Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Mark Latham's Press Club speech

Two weeks ago, as part of my bus trip through northern New South Wales, I held a community forum at Gosford.

It was a tremendous gathering more than 500 people came along to put their concerns to me face-to-face. Of the 31 questions, only two were about economics and one was on foreign policy. The rest were about people: The quality of our society. The breakdown in community relationships.

Loneliness, isolation and stress. Youth homelessness and the drug problem. Disabilities and the aged-care crisis. Male suicide, mental health and the need for mentoring programs.

These are the concerns of mainstream Australia. After 30 years of globalisation and economic change, people are asking: what has happened to our society? How do we relate to each other now? How do we help each other and create stronger communities? How do we rebuild the identities and relationships of a good society?

This is the pressing issue of our time, but unfortunately, it has gone missing in the public debate. While the political system tends to argue for either more market forces or more government, the people themselves have a different priority.

They want more society, more community a new sense of belonging, a new set of social relationships. Among the people that I talk to, there is a real interest in localism.

During a time of constant change and uncertainty, many people glaze over at the thought of complex macro-politics. Their primary interests are at a family and neighbourhood level.

The things they can touch and influence: reading to their children, improving the local school, fixing up the local park and making the neighbourhood safer. People haven't lost all interest in politics. They haven't totally disengaged. They just want politics to be relevant to their needs and interests at a local level.This is a real passion among women in particular.

Traditionally they have done much of the community work in society. Now they want more recognition and back-up from government. This is where we need to rethink the role of public policy. Ultimately, the choice between market forces and state bureaucracy is flawed. It ignores the space in the middle where people come together with a sense of common purpose and community.

It ignores the voluntary associations andinterests that make up civil society. A good society requires more than high incomes and government services. It needs strong, healthy relationships within active communities. For too long, government policy has ignored this vital part of our national life.

Labor recognises that there is more to life than money. We understand that our community is awash with social problems that will not be solved by government spending alone. We intend to tackle the challenges presented to our society by loneliness, family breakdown and youth alienation. But to do so, we need to change our approach. Much of the modern state is based on a top-down system of control.

The parliament passes laws and funds programs. Andit is assumed that civil society will respond to these laws in a manner consistent with the government mould. This is the traditional way of encouraging responsibility and creating services. But it doesn't necessarily create stronger communities. Civil society has its own agenda, determined in the complex relationships between people.

Top-down processes have little impact on community life. It's not possible, for instance, to introduce a Social Capital Bill into Parliament and think that this will automatically increase the level of trust and cooperation in society.

The new role for government is to act as a facilitator or enabler: creating the social environment in which people are more likely to have contact with each other, working together in trusting relationships.

Social capital is not like a financial asset or stock of goods that can be banked away. It lies in the relationships between people if they don't use it, they lose it. Trust and cooperation are learned habits. And if people fall out of the habit of working with each other, that's when communities start to fall apart.

Governments need to create the space and opportunities by which civil society and community politics can thrive. To some extent, this means giving power away. There's a strong feeling in society that too much power has slipped from the people's grasp and has been concentrated in the hands of big corporations and big bureaucracies.

I share this concern. And I want to see greater devolution of government power to the community. People shouldn't have to campaign for better services. They should be running them. When we talk about the public sector, we should talk about community housing, civic education, community banks and other local associations, not just government departments. In many cases, government needs to act as a junior partner to community effort, backing local initiatives and civil society. I also want to see greater public participation in the decisions of government.

For too long, the political system has been talking at people, instead of with them. It looks more like an elected aristocracy than a genuine democracy. Community consultation has thinned out to the interaction between governments and special interest groups. This has led to widespread public dissatisfaction with the concentration ofpolitical power.

We need to open up the political system, creating more forums in which people can have their say. We need to think of modern politics as a civic conversation: decision makers engaging the electorate in a dialogue on issues of public concern.

