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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Let's hear it for good governance

Parliament House, Perth, Western Australia
Miss Eagle has from time to time posted on the topic of governance. Miss Eagle believes that good governance is conspicuous by its absence at state and federal levels of government in Australia.
Miss Eagle was interested in David Cohen's The Strife of Brian in to-day's The Age which outlines the wreckage in the trail of Brian Burke and Julian Grill. In fact, the Burke and Grill's political and lobbying expedition has been disastrous for good government, particularly ALP government, in The West and has done extensive damage to many political careers and personal lives.
Midas and his Golden Touch are well known. This is a story of legend and myth. The Corrupt Touch, however, is commonplace around the globe. It is accompanied by a unique stench and lays waste to governments, corporations, shareholders and various innocent parties. The following quote is striking in Miss Eagle's view.
None of the CCC revelations have surprised Larry Graham. Graham was a Labor MP from 1989 until he was dumped in a preselection stoush in 1999: he then served as an independent until he retired in 2005.
"This will be a contrarian view, but the problem is not with Burke and Grill: people always get lobbied," he says. "The problem is with the talent pool in WA: it's drained, it's gone."
The combined membership of the Labor and Liberal parties in WA is about half that of the West Coast Eagles, Graham says.
"Between them they don't even have a decent suburban football club." He believes WA MPs are unable to delineate between public affairs and private interests.
"These people took an oath to serve without fear or favour - do they?
"There is no one of substance in the WA Parliament... Here, the influence- peddling and the warping of the system has happened because WA's political system has been so potently inbred for so long," Graham says. "It's impossible to get ahead unless you kowtow to the numbercrunchers."

WA throws up some tough and unusual characters on both sides of the political fence. Let's run through some:

This list is not definitive and nor would a complete list be a men only affair.
Larry Graham's points are well made and deserve a hearing. However, if anyone thinks that these flaws are restricted to Western Australia then they should think again. The drive in the political parties for power over values and hard work at community level has led to a race to the bottom at the local level.

Once, in the long, long, ago, the ALP required a minimum three year membership to be eligible for election to major party forums and to be eligible for pre-selection to state and federal parliaments and municipal elections where an official Labor ticket was run. Not any more.

Spend your life making money or a name for yourself. Don't even bother to be an office bearer on the local P&C, as long as you are a top dog local people will be trampled over to give you a seat. And what sort of seat do the top dogs get? Why they receive the golden parachute into safe, iron clad ones of course. Not marginal seats where a well-known name might just give the ALP an edge to get a candidate over the line and take a seat from one of the conservative parties. Miss Eagle congratulates Maxine McKew on her decision to run against the Prime Minister in the seat of Bennelong. This is a good use of her high profile name and her skills.

So there is little future in local people joining a local branch to enhance and/or enrich the candidacy/career of another. Time was when people joined a local branch of a political party as an expression of their personal and community values and they were prepared to assist a candidate who share those values and would promote them in parliament.

To-day, values have gone by the board. Kim Beazley has never given any indication that movement away from Labor values in relation to "boat-people" was a factor contributing to his inability to secure federal government for the ALP. There seemes to be some awareness of the disaster that has been the ALP on immigration by Tony Burke, Labor's Shadow Minister for Immigration, Integration & Citizenship. The latest round of people being herded on to Christmas Island will give Labor and Burke plenty of opportunity to strut their stuff and show how diligent they are in attacking John Howard and the Liberal Party on their draconian immigration policies.

Graham hits the nail on the head when he speaks of there being no delineation between public affairs and private interests.

