Crikey



Who will save the prime minister?

CORRECTION: On Friday (27 April 2012) a series of quotes and references in our article ‘How Australia’s media giants put the squeeze on freelance journos’ were wrongly attributed to Leonard Cronin. Crikey profusely apologises for any embarrassment this may have caused.

PM puts parliament before the rule of law:

Les Heimann writes: Yesterday, Sunday April 29, 2012, will go down as the day when the rule of law in Australia was junked.

When a Prime Minister put “respect for parliament” above due legal process.

Now we see just how shallow our parliament really is — made up of individuals, regardless of political persuasion, who will resort to any popular position simply to remain or obtain power.

Julia Gillard sacrificed the dignity and, by inference, the reputation of two men who stand accused of “crimes and misdemeanours” by demanding they step aside from their positions or status in parliament before any legal proceedings determining their guilt or innocence.

Thus the PM puts parliament above and before the rule of law.

Parliaments, parliamentarians, political parties all come and go. However, at least until now, the law has remained a constant and above and beyond parliament and parliamentarians. The law has not ruled on the two men nor has it been asked to thus they are as innocent as you and me.

If either or both Peter Slipper and Craig Thompson were convicted of a criminal offence of course they should go.

We should all do well to remember the law belongs to us and is there to protect the innocent and punish the guilty, neither man is legally in question at this time, and may never be.

What this PM has done is inexcusable. She is not above the law and, as a lawyer she knows that. For what she has done it is she who should now face a vote of no confidence.

We the people need to uphold our law and throw out anyone who suborns its supremacy.

Gillard has committed the unpardonable sin in this case and her flimsy excuse relating to the reputation of parliament is so opaque to be no stronger than an ancient spider web.

For all this we the people are, as usual, the loser.

We do not have much of a choice were there to be an election. Tony Abbott has dropped all pretence concerning labour laws when this weekend he addressed the Victorian Liberal conference pledging five years jail to unionists who do not toe his line — he has learnt nothing.

Labor is without a reason for being and must be entirely exhausted from so many suicide attempts beginning with the unwillingness to force a double dissolution on an emissions trading scheme, the double-crossing of Andrew Wilkie on gaming machines when the voters were 70%-plus supportive and now junking the rule of law (Gillard featured in all three of these disasters.).

Who will save Australia now? For nothing will save Julia Gillard PM

Examining Anzac Day:

Niall Clugston writes: In attempting to provide some Anzac daylight, Guy Rundle could have pressed his point even further (Friday, comments).  He mentions the defence of “New Guinea” in World War II.  In fact, Australian New Guinea fell to Japan with hardly a fight. It was Australian Papua that Australian troops and their native forced labourers were defending. The two dependencies were amalgamated after the war to become the tautologically named PNG, which Australia graciously granted nominal independence to a whole 30 years later. So much for fighting for freedom!

While Gallipoli is christened Australia’s “baptism of fire”, the seizure of German New Guinea (which became Australian New Guinea) was Australia’s first military act in World War I, and the good news, kids, is that it was an unqualified victory, although one of Australia’s first submarines disappeared without trace.

What is the point of this pedantic historiography?  That the world wars occurred in the context of the British Empire, of which Australia was a metropolitan outpost, and not in defence of the country.  The Japanese troops defeated on the Kokoda Track were not trying to conquer Australia but to knock out Port Moresby, which was being used to attack them. Nor could they. It’s part of Australia’s weird lack of self-awareness that it fears being invaded by land.

Many Australians died on the first Anzac Day, but remembering is the polar opposite of falsehood and distortion.

Peter Lloyd writes: Sorry Guy Rundle, if you didn’t smear “all” the troops in your piece on Thursday, you certainly did by the time you finished your response to Ken Lambert.

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Categories: Comments & corrections

3 Responses

Comments page: 1 |
  1. @ Peter Lloyd:”our repeated experience of more recent decades, when an apathetic and unthinking public have backed cynical and short-sighted politicians into wars against people who mean us no harm.”
    It seems facts are to be cherry picked by all and sundry. I assume your last para’ refers to Afghanistan and Iraq? Surely you haven’t forgotten the the vast majority of Australians opposed those wars and some 1 million Australians took to the streets across Australia to protest against the Iraq folly in particular.
    Howard ignored us because of his personal commitments to the then U.S. president.
    All war is preventable. All war casues pain and death to innocent people. All war is, therefore, bad.

    by mattsui on Apr 30, 2012 at 6:16 pm

  2. Anzac Day is a ‘memorial” occasion for all Australians. What does that mean ? Since 1998 I have noticed the attention this “public’ day gets from younger generations. These are the very people my uncle died for at the tender age of 20 in France.

    If the 5th grade at Kensington Primary School want to march as a group respecting what the Anzac movement means, then, let them march in the early afternoon following the formal military segment of Anzac Day.

    It is the Gen X, Y and Z who are appearing on Anzac Day carrying their personal respect for the history behind the meaning of ANZAC. Just know how many of them are out of bed and respectfully attend the various ceremonies and marches. How many of them leave a wreath at a distant country cenotaph, how many of them know the life they have is a dividend from the suffering of war and the loss of life and limb, in the current military activity involving Australian soldiers, naval and airforce personnel.

    by Stickey on Apr 30, 2012 at 7:39 pm

  3. @Les: A shallow and pathetic attempt to re-write Gough’s 1975 speech. - F

    by Meski on May 4, 2012 at 9:39 am

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