Friday, April 04, 2008

Dubya's Man in Australia

Our little mouseketeer of PM shows that he's well and truly behind big kahuna, George W Bush.

Holt may have been "All the way with LBJ", but Kevvie is definatley "At the decree of GWB".

Definately not the sort of behaviour you'd expect from a supposed "Man of Steel".

Saturday, February 23, 2008

At Home At Last

Full marks to new Labor Immigration Minister, Chris Evans, for granting permanent residency to Robert Jovcic

Jovcic was a victim of the previous goverments heartless immigration policy, which left him homeless and sleeping on the steps of the Australian Embassy in Belgrade.

Minister Evans says that this was "one of a number of regrettable immigration matters the new Government is rectifying".

It's great news.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Insipid Swan Starts to Sink


New treasurer Wayne Swan doesn't have a clue when it comes to dealing with banks.

Banks around the country are getting away with raising their interest rates - even when the Reserve Bank hasn't raised official rates.

Shadow Treasurer, Malcolm Turnbull is right. They're treating Swan like a mug.

If Swan doesn't lose the training wheels soon, the millions of people who got duped by Kevin07 are going to be worrying about Rates08. And Swan's credentials on fiscal management will look about as beleivable as that woeful hairpiece of his.

The age old cycle of "Labor Mismanagement" begins again.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Get out of my face!

I hate TV ads.
I have trouble at the best of times shifting my attention from one thing to the next. Just ask by dear wife how difficult it is for her when she comes into my office while I'm halfway through thinking somthing through.
When I'm relaxing in my favourite chair in the lounge room wathcing a show on TV, the last thing I want is some stupid corporation interrupting the peace, trying to sell me something I don't need - be it hamburgers, debt, pain killers, or white goods.
If I want to buy something, I'll go and get the facts by checking some web pages, talking to people who've bought similar things, or just makeing a few phone calls.
The last thing I want is some twisted manipulative message from a company that paid a fortune to butt in on my peace and quiet with some inane advertisement extolling the virtues of their snake oil, targetted at some idiot with half my IQ, a quarter my common sense, and ten times my apparent desire to base spending on the propaganda I see on the TV screen.
(Yes, that sounds elitist and it is. Advertisers target their ads at a lower than average intelligence level of about late primary school, and assume if they tell you to buy something often enough, you'll be stupid enough to buy it. Well... are you? Is that how you're going to reward someone who invades your lounge room in the middle of your favourite show?)
Guys - just get out my face!
In fact, I've bought a couple of PVRs (Personal Video Recorders) - the Beyonwiz DP-S1 and the Topfield 5000. Both of them have a wonderful product called ICE TV installed which lets me know what TV shows are on and when - up to a week in advance. All of this lets me pause the TV, and skip over ads. So now, when some imbecile tells me how cool McDonalds, or "SUPER" A-Mart is, I just tell them to *#$%# off, press the red button to skip ads, and keep watching my show. (You have no idea how satisfying it is to blast TV ads away at the press of a button).
So here's my prediction. Everyone will end up getting a PVR with ICE TV, and skip over ads. TV will become a less attractive medium for corporations to peddle their wares. TV broadcasters will lose advertising revenue, or try and devise more insidious ways to push ads in front of your face, which will devalue the medium even more.
It's at this point that the guys at Think TV will try to convince you how much you need advertising on free to air TV.
Which is a load of rubbish.
I'd rather pay a TV broadcaster to show stuff on TV, provided they didn't insult my intelligence with ads.
Or even better - watch the ABC. What a wonderful institution. Intelligent shows, no ads, no dumbed down news or current affairs.
But regardless of whether you like ABC or not, whether you're prepared to pay for your TV or not, the forces of evolution are at work in the TV world.
And it's my fervent hope that TV advertisers, those parasites who invade our living rooms, will go the way of T-Rex, Eohippus, and the Dodo.
And I for one, can't wait to dance on their graves.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Change of Government

While I'm disappointed with the outcome of the Federal Election, I sincerely hope the new Labor Government has success in improving the quality of life for Australians over the next three years.

