Shock: Pot calls kettle black

A beautiful quote from Howard in this article about Labor's long-awaited Tasmanian forests policy.

"It's a grubby preference deal" which is pretty amusing coming from the party that is preferencing right-wing Christian party Family First.

"and if he can break his word to the workers of Tasmania why should any Australian believe any promise he makes to them at any stage during this election campaign." So Mr Howard, is that a core promise or a non-core promise?

Summary Offences revistied

An email on the Critical Mass Sydney email list brought a court case involving the NSW Summary Offences Act to my attention. My last clash with this insidious piece of legislation was when organising a protest against the Internet censorship legislation for EFA.

On that occasion, the coppers initially refused our protest because it was at lunch time and involved a march which would cause disruption to traffic. I now see why they backed down so quickly, with this lovely quote from the judge:

It is in the very nature of the entitlement to peaceful protest that disruption will be caused to others.

I'd recommend the case to anyone planning protests in NSW. It basically says that the police have very very limited rights to oppose any protest that has been correctly notified to the Police.

And this choice nugget:

I order the Commissioner to pay the defendant's costs.


Seems I do have a vote

Spoke to a very helpful woman at the AEC and it turns out Holly and I are enrolled to vote, just not at the address we expected. I'm sure we enrolled and registered as overseas voters from my parents' address, but it turns out we're enrolled at our old place in Stanmore. This probably means that all our previous votes were discarded.

The good news, however, is it means our votes are a bit more use in lower house elections. At my parents' place, it's super-safe Liberal whereas Stanmore (Grayndler) is somewhat less safe Labor.

I've been Florida-ed

I just checked on the AEC web site and it seems I've been dropped off the electoral roll in Australia. This is despite the fact that I registered as an overseas elector before we left the country.

I have certainly voted in every State and Federal election since we left, so there's no excuse for removing me there. I've sent them an email and will be phoning them tomorrow night if I haven't heard from them by then. Bastards.

Fortunately there is another way for me to get back on the roll. I was in Oz for more than a month last year, which means the three year limit starts again. However, I wanna know why they removed me in the first place!

Election night television coverage

I don't normally pass these things on, but this is a classic.

Forwarded from a friend...

The Sydney Morning Herald's Monday "TV Guide" has a section devoted to home entertainment with a Q&A column where you can email any queries about sound systems, tvs etc. Below is a question I emailed in and the reply.

I wonder if they'll publish it next Monday?

Subject: Re: election night electricity blues

Q If John Howard wins on election night I intend to smash my television with an axe during his acceptance speech, ideally with the television running.

What safety precautions should I put in place?

A The trick is smashing the television without electrocuting yourself (and the risk is high) so we would suggest standing well to the side and hitting the screen at an edge, so the television will be broken without the axe penetrating far enough to contact the internal electronics. Ensure the axe has a wooden handle (preferably hickory, the preferred handle of professional wood choppers), wear rubber gloves and soles and ensure you're standing on a dry surface. Wear eye protection. Note that the television will not explode, it will implode (there's a vacuum inside the tube). This should ensure that the shower of glass will be directed more at John Howard and less at you. Disconnect the power as soon as possible after the axing.

You may want to arrange a drop sheet to collect the bits. Before we spend any more time on this, however, we need to know if you're making a mere threat or if this is a core promise.

Further to my email.

You might enjoy John Clarke's response.

Before you smash the set, it might be a good idea to just check that there is not a swimming carnival on any of the other channels. Water is a good conductor of electricity and unless your feet are well off the ground, electrocution through leaking sports coverage is a constant danger in the expression of dissent in Australia, especially with axes.

A shotgun, fired from outside the window, should blow the set up, start a small fire and offer a blistering critique of the status-quo without buggering the carpet.

Peter Garrett sell-out watch episode 1

Peter Garrett has already sold out on one of his main principles. He now doesn't want to see Pine Gap shut down, which puts him in line with ALP policy but puts him a long way from his own Nuclear Disarment Party's policy.

Now admittedly he's been focussing on environment issues more than peace issues these days, but it is still pretty galling for him to so readily drop such an important issue. He's going to lose a lot of friends if he stays on this path. What next, helping the ALP appease the CFMEU's Forestry Division by dropping objections to woodchipping?