=== Todays Toon ===Tart of the Week: Mary Toft
Augustus Henry FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton, KG, PC (28 September 1735 – 14 March 1811), styled Earl of Euston between 1747 and 1757, was a British Whig statesman of the Georgian era. He was one of a handful of dukes who served as Prime Minister.
He became Prime Minister at the age of 33 in 1768, leading the supporters of William Pitt. However, he struggled to demonstrate an ability to counter increasing challenges to Britain's global dominance following the nations's victory in the Seven Years' War. He was widely attacked for allowing France to annexe Corsica, and stepped down in 1770 handing over power to Lord North.
=== Bible Quote ===“[The Resurrection of Christ] Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.”- 1 Corinthians 15:1, 3-4
=== Headlines ===Celebs may be raking in the dough, but they're not sharing with Uncle Sam — check out FoxNews.com's list of those who have outstanding taxes.
'Horrific' Health Law Targeted
Former N.Y. Gov. Pataki announces creation of national organization that will work to repeal Dems' health overhaul
Obama Urged to 'Pull the Trigger' on Iran
As Iran gets closer to reaching nuke ambitions, GOP lawmakers push Obama to get tough on Islamic Republic
Climate Scientists Cleared, But Not U.N.
Scientists in climate scandal made no attempt to change global warming research — but the U.N. is different story
This massive hammerhead shark, longer than a family car and weighing 1200kg, could soon become a tourist attraction if shark hunter Vic Hislop has his way / Northern Star
Staff can't hack working for PM
KEVIN Rudd Australia's most demanding boss, with 262 government workers quitting
Church warned as teacher admits abuse
POLICE fear former Christian Brother who taught all over Australia has raped more children.
Tiger Woods divorce is 'imminent'
SHAMED golfer's marriage to Elin Nordegren is all-but finished, according to TV show report.
Clothing store's child bikini shame
PADDED bra tops for young girls pulled from shelves amid accusations of child exploitation
Sorry, world, you'll just have to wait
APPLE says heavy demand for iPad in the US has put back worldwide release by month.
Mel Gibson, Russian girlfriend 'split'
MEL Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva's relationship 'over' just five months after daughter's birth.
'Killer' dad chased, shot at terrified teen
A DAD "whined about being out of ammo" during a deadly shooting that left four dead.
Quake kills hundreds, injures thousands
ALMOST 600 people have been killed and 10,000 injured in a 6.9 magnitude earthquake in China.
Tax office to get even tougher on dodgers
THE tax office will compare credit card records against declared income in a blitz on tax cheats.
Teen 'boasted about homeless man attack'
POLICE say assault charge likely to be upgraded to murder as bashing victim not expected to survive his injuries.
'Nonsense' jibe mocks strugglers
THE Energy Minister's office has dismissed as "nonsense" stories of families' hardship in the face of State Government's electricity price rises.
Former police chief Christine Nixon admits no contact during critical hours
VICTORIA'S former police chief has admitted she didn't speak to anyone for three hours at a critical time on Black Saturday but says she had confidence in the people delegated to manage the disaster.
Cancer breakthrough as DNA code cracked
A NEW era of cancer treatment has dawned. Scientists from research institutes in Australia, Canada, Japan, China and the UK will today release the first DNA profiles of some of the most prevalent types of tumours. It is the first output from the International Cancer Genome Consortium of 12 institutes around the world working to map the genes of 50 different cancers. The Queensland Centre for Medical Genomics at the University of Queensland's Institute of Molecular Bioscience is a member of the consortium and has released the analysed blueprints of two pancreatic tumours.
=== Comments ===Atheists line up to nail Catholics to the wall
RECENT frenzied media attacks on the Catholic Church and its leader Pope Benedict XVI are as ugly as the lynch mentality that inspired the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. - It should be pointed out that this is not the sole failing of those media groups. The swine flu scare is denounced as a twitter campaign, but not before Bolt could make the observation that an Australian was more likely to be eaten by mice while in government care than to contract swine flu. Mr Howard's government was denounced by a press expose a few days before the 2007 election, the expose turned out to be little different to regular ALP practice.
