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Contrition,Christine Nixon, Jo Chandler and their part in the inept response to the disaster on that very black Saturday.

This post is really a sort of post facto amusing aside to Ray’s excellent piece yesterday  and anyone who watches it would have to be rather horrified that this woman ever held a position of authority in Victoria. Frankly I have never seen such delusional thinking and convoluted self justification for ineptitude and bad management in a time of crisis. Please watch the video at my link below and if at the end of it you don’t wonder just how lucky Victorians are that this woman has been sacked I will be very surprised indeed.

click for source

The really scary thing about Nixon is that now that she has been shown to be in possession of such grossly poor judgement that she abandoned her post in the worst civil crisis in living memory and now  she is trying to peddle the spurious notion that what she did was nothing of consequence, that no fewer people would have died if she was not having a chat with Jo Chandler instead of being at her post. To my mind there is a big difference between being truly sorry and contrite for one’s errors and mistakes and trying to muddy the waters with pathetic excuse making and blame shifting was Nixon is trying to do in interviews like this one and the book she has written Jo Chandler (according to the published extracts that I have read) Blaming the messenger in the form of a rightly critical media for her own lapses of judgement is more than  just horribly offensive, as is the spurious notion that she has been treated harshly because she is an overweight woman. Heads up Christine, its not the size of your bum or the contents of your panties that people are angry about its your fatal lack of good sense when it really mattered.

Frankly I think that no one should buy the book that is to be launched and no sensible person should attend the launch either and if anyone is tempted to buy the book perhaps they should instead sent the purchase price to one of the families that lost someone on that fateful day as an act of personal contrition for even contemplating rewarding a woman like Christine Nixon (or Jo Chandler) for their part in the inept response to the disaster on that very black Saturday.

Cheers Comrades

The Black saturday royal Commision is over

It must be – the fat lady has ‘sung’

If you click on this photo you can make ms Nixon even larger, but not real life size.

The airwaves and broad tabloid sheets are full of scaving critercisms of fat Christine Nixon the person supposedly in charge of the black satyrday bushfires emergency crisis leaving the crisis centre at 6 o’clock to “have a meal with 2 friends at a North Melbourne bistro” knowing full well that people were dying and that fires were bearing down on more towns without checking to see if anyone had been warned.

But I am not going to join in that chorus of condemnation of the big lady with the big job and the big fat pay cheque of $380,000 per year. No, I will defend her.

It is a little known fact that Nixon is a raging diabetic (as if it isn’t half obvious from the photos of her girth) and she cannot go more than 3 hours without a Hungry Jacks whopper to pump up her sugar and fat levels. Yes she “had to eat” and that is why she was also late in getting to the crisis centre 3 hours after she knew the state was burning.

Lay off the fat lady. Let her eat.

(PS: The royal commissin is not really sponsored by Hungry Jacks. I clevely photoshopped the logo into the picture)

Why are ‘Wild Saturday’ victims being ignored?

My home, a victim of 'Wild Saturday' - Where are all the donations now you pricks????

On the Saturday of the 7th Febuary 2009 the Black Saturday bushfires took a hold on the State of Victoria (the place to be? My arse!!) and destroyed over 2,000 homes and took nearly 200 lives. Aussies world-wide like Mel Gibson, Kylee Minogue, Nickoff Kidman & Greg ‘I think with my dick’ Norman gave generously (as did the ordinary folks) and John Brumby collected over $300 million to hand out to the victims and gave them all free trips to Disneyland and the footy. This was called Black saturday and the whole world knew about it and went out of their way and took out loans to give mega-bucks to lend a helping hand to the poor buggers that got burned.

Now, On Saturday the 6th March 2010 the Wild Saturday storm of the century swept acoss the metropolis and cosmapolitan Melbourne destroying hundreds of thousand of homes – and even causing the Flemington races to arbandoned – But what did we the victims of this catastrophey get for all our pain and suffring?

I’ll tell you what we got … F*CK ALL!

Where are all the bleeding heart do-goodies this time, eh? Have youse got no compashen for your fellow man? Look at my f*cking home! And I don’t have any insurance !!!!!

Just give up one latte a day for the next month is all I ask. Give – until it hurts.

I demand an enquiry into this Mr Brumby.

