Tags: mark latham

24 Jul 2007, Comments Off on The enemy of my enemy is not my friend

The enemy of my enemy is not my friend

Author: Helen

Sad, so sad today after listening to PM last night. That’s done it for me. I can’t vote for Krudd. Annabel Crabb in the SMH nailed it:

Mark Latham got into quite a lot of trouble three years ago when he went to Tasmania and announced the Labor Party’s policy on forestry.
Yesterday, Kevin Rudd was smarter. He went to Tassie and announced the Coalition’s policy instead, which seems to have gone down rather better on the whole.

Too clever by half. And Garrett. My god. Look at him learning how to weasel like a pro. Disgusting.

I’ll hurl if I hear another reference to laying Latham’s ghost to rest, yada, yada. He was a dill on many counts, but on forest policy he tried to do the right thing. It’s a pity no-one listened to him above the noise made by timber workers and executives lying on the ground chucking a tanty, otherwise they might have realised the “disastrous policy” was nothing of the kind.

So little left of the original cool temperate rainforest cover, and we’re going to lose more of it to Gunns Limited, the forestry division of the CMFEU, and the spineless Labor politicians who lie down and let those people walk all over them. The threatened areas in the Blue Tiers, the Weld, Styx and Tarkine wilderness, will be gone. My children and your children will never see them. It’s going to be sold for a mess of woodchips. Meanwhile, 600 auto workers get the sack in Geelong, but who gives a stuff? They’re not timber workers — Australia’s cutest, cuddliest protected species.)

Gutted.

 
 
 
Crossposted at Road to Surfdom

12 Apr 2007, Comments Off on Got a whole lotta links

Got a whole lotta links

Author: Helen

I’m off to Tasmania for a few days to walk and soak up (what’s left of the) nature. Here’s some links to some good reading, mostly stuff I meant to blog about and didn’t have time.

Speaking of Tasmania, Paul Norton’s LP post on “Mark Latham’s disastrous forest policies” is a must read.

To put it into a perspective which a larger number of readers can identify with, on Saturday night many readers of LP, many readers of The Australian, no doubt a goodly number of Tasmanian forestry workers and perhaps even a few Murdoch press journos will be sitting with their eyes glued to their TV screens, Lotto tickets clutched in their nervous little hands, hoping against all odds that the tumbling numbers will visit upon them a disaster of comparable magnitude to that with which Latham was threatening Tasmanian forestry workers.

Tigtog has come up with a wonderful thing: Finally Feminism 101. Save your weary fingers and quote from this site rather than explaining the same things again and again. Get your daughters and sons to read it.

Here’s a great piece by Gummo Trotsky which you should copy and paste into Word, change to 24pt and tape up in your cubicle farm/home office/on fridge: Ten Things that Just Ain’t Worth Reading About.

Belle Waring (who recently got my personal award for the best ever post title) posted back in March (yeah, I know) on an interesting Boston Globe article and an equally interesting response to it on Pandagon.

The gist is that as wives earn more money, they end up doing a greater and greater share of the housework, with the result that women who are the sole bread-winners often do more housework than women who pull in 50% of the family’s income.

I was keen to join in on this but there was music to be played, and of course, that meant the house went all to shit and I had to spend a lot of blogging time on housework. (/Irony).

To boost the irony content still further, check out this banner ad which was on the Globe at the time I read the article:

Image from the Boston Globe

Then there was the mind-boggling stupidity of a Woman’s Day article on Mary’s Private Hell: That’s Mary-Aussie-oi-oi-oi Princess of Denmark Mary– apparently she’s suffered a “barrage of criticism” for sending little prince Christian to daycare. Not even full time – but apparently, as a pregnant woman with “royal duties”, she should still pretend to be a stay-at-home mum. Even though home’s a rather big place with no-one small for Christian to play with.

Never mind the fact that nothing could be better for a wee tot who’s born into the bizarro-world of any royal family than to spend some time with other kids his own age and get a bit of variety, not to mention a few normal germs. And I’d say the same for any solitary child.

Seguing right along from Children, Care of: If you think the detention of asylum seekers’ children is about to end anytime soon, just look at the leaked building plan for the Christmas Island Detention centre:

Image from http://www.safecom.org.au/alcatraz-downunder.htm#leaked

Send a letter to Kevin Rudd and Tony Burke from here, if you remember the disgraceful “small target” stance Kim Beazley took on this issue and you wish for the Labor party to grow a spine and oppose it. Results not guaranteed.

(Warning: Geek material ahead. You may want to stop here.)

