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.

Chance To Kick Howard Out On Nov 24th, Go Oz!

The baldy conservative, racist, poor hating, Bush fellating, walking disaster area for Australia is about to get fired, hopefully-

Australian Prime Minister John Howard on Sunday called a general election for November 24, in which the staunch US ally in Iraq will face the fight of his political life as polls show him heading for defeat. Pleading with voters for support whether they “love me or loathe me” after 11 years in office, 

Yeah that’s it, vote for him if you hate him, what a brilliant campaign strategy, after all he’s got fuck all chance if only people who like him vote tory. I’m not sure that tiny number even includes Howard himself, I mean it must be hard to look yourself in the mirror while coated in Cheney’s jism.

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Friday! Julian Clary & Grant Lee Buffalo

It’s a double bill because of the intertubes problems that wiped out last Friday, first up a clip from an Australian chat show. I was looking for some specific sketches from an Oz comedy show called Fast Forward, the ones I wanted weren’t to be had but on the way I found this clip of one of the performers presenting his own chat show. Now what is great about this is- Julian Clary when he was all but banned from UK TV because of a great gag about fisting the conservative chancellor live on TV toured Oz a fair bit and so he is a guest (in his full early 90’s stage costume regalia, sequins ahoy!) on Steve Vizard’s show. Then Vizard has on an old time football star (the ‘Moose’ oh yeah, you better believe it) who has retired and is plugging his crappy book. The guy is quite literally paralysed by homophobia, at first he won’t even sit next to Clary, or discuss him, the audience does laugh too much at a rubbish joke the old player makes but mostly Clary keeps them on his side with his sheer bravura and wit. (the beginning is a bit dodgy as it is videoed off TV with a camcorder, but stick with it) Enjoy!

Second is Grant Lee Buffalo’s Lone Star Song, a corker with this great phrase- ‘disciples with artillery’ off their Mighty Joe Moon album. Have a Rockin’ good Friday!

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Dr Haneef Freed From Australian Goon Squad

From Frolix at War Within a Breath, I learn that all charges against Dr Mohamed Haneef have been dropped, I said it was fishy, I said it was bullshit, why don’t the Oz police just pay me and they’ll make fewer idiot mistakes, except this wasn’t really a mistake, this was racism and authoritarianism from that slap headed gobshite exponent of both- John ‘yes George your anus does taste lovely’ Howard.

An Indian doctor has been freed from custody in Australia after charges linked to the failed bomb attacks in the UK were dropped. Dr Mohamed Haneef was released into home detention while he awaits a decision on his immigration status.

The 27-year-old had his visa revoked after he was charged with giving “reckless support” to terrorism. The charge was withdrawn on Friday after Australia’s chief prosecutor admitted “a mistake has been made”. The case – which also threw new anti-terror laws under the spotlight – triggered concern from both legal and civil rights groups.

Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews said that Dr Haneef would be granted home detention while he awaits a final decision on his immigration status. “He is free to move about in the community, but as a matter of legal principle… he is formally in detention,” he said. Mr Andrews had caused controversy earlier this month after revoking Dr Haneef’s visa on character grounds, based on the charges against him.

Kevin Andrews you drongo, as the charges, which were the reason to cancel the visa, were all a huge fuck up on your govts behalf, you now reinstate the visa and say sorry. As you fucking haven’t may I sincerely wish you much public ridicule as Doc Haneef sues your motherfuckin’ arses off.

And all those wingnuts promulgating the absolutely insane theory that nationalised medicine bred terrorism, how’s that theory going? And as Frolix points out how does this make Brown’s plan to bring in 56 day detention without charge look? Enough already, put down the copy of 1984, move away from the book and stop copying bits straight into policy documents. We are not scared, of you or terrorism, we are not falling for this police state in waiting so you can fuck right off, right now.

The Ministry Of Australian Truth- Kafka Division

Well I figured it was all a bit fishy, now the stench is overwhelming-

The case of Mohammed Haneef, arrested in Queensland three weeks ago, has strained relations with India and sparked accusations that anti-terrorism officers were incompetent. Reports at the weekend suggested that the Metropolitan Police regarded their Australian counterparts as a laughing stock for perpetrating “such a major cock-up”.

