Tuesday, February 17, 2004


Mark Latham never fails to unleash a stream of shit everytime he opens his mouth. "I grew up poor," he says, "And struggled lots. I'm a real Aussie Battler!"

OPPOSITION Leader Mark Latham would still scoop $4.5 million in superannuation payments even if he slashed his own entitlements, the government said today.

Victorian Liberal MP Greg Hunt said Mr Latham was on track to be the highest earning retired Australian MP in history despite his pledge to slice $1.9 million off his super entitlements.

If Mr Latham served as Prime Minister for nine years, retired at 52 and lived until he was 90 he would have collected $6.4 million in superannuation, before his planned $1.9 million cut, Mr Hunt said.

"What hasn't been pointed out is that he would still be getting $4.5 million," he told reporters.

"Mark Latham by his own figures is the $4.5 million man."

Mr Latham has promised, if he became Prime Minister, to cut his own super entitlements to cabinet minister level, giving up between $500,000 and $1.9 million in future benefits.
And to recap what Mark said a couple of weeks ago:

Well, I think politicians need to recognise that a lot of the public distrust and cynicism about double standards, and when people see a Parliamentary super scheme that's way out of line, far more generous than the community standard, well, it's hardly surprising that the public makes a grievance about that.

So, as I've said last week at our conference, we've got a responsibility to bring parliamentary life, public life back into good public regard, and getting rid of double standards and improving the ethics of politics...
Henceforth, thee shall be known as Gardyloo Mark, by way of warning the public of the hypocritical shit about to come.

For those who don't know, "Gardyloo!" is a cry that used to be heard in the slums in Scotland (and France, too-- apparently). It meant that shit and piss and slop would come flying out of the chamber pots, out of the window, and onto the open sewerage below. It served as a warning to people walking around in the street.

Monday, February 16, 2004

My Two Cents (whether you want it or not)

I woke up this morning, and watched the news. I see riot police, Molotov cocktails, fire, broken glass, and all manner of things violent going on. Christ, I think. Where is that?

Sydney. Sydney. This scene is one we would sadly expect to see on the west bank or the Northern Ireland of a few years ago. Not in a Sydney suburb, however feral that suburb be.

Who are they kidding? This riot was not over the kid that died. It can't be, because the police had nothing to do with the death of the kid. I am not happy with the media coverage of this-- particuarly the repeated scenes of the mother breaking down, and then some small shot of the stoic police officer who has the burden of fronting the media. Even the coverage of the poor mother has been inconsistent: "He was a good kid, smiled a lot and was nice to his sisters." "He was my only son, my eldest son, not even 18." "They killed him, them officers, I know they did."

Yesterday he was an 'innocent' child, a kid out for a ride. No one knew quite what happened. The kid saw a cop car, and took off. The police, however much we would want to believe, are not in the practice of chasing after kids on bikes. Aboriginal or not (Kevin Rudd agrees).

Today we know he had an arrest warrant. Did this matter to anyone? I bet those 70+ drunk idiots never even knew the kid before yesterday, and suddenly, because he has dark skin, and police were with him, there's a friggin riot. They needed a cause, however weak, and this would do. "Let's trash the shit out of Redfern station," they cry, "and hurt some police because they're white!"

Over what? A current affairs program of some sort (can't remember which) tonight showed a teenage girl who claims that they're all just sick of everything, there's nothing for them to do anymore, people resort to violence because they're bored, and this riot was a reflection on that.

Excuse me, I may be uninformed here, but when did that ever become an excuse? Yes, the treatment of aborigines by the first white settlers was inhumane, but every single race out there has suffered some sort of hardship. Doesn't mean you can go on a fucking rampage.

Take a good look at this:

This riot has been given international attention. People see this, and they know it's happening in Australia. This is not a normal occurrence, but people don't know that. Just like they don't know that Tampa was not a normal occurrence. CNN ran a nice report on it, including some information about the refusal by our Prime Minister to apologise, and all the injustice that the aborigines apparently suffered, and included the following quotes to boot:

People should not kid themselves; this is Australia and last night's display of violence is an extreme example of the extent of the alienation felt by some Aboriginal kids," said Sen. Aden Ridgeway, the only Aborigine serving in federal Parliament.


Officials have promised to hold an inquiry into Sydney's riot. But don't expect a legacy of distrust to dissipate anytime soon.

New South Wales state opposition leader John Brogden -- a senior member of Howard's Liberal Party -- said the only way to clean up The Block was to knock it down.

"I'd bring the bulldozers in because I think allowing this to happen every couple of years, which is what's going to happen, will never fix the problem," he said.
Almost as famous as that Shane Stone quote, that last one will be.

