Thursday 5th March 1998

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Recent stories exclusive to  subscribers of the Australian National News of the Day:
Pauline Hanson and the miners 3rd March 1998
The discredited "Bringing them Home" report now on-line 2nd March 1998
Just who owns Westpac? 1st March 1998
Pauline Hanson to run for Blair. 28th February 1998
Sick Uniting Church peddles gay and lesbian behaviour to our kids on TV 27th February 1998

Current topical links (available to all readers):
[Links to the MAI] [Queensland One Nation State Election website]
[Sign the "I'm so sorry Pauline" book]

Archive of weekly features (available to all readers):
[The Canberra Column] [Economic Rationalism]

Today's Headlines
an Aussie's viewpoint on Australia's first daily Internet newspaper.
Since October 1995


The MAI under fire from all quarters

Yesterday we covered the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Lateline report on the MAI. Maxine McKeogh said that Sir Anthony Mason's comments as well as those of Pauline Hanson had stimulated the interest on covering this proposed international treaty. What is of particular interest is that the News Limited Courier Mail have selectively refused to cover this major international treaty despite the high profile now being given the issue by leading citizens including Sir Anthony Mason, Former Chief Justice of the High Court, at the opening of the Melbourne Convention on Monday.

Extract from speech by Sir Anthony Mason, transcript in full here:

"If the prophets of the demise of the nation state be right, we should be thinking about making international decision making itself more democratic, open and transparent.....

"The problems are considerable. Take the current negotiation in OECD over the Multilateral Agreement on Investment, an agreement which could have a great impact on Australia if we ratify it. The negotiation, so far as Australia is concerned, is in the hands of Treasury. The negotiation is not an open process; it is being conducted in secret. There are no doubt reasons which can be advanced to support the veil of secrecy. But at the end of the day it is possible that the terms will be set in concrete leaving Australia with very limited choices to make, the effective choices having been made by Treasury and Federal Cabinet during the course of the unpublished negotiations."

It goes without saying that Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Packer will be major beneficiaries of the MAI if Australia sign it as, once the proposed media ownership exemptions are rolled over after a period of time, it will be open slather in Australia. If there is a valid conspiracy theory behind the formulation of the MAI then they are, without doubt, part of it by trying to keep this treaty under wraps, out of sight, where the average Aussie is not aware of its impact on their lives or those of their children.

The ABC Lateline programme is now fully transcribed and available here.

The ABC showed a programme on the piranha fish in South America last night... it made me think of the feeding frenzy that we would face here once these media ownership laws were rolled over. There would be blood on the streets... the blood of small independent media proprietors being rolled by the media moguls.

An example of how the market is being captured and bled dry is going on right now under the eyes of Queenslanders. Since inception the Courier Mail has not carried a special classified lift out. A hole in the market which has been filled for many years by small trading post papers which come out every two weeks. In Queensland we have the "Trading Post" and "Queensland Trading Post" who employ over 100 people between them. These specialist papers are sold for a dollar in South East Queensland and are part of a tradition of how second hand goods are bought and sold... The Queensland Trading Post have an on-line version called Ads-On-Line. An excellent service which I use on a regular basis. (In fact I can tell you that I sourced Pauline Hanson's internet PC through this service).

The Courier Mail, to capture the market that these two players share, now offer free advertisements for goods up to Au$100 and a maximum of Au$10 for any other classifieds placed with them... of course their new specialist classified lift out comes out weekly as well.

The end result will be a loss of over 100 jobs in Brisbane, the closure of two small businesses in the city and the News Limited empire expanding its cancerous feelers just a little bit more... this has all happened before, many, many times.

One of our readers informs us that he used to run viable independent free papers at Mt Isa. When he refused to sell out to News Limited as the media giant wanted to take over that region's market they simply started issuing defamation orders against the editor of the paper. At first they were intimidated and unsure what to do... then they tackled the problem head on - publishing, in full, copies of the intimidatory News Limited defamation orders in their paper. Surprise, surprise the ruse worked and the defamation orders stopped coming but News Limited, by using its media might, still captured the Mt Isa market.

Classic comment from India's new government - the BJP.

When speaking on their philosophy for their people, "One Nation, one religion, one culture."