The main piece of evidence was a mobile phone SIM card reportedly found in the wreckage of the burnt-out Jeep that Kafeel Ahmed drove into the Glasgow airport terminal. The card was in the name of Dr Haneef, 27, a registrar at the Gold Coast Hospital since last September.

Except-

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation revealed last Friday that the SIM card had not been found in the wreckage of the Jeep, but at Sabeel Ahmed’s house in Liverpool.

Dr Haneef told police he gave Sabeel Ahmed the card when he left for Australia. He does not deny having social contacts with his cousins. But he denies any knowledge of a terrorist plot, or any connection with Islamic extremism. “Every drop of blood is human,” he told his interrogators.

And

Australian Federal Police also made much of the fact that he could not explain why he was planning to leave Australia on a one-way ticket to India, and that he had admitted sharing a house in Britain with the Ahmed brothers. Several other Indian-born doctors who knew Dr Haneef were arrested in Australia, but quickly released.

A Brisbane magistrate, Jacqui Payne, was underwhelmed by the police case. She granted Dr Haneef bail last Monday. The Immigration minister, Kevin Andrews, immediately announced that he was cancelling Dr Haneef’s work visa on “character grounds”, and ordered him to be held indefinitely in a Sydney detention centre for illegal immigrants.

The move prompted an uproar, with lawyers and civil liberties groups denouncing it as a snub to the judiciary’s independence, and highly prejudicial to a future trial. The Australian High Commissioner in Delhi, John McCarthy, was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs. An Indian minister visited Dr Haneef’s wife, Firdous Arshiya, who returned to the couple’s home in Bangalore earlier this year after becoming pregnant.

The controversy was fuelled by the leaking of the transcript of Dr Haneef’s police interview. It revealed that he told anti-terrorism officers that his father-in-law bought him a one-way ticket to see his wife and new baby because he could not afford it himself. And he denied living in a house in Liverpool with his two cousins.

It has also emerged that, before he was arrested, Dr Haneef tried to contact one of the British police investigators – to explain why his SIM card was in Sabeel Ahmed’s possession, he says. Phone records show that he tried to call four times, without success.

Despite these revelations, Mr Andrews has refused to reinstate Dr Haneef’s visa. He claims the government has secret evidence which it is unable to release.

These trumped up charges are ridiculous, Howard’s racist goons (taking a break from his war on the aboriginals)arrested anyone in sight for being Indian, used their new Kafka powers to fabricate a case and now claim they have ‘secret’ evidence. Not to mention revoking his visa so they could bang him up as an illegal immigrant, an illegality caused by them, Franz would be proud. This is the bullshit war on terror just a new label on the oldest scam, authoritarian rule over a populace kept in check with fear.

The Spin On Terror

I was reading this report on Al Jazeera:

Australian police have reportedly found no evidence to charge an Indian doctor who has been held without charge for 11 days on suspicion of connection to atttempted UK bomb attacks. However, officials still believe Muhammad Haneef played a role in last month’s failed bombings, the Australian newspaper reported citing government documents. Haneef, 27, was arrested in the eastern Australian city of Brisbane on July 2 while trying to leave the country on a one-way ticket to India. The paper said that despite a massive investigation, authorities have failed to uncover any evidence with which to charge him.

The documents cited by the Australian said police do not want to release Haneef because they suspect he “provided support to the terrorist organization responsible for the terrorist acts in London and/or Glasgow.” Investigators have seized several computer hard drives, PDAs, flash drives and computer disks as well as phones and digital cameras belonging to Haneef and his associates, the paper reported.

It quoted officials as saying the inquiry had been complicated by the need to process the large volume of electronic data they had found and check it with material held by British authorities. The Australian said police were likely to urge Brisbane magistrates to allow them to hold Haneef for another 72 hours, adding that investigations could take up to two more weeks to complete. “If Mr Haneef was released from detention, it would be more difficult for authorities to effectively monitor his movements and who he communicates with, either in Australia or overseas,” the paper quoted government documents saying.

Then within a few minutes the story suddenly became:

Australian police have charged a 27-year-old Indian doctor linked to the suspected UK bomb attempts. Mohamed Haneef “has been charged with providing support to a terrorist organisation”, said an Australian police spokesman.

