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Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy New Year

You may have already had too much Christmas
and don't feel quite ready or well equipped
to deal with New Year's Eve - the day after to-morrow.
This picture may well sum up how you feel.

And if the after-Christmas melt down or let down
leaves you feeling quite irrational,
Miss Eagle - with some help from The New Republic -
  • Christmas consumes vast resources in the dubious and uncharitable activity of "forced giving."

  • Christmas increases congestion.

  • Christmas destroys the environment and innocent animals and birds.
  • Christmas leads to a sharp rise in absenteeism and a slump in labor productivity that is unlikely to be recaptured the rest of the year.

  • Far from being "the season to be jolly," Christmas is really the season of sadness and despair.

  • Christmas is one of the most hazardous times of the year.

  • Excessive eating and drinking are used to compensate for the tribulations of Christmas.

  • Perhaps most important of all, from a purely distributional standpoint, Christmas almost certainly aggravates inequality

  • If we celebrate this holiday at all, we should do so mainly because it is over for at least one more year.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas! Felice Navidad! Joyeaux Noel!

Merry Christmas
A Big Aussie Thank You
To All
Who Have Visited
Miss Eagle
during 2006

Please remember the reason for the season

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called
Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God,
The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace
there shall be no end,
upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom,
to order it, and to establish it
with judgment and with justice
from henceforth even for ever.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

(Isaiah 9:6-7, King James Version)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Paradise - Penal Colony - Place of Promise

Palm Island: Paradise, former Penal Colony, place of promise

" When you come here and say you can't do anything,
you must accept the cynicism and disbelief of this community,"

These words by national ALP President, Warren Mundine, to Queensland Premier Peter Beattie say it all.

However, it could have been that yesterday Peter Beattie was indulging in the art of dog-whistling. Dog-whistling is a way of speaking of which Prime Minister John Howard has often been accused.

Was Peter Beattie dog-whistling yesterday when he said - on one hand - that he would not tell the DPP, Leanne Clare, what to do and yet - in the next breath - Beattie said that if Leanne Clare decided to seek an independent review and call in the NSW DPP, Nicholas Cowdery, to review the decision not to prosecute Chris Hurley in relation to the death of Mulrunji (Cameron Doomadgee) he would support the decision?

Is this how to tell a DPP what should be done when you won't tell the DPP what to do?

Beattie also said he would support the Doomadgee family if they decided to seek a review of the decision of the DPP in the Supreme Court of Queensland.

So for all he did not say, did Beattie really say something? Time will tell.

What disgusted Miss Eagle is the announcement by Beattie that he would provide funding for the building of a diversionary facility on Palm.

Here in a nutshell is the ignorance and arrogance of governments of all persuasions in Queensland.

Palm Island is social mess - but it is a social mess of historic whitefella making from when the Queensland Government rounded up Aboriginal men and women from across North Queensland early in the 20th century and herded them onto Palm Island in what was - for all intents and purposes - an Aboriginal penal colony. People were thrown together irrespective of family and clan connections or clan rivalries. Palm Island was a gulag where even someone like Aboriginal Liberal Party Senator Neville Bonner would have to get permission to visit his family on Palm - and that permission was not always forthcoming!

True, Aboriginal people, just like settler people, could always do better.

Above all Queensland has to do better.

In Miss Eagle's book, Queensland has a fail mark on race relations. In fact, Queensland - with its head and its money stuck firmly in the south-east corner far, far away for the state's north - hasn't a clue. Beattie displayed that yesterday. Beattie will continue to sink money hand over fist into Brisbane because it is the second-fastest growing city in the world after Phoenix Arizona. In North Queensland, there is not even a flood free highway - let alone money for justice and redressing social, health, economic, educational, employment, and governance issues on Palm Island and other Aboriginal communities.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Protests for Justice for Mulrunji : Palm Island, Townsville, Brisbane and Sydney

Wayne Wharton in Brisbane

Noel Pearson on Palm Island

Ernie Dingo in Sydney

The people of Palm

The scene in Brisbane

Alec Doomadgee on Palm

Cousin of Mulrunji - Cameron Doomadgee

Premier of Queensland - Peter Beattie - on Palm Island

And he tried to do that to-day!


