The irrelevance of Gerard Henderson, Time is ready for Hillary to announce, and other media snippets of the day.
Rundle: Hendo ignores Keith’s letter. There’s not much left of poor old Gerard Henderson these days, is there, well down the batting order in Anti-News Unlimited, where his trademark “archival” style (“Senator Lee Rhiannon’s signature on this 1969 pamphlet ‘Put a traffic light on Bronte Rd’ raises questions of national security that our ABC is yet to ask”) is rather drowned out in a paper that features the executive editor of the whole organisation, Nick Cater, complaining about “elitist gatekeepers”. You need good game to match that crazy.
Instead, Hendo’s latest sad little squib is about the new docos Persons of Interest, focusing on four figures who were activists in the 1960s and ’70s and followed by ASIO, some of whom make a couple of slightly overblown remarks about the surveillance. Gary Foley is the only one of the four who can see the issue from ASIO’s perspective, Hendo notes.
But thereby hangs a tale. The other three were members of Communist parties, whose stated aim was revolution. They could reasonably expect that the spooks would be on them. Foley and others were part of a black power movement, which was notable for its non-violent activity — of all the black power/indigenous rights groups across the world from that period, it’s the one that never splintered off an armed struggle faction.
Foley, now a historian of the period, does remember one event, by another group, the Gwalwa Daraniki Association, which was attempting to present the Larrakia petition, demanding a treaty, to a visiting Princess Margaret (since Peg was later famous for storming out of a screening of Schindler’s List saying, “I’ve seen enough films about Jews”, one doubts they would have got a sympathetic hearing). During their campaign, which was brutally repressed by the police, a mining truck was firebombed. The act — pretty anodyne — attracted at least one supporter, who wrote to say that he approved of the action, it was a rousing call to the more recalcitrant elements, etc, and he was enclosing a donation. The man’s name? Keith Windschuttle, of course. Does ASIO know the whereabouts of this dangerous reprobate?
Mind you, ASIO was never about protecting us from terror — they missed the one major bombing of the period, by Croatian right-wingers of a Yugoslav trade office in 1974, because they were more sympathetic to the group than to its target, socialist Yugoslavia. It was about controlling and surveilling legal protest and dissent. Meanwhile, the only explicit political killing of recent times was the murder of an abortion clinic guard by a loner primed up by anti-abortion meetings in 2001. Is ASIO infiltrating these groups, with their roots in right-wing political culture, and the places they publish, like News Weekly and Quadrant? Is the fearsome Windschuttle involved with any of these? — Guy Rundle
Courier-Mail’s weird vendetta renewed. Remember The Courier-Mail’s weird campaign not to name or picture English bowler Stuart Broad, even when he was the news of the day? The campaign only lasted a day or two, but the News Corporation paper looks back with fondness on its front page today. The paper is running a picture of Broad paddle-boarding (not whited out this time, thank god) on its cover, reminding readers its “good-natured ‘Broad Ban’ riled English supporters and made international headlines as this newspaper referred to him only as a ‘27-year-old medium-pace bowler’”. It said it had instituted the short-lived policy “in a bid to get under his skin”. Hee hee, how naughty!
Front page of the day. Can anyone? And three years out, will the speculation eventually drive us all insane?
Video of the day. It’s pretty hot, isn’t it? Let’s see what happens when a Lindt ball is left out in the Melbourne sun for three minutes …