Only by deepening our democracy can we encourage more people to get involved in civic life, rebuilding communities and social capital. I want this to be the hallmark of a Labor Government, with Lindsay Tanner as our Minister for Community Relationships. The establishment of this new portfolio has created considerable interest. The public wants to talk about community issues, especially those affecting the next generation of young Australians.

At the community forum in Gosford, people were reaching out for assistance. In particular, how can the current generation of adult Australians help our youth? How can we help troubled boys and girls adjust to the demands of a fast changing and more stressful society? This is why I have asked Lindsay to work on a national mentoring strategy, in collaboration with the community sector.

Those who have suffered most from the decline of social and personal relationships tend to be boys. Their school retention rates lag well behind girls. Their literacy levels are lower. And in disproportionate numbers, they are the victims of drug overdoses, road trauma and youth suicide.

Our boys are suffering from a crisis of masculinity. As blue-collar muscle jobs have declined, their identity and relationships have become blurred and confused. We need to give our boys a new centre to their lives one grounded in community support and mentoring.

But this isn't just about boys. Girls need our help too. They have a different set of problems, from sexual assault to bulimia and worries about body image. Young women need stronger relationships and self-esteem to help them deal with these issues. In practice, however, people talk more about the trouble with boys because it is more visible. It's on our streets and in our public places. And when things go wrong, very often the victims are female. We all have an interest in overcoming this problem.

There are one million single mothers in Australia with sons entering adolescence who know better than most how boys can benefit from the steadying influence and discipline of a male role model. An extra person in their lives teaching them the difference between right and wrong. An extra person backing up the love and care of mums.

Mentoring is an idea whose time has come. Around Australia thousands of community-minded citizens are creating a network of volunteer mentors to work with young people in need. The role for government is to add to their efforts. Not to get in their way, but to help them overcome obstacles and insufficient funding.

Many organisations, for instance, struggle to obtain decent training programs for mentors. They also face inconsistent screening processes. And most of all, they lack a national voice and national resourcing.

Each year, governments in Australia invest just a couple of million dollars on mentoring programs less than the travel bill for most Commonwealth agencies. Surely, we can make better use of our prosperity as a nation. This is where a Labor Government will assist: linking generations of Australians through the power of mentoring, providing relationship support for our youth.

Mentoring will be our first investment in social capital, mobilising the leadership role of government to create stronger relationships. This is the best way of solving social problems: putting relationships at the centre of government decision-making and working with people locally to rebuild communities.

Often the lack of community comes down to something we cant buy time. For many people, the lack of time in their lives is just as significant as a lack of money. Its the challenge of our generation: getting the balance right between work, family and community. This is an era of great economic and social change. But not all the changes are positive.

We're being asked to work harder and longer. Yet we are losing the traditional sources of support to help us cope: the support of extended family and community. Our lives are being pulled apart by these twin forces putting pressure on families, strain on marriages, isolating us from friends and taking us out of community activities. For many Australians, life is becoming faster, harder and more stressful. But it shouldn't be this way.

Financially, we are a prosperous nation. Its time we focussed on the prosperity of our relationships: getting the balance right between work, family and community. This means rethinking the industrial relations system. In this era of constant economic change, one thing hasn't changed fast enough: our workplace relations law. It still focuses on the relationship between employers and employees. It has little to say about the other important work-related bond in society: the relationship between employees and their families.

In the new world of work, the typical family has one-and-a- half jobs. And full-time and part-time employment alike is turning over at a faster rate. There is less job security and greater uncertainty about the hours we are expected to work.

Combined with our parenting responsibilities, the inevitable outcome is stress. Stress and the guilt that comes from not seeing enough of our children. I want Labor's workplace relations policy to overcome this deficiency. To give people the lifestyle and peace of mind that comes from getting the employee-family relationship

I don't care how much ACCI and the Liberal Party complain about it. I'm going to put families first. Surely in a prosperous nation, it is not unreasonable for women to be able to work and then after childbirth, spend time recovering and also nurturing their newborn babies. This is why Labor is committed to 14 weeks paid maternity leave.

