25.04.14 12:06 am
Peter Cundall has been involved in three wars, mainly as an infantry soldier. After serving as a 14 year-old air-raid messenger boy during the Blitz, he joined the British Parachute Regiment in WWII, serving in Europe as the war ended, mainly guarding Nazi war criminals awaiting trial. In August 1946, after accidentally crossing the frontier into Yugoslavia, he was captured by Tito’s partisans, charged with espionage and sentenced to 4 years’ imprisonment. After 6 months total solitary confinement in a lice-infested cell he was finally released in 1947, as a result of British Government pressure. Shortly afterwards he was posted to Gaza and other parts of Palestine during the Palestine War during which 233 British soldiers were killed. He returned to the UK for demobilisation in April 1948.
In an attempt to by-pass the 2 year wait to migrate to Australia, Peter enlisted in the Australian Army in London as a fully-trained infantry soldier in November 1950 and was soon on his way to Australia. A few months later in 1951 he was sent to join Australia’s 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment, then in action during the static trench warfare and massed artillery barrages, typical of the Korean War. He became a member of the Machine-gun Platoon, then under the command of Australia’s first Aboriginal officer Capt. Reg. Saunders. During this period as a front-line infantry soldier he was promoted in the Field to machine-gun Section Commander, remaining in the Line from June 1951 until August 1952.
This true experience is a brief attempt to describe the horror and stupidity of war from an infantry soldier’s viewpoint.
John Lawrence, Tasfintalk Pic* First pub: Apr 23
24.04.14 3:45 am
Privatisation: Broader issues Privatising public assets is back on the agenda with Treasurer Hockey reigniting the discussion with his offer to State governments of a bonus if they sell remaining public assets and spend proceeds on new much needed infrastructure. … Tasmania’s existing government businesses comprise one half of the total State government sector, so for the Mercury writer to idly assert that they should be sold to fund as yet unidentified new infrastructure without comparing the before and after cash flow effects on the State’s budget with a reduction of 50% in the size of the State sector, just to qualify for a $100 million bonus from Joe Hockey, is a policy position based on ideology rather than logic. Ideology also clutters the road to economic salvation as long as there are refusals to take a revised look at the role of governments, debt and money. Commentators and politicians are yet to realise the full implications of the changing world over the past five years.
24.04.14 3:25 am
For six years I sat within meters of the late Senator Brian Harradine. Along with a few Greens and One Nation, the Australian Democrats’ senators sat among the cross benches in the curve of the senate chamber’s horseshoe seating pattern. From my location, mostly at seat 54B, I was able to study Harradine closely in terms of his exercise of power.
Christopher Nagle, writing.com
24.04.14 3:15 am
Shaping corporate totalitarianism out of democratic ideas in the 20th & 21st centuries ... a response to Max Atkinson’s Whither the Liberal conscience Except perhaps for its past twenty years, the last century had its main impetus through the two world wars & the preparation for the third. The tremendous expenditure of human and material resources called forth by war was a powerful wasting tool that guaranteed force marched production. The challenge was to maintain the war waste pace in peacetime. Eventually, this was accomplished by (and by no means an exhaustive list), continuing partial militarisation, increased participation in the industrial workforce, higher wages, heavy borrowing, rapid introduction of new technology through substantial investment in research and development and an unprecedented application of advertising and marketing.
24.04.14 3:05 am
Former NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell is set to be a featured guest at this year’s Dark Mofo festival, inside sources have revealed. In the guise of Fairy O’Barrell, the Liberal politician will perform as a celebrity sommelier offering wine advice to patrons in the Beer, Cider, Wine, Spirits And Other Hideously Overpriced Beverages But You’re A Captive Audience Haha pavilion.
Thomas Connelly, http://bogong-moth.blogspot.com/ Pic: of George Brandis
24.04.14 2:45 am
Much learning does not teach understanding, else it would have taught Hesiod and Pythagoras; and in our times Heraclitus may have included George Brandis. Our Attorney General, the one with an office that has a publicly funded book shelf over six feet tall, defended his ludicrous notion that we have the right to be bigots by summoning the ghost of the French Enlightenment hero Voltaire.
