Latham waves the wrong flag

eureka.gif Latham thinks the Eureka Stockade flag would be a great flag for Australia. So do the BLF and, according to Christopher Pearson in todays Australian, so does the Maoist Australian Independence Movement.
There’s still the related issue of the flag. As far as I can determine, he’s never resiled from his 1992 preference: “The Eureka model is a fine starting point and says a lot about the Australian ethos ? standing up for your rights and bearing adversity. It is time to reassess.” Indeed it is. Considering that the Eureka Stockade flag was the emblem for the Maoist Australian Independence Movement ? as contaminating an association as there ever was ? can Latham still seriously be entertaining the idea?
I too thought it could be a good choice until I noticed the BLF had beaten the country to it. How can a flag, that had once symbolised union thuggery, every be considered to be symbolic of the country overall? No way, I thought, and I put that issue aside as did the vast majority of Australians. Go for it, Latham. We conservatives must encourage Latham in every stupid move he makes.

Queensland Politics

When I was first posted to Queensland in the mid 70s I soon decided not to read the front page of the local Courier Mail. While Joe Bjelke-Petersen’s National Party were in power they didn’t seem to follow the Westminister system of government. With no Liberal Party presence I gave Queensland politics the flick and concentrated on complaining or commenting about national politics. Although I didn’t like Joe’s manner I fondly recall his answer to striking electricity workers who held the state to ransome for some weeks or months. Go back to work, he said, or I will publish all your names and addresses in the press and the people can tell you what they think of your stand. It worked and Queensland got thier power back Time marched on, Joe left and I resigned from the Army. No longer obliged to be apolitical I joined the New National Party and helped in the post 86 elections. I eventually left, disenchanted with the power plays and egos of those on the periphery of politics and abysmal standards of some aspirants. I now reside in the state without thought to politics at least while Labour is in the ascendency and my beloved Liberals can hold their AGM in a telephone booth. Beattie, the media tart, will get back in albeit with a reduced minority and I figure it will take at least two terms of government before the conservative side of Queensland politics can offer any sort of threat. Until then, I’ll return to my original stand on local politics and avoid the first few pages of the Courier Mail.

Indonesia Complains

Or is it just The Age? This article appears in todays Age but for the life of me I can’t find it in any on-line Indonesian press.
Australia’s decision to look at buying sophisticated warships armed with long-range anti-missile defences was clearly aggressive and would be considered by the Indonesian parliament, a leading opposition MP in Jakarta said today. Djoko Susilo, a member of the Indonesian parliament’s commission for security, defence and foreign affairs, said Australia’s consideration of air warfare destroyers for the navy capable of shooting down ballistic missiles in space was an aggressive move.
The Jakarta Post doesn’t mention it. Go see. One would think if a local senior opposition politician critisized Australia it would make to the local press. Antara, the Indonesian News Service doesn’t mention it. While you’re there look at the International section. Nope. Not a mention. Tried Googling and although my Indonsesian is a bit rusty these days I cant find any mention of Djoko getting up Australia. Went to AAP and if they mention the item, it’s well hidden. The Age wouldn’t have an anti-Howard agenda, would they? No, impossible. Must be me, ‘getting old – can’t read’ or just maybe ‘getting old – getting cynical’.