Col Dillon says that Aboriginal people can't get justice in the Qld legal system

Rallying for Mulrunji

A major rally will be held in Townsville to-day (Palm Island is out from Townsville) to protest the failure of the Queensland Govt to prosecute Chris Hurley in relation to the death in policy custody on Palm Island of Mulrunji (Cameron Doomadgee). Warren Mundine, President of the Australian Labor Party, will lead the rally on Palm Island on the day that ALP Premier Peter Beattie arrives on Palm Island to put the official government spin and gloss on a very poor, arrogant, and insensitive decision. Read here about how key investigators - on whose information the decision was based - were friends of Chris Hurley.

It is interesting to see reports that Warren Snowdon and Trish Crossin, both left Labor Federal politicians from the Northern Territory, have made public comments critical of the decision not to prosecute but hosing down Mundine's calls for a campaign of civil disobedience.

Why their insistence that a campaign of civil disobedience must be avoided? Are they fearful that Mundine's proposal will have a degree of a success? Or do they think that a Labor government should be immune from such a campaign?

Miss Eagle would have thought that Labor governments should be immune from making such decisions as those that have been taken favouring the Queensland Police Force. Miss Eagle thinks that Labor Governments should be incapable of the insensitive and racist policies that the Beattie Government implements time and time again.

Is it any wonder that so many of Labor's stalwart supporters believe that it has lost its way? It frequently appears that justice is no more likely to be available for Aboriginal people from Labor governments than it is at the hands of the right wing ideologues inhabiting the Liberal and National Parties in Australia.

Brisbane rally: protestors will ask that Hurley stands trial for Mulrunji's death

To-day there will be a rally in Brisbane
to protest the failure of the Queensland Government
to prosecute the death of Mulrunji (Cameron Doomadgee)
in police custody on Palm Island.
For first hand information,
please go to Let's Take Over where David J has the details.

Aboriginal leaders speak for a trial on Mulrunji's death

Aboriginal leaders are speaking out against the Queensland Government's decision not to prosecute Chris Hurley for the death of Mulrunji (Cameron Doomadgee) on Palm Island.

Warren Mundine
in The Australian

Noel Pearson
in The Sydney Morning Herald

Murrandoo Yanner

on ABC North Queensland

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Colin Dillon: integrity then, integrity now.

Some years ago, when the Fitzgerald Inquiry was established to enquire into police corruption in Queensland the first witness heard by the Inquiry was a policeman called Colin Dillon. Colin Dillon was a rarity in the Queensland Police Force. He is an Aboriginal man. Dillon appeared before the enquiry to tell his story about how he had been given a bottle of Chivas Regal whisky by a corrupt policeman. Dillon did not know what to do or to whom he should turn. So he kept the bottle of whisky and when the Fitzgerald Inquiry was established he walked into its offices and placed the unopened bottle of Chivas Regal on the counter and told the Inquiry his story. He had talked to the bottle each day as he shaved. But Col, from a Jehovah's Witness background, was not a drinker. You see, dear Reader, Col Dillon was then and is to-day a man of great integrity.

Once more Col Dillon lets his actions speak so much louder than his words.

Col Dillon - Man of integrity

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A shepherd for Melbourne sheep!

Lord, you give the great commission:

'heal the sick and preach the word'.

Lest the church neglect its mission,

and the gospel go unheard.

Jeffery Rowthorn

Yesterday, Saturday 16 December 2006, Dr Philip Leslie Freier was installed and recognised as the tenth Archbishop of Melbourne in the Metropolitical and Cathedral Church of Saint Paul, Melbourne.

The emphasis of the liturgy was on the role of the shepherd, on justice, and on the Archbishop's background in Northern Australia.

To receive a file of photographs of the Installation, please email Miss Eagle (see the link on the side bar below the Ausflag symbol!).

Come, O justice, come O Peace:

come and shape our hearts anew;

come and make oppression cease:

bring us all to life in you

Marty Haugen

Friday, December 15, 2006

Who cares? Another death in police custody.

In Queensland, which man's life has more value?

That of Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley of the Queensland Police?

Or that of Mulrunji (Cameron Doomadgee)
killed with the the involvement of Snr Sgt Chris Hurley while in police custody
on Palm Island, off Townsville, North Queensland?

For more information on this matter, please see Miss Eagle's posts here and here.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Free David Hicks and bring him home

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"America would not tolerate this for one of its citizens,"

says [DavidHicks' military lawyer, Major Michael] Mori.

"Nor would it tolerate any politicians sacrificing some American citizen to the whim of a foreign country, regardless of whether they are our ally or not. It just doesn't happen."