I am not Catholic, but I respect the Pope and the agenda Benedict has set.
I point out that nothing has been done regarding the issue of Hamidur Rahman. Basic questions have not been asked of significant figures, some of whom have left public office in a big cloud of corrupt dust. - ed.
The Government Wants Your Money
By Bill O'Reilly
As we have been reporting, America's broke. Not only do the feds owe $13 trillion, but cities and towns all over the USA are going bankrupt.
For example, in Los Angeles, some murder investigations have stopped, as detectives are being sent home to balance out overtime costs. In Ohio, Ashtabula County authorities have cut so many cops from the payroll, they're telling citizens to arm themselves, that they can't protect them. In Colorado Springs, a third of the street lights have been turned off. Residents are being asked to donate money to get the lights back on. And in Chicago Heights, Illinois, emergency services may charge you if you need help. Recently a guy involved in an accident, not his fault, was billed $200 bucks.
All of this is happening because of the wild government spending over the past decade, and things are going to get worse.
Here's what you can expect. A national sales tax. The Obama administration can't pay its bills, so expect a European-style VAT on stuff we buy. The states will start issuing more tickets: parking, speeding, anything they can think of. The states will also raise fees on everything. And you'll be taxed on anything that moves, including out-of-state purchases.
This is war, ladies and gentlemen. A war on your wallet.
So far under President Obama, personal income has fallen more than three percent. That means we are making less money and the government's taking more of less. The state of California is bankrupt. New York state can't meet its obligations. New Jersey is bleeding. The list is endless.
On Long Island, where I live, they're even closing the pool at Jones Beach State Park. You can't even go in the pool anymore because they don't have any money.
This is what the entitlement culture brings. This is what high union pensions and unsupervised disability payments bring. The states don't have any money. The feds owe trillions. Yet, spending continues to rise.
Even the uber-left in America now understands what Gov. Schwarzenegger understands: You can't spend money you don't have without creating a disaster.
OTHERS INCLUDE AWESOMENESS, HEROISM AND A KILLER SENSE OF HUMOUR
The ABC reports:
United States president Barack Obama says he and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd share several personality traits – one of which is humility.(Via Alan R.M. Jones)
THE FUTURE OF SOLAR IS DIESEL
This is brilliant. Spanish scammers are collecting renewable energy subsidies by shining massive diesel-powered arclights at solar panels. The swindle was uncovered when investigators found that some solar suppliers were generating power after nightfall.
(Via Larry T.)
UPDATE/CORRECTION. As alert readers point out, the scam is in fact far simpler than a diesel/solar transfer. It actually involves feeding diesel-generated power into the grid then claiming the solar subsidy. This makes it even more beautiful.
SHE BROUGHT THE HOUSE DOWN
It’s the Hindenburg of wedding receptions:
UPDATE. Real or fake? FAKE!
FIGHT ON THE HILL
They can’t wait to be rid of Rudd:
Kevin Rudd and his ministers have emerged as Australia’s most demanding bosses, with near-record staff burnout of almost 60 per cent in just more than two years … 262 ministerial staff – from a total of 444 positions – have departed since Labor came to office.An alternative theory: rather than the Rudd government being intolerably brutish, perhaps Labor staffers are work-shy jellywimps. Just a thought.
Three ministers have recorded staff turnover of more than 100 per cent, with Youth and Sport Minister Kate Ellis having 13 departures from a staff of 10.We shouldn’t have a government department for sport, but if we’re stuck with one, it may as well be led by someone cute. Yet still the staffers flee.
The Prime Minister himself has lost 28 staff, with Government insiders describing his office as resembling a “transit lounge”.There’s a reason why so few Labor politicians succeed in the private sector.
Some former staff are privately seething at his management style, claiming he can fly off the handle at a moment’s notice …
The staff exodus shocked recruitment specialists who said the private sector “norm” was closer to 10 per cent per year.
