Hey Australia!

Thanks to commenter Bill! Australia, your mission should you choose to accept it- Adam Curtis’ The Way of All Flesh is sitting on a shelf in a Sydney library (Customs House) in vhs form, so…if some heroic Aussie (or indeed anyone in the vicinity with library access) wanted to take it out and digitise it (returning the vhs tape to the library of course) and upload the digitised version to the web (eg. Google vid), then let the world know… they would receive much gratitude and global renown!

In case search links breaks-

City of Sydney Library Catalogue.

Customs House Branch (looks lovely, although I’m sure they would bring it to your nearest branch).

Accentuate The Positive

Well quite busy in that there real world but I’ve just ‘jacked in’ as I vaguely remember William Gibson terming it in Neuromancer and many fine blogs have caught all kinds of important and of course utterly terrible things our various ruling classes are getting away with. But take your time to read Hugh Manatee’s post at Mask of Anarchy or at his home blog Typing is Not Activism (with a great photo) about the Oz government doing something decent and formally apologising to the original owners of the land-

Today we honour the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

We reflect on their past mistreatment.

We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were Stolen Generations – this blemished chapter in our nation’s history.

The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia’s history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.

We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.

We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.

For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.

To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry.

And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.

We the Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation.

For the future we take heart; resolving that this new page in the history of our great continent can now be written.

We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians.

A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again.

A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity.

A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed.

A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility.

A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia.

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Even In Defeat Howard Is A Spiteful Little Coward, So The Queen Likes Him

Kevin Rudd, the Australian prime minister, is set to apologise to Aborigines who were taken from their families as children, saying that it was unfinished business for the nation.

The apology, due for Wednesday, will come 11 years after a landmark report into the forced removal of Aboriginal children from their families under past assimilation policies, which recommended a national apology to what is known as the Stolen Generation. Rudd will deliver the announcement in parliament, making the historic gesture the first piece of parliamentary business for his Australian Labor Party government, which won power in November and ended almost 12 years of conservative rule. 

He said the apology would be to the Stolen Generation, their families and descendants, but said the government would not set up a compensation fund, as any claims for compensation would be decided by the courts. 

The previous conservative government led by John Howard refused to apologise, offering instead a statement of regret, saying current generations should not be held responsible for past actions. Howard, who lost his seat at the November election, said he would not attend the parliamentary sitting for the apology, which continues to divide the conservative Liberal Party.

Well no compensation plans is not good but this is a refreshing cultural shift away from the mean spirited, closed minded conservative years. But of course the slapheaded tory wanker hasn’t the decency to show his face although apparently the Queen thinks he might be neat, racists eh?

Speculation is mounting that Mr Howard has been personally selected by Queen Elizabeth to receive the Order of the Garter, the most senior and oldest British Order of Chivalry.  

Chivalry? Arthur rolls in his (mythical?) grave for Albion’s shame.

David Hicks Released Under Conditions

Former Guantanamo Bay inmate David Hicks will apologise to the Australian people when he is released from an Adelaide jail this weekend but still disputes any links to terrorism, his father said Friday. The so-called “Aussie Taliban” will walk free Saturday after a six-year incarceration that began in Afghanistan, continued for half a decade in Guantanamo Bay and ended at a maximum security jail in his hometown Adelaide.

Under the plea bargain, Hicks was allowed to serve the remainder of his sentence in Adelaide, but in return forfeited any right to appeal his conviction and agreed not to speak to the media for a year from his sentencing date.

Australia’s government has concedes that the gagging order may not be enforceable in Hicks’ home country, where he has not been convicted of any crime.

On release, Hicks will be subject to a form of control order obliging him to report to police three times a week and obey a curfew, among other restrictions.

Experience (particularly dealing with comments on me and Korova’s YouTube clip on David Hicks) has shown he is a lightning rod for obsessive rightists who see the world as- you’re either on our side and thus treated humanely, or you are an enemy undeserving of treatment as a human being. The war of terror has created a brand- ‘terrorists’ which when applied to a person immediately acts as a license for the hard of thinking to revert to unquestioning submission to the state and corporate propaganda, often unleashing violent sensual fantasies in these armchair fascists.

A psychologist suspects David will have many problems ahead dealing with what was done to him which will be exacerbated by the media frenzy-

“In some very restrictive regimes, and Guantánamo Bay will fall into that category, the environments are actually designed to break people down,” said Ogloff. “There’s no long term goal of rehabilitating people or having them return to the community. So the issues that the individual faces is, in fact, being broken into pieces and having to really be put back together.”

(Xposted at Mask Of Anarchy)

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Oz Dumps ID

Hint, hint-

Opponents of Australia’s controversial Access Card received an early Christmas present earlier this month when the incoming Rudd Labor Government finally axed the controversial ID program.

Update: Via Boing Boing, are they just shifting the goalposts (which would be a sad sign Aussie Labor have gone the way of NuLab).

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Schadenfreude: Howard Edition

Yes!!!!! The baldy wanker has also lost his seat-

The Australian Labor Party candidate who contested outgoing Prime Minister John Howard’s seat in last week’s general election has claimed victory. If Maxine McKew’s win is confirmed, Mr Howard will become only the second sitting Australian Prime Minister ever to lose his own seat in an election. “Bennelong is now a Labor seat for the first time,” said Ms McKew.

Although the Australian Electoral Commission has also formally declared the seat for Labor, Mr Howard has not yet conceded victory to Ms McKew. Mr Howard has already been replaced as leader of the Liberal Party by former Defence Minister Brendan Nelson.

So he’s hanging on for grim death or he is on such a boozing jag he doesn’t care, still he’ll get lots of directorships and speaking tours, the war pimps will look after him but at least he has been comprehensively humiliated on the world stage. I believe it was Ace Ventura, a renowned pet detective, who put it best “l-o-s-e-r”.

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Howards (A)way

The baldy Bush poodle wanker is done. Hugh Manatee has up to the minute coverage at Typing is Not Activism and summaries at Mask of Anarchy. Americans should not be confused by Howard being the Liberal leader in OZ that means right wing…as it does in America! (who couldn’t see that coming). Some countries in the world are not afraid to have parties with the word ‘labor’ in their name, ahem (ok NuLabour doesn’t count). As a hilarious side note Howard may be about to lose his own seat in Bennelong-

In Bennelong, where Mr Howard is battling to survive against the high-profile Labor candidate, former journalist Maxine McKew, the swing to Labor was 5.2% with 70% of votes counted. Mr Howard’s buffer of 4.1% appeared set to be eclipsed.

It’s really close and appears to be down to postal ballots now (oh dear lots of chance to fiddle those) but fingers crossed for total humiliation, yet another Bush ally soundly rejected by his country.