Abbott’s “defining moment” defines Australia as still subservient to England

(by Ray Dixon ~ an Australian blogger who blogs for Australia, not for bloody England)

abbotts-australia

“Defining moment”

noun : a point at which the essential nature or character of a person, group, etc., is revealed or identified.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s comments that the arrival of the First Fleet was the defining moment in Australian history are interesting … but wrong. And dumb. In my opinion.

Before you rusted-ons jump up and down, I’m not commenting on the reactions and rebukes from indigenous leaders, who have claimed that Abbott’s remarks were an insult “ignoring 50,000 years of (aboriginal) history” that preceded the arrival of the First Fleet on the 26th of January 1788.

No disrespect intended to our indigenous past but even the National Museum could not find much of significance from that period to add to its list of 100 ‘moments’. And I hardly think that either the first rock art, the invention of the boomerang or the arrival of the dingo revealed, shaped or identified the essential nature or character of this nation. Let’s be realistic, there was little or no change in that long 50,000 year period.

No, I actually agree with Tony Abbott that Australia (as we know it today) was more shaped by events after the arrival of ‘white man’. I just think he chose the wrong event.

So putting that aside (PLEASE put it aside because I don’t want this to be an argument over ‘the invasion’) and looking at Australia post Captain Cook claiming it for Britain in 1770, what would you call Australia’s “defining moment”, bearing in mind the definition above? At what point was the “essential nature or character” of Australia revealed or identified?

This is what Abbott said:

Mr Abbott made the remarks at the opening of a history exhibition at the National Museum in Canberra on Friday, repeatedly stating that he believed the arrival of the First Fleet “was the defining moment in the history of this continent”.

“It was the moment this continent became part of the modern world. It determined our language, our law and our fundamental values.”

And this is why I think he was wrong:

The best that could be said about the arrival of the First Fleet – which was primarily the establishment of a penal colony to relieve congestion in England’s jails – is that it marked the ‘birth’ of a nation. I’d actually call it the ‘birth’ of Great Britain’s bastard child, seeing the intent was to dispose of its unwanted dregs but, nonetheless (and regardless of how you see it), the fact is that most people wouldn’t consider childbirth to be the defining moment of their life.

What “fundamental values” were determined by that event? A “fair go”? Equality? Freedom? Hardly.

For Tony Abbott to claim the arrival of the First Fleet of convicts revealed our “essential nature” is actually to say we are still in servitude to Great Britain. We are still unwanted. We are still inferior. We are still ‘the dregs’.

And that’s a very poor choice, especially coming from a Prime Minister who was born in England himself!

The arrival of the First Fleet and subsequent settlement at  Sydney Cove certainly facilitated more arrivals (of both convict and free people), but surely it was somewhere in the events that followed our ‘bastard birth’ that more defined the true character of this great country.

For example, McArthur’s arrival and introduction of Merino sheep in 1797 had far more impact on our nationhood, especially as it gave us our first significant industry – one that still survives today.

And Matthew Flinders circumnavigation of the continent in a tiny boat in 1802 after which he named the continent ‘Australia’, certainly went a long way to define the land on which we lived.

The Gold Rush of the 1850s was also a great defining moment that brought many people from many nations to try their luck, leading to the rebellion (against the British) at Eureka Stockade, an event that was wholly justified and demonstrated our stance against an oppressive authority.

I’d even rate Ned Kelly’s last stand at Glenrowan in 1880 as more “defining” than Abbott’s First Fleet moment.

But I’d say the most significant and “defining” moments in our history are these:

The Federation of Australia on 1 January 1901 when the six separate (British) colonies of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia formed as one nation with a federal government responsible for matters concerning the whole nation. That was when the Constitution of Australia came into force and when the formerly British colonies collectively became states of the Commonwealth of Australia – i.e. it was our ‘Independence Day’, albeit still with the Queen as Head of State. That event – the marking of our independence from British rule – was surely the moment that defined Australia throughout the 20th Century.

And:

The 1942 thwarting of the Japanese advancement on the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea (following the bombing of Darwin) when for nearly six months our soldiers fought bravely (with no thanks to the Brits) to prevent the Japanese establishing a stronghold at Port Moresby from where it intended to isolate (and possibly invade) Australia. That was the first (and so far only) time we have ever really had to fight for our survival and very existence. And we prevailed. It was truly an event of monumental importance in our history.