Watermelons

From Jamie Walker in today?s Weekend Australian Inquirer
Discussion about the ideological orientation of the Greens tends to revolve around the watermelon thesis that what’s green on the outside is actually red beneath. Does it matter in this day and age? Well, yes, especially if the Greens are trying to pull the shade cloth over our eyes.
And they are! Bob Carr, one of the most astute Premiers in Australia claimed that;
.. many Greens were unreconstructed Trots, closet members of the SWP. The whole Labor Party knew this, Carr said, and voters should, too.
I agree, the voters should be told often that a vote for the Greens is a vote against all that Australia stands for. Every now and then Brown, with sympathetic TV cameras in tow, hugs a tree and all the Greenies squirm with righteous pleasure but for the rest of the time he beats a different drum, and its funereal beat offers no hope for a better world. Hazy summer days at campus creates great breeding grounds for the Greens. Uni students, all in that phase of life that questions society are all conned by cute pictures of Koalas in threatened forests…remember No Tree – No Me. Truly a gallant cause but the innocent Koala is a front for anti-capitalist, anti US, anti globalisation and all the other Trotsky/Marxist failed bullshit ‘antis’ of the previous years. After Uni, most students go on to read newspapers other than the left-wing uni rags and their opinions mature. They realize in a complicated world the Greens have few real-world answers and what policy they do have will never be put to the test. They will never occupy the treasury benches but will be able to force disastrous results on legislature that can literally harm the nation. All green, no sense, stop industry, bugger the jobs. Policy in a sentence. Jamie puts a negative spin on the Greens years but I’m still concerned.
So here we are, sitting in Brown’s gloomy office in Parliament House, looking to what he insists is a bright future. Leaving aside events in Queensland, the year hasn’t ended as well as he would have hoped. The Greens’ vote, according to Newspoll, has slipped to 5 per cent, down three percentage points from the October high. Other published opinion polls show a similar dip. Brown and Nettle’s juvenile antics during the joint sitting of parliament addressed by US President George W. Bush appear to have been coolly received by the electorate. Senior adviser Ben Oquist insists, though, that the polls reflect no more than the bounce Labor received from the leadership change to Mark Latham. You’d hardly think that was a comfort.
Their juvenile antics will have put the electorate off but those who’s opinion and choice of newspapers never matured will again swing away from Labour and head to the Greens for socialist Trotsky solace. When Latham forces the issue at the forthcoming Labour conference all the left wing luvvies will be dismayed at the centre and right wing ascendancy in the party. They will vote Green and the 5% will head to double figures. Poor fellow, my country.

Right Turn or About Face

Latham has done his sums and come up with an answer that will further wind up the left wing baggage of the ALP. To have any chance of Government Labour needs to debate and where relevant support the Government in it’s Security issues. To disallow every Coalition submission because it doesn’t sit well with the left wing is going nowhere fast.
During a wide-ranging interview with The Australian, Mr McClelland – who, like Mr Latham, hails from the NSW Right – suggested many Labor grassroots members, such as teachers, lawyers, university students and social workers – were out of touch with the security concerns expressed by ordinary voters. “Some of the relatively narrow membership base that we have in the party is refusing to acknowledge the legitimate security concerns and anxiety that working Australians have,” told The Australian
It’s not so much the grassroots members but the left wing portion that drag the party down. Rational thought lost in a hate haze of Bush/Howard et al, they refuse to see any good that can come of the current world power grouping. Both Latham and McClelland are heading in the right direction in this article in todays Australian but I don’t think much of their chances of dragging the left wing into any arena of rational thought. Carmen Lawrence, given any power, will only want to lead the ALP into a 40 years sojourn in the wilderness. It’s a pleasant thought but we do need a viable opposition. McClelland isolates the left wing further by cannonising Satan and calling the UK labour to task over Iraq.
In further controversial remarks, Mr McClelland conceded that Tony Blair’s Labour Government in Britain had been “dishonest” in its arguments for joining the war in Iraq. “America was far more honest in their reasons for going into Iraq,” he said. “It was essentially the doctrine of pre-emption.”
Anyone not handicapped by the hate haze could see the Iraq war was pre-emptive and that the establishment of a democracy in the centre of the Middle East is a good idea but McClelland is being a bit disengenious by claiming the US were far more honest that the two junior partners. The US set the agenda and both the UK and Australia went along with it. The WMD only mattered until Saddam lost his ability to deploy them.