We want Australian families to have more financial options available to them in balancing work and family. Surely in a prosperous nation, it is not unreasonable for workers to come back from parental leave and then seek a part-time job. Surely in a prosperous nation, it is not unacceptable to give casual workers greater security. And with job security, workers and parents are better able to look after their families. Surely in a civilised society, its not unreasonable to have workplace flexibility job sharing and allowing employees to plan their hours and holidays around the needs of their children.

Surely in a civilised society, we can have a first-class child care system: affordability for parents, decent status and rewards for child care workers, and educational programs for our children. Something more than child- minding: early childhood development.

This is Labor's approach always, families first. We don't want people having to choose between being a good parent and a good employee. In a good society, you should be able to do both. One of the traps in the work and family debate is for policy makers to think that they can engineer certain outcomes, based on certain family types. In fact, this is an area where government needs to be non-judgemental.

No one knows the balance between work and family better than the parents themselves. The proper role for government is to provide a range of options and opportunities that parents can mix and match against their own circumstances.

The objective must be social flexibility, not social engineering. Again, government needs to act as a facilitator or enabler, offering a menu of services and support from which parents can then make appropriate choices.

We should also recognise that few of these choices will be long-lasting. As work and other arrangements change, new decisions have to be made. The balance between work and family is a process, not a destination. Ask any young mum these days. Indeed, this is a measure of how much relationships have changed in our lifetime.

When I think back to my grandparents, for instance, I think of an era of relationship certainty. Pop worked all his life and Nana looked after the children. End of story. Now, in my own circumstances at home, Janine and I have a non-stop dialogue about work and family: how to turn her legal qualifications into a legal career; how to juggle my new work responsibilities against time at home; how to organise child care for the boys; and how to arrange the transport to make all of this happen.

By today's standards, of course, this is nothing special. Millions of Australian families are engaged in this kind of dialogue every night. Its not just at the BBQ. Its over every meal. And its changing the nature of our relationships. Personal relations have always been based on reciprocated love. Now we also need reciprocated understanding and support to get the balance right: caring for our children, building our careers and meeting our shared aspirations in life.

We need plenty of give and take. Once more, its important not to be judgemental. Work is good and successful careers are even better. But they shouldn't be regarded as more important than the work done by parents who stay at home full-time and raise their children. They're heroes too.

I've got to confess, as someone who feels a bit guilty about not seeing enough of my children, I'm increasingly envious of parents at home. They have the advantage of turning quantity time into quality time with family.

Women have traditionally taken this role, but I expect in future, we will have many more stay-at-home dads in Australia. This is an important part of rebuilding male identity: recognising the significance of fatherhood. I trust that working men can understand this new role and, in their friendship and peer groups, give stay-at-home dads as much support and recognition as possible.

We should foster fatherhood at every opportunity. The things I've talked about today relationships, balanced lives and community building are part of a new agenda for our democracy.

It's an agenda that recognises that stronger families produce better communities. That's why Labor will work with voluntary organisations to expand the mentoring of our young people. And it's an agenda that recognises that helping families is not only good for society, its good for the economy.

That's why I will work with Australian businesses, unions and the community to introduce new policies for work and family. Policies that look after the interests of small businesspeople, as well as employees.

As we become more prosperous as a nation, people are demanding that our prosperity has a purpose beyond the accumulation of more possessions. Increased wealth in a society does not necessarily make us happier. People have understood this for a long time. The politicians are merely catching up.

I believe in facing up squarely to the realities of economic and social change. Because it's only by confronting change that we can preserve the positive things about the past and make them relevant for the future: the warmth of a loving family, the safety of a strong neighbourhood and the friendship and fulfilment that comes from being part of something greater than ourselves.

A Labor Government will unashamedly pursue greater economic growth and prosperity, but it will be prosperity with a purpose. And I believe as a society, we can have no higher purpose than getting the balance right between work, family and community. We can have no higher purpose in the service of the Australian people.