UPDATE. He’s so predictable. Today’s Daily Telegraph editorial:
Rudd will make no apology for any of this. He’s running the country. He has a lot of very important work to do. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the office assisting the Prime Minister and Cabinet on matters pertaining to international development and trade.Right on cue:
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is unapologetic about making staff “burn the midnight oil” …By the way, Kevin, that phrase is no longer appropriate. In Rudd’s Australia, the Midnight Oil burns you.
Commerce rebuilds (constantly) in Thailand:
“Wonderful,” writes one commenter. “Is like in a dream land or movies.” And not a carbon offset scheme in sight. Longer video here.
UPDATE. In other retail news, Melbourne’s Costco store – as recommended by readers – is such a success that a similar store will now open in Sydney.
DOWN WITH DENIALISTS
New Yorker staff writer Michael Specter on the dangers of real science denial:
(Via Garth Godsman)
HAPPIEST STORY OF THE WEEK
Happy Saputra vaults the barriers:
Happy, born on July 4, 1984, was not your typical Chinese Indonesian kid. His parents taught him to do things differently so that he would not be treated like a member of the minority. He had to show people that he was more than the stereotype of a Chinese kid who only played video games and did not mingle outside his ethnic group.Do read on.
Happy vividly remembers his mother’s advice for him to be diligent, not to be easily swayed by other people’s negative opinions, and most importantly to remember that just because one is viewed as different, it does not mean that one cannot be accepted by others.
(Via Goldie in Jakarta)
UPDATE. Indian heroes in Iraq.
Obama sees in Rudd what everyone has missed
I think Obama has got not just Rudd wrong but himself:
United States president Barack Obama says he and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd share several personality traits – one of which is humility.I suspect Obama has mistaken Rudd’s deep insecurity for an altogether more praiseworthy virtue.
(Thanks to readers Alan RM Jones and Campbell.)
And the corpses are composted
Novelist Arundhati Roy was given the farcical Sydney Peace Prize by Sydney University after backing Iraqi terrorists:
The Iraqi resistance is fighting on the frontlines of the battle against Empire. And therefore that battle is our battle.Sure, these terrorists chose tactics of unspeakable brutality, but the The God of Small Things writer dismissed their critics:
Before we prescribe how a pristine Iraqi resistance must conduct their secular, feminist, democratic, nonviolent battle, we should shore up our end of the resistance by forcing the US and its allied governments to withdraw from Iraq.Mercifully, those terrorists are now on the retreat in democratic, free Iraq, but Roy has now found another terrorist movement to back, one with an approved green tinge:
Since her novel The God of Small Things won the Booker Prize in 1997, Roy has campaigned for the rights of India’s tribal people who have been ousted from their land to make way for mines, factories, roads and dams. But her article ‘’ with the comrades in Outlook magazine last month provoked strong criticism and anger after 76 troops of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed last week.The Sydney academics who awarded her their “peace prize” must be so proud.
The ambush, in which hundreds of Maoist guerillas shelled a passing convoy, brought calls for the government to conduct air raids to break the insurgency.
Roy’s article recounts her secret rendezvous with the Maoists in Dantewada, the area where the ambush was staged, and paints a sympathetic portrait of volunteers persecuted by the government. She compares their environmental approach to recycling parts of captured police cars - before they burn them - to Gandhi’s and at one point jokes about writing a play called Gandhi Get Your Gun.
She writes: ‘’ far as consumption goes it has a lighter carbon footprint than any climate-change evangelist.’’
Climategate: Even a whitewash can’t hide the faults
The Climategate emails showed climate scientists of the University of East Anglia engaged in hiding evidence, fiddling results, silencing sceptics and covering up mistakes, if not outright fraud.
To quell the outrage, the University appointed an “independent” panel to examine just some of these issues.