I'm so glad to live in Australia! There are not many places in the world where you can have a change of goverment and not have blood in the streets.

Liz and I took the kids into the polling booth and let them see democracy in action.

What a fantastic sight to see everyone voting, and having a say in what happens in the country.

At last look, our local member, Peter Dutton, was almost 200 votes ahead. It's a bit close for him, but it looks like he'll make it. Good on you, Peter, you're a great local member, and deserved to win!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Pearson on: Rudd: "Understand the heartless snake here"

Noel Pearson tells it like it is. He's a fearless advocate for his people.

I totally agree with his assessment of Kevin Dudd's duplicity.

Says Pearson: "This has obviously been a complete charade, and for those people who think that 'well, let's give Labor the move to perhaps run with this agenda in some later term', then I just say well we'll have a re-run of Bob Hawke here"

Dudd is a chameleon.

Like Pearson, I too dread the prospect of Dudd becoming Prime Minister.

Chalk and cheese

Despite the "me too" garbage from Mr Dudd and his comrades, the differences between the Coalition and the ALP are like chalk and cheese.

Click on the thumbnail below for a quick summary of the major performance indicators for both parties.

The difference between our current prosperity, and what we'd lose under a one party Labor State couldn't be starker.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Coalition win by 5 seats

That's my prediction for Saturday.

There won't be a uniform swing, and while the ALP will pick up some seats, it will also lose one or two.

Call it wishful thinnking if you like, but I like to think that most Australians aren't going to get duped by "Mr Me Too", aka Kevin Dudd.

If I am right, most of the Australian media are going to look like a bunch of idiots and will have a bucketload of egg on their faces.

If I am right, someone needs to ask who paid whom to get such blatantly biased reporting from all streams of media including the ABC.

Of course, it's just my prediction, and it flies in the face of all the opinion polls, and all the "wisdom" of pundits who claim to be smarter than me.

But I hope I am right.

You need more to govern this country than a twerpy smirk and a photocopier for stealing economic policies. Mr Dudd just doesn't cut it.

Oh - one other thing, if I am right, I promise to post some priceless photos of the look on the faces of Kevin Dudd, Julia Dullard and Wayne Conn.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Beware the Chameleon


Say it once, and you could be excused for thinking it was just a gaffe by an inexperienced wannabe.

Say it twice, and you remove all doubt.

Now Charles Wooley has heard Garrett saying the same thing:
"Peter Garrett agreed, he intimated that 'What we say in Opposition might not be what happens in Government.'''

Read the article for yourself here.

Rudd and his shadow ministry are fakes. They are telling you what you want to hear because they want your vote. In areas where they're clueless (such as the economy) their photocopiers have been working overtime on their "Echo-nomic", Me-Too policies.

But when you really put them under the miroscope, Garrett's comments say it all: "We're just pulling your leg now. It will all change once we get elected".

It's par for the course, isn't it? Check out what Garrett used to say on American military bases in Australia, or on the Tasmanian Pulp Mill. Now check out what he's saying now. He (like most of the Labor front bench) has more positions on this stuff than the Kama Sutra.

Their lips are moving, but I can't hear anything meaningful coming out of their mouths.

You may not agree with everything he says, but at least when John Howard say's he's going to do something, he does it. He's the real deal.

Rudd is just a fake.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Me Too!


Kevin Rudd and the "me-too" conga-line that is the ALP haven't got a clue about economic management.

That's why when it comes to the hard stuff, like tax policy, economic management, and national develoopment, they're trying to play it safe by copying the Coalition.