Fairfax. John Hawkins. Pic: onlinenewspoint.com First pub: April 23
24.04.14 2:30 am
Debris washed up on the coast of Western Australia, have raised hopes it may be from the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370: Fairfax: MH370 search: Debris washed up on WA coast to be investigated. If confirmed it would also confirm a prediction from Tasmanian Times’ writer John Hawkins. Hawkins predicted exactly where any debris from a crash into the Indian Ocean would end up.
Philip Adams Late Night Live, Radio National, Monday 21 April 2014 10:05PM
24.04.14 2:09 am
How free from a religious or sacred dimension is our political system? The West has prided itself for years on having shaped strong, secular and democratic institutions of government, devoid of a sacred element, but Philosopher Simon Critchley argues that political or civil theology is essential to the democratic process. He and Phillip engage in a wide ranging discussion, looking at the history of this concept, and how the politics of the West is becoming re-theologised.
AND, more philosophy on Radio National:
• Nicholas of Cusa and the Instruction of Ignorance On a slow boat journey from Constantinople to Venice in the early 15th century, scholar and papal diplomat Nicholas of Cusa set modern scientific method in train when he conceived of the value of ignorance as a means towards knowledge: The more one learns of one’s unknowing the more learned one is. Nicholas of Cusa is a figure of the scholarly moment, as philosophers and theologians mine ancient and medieval thought to critique modernity or to respond to contemporary realities such as religious pluralism.
Encounter, Radio National
24.04.14 12:30 am
On a slow boat journey from Constantinople to Venice in the early 15th century, scholar and papal diplomat Nicholas of Cusa set modern scientific method in train when he conceived of the value of ignorance as a means towards knowledge. The more one learns of one’s unknowing the more learned one is.
Max Atkinson. ABC Pic: of George Brandis. First published: April 21
22.04.14 7:00 am
Some observers would be surprised to see Senator George Brandis in conflict with leaders of ethnic and religious communities - including Greek, Arabic, indigenous and Jewish - because he insists on re-writing Section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act, the law prohibiting racial remarks.
Liz Smith. Pic: of Vanessa Goodwin MLC and Liberal Attorney-General. First pub: April 21
22.04.14 6:30 am
Having been a Greens member of the Huon Valley Council since 2002, and having made the decision to stand as a progressive independent for the seat of Huon in the Legislative Council election on May 3, I am often asked why I am not standing as a Greens candidate, and why I am no longer a member of the Tasmanian Greens.
• mark hawkes, in Comments: Following is a real life example (apart from name change) of what Goodwin wants to change; ‘Mr X, in your case, I see no alternative to immediate imprisonment, but part of the term will be suspended and other orders will be made to give recognition to, and encourage your efforts at rehabilitation. You are convicted and sentenced to ten months’ imprisonment, the execution of seven months of which is suspended on condition that you are subject to the supervision of a probation officer for a period of 18 months following your release. A special condition of the probation is that you undergo assessment and treatment for alcohol or drug dependency as directed by a probation officer. You will have to report to a probation officer at 114 Bathurst Street, Hobart within one clear working day of your release.’ (Justice Porter, supreme court Hbt 2014) This makes sense to me and I’m not well educated. I can’t believe Goodwin would make policy based on ‘Mercury’ readers comments FFS.
• Georgie Burgess, Examiner: Call for integrity power boost WHISTLEBLOWER advocates are calling for Tasmania’s Integrity Commission to boost its powers and be more like the New South Wales corruption body. The calls come in the wake of former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell’s sudden resignation after misleading the Independent Commission Against Corruption, and comments from Victoria’s corruption commissioner that more coercive powers were needed.
21.04.14 6:45 am
Wait a minute! Hold on! Just a second! Being a ‘nice guy’ should be meaningless in the world of politics.
news.com.au Wiki pic of Tony Abbott
21.04.14 6:35 am
PRIME Minister Tony Abbott’s own words are nagging him as he prepares for ruthless pruning in his first Budget.