Look around Australia. The old adage says that a people gets the government it deserves. Perhaps our governments without good and sound governance are a true reflection of the people who elect them. Are we Australians as self-interested as that?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

John Howard's Comedy: no sense of timing

One thing a comic needs is a good sense of timing.
Here a list of examples are given of a good sense of timing.
� The African/European Swallow debate at the beginning is a great use of pauses.
� He bulls through the punchlines quickly and effectively.
� The entire play/movie (especially the middle section; excellent physical use of timing!)
Back to the Future
� Michael J. Fox uses timing brilliantly by pausing before his line to create wonderful facial expressions, conveying a wealth of emotion.
The comedy of life isn't really much different. Great statesmen give every appearance of a good sense of timing. Churchill and the war against the Nazis; Robert Menzies and post-war prosperity.
Shakespeare said it all in Julius C├Žsar. Act iv. Sc. 3:
There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Until 1996, John Howard seemed to have misjudged the tide. Ten years as Prime Minister of Australia has given every appearance that Howard has judged the tide very well. Now, in 2007, John Howard's judgment of tides has ebbed indeed.
Climate change denial by Howard has seen him overtaken by the electorate and he is now in catch up mode. He is under constant pressure from an increasingly vocal electorate to bring David Hicks home to Australia from Guantanamo Bay. Now, Tony Blair has overtaken him in his surprise announcement to bring British troops home from Iraq.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Vale, Elizabeth Jolley.

A giant of Australian literature has left us: the gifted, fey, observant, and compassionate Elizabeth Jolley. Miss Eagle sheds a tear. She remembers the pleasure, the smiles, the laughter her work has wrought in her life. Love goes out to her as she continues her journey in another place and to the family and friends she has left behind.
For many Australians, she will be best known for The Newspaper of Claremont Street. For many of us, it was our introduction to Elizabeth's work when it was a featured bookreading on the ABC.
For more about Elizabeth and a bibliography, go here. For a wonderful piece by Australian writer, Helen Garner, go here.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Bennelong backsliders?

If a federal election was held today, Prime Minister John Howard would lose his own seat. So says a Roy Morgan Research and telephone poll of almost 400 Bennelong voters. The poll found 55 per cent supported Labor on a two-party preferred basis.

In recent years, Miss Eagle lived in the electorate of Bennelong and was the recipient of regular newsletters from the incumbent, John Howard. And yes, people are moving into the electorate in droves and a lot of them are Asians - probably with long memories about John Howard's comments on Asian immigration.

While Bennelong takes in the leafy areas of Gladesville, it also takes in the unitsville areas of North Ryde, and Top Ryde, and Miss E's former address in Fontenoy Road, Macquarie Park. The Federal Electorate also takes in the electorate of John Watkins, NSW's Deputy Premier and Member for Ryde, and Minister for Transport and Minister for Police.

So things could well be on turn....
but Miss E would not hang by her neck waiting for it. For instance, Miss Eagle has not had a great deal of confidence in the predictions of Roy Morgan Research. In the field of psephology, she trusts only Anthony Green, thank you very much.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Quotes with a conscience

Funeral of the Melanesia Martyrs:
people of conscience
Over at Street Prophets, there is a wonderful post with a couple of marvellous quotes.

"If Rosa Parks had taken a poll before she sat down in the bus in Montgomery, she'd still be standing." -- Mary Frances Berry


Cowardice asks the question, "Is it safe?"
Expediency asks the question, "Is it politic?"
And Vanity comes along and asks the question, "Is it popular?"
But Conscience... Conscience asks the question "Is it right?"
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular,
but he must do it because it is right.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Love is a challenge

I have to-day received an email from a friend. It is absolute drivel. I publish it below with my comments interpolated.

