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”

“Clever”, but too late?

Photo from government Climate Clever campaign

The government’s Climate Clever campaign is, apart from a wonderful subject for satire, apparently a nice attempt to re-associate the word “clever”.

As Possums Pollytics explains, it’s trying to re-frame the word away from “John Howard is clever” as in “tricky” to “clever policies on climate”.

Word association is a powerful propaganda weapon. Think Beazley and ticker, Keating and elitist, Latham and learner, and now Howard and clever. If the Libs could disassociate the word clever from Howard and re-associate it with climate change policies, not only would they neutralise the ALP attack, but would reduce the power of any residual word association with Howard.

A shame it’s probably way too late to make a difference. Possums also reports on the latest AC Nielsen polls with a simple “Business as usual. Nothing to see here folks, please move on.”

Mr Howard, please just call the bloody election. The longer you leave it now, the more you’re going to piss off the very people you’re trying to impress.

Crikey editorial slams Howard, Rudd over Aboriginal intervention

The best summary of the cynicism and nastiness of John Howard’s War on Indigenous Unpleasantness I’ve seen so far is the Crikey editorial today, written by Sydney journalist Alex Mitchell:

This is the last throw of the dice for John Howard. He is doing one big favour for the mining industry which he has faithfully served in public life for the past 30 years by rolling back Aboriginal ownership of their tribal lands. Cynically, cruelly but utterly predictably, he’s doing it under the hypocritical colours of humanitarianism. (Very similar to the invasion and occupation of Iraq sold as “spreading democracy”)… He is being aided and abetted by Kevin Rudd’s craven behaviour… Rudd has vacated leadership on the tragic issue of rescuing Aboriginal communities and given Howard the opportunity to play his sickening Father of the Nation role. Paul Keating, you were right about the Rudd team of fixers, hucksters, flyweights and spineless opportunists.

That’s just a taste. The full version is well worth it.

Coonan fails broadband history (no surprise)

The more you dig, the more it’s obvious that communications minister Helen Coonan is completely out of her depth.

On the ABC’s The Insiders on 25 March, the Raccoonan said: “If you just look back a couple of years ago no-one had even heard about broadband.”

No, Senator, I think it’s only you who hadn’t heard of it. The rest of us had it connected to our homes and offices.

Even 12 years ago there was Paul Keating’s Broadband Services Expert Group. Their final report included recommendations like:

With the spread of broadband infrastructure, broadband links be provided to all schools, libraries, medical and community centres by the year 2001.


Telecommunications carriers and broadband network operators be required to inform government annually of their strategies for upgrading their networks, including the expected level of digitisation of existing network services, and the expected extent of broadband network coverage. This requirement should be reviewed by the year 2000.

Hat tip to Prof Roger Clarke for bringing this one to my attention.

[P.S. If you haven’t already done so, please vote in my poll about Coonan. If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, you’ll have to go to my website for that.]