Read more here

David Hicks has broken no Australian law, albeit that one school of thought is that it would be possible for David to face some kind of charges. Australia has not stood by its own. Miss Eagle believes that Howard, Ruddock et al clearly display vengefulness mixed with a dog in a manger attitude.
Australia can't convict Hicks so he will be left somewhere where he can be convicted. Justice, mateship, Australian values. None of this is wasted on David Hicks as the Australian Government seeks to reek vengeance upon him. A fair go? Not for David Hicks.
David has obtained British citizenship and the United Kingdom has not, apparently, lifted a finger to get him out of Guantanamo Bay as it has for all other British citizens.
In Melbourne,
The Sunday Age is becoming involved in the campaign to bring David home.
The Sunday Age is inviting readers to register their support to bring David Hicks home, and it will pass it on to the Federal Government.
Send your messages to

Rudd Challenge Trivia

  1. Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan went to the same school: Nambour State High School, Nambour
  2. Kevin Rudd and Bill Ludwig went to the same school: Marist Brothers, Ashgrove
  3. Bill Ludwing was in Canberra when the Keating-Hawke challenge became a reality and was in Canberra when the Rudd-Beazley challenge became a reality
  4. Should Rudd be elected as Leader of the Australian Labor Party he will be only the second Queenslander elected to this position. Frank Forde is the only other Queenslander to have led the ALP but he was not elected as Leader. Frank Forde was Deputy Leader under John Curtin and, at the death of Curtin in 1945, was Acting Prime Minister and Acting Leader of the of the ALP.
  5. Rudd is the name of a small fish, a widespread member of the family Cyprinidae. No way it will become a big fish but it has become a pest in a couple of countries.
  6. Rudd is the name of a strain of wheat noted as a dual-purpose feed wheat suitable for grazing by sheep or cattle and for grain production. Recently released by the CSIRO, it is resistant to the most serious diseases in the wheat belt.

Needed: a sense of direction

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Covering a leadership challenge in Queensland is proving a bit much for Sydney media. The Sydney Morning Herald got off to a bad and inaccurate start with this article. Since when was the seat of Griffith in north Brisbane? The Brisbane River forms one boundary of Griffith and this kinda stops Griffith from spilling across the river into what could be called north Brisbane. For the record, Kevin Rudd (the Member for Griffith) has located his office in the southside suburb of Morningside. But perhaps Cosima Marriner just hasn't got her bearings yet.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sifting through the "Won't Says"

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In to-day's The Age, there is a list of those who refuse to comment or are undeclared in the Beazley-Rudd leadership ballot. Miss Eagle is rushing in where angels - with more wisdom than she - would fear to tread by trying to sift through the names.

Arch is aligned with the Right. Unlikely to deviate from Beazley. May be keeping quiet in the hope of maximizing his own interests.

Mark is a Shoppie. He's also from WA - just like Kim. His vote is with Beazley

Trish is on the Left. Trish and husband Mark had strong union involvement on the left although Mark is no longer a union official. He is the Director of the Northern Territory's WorkSafe. People with strong union affiliations will be seriously considering their situation because Trade Unions will be waying up how a Rudd-Gillard campaign will affect the fight against the Howard Government's industrial relation laws. Miss Eagle has also heard that women on the Left aren't so enamoured of Gillard. Miss Eagle's guess is that Trish will stick with the status quo.

Chris's union affiliations are on the Left with the Miscos and the Firies. But he's from WA and blood is probably thicker than water. This is hard to pick but, when the chips are down, Miss Eagle gives this one to Beazley.

Miss Eagle's hero: looks like Clark Kent but is the Superman of Estimates Committees. Picking his vote will be like deciding whether an Easter Island statue is looking happy or sad. Faulkner is on the Left. He sent himself to the back bench when Latham became leader and has not re-emerged. Does he want to come back to the front bench? With whom will he deal? How does he see his own future? All these questions and more are conundrums. Miss Eagle cannot pick this one but thinks Beazley could collect.

Miss Eagle is a don't know on this - but Jenkins father and son have been around a while like Beazley father and son. Miss Eagle would put this vote in the Beazley ballot box.

Kerr is on the Left - but the outspoken Tasmanian could go either way. Difficult to pick. Self-interest could be the influential feature of where he puts his vote.