Have you ever thought -- Is Australian Moslem really an oxymoron? Can a devout Moslem be an Australian and a loyal citizen?
I forwarded that question to a friend who worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 >years. The following is his forwarded reply:
"Theologically, no. Because his allegiance is to Allah, the moon god of Arabia.
Mmmmm..... Don't know about the moon god bit but how do we interpret Islamic acceptance of Abraham, Moses, Jesus? How do we tally this up against a God (whom Christians and Jews worship) who is known as God of the Mountains (El Shaddai) and Lord of Armies (that's what Lord of Hosts means - not to mention various warlike characteristics that can be drawn from the Old Testament).
Religiously, no. Because no other religion is accepted by his Allah except Islam (Quran, 2:256)
Jesus said: "I am the way, and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) So where are modern Christians in all this as they inhabit a pluralist society? How does this statement of Jesus' inform our discourse with Jews, Buddhists inter alia....and yes Muslims?
Scripturally, no Because his allegiance is to the five pillars of Islam and the Quran (Koran).
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, back in 1960, became the first Catholic elected to the US Presidency. Questions were asked during the campaign, (these same questions, I might add, had prevented previous Catholic hopefuls from running for the highest American office) concerning his allegiance to the Pope in Rome. Such questions by Christians have been used to discriminate against fellow Christians who own the name of Christ. Why should we believe, as we read this, that this statement is on any firmer ground than the Christian discriminators were.
Geographically, no. Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.
And the sun doesn't set on the British empire; and every night at 7pm at the RSL a light shines and a little prayer is said; and some Christians stand to pray, some sit, some kneel; some join their hands, some raise their hands. and some fold their arms. I am reminded of a saying of an old Pentecostal lady who was a friend of mine in younger days: It's not the position. It's the disposition that counts. And, tell me again, what this has to do with citizenship?
Socially, no. Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.
Well - one thing is for sure. We now know that the person who wrote this drivel has never travelled (even if he did work in S/Arabia for 20 years, it is clear he did not move beyond his European enclave) in Africa or Asia. There is a long history of Jews, Christians, and Moslems living peaceably in their communities. To give an indication of this, I have attached a document by the distinguished writer and historian William Dalrymple. Here is a link to William Dalrymple's home page. Here is the entry for William Dalrymple in Wikipedia.
Politically, no. Because he must submit to the mullah (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America, the great Satan.
As a Christian, I am required to submit to spiritual leadership.
Now can we know which mullah, which Moslem community, which Muslim denomination. Just like us peaceful, wise, and non-warlike Christians, there are many denominations/theological schools/communities within the Islamic tradition. Their teachings (unlike we unified Christians) are not universally the same.
Domestically, no. Because he is instructed to marry four women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34).
Oh, you mean that, like the Patriachs of the Old Testament, they may have more than one wife not like men in Christian societies who have one wife, one mistress, and some one night stands. And you mean women are beaten there like in Christian societies - many of whom are killed along with their children. Oh, you forgot to mention, that unlike women in Christian societies until the late 20th century, women entering marriage under Islamic law have economic rights. In fact, the Islamic community in Australia would like to have the Family Court of Australia recognise this in family law. Not mentioning those facts was a bit of a slip up.
Intellectually, no. Because he cannot accept the Australian Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.
Well, I almost doubled up with laughter at this one. Because one thing that the writers of the Australian Constitution were very careful to do was to keep any hint, smell or taint of religion out of the document. In fact, it is clear that our informants have never read the Australian Constitution otherwise they would know that the major concerns of the document have to do with commerce and the balance of power between six colonies (for here think individual nations in all but name) in bringing them into one nation. In case any one hasn't noticed, the colonies still get really stroppy and their relationships and their relationship with the Commonwealth of Australia have to be sorted out by the High Court of Australia. I have never heard anybody suggest that the High Court is a biblical body or that its decisions are based on the Bible or that they interpret the Constitution with the Bible in one hand and the Constitution in the other. In fact, I can think of a few decisions which were completely unbiblical.
Philosophically, no. Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran do not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co - exist.
Mmmm...Clearly all that lack of teaching of history that Australian schools are accused of is catching up. Christians have never been good on freedom of religion and expression until recent times. I am 62, was brought up in a pre-Vatican II Irish-Catholic-Australian tradition, and had a very Irish name which gave my religion away immediately. This does not raise an eyebrow these days. In fact, there's a certain cachet to such a heritage. But when I was growing up, religious bigotry was alive and well between Protestant and Catholics. Look at the history of the Queensland Police Force where there are historic divisions between Catholic and Masons. This was why Ray Whitrod had to leave the Qld Police Force. He was neither Catholic nor Mason : he was a Baptist. I could go on with the way Peter Hollingworth was vilified by the secular press when he accepted the appointment of Governor-General (keep this separate from what came later). And I am of the view that if the Chamberlains had been Anglican instead of Seventh Day Adventist their story would have been very different. As for democracy: well, democracy for whom? Could go on ad infinitum ad nauseam about this. Just suffice to say that The Power Elite by C. Wright Mills says it - even though it was written about the US of fifty years ago. It is a sociological classic about who controls what and how much and it informs the Australian milieu as well.
Every Moslem government is either dictatorial or autocratic.
Yeah. I know some of them are not attractive - to say the least. And yes I would like to see democratic institutions and universal suffrage. But have a look around democracies and tell me if there is a complete absence of dictators and autocrats and dictatorial and autocratic actions. This will be a shoo-in for Queenslanders to answer.
Spiritually, no. Because when we declare "one nation under God," the Christian's God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in the Quran's 99 excellent names."
Now it becomes clear (as if it couldn't be figured out before this point). The answer is not from an Australian but from a citizen of the United States of America. You see only citizens of the USA refer to "one nation under God". SO-O-O please go back to the beginning and put this in your mind. As for the Christian's God being loving and kind - well there are a few other descriptions in the Bible. A reading of God - a biography by Jack Miles would shed a little light on this. Read about Jack Miles here and here.
Therefore after much study and deliberation.... Perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MOSLEMS in this country. They obviously cannot be both "good" Moslems and good Australians. Call it what you's still The truth.
If you find yourself intellectually in agreement with the above statements, perhaps you will share this with your friends. The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country and our future.The religious war is bigger and more complex than most Australians currently know or understand.