Chameleons might be exciting to look at, but they do not make good leaders.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


By Sinclair Davidson And Alex Robson

Wall Street Journal Asia – 23 October 2007

It looks like Australia may have lost its nerve for economic liberalism. In Sunday’s nationally televised debate, Prime Minister John Howard touted his vision: a "new society" based on entrepreneurialism and individualism. Opposition leader Kevin Rudd a self-proclaimed Christian socialist, backed bigger government and expanded social spending. Yet immediately following the debate, Mr Rudd. was declared the winner by most of the popular media.

Next month’s national election result could have significant implications for Australia, the world’s 15th-largest economy and a key U.S. ally in Asia. Over the past two decades, successive Labor and Liberal governments have ripped down trade barriers, privatized industries, floated the Australian dollar and opened the country to international capital flows. The economy is in its 16th year of uninterrupted economic growth, free of public debt, and enjoying low inflation and the lowest level of unemployment in 33 years.

Mr Rudd, a 50-year-old former bureaucrat, has cleverly mimicked the government’s record, even labeling himself an "economic conservative." That tack has apparently won him support among Australia’s middle classes, who have benefited most strongly from the economic boom and don’t want to see a change in economic strategy. He’s now leading Mr. Howard by about 10 percentage points in most national polls. But a closer look at Mr Rudd’s. record reveals that he’s not a reformer, but rather an unreconstructed interventionist masquerading as a free market conservative. Call it "Ruddonomics."

Take his parliamentary record, for a start. Since coming into the Parliament in 1998, Mr.Rudd has toed the party line and opposed most efforts to further reform the economy. The Australian Labor Party opposed the privatization of Australia’s government-owned telecommunications provider, Telstra; strongly protested industrial relations reform, including Mr. Howard’s recent efforts to reduce union power and abolish unfair dismissal laws; and, most importantly, opposed all significant tax reform over Mr. Howard’s tenure, including cuts in income taxes. Mr. Rudd’s economic philosophy isn’t a secret. In a speech to the free market Center for Independent Studies in Sydney last year, he openly attacked the free market ideas of Nobel Laureate Friedrich Hayek, branding him a "market fundamentalist." In Mr Rudd’s. mind, it’s okay to accept "the economic logic of markets but . . . these must be properly regulated and that the social havoc they cause must be addressed by state intervention." He also argued that public policy should deliver long-term market-friendly reform tempered by "social responsibility."

In practice, a Labor government under Mr. Rudd would re-regulate economic life. Over the past year he has promised to set up no fewer than 68 new bureaucracies and establish 96 reviews if elected. He promises to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and commit Australia to a costly program of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to 60% of 2000 levels by 2050. His proposed industry policy—constructed by Kim Carr, a declared socialist—would create an uberbureaucracy of 12 Industry Innovation Councils. The goal, it seems, is to promote manufacturing by "picking winners"—a policy with an appalling track record of failure both in Australia and elsewhere. To round things off, Mr. Rudd’s labor-market policy promises to abolish individual workplace agreements and to restore union power over policy making to its former glory.

Given the Howard government’s record of economic success, Mr Rudd’s dominant lead this far into the electoral cycle is a remarkable achievement. But it’s also not without precedent. Australia has been through this kind of economic soul-searching before, with an eerily similar Labor campaign pitch—and a disastrous outcome.

In 1972, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam led Labor out of a 23-year-long electoral hiatus by running the most comprehensive negative campaign in Australia’s history. His "It’s Time" platform emphasized the Liberal Party’s long stint in power without laying out a coherent alternate economic vision. He then embarked on a disastrous three-year premiership, during which time he socialized Australia’s health and education systems and unapologetically increased the size of government. Inflation soared, as did the levels of national debt. Today,
Australia is still living with many of Mr. Whitlam’s mistakes.

