Just a comment on the Western Warrior’s article on the WA Libs. I tend to agree but I would like to add a few points. A fractured and directionless Western Australian ALP is likely to gift Premier Barnett a second term. As with the majority of the “accidental Premiers” mentioned, their respective oppositions fell in a heap. They generally lost direction after the departure of the ousted premier and all other members associated with the loss. When transitions such as this occur it is inevitable that there will be a glut of talent and experience, leading to errors in judgement on key issues, translating into a lack of voter confidence.
Barnett’s “accidental” election victory is certainly reflected in the lack of talent occupying the frontbenches of his Government. Their policies since the election have been a mess which have been administered by a Cabinet lacking experience and political savvy. They have been assisted by an even weaker and critically fractured ALP lacking vision and capable leadership.
There is no way that Ripper will win the next election, unless he can develop a message that all factions are happy to support and sell. I think the “accidental Premier” will definitely be re-elected, but how long will the former retiring Member for Cottesloe survive the circling sharks within who are lining up eager to have their time in his “accidental” seat.
When Disability Rights Commissioner, Graeme Innes, told a roundtable of “experts” assembled on Level 37 of Gilbert and Tobin’s Sydney office that the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities [CRPD] would not necessitate any legislative reform in Australia, there was only one voice that challenged this absurd proposition. Mental health and guardianship legislation across this nation is seriously out of whack with the CRPD but like a carefully stage-managed prize fight, every player knows that if they want a piece of the real estate they must read the script to the letter.
Muammar Gaddafi’s fatuous antics in New York should not detract attention from the distinct possibility that the so-called Lockerbie bomber Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was wrongly convicted. Libya’s decision to pay compensation to the victims’ relatives more or less sealed al-Megrahi’s fate and if and when he dies we may never find out the full extent of the conspiracy. Suffice it so say that the evidence against him was circumstantial and very thin.
Dr Hans Kochler, the UN’s reporter on the trial, says the verdict (by three judges not a jury) was “irrational”. Even the man who supposedly identified al-Megrahi in Malta (where the bomb was supposedly loaded) was inconclusive — and he was the only “witness”. So why is it that celebrity protestors like Geoffrey Robertson QC are pounding the table (in a half page in the Sydney Morning Herald) about the disgraceful decision to set al-Magrahi free — rather than pointing out the evidence against him was, to say the least, shonky?
Usually Robertson would be expected to be working hard for the cause of justice by drawing attention to anomalies — such as the fact that there was a break-in at Heathrow (close to where the Pan Am plane was parked) not mentioned at the trial. In fact the media in Europe, the USA and here (with the exception of Radio National’s dull but worthy Rear Vision) chooses to completely ignore the problematic conviction of al-Megrahi and concentrate on being outraged by his release.
The only persistent and consistent critic of the verdict, Private Eye, recently pointed out that the reason why Gaddaffi orchestrated such a public welcome for al-Megrahi was because (according to Gaddafi’s logic anyway) he owed him for helping Libya’s rehabilitation — he was the reluctant fall guy and will soon be dead anyway. Private Eye promises more revelations in its next issue, especially now that al-Megrahi’s lawyers have decided to release documentary evidence which would have been presented to prove al-Megrahi’s innocence at his aborted appeal.
The real question which should be agitating politicians and protestors: why have British and US authorities been so reluctant to expand their investigations and find the rest of the conspiracy behind the atrocity?
Darebin Council serves it up to Marn, again. Thought you might be interested that in light of Andrew Crook’s story on Martin Ferguson’s stoush with Darebin Council over climate change, on Monday night a resolution opposing nuclear energy was passed by the Labor-dominated council. Not sure how the good member for Batman will take this one, especially given the Rudd Government’s recent decision to take the public’s temperature on overturning its nuclear ban under pressure from union heavies like Paul Howes.