This drivel smells very much of stuff that comes from the Australia First Party and its associates. . You will note their involvement in the Cronulla riots and, more recently, drumming up racism against refugees in Tamworth. Moslems are like Christians. Each has their share of those who we would rather not own as citizens. In fact, most Moslems do not share the above views. Not all Moslems have plural marriage and nor do they all scourge their wives. One could go on. I would draw people's attention to a book that has been on must read lists for a while now A Short History of Islam by Karen Armstrong. You can read about Armstrong here and here.
We serve a risen Lord. His way is straight and narrow and we are to follow in His footsteps. He has given us two commandments. How does the above tally up with these. Where is the love? Where is the mercy? Where is "yourself"?
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets

Debating a point that is already made

Finance Minister Nick Minchin says "there remains an ongoing debate about the extent of climate change" and the extent of human activity's role in global warming.

This statement brings wry amusement to Miss Eagle's visage. Miss Eagle notes that King Canute debated similarly with a flatterer when making his own point about turning back the tide. Difference is that King Canute was not on the side of political flattery. He DID know which way was up!

In fact, Miss E is certain there is a debate going on. Nick seems to be debating the point. She is not certain just who or how many outside India, China and the US of A happen to be in Nick's debating club.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Does Bush know what he's talking about....

Ignorance is bliss?
....because Miss Eagle sure doesn't.

Miss Eagle doesn't talk about Bush much. Why bother? Coming home from work to-day I heard a sound clip from a White House press conference. The gist of the thing was about weapons in Iraq. Miss Eagle picked up that much. And Dubya was talking about IUDs. That's cute, Miss E thought to herself. Intra-Uterine Devices as weapons of mass destruction in Iraq! Ooo-wah!

In case no one has guessed yet, Miss Eagle is curious. She is the original curiosity killed the cat but information brought it back girl. So home to the 'puter to check it out. So she went to the White House site and came up with the press conference. Now Miss E's hearing might not have been too good but then Miss E doesn't think too much of Dubya's diction - considering he is a graduate of an Ivy League university. Turns out that Dubya was talking about IEDs.