…Dr Haneef is being charged with providing a mobile phone SIM card to his second cousins, Sabeel and Kafeel Ahmed, both of whom are being held in Britain. The BBC’s Nick Bryant in Brisbane says the charges carry a maximum sentence of 25 years in jail.

Likewise on Al Jazeera, so at the last minute they go for a charge (he gave them a sim!) to keep him locked up and avoid going to court for further extensions for ‘dead time’, oh yeah this is all under Howard’s Kafka-esque new laws:

Civil liberties groups complain that he is being held in a legal limbo. Dr Haneef’s case is the first to be practically applied under controversial anti-terror laws that came in to force in 2004, the BBC’s Nick Bryant in Brisbane says. Under the new laws, Australian police are allowed to question him for 24 hours – but this can be spread out over an unspecified period of time.

…The questioning can be interspersed with what is being called “dead time” – a kind of legal time-out which allows police, subject to magistrate’s approval, to keep a person in detention without charge or questioning while they continue their inquiries.

Meanwhile the story of no evidence or police pleading for an extension in court is not the story the public will wake up to this morning and Howard’s strange new law isn’t shown up as unworkable. All these shenanigans will be ignored and it simply becomes- Terrorist Charged!

Which makes up for:

A woman held over failed car bombings in London and Glasgow airport has been freed without charge, police have said.

I have no idea who, what or where except to say the experience with the Birmingham six and Guildford four showed that the impulse to arrest lots of suspects in a frenzy leads to a case being built on the assumption of guilt not evidence and the injustice takes years to be righted, although the personal cost cannot be compensated. It is at a time like this these lessons need to be kept in mind.

David Hicks Home In Australia

Hicks ate, chatted and looked out the window during his private jet flight to Adelaide, according to David McLeod. Then, along with his gaolers, he watched the first movie he’d seen in more than five years.

McLeod wouldn’t say what film the strange collection of viewers on board the government-chartered luxury jet had watched.

The Gulfstream landed at Edinburgh RAAF base in Adelaide’s outer suburbs at 9.50am (10.20am AEST).

McLeod, who caught a taxi to Yatala Prison while his client streaked ahead in a full police escort, said the trip had been very pleasant.

“David is well and he enjoyed the trip,” he said. “…He was very glad to be back on Australian soil, he was visibly overjoyed when we touched down in Edinburgh.”

Now Hicks says he wants to repay the faith of those who fought for his release by being a model prisoner. He has instructed Mr McLeod to immediately drop all court actions – including his push for British citizenship – and says he will not take further legal action and will not attemopt to profit from his story.

McLeod said Hicks had suffered some physical ill-effects as a result of his years in Guantanamo Bay, but bigger fears were held for his mental health.

“In the western world’s most notorious prison, he’s become institutionalized,” he said without elaborating.

Put simply it remains to be seen if his mind can ever be set free- and it is appalling that so many news stories report on the charges as if some kind of actual trial happened. The illegal tribunal found him guilty on charges of their choosing after torturing him for five years. I won’t hold my breath to see it reported by the MSM in those accurate terms that show no deference to power. This is how evil thrives, small steps day after day until what was once a lie is repeated as truth, torture becomes ‘abuse’ becomes ‘interrogation’, and a military kangaroo court with no standing in law is called a trial where the verdict is accepted as legitimate.

The Pentagon Are Coming For The Mask!

Korova my flouncy shirted blog compadre of The Mask Of Anarchy has been visited by the Pentagon, a real sign that you’ve arrived and may be disappeared in due course, it’s a quick visit so I reckon it’s automatic tracking software rounding up the dissident media sites. Of course it also shows the pentagon use XP & internet explorer, sad losers, at least use Firefox for fuck’s sake. As this is linked to David Hicks there is a chance they also snooped me but I don’t have a stats tracking plug in that gives me that amount of detail at the moment.

David Hicks Gets 9 Months In An Australian Jail

Australian Guantanamo detainee David Hicks will be sent home to serve nine months in prison after being sentenced by a military judge at the facility.-

Pragmatically speaking this is a good result for his immediate welfare.

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