Monday, August 02, 2010

Australia's public broadcaster (The ABC) censors criticism of "indigenous" complaint

The article below is amusing in a number of ways. For a start there are NO Aborigines left in Tasmania. Some Tasmanians have a slight degree of Aboriginal ancestry resulting from mixed marriages in the early days but the original Tasmanian Aborigines were an exceptionally isolated race so were wiped out long ago by the diseases that white men brought with them. So-called Aboriginal spokesman Mansell had blond hair in his youth. He is no blacker than I am. He just exploits his slight degree of Aboriginal ancestry to get attention.

And one of the things he is objecting to is the loss of a "midden". A midden is a rubbish dump, usually containing animal bones and the shells of shellfish and very little else. It is however true that their rubbish dumps are about all that Tasmanian Aborigines left behind them so it is not at all clear what other relics of their presence Mansell wants preserved.

But the most amusing thing about the article below is how the ABC treated comments on it. The article was sympathetic to the Aboriginal complaint perspective but the responses from the “general public” were in general anything but! Those responses were obviously not what was expected or desired by the Left-leaning ABC so comments were rapidly closed off. First comment was at 8:13am, last comment at 9:11 am. Often controversial topics have pages of comments before they are closed

Indigenous activists have criticised the United Nations for placing Australia's convict sites on the World Heritage List. UNESCO has announced that 11 sites, including Port Arthur, Hyde Park Barracks and Fremantle Prison, should be preserved because of their "outstanding universal value".

Australia already has 17 World Heritage areas, but only two are buildings.

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre says UNESCO should not list any more "white Australian" sites while Aboriginal history is being neglected and destroyed.

But UNESCO says the sites are the best surviving examples of large-scale convict transportation and the colonial expansion of European powers through the presence and labour of prisoners.

Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre legal director Michael Mansell has written to UNESCO asking it not to approve Australia's nomination due to the involvement of the Tasmanian Government.

Mr Mansell says it's hypocritical for Tasmania to seek heritage protection for European sites when it destroyed an Aboriginal midden to build a prison wall.


Big delays in providing relief to overstretched Queensland hospital facilities

They have such a huge army of health bureaucrats to support that patients come a bad second

A RAFT of key public hospital projects across the state have suffered delays. Health Minister Paul Lucas has known for months hospital emergency departments in Logan, Bundaberg and Toowoomba were facing delays.

A cloud has also been cast over regional aged-care facilities, while maternity and outreach services are also under threat due to recruitment challenges.

Queensland Health only decided to announce the changes late on Friday afternoon after The Sunday Mail uncovered the issues with Right To Information laws.

A Ministerial Charter of Goals, provided to Mr Lucas and dated March 31 this year, shows an expansion of the Bundaberg Hospital ED was supposed to have been finished by March next year. However, the document says the project will now not be finished until mid-2011 after rescoping and funding problems because Labor's promise at the last election fell short.

"Allocation of $4 million as announced at the election is insufficient and fell short," the brief says. "Two million dollars in savings from the Sunshine Coast Additional Beds Project have been allocated."

Logan Hospital was supposed to have extra ED adult treatment bays built by last month. But the document says the new facilities had been delayed until mid-2012, after it was discovered the adult bays must be completed concurrently with the paediatric section.

The Toowoomba Hospital ED was due to be completed in December this year, but Mr Lucas was asked to approve a later date of May next year.

Parklands aged-care facility in Townsville was supposed to have 30 rehabilitation or step-down beds by next year, but the document raised problems about transferring bed licences. The document said outreach services in Yeppoon and Mt Morgan would also be delayed due to recruitment problems.

Recruitment problems threatened a Longreach maternity service starting this month.

A Queensland Health spokeswoman said several projects were rescoped due to extra funding. Some districts blamed bad weather for the delays.


Victorian police goons kill man

Several Victorian police are likely to face criminal charges over the treatment and subsequent death of a man after he was released from Dandenong police station this year. The 53-year-old Chinese man died at Dandenong Hospital about 11.40am on May 13, some 15 hours after being discharged from the police station.

The Age understands homicide squad investigators have seized video footage from outside the station that shows about five police dumping the visibly ill man in a puddle upon his release while the temperature was about 12 degrees and raining.

It shows the officers standing over the man laughing and gloating about the state he was in and some policewomen can also be seen holding their noses because of the stench caused by the man soiling himself while in custody.

One of the officers is believed to have brought a police divvy van from the back of the station so she could sit inside with the heater on and continue watching the man lying on the ground. He died of what is believed to have been hypothermia.

His death was made public two weeks later by an interpreter who had been called to the station after the man was locked up for drunkenness about 3.20pm. She said when she arrived about 7.45pm and looked into his cell, he had soiled himself and she saw "blood everywhere". She said he had begged police to take him to hospital or get medical help, but they repeatedly ignored him.

The interpreter, known only as Jay Jay, said police told her "he was dying anyway".

Police have confirmed they have CCTV footage from inside the station that shows the man crawling from his cell bleeding and in agony. When paramedics arrived about 9pm, they found the man conscious, bleeding and breathing rapidly.

Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said at the time there was no evidence the man had suffered any physical trauma due to mishandling or use of force by police. He added that it appeared the man had died because of "a long-standing and pre-existing medical condition", believed to be cirrhosis.

Mr Cornelius said the officer "ultimately accountable" for custody at Dandenong station had been switched to other duties, and further disciplinary action would be decided by the head of the Ethical Standards Department, who is overseeing the investigation, pending the outcome of the investigation.