Now Miss Eagle is not an expert on armaments and - she is a committed peace lover - has no ambition to become one. Therefore she hadn't a clue about IEDs. So she did what any good blogger does, she Googled it: with this result. So good so far or so far so good.

She then decided to explore the other conundrum from the Press Conference. What on earth is a Qud. This was a bit trickier. Google Quds and you will see what Miss E means. However, she thinks this might be the critter. Anyway, she thinks it has a lot to do with this lot.

Miss Eagle has now come to the conclusion that there are two types of armaments. There are peaceful, democratic armaments (like the ones that the USA and the coalitions forces employ) and there are destructive armaments (like the ones that Iran is alleged to have deployed). Mmmmmm......Miss Eagle thinks.

Now perhaps Miss Eagle could be convinced that Dubya knows what he is talking about if........

  • She didn't remember all that guff about peace, democracy, and regime change while watching a handful of men (definitely no women) being a choreographed support group for the pulling down of a Saddam Hussein statue.

  • She didn't remember the looting of hospitals in Baghdad without let or hindrance from the United States armed forces.

  • She didn't remember the looting of the artifacts and antiquities of the earliest years of human civilisation without intervention by the United States armed forces.

  • She didn't remember how US corruption, bumbling, self-interest, and military and political self-congratulation have set up post-Saddam Iraq to fail.

Nah! Dubya hasn't a clue about that of which he speaks.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Australian Research Institute for Desert Spirituality - ARIDS

From Ian Robinson:

A national retreat on desert spirituality is to be held actually on the edge of the Australian desert 70km east of Southern Cross, Western Australia.

The official launch of the Australian Research Institute for Desert Spirituality (ARIDS) will be held in the Koora Retreat Centre, hosted by Rev Anna Killigrew and Rev Peter Harrison. Costs are still being finalised, but they will be modest! They include good food, campfire, desert plains, salmon gums, toilets, showers are beds.

We will keep silence. Trisha Watts is our keynote prayer leader. Out of our times of silence will come the sounds of a ‘still small voice’ that she will help us to share and to welcome. Many of you know Trish’s outstanding music and gracious workshop leadership, and you others are in for a treat.

There will also be time for words. Papers on some aspect of Desert Spirituality are hereby called for, and if necessary will be selected by the working group composed of Rev Dr Anna Killigrew, Rev Ian Robinson, and Rev Tracy Spencer. Only a smallish number of papers will be offered.

Access to Koora is via Perth or Kalgoorlie by air, train car or bus. Contact Ian Robinson, at, and Ian will help you find share transport.

Picture: Rabbit Proof Fence 25nm to the East of Southern Cross

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Democratic Party the party of terrorism: the fall-out

"I would prefer that Mr Howard stay out of our domestic politics and we will stay out of his domestic politics," said Texas senator John Cornyn, a strong supporter of the war and of President George Bush.

Spot on Senator. Fortunately, it appears the current US Ambassador wants to stay out of Australia's domestic politics too. That was something that could not always be said of the previous US Ambassador.

As for John Howard, he is his usual dogged self maintaining - against all opinion - that he had to say what he said because it was right. John is never wrong. Hundreds of thousands of Australia marched against the Iraq war. Opinion polls did not approve of the Iraq invasion without UN approval and involvement. And the electorate always doubted the weapons of mass destruction farrago of lies and spin. But who was right in all this? Never the electorate - in spite of its vindication by events. No. John Howard is always right even when he is wrong.

Try humility instead of invincibility, Prime Minister.

Matchwinner Rudd and the smell of roosting chickens

Here are the words of Kevin Rudd used in yesterday's parliamentary debate:

KEVIN RUDD: To accuse the party of Truman, to accuse the party of Kennedy and Johnson as being the terrorist party of choice - I cannot understand how any responsible leader of this country can say to the nation that it is his serious view that the Democratic Party of the United States is the terrorist party of choice, but these are your words Prime Minister.
You not only met your match yesterday, Prime Minister.
You met more than your match.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Chicks and chutzpah

Well, it was taking the long way, but the sisterhood came out on the other side: every chick has her day.