Does that make all Indian people racist for selecting the BJP Party?

Conman Peter Foster to face the music

Peter Foster was yesterday told by Magistrate Brian Hine that he would have to go back to England to face fraud charges there.

Foster, who disappeared while on bail a few months ago, was recently captured and forced to front the courts to face extradition. The conman has claimed that his life will be in peril if he is sent back to England.

Outside the Courts Foster's solicitor Sean Cousins questioned the motivation for the extradition saying that the decision would be appealed.

In the meantime the friend of the Foster family, Agnes Tatay, who put up her Gold Coast home as security for Foster's bail appears likely to lose her only asset in the world... another victim on the Foster files.

Amnesty International looking for a lost cause?

That politically correct international group called Amnesty International are always looking for a cause to increase their profile, so they came to Australia yesterday to jump on the "stolen generations" bandwagon.

It matters little that the "Bringing them Home" report by Sir Ronald Wilson and his anti-Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission has been totally discredited.

The classic statement by Ron Brunton, "Whether John Howard should apologise to the “stolen generations” for the actions of previous governments for which he personally had no responsibility, one thing is certain: as the organisation that is responsible for such an unworthy report, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission should apologise to all Australians: Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal," is totally ignored in the interests of balance like so much else undertaken by these misguided do-gooders.

Amnesty International yesterday called on the Australian Government to apologise to the so-called "stolen children" and to compensate them.

Petty politics dominates Queensland state affairs

Motor-mouth, ALP state opposition leader Peter Beattie is finding that the snakes are coming back to bite him. Over the last few weeks allegations and counter-allegations have flowed between the state Coalition and the ALP over travel and expense rorting... a few weeks ago this led to the resignation of three Coalition ministers who were implicated in affairs with their staff following revelations made by the ex-wife of one of them, Mrs Hobbs.

The ALP were vocal in their contrived indignation and disgust (as they have proved no better) with Beattie being at the forefront of allegations of misuse of tax payer moneys by Coalition minister - implying that they were squeaky clean until the revelation of Hamill's Au$350 liquor bill... in a two hour sitting with nine guests...

Things have not got any better. Now the Coalition are biting back, two days ago Cabinet documents from the Goss days were released revealing that Beattie had lied. Beattie said that the Eastlink power project, if it had been given the go-ahead by the Coalition, could have been completed in time - which Beattie claimed would therefore have helped Queensland business over the power shortage problems faced on Monday this week. The documents showed otherwise with motor-mouth going through all shades of the rainbow as he exploded in Parliament claiming that the Coalition, by tabling the Cabinet records, had broken a Parliamentary convention... presumably that you don't blab on your "mates". (The tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum syndrome).

Beattie has now told senior public servants that the release of the Cabinet documents amounted to "serious misconduct"... strange that the same interest in the Goss shredding fiasco has escaped his attention all this time.

Now Premier Rob Borbidge has gone one step further threatening to withhold tax payer funding for recent trip to Taiwan by Peter Beattie. Well-travelled Beattie, it appears, had already used up his overseas travel "allocations" with a tax payer paid world trip late year. Borbidge had earlier approved of the Taiwan trip if the Opposition leader's office could cover the trip from their budget. Now budgets are a hot topic of course, because it was just a few days ago that Beattie was caught telling porky pies again when he said that he had turned down an increase to his salary package  proposed by Borbidge. It turned out, again through a document tabled by the Coalition in Parliament that late last year Beattie had personally jumped at the proposed extra dollars in his pocket.

Now Borbidge has said that the three day trip, which Beattie took last week, has no justification as details of the trip have not yet been forwarded by Beattie. Beattie responded to Borbidge in writing, "The programme was being adjusted even at the time I left Queensland, but the Queensland office in Taipei was kept totally abreast of the arrangements as they were advised to my office."

Borbidge was not satisfied by Beattie's answer so he demanded full documentation of the trip by 5pm or Beattie would lose his support for the tax payer funded expenditure.

Beattie responded writing, "I find your latest correspondence unnecessary and offensive. Obviously the strain is getting to you, and I seriously wonder whether you are capable of continuing as Premier of this state given the pettiness of your approach and the threat made in your letter... I feel sorry for you."

