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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.