprised if he works to reframe the narrative again and gradually encourages a more humane perspective, but at this point Rudd is determined to do 'whatever it takes' to hang on to office.

Magda Hassan
07-19-2013, 11:58 PM
Rudd may well have a progressive streak in him but the toxic legacy of John Howard's lengthy span in government still lingers. Howard shamelessly used cruel and racist tactics to wedge the opposition, and encouraged national fear-mongering against refugees for the late 2001 election. (The best book on this incident remains Mungo MacCallum's entry in the Quarterly Essay series, GIRT BY SEA: AUSTRALIA, THE REFUGEES AND THE POLITICS OF FEAR.) Labor foolishly capitulated at the time, giving credence to Howard's shaping of the public narrative, then (pathetically) did little of note to reverse things for years later. Howard even stacked the board of the government funded national ABC TV network with conservatives, all of whom gradually dragged the tone of the station to the right and demanded 'equal time' for conservative perspectives on issues such as refugees. Labor also acquiesced to the various radio shock jocks (mostly from Sydney) who Howard courted during his time in Government, rather than shunning them as the domestic equivalent of Fox News mouthpieces. Opposition Leader (conservative) Tony Abbott has spent the last few years proclaiming he'd 'stop the boats', and Gillard stupidly did little to encourage a more humane viewpoint. Without supporting it at all, I read Rudd's latest actions as an attempt to neutralise Abbott prior to the imminent election - Rudd has seemingly been running through a list in the last couple of weeks addressing each of Abbott's cudgels against the government, and this is the latest. (I'm sure Rudd expects few Labor voters to depart over the issue, and the ones that do will vote Green, which preferences the Labor party anyway). If Rudd regains office, I wouldn't be surprised if he works to reframe the narrative again and gradually encourages a more humane perspective, but at this point Rudd is determined to do 'whatever it takes' to hang on to office.
Totally agree with every thing you say Anthony.

Magda Hassan
08-04-2013, 01:25 AM
Labor's policies to provide a national broadband network in Australia conflict with Murdoch's business model to make billions more for himself. Not to mention Rudd's slightly independent foreign relations....Murdoch's laying off his China investments for the moment I gather...

The arrival of Col Allan in Australia is making a lot of people uneasy.
Allan is a man widely known inside News Corporation as Col Pot, a play on the name of a Cambodian genocidal dictator.
He is News Corp's most feared flamethrower in a company of flamethrowers and he has been sent to Australia by Rupert Murdoch himself. The purpose of his mission has become clear in recent days. One person who should rightly be disconcerted by Allan's sudden secondment to Australia is the head of News Corporation Australia, Kim Williams. Several other executives should also be leery, but they are not Allan's primary target.
His primary target is Kevin Rudd.
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Why Murdoch wants Rudd to lose the coming federal election is not merely political, it is commercial. News Corp hates the government's National Broadband Network (NBN). The company has formed a view that it poses a threat to the business model of by far its most important asset in Australia, the Foxtel cable TV monopoly it jointly owns with Telstra.
Murdoch has declared war on Rudd by dispatching his most trusted field general, Allan, whose reputation is built on his closeness to Murdoch and his long history of producing pungent front-page splashes and pugnacious campaigns as editor-in-chief of The Daily Telegraph and, for the past 12 years, The New York Post.
Allan's mission is to help consign Rudd to the dustbin of history reserved for failed leaders.
The ramp-up of the war effort has been rapid and intense.
Friday, July 26: the chief executive of News Corp, Robert Thomson, announced in New York that Allan would be returning to Australia to provide ''extra editorial leadership for our papers …''.
Monday, July 29: Allan is at work in Australia within 72 hours of the announcement.
Tuesday, July 30: he begins several days of meeting with editors. The message is simple and brutal: you have been going hard on Labor but now, with Rudd's revival in the opinion polls, you have to go harder.
Wednesday, July 31: he is spotted lunching with Lachlan Murdoch and other executives.
Friday, August 2: The Daily Telegraph depicts Rudd in a hoodie escaping from a bank he has just robbed, with the headline: ''Rudd's $733m hoist on people's savings''.
Yesterday, August 3, The Australian runs four negative headlines about the Rudd government on its front page alone, including ''Revealed: How Rudd blew $250bn''. The Daily Telegraph splashes with a front-page banner headline: ''Price of Labor - another huge budget shambles … and now we're $30bn in the red''. In Melbourne, the Herald-Sun took out page one with ''It's a ruddy mess''.
Rudd is a broad target. His own parliamentary colleagues could not stomach him and removed him from office after less than three years. After he rose like Lazarus to return as Prime Minister on June 26, one third of the cabinet departed rather than serve with him. His election-eve policy reversal on asylum-seekers was spectacular. His Papua New Guinea detention strategy was exposed as a bluff.
On June 26, Rupert Murdoch used Twitter to write: ''Australian public now totally disgusted with Labor Party wrecking country with it's sordid intrigues. Now for a quick election.'' Rudd's greatest failing, in the eyes of News Corp management, and the greatest threat he poses, is his $45+ billion NBN, a massive project announced without any serious costing. News Corp views this as a threat to the business model of its most important Australian asset, Foxtel, jointly owned with Telstra.
The company much prefers the Coalition's less costly but also less ambitious national broadband strategy. News Corp newspapers have reported the numerous failings and cost-over-runs of the NBN in hundreds of stories.
Although the Coalition's alternative is less costly, it offers an inferior capacity for downloading content at a time when consumer demand is shifting dramatically towards content-on-demand and content via computers.
This shift is reflected in the enormous run-up in the shares of the market leader in content-on-demand, Netflix. Shares in Netflix closed at $US246 (A$276) in New York on Friday, a prodigious run-up from its $52 price a year ago. Netflix now has a market valuation of $US14.5billion compared with $3 billion a year ago.
Foxtel has responded to this threat by launching its own content-on-demand product, FoxtelGo, and is launching an online-only version, FoxtelPlay.
Foxtel's co-parent, News Corp, is engaging in a more structural response.
It wants to kill the NBN threat at its ultimate source - Kevin Rudd.