The Age has been told that criminal charges are being considered for those involved, with manslaughter yet to be ruled out. Some police could also be sacked for their involvement.


The "Women’s Weekly" spread on Julia Gillard

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard does not wear the Cheryl Kernot red boa. Nor does she pose in the louche style once assumed by the former Democrat leader turned Labor MP when she was favoured by a spread in Women’s Weekly, back in March, 1998. Instead, Gillard opted for a conservative jacket-and-pearls look for the interview and five-hour photo shoot.

The timing is interesting. Gillard’s glamfest took place after she had axed prime minister Kevin Rudd and before she called the election.

Unfortunately, events have overtaken the opening paragraphs in which author Bryce Corbett says Gillard is “fresh from announcing a new asylum seeker policy [a proven disaster], and only days after brokering a mining tax resolution [which applies to only three foreign-based companies]”. It’s a series of statements at which an astute reader could only laugh.

Women’s Weekly, trying to hold up its flagging 500,000 circulation, is hoping for a 50,000-plus bump in sales with the Gillard cover, and to re-establish the magazine’s brand. Whether it will help the Labor Party’s tarnished brand is another thing.

According to Treasury figures released this week, the Labor Government expects to borrow about $120 million a day over the coming year, a massive amount which can’t help but increase upward pressure on the daily cost of living.

Speaking of Labor and tarnished brands, Kernot - who, in her brief moment as a media darling, was actually touted as prime ministerial material - revealed herself to be a whining loser unhappy about the seat (Dickson, Qld) the ALP had given her when she ratted out the Democrats. A seat she was to lose to the Liberals’ Peter Dutton, whose record as a police officer she had attempted to smear.

Gillard was most supportive when times were tough, Kernot told the Weekly. And times were never tougher for Kernot than when foreign affairs Minister Gareth Evans, who wooed her into ditching the Dems and joining the ALP, was revealed to be her secret lover.

Gillard had her own affair with front-bench colleague Craig Emerson, a married father of three, but both have now drawn a curtain over that two-year relationship.

In the current article, Ms Gillard is portrayed as a giggly but capable woman who has bet the house that Australians will not be troubled by her decision not to have children, her relationships and her current de facto status, focusing solely on her role as a politician.

But we have also learnt, courtesy of leaks from a Cabinet colleague, that as a politician Gillard questioned Labor’s paid parental leave scheme and pension rises at the same time the failed green loans scheme, the lethal pink batts program and the wasteful school building policy were approved.

Indeed, it is difficult not to conclude that Gillard has spent an inordinate amount of time with journalists presenting herself in the most favourable light.

Her self-promotional efforts includes glowing spreads in Vive (Feb-March 2006), The Bulletin (Jan 23, 2007), Women’s Weekly (April, 2007), The Australian Magazine (July 7-8, 2007), and a series of television specials while she was second-in-charge of the dysfunctional Rudd government. Not bad for a woman who told The Sunday Telegraph (April 1, 2007) that “she is frustrated that so much time is spent on her look and image rather than the things she really cares about like climate change and education.”

Like glimpses of the Gillard cleavage, climate change has been all-but airbrushed from her pre-election publicity.

Conscious that expensive clothing might not impress every Women’s Weekly reader, Gillard told the ABC’s Madonna King this week that she was not “a big time, you know, fashionista, in that sense. I, you know, view myself as someone who works and I wear the clothes that are appropriate to the work that I do, so I took that perspective”.

Which might have stunned readers of the Vive article for which she wore a Giorgio Armani black suit valued at $3000, an Emporio Armani white shirt ($440), Chloe black suede stilettos ($745) and a pair of Monteperla golden pearl earrings ($11,000). That’s a total of about $15,185 worth of clobber - the equivalent of 43 1/2 weeks’ pension. Not bad for a small-time fashionista.

Gillard (and Kernot) might have considered the following Frank Loesser lines from Guys and Dolls:

Take back your mink

Take back your pearls

What made you think

That I was one of those girls?

Exactly what sort of a girl Gillard is may be a little clearer for some. She is a person who decided at the age of 16 that she would not have children because being a mother would be incompatible with the power career she wanted for herself, a woman who desperately attempts to portray herself as a capable Cabinet Minister but who has been exposed as an incompetent, a person for whom power is all.

Perhaps many women voters will get their political insights from reading candidates’ profiles in the glossies, and it might unfortunately be that a number of those women believe that the feminist cause has been served by Gillard’s ascension, ignoring the reality that the overwhelming majority of plotters who handed her the prime ministership were men, and many were not even Members of Parliament.

The sisterhood has always been delusional and hypocritical, as is obvious from its reluctance to make any statements about the subjugation of women in societies which have adopted Islamic sharia law.

While a Gillard cover may be a publisher’s dream, even Gillard’s most ardent supporters realise the irony of her promotion in the Women’s Weekly, a mag feminists used to use as an example of everything wrong about the treatment of women in Australia.

The article is supposed to be about Gillard but voters would have learnt more from any one of the shadowy factional bosses and trade union chiefs who organised her rise to power.

Gillard is a product, just like the Women’s Weekly. Woolworths addresses this marketing exercise honestly and will throw in a “free” umbrella if you buy the magazine at one of their stores. It comes without any guarantees, however. Just like Julia Gillard.


1 comment:

Paul said...

Here in Cairns they still leave "Middens" behind them everywhere they go.