CHOGM

I have to wonder at the value of CHOGM and the Commonwealth in general. What does it do? What does it achieve and how does it help smaller countries in need? The recent CHOGM meeting in Abuja ended up being a committee meeting on Mugabe with some black African nations supporting Mugabe and blaming the whole problem on us white guys. Howard, trying to do the right thing by having Zimbabwe banned until Mugabe mends his ways, is attacked by the African chaps for his hardline stance. I mean, does anyone consider Mugabe redeamable? He’s not going to change and Zimbabwe will simply sink deeper into the cesspit until someone knocks him off. African precendence will have the next guy doing the same thing. Africans, black and white, get slaughtered and CHOGM discusses the problem. Too many tinpot African countries lead by tinpot men have a vote at CHOGM and at the other toothless tiger, the UN. The death toll in Africa underlines Democracy’s weak points – another thousand poor bastards dead – lets have a committee meeting! The chair calls for a show of hands – I think the No’s have it! Warning! The feint hearted, the politically correct, the Democrats (both of ’em), the Greens and assorted dreamers should click the back button – racist statement coming. The whole African continent has fallen to shit since the white guy got kicked out. There is no other word for it. History teachers are busy indoctrinating kids with the killings and arrogance of colonialsm while the Hutus in Rwanda slaughter 800,000 Tutsis and the UN takes seven years to set up an investigation. Yeah, I know – old stuff. But are we going to lay back and accept that this will happen again? What I’d like to see. A team of ‘suits’, some camouflaged, arrives in Zimbabwe and walk into Mugabe’s office. Mr Mugabe, the millions you have stolen from your people has been withdrawn from your Swiss Accounts and deposited in Zimbabwe’s National Bank. You are leaving on a plane tonight to Nigeria where we have set up a small cottage for you to eke out the rest of your life. You may take two buffalos, one wife and all your children. Let’s go! Administrators then manage the economy until local elections, monitored by soldiers, elects a government. Subsequent to the elected representatives being educated and attaining degrees in economics and government the Administrators hand over the reigns but maintain a small presence of advisors, backed by the aforesaid gentlemen wearing camouflaged suits. Yeah, I know, won’t happen this side of hell freezing over. In the meantime people knock on my door and harrass me on TV with visions of starving African children. Starving because the warlords confiscate donated money and goods and sell them to their tribe. The other tribes can starve. And we set up another committee!

Latham’s Baggage

If ever anyone ever wished Qantas had lost his baggage it has to be Latham. Three days as leader and he’s still trying to get rid of the baggage he brings with him to his new position. Intemperate language, quick-change policies and calling the leader of our major ally ‘the most dangerous…..etc must be trying on his stress levels. His fans are busy saying he says what he stands for; he has clear non-coalition policies while Latham is busy proving them wrong. Three days ago the Left were thrilled. Here’s a new leader and he hates the US, Bush and Howard just like we do…he has our vote. Today he stands in front of the US flag and says ‘forgive me…I was young an impressionable and only a politician. Now I’m the leader of the Opposition and I see things more clearly now and the US is good. Another bag he could lose is Whitlam sitting in the gallery cheering him on. The ‘Maintain the rage’ crew will be happy while the vast majority of Australian voters will be remembering strange days and everytime Whitlam says ‘what a wonderful chap’ people will remember more. Abbott attacks him over his marital baggage and Latham and friends call ‘not fair’ yet it was OK for Latham to attack Abbott over the child he had adopted out during his Uni days. Sorry, that’s unfair. Latham is more mature now he is the leader of the Opposition and wouldn’t dream of personally attacking a member of the house. Howard calls for a stop to the personal attacks with the obvious aim of setting a standard of debate that he thinks Latham will never meet. We’ll see.

