Gough Whitlam once said, “Australia will not stand in the way of Indonesia’s annexation of East Timor”. That worked out pretty well as a rampaging Indonesian militia promptly cut a swathe through a civilian population leaving five Australian journalists brutally murdered in their wake.
Modern industrial society commenced with the use of coal and oil to power factories, trains, ships and agriculture and to generate electricity. With abundant energy, prosperity increased, and people could save enough to support leisure, education, culture and environmental concerns.
The current debate is about capital punishment, not drugs, and conflating the two makes it hard to argue the case for either. The moment a case is made against yesterday’s killing of the Bali two, immediately there’s a tirade against the evils of drugs. Fair enough, so what do you want to debate? Drugs or capital punishment?
The appalling circumstances that the families of the Bali two were forced to endure... the failure of the Indonesian Government to inform Australia that the executions had taken place, Joko Widodo leaving his phone off the hook and his crass insensitivity to international entreaties.
1. Scott Morrison had forced the Indonesian Government to, in effect, give millions to the military out of its own pocket. The Indonesian Government was powerless to stop the boats and was cleverly bypassed in settling the boats issue by Morrison dealing directly and solely with the military.
The Australian acting and entertainment celebrity fraternity, practising and rehearsing their bestest outraged faces and voices, has demanded Tony Abbott DO SOMETHING about saving the lives of the Bali heroin smuggling ringleaders.
I have been against the death penalty ever since a journalist friend bore witness to Australia’s last execution, that of Ronald Ryan on February 3, 1967 in Coburg’s Pentridge Prison. But I have covered a number of stories on Indonesia’s death penalty and the part it plays in an outrageously corrupt judiciary and military.
Do you recognise this little monkey? Well, he is Ronny Sompie, the Bali Police Chief who reportedly replaced that other little monkey, Police Chief Harry Utomo, who took those grinning “selfies” of himself with the traumatised Bali two on the flight to “Execution Island”.
I hate it when the alarm goes off at stupid o'clock on Anzac morning and I know I have to drag myself out of bed to go to the dawn service. At the same time I love the way that this small deprivation forces me to think of the sacrifices that were given to create this amazing society that we live in.
Do I have ANZAC fatigue? Yes I do have. Not that I haven’t thought deeply about a tragedy that should never have been. Not that I haven’t imagined my fresh-faced sons in the same trenches and winced. Such a pointless waste of valuable lives and for what?.... Nothing!
This is secret blokes’ stuff, so if you ladies want to avoid offence you had better go make a cuppa now. Okay fellas, I’ve had my fair share of sheilas, (I’m fast running out of broodmares now ‘tho) but I’ve always thought that package-care was a critical part of courting. I mean you should show a modicum of respect and at least spend a little time tidying up the old tackle.
Australia has one of the highest and most convoluted tax regimes in the world and each time politicians attempt to reform it, it becomes even more abstruse and outrageously costly to administer. In the late 60s, Doug Anthony, a one-time leader of the Country Party (now the Nats) came up with a solution: A flat rate of tax at 25c in the dollar.