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.

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 http://www.questnews.com.au/article/2007/08/23/19859_nt_news.html (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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

Getting smarter about Capital Punishment

Full marks to Robert Richter, QC, and Brian Walters, QC.

They have come up with a plan to extradite the Bali Nine to Australia to face conspiracy charges. The goal is to get them out of Indonesia before they’re charged, tried, convicted and sentenced to death by firing squad.

I hope the Department of Public Prosecutions in Victoria co-operates, as should other state / territory governments and the Federal Government.

Our government may not have the political will to lobby Asian governments to forsake Capital Punishment, but with some smart legal manoevering we may be ale to use international law to make it more difficult for them – even if it is only when dealing with our own citizens.

More info

For Van Nguyen



Singing The Spirit Home

  • (Eric Bogle)They came for him in the morning, an hour before dawning
    The pale white moon was waning in the African sky
    The cell door flew wide open, they stood looking at him
    He saw no mercy in their hearts, no pity in their eyes

    As they took him and they bound him, tied his trembling hands
    behind him
    He felt his courage leave him, his manhood disappear
    His legs would not support him, so from the cell they dragged him
    He sobbed and screamed and cursed them in his loneliness and fear

    Chains, chains, chains
    How many souls have died in freedom’s name
    To some it is a way of life, to others just a word
    To some it is a snow-white dove, to some a bloody sword
    But until the last chains fall, freedom will make slaves of us all

    With faces closed and hidden the white guards walked beside him
    Indifferent to his pleading – they’d been down this path before
    But other eyes were watching, other ears were listening
    Other hearts beat with him in his final desperate hour

    From the darkness of that prison came the sound of his brothers
    Courage, their voices told him, you do not walk alone
    From their cells beyond the shadow he heard their voices echo
    As in love and pride and sorrow they sang his spirit home

    Chains, chains, chains
    How many souls have died in freedom’s name
    To some it is a way of life, to others just a word
    To some it is a snow-white dove, to some a bloody sword
    But until the last chains fall, freedom will make slaves of us all

    And their song of hope and freedom, it rang inside that prison
    It beat against the iron bars and crashed against the stone
    As in their fear and hate they hung him, the last sound that filled
    his being
    Was his brothers singing, singing his spirit home

    Courage, brother, you do not walk alone
    We shall walk with you and sing your spirit home