Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Odds 'n' Ends

Today has been the first in a long time in which I've actually managed to properly read up on the online papers, as well as other luxuries like lunch, going to the toilet etc.

OK: For starters, an excellent editorial in the SMH pointing out how outraged Australians would be if Schapelle Corby were an Indonesian woman about to be convicted in Australia and the Indonesian government were heavying our judicial system.

Even though I have argued in previous posts how the inaction of the Australian government in the Thomas McCoskar case was appalling, remember I was primarily arguing for consistency - ie that the government could not claim that McCoskar should have to respect the laws of Fiji when it itself does not respect the right of Indonesia's judiciary to execute convicted drug felons - and justice, ie that McCoskar was convicted under a likely unconstitutional law whereas Corby's defence is largely circumstantial (notwithstanding the mishandling of evidence by police and dodgy non-fingerprinting).

The money quote from the Ed:

Part of Indonesia's democratisation, which has been proceeding, despite setbacks, since the downfall of Soeharto in 1998, is the establishment of independent courts and the appointment of impartial judges. Australia has been a staunch supporter of this process. It does Indonesia and itself no favours at all when it slips back to the attitudes of the past and assumes that today's Indonesian courts are, first, incapable of reaching a just conclusion unprompted, and second, open to being bullied by outsiders.


Second: When I first saw this headline: "Budget earns a record welcome" in the Oz, I was a wee bit smug as I felt this vindicated my earlier condemnation of Kim Beazley's petulant response.

But wait: The article goes on to point out that according to this Newspoll survey, although the budget itself was well-received, it doesn't seem to have equated into a rise of support for the Howard government. In fact they've dropped, while ALP have risen a little (still behind on the 2PP however).

But but but: Then it says that "dissatisfaction with Kim Beazley has hit a new high of 36per cent after he declared he would block the tax cuts".

So overall, a hard one to call. Most likely people are a bit jack of the Howard/Costello battle and at the time Newspoll called them thought they both needed a smack on the botty. I'm sure, as always, that all will be forgiven on election day.


Finally: More NSW ALP-esque shenanigans from the NSW Liberal party. Here's the reason why I even bother caring about this:

The implications for the future direction of the party are profound, although it may take some time for the Right to implement its agenda. That includes hardening up the party's stance on drug laws, abortion, compulsory student unionism, the monarchy and ultimately winning more seats in Parliament...The Right's rise to power could change the face of the NSW Liberal Party from a secular party with liberal social values to one with strong links to Christian church groups and a conservative social platform.

Bob could get up in 2007, but I'm working on the assumption he won't, and bracing for what NSW will have instead. David Clarke MLC, of Guns for Jesus fame? His love-child, YL Prez Alex Hawke? I thought his whinge about the phone campaign against him was cute. "People have been ringing me telling me that I've been described to them as a religious extremist."

Hmm. Maybe because it's true?

And how's this: "What this change highlights is that the people in the party do not represent the views of the vast majority of people in the electorate, who are very conservative..."

Ahh, there's that vast majority again. Follow the link to see the QP Rancid Religious Right phrasebook translation of "overwhelming majority". It's the majority that exists the second public consensus on one particular issue is barely touching 50% (gentle reminder: nearly 48% of the voting population didn't want John Howard as PM for another term).

And Clarke: "I don't see anything unusual about being a conservative in a conservative party."

Ohhh, my mistake. I thought the Liberal party was a liberal party. You know, individual freedoms, minimal government intervention in the individual's life, not a moral nanny, etc. Some have even dared call the Liberal party a broad church - its federal leader, for instance. But obviously Clarkey knows better.

I have to get back to pain now.


At 17/5/05 2:22 pm, Anonymous zhasper said...

Liberal party isn't at all liberal..

I used to be a Young Nat in Queensland (I've since reformed)... I heard many of my fellow Young Nats, as well as Liberals and Young Liberals, say that "There's nothing I hate more than a small-l liberal"

At 17/5/05 10:54 pm, Blogger Jeremy said...

It's not wrong to criticise a ridiculous criminal law system. I don't care that it's "another country"; national sovereignty doesn't make up for an unjust system.

And a "guilty until proven innocent" legal system is unjust. We should object. So should the Indonesian people, come to think of it.


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