21.04.14 6:15 am
All candidates in the upcoming Legislative Council elections are invited to provide a 200-word statement of their pitch to voters (and photo) for publication on Tasmanian Times. As always, first-in, best-dressed!x
21.04.14 6:10 am
I herewith submit an interim report on the state of play regarding MH 370 via my You Tube connections.
• John Hawkins, in Comments: This is the reason for the loss of this MH 370 for it makes these expensive fighters immediately redundant. America has the Freescale technology and if it does not release or lose it to a foreign nation as was about to happen it can continue making the fighters and sell them to the likes of us; and use the cheaper option at home. This is the scale of the problem for Lockheed and a long term defence contract worth literally 100’s of billions of dollars supplying planes to Canada , Japan, UK, Australia and other currently committed purchasers. A conspiracy theory or a fact? Over to you Mr Bond.
21.04.14 5:59 am
The “Respect the Mountain” forum ( here, here, and here ) at the Hobart Town Hall last month prompted Don Knowler to return to a diary he compiled after daily rambles on Mt Wellington during the previous year. In what promises to be a momentous year in the modern history of Kunanyi, the weekly diary gives the mountain and its wildlife its own voice. All Don’s Mother Mountain columns - and much more by this superb writer - can be found under the Category, Don Knowler, here
Gay Alcorn, Fairfax
21.04.14 5:45 am
The election of Palmer United Party’s Jacqui Lambie to the Senate surprised many. But a 10-year battle with Veterans’ Affairs shows the former soldier is no pushover.
• AK, in Comments: The sitting of the new senate should bring interesting times and with it some interesting people. From the makeup, it may be a big surprise for the incumbents when they realise they won’t be able to get their way as easily as they have done in the past. I doubt Jackie could do a worse job than the current swill of party empty heads and will probably be a thousand times better. Even though I have no time for PUP, or it’s backer, it may be a good thing to take odds on how long she remains a member of PUP, before becoming an independent. So I wish her all the best and may she and the other independents stand up for the people and not just vested interests.
Bob Ellis, http://www.ellistabletalk.com/ Pic: Bob Hawke, Neville Wran, at the peak of power
21.04.14 5:40 am
(From Goodbye Jerusalem, 1997) …..Nifty I had known in a different way
Jon Jureidini, Ockham's Razor, Radio National
21.04.14 5:30 am
It is more difficult than we think to define decent behaviour. We all understand it to mean being kind, generous and helpful. Child Psychiatrist Professor Jon Jureidini from the University of Adelaide takes a closer look at what it means to be a decent person. He says that decent acts are kind and generous, but more importantly, they are selfless.
Dr Alison Bleaney, Tasmanian Public & Environmental Health Network (TPEHN)
21.04.14 5:00 am
‘It is not acceptable for Forestry Tasmania to continue to use (aerially apply) alpha-cypermethrin to plantations in water catchments and also seek a derogation for its use from FSC as FSC has considered alpha-cypermethrin to be a hazardous chemical and already removed it from the FSC list of acceptable pesticides that can be used by forestry industries.’
Darren Gray Rural Affairs Reporter, Fairfax. Wikipedia pic
21.04.14 4:48 am
Plans to refurbish the historic Mount Buffalo Chalet have passed a major hurdle with the recent approval from Heritage Victoria for ‘‘outbuildings’’ behind the high country landmark to be demolished.
*John Addis, Business director and commentator on Crikey today (April 17). Garry Stannus pic of John Gay leaving court
17.04.14 7:34 pm
What the hell do the judges smoke down in the Apple Isle?
• phill Parsons, in Comments: The prosecution of Gay did not come cost free. Taxpayers paid ASIC to investigate and prosecute and to run the trial. A (small) fine would not seem to cover that. Gay’s honour is questioned in that he admitted he should have known and now knows what he did was wrong. Has Gay made any attempt to share with those who lost out or a contribution to charity[ies] of the ill-gotten bit?. Not that we know. So there Mr Pearce goes the real evidence of Gay’s honour. He is just a greedy little man. If the original plea wasn’t a stratagem it certainly appears so. A legal cook-up for a rich man who should set an example. Instead the Court has managed to lower reputation further. The behaviour of the system is contemptuous.
