Who do you nominate for “Cnut of the Week”?

Image of King Cnut, labelled Cnut of the Week

Stilgherrian Live, my live Internet program, returns tomorrow night, and I need nominations for this week’s “Cnut of the Week”.

If you missed the last two episodes, well, the segment “Cnut of the Week” is dedicated to the memory of King Cnut the Great, also known as Canute, a Viking ruler of England and Denmark, and Norway, and of some of Sweden variously from 1016 to 1035 CE.

Cnut is best known for attempting to hold back the tide. As 12th-century chronicler Henry of Huntingdon tells it, Cnut set his throne on the shore and commanded the tide to halt — but of course it didn’t stop. Cnut leapt back and said:

Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws.

He then hung his gold crown on a crucifix, and never wore it again.

Continue reading “Who do you nominate for “Cnut of the Week”?”

From the “It must be true” department…

Crikey has brought to my attention a media statement by the Australian Federal Police regarding the Mohammed Haneef case. In part it reads:

AFP Professional Standards has investigated suspected leaks to the media and is satisfied that there has been no unlawful disclosure of information by AFP members. The matters identified as possible inappropriate conduct by officials of other agencies will be referred to the appropriate authorities.

The AFP has acted appropriately throughout the investigation.

Well that’s good then. Some “other agencies” are to blame.

However the statement also says:

The continuing attempts by Dr Haneef’s defence team to use the media to run their case is both unprofessional and inappropriate and the AFP has raised this aspect with the Queensland Legal Services Commission.

Uhuh. And how about an equivalent sentence complaining about the government’s attempts to use the media to run their case? Yes, Ruddock and Andrews, I’m looking at you. Is your behaviour not also “both unprofessional and inappropriate”? No, no equivalent set of words? Oh.

I was under the impression that in Western democracies the police (as well as the “other agencies”) were there to independently uphold the rule of law, not act as the minions of the government of the day. Silly me.

Today’s Crikey fallout

I’m always intrigued when a mention somewhere else in the mediablogopolitisphere generates traffic back to little old me. Yesterday’s article in Crikey is no exception…

  • A friend wondered whether my current poll on the Haneef thingo is being run by Diebold. No, Bernard, it’s just that you’re allowed to choose more than one answer — that’s why things add to more than 100%.
  • I was amused to see my piece right next to an article on The Trouble with Triple J by broadcaster Michael Tunn, since I was the ABC staffer who gave him a briefing when he joined the ABC at age 17.
  • A PR firm invited me to attend a function tonight to see “a new social networking site for ‘grown ups’,” joining “six other bloggers who have an interest in social networking sites.”

More blog-fodder there, eh?

Govt’s new dance: The Haneef Bluff

Despite calls for various people to resign over the Mohammed Haneef debacle, the government’s going to bluff their way out of it.

Kevin Andrews, in my estimate (and yours) the head which should roll first, is staying schtumm.

Mr Andrews said he would be happy to release the information but was not about to act improperly. Asked if he ever expected to be able to release the information Mr Andrews said: “I don’t know. I take advice… I will continue to do that because I think it’s important that I act on advice when I make decisions.”

Good thinking, Kevin. Listen to your advice, yes.

So, with Haneef out of the country and everyone saying nothing, we’ll soon forget. My guess is that sooner or later — but certainly before the election — we’ll find some other nearly-terrorist to arrest. This time the charges will stick. And buried down in the bottom of the story will be the news that Haneef’s been given his visa back.

Mind you, I could still be wrong. The day is but young…