Borbidge responded to the media last night saying, "What I am doing is enforcing the standards that the Opposition leader would insist that I apply to my ministers.

"I gave Mr Beattie the courtesy - something the Goss government would never do - of a second overseas trip even though he is only entitled to one in each parliamentary term.

"Mr Beattie would jump up and down if my ministers did not meet standards when they travel overseas."

Borbidge makes sense to me.

Making the news" -
an indepth exposé of media and political collusion at the highest possible levels in Australia.


Ian Sinclair takes the "hot" seat in Parliament

Ian Sinclair, known as "Sinkers" found himself in hot water yesterday when he took on the Australian Labor Party (ALP) from his new position as Speaker of the house.

His ascendency followed the sudden resignation of Bob Halverson yesterday, and his powerful performance at the recent Constitutional Convention.

Sinclair started his reign in the chair by banning the ALP's supplementary questions raising the petty ire of the likes of front benchers Kim Beazley and Gareth Evans. Evans saying Sinclair was a "charming rogue but a head kicking rogue nevertheless. Having a charming rogue in the seat is a definite advantage on having a non-charming one".

"But beyond that I don't think you'll get any huge expression of confidence by the Opposition because we know Sinkers' form.

"No Speaker in the Australian parliamentary tradition is ever really independent of party, they just differ in their capacity to conceal that reality," he said.

The classic move of the day was by Simon Crean - who worked his way up into the ALP leadership through the violent ranks of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). Crean tried to pass a dissent motion against Sinclair - a move which was defeated through the superior numbers of the Coalition.

Oxley pre-selection candidate Anne Scott put in the hot seat.

Anne Scott the wife of Les Scott - the MP displaced by Pauline Hanson in the seat of Oxley in 1996 - has been told that her husband should surrender his parliamentary pension if she wins her bid to represent Labor in the seat of Oxley.

Mrs Scott, who is a misguided letter writer, was told by Labor Party national secretary Gary Grey that voters would find it grotesque if Les Scott continued to receive his Au$30,000 pa parliamentary pension if she represented the voters of Oxley and received a parliamentary salary as well.

Mrs Scott responded by saying, "I think some of these people think women don't even deserve the vote," with Gray's comments being seen by her supporters as being an attempt to derail her campaign.

"I made her aware that I thought the people of Oxley would not be enamoured by a candidate who had a partner in receipt of a parliamentary pension at the same time as she would be seeking public office and remuneration as a Federal Member of Parliament," Gray said yesterday.

"I assume that if Anne Scott were to be successful in her pre-selection that her husband Les would find a way of handing back his superannuation so you didn't have the case of a family double dipping, which would be thought of in ALP circles and in the community in general as being grotesque.

Mrs Scott has said that she wants to represent the battlers in the past - causing Gray to comment, "Families have already sent a message that they are doing it hard."

She dodged the issue by saying, "If it seen as a problem I am quite willing to bring forward a private members bill to change the Superannuation Act." Yeah, and pigs will fly before they (the politicians) take their noses out of that trough...

I wonder when the ALP will question the "double dipping" by Michael and Linda Lavarche, and Bobb and Brenda Gibbs?

email the editor


A survey by Brian Sweeney and Associates has lifted the lid on Australians' favourite sport.

It found that mens sports are more popular than womens sports. Some 1500 people were questioned for the survey with the company's research director, Lewis Jones, saying media coverage influenced preferences, "Men's sport gets a greater coverage on television, radio and in newspapers and that is what generates an interest in those sports.

"We would assume that because women's sports get much less media coverage, fewer people are interested in it."

Here is a table of the results:

Sport Interest Participation Attendance TV viewing Radio listening
Swimming 59 45 5 33 0
Cricket (outdoor) 54 11 20 50 10
Australian Rules 50 5 23 48 9
Tennis 50 26 8 42 1
Soccer 41 7 11 39 1
Motor Racing 39 2 10 36 0
Rugby League 38 3 13 36 3
Golf 37 22 6 30 0
Basketball 35 11 12 30 1
Gymnastics 34 2 2 32 0

Personal trivia, from the global office:

Another perfect day in paradise.

Have a good one.

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