Latham Debrief

Like many before him Latham only fixes half the problem. Tales of having to walk to meetings in the absence of local transport were common enough twenty years ago. So to were the ?Crash through or crash? remedies. Mike Steketee mentions Latham’s first foray into political leadership; After becoming Liverpool’s first popularly elected mayor at age 30, he did his best to correct the imbalance, embarking on an extensive building program that included two libraries, a heated swimming pool, a recreation centre and a revamped arts facility. Noble sentiment but who?s going to pay for the fix? It was one sign of the Latham style translated into action. A conventional mayor would have proceeded more cautiously. Latham’s legacy was $36million worth of new facilities but a deficit that prompted an expression of concern from the auditors and required the council to seek special permission to breach the annual rate ceiling of 2.7 per cent and hike rates by 8.1 per cent. Australia will never recover from Whitlam’s excesses and the poor old rate payers of Liverpool have a similar problem. He promises to tone down his language. He shouldn’t have spoken the way he did in the first place. The bridges are burnt and don’t think US Ambassador Schieffer?s public utterings of ‘…looking forward to working with’…reflect US thoughts on the matter. Schieffer is being diplomatic but the Yanks will be concerned. Many commentators reflect on Latham’s right wing tendencies. Frank Devine muses; … I was nudged towards Latham in the lead-up to yesterday’s caucus by, paradoxically, Robert Manne writing in The Age that if Latham were the man, Labor would “abandon interest in Aboriginal reconciliation” and “demonstrate a growing contempt for what Latham calls the left-wing ‘rights agenda’.” Splendid news, I thought. I found his violent excesses from the frontbench…uncharacteristically gauche; and However, the member for Werriwa strode off in an encouraging direction on his leadership debut yesterday. “I am in favour of upward mobility through hard work,” he declared at his first press conference. In 10 words he gave Labor a philosophy the party has been unable to articulate for a decade. If Latham can put this into practice, he will have demolished the politics of envy and effortless entitlement with which the lesser middle class has infected Labor. Some problems. The Left are going to hate him and this is potentially destabilizing. Watch Carmen (I can’t remember) Lawrence at the ALP conference in January. Carmen and her warriors, all with sword in their left hands, will be attacking and trying to turn the ALP further left. Latham has to steer down the middle or veer a little right to have an impact on the electorate. I don’t believe he has a good grasp of economics. I see a tendency to balance the inequalities of life with cash deposits when the system itself needs repair. Give a man some fish or teach him how to fish doesn’t seem to register with Latham. His time as Liverpool Mayor reflects this and his time with his hero and most everyone else?s fool, Whitlam, will have reinforced the mantra of ‘spend the money, fix the problem and let the Conservatives pick up the huge bills. Given the above, watch his minders spend time and money on remaking his image. Remove the intemperate language. Only quote policies that have been thought out by Caucus (that will be hard) and lets see what transpires.

Latham Wins

Latham by two votes (47 to 45) If Martin Luther King had a dream, I have nightmare. Latham leading Australia to insignifience via embarrassment. I accept youth , vigour and aggression but the subject has to be house trained first.

Deja Vu?

Beasley, Latham or Rudd. Latham will never get my vote nor a lot of others after his ‘arselicking’ call in the house. I also notice the Unions don’t want a bar of him either. Rudd blew his free plug in the Bulletin when Maxine McKew starts the her piece with this; “I’m a Jeffersonian separatist,” says Kevin Rudd by way of explaining how he reconciles his faith with his approach to public policy. We’re passing the small wooden-framed Anglican church of St John’s in Oxford Street, Bulimba, in the heart of his ?Brisbane electorate of Griffith. Rudd, along with his wife, businesswoman Therese Rein and their three children, worship here every Sunday. Jeffersonian separatist…mmmm..every votor should get that one. The ALP need maths and economics, not prayers. The first paragraph sounds too much like the Greens holding hands in a circle and chanting ohmm..ohmm..ohmm. Even as Foreign Affairs shadow he’s only talking UN. On the role of the UN, Rudd says: “The contrast between ourselves and the government could not be more clear-cut. We say the way to prosecute the 21st century is through a reformed UN charter which maintains an international rules-based system with new provisions to do with self-defence and intervention on humanitarian grounds. This is the most critical question in international relations today. What are the new rules? It ain’t theoretical. But what’s the ?government say? They say the UN is dead and that it’s full of namby-pamby pinko lefties driven by Third World dictators. So what’s the alternative? I’ve issued this challenge to Downer. But the response has been zero.” Downer’s response is much more than zero. He says it’s driven by Third World Dictators and it is. In its current form it is useless and the Third World dictators sure as hell are going to fight any attempt by Australia to change it. Mm….Beasley. Been there done that but might have to go back and do it all again. Good luck!
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