So what do you think of Abbott’s choice of the First Fleet of British dregs defining who we are?

What do you say is the most “defining moment” in our history from this list of 100 events put out by the National Museum?

(Note: I’ve bolded those I think are the most significant … and added a few of my own at the end) :

at least 52,000 years ago: Archaeological evidence of first peoples on the Australian continent

about 28,000 years ago: Earliest known Australian rock art engraved and painted

about 20,000 years ago: Earliest evidence of the boomerang in Australia

about 12,000 years ago: Sea level rises, separating Tasmania from mainland

about 5000 years ago: Arrival of the dingo, Australia’s first domesticated species

1606 Dutch explorer Willem Janssen becomes first European to map parts of the Australian coast

about 1700 Makasar from Sulawesi visit northern Australia and trade with Aboriginal people

1770 Lieutenant James Cook claims east coast of Australia for Britain

1788 Captain Arthur Phillip establishes convict settlement at Sydney Cove

1792 Aboriginal warrior Pemulwuy leads resistance against Sydney colonists

1797 Introduction and improvement of merino sheep

1802–03 Matthew Flinders circumnavigates continent, which he names ‘Australia’

1813 Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth cross Blue Mountains

1830 The ‘Black Line’ — settler force attempts to corral Aboriginal people on the Tasman Peninsula

1836 Governor Richard Bourke funds Protestant and Catholic churches in New South Wales on equal basis

1838 Myall Creek massacre, New South Wales

1851 Gold rushes in New South Wales and Victoria begin

1854 Rebellion of goldminers at Eureka Stockade, Ballarat, Victoria

1854 Australia’s first railway line opens in Victoria

1856 Secret ballot introduced and all adult men given the vote, South Australia

1856 Melbourne building workers win an eight-hour day

1858 First organised game of Australian Rules football

1859 Rabbits successfully introduced into Australia

1861 First Melbourne Cup horse race

1868 Convict transportation to Australia ends

1868 Aboriginal cricket team tours England

1872 Free, compulsory and secular education introduced, Victoria

1872 Completion of the Overland Telegraph from Darwin to Port Augusta, South Australia

1879 Australia’s first national park created — (now Royal) National Park, Sydney

1880 The Bulletin established

1880 Ned Kelly’s last stand at Glenrowan, Victoria

1885 Victorian Employers’ Union formed

1885 BHP begins mining silver, zinc and lead at Broken Hill, New South Wales

1887 Chaffey brothers introduce irrigation on Murray River

1889 9 by 5 Impression Exhibition shows paintings by Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Charles Conder, Melbourne

1890–91 Depression and strikes; formation of the Labor Party

1894 Legislation introducing women’s suffrage, South Australia

1901 Inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia

1901 White Australia policy enshrined in law

1902 Commonwealth Franchise Act gives women the vote in federal elections

1903 William Farrer begins distribution of ‘Federation’ wheat

1906 Australia takes control of Papua as an ‘external territory’

1907 Justice HB Higgins hands down ‘Harvester Judgement’

1908 Legislation introducing national age and invalid pensions

1911 Douglas Mawson leads Australasian expedition to Antarctica

1912 Australian Government introduces a maternity allowance

1913 Foundation of Canberra as national capital

1915 New South Wales Government gains unfettered power to remove Aboriginal children from their families

1915 Australian troops land at Gallipoli

1916 Federal–state agreement for Soldier Settlement

1916–17 Conscription for military service overseas defeated in two referendums

1917 Completion of Trans-Australian Railway linking Western Australia and the eastern states

1920 Country Party founded at national level

1920 Qantas established

1924 Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association formed

1932 Height of the Great Depression, with 32 per cent unemployment

1932 Foundation of the Australian Broadcasting Commission

1932–33 England cricket team in Australia on ‘Bodyline’ Ashes tour

1936 Tasmania’s thylacine becomes extinct

1938 Sydney celebrates 150th anniversary of British settlement; Aboriginal leaders hold Day of Mourning

1942 Japanese bomb Darwin but are halted on Kokoda Track

1943 First women elected to Australian federal parliament

1944 Formation of Liberal Party of Australia

1945 Florey, Fleming and Chain win Nobel Prize for developing penicillin

1945 National introduction of unemployment and sickness benefits

1945 Australia plays a leading role in founding United Nations

1945 Australian Government announces post-war migration drive

1948 Australia’s first locally made car, the Holden 48-215, launched

1949 Chifley government begins Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme

1949 Election of the Menzies government — the longest serving in Australian history

1951 Australia signs ANZUS treaty with New Zealand and the United States

1954 Visit of Queen Elizabeth II, the first by a reigning monarch 1955 Split within Australian Labor Party; formation of the Democratic Labor Party