Mr Rudd’s 2007 campaign strikes a similar tone. His slogan—"New Leadership"—is aimed squarely at Mr. Howard’s political longevity, rather than any apparent policy differences. Indeed, an integral part of Mr.Rudd’s strategy is to mimic everything his opponent says on monetary and fiscal policy, including keeping a budget surplus and an independent central bank. Even Mr. Rudd’s Labor Party colleagues—many of whom are closely affiliated with left-wing labor unions—now cloak themselves in the jargon of economic conservatism, while touting big government platforms such as a federal government takeover of the nation’s hospital system.

At the same time, Mr. Rudd has judiciously employed the "It’s Time" strategy, carefully pointing out that his opponent has been around for an awfully long time, and is "old," "stale" and "out of ideas." To top it all off, he often cautions voters about the evils of negative campaigning, and reprimands Mr. Howard for directing any criticism at him, no matter how minor.

We’ll soon know if Australian voters will repeat their 1972 mistake, and go with a candidate who promises bigger government. When asked whom they want to run the economy, voters overwhelmingly favor Mr. Howard. Yet betting markets, which have a good track record of predicting voting outcomes, show that Mr. Howard only has a 40% chance of holding on to power. That most voters do not seem to know or care about any of this speaks volumes about Mr. Rudd’s campaign strategy and Mr. Howard’s inability to cut through the spin. For the most part, Australians do not seem to recognize that good economic policy does not require "new leadership" or "new ideas." The current economic boom has lasted so long that most citizens— including Mr Rudd, it seems— have forgotten the three main ingredients of policy success: minimal intervention, transparent regulation and broad economic liberalization.

Mr Rudd has done well to convince voters he represents new leadership, as the results of Sunday’s debate show. Yet it isn’t clear which aspect of his election platform is new. If Ruddonomics wins the day, Australia could find itself back in a 1970s mindset, with bigger government and a less competitive economy. In a modern, rapidly globalizing world, that’s not a vision for the future— that’s a vision for the past.

Mr. Davidson is a professor in the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing at RMIT University in Melbourne. Mr. Robson is a lecturer in the department of economics at the Australian National University in Canberra.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Not till you see the whites of their eyes

I think John Howard should wait a while before calling the election.

A section of Australian voters are still infatuated with Kevin ("me-too") Rudd, who seems anxious to get this election in the bag while he still has a large lead in the polls.

The next few weeks will increase in intensity, and show up flaws in the conga-line of "wannabes" that are following Kev around. See for example Robert McLelland's gaffe on going easy on terrorists, or Peter Garret's hypocrisy about the Tasmanian Pulp Mill. In fact if you scratch more closely at any of the Labor front bench, it's easy to see the amateurish cracks in the facade that is "Kev 07".

John Howard should take a leaf out of Neville Wran's book, who espoused the idea of applying the "blowtorch to the belly" of his oponents - keeping the heat on them to really see what they're made of.

It's only when the heat is on, when the pressure is unbearable, when they wish the blowtorch would go away, that you really get to see what someone is made of.

Take your time, Mr Howard. Keep the heat on. The Rudd facade will slowly melt away, until it's pretty obvious to everyone that Emporer Kev isn't really wearing any new clothes at all.

Monday, September 10, 2007


WYSIWYG or "What you see is what you get" is an important attribute in politics.

Why vote for someone who appears to support one thing, only to find that after they get elected they're totally different to what you expected? That would be a disaster.

I will be voting for John Howard at the next election because he is definately WYSIWYG. You definately know where this man stands. He is predictable. You know what he's going to do.

I don't agree with everything he's done, but I know when he says he's going to do something, he'll do it.

Kevin Rudd is the opposite. He's Mr "Me too", presenting himself as a clayton's opposition leader. Mimicking the Prime Minister on vital issues like Economy ("Echo-Nomics"), Foreign Policy, Taxation and Indiginous Affairs, he tries to present a "not too scarey" version of the Labor Party that isn't going to frighen the voters, while placating the left with platitudes about Climate Change, Iraq, and (of course) Industrial Relations.

I.e. they dont' really stand for anything (especially if it's unpopular). All they want to do is get elected.