ABC. Wikpedia pic of Barry O'Farrell. First pub: Apr 16
17.04.14 6:30 am
New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell says he will resign owing to a “significant memory fail on my part” when giving evidence to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) yesterday.
• Basil Fitch, in Comments: Its no wonder ICAC never saw the light of day in Tasmania. The tentacles of deception stretching so far and wide would leave so few politicians, advisers, public servants, councillors, etc, etc. unscarred it would re-write the history books.
• John Hawkins, in Comments: He told a blatant lie under oath and was exposed by his thankyou letter and telephone calls; that is his problem. Abbott supported him and was immediately let down and made to look a fool. Pollies in general are low life and on the take; the NSW ICAC has the teeth to deal with such matters. Premier Hodgman, how about putting some teeth into the system derived by your mates Wilkinson, Hall and Harriss to protect your own; or do you also have a lot to hide?
• Penne, in Comments: I love these quotes from the article link (below); they could be directly applied to Tassie! ‘crony-capitalism is set up to benefit parasitic politicos and their private-sector cartel benefactors’
Vica Bayley, spokesperson for The Wilderness Society. Pic: Matt Newton
17.04.14 5:59 am
The Wilderness Society today corrected the Premier’s assertions about the ‘non-contentious’ nature of Tasmanian timber produced from areas established under the terms of the Tasmanian Forest Agreement (TFA), given his actions to ‘tear up’ the TFA and enable logging in TFA legislated reserves ( ABC, here ). ‘The TFA was about removing conflict and contention over forestry in Tasmania, but Mr Hodgman’s own actions, takes Tasmania backwards and reintroduces controversy, contention and uncertainty into the industry, its markets and aspirations for genuine certification,’ said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for The Wilderness Society.
THREE COMMENTS ON JAN DAVIS:
• John Hawkins: Jan you never address the real issues: 1). The states Privately owned forests if they are to be logged for any form of return to the owners have to compete with the product from a heavily subsidised loss making clear fell and burn GBE Forestry Tasmania.They cannot. 2). The Forestry Tasmania product is sold at a loss only to keep people employed and receives a trucking subsidy to transport the produce of our native forests to the docks.Will your private owners receive the same taxpayer funded favour? 3). All timber sourced from Tasmania has to have FSC accreditation to be saleable on the international market.It currently is not and will never be if the TFA is torn up, ask Ta Ann. 4) ...
• Andrew Denman (commenting on Jan Davis column): Couldn’t of put it better myself - well said!
• David Shepherd: As a private forest owner I have to agree with much of John Hawkins’ comments. It is not possible to compete with a government subsidised competitor in the forest industry at the moment and still make money. I do think that it may become so again or that the Government ceases to subsidise unprofitable industries as Tony Abbot promised. I have invested 500,000 in the belief that it will.
ALL COMMENTS ON JAN DAVIS’ COLUMN: HERE
Tasmanians for Transparency
17.04.14 5:50 am
Tasmanians for Transparency (TfT) has been alarmed to discover that several Government Departmental Libraries have been closed to public access.
• David Obendorf, in Comments: Is this correct – Tell me I am wrong? Knowledge and information is power, and with the closure of several important public libraries and repositories of archival collections we, the people, lose our ability to be informed about our society, to learn from decades of history and to access documents prepared by our Government and its bureaucracy.
Desmond Tutu, The Guardian. The Guardian. The New Yorker. Wikipedia Pic of Desmond Tutu. First pub: April 14
16.04.14 6:00 am
• We need an apartheid-style boycott to save the planet We must stop climate change. And we can, if we use the tactics that worked in South Africa against the worst carbon emitters
• Bolivia enshrines natural world’s rights with equal status for Mother Earth Law of Mother Earth expected to prompt radical new conservation and social measures in South American nation
• Fairfax: Up to their necks in it, farmers lead coal-seam gas protests by example ‘“We are seeing 75-year-old blokes standing locked on to machinery for nine hours after getting up at 3am to make a difference, to try to be heard by a system they believe is not listening,” she said.’
