Thursday, September 30, 2004

Potent strike into Howard's heartland before it's too late!

HOPE, urgency and Medicare Gold constitute Mark Latham's now formidable assault on The Lodge. In his first campaign launch Latham has unveiled a mega-initiative -- free hospital treatment, public or private, for all Australians aged 75 and over.

It is attractive and bold, a strike into John Howard's heartland and an admission that Mr Latham must penetrate the seniors' vote to win just like, war criminal, John Howard's strategy.

It is pure Whitlamism, free, universal, financially open-ended and based upon expanded powers of the federal Government. This helps Latham to reinforce his bid to make this election "a referendum on Medicare". And it signals the rise of Grey Power as a force that can make or break governments. The over-70s now total 1.7 million voters.

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie warmed up the audience declaring: "It's very plain. John Howard is the past. Mark Latham is the future." Latham himself made it personal. "I'm ready to lead -- he's ready to leave," he said of Howard.

For the first time the candidate's wife spoke at a launch. Janine gave Mark her personal wrap and Mark said "Janine and the boys have taught me the power of caring, of our love and time together". Because "they have made me a better man", Latham, aged 43, was "in the prime of my life" for the top job. Unlike Howard.

Latham said the urgent need was for change. Now. He drew his message direct from the people and his themes were opportunity, responsibility and honesty.

"Unless we change now, it will be too late to save Medicare," he said. So Latham the reformer posed as the traditionalist. He wanted to restore bulk billing, improve the public hospital system and deliver for those aged 75 and over "the greatest extension in federal responsibility for hospital care in this country since the introduction of Medibank 30 years ago".

As he entered the Brisbane theatre Latham embraced his political father figure, Gough Whitlam, the original architect of Medicare.

Latham concentrated his firepower on senior citizens, the generation that should be treated with "honour and respect". He promised to index the pension quarterly for Australia's 3.5 million pensioners and offered a Grandparenting Allowance to assist with child-rearing.

Senior citizens are the generation that Howard bought in political terms.

At the same time hospital costs for the over 75s are typically a family affair. The political beauty of this policy is not just its pull for senior citizens, but its wider appeal to families whose budgets are stretched between education costs for a younger generation and health costs for an older generation. So Latham's initiative is targeted at the seniors demographic but also slots into his main theme of family budget relief.

The Latham launch was tighter and more focused than Howard's. He spent less and offered savings to fund his initiatives. He got his biggest cheer for his schools policy, declared he would help the US to "develop its true role of world leadership" and said nothing about withdrawing forces from Iraq by Christmas.

The independence of the ABC was also mentioned and an additional budget of 120 million to prevent governments like the Neo-Liberal Coalition from using the media giant for its own use.

By Paul Kelly & The Colored Girls 30 September 04



Written and authorised by the community.


Pension claims valid: Opposition
The Federal Governments secret agenda to cut pensions, including the disability and single parent payments while 'spending billions on military hardware' is just too much for most disabled people to accept.

Poverty cycle must be addressed: Ridgeway
The Democrats' Aden Ridgeway says Prime Minister John Howard should stop beating up on people who are on welfare, and focus on solving the national Indigenous unemployment rate.

Democrats to keep up pressure over asylum seekers
The Australian Democrats will maintain their pressure on the next federal government over Australia's treatment of asylum seekers, if the party can retain its strength in the Senate.

Greens Senator Kerry Nettel's reasoning: A vote for Labor or the Democrats in the Senate is now potentially a vote for right-wing Christian candidates is beyond rhetoric.

Glenn Million: Why Neo-liberals are set to implode (again)
AS if the Neo-Liberal Coalition didn't have enough trouble. A quick re-cap: under John Howard they embrace a GST - a move that eventually forces the Democrats and Greens against him. That's followed by a collective act of dictatorship they jail Pauline Hanson. They dump One Nation leaders in jail - as racist, unworthy and flawed - but above all criminal, right at the time when the Liberal party is running to the last election, and desperate to stay in power.

I hope fully that some of you can make it to the Sydney premiere of TIME TO GO JOHN, 15 X 5min films by filmmakers from around the country Fabio & I produced A MOMENT OF SHAME, one of the segments. Hope to see you Wed night Sept 29th at 7.30pm.

The Hill-Songs Church are alive with the sound of neo-liberalism. With songs they have sung for for the Federal Election....

Community demands Ruddock voted out!
Caretaker Attorney General, war criminal, Phillip Ruddock should have his portfolio seized by the community who have declared he has links to terror group the Neo-Liberal Coalition.

Hill primed for war!
Australian Caretaker Defence Minister Robert Hill has announced a multi-million dollar upgrade of the Pearce Air Force base in Western Australia. Hill says $87 million would be spent on a major upgrade of the base, which is Australia's main flying training facility.

Annan tells world leaders to respect law
United Nations (UN) secretary-general Kofi Annan has made an impassioned plea to bring about the rule of law across the globe today. Mr Annan told world leaders to respect international law at home and abroad.

The 'coalition of the killing's' complicities - the US, Britain and Australia - have insisted that their countries' military action in Iraq was legal after they have committed war crimes against humanity.

Iraq war illegal, says Annan
United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan says the United States decision to invade Iraq in March 2003 was "illegal". Australia was a key supporter of the war on Iraq and sent troops to join the United States-led invasion last year.

Opp calls for Cooperation: Rudd
Imron Cotan says 10 ambassadors and High Commissioners from South East Asian nations were told comments by Prime Minister John Howard about pre-emptive strikes were part of an internal debate and the idea was still being developed?