Yeah, things are looking up for the Dixie Chicks: a great night at the Grammys and United States public opinion on the Iraq War is catching up to them.

Don't ya just love natural justice:
Though the mills of God grind slowly,
Yet they grind exceeding small;
Though with patience he stands waiting,
With exactness grinds he all.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Keep it up Kevvie: keep the 'counting coming

Well, hasn't to-night's news been interesting! Those with a sense of social democratic history will want a copy of Kevvie's speech - with all its references to US Democrat Presidents. Miss Eagle was particularly taken with the commentary on the 7pm ABC Television News in Melbourne that said Howard was "called to account". Haven't found a direct reference to link to for this comment - but Miss Eagle asserts the accuracy of her hearing in this matter.

Readers of this blog will know how interested Miss Eagle is in the calling to account of John Howard: or, as she cares to put the situation, having "the chickens come home to roost". There is a strong odour of roosting chickens in the air. Keep it up Kevvie. Way to go.

Will David Hicks ever come home?

John Quiggen raises the question that even if David Hicks is tried and found to be not guilty that he would not necessarily be released from Guantanamo Bay. Quiggen quotes documents here, here, and here.

The United States of America throws justice out the window and expects the world to take it seriously as an exponent of democracy and freedom. They are not even up to caped crusader standard.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

God loves a fair go

More than 800 people attended a prayer service in support of David Hicks at St Paul's Anglican Cathedral yesterday. Miss Eagle is disappointed that she could not attend because illness intervened. The news of such a large attendance is heartening. Many, many more came to pray than turned up at the Coburg dinner the week before - but then the church service was free.

The time is drawing nigh, Miss Eagle thinks, when a multi-faith prayer service should be considered.

Miss Eagle applauds Archbishop Philip Freier's emphasis that God loves justice. The Howard Government talks loud and long about Australian values even to the point of attempting to mandate Australian values for newcomers. Central to the ethos of Australians is the fair go: what God would call justice.

This is why so many Australians have begun to focus on David Hicks and his unchristian, unjust, and uncivilised treatment at the hands of the government of the United States of America.

An increasing number of Australians believe that - whatever David Hicks may or may not have done - he is not getting a fair go. Australians - at least in this instance and in spite of inhabiting one of the most secular societies on the face of Planet Earth - believe in The Golden Rule. They want to treat another as they themselves wish to be treated. They want a fair go for themselves. They want their government to act in their best interests if they are in trouble overseas and are at the mercy of a foreign government.

Australians want for David Hicks what they want for themselves: a fair go.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Campaigning for a tall Prime Minister: a capital idea

Denis over at The body politic is ill has discovered a goodie. One of the Southern Highlands locals has an apt name for Prime Minister John Howard. John Howard is a very short man so when Miss Eagle came across this nickname "Prime Miniscule" - like the Mitford sisters, she roared.

Then Miss Eagle went into a reverie. The correct spelling is minuscule. Those, like Miss Eagle, involved in calligraphy know what a minuscule is: it is a small letter, a lower case letter. It is the opposite of majuscule which is a large letter, a capital letter.

How Miss Eagle longs for a tall, majuscule Prime Minister.

Remember Gough Whitlam, remember Paul Keating. Prime Ministers tall with visions tall. And there is Malcolm Fraser who to-day has stature as a moral compass for the nation. Not small minded men with small, limited, and limiting vision. (Yes, Miss Eagle realises Bob Hawke was a short man - but how can Miss Eagle consider a man who turns on a national strike affecting the whole nation to suit a mate of dubious business ethics a man of great vision.)

Please, God, send Australia a tall Prime Minister with a large and wise vision for this nation.