From the start, it seemed the panel was far from as “independent” as it was advertised. Take its chairman, Lord Oxburgh, and his global warming interests:
President of the Carbon Capture and Storage AssociationTake panellist Kerry Emmanuel, the warmist scientist who’d already declared the university’s scientists innocent and Climategate a beatup, if not actually a sceptics’ plot:
Chairman of wind energy firm Falck Renewables
A member of the Green Fiscal Commission
“What we have here,” says Kerry Emanuel, are “thousands of emails collectively showing scientists hard at work, trying to figure out the meaning of evidence that confronts them. Among a few messages, there are a few lines showing the human failings of a few scientists…” Emanuel believes that “scientifically, it means nothing,” because the controversy doesn’t challenge the overwhelming evidence supporting anthropogenic warming. He is far more concerned with the well-funded “public relations campaign” to drown out or distort the message of climate science...And, with similar questions over the impartiality of other panellists, it was predicted the inquiry was a whitewash. (UPDATE: A whitewash indeed, says Professor Fred Singer, the renowned atmospheric physicist.)
From the press reports of its surprisingly sparse findings, it seems it was. Example from the ABC:
Another inquiry has cleared British climate researchers of wrongdoing after their emails were hacked, leaked and held up by sceptics as evidence they had exaggerated the case for man-made global warming.Yet though the panel was favorably inclined and keen to excuse, and despite its failure to consult sceptics, the panel’s report, barely five pages long, still contains plenty to worry about, given that the university’s Climatic Research Unit was so very influential in building the world-wide alarm about global warming.
Former government adviser Ronald Oxburgh, who chaired the panel, said he had found no evidence of scientific malpractice or attempts to distort the facts to support the mainstream view that man-made CO2 emissions contribute to rising temperatures.
The Global Warming Policy Foundation sums up:
We welcome the acknowledgement by the Panel that the Urban Heat Island effect on surface temperatures records in and around large cities is important but poorly understood. We also welcome the admission that the IPCC ignored the expressions of uncertainty in CRU papers.Here’s some extracts from the report that indicate not just how limited and superficial the inquiry was, but how shaky is some of the key work behind the CRU’s case for apocalyptic man-made warming:
We also note, in the context of the long-term temperature record, its comment that “the potential for misleading results arising from selection bias is very great in this area. It is regrettable that so few professional statisticians have been involved in this work.”
In general, the report is being politely kind to CRU, but in essence rather critical of the disorganised and amateurish use of statistics. It is hardly an endorsement of the quality of the research being carried out at what is supposed to be the world’s leading unit which has received so much government funding.
Either Rudd lies, or should sack even more staff
The Nine Network’s Today show, October 3, 2007:
JOURNALIST: Labor staffers make sure he is across the day’s issues even before he gets to a newspaper.The Prime Minister on ABC North Coast yesterday:
Kevin Rudd: They’re out of bed at 4.30 in the morning. So when I wake up, it’s a telephone call to say, `What’s happening in the world, guys?’
YVETTE Steinhauer: Mr Rudd, the architect of Medicare, John Deeble, who your party often cites as a health expert, has come out this morning and has not been very flattering about your health agenda.The Prime Minister on ABC Wide Bay on Monday:
Rudd: Well, perhaps. I haven’t seen those comments from John.
JOURNALIST: Roger Corbett has labelled your health reforms bizarre and also a formula for disaster. How to do you respond to those criticisms?Rudd in Perth on March 25:
Rudd: I haven’t seen those comments.
JOURNALIST: The Reserve Bank this morning has warned of housing bubbles and likely interest rate rises. What’s your response to that?
Rudd: I haven’t seen the text of what the RBA has put out today.
The lawless generation: 10 times more likely to be jailed
Aboriginal deaths in jail aren’t the real problem at all:
Aboriginal adults who comprise almost exactly 2 per cent of the total adult population now make up over 25 per cent of our prison population.
Vatican forgets some priests abuse girls, too
A Vatican idiot:
The Vatican’s second-in-command says the pedophilia scandal plaguing the Roman Catholic Church can be blamed mainly on homosexuals in the priesthood…Really? Today’s news:
“Many psychologists, many psychiatrists have demonstrated there exists no relationship between celibacy and pedophilia,” Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, said in Santiago on Monday. “But many others have demonstrated, and have told me recently, that there is a link between homosexuality and pedophilia. This is true, this is the problem.”