I am a socialist. I am committed to the values of humanity, tolerance and democracy. In an era when the repressive regimes of eastern Europe have thankfully crumbled, and when socialist certainties are under challenge, I regard it as very much a daunting task to reinvigorate the socialist ideal in this country and across the world. However, there is a great deal within our country that can inspire us.

There is a great deal that is worth while about our country, in spite of our many problems — economic and other. I refer to things such as our entrenched democratic tradition; our still defiantly egalitarian spirit; our multicultural society and our extraordinary ability to absorb people of many different races and nationalities without serious violence; our commitment to individual freedom and our entrenched resistance and dislike of authoritarianism, pomp — although recent events might tend to suggest that I am not all that accurate in that comment — and fanaticism. We would do well to recall these very worthwhile achievements of our society when we are next wringing our hands about the latest set of economic statistics, because these are the true, great features of Australian society.

"Only by deepening our democracy can we encourage more people to get involved in civic life, rebuilding communities and social capital. I want this to be the hallmark of a Labor Government, with Lindsay Tanner as our Minister for Community Relationships. The establishment of this new portfolio has created considerable interest."

Mark Latham 18 Feb 04

Comment. Yes "considerable interest". Has Mr Tanner a Policy???

February 18, 2004 - 5:04PM


Protesters arrested during PM's Tas visit
Two people have been arrested at the start of the, [war criminal], Prime Minister's visit to northern Tasmania. John Howard was met by the protesters in Launceston this morning. Howard is in northern Tasmania to boost the profile of the Liberals' two new federal candidates for Bass and Braddon.

Australia: War Anthem
Australians all let us give voice, For we have gone to war, And just like Vietnam before, We're not sure what it's for, But Uncle Sam said "Jump", And so our PM said "How high?"

Australia: Drawing the line for trade
Once upon a "lifetime" there was, [war criminal], Prime Minister named John Howard. Dollar signs lit up in his eyes when he was told that if he got involved in the Iraq war and aligned the Australian Government with the Coalition of the Killing, US and the UK then the money he spent would be returned in a once in a lifetime Free Trade Agreement with the US.

Howard Vs Regina in Canberra the Capital Territory of Australia- Friday January 30 2004. Would the defendant please stand while I read out the judgement of this court.

Australia: The gospel according to Farr
Howard said, "The teacher unions a year ago encouraged teachers to discuss the war on Iraq in the classroom that was code for attacking the Government's position."

War criminal Howard defends 'Son of a bitch'
[War criminal], Prime Minister John Howard, says the government would be "recklessly negligent" if it did not consider joining the United States' missile defence program, known as "Son of a bitch".

Missile defence program 'will lead to arms race'
A group of Australian doctors opposed to war is warning national security will be compromised by any proposed involvement in the United States' missile defence program 'Son of a bitch'..

Australia buys into 'Son of Star Wars'?
[War criminal], Defence, [? War], Minister Senator Robert Hill says Australia may buy a sophisticated missile system that can destroy other ballistic missiles in space. But Australians want social services, health, and education, not warfare.

Pope calls for sanctions on leaders who violate rights
Leader of the child molesters, Pope John Paul II has called for political leaders who violate human rights to be punished, in a World Day of Peace message released amid worldwide debate over how Saddam Hussein should be brought to justice.

International communities are the losers: Smith
[War criminal], Prime Minister John Howard says Saddam Hussein's capture is a huge relief and a great development for the people of Iraq. Howard says Saddam should face trial in Iraq and he would not oppose the death penalty if it were imposed.

War criminals should be tried: Human Rights
The UN War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague should try George Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard for their part in the coalition of the killing for crimes against humanity.

Who cares wins? Those who inflict or those who endure?
When occupation means war then who cares wins? Not those who can inflict the most, but those who can endure the most, I would have thought.

Coalition of the Killing's alliance against law 'the wrong way'
Australia and Britain [and the Coalition of the Killing], could have agreed that the [resource], wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, and liberty, the proliferation of Security Housing Units, and Detention Centres, can be addressed unilaterally - a trend in the US that is feared all over the world - but must be faced collectively.