Catherine is Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Treasury; Wayne Swan Shadow Treasurer. Ministers and private secretaries are not guaranteed to be of the same stripe but this time there could be a coalescence of views - particularly in view of self-interest. Miss Eagle gives this one to Beazley.

West Australian. Nuff said. A Beazley vote.

This one will go to Rudd. Queensland politics (non-AWU) will influence this one.

Shadow Minister for Ageing, Carers and Disabilities. On the Left. Miss Eagle's nose tells her this will go to Beazley.

Miss Eagle would have put this non-factional warrior in the moderate, rational category until recent years when he has been known to dummy spit and display a large measure of self-interest. Because of the last characteristic, this vote will be hard to pick but chances are it will go to Beazley.
Sunday 3 Dec 2006: McMullan has declared for Rudd

On the Left. Strong Trade Union connections. This will go to Beazley.

On the Right. AWU connections. Another in the Beazley ballot box.

Undeclared? Where would anyone expect Robert Ray's cards to be? Only close to his chest. Beazley.

Another in Labor's father and son tradition. Strong Trade Union connections. Beazley.

Wazza is from the NT and on the Left. Large Aboriginal constituency. Who's going to do it for Wazza (self-interest will count for quite a bit) and who's going to do it for his electorate? Beazley vacated the ground on the Wik issue back in the late 90s and left the running to Dazza Melham and Wazza - so why wouldn't his vote go to Beazley.

Ho hum! Another West Australian, another Beazley vote.

Enough is enough!

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One week from to-day there will be a National Day of Action in support of David Hicks.
An increasing number of Australians are outspoken in their demands to bring David home from Guantanamo Bay.

Enough is enough!

International Day of Action for David Hicks - Melbourne
2pm Saturday 9 December
Federation Square, Melbourne
(with simultaneous events in Sydney, Canberra and Adelaide, as well as in the UK)
Speakers include:

Major Michael Mori, David Hicks' US lawyer
Les Thomas, CRD member and brother of Jack Thomas
Nicole Bieske, Amnesty International Australia
Lex Lasry, QC
Nicola Roxon, Shadow Attorney General
Brian Walters, Liberty Victoria
Michelle O'Neil, Textile, Clothing, Footwear Union
Rob Stary, civil libertarian and lawyer
David Hicks : Five years in hell : Close Guantanamo! Bring David Home!
Organised by Amnesty International, Liberty Victoria and Civil Rights Defence
For more information, call 0407 856 628

For more about David Hicks:

Labor turmoil: a case of needed change and a defence of the past and its people

Now its on again, turmoil and all, as the so-called Dream Team of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard challenges Kim Beazley, the current Leader, for leadership of the ALP prior to a 2007 Federal election.

Miss Eagle wonders about the over-statement of the Rudd-Gillard, Right-Left partnership as a Dream Team. However, Miss Eagle recalls that, after years of corrupt National Party government in Queensland, a major factor undergirding the successful ALP campaign which resulted in the election of Wayne Goss as Premier of Queensland 17 years ago to this very day on 2 December, 1989, was the partnership of right and left with the Australian Workers Union (AWU) and the Australian Metal Workers Union (AMWU).

This partnership shocked people - not least those within the ALP - and spelled the beginning of the end for Peter Beattie in his role as State Secretary of the Queensland ALP and meant some wilderness years for Beattie on his way to the Queensland Parliament, years on the backbench because of his rivalry with Goss, and now his success story as Queensland Premier. On this pragmatic tide, Wayne Swan - currently, Kim Beazley's Shadow Treasurer - became Qld State Secretary of the ALP. This was another rung on the Qld ALP's ladder of success. Without this right-left pragmatism, it is unlikely that Goss would have got to government and, almost certainly, not with the landslide success delivered to him in 1989.

This is something that Big Bill Ludwig, AWU heavyweight and powerbroker-kingpin in Queensland, should remember. Bill should remember in calling his factional Federal MPs to heel that he was unable to successfully call time in 1991 when Keating defeated Bob Hawke. Ludwig stuck doggedly to Hawke when the time for change had clearly come. Bill and his son, Senator Joe Ludwig, ought to remember this. Ludwig Senior and his AWU shearer mates in western Queensland stuck doggedly to Old Guard Labor tickets when Peter Beattie was reforming the ALP in Queensland in the early '80s and issuing reform tickets. Bill's mentality has not altered. Dogged loyalty can be an admirable thing but not to include yourself as a force of change and progress is not.