Please, God, rid us of the small and small-minded with delusions of grandeur and take them from positions of power.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The sound of roosting chickens in the distance?

Is that the sound of roosting chickens in the distance?

Miss Eagle has posted previously (here and here) that she does not want John Howard to resign or leave the political scene until he is visited with the results of his bad decisions and bad policies which have ridden roughshod over the Australian polity and those who seek protection - whether they be citizens or sojourners - from its government.
Could the reports here and here be the first sounds of the death knell of the Howard Government? Are these the first sounds of chickens coming home to roost?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Bring David Home - 3

Last night, Miss Eagle joined more than 300 other Melburnians at a Civil Rights Defence dinner at the Coburg City Hall.
Terry Hicks, father of David Hicks, was the guest of honour and guest speaker.
As can be seen below, Terry was honoured.
Terry has won the admiration of many Australians for his tenacity and courage in battling for his son against not only the powerful USA but his own government. He has done this with modesty and integrity.
You make parents proud, Terry!
Join the campaign to bring David Home by emailing

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
From memory, there were three standing ovations for Terry including one before he spoke!

The crowd honours Terry with a standing ovation.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Three speakers: well known civil libertarian Brian Walters SC

Les Thomas, brother of Jack Thomas

Omar Merhi, brother of Abdulla Merhi, one of the Barwon 13

As Miss Eagle listened to the speakers, she could not help but think - as a mother of sons - there but for the grace of God go many of us.

These families are ordinary working families. The are not wealthy nor do they dwell in the halls of power and influence. They have been caught up in the defence of their children and siblings and their love and determination is something to behold.

The representatives of the Hicks, Thomas and Merhi families were saw speaking last night are fine examples not only of values Australians hold dear but of the greater family of humanity.




Jack Thomas with baby son Gabriel conversing with Terry Hicks.

Jack and Terry were very gracious allowing a photograph for The Eagle's Nest

An intransigent Australian Government continues to fail to lobby for the release of David Hicks who is continually subject to harsh, inhumane and unjust treatment by the government of the United States of America at Guantanamo Bay.

This shirt says it all!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Queensland's road policy has pot-holes in it!

Another year and another summer of flood-cut roads in North Queensland! It is over 150 years since the first white settlement north of the Tropic of Capricorn and North Queensland still does not have flood free roads.

Meanwhile, faraway in myopic Brisbane - the capital of Queensland - millions upon millions are being sunk into roads. And then look at the highways and freeways that service the Gold and Sunshine coasts and the hinterland of the Darling Downs and the Granite Belt.

But then Cairns and Townsville, Australia's major tropical cities, are closer to Port Moresby - the capital of Papua New Guinea than they are to any Australian capital.

North Queensland needs a four lane flood free highway from Mackay to Port Douglas. North Queensland industry - from mining to agriculture to tourism and education - requires it.

Good governance in Queensland? Not for Capricornia.

The Queensland Police Service - A law unto themselves?

Queensland Police meeting at the Broncos Leagues Club in Brisbane
Photo: Peter Wills in The Courier Mail

Are they, as The Courier Mail headline says, a law unto themselves?
Miss Eagle has no problem with police moving to support their own. Miss Eagle has no problem with police marching on Queensland's Parliament to support their own - although she notes Gracelyn Smallwood's well-made point:

Ms Smallwood said it was "cute" that the police union was talking for the first time in 16 years about the recommendations of the Black Deaths in Custody inquiry. "We have not heard one word in all that time from the police union, and it is a handy diversion for them to come up with now - when one of their own is charged over the death of Mulrunji," she said. "It will be good to see them march. They will appreciate then what Aboriginal people have had to do for 207 years. "Perhaps we will line the path of the march and photograph them individually and get their numbers - like they have been doing to Aboriginal people and other protest groups in this state all these years."

Miss Eagle seeks one qualifying statement from the Queensland Police Service and the Queensland Police Union:

That Queensland Police are not above the law