After a war waged by the U.S. military against Vietnam which took the lives of more than 3 million Vietnamese people and more than 58,000 GIs, the U.S. finally withdrew in 1975. It had suffered its first official major military defeat by a united people struggle led by the Vietnamese, along with a mass U.S. anti-war movement.

Police surround protesters outside US Embassy
Thousands of protesters have marched to the Lodge to protest against [war criminal], US President George W Bush's visit. The protesters had rallied outside Parliament House, booing when the president arrived this morning and chanting "go home Bush you war criminal".

Police violent towards peaceful protesters
A protest march in Canberra involving more than 1,000 people has been violated, with some protesters breaking through an unlawful police barricade outside the United States Embassy.

Police cracked up about war criminal protest march
The protesters are about 100 metres from the entrance of Parliament House behind barriers and a long line of police officers. Busloads of protesters from Sydney are still on their way to the site.

Forty Labor MPs sign protest letter to Bush over Iraq
More than 40 Senators and Federal Labor MPs have signed an open letter to [war criminal], US President George W Bush, saying the war against Iraq set a dangerous precedent for the world.

50,000 protesters to turn out for anti-Bush protest
Protesters are expecting a 50,000-strong crowd to rally against issues such as the illegal and degrading, Iraq war and the treatment of prisoners, some renditioned and tortured, at Gunatanamo Bay in Cuba.

David Burchell: Paradox of anti-Americanism
[War criminal] President George W. Bush's trip to our shores today has focused attention on a striking fact - the apparently irresistible rise in hostility among many Australians towards the US.

Sydney Social Forum Oct 24-26
The war on Iraq has signalled an intensifying permanent war on the world's poor, adding more open unilateral military aggression to existing neo-liberal offensives conducted through organisations like the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and World Trade Organisation.

Refugee policy, here is a new project: Burnside
The idea is to have thousands of Australian citizens writing to federal parliamentarians asking very simple, but hard, questions about the key aspects of refugee policy. I have devised a letter writing kit for this purpose. I attach a copy. It contains instructions which, are, I hope, fairly clear.

Habib's wife to join Greens protest during Bush visit
The wife of an Australian man imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay has urged the Prime Minister to seek her husband's release when the war criminal, United States President visits Australia this week.

Pilger said White House knew Saddam was no threat
Australian investigative journalist John Pilger says he has evidence the war against Iraq was based on a lie which could cost George W Bush and Tony Blair their jobs and bring Prime Minister John Howard down with them.

Illegal and degrading war crimes: Society on the New World Order (OWN)! While Australia and the US are very distinctive societies war criminal, Prime Minister John Howard and war criminal, President George Bush share core values.

Civil Liabilities: Howard's diversity? I had a dream?
The war criminal, Prime Minister, John Howard, who only yesterday was claiming he was showing diversity has stepped up pressure on the states to support plans to increase the war criminal, Federal Attorney-General's powers to ban terrorist organisations, [scapegoats and patsies for the Coalition of the Killing's illegal and degrading resource wars in the Middle East.]

PM despot diversity shallow and cunning sales pitch
War criminal, Prime Minister, John Howard, says planned visits by the United States and Chinese presidents demonstrate the diversity of Australia's relationships.

US Deputy Sheriff dismisses Indonesian comment that US king of terrorists Deputy Sheriff to the US Prime Minister John Howard says he does not agree with comments by the Indonesian Vice-President Hamzah Haz that the real terrorist is the United States for attacking Iraq.

Americans given deficit of Carr's spin?
Bob Carr joined Richard Butler and other corporate and political leaders to discuss how the rest of the world views the US as well as the superpower's role in the world. [Brain-dead and totalitarian!!]

Beattie starts spreading the news in old New York!
Beattie must think he's king of the hill or top of the heap? This is not a democracy this is blatant war enthusiasm whipped up to ensure that Australia goes to war at the next available opportunity.

When the towns criers rang the bell!
THEY scaled the walls of the Sydney Opera House, sent a strong message to the people of Australia, with their "No War" message and reinforced the will of the people.