Another international publication ran this:

One rioter, her face hidden by a mask, says there is a dangerous level of anger within the indigenous community. "If I have to lead my people and these kids toward death - to die for what they believe in - I will do it."
Are we to expect suicide bombings next?

Amazingly, aboriginal leaders have praised the actions of the drunk and stupid mob last night:

Redfern elder Lyle Munro told the crowd gathered at the scene of the riot they should be proud Redfern's young people had stood up to police.

"There's been a stand made in the 'fern once and for all," he said.

"The stand had to be taken and was taken by some really brave young black people that we are immensely proud of."

It is disgusting that these rioters have tried to get history on their side, when all they wanted was a cheap thrill. Let's not kid ourselves. This wasn't about T.J. It never was. What happened to T.J was an unfortunate accident. But thanks to the actions of the dumb mob, it's blown up into something huge, destructive, and damaging, and is portrayed to be about something that it's not. There was no good to come of it.

But, it seems, they can't wait to do it all over again.

EDIT: For the record, I don't think Todd McKenzie is racist. In fact, I completely agree with him.

EDIT 2:Alan Anderson has a thought or 5 on leadership, and Bernie Slatts offers a solution in the comments:

The best thing government could do is declare Redfern a no-go zone for government services. Let them have it as an independent nation. Residents can police it themselves, raise their own taxes, provide their own public transport. Migrants to Australia from Redfern would be welcome so long as they undertook to behave lawfully and care for their kids.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Vilification of the moment

Every now and then, the Media grabs hold of something and reports it to death: usually in a manner that can only be described as really really really mean. Sometimes it's justified, sometimes it's just there to whip people up in a frenzy of righteous anger.

It happened with Steve Irwin a few weeks ago, and now it's happening with Centrelink.

At the time this was published, there are currently more than 40 articles on news.google that mention Centrelink in the last three days alone.

The Australian:
CENTRELINK was today forced to defend itself from charges it is a mistake-prone organisation which had made 1.13 million errors in the past four months...

CENTRELINK provides payments to millions of Australians, but families and young people are the most likely to suffer mistakes, confidential documents reveal...

IF Centrelink employees don't want to do paperwork assigned to them they just put it in someone else's pigeon-hole, a report commissioned by the agency has found...

The Age:
Federal welfare payments agency Centrelink made more than one million mistakes over a four-month period last year, according to confidential government documents...

Confidential government documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act apparently reveal that Centrelink made more than one million mistakes over a four month period last year...

Centrelink has denied reports that it made more than 1 million mistakes in a four-month period last year...

And so it continues. I'm now taking bets that this has Naomi Robson of Today Tonight looking very concerned on Monday.

I'm so sexy!

Okay, Mike Jericho has a poll on who is the sexiest blogger around. Apart from some FREAKS that voted for Margo Kingston, the poll seems to be pretty much what it should be.

Except for one thing.

I'm second to Tim Blair! This has to stop, because you and I both know that I'm much sexier. For those who don't know, I look like this:

Now get voting! Please?

Oh, and for those who don't want to vote for me, swing a vote or two towards my pal Jerry.

EDIT: If you don't vote for Todd, he's going to spend years as a quivering blubbering mess in therapy, so if you really care, you'd cheat a little and throw a vote his way as well.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Aussie guy makes good! Oh, wait....

So Aussie writer and academic Dennis Altman has secured a job at prominent US college: Harvard University!

Wow! Aussie guy makes good, for he's a jolly good fellow, geez I'm proud to be Australian! Well done!

So what exactly are you going to be doing over there, old chap?

"Hell, I think I'll tell them how much I think they suck."

Professor Altman said that despite an element of "appalling elitism and snobbery" around the Ivy League universities, the Boston appointment was an opportunity to show the American academic establishment that there was an intellectual life in Australia.


He will teach in sociology on the topic of globalisation and said he hoped to use Harvard's intellectual arena to show Americans how they looked to those outside the United States.

"Because the United States is a dominant power, I don't think it has any understanding of its impact on the rest of the world," Professor Altman said.

"To Americans, it seems like opening free markets; to Australians, it's destroying our film and television industry."

It's starting to get that I wish our senior "academics" would just shut up.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

How stupid can you get?

Student sells virginity for $20,000.

Rosie Reid, an 18-year-old social policy first year student at Bristol University, hit the headlines when she put herself up for sale on a website last month.

According to the website, the online auction closed at midnight last night with a highest bid of $20,200.

The website states: "Rosie's auction highlights the financial problems that face today's students."
Bullshit! Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. There are 100 different ways of raising money for your education without having to sell yourself off like a peice of fruit.

For example-- and this is just off the top of my head-- she could work.

I don't care if that stupid cow feels the need to sell herself to raise a few extra bucks, but to poach it off as something that she just had to do and that she had no other choice is just making excuses.