Bill, let the hounds off the leash in Queensland so that they can make their own decisions.

You would serve the nation well in doing this.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Secret Ballot : Australian Ballot

On the topic of elections, Australians tend to take for granted their system of elections. Some of them whinge about compulsory voting. And, indeed, some conservative politicians would like to adopt an optional voting system. But, by law, voting in Australia is a must. Each citizen must be on the Electoral Roll. You may get fined if you don't vote unless, as with some religious traditions, you hold a conscientious objection to voting. [A bit different from the US system which frequently results in the US president being elected by a minority of US citizens.] Some Australians make their silent protest about this by deliberately casting an invalid vote or putting a blank ballot in the ballot box. But the informal vote is only ever a few percentage points of the total.

Australia has not introduced computerised voting (except that at the 2006 Victorian election computerised voting was available for people with vision impairment) and Miss Eagle hopes this never happens. Voting is by the good old fashioned paper and pencil method - not even a ball point pen is used.

Voting always happens on a Saturday with polling booths open from 8am to 6pm. This is convenient for most people. However, if it is not convenient, there are pre-polling booths in each electorate during the week so it is possible to vote in person if you are unable to attend the polling booth on election day. There is a system of postal voting available if you are unable to get anywhere near a polling booth. This means you have to apply by mail for a vote. The ballot material is returned to the voter and the ballot has to be posted and postmarked prior to election day. Places like hospitals, retirement villages and nursing homes, usually get a visit from a mobile booth on or before election day. In the Northern Territory, which has a large number of small remote Aboriginal communities, the week prior to election day involves a massive effort with mobile voting booths as electoral office officials fly into a community for a few hours before moving on to the next one.

So balloting is compulsory, simple, highly organised and efficient. Elections are managed by Electoral Commissions. Each state has its own electoral commission and there is a national one as well to run Federal elections: the Australian Electoral Commission.

But one unique and historic aspect of the voting system is little recognised by Australians: the secret ballot. In the United States, it is referred to as the Australian ballot. What would a democratic vote based on universal suffrage be without a secret ballot?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Election Day in Victoria

To-day has been Election Day in the State of Victoria. Miss Eagle has been participating in the process. A fellow member with Miss Eagle of St Thom's congregation at Upper Gully, Rex Thompson, stood as the Greens candidate in the seat of Scoresby. Now Miss Eagle does not know Rex's age but let us just say that Rex and June celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversay in August this year. So Miss Eagle figures this puts Rex at 70+. Miss Eagle reckons he needs a medal: putting up a creditable, but unwinnable, campaign for a party some would consider radical and the province of a younger generation.

Victoria has the Australian Labor Party (ALP) in government under the leadership of Premier Steve Bracks. His main opponent is the Liberal Party led by Opposition Leader Ted Baillieau. The National Party, a rural and agriculturally based party, runs in rural and regional areas and holds seats in the Victorian parliament. The Greens have no seats in the Victorian parliament but are a well known political party. Family First, a party widely supported by people in Pentecostal churches, has become known since it won a senate seat in the last Federal election with a Victorian candidate from the second largest Assembly of God church in Australia. The new kid on the block is People Power.

The real interest will focus on Victoria's upper house, the Legislative Council, where reform has been instituted in the form of election by proportional representation within multi-member electorates which will, in all likelihood, mean a more diverse membership.

As this is being written, it appears there is a possibility of the Greens winning their first seat in the Victorian Legislative Assembly in the seat of Richmond. The Greens are outpolling the Liberals to come in second which, under the preferential system of voting, means that the outcome of Liberal preferences will be of great interest.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mulrunji (Cameron) Doomadgee
Requiescat in Pace

A case to answer? Snr Sgt Chris Hurley.
Monday 20 November 2006 marked the second anniversary of Mulrunji (Cameron) Doomadgee.

One of the great shames of Australia is the deaths of aboriginal people in police custody. The most recent death is that of Mulrunji. Miss Eagle has posted on this previously and has included the damning Coroner's Report on his death.

Aboriginal people are concerned that no charges have yet been laid in relation to the death. Sam Watson, poet and leading Aboriginal activist in Brisbane, gave voice to this at a rally this week.