Australian way of life now threatened by State Terror
Defence [war criminal] Minister Robert Hill says plans to place about 1,000 army reservists on counter-terrorism duties [? scapegoat duties] do not mean there is a specific threat to Australia.

PM man of steel? Or killer and a thief?
Is JOHN Howard a killer and a thief or a man of steel after he dropped bombs on innocent civilians in order to fix the problem in Iraq for trade agreements with the US? Thousands of children are now dieing of disease.

Thousands march for peace! But does that mean no war?
THOUSANDS of people took to the streets around the country yesterday to march against the war in Iraq and for world peace.

The Empire Strikes Back: Sydney anti-war rally
School children in uniforms, groups of young men and older protesters have gathered on one side of Town Hall while at least 200 police have gathered around the area.

Human shield describes 'sickening' scenes
An Australian 'human shield' who has fled Iraq into neighbouring Jordan has described the sight of bombed out buildings and distraught Iraqis as "sickening".

US disturbed over 'biased' reporting in Arab media! But the US lies to the world! How could anyone describe pre-emptive strikes on a sovereign nation, occupation, genocide, torture, and human rights abuse by the Coalition of the Killing in a positive light?

Coalition force 'surprised' by stiff resistance for food aid
About 4,000-5,000 allied forces have launched what they vowed would be an all-out blitz. "We're going straight through that city," a US Marine officer, who asked not to be named, said. "It will be a Hail Mary with guns ablazing."

Australians don't support US military action: poll
The second Australia-wide poll since the war began has found most Australians disapprove of the United States using military force to depose Saddam Hussein.

Explosions rock Baghdad, jets overhead Iraq
BAGHDAD, March 20 [Rooters] A handful of explosions rocked Baghdad at dawn today as jets roared overhead, Iraqi anti-aircraft batteries opened up and air raid sirens sounded.

AUSTRALIA AT WAR! Moment of death...
"The opening stages of the disarmament of the Iraqi regime [? resource war on Iraq regime] have begun ," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer [should have] said minutes after the strikes. He said Bush would speak at 2.15pm (AEDT).

Hit the road Jack and don't you come back No War, Jack Straw, No War, No War! LONDON: Nick Buxton, organising the protest outside Mr Straw's house, said: "We got the message across that the war is going to have a very huge humanitarian impact and people are angry about this war."

Moment of death 'HoWARd'
JOHN Howard lost the war for public opinion as Australia braces to invade Iraq by the end of the week. With nationwide anti-war protests, and Labor scrapping 30 years of bipartisanship on sending troops overseas, the Coalition has failed all Australians.

War criminal Howard high-jacks HRCA to 'legitimise killing'
The Human Rights Council of Australia (HRCA) says it fears Prime Minister John Howard's comments in support of the execution of [CIA operative] Osama bin Laden show his eagerness to overturn three decades of national opposition to the death penalty.

PM lost in space! Pre-emptive Strikes & Star Wars Defence!!
War criminal PM backs missile defence investigation but he is not on his own. Bob Carr dubbed Darth Vader after draconian laws were introduced in NSW following John Howard's threats to strike first and ask questions later.

Doom gloom and 'Boom' Downer shakes the room?
"Optimism is better and so is 'constructive feedback' because using constructive feedback means that the negatives also have a role in the construction of a nation. In short we have all the time in world to solve problems properly and that is what our leaders should be focusing on when they decide to inform all Australians. Hey what's the rush?" He said.

Hypocrisy not Democracy? No Blood for Oil!
Howard has refused to back down on the threat of war despite hundreds of thousands of Australians rallying against it. The question is why?

Australia backs CIA Reichstag, Downer's propaganda
The Foreign Affairs Minister says the latest message from Osama bin Laden is worrying. [Just plain rubbish!]

UK Reid, Blair and the reichstag London threat!
The nature of the [alleged] terrorist threat to London is on the scale of the [USA false flag] September 11 attacks in the United States, the chairman of Britain's governing Labour Party said.