But ask yourself this. Why would the Labor Party want to get into office if they were just going to mimick the Liberals?

There's only one answer - they're definately NOT WYSIWYG. They want your vote, and they'll dress up in sheeps clothing so you can't see the wolf.

If you're not convinced, check out the conga line behind Kevin Rudd - the ones who he wants to make ministers in his government:

Deputy prime Minister and Minister for Industrial relations: Julia Gillard, former student radical and AUS president
Treasurer: Wayne Swan, former ALP state secretary
Attorney general: Joe Ludwig, former AWU official
Minister for Trade: Simon Crean, former president, ACTU
Minister for Transport and Tourism: Martin Ferguson, former president, ACTU
Minister for Finance: Lindsay Tanner, former state secretary, Federated Clerk's Union
Minister for Environment and the Arts: Peter Garrett, lifelong anti-American activist
Minister for Infrastructure and Water: Anthony Albanese. Former assistant general secretary, NSW ALP
Minister for Human Services: Tanya Plibersek, former student union official, UTS
Minister for Immigration: Tony Burke, former official Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Union
Minister for Resources: Chris Evans, former official Miscellaneous Workers' Union
Minister for Veterans' Affairs: Alan Griffin, former official Federated Clerks Union
Minister for Primary Industry: Kerry O'Brien, former official Miscellaneous Workers' Union
Minister for Superannuation: Nick Sherry, former state secretary, Federated Liquor and Allied Trades Union
Minister for Sport: Kate Lundy, former official CFMEU.

And waiting in the wings are:

Greg Combet, candidate for Charlton and former ACTU president
Doug Cameron, NSW Senate candidate and secretary of Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union
Bill Shorten: candidate for Maribyrnong and national secretary, Australian Workers' Union
Richard Marles: candidate for Corio and former assistant secretary, Transport Workers Union.

Get the idea?

A vote for Kevvie is a vote for the ACTU - government of the People, for the Unions, by the Unions.

That's what you get - but it's not what you saw. Sort of like the opposite of WYSIWYG.

Kev07? Not bloody likely.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Grubby and heartless in the local rag

I hate grubby journalism.

Here's some photos, and the text of an article in our local rag, "The Northern Times".

The full text of the article can be viewed at (unless they delete it).

Click on the photos for larger versions. The text of my letter to the editor follows the article.

The Northern Times 24 August 2007.
AUGUST 24: The controversy surrounding campers pitching tents in Wyllie Park looks set to continue until the future management of the reserve is finalised.Residents have called for action to be taken against people camping in the park, in defiance of signposted rules governing the use of the green space.They say people camping in tents should be moved on, while campers themselves say they are doing no harm and just want to enjoy a peaceful stay before moving on in their travels.One resident, who asked not to be named, said the rules of the park were clear and should be enforced by council officers.

``We're not saying everyone who camps down there is a troublemaker, but there are clear rules about who can and can't stay overnight at the park and we just want the rules to be enforced,'' the resident said.

``And it clearly says that camping in tents is not allowed.

''Pine Rivers Shire Council CEO Ray Burton said the land the park was located on belonged to the Queensland Department of Main Roads.

He said council did not have any power to take action in relation to camping on state-controlled land.``The legal tenure of Wyllie Park is declared as state-controlled road, however, council is currently negotiating with Main Roads to gain legal control of the park,'' Mr Burton said.

``Council will continue to maintain the facilities within Wyllie Park
which includes the collection of rubbish, cleaning of toilets and showers and
also regular mowing.``This is part of an historical agreement.''

Here's the letter I sent on 29 August 2007.

Dear Editor

Your front page story, "Our Tent Ghetto" (NT 24 Aug 2007), is an indictment on the standard of journalism of your paper, and the level of heartlessness that exists in our community.

With no by-line, your anonymous reporter claimed that tensions had "again surfaced between residents living near Petrie's Whllie Park and people erecting tents within the grounds".