Miss Eagle echoes the title of her previous post. In the Coroner's Report there was vindication - but will there be justice?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Your rights at work

On Saturday 11 November, Miss Eagle ventured forth to the Dandenong Show. Marie Cohen had co-opted her to help on the Your Rights at Work stall at the show. It was a wonderful day. The stall was a rip-roaring success: but then if it was not a success at Dandenong, unions would be in trouble everywhere!

The Dandenong Show was wonderful. ALthough Dandenong is a highly industrialised suburb one would have thought that a transplantation to country Australia had occurred. For more on this and more photos, check The Trad Pad. But here is the record of a wonderful day. Please take note, John Howard & co: this is the voice of ordinary working Australians. They don't want your type of industrial laws. They don't want the uneven, unlevel playing field you have constructed. Workers seek humane work places for themselves and their families. Above all they want to be able to provide for their families and spend time with their families. Comprehende?



Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rumsfield goes and Gates opens

Miss Eagle returns from a battle with ill health rejoicing. The Democrats have won the day in the USA and this morning the resignation of Donald Rumsfield is announced. Rumsfield resigns from the war. In fact, he survives the Iraq War when he has sent so many young men and women to the war only to see them come home in body bags. Rumsfield will undoubtedly see rewards for what George W Bush describes as his patriotism. So after the war, after the killing, after the destruction, Rumsfield will undoubtedly be found a sinecure. Probably the best that can be hoped is that he never enters the halls of governance and government again.

The CIA - remember that in George Bush Sr and George W Bush we have had the CIA constituency ruling the world - has another body in the halls of power with the appointment of Robert Gates to succeed Rumsfield at Defence. Bob Gates headed up the CIA under Bush Sr. The military will be pleased!

Let's focus on the positives.

George W Bush's face is going to do a lot of about-ing in the next two years.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Complaining Jewry

American Jewish Congress

Anti-Defamation League

Some of the voices of Jewry (please notice Miss Eagle said s-o-m-e. She always reminds herself that there are lots of Jewish people out there who share her views.) never cease to amaze Miss Eagle.

Earlier this year, Miss Eagle gained a smidgen of notoriety for her support of Michael Leunig when he had an invitation to speak at the Jewish Museum of Australia withdrawn.

Similar movement among Jewry had been seen in 2003, when certain Jews sought to intervene in the awarding of the Sydney Peace Prize to Dr. Hanan Daoud Khalil Ashrawi. Sydney's Lord Mayor refused to attend the award ceremony (she lives in Sydney's eastern suburbs which have a substantial Jewish population) and the NSW Premier, Bob Carr, fielded calls from high-profile businessmen, like Westfield's Frank Lowy, asking him to explain the choice of Hanan Ashrawi for the prestigious prize.

And in the great home in the West for modern Jews, New York, they have been at it again - the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Congress - against one of their own.
Jews ask us never to forget The Holocaust. Miss Eagle doesn't. She also remembers the holocausts of Bosnia, Cambodia, and Rwanda. But, Miss Eagle wonders, why the members of Complaining Jewry cannot also remember their own deprivation in ghettos (and not build their own ghetto in Israel complete with concrete wall); their own deprivation of civil liberties (over centuries, particularly in eastern Europe).
In those days of deprivation, what would they have given to be able to speak freely without let, hindrance or persecution? What would they have given to be able to move freely without let, hindrance or persecution? What would they have given to be able to go about their business freely without let, hindrance or persecution?
The West gave Jewry a liberty not known to them for 2000 years. Can they not reciprocate?

Centrelink, police powers, and welfare fraud


The Howard Government wants to give Centrelink the power to apply for warrants - even over the phone - and raid homes.

While Miss Eagle does not support welfare fraud, the Government needs to give statistical and qualitative justification for this extension of police powers. How many cases of fraud uncovered by Centrelink would justify the raiding of homes?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Open slather: government, business and guest workers

Business now knows that under the Howard Government there is open slather in the workplace. They can do what they like. American Express claims it can't get appropriately skilled workers in Australia and has to import them from Japan. Now Miss Eagle might be a bit naive -but she has done some Economics studies at University level and she has listened to and read all the free market stuff since Milton Friedman became a household name that some of us which we had never heard.

If there is scarcity of a good, the price goes higher. So Amex doesn't get what it wants in this country. The problem may be not that the skills are not here. The problem is more likely that Amex is not prepared to pay - not prepared to pay the market price. Amex needs to learn that if they want the free market they get the whole kit and kaboodle, like it or lump it. But no, they want out from free market provisions that they regard as onerous and want to get skilled labour on the cheap. And the Howard Government has the system that will help.