http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2013/murdochs-vicious-attacks-on-rudd-its-business-20130803-2r65x.html

Jan Klimkowski
08-04-2013, 04:16 PM
The Murdoch Crime Family.

It's just business.....

Magda Hassan
10-01-2013, 07:42 AM
No wonder Murdoch wanted his boy in Canberra.

Foxtel triple-play deal hits NBN snagPUBLISHED: 30 SEP 2013 00:05:00 | UPDATED: 30 SEP 2013 07:30:47
http://www.afr.com/rf/image/2009-2014/AFR/2013/09/29/Photos/328d10c8-28e6-11e3-87ec-6550d6e09a16_080813-Richard%20Freudenstein-06--646x363.jpgFoxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein . . . As CEO of BSkyB, he helped Mr Murdoch’s UK pay-TV business become Britain’s second-biggest internet service provider from a standing start in just five years. Photo: Christopher Pearce

DOMINIC WHITE

News Corporation and Telstra have been in secret negotiations to launch a Foxtel-branded broadband service for more than a year but talks are stuck on the price Telstra would charge for access to its network.
The telecommunications giant has been unable to tell Foxtel’s management how much it would charge in the future because of uncertainty *surrounding its $11 billion deal with the national broadband network.
Complexities surrounding the talks threaten to frustrate efforts to boost Foxtel’s 30 per cent penetration of Australian homes as broadband providers, free-to-air networks and foreign interlopers threaten its pay-TV monopoly.
The Australian Financial Review has learned that Foxtel chief executive Richard Freudenstein has drawn up a full business plan for a mass-market broadband service.
It would add internet and telephony to the company’s pay-TV offering which reaches 2.5 million homes, making Foxtel a powerful “triple play” rival to other Telstra services in the $4 billion broadband market.
Some sections of Foxtel, which wants to launch the offer next year, are understood to be frustrated by slow progress after more than 12 months of confidential talks. Telstra and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation each own 50 per cent of the pay TV business, which is Australia’s most profitable media company, generating operating earning of $944 million in 2012-13.
The Australian Financial Review has also learnt that a key brief for the new chief operating officer that Foxtel is recruiting is to deliver a “triple-play” offering. The triple-play project is led by David Duncan, according to an internal Foxtel memo.
In his former role as CEO of BSkyB, Mr Freudenstein helped Mr Murdoch’s UK pay-TV business become Britain’s second-biggest internet service provider from a standing start in just five years. Its aggressive campaign included giving broadband away free to its pay-TV subscribers.
However, unlike Foxtel, Sky was able to acquire its own ISP, Easynet, which owned infrastructure that allowed Sky to make huge savings on carriage costs by bypassing most of the network of BT, Telstra’s UK equivalent.
LONGSTANDING SHAREHOLDER AGREEMENTIn contrast, under a long-standing shareholder agreement between News and Telstra, Foxtel is prohibited from launching a broadband service unless Foxtel uses Telstra as its wholesale provider and Telstra approves the service.
It is believed the current shareholder agreement does not expire until 2020.
One analyst, who asked not to be named, said: “If Foxtel went to market as an independent company there is no doubt Telstra would effectively be *creating their single biggest competitor. There is no way Telstra will let that happen. It’s an incredibly difficult situation for Foxtel.”
Under chief executive David Thodey, Telstra has dropped its long-standing opposition to a Foxtel broadband service. Relations between News Corp and Telstra have often been strained over Foxtel strategy in the 18 years since the pay-TV business was founded, although it is believed News Corp executives have worked constructively with Mr Thodey, who was appointed CEO in 2009.
Prominent media figures, including former Foxtel shareholder James Packer and former Austar chief executive John Porter, have argued that the pay-TV company needs to embrace a “triple play” offering to grow subscribers and revenues.
News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson told investors in New York last week that a “triple play offer” had great appeal because it would increase customer “stickiness” and help Foxtel lift its “stubborn” 30 per cent take-up by the Australian population.
While Foxtel grew subscribers by 3.4 per cent in 2012-13, many new customers bought cheaper internet television packages such as Telstra’s T-Box.