"Residents"? Which residents? You only quoted one nameless resident. Was there anyone else? One anonymous undated quote does not demonstrate that the community has "called for action to be taken". If the claims are true, surely someone (even your reporter) would have the courage to pin their colours to the mast and speak without the shroud of anonymity?

You claim these residents live "near Petrie's Wyllie Park". Have a look on a map. Wyllie park is triangular, bounded on one side by the North Pine River, beyond which is yet another park. On the other side it is bounded by Gympie Road, beyond which is a cricket field and a paper recycling plant. On the third side it is bounded by a railway line, beyond which is a football field. The nearest houses are several hundred metres away in Mundin Street on the other side of the railway line and embankment.

In the middle of winter, during one of the wettest weeks of the year, your photos show large tracts of water on the ground in what is supposed to be a camping ground. Several unfortunate people found it necessary to live in the middle of this flood in tents. A nameless journalist, and an anonymous resident claiming to live nearby (in a warm dry house, no doubt) want "the rules to be enforced". The council, who claims to be powerless to do anything about it simply turned off the hot water.

That's the real story.

How unkind.

By the way - feel free to publish my name.

Neil Ennis

Sunday, April 15, 2007

More than Mutual Media Masturbation

Kevin Rudd and Channel Seven's "Sunrise" have been caught red handed telling porkie pies about their plans to stage a fake "dawn service" at Long Tan in Vietnam on Anzac Day to fit in with prime time TV slots in Australia.

While Kevvie and Kochie might be permitted a bit of mutual ego stroking on prime-time, the problem is the mess they've made while they were doing it:

Rudd tried to convince us he knew nothing of his discussions with "Sunrise" to stage the fake service. Emails then came to light which proved Rudd's claims to be false.

He then tried shift the blame to his staff for the "oversight" - grossly hypocritical in the light of the charges of "Sergeant Schultz" behavior that he leveled at the Government over AWB ("know nothing, see nothing, ask nothing").

Most Australians have to put up with wankers from time to time, but it's a bit much to expect us to tolerate hypocritical, lying little wankers.

Makes you wonder what he'll come up with next.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Queensland Health - a first-hand account

Our 4 year-old, Lilly, had trouble breathing last night at about 1am.

Her lips started turning blue, she started making barking noises like a seal, and could hardly get any air into her lungs. We were very worried.

I called 000 and the ambulance arrived within 5 minutes.

They were really effective, gave her oxygen, and took her off to the Royal Children's Hospital right away.

A doctor was available to see her as soon as we arrived at the hospital, administered some drugs (Dexamethasone, for Croup), and we were able to take her home within the hour.

Everyone was very professional and helpful, and I can't praise them enough.

It didn't cost us a cent.

There's been a lot of criticism of the health system in Queensland recently, but I think that despite the problems that have been publicized, we have an excellent system. It worked for us, and probably saved our daughter's life.

To all the doctors, nurses and ambo's in Queensland - our family regards you as heroes.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Poor Pacman Poopsies put on a Pout

See this story from the ABC

The rapacious whaling pac-men from the land of the rising sun are upset because they didn't get their way at the international whaling commission.

They failed by two votes to introduce secret ballots (to make it easier for wavering delegates to vote for whaling without the public shame), branded the IWC a "waste of time", and threatened to leave.

Joji Morishita spat the dummy. Bribing all those small third world countries for their votes is such hard work, and costs him and his grisly butcher "scientific whalers" a lot of money.

Those who have evolved beyond making sushi out of the largest mammal that ever lived need to be vigilant and turn up the heat. Winning a few votes at the IWC is not enough.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Beazer's Budget Blabberings

Check out Kim Beazley's budget reply speech

He uses the term "Middle Australia" 35 times. I think his polsters must have told him that they're the people who are a bit worried about him.

The only problem is most "Middle Australians" wouldn't know who a "Middle Australian" was. It's a bit of doublespeak that politicians use to tag a group of amorphous voters, but its not a term that any serious person would use to describe themselves.