POLICE have warned the Catholic Church to expect more cases of child sex abuse to emerge from six schools that employed a veteran teacher who yesterday pleaded guilty to abusing 13 schoolgirls.The church backpedals from stupidity:
Father Marcus Stock, general secretary of the Bishops’ Conference, said in a statement: “To the best of my knowledge there is no empirical data which concludes that sexual orientation is connected to child sexual abuse.
“The consensus among researchers is that the sexual abuse of children is not a question of sexual orientation, whether heterosexual or homosexual, but of a disordered attraction or fixation.”
If Brumby’s system is so bad, why has Rudd pinched it?
John Brumby is now being trashed for not running the best hospital system in the country, after all.
If that’s so, then this doesn’t destroy the case against Kevin Rudd’s hospital plan, which Brumby opposes.
Indeed, it strengthens it, since Rudd’s plan involves spreading Brumby’s case-mix funding system to other states so that they can have what Victoria has, too:
He proposes to use Victoria’s case-mix funding model nationally...
Six out of 10 Rudd workers quit
Kevin Rudd warned before the election that you could get bastard bosses who’d demand staff work non-stop:
He was right:
KEVIN Rudd and his ministers have emerged as Australia’s most demanding bosses with burnout of 60 per cent in just over two years.The champion:
Despite pledging to tear up John Howard’s hated WorkChoices, 262 ministerial workers - from a total of 444 - have departed since Labor came to office.
And while Mr Rudd surged to office on a promise to get rid of rogue employers, three of his own ministers recorded staff turnover of more than 100 per cent.
The PM has lost 28, with government insiders describing his office as resembling a “transit lounge”.
Some former workers are privately seething at his style, claiming he can fly off the handle at a moment’s notice.But the pace of Labor’s 24/7 reform agenda has taken its toll across the board.
Three ministers have recorded staff turnover of more than 100 per cent, with Youth and Sport Minister Kate Ellis having 13 departures from a staff of 10.UPDATE
But there’s a darker side rarely seen in public: The PM who turns up to meetings with bureaucrats in the foulest of moods. He is the uncompromising boss who rarely praises staff, even when they have spent countless hours and missed family commitments to finish projects.Rudd knows that there are some powerful others - not staff or Ministers - who are for now holding their tongue about his abuse, foul tongue and paranoia, too. So does his chief of staff, Alistair Jordan.
Around Canberra, there are plenty of ex-Rudd staffers who will recount tales of woe. None will speak publicly, but the numbers do not lie…
Ministers, many of whom have felt the Rudd blowtorch, are not surprised. None will speak publicly, with Rudd odds-on for another term.. Taking on the Jekyll-and-Hyde PM makes no political sense - yet.
al Qaeda preaches at our mosque
Al Qaeda preaches in our biggest mosque:
AN AL-QAEDA recruiter, described as the No. 1 terrorist threat to America, was engaged by a Sydney youth group to address hundreds of young people - a decision that has caused deep divisions at one of Australia’s largest mosques.Shady is a contradiction of those bland assurances that the second generation will assimilate as the first did not:
At the same time as Anwar al-Awlaki was advising the extremist later charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood in Texas, he was in talks with a group, Sydney Muslim Youth, about delivering a sermon to young Australians. He was already well known to security agencies as the spiritual guide to three of the hijackers on September 11, 2001…
The Herald attended the sermon at the Lakemba mosque in February last year but was ejected by organisers…
According to a director of the mosque, Ziad Ghamraoui, Shady Alsuleiman was in charge of organising evening youth events at the time of the sermon. Sheikh Shady refused to comment… IslamicMedia.com.au, an initiative of the Shady-affiliated United Muslims of Australia, streamed but did not record the speech and has 15 other audio sermons from the imam.