Discussions between Foxtel and Telstra have been hampered by uncertainty over the price NBN Co would charge Telstra for access to its fibre-to-the-home network (which was due to supplant Telstra’s copper network under the Labor government’s plans). The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is due to announce how much NBN Co can charge for access to that network, which could give Telstra a price point on which to base its resale price to Foxtel.
But the change of government has injected more complexity and uncertainty to the discussions.
The Coalition has yet to make clear which parts of NBN Co’s $11 billion deal with Telstra it will unwind and how much NBN Co will charge for access once it has been scaled back by the new government. Telstra could also be allowed to keep its cable network open for broadband provision, which Foxtel already uses – along with satellites – to supply pay-TV.
Meanwhile, many Telstra insiders remain cautious to defend its 47 per cent share of the broadband market, itself under fresh threat from rivals using the nascent NBN.
“It’s argued Foxtel represents potentially one of the biggest competitive threats to Telstra’s consumer fixed-line business, with a triple-play from the monopoly premium pay-TV operator,” wrote Citi analyst Justin Diddams in a note on the topic in November 2012.
Foxtel, though half-owned by Telstra, could cannibalise large chunks of Telstra’s customer base if it priced aggressively. It could also steal customers from Telstra’s biggest rivals iiNet, Optus and TPG.
HELP REDUCE CHURNA broadband service would help Foxtel to boost revenues per subscriber, reduce “churn” – the proportion of customers leaving – and allow it to compete on a level playing-field with competitor pay-TV services as well as broadband over the NBN.
Mr Diddams noted that BSkyB quoted a two-percentage-points-lower churn rate for “multiple product” customers. But he also warned that “rental costs . . . to provide triple-play services could also potentially exceed the revenue opportunity” for Foxtel.
Foxtel, whose growth has been hamstrung by the anti-siphoning rules that prevent key sporting events from being shown exclusively on pay-TV, has launched web and mobile-based services Foxtel Play and Foxtel Go to try to lure customers who cannot afford its $100-a-month premium packages.
It is also preparing to sell a web-based movies-on-demand subscription service, called Presto, that is seen by analysts as a pre-emptive strike against popular US service Netflix, which has registered Australian trademarks ahead of a possible future launch.
Telstra has its own T-Box video offering, while iiNet and others are reselling Fetch TV’s subscription TV service over broadband. Meanwhile, Nine Entertainment Co is working on its own video-on-demand service, which it has discussed with Seven West Media, as it seeks to persuade investors of its future growth prospects ahead of its planned $3 billion flotation in December.
Foxtel defied its doubters by reporting a 3.9 per cent rise in revenues to $3.1 billion in the year to June on a pro forma basis supported by a 3.4 per cent increase in subscribers to 2.5 million.
However, it has had to spend more to acquire customers. Marketing costs were $176 million in the year to June, up from $123 million a year earlier, and $103 million in 2011, according to full-year results for News Corp, which was demerged from Mr Murdoch’s television and movies operation 21st Century Fox in June.


Telstra, Foxtel and News Corp declined to comment.
http://www.afr.com/p/business/marketing_media/foxtel_triple_play_deal_hits_nbn_savhh2mIXGIypv40I 3FPcI

Magda Hassan
09-14-2015, 12:45 PM
We have a new Prime Minister here now. A couple of weeks after Rupert Murdoch tweeted that there should be a replacement of leader of the ruling Liberal Party. New leader Malcolm Turnbull is a Rhodes scholar and former Goldman Sachs merchant banker....

David Guyatt
09-14-2015, 12:50 PM
What fun down under. The resident circus clown Abbot has been ousted by Malcolm Turnbull in leadership election.

Peter Presland
09-14-2015, 02:08 PM
We have a new Prime Minister here now. A couple of weeks after Rupert Murdoch tweeted that there should be a replacement of leader of the ruling Liberal Party. New leader Malcolm Turnbull is a Rhodes scholar and former Goldman Sachs merchant banker....

Credentials that will undoubtedly endear him to the Washington/London Deep State fraternities.

Certainly no threat to the '5 Eyes' and its parent Anglo-US-Nato globalising agenda from his direction; quite the opposite unless I'm very much mistaken.

David Guyatt
09-14-2015, 02:44 PM
We have a new Prime Minister here now. A couple of weeks after Rupert Murdoch tweeted that there should be a replacement of leader of the ruling Liberal Party. New leader Malcolm Turnbull is a Rhodes scholar and former Goldman Sachs merchant banker....

Uh oh. Rhodes, Goldman and Rupe. Toxic triplets.