The compulsory “Sorry Day” post

Originally I wasn’t going to write about today’s Parliamentary Apology to the Stolen Generations. But the event has so captured the nation that writing will clarify my own thoughts. So here goes…

I’ll get the obvious comments out of the way first. Kevin Rudd delivered the Apology with dignity and grace. Brendan Nelson’s speech was moving in parts, but fortunately his attempts to weasel it failed to sour the overall occasion. I agree with Paul Keating’s comment that Nelson missed the point of the day.

I was disgusted to hear that Chris Pearce, the Member for Aston, was reading a magazine and cracking jokes during Rudd’s speech.

As Chris Graham, editor of The National Indigenous Times reports in Crikey:

At the part where Rudd was talking about the tragedy of infant mortality,­ the “little ones” in Rudd’s words,­ Pearce was cracking a joke to the rather uncomfortable looking member of parliament sitting next to him.

In fact, Pearce was so against an apology, that he also sat and read through his own leader’s entire speech. When Rudd finished and received a standing ovation, Pearce was the only member of parliament to remain seated. It begs the question, why did he even show up?

Who voted this ignorant yobbo into Parliament? Mr Pearce, you’re entitled to hold an opinion, but at least show some manners in the House. You could hardly accuse Wilson Tuckey of being Australia’s best-mannered parliamentarian, but at least when he decided against the Apology he didn’t turn up.

Continue reading “The compulsory “Sorry Day” post”

Predictions for 2008

OK, I’m meant to be clever, so here are my predictions for 2008. The Snarky Platypus didn’t help me with these, as we decided we had better things to do on New Year’s Eve (gin and tonic, for example). So blame me alone.

  1. The Joy of Chairman Rudd’s Iced VoVo Revolution will be dulled by the end of January when they take some stupid actions which demonstrate that they are, after all, politicians like all others. Actually, this has already happened with the announcement of mandatory Internet filtering by ISPs. I’ll write more about that soon.
  2. At least one member of the (former) Howard cabinet will be charged with a criminal offence over something they did in office. I’d like it to be Brendan Nelson, because that deal to buy $6 billion worth of Super Hornet fighter aircraft stinks — mostly because the air force doesn’t want them and the process was, erm, rushed to say the least. However I suspect it might be something to do with the AWB scandal.
  3. Channel 7 will continue to win the Australian TV ratings. Channel 9 will fail to reinvent itself now that its owned by an investment vehicle and not a media proprietor.
  4. Telstra will be forced to separate its wholesale and retail businesses. Meanwhile the Sol Trujillo-led management team will continue to play nasty with the government, causing them to be increasingly sidelined — especially over the Rudd government’s new broadband rollout.
  5. Barack Obama will win the US Presidential election. I know Hillary Clinton is currently the favourite, but I have the gut feeling that the Oprah factor will be important, and that Hillary’s dirty washing will be aired.
  6. When former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra returns from self-imposed exile on 14 February the new government, which is a coalition led by a Thaksin-supporting party, will somehow drop the corruption charges against him. Another military coup will follow.
  7. At least one Australian company will suffer a major leak of its customers’ private data, prompting new laws on dealing with such things (like they already have in California).
  8. We’ll finally figure out what the Storm Botnet, the world’s largest network of hacked computers, is for. My guess: whatever the hell the designer’s paying clients want it to be for.

You might also like to read the interesting predictions from The Australian (not really predictions, but obvious events following on from their news calendar), advertising agency JWT, Peter Black and Rachel Polanskis, and predictions about toy names for 2008.

What are your predictions for 2008? And how do you think mine rate?

Oops, that should have been “miserable toad”

One of the choices in this week’s poll is “slimy toad”. Of course that should have been “miserable toad”, as this commentary on Kim Beazley‘s farewell speech to parliament indicates.

You might have thought the Prime Minister could have made the effort to be there for his adversary of 27 years standing, but he did not. John Howard remains a miserable toad. The rest of the Howard ministry took their cue and also absented themselves — Robb and Nelson the exceptions. And know also that when Beazley finished speaking and sat down, and those in the public gallery got to their feet to join the applause of Beazley’s Labor colleagues and most of us in the press gallery, Andrew Robb and three of the Liberal backbenchers applauded, too.

Brendan Nelson did not.

I always liked Kim Beazley — which, you should note, is not the same thing as saying he’d make a good Prime Minister. He was a strategic thinker and a good orator, both skills lacking in modern politics.

I meant to say it at the time: the articles by Alan Ramsey (which I just quoted) and Annabel Crabb are well worth reading — if for nothing else than the historical snippets Beazley dropped.