Then there are the horrific stories coming out as guest workers become a factor in this country: something Australians never thought they would see.

Was a time when Australians and Australian unions supported the White Australia Policy with - as one of its specific aims - the idea that if Asian labour came in wages and standards of living would be lowered. When Miss Eagle married in 1963 and purchased her bedroom suite it had stamped on it 'Made with European Labour'. Australians have resiled from that attitude and our country has welcomed people from all continents.

Miss Eagle also believes in moral causation or karma. We reap the consequences of our actions. Perhaps the advent of guest workers could be seen in this context. We used racism to protect our wages and standards of living now our racism is being challenged along with our wages and standards of living on our own soil by the very people we tried for 150 years to keep out.

But this is beyond karma. There is justice and equity for no one in the guest worker program.
Will Australians wake up to this and tell government and business to desist?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

How long is a piece of string?

Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Peter Jensen, David Hicks, & Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell

How long is a piece of string? How long is imprisonment in Guantanamo Bay? How long until David Hicks is tried before a just and fair tribunal? How long until David Hicks comes home to Australia?

Whatever David Hicks has or has not done, the Australian community is tired of the attitude of the US and Australian governments on this matter.

The latest people to speak out on the matter are the Anglican and Catholic archbishops of Sydney - arguably Australia's most senior churchmen. Miss Eagle agrees with Nicola Roxon of the ALP and Bob Brown of the Greens:

Opposition shadow attorney-general Nicola Roxon and Greens leader Bob Brown said the Government's handling of Hicks amounted to the complete abandonment of an Australian citizen.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Tree is dead

To-day, official reports have come that the Tree of Knowledge at Barcaldine, in central western Queensland, is dead. The Tree of Knowledge was included in The National Heritage List for the following reasons:

(a) the place has outstanding heritage value to the nation because of the place's importance in the course, or pattern, of Australia's cultural history - for its association with the Shearers' Strike of 1891 and as the starting point of political and social processes, which led to the eventual formation of the Australian Labor Party.

(b) the place has outstanding heritage value to the nation because of the place's strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons - for its association with the Trade Union Movement and Labour/May Day celebrations

Now a person or persons unknown has/have poisoned The Tree and it is dead.

The tree had struggled but was kept alive with a great deal of skill by specialist arborists and the determination of a number of local Barcaldine people led by long-time/life-time Australian Labor Party stalwart, Pat Ogden - the Licensed Victualler of the Globe Hotel.

Miss Eagle wishes to pay tribute to Pat Ogden and his stalwart committee members who for so long not only kept The Tree alive but also kept alive Barcaldine's place in Australian history. Miss Eagle had the privilege of flying the Labor flag at two elections back in the '80s in the Federal seat of Kennedy, of which Barcaldine is a significant party. She knows first hand of the work that has been done by Pat Ogden, the committee, and the community of Barcaldine.

She was there for the marvellous first re-enactment of the Shearers' Strike in the early '80s produced and directed by the late Gilbert Spottiswood. Then afterwards she recalls adjourning to the Globe Hotel. The front bar was overflowing and in the tiny dining room at the back a rowdy talent quest was conducted on a dining room chair with the audience awarding points in the manner of Shearers 3-Squatters 0.

Such a night had never been seen in Barcy and was only exceeded by the celebrations on the Labor Day weekend of 1991 to mark the birth of the Australian Labor Party underneath the Tree of Knowledge during the Shearers' Strike. Those celebrations were so mighty that the Globe was drunk dry.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

History was made to-night.

Wayne Bennett leaves the coach's box
to congratulate the Broncos.
History was made to-night.
Wayne Bennett is now, officially, the greatest NRL coach

after the Broncos decisive 15-8 win in Sydney
against the Storm.
The Storm got in there: Blair, Geyer, Slater

The Storm tackled

They tackled Shane Webcke

They tried and rejoiced

But it was not enough.

It was a great night for the Broncos

Shane Webcke and Sam Thaiday tackle the Storm
Matt King of The Storm under a Broncos tackle
The Broncos rejoice in Victory

The Storm: their faces say it all

The historic figures of the night: Wayne Bennett, Australia's greatest NRL coach; Shane Webcke retires after 254 games and Shaun Berrigan was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal.

Broncos Captain Darren Lockyer sums it up for the media