Defence people need to vote for the Greens
Caretaker Prime Minister John Howard will today unveil a plan to step up the fight against terrorism in the region, using specialist teams of Australian Federal Police (AFP) that could be sent to work in neighbouring countries.

Australia will not Save Your Soul
The Federal Government will not Save Australian Soul's? Even if you're an innocent bystander caught up in it. Despite a group claiming to have kidnapped two Australian security guards? The alleged group, which allegedly calls itself the Horror Brigades of the Islamic Secret Army, allegedly has given the Prime Minister John Howard 24 hours to end Australia's involvement in Iraq.

Trust John Howard like you can trust George Bush...
Once again Prime Minister John Howard unleashed his "politics of fear" to win his election campaign trying to scare ratepayers.

Apologise to children abused in care: report
A Senate report on children placed in institutional care has called for the Federal Government to apologise to those who were harmed by their experience.

Costello, Howard's Disciple
JOHN HOWARD AND PETER Costello lost their vision for Australia from the time they were elected and embarked on a vision for the neo-Liberals.

Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel?
Well praise the Lord the light is Hell bent here on Peter Costello, treasurer of the Howard Government who now has his own "flock" of onward Christian Soldiers.

Gillard stirs Liberal leadership pot
The federal Labor Party claims Peter Costello has relaunched his leadership bid, after the Treasurer gave a wide-ranging interview outlining his support for an Australian republic.

Australian Govt human rights record 'worsening'
Community groups have given the Federal Government five out of ten for its record on human rights this year. Mr Purcell said the Government was also marked down because of the policy of holding children in immigration detention centres.

Australian Federal Government complicity in war crimes
Complaint to Australian law officers about Australian Federal Government complicity in war crimes.

Don't rock the Boat Howard!
PRIME Minister John Howard today denied the children overboard affair had swayed the 2001 election? Mr Howard has spent the week defending himself against claims he had been informed that nobody in Defence believed children had been thrown overboard by asylum seekers.

Australia an unfair nation, say young and all!
Young people and older people think Australia is undemocratic and unfair. Young people cite their teachers as having the greatest influence on their political thinking, according to a provocative new national survey funded by the Government. Older people cite "injustice" amongst other things as a "bent legal system" favouring hi profiled superstars, corporations and politicians.

But most voters have already decided that former ministerial adviser Mike Scrafton has contradicted Mr Howard's recollection of conversations just days before the 2001 election and says he has been vindicated by a lie detector test.

Not happy, John
Valder's alarm whistle effort 'let love be thy weapon' indeed Prime Minister John Howard is also the subject of a stinging attack in a Sunday feature this week, from the man who first engineered his ascent to the Liberal leadership in the mid-1980s former party president John Valder.

Howard 'unfit to lead'
The Federal Opposition says John Howard is not fit to be Prime Minister after new revelations about the children overboard affair.

Howard's war crimes, Turnbull, at least he's honest
HIGH-profile Liberal candidate Malcolm Turnbull has told voters the Iraq invasion was "an unadulterated error".

Alexanda Downer guilty of war crimes!
The agreement for going to war on Iraq carried with it and incentive and that was free trade with the US. The Howard Government knew about it and went along with it with the US under the guise of Iraq's WMDs. In criminal law this is commonly know as collusion to commit a crime.

John Howard's war crimes blameworthy
General Peter Gration is the spokesman for a group of 43 ex-military leaders, diplomats and departmental heads who have criticised the Government, saying involvement in Iraq has put Australia at greater risk of a terrorist attack.

Auditor Generals damning defence report
The Defence Department computer system upgrade has cost Australia tens of millions of dollars in a gigantic bungle, according to the Federal Opposition. The Commonwealth auditor-general has issued a damning report into the project.

Court reserves decision on 'no war' protest appeal
Two men have asked the Court of Criminal Appeal to accept that they painted "NO WAR" on the Sydney Opera House, to defend people in Iraq and Australia from war.

PM's Fox Defence? Less the evidence?
The Fox went out on a chilly night. He prayed for the moon to give him light. For he had many a mile to go that night....

Australians to be sacrificed: Howard
Howard vowed hostages wouldn't sway policy? The Federal Government say they would not negotiate with terrorists if an Australian were taken hostage in Iraq.

PM Howard Morally Bankrupt
Prime Minister John Howard insists the war in Iraq was justified despite his British counterpart Tony Blair's concession that weapons of mass destruction might never be found.

Howard 'should be tried for war crimes'
Former Liberal Party federal president John Valder says Prime Minister John Howard should be tried and punished for war crimes over Australia's involvement in the Iraq conflict.

Troop deployment not a deepening of effort: Hill
Deploying an extra 30 troops to Iraq was not a deepening of Australia's involvement because they were being sent to protect those already there, Defence Minister Robert Hill said yesterday.

War on terrorism' could take a generation: Downer?
Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer has launched the Government's terrorism white paper, saying the "war" could take a generation.

Howard Vs Regina in Canberra the Capital Territory of Australia- Friday January 30 2004.


Well think about this! Australia's intelligence agencies look set to receive a substantial funding boost in this year's Federal Budget, with the Prime Minister saying it is an obvious step to take.

Howard, where's your head at?
Australians living on the edge! Seems each time the bombs go off overseas Australians are living on the edge.

Should John Howard be locked up indefinitely?
Australian convicted mock terrorist John Howard is seriously considering appealing the precise time limit on detaining terrorist suspects.

Daily Terror rolled-over for Howard's war games
The DAILY TERROR is suspected of being the source of the news this morning that Willie Brigitte is a terrorist and that Sydney faces a bomb attack.