"G'day my name is Neil and I'm a.... Middle Australian". Not likely, mate. I'm a father, a husband, a small business operator, a daydreamer, a wannabe musician, maybe even a battler, whatever.... but "Middle Australian"? Give me a break, Kim. If you use that term and me in the same sentence, then the only meaning I derive from it is that you're after my vote and you aren't too sure how to get it.

The other bit of doublespeak Beazer used was "Triple Whammy" - as though it was some big silver hammer that Maxwell was using to bang us on the head with as per the song by the Beatles. The Opposition Leader was referring to the recent quarter of a percent interest rise, the increase in fuel prices, and the change to the Industrial Relations laws.

Regarding his first point about interest rate rises. I'd rather be hit with Costello's quarter percent interest rise than the 18 percent rates that Beazley gave us when he was in power. Especially since most commentators agree that we're not going to need another rate rise for quite a while. And anyway you can count on a closed fist the number of initiatives Kim Beazley made in his speech addressing what he'd do to reduce interest rates.... none at all because he and his party wouldn't have a clue about interest rates.

The second point about rising fuel prices is pretty lame. Oil prices are rising around the world. Does Beazer have a magic wand he's going to wave which will bring them down? If not, is it the nasty government's fault that they're high? Who are you trying to kid?

And on the third point of Industrial Relations reform threatening the jobs of "Middle Australia", blind Freddy can see that unemployment is much lower now than under Beazley's government. When he ruled the roost it was over 10 percent. Now it's 5 percent. Which number is more threatening to you?

One initiative I have mixed feelings about is his ideas about the "Double Drop-off". Building childcare centres in State Schools is fair enough - provided the State Governments let you do it. But if you already have your kids at one child care centre, you'd still have a double drop-off under Beazley unless you pulled your kids out of one childcare centre and put them into another.

And then what happens to the other childcare centres that aren't in school grounds? If they lose customers, will they close down?

Sounds to me like the cure might be worse than the disease.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Well said, Bill!

Full marks to Bill Leak for his witty cartoon about Indonesia and West Papua.

A similar cartoon in an Indonesian newspaper portrayed John Howard and Alexander Downer as amorous dingoes. Most people either smirked about it or wrote it off as a pretty lame joke.

But Bill's cartoon has got a lot of people running for cover, with Downer "disassociating" himself from it, opposition counterpart Rudd calling for a stop to the "cartoon wars", and numerous Indonesian commentators getting very worked up.

There's no need to get so upset.

The Indonesian media opposed Australia's actions over West Papua and criticized that decision.

Similarly, many Australians are skeptical of Indonesia's actions in West Papua, and are openly critical about it.

Debate between international neighbors about issues of mutual interest is a healthy thing. It would be a much less desirable situation if this sort of debate was stifled to try and appease those sensitive souls who are offended by criticism.

The debate serves a vital role - governments at home and abroad are held accountable for their actions.

If Bill Leak can have a bit of a laugh about it while contributing to the debate, then good for him!

Friday, March 24, 2006

We know what you're upto in Papua

The Indonesian Government "is surprised, disappointed and deeply deplores" the decision by the Australian goverment to grant temporary protection visas to 42 asylum seekers from Papua.

As Dr Phil would say, past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.

So taking into account the thuggery that the Indonesian army committed in East Timor and Aceh, it seems perfectly reasonable to assume that the Papuans were telling the truth when they complained of brutality at the hand of the indonesians.

If I had to chose who to believe between a Papuan who braved the ocean in dugout canoe, and an Indoneisan military thug with a past history of brutality, it's a no brainer.

It's good news for lovers of freedom that politicians in Indonesia are upset about this.

They know that we know what they're up to. And they don't like it. Nice of them to let us know that we're getting under their skin.

It's good to see the plight of Papua in the mainstream media too.