• Capitalism simply isn’t working, and here are the reasons why Economist Thomas Piketty’s message is bleak: the gap between rich and poor threatens to destroy us ...
• More on this story: Occupy was right: Capitalism has failed the world One of the slogans of the 2011 Occupy protests was ‘capitalism isn’t working’. Now, in an epic, groundbreaking new book, French economist Thomas Piketty explains why they’re right ...
• Milton Freeman, in Comments: Good post on inequality. There’s a bit now coming out on the topic. Adair Turner gave a paper 2 weeks ago titled Wealth, debt, inequality and low interest rates; Four big trends and some implications. It’s really worth a read ... The four trends are increasing inequality; rising wealth to income ratios (as detailed by Piketty) ; increasing private sector leverage; and much lower real interest rates.
Jason Turvey Spokesperson Respect The Mountain - No Cable Car http://www.respectthemountain.org.au MR *Pic: Rob Walls*
16.04.14 5:30 am
Respect The Mountain - No Cable Car has put together a website to explain why they don’t want a cable car on kunanyi / Mount Wellington. ( http://www.respectthemountain.org.au ). The group had originally tried to secure http://www.respectthemountain.com.au . However they found it was registered to Adrian Bold.
• Mike Bolan, in Comments: How to make millions in Tasmania. 1) ...
Southern Waste Solutions CEO Christine Bell. Angela Marsh, President, Southern Beaches Conservation Society Inc. (SBCS) MRs
16.04.14 5:20 am
• Southern Waste Solutions CEO Christine Bell: Southern Waste Solutions requests permit extension Southern Waste Solutions (SWS) has submitted a request to Sorell Council (granted by council last night) for an extension to its current permit to construct a C cell at its landfill facility in Copping.
• Angela Marsh, President, Southern Beaches Conservation Society Inc. (SBCS) The Deputy Mayor urged Councillors to determine the Southern Waste Solutions (SWS), application for the Copping C-cell permit extension purely as a planning application, disregarding community concerns.
AND, • Dear Michael Ferguson: Air Quality Health Protocol Hon Michelle O’Byrne has had years of trial burn seasons and Hon Lara Giddings has had years of discussions, but we still have not progressed beyond air monitoring, an attitude which is reflected nationwide. Improved air quality standards are long overdue, particularly when Launceston had 14 exceedences of PM 2.5 in 2013. Meanwhile, Hon Premier Hodgman is adding $28.5 million to fuel reduction burns (3.14 Liberal Fuel Reduction Policy), burning 5% of public land/ year, and landowners are audaciously encouraged to protect their ‘properties’. Yet there is no ‘health’ protection or evacuation assistance, nor is the EMPCA ever given prosecution powers, and damaging pollution continues to cross boundaries every day.
• Peter McGlone, Tasmanian Conservation Trust, in Comments: Household Hazardous Waste: Over the last 12 months the public debate over the proposed Copping hazardous waste disposal landfill (or C-cell) has been the catalyst for a renewed debate about a range of waste management issues. The proponent of the Copping C-cell, Southern Waste Solutions, has suggested a number of times that the community should refrain from criticizing the C-cell because most of us are probably sending household hazardous waste (HHW) to existing landfill sites, which are not designed to contain such wastes, and that this is probably causing significant environmental harm and risk to human health. The TCT will continue to criticise the proposal for a C-cell but we do agree that it is not acceptable to send HHW to landfill.
ABC. Pic: Matt Newton*. First pub: Apr 16
16.04.14 5:10 am
Convicted insider trader and former Gunns boss, John Gay, has been given the go head to manage two family companies.
Carol Rea Margate
16.04.14 5:05 am
TasWater wants to give developers a waiver on headworks fees ( TT here ). Well how about this TasWater!