Sheikh Shady Alsuleiman was born in Sydney - Australia from an Arab family who migrated to Australia in the late 60’s. He completed his School Certificate in Sydney before heading overseas on a seven year journey seeking Islamic knowledge in the Islamic world… He operates from Australia’s largest Masjid and Islamic centre (Masjid Ali Bin Abi Taleb, known as Lakemba Mosque).And he’s formed an Islamic college in Sydney that now has five teachers. One is the Sydney-born Rameh Zoud, who was interviewed six years ago by the ABC in Yemen, where he was studying Islam at a school in a town in al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden’s ancestral homeland:
(Reporter) CORCORAN: The authorities regard (Californian student) Yahya (Rhodus) and the other foreigners here as moderates and today he’s helping settle in nine recent arrivals from Australia, including twenty year old Rameh Zaoud, a student of Lebanese decent from Sydney.(Thanks to reader TQS.)
RAMEH ZAOUD: I finished high school in Australia, I finished Year 12 and I studied Koran after high school and I memorised most of the Koran and then I was favoured by God to come here and study Islamic studies…
CORCORAN: What’s your view on Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda? Do you condemn them?
RAMEH ZAOUD: Well I tell you the truth, I was in Australia and I seen a lot on TV but I really don’t have any, nothing makes, I didn’t study it. I didn’t really go into it and nothing really makes sense to me. Like you’d probably know more than me. I really haven’t studied that much.
CORCORAN: Al Qaeda is an extremely sensitive topic here, one that Yahya and another American student monitoring our interview want us to avoid.
As a young Australian you read the newspapers, you watch the TV, it’s been everywhere for the past two and a half years. You must have an opinion. You don’t condemn them?
RAMEH ZAOUD: That’s the thing…
YAHYAH RHODUS: What he’s saying is that he’s not a legal judge such that he can condemn someone and the question itself is a little bit offensive for us to talk bad about someone behind their back without sufficient knowledge of that person.
Ask them rather by what right they smashed it
More scenes from our underclass, and out hand-flapping institutions:
A Brisbane magistrate has dismissed charges against four people accused of the ‘Satanic’ vandalism of graves at Toowong Cemetery last year, in part because it could not be proven the group did not have permission to do so…Is it remotely possible that owners of 82 graves would permit some clown to smash them up in one night?
The foursome had been charged with the wilful damage of 82 graves at the historic cemetery in August last year.
(Thanks to reader Yankeebravo. Note to anyone commenting: bear in mind the four have been found not guilty, and reportedly not just on this ground. UPDATE: Comments now off, since people aren’t taking the hint.)
Experts admit what mere columnist spotted a year ago
A year after we warned of exactly this, the experts concede:
Global health chiefs have finally admitted that they may have overreacted to the swine flu ‘pandemic’ - landing governments with millions of unused vaccines.Of course, their “overreaction” wasn’t a mere mistake, but an utterly predictable bid for more attention, cash and power of the kind we expect from UN bodies.
The World Health Organisation has conceded that it may have been guilty of failing to communicate ‘uncertainties’ about how virulent the new virus was.
(Thanks to reader Take the Red Pill.)
But these “heroes” aren’t just on the box but in your street
Rebecca Wilson is right - Channel 9’s Underbelly makes heroes of criminals. And we will pay:
Already, the show has enraged and disgusted me. And I am not alone.The actors themselves show how Underbelly perverts moral judgement. Last season turned convicted gangland figure Mick Gatto into such a hero that Melbourne University Press published his whitewash of an autobiography, and a former policeman at the launch lost his head completely:
The man who led a royal commission into New South Wales police corruption, Justice James Wood, said yesterday Underbelly was a disgraceful glamorisation of crime. He believes the program makes guns and violence acceptable, and portrays criminal characters as heroes who were really only “hoodlums and thugs”.