Now for a question for the Hivemind. I’m using WordPress and I’m trying to put a sound file on the blog. I’m clear on it in principle: Like an image, save sound file to PC (Mac in my case), upload to Media2 server, link. Simple (thanks Dogpossum). But in my case, the process doesn’t seem to be as intuitive as image linking.
For one, when I save a sound file to my Mac, it ends up as a .m4a extension, although the icon has “MPEG 4” on it. Is this right? (As you can tell, sound files aren’t something I deal with in my everyday life.)
For another, WordPress, which writes the linking HTML for you when you upload a file, has only one “upload file” interface. I don’t know whether the link HTML is different for a sound file; I assume that’s cool because WordPress could look at the file extension to see what it is. But when I go to upload a sound file, it just sits there and WordPress doesn’t seem to recognise it.

I feel a bit stupid, since a lot of my job entails talking people through things like this. I’ve seen sound files on WordPress blogs, so I know the fault is with the user. If anyone’s feeling particularly energetic and/or charitable, and they feel like emailing me a step-by-step for dummies on hsmartATiprimusDOTcomDOTau, you’ll have my eternal gratitude and grovelling admiration.

Be good.

Tim Dunlop asks:


Has Mark Latham given you any reasons to vote for him?
What are they?

No, he hasn’t really, but I’m very much a member of the ABH (Anyone but Howard) Party, at this stage.

Yes, I agree that substance should always take place over style, and that we shouldn’t vote for the candidates who are most telegenic, handsome, pretty, or stylish. I am suspicious of spin doctors who counsel their employers to be “warm” or “smile more”. That said, JH’s presence on the airwaves-particularly on radio, which I listen to as I drive or cook or do the dishes-is depressing me so much, I feel another three years with that voice coming out of the speakers every day will drive me to drown myself in the detergenty suds. In Howard’s case we know that the voice matches the politician.

Howard’s voice, grey, stuffy and choked back in the throat, is a sad and depressed voice. Perhaps this is natural, as he feels the increased finger-pointing over his many lies and evasions. Perhaps, with so many of his actions, it’s calculated, so that people like me will sympathise with him- an embattled little hero. If so, it isn’t working. I am counting the days until we get rid of that sad, tinny, plodding voice with its weary, over-spun utterances.

It’s not Mark Latham’s virtues that might cause me to vote Labor in the coming election. It’s definitely ABH. And as a Greens sympathiser living in the safe Labor seat of Gellibrand, I’m not likely to put Labor first on my card anyway. (I’m never under the illusion that the Greens would win, but I think it possible that a healthy and growing Green vote will gain some miniscule influence for the good on the bigger parties’ policies.) But let’s just pretend that I’m in a swinging seat and my pencil is poised over a ballot which might actually make a difference one way or another.

Nup… it’s still Anyone But Howard. I can’t bring myself to be enthusiastic or positive about Latham. Take the “Learning or Earning” youth policy he spruiked a few weeks ago. This is the kind of policy which, in the guise of a touchy-feely, youth-directed policy, eagerly embraces punitive measures dear to the heart of older conservatives.


Labor’s “learn or earn” policy is excellent news for Australia’s young people. But it could turn into “learn, earn or burn” unless someone in Labor pours cold water over Latham. The only time the Labor leader springs to life is when he can denounce unemployed people. On the ABC’s 7.30 Report, after his “learn or earn” announcement, Latham enthused about “breaching” – or financially penalising – young people on benefits who failed to “learn or earn” under Labor. “There would be no third option of people sitting around doing nothing,” he said.

Then there was Latham’s trip to the Tasmanian forests, where he soothed the CFMEU by assuring the timber industry that he wouldn’t do anything so silly as to end clearfell old-growth logging before the Tasmanian Government’s derisory deadline of 2010. How he proposes to reconcile this with his support for Peter Garrett’s candidacy as a Labor politician is beyond me.

Mark Latham is at heart a neoliberal who, but for the accident of birth and upbringing (and the political advantage of appealing to the Western Suburbs Battlers) might have felt quite at home in the Liberal party. That’s why any vote from me is just an “Anyone But Howard” vote.

Oh, and the Reading to your Children thing is getting a bit old, too. We need a comprehensive, well funded Early Childhood policy, not two books at tax time. And lay off being such a big hero because you read to your kids; we do, and we didn’t need Mem Fox to write and tell us to.

16 Apr 2004, Comments (0)

Pollyanna in Iraq

Author: Helen

I haven’t blogged about Iraq for some time, one because of the ongoing renovations, and two, because other people are doing it so much better than I would. I’m not going to start on the escalation of violence in Fallujah and elsewhere. I just want to ask, have we really made a difference for the better in peoples’ daily lives in Iraq?

Since most sensible people dropped the “9/11 connection” idea, the conservative view has been that the Coalition invasion has all been worth it, because we are now giving them democracy and freedom. Sure, we might have made a big mess of it all, but now schools are being re-opened and many Iraqis and expats are saying that everything is much better. (Conversely, if you doubt this at all, you’re labelled pro-Saddam; Rightwing commentators, while being as cunning as all getout, pretend that more than two extreme positions on any topic are impossible.)
(more…)