Lunchbreak in St Marys

August 18th, 2007

My work has recently seconded me to the Sydney West area. Yesterday I was having lunch in Queens Street, St Marys, when I looked up and saw this.


My apologies for the poor quality of the image from my phone. It seems that the driver of this polluting style of advertising had stopped for lunch and while doing so someone had climbed upon the truck and spray painted WANKA on HoWArd’s forehead and drawn him a pirate’s moustache.

It absolutely made my day and I couldn’t stop giggling, especially as I observed the hapless driver attempt to engage a police officer, in the seriousness of this crime, as people busted a gut laughing, as this advertisement was clearly doing its job- and being noticed.

I wonder what the driver was trying to have the offender charged with- it would be a tossup between misspelling and substandard face sculpture.


August 11th, 2007

In honour of Prime Minister HoWARd’s secret little missive to his Iraqi counterpart Nouri al-Maliki, I am going to make the “R” in HoWARd, lower-case, for now.

This is because I believe it may be the first of many steps to get Australian troops out of the illegal war in Iraq.  I am too cynical, after all this time to believe that my PM has realised that he has sent the ADF into an illegal war, and therefore can only conclude that the polls are telling him that troops in Iraq is a liability for him and his chances for a fifth term.

On 30/03/04, HoWArd said this:

“If the world at the present time trembles and shows any kind of equivocation in the face of the threat posed by terrorism, I believe that the world—of which Australia is inextricably a part—will pay a very heavy price in the future. The decision we take on how we deport ourselves over the months ahead will go very much to the reputation and standing of this country in the councils of the world. If we choose to cut and run, if we choose to abandon our friends, if we choose to give the wrong signal to the terrorists, that will not only make the world a less safe place but also damage the reputation of this country around the world. It has always been the Australian way to stay there, to go the distance, to see it through and to do what is right in the long-term interests of this country and the interests of the people with whom we have aligned ourselves.”

Now Defence Minister Nelson has added this to HoWArd’s 2004 speech:

“The basic Australian approach is we believe in giving people a fair go, we believe in reaching out to people and giving them a hand. But we expect them to help themselves and at the moment we want to see a little bit more determination and political action from the Government of Iraq itself.”

I now know what the job was. That elusive job, as in ‘troops stay in Iraq until the job is done’.

The job was the passage of two critical pieces of legislation when the Iraqi Council of Representatives resumes its meetings next month. These are the hydrocarbon resources law and the new de-Baathification legislation.

Could this have been done without military action and in less than four years? I think so.

Guess it isn’t as easy as you would think to organise a secure diplomatic bag between Canberra and Baghdad.


Image from here

dismissing Downer

August 4th, 2007

How can a country allow someone as incompetent as the Foreign Minister Alexander Downer to remain in charge of anything more than a mobile dog wash?

Recidivist dismisser Downer is at it again. His only response to dissent is dismissal. Following, please find evidence of his most recent dismissive-ness and add it to his litany of offending behaviour.

AID/WATCH is a not for profit activist organisation monitoring and campaigning on Australian overseas aid and trade policies and programs. They ensure aid-funding reaches the right people, communities and their environments.

AID/WATCH recently reported that more than $170 million of Australian aid money earmarked for humanitarian relief in Iraq was misused to promote Australian economic gain.

“Far from protecting Iraq’s own food security, which was the stated objective of Australia’s aid mission, Australian officials paid by AusAid focused on guaranteeing ongoing wheat contracts for Australian companies and removing subsidies and protections for Iraqi producers in ways that gave considerable advantages to Australian farmers.” – Flint Duxfield.

A spokesman from Mr Downer’s office dismisses the report and says:

“Aid Watch is an extremist organisation that has repeatedly misrepresented the nature of Australia’s aid program. Mr Downer does not take the report seriously.”

Back on 02/10/06 Downer dismissed the findings from the Lowy Institute that found that 84 per cent of respondents believed the US-led invasion into Iraq, had done nothing to lessen the threat of terrorism.

“The problem with the poll is that they’ve [the Lowy Institute] clearly decided there are certain answers they’re looking for instead of trying to look at the totality of the issue. The Lowy Institute chose not to ask the central question, and the central question is should we now and should the Americans now surrender to the terrorists in Iraq, or should we stay the course? And the answer to that, I think you’ll find, is that most Australians think that (Opposition Leader Kim) Beazley’s policy of surrender in Iraq is a policy of defeatism, and most Australians would reject that.”

Previously, on 12/04/06, Downer dismisses as insignificant three separate reports that Australian wheat company AWB Ltd paid more than $200 million in kickbacks to Saddam Hussein’s government; testimony comes as investigation, now in its fourth month, focuses on what government knew about the kickbacks.

“This is unassessed intelligence from foreign sources. This isn’t Australian intelligence.” – Source.

Prior to that, in a white paper on terrorism- ‘Transnational Terrorism: the threat to Australia’ launched publicly by him on 15/07/06 is quoted by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) on 04/08/06, as having said,

“Downer dismisses as illusory the notion of root causes of terrorism. Poverty, disadvantage or hopelessly entrenched political impasse have nothing to do with terrorism: they are all of them in any case long-running and endemic features of life throughout the Middle-East.”

Serial offender Downer, on 13/03/05, in response to the $1 billion Australia has pledged in Tsunami aid, amid warnings that the money could turn into boomerang aid– where the cash ends up in the pockets of wealthy Australian companies, said this:

“A spokesman for Downer dismissed the claims as a hoary old chestnut. We are making sure this money is spent in an effective and accountable way.”

Habitual dismisser Downer, on 23/08/04, Downer dismissed newspaper claims the Australian government was repeatedly warned its support for the Iraq war would impede the fight against terrorism.

“Nobody has any idea what these specific claims would be and what they relate to”

Dismissing Downer, yes please- vote this insufferable idiot out.


Image from here