For former policeman Simon Westaway, playing Gatto in Underbelly has brought him such fame - and cash - that it’s little surprise he now babbles of being “proud to be associated” with a man so ”charming, charismatic, intelligent, interested and interesting”.This season the Lebanese actor playing the Lebanese Kings Cross “identity” John Ibrahim thinks he’s cool, too:
From the very first episode of this series, John Ibrahim is painted as a clever young entrepreneur with bucket loads of charm and intelligence… The fact that he chose to hook up with Freeman, the Sydney crime boss, and that his world is close to the centre of the city’s drug trade does not apparently matter…Of course, some will repeat that old deceit that the what we see on the screen won’t affect how people act on the streets. But let’s now check Dirani’s last movie, The Combination, which made Lebanese hoods seem victims of racism and almost chic:
Even the actor who plays Ibrahim in the current series, Firass Dirani, seems to have fallen under the man’s spell, claiming the bloke is just a savvy businessman who was in the right place at the right time.
The star of a new movie about Lebanese gangs has been sentenced to more than seven months in jail. Ali Haidar, 19, who was “plucked from the streets of Rockdale”, according to promotional material for film The Combination, appeared before magistrate Brian Maloney in Central Local Court today on one charge of ...common assault and Haidar pleaded guilty.And then:
An Australian film about Lebanese gangs has been pulled from Greater Union cinemas in Sydney after violent outbursts at early screenings.
Nixon deserted and deceived and must go
We already know former police chief Christine Nixon failed to do her duty during the Black Saturday fires, fleeing to the pub. Today we learn that she failed to tell the truth about deserting her post as well:
CHRISTINE Nixon has hit out at the suggestion she turned her phone off while dining out at a pub on the night of the Black Saturday bushfires, labelling the notion “abhorrent"…Again and again she contradicted the previous evidence she’d given under oath:
The commission today heard that Ms Nixon did not receive any telephone calls or text messages between 6pm and 9pm that night.
Responding to a question about the status of her mobile phone from counsel assisting the commission Rachel Doyle, SC, Ms Nixon said: “The notion of my turning my telephone off is disgusting.”
The evidence contradicts what Ms Nixon told the Bushfires Royal Commission last week, when she said under oath that she never spoke to Minister Bob Cameron on February 7.Last week Nixon denied in the commission that she left the emergency response headquarters at 6pm because she had some other committment:
In the face of phone records showing otherwise, she has now admitted the minister called her at 4:00pm on Black Saturday and she called him twice more during the evening…
Counsel assisting the commission Rachel Doyle SC accused Ms Nixon of deliberately omitting ... the information about the dinner because it would reveal she was not in a position to monitor the unfolding dire emergency.
“The first was your attendance at a hotel in North Melbourne and the second as the fact that that necessarily meant that there was a period of time when you were unable to monitor radio, internet, email or TV,” Ms Doyle said.
“I suggest to you that you didn’t forget those matters… I suggest you didn’t forget them, you deliberately omitted them.”
Ms Nixon rejected the accusations and later rebuked Ms Doyle for being “flippant”.
Did you need to be somewhere that evening?---No…This week she conceded she did have appointment, after all, but, she said, one she could break:
Her husband booked the dinner with two friends the day before.Last week she claimed on oath she’d gone home and monitored the fire news by computer, radio and television:
You say you monitored the situation. You continued to review the website, so you had email and web access?---Yes.This week she conceded she went to the pub, where she did no such monitoring.
The Herald Sun has written a special leader for its internet edition summing up the case against Nixon and demanding her resignation as head of the Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority:
During her evidence, it emerged that:
- she did not use her phone to contact anyone between 6pm and 9pm on the night of Black Saturday, despite her previous evidence that she regularly kept in touch with what was going on,
- she did not access email, internet, television or radio coverage of the fires between 7pm and 8.20pm while at a North Melbourne hotel for dinner,
- she did not speak to Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe once that day despite saying previously that she had been in contact with him throughout the day,
- her husband had booked dinner at the North Melbourne pub the day before Black Saturday despite her previous evidence that she had no plans for the night,
- and that she told no one where she was going to dinner despite previously stating that people knew where she was.
Today, Nixon is damned by her own words. When leadership was most needed, she went missing.