Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Week in Revue, ending Sun 24th May


This week is to do with responsibility. The budget has not yet played out, largely because of unrelated issues that were played up so as to obscure it. The budget was terrible, and the reply by Turnbull and the libs were salient and appropriate. ALP and their stooges asked the question “What debt would Turnbull have given Australia?” The assumption being that Turnbull would have made the same mistakes that Rudd made. Tellingly, Gillard was interviewed by Alan Jones and had this line “Sometimes the recovery following a recession can be strangled by debt created at the end of the recession. We brought our spending forward so that wouldn’t happen.” Evidently, Gillard feels the debt fairy is going to clear away the debt before the economy starts earning income again.
There is a lot to be said for responsible management of the economy, and both Peter Costello and John Howard made some appropriate remarks regarding the direction the government has taken and its lax fiscal discipline. On this point journalists who barrack for the ALP came out and made misleading and inaccurate observations. One hack on ABC1’s Insiders claimed that spending had been too high during the boom years under Mr Howard, none of the other lefty panellists were willing to correct them. The truth is that spending under the previous conservative government had been appropriate and so Australia prospered at the time. It is inappropriately high now, and so Australia is doing badly. It is ok to spend money, but it needs to be spent wisely, supporting those things which allow the economy to grow and people to prosper.
One prominent ABC1 journalist, Kerry O’Brien has led numerous assaults on the conservative parties and greatly lauded the ALP and greens. O’Brien was one of those journalists who inflated a private conversation in an attempt to kick down the previous conservative government. Gerard Henderson gives an in kind reply on O’Brien.
Well, (I have) come across the notes of a conversation of a Coalition staffer who happened to be shouted a tequila by Red Kerry in the Holy Grail restaurant in fashionable Kingston. The time was 2.30 am - give or take a couple of tequilas. The date was the morning after the Budget night before.
The Coalition staffer’s note of the conversation - which was witnessed by another Coalition staffer - is as follows:
O’Brien was visibly…[delete this word - let’s go with “tired and emotional” instead, Editor] but was friendly and candid. He was aware that he was talking to Coalition staffers….
Coalition Staffer: “Kerry , you realise…I respect Peter [Costello] a lot.”
O’Brien: “Well good luck to you then - I don’t. He doesn’t like politics; he has always been the first one out of here (Canberra) on Thursday. Peter Costello does not have the nation’s interests at heart. He is only in it for himself, always has been, always will be. He needs to get out.”
Coalition Staffer: “I actually really respect some of the reforms of the Hawke-Keating era.”
O’Brien: “Howard and Costello never recognised the importance of their reforms. Costello simply rode on the consequences of the Keating and Hawke wave of economic reform.”
Now, normally (I) would not publish the note of a conversation conducted in private on a dark Canberra night or morning. But this is what the 7.30 Report’s political editor Michael Brissenden did concerning a conversation he and two others had with Peter Costello in 2005. Mr Brissenden’s release of the details of this off-the-record conversation a couple of years later was specifically approved by Kerry O’Brien.
O’Brien’s obvious hatred for Costello is inappropriate for a journalist who is supposed to provide a balanced view. Clearly O’Brien is not up to the task professionally, as he personally launches repeated assaults by being misleading and biased. It is irresponsible. Yet we have no choice but tolerate it from our national media. O’Brien is not alone. Even when Paul Kelly has trouble opposing Rudd’s ridiculous spin “This is Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan’s real problem. Keen to promote themselves as decisive leaders during an economic crisis, this week they looked scared, silly and subservient to political spin.” Kelly only thought it was this week?
A former South Korean leader, who wanted closer relations with the North and more distance from the US committed suicide. Lily Allen became one of a large number of opinionated popstars to tell people what to think “Look inside, look inside your tiny mind 
Then look a bit harder 
‘Cause we’re so uninspired, so sick and tired 
Of all the hatred you harbor” Apparently she has a lot of hatred inside too. Biden and Pelosi combine to make Obama appear good by virtue of being better.
One expects scientists to talk about their research. Instead we have several instances of scientists proclaiming that they campaign on issues instead. Including in Australia the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO. In the US NASA and worldwide the IPCC.
Is your job safer now Workchoices is gone? Retiring MP Shelley Archer was paid $5k to go on a junket to Cuba to celebrate their revolution and end to workchoices.
This week I was privileged to go to a morning tea and raise funds opposing cancer. I had an agenda, as always, to bring myself to the attention of a political figure and raise the issue of Justice for Hamidur Rahman. I was told to give up. But I won’t. Hamidur, and his family, deserves justice. Hamidur is dead, and so cannot speak for himself. I have not got evidence of murder, instead I have compelling evidence that the investigation into the death was bungled and may have been corruptly covered up.
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