Bin Laden calls? CIA blind man's bluff!
A [US propaganda, fear-mongering] taped message purportedly from Osama bin Laden has warned Arab nations against supporting a war against Iraq but has branded Saddam Hussein an infidel.

The Australian Federal Opposition and Labor Party Leader, Simon Crean, has again warned the U.S. ambassador to stop meddling in Australian politics.

War: Part one The human cost
On the road to Basra, ITV was filming wild dogs as they tore at the corpses of the Iraqi dead. Every few seconds a ravenous beast would rip off a decaying arm and make off with it over the desert in front of us, dead fingers trailing through the sand, the remains of the burned military sleeve flapping in the wind. "Just for the record,'' the cameraman said to me. Of course. Because ITV would never show such footage.

Mandela speaks out against Bush, Blair
Former South African leader Nelson Mandela has lashed out at US President George W Bush's stance on Iraq, saying the US leader has no foresight, and cannot think properly.

All the way with (LPK) Love Peace and Kindness: Dalai Lama
Communication is a two way street. Threats and punishment solve nothing and serve none. In fact it is against the law in most countries to threaten or punish a person.

Hill defends decision to attack Iraq: Step by step?
FEDERAL Defence [War] Minister [Sinister] Robert Hill has defended the government's decision to send troops [ send militia] to the Persian Gulf [ to attack Iraq] in readiness for any [pre-emptive strike that would cause a] conflict with Iraq.

Pleas for peace ring the globe
Anti-war demonstrators turned out in their hundreds of thousands around the world on Saturday to protest against United States military preparations for an invasion of Iraq.

Not too late for Iraq peace, Blix says
But we all know that's rubbish now. The Coalition of the Killing were not seeking WMD in Iraq, they were there for their resource wars. So who gave the 'UN' and Blix the wrong information back then? War criminals!

George Bush's other poodle
John Howard, Australia's PM, is the mouse that roars for America, whipping his country into war fever and paranoia about terrorism within.

US prepares for trade talks with Australia but it's not worth it!
The office of the United States Trade Representative has started formally preparing its negotiating position for the first round of talks on a free trade agreement between Australia and the US.

First strike and you're out!
The ideology of a super loser? John Howard shocks the nation again. A nation who cannot believe Howard's stupidity following his [complicity in the CIA's false flag operation, the Bali bombing.]

UN charter doesn't reflect new self-defence needs: Hill?
The Defence [War] Minister, Robert Hill, says the United Nations' charter needs to be changed to help countries defend themselves against potential threats. [?] [Pre-emptive strikes on soveriegn nation states like Iraq and Afghanistan?]

About Protesting &: Corporate media, Ben English and Rachel Morris who spell their names in capitals? Yes too right! Ordinary people some protesting against the occupation, murder and genocide of hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children. And you call yourselves reporters? You should hang your head in shame and go get jobs defending those poor innocent people. Shame on you!!!

Howard defends terror alert
Prime Minister John Howard says the Federal Government would not have issued a terror alert if it had not come from a credible source. (America?) Speaking for the first time since the Government revealed the warning, Mr Howard says he wants people to be more careful, but not to stop living. [As long as they don't go dancing in Bali? And sure we'll all be depressed for as long as John Howard and Bob Carr say so.]

When Johnny comes marching home again: 'hoorah hoorah'
Posted on the Resistance web page Bronwyn Powell, an organiser of the youth-led mobilisation told Green Left weekly that "in the face of attacks on civil liberties, it is unfortunate that some union officials have felt they need to submit. It could set a negative precedent for upholding the hard-won right to demonstrate in the street."

Give peace a chance
PIERS AKERMAN DT 28 Nov 02: JUSTICE John Dowd should be removed from the bench. His crime? Stupidity. In a breath-taking display of hand-wringing sanctimonious morality, Dowd has condemned the State and Federal Governments' anti-terrorism measures, claiming they erode rights and give encouragement to oppressive regimes.