1956 Television introduced in time for Australia’s first Olympic Games, Melbourne

1960 Australian Government lifts restrictions on export of iron ore

1961 Introduction of the oral contraceptive pill

1966 Holt government effectively dismantles White Australia Policy

1966 Gurindji strike (or Wave Hill walk-off) led by Vincent Lingiari

1967 Australians vote overwhelmingly to alter the Constitution allowing Aboriginal people to be counted in the Census and subject to Commonwealth laws

1970 Moratorium to protest Australian involvement in Vietnam War

1972 Aboriginal tent embassy established in front of Parliament House, Canberra

1972 Conciliation and Arbitration Commission grants equal pay for men and women

1973 Sydney Opera House opens

1974 Cyclone Tracy hits Darwin

1975 Governor-General dismisses Whitlam government

1976 Australian Government passes Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act

1978 First Gay Mardi Gras march, Sydney

1978 Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) established

1983 Floating of the Australian dollar

1983 Protests against Franklin Dam in Tasmania lead to formation of the Greens

1984 Australian parliament passes Sex Discrimination Act

1991 Port Hedland immigration detention centre opens

1992 High Court decision in Mabo case establishes native title

1996 Port Arthur massacre leads to tighter gun laws

2000 Walk for Reconciliation across Sydney Harbour Bridge

2001 Australian troops take control of Tampa carrying rescued asylum-seekers

2002 Bali bombing kills 88 Australians

2004 Australia signs Free Trade Agreement with the United States

2008 National Apology to the Stolen Generations

2009 ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires kill 173 people in Victoria

And they forgot about these:

1966 St Kilda wins its first (and so far only) VFL/AFL Premiership

1972 Election of Whitlam Government marks the end of conscription and our involvement in the Vietnam War

1983 Australia II wins the America Cup

2005 Makybe Diva wins an unprecedented 3rd consecutive Melbourne Cup

2010 Julia Gillard shoots the Labor Party in the foot by knifing its most popular ever Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

2014  Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott lose the plot

What the AGE really means in this advertorial for Christine Nixon’s book

Those of you who have ever taken the time to read those throwaway suburban papers will realise that most of the articles are in fact just text adverts for the people who have paid for display ads in that edition. Some local rags are entirely up front about it, Heck I’ve even written a few blurbs when we have taken out advertising ourselves. So for the elucidation of the Sandpit’s readers I will translate the text of this advertorial  for a contentious book:

SHE has been copping a daily beating from journalists, police and the public but Christine Nixon was finally among friends at the launch of her autobiography, Fair Cop.

The sisterhood does not care that many people die on that black Saturday as it comes together to celebrate a wonderful example of excuse making and blame shifting.

The former police chief got a standing ovation as she took the lectern at the Hotel Windsor yesterday.

The same crowd who loved David Hicks’ book just happened to be in town so of course they cheered for Nixon, Chandler and Gillard.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard sidestepped the controversy about Ms Nixon’s career as she launched the book, which was co-written by Age journalist Jo Chandler, saying she was ”not here today to adjudicate” on Ms Nixon’s decisions on Black Saturday.

The Prime Minister was delighted to be on the stage with two women who are probably loathed  as much as she is and she is very fond of the old saying “Judge not lest ye be judged” when it comes to Nixon’s Black Saturday performance.


 

Among friends: Former police chief Christine Nixon with co-author Jo Chandler (left) and Julia Gillard at the book launch. Photo: Angela WylieTranslation: the Prime Minister is so desperate for friends that she is delighted to share the stage with a far left Warminista and the woman who is loathed more than she is.

”I am here because Christine Nixon is a high-achieving Australian whose long journey of public service deserves our attention and regard,” Ms Gillard said.

“I am here to see how well getting a journalistic hack to rewrite history to make the people forget my bad judgement and poor decisions might work ”  Ms Gillard said.

But she did say that Black Saturday would be ”a day Christine will reflect on for the rest of her life”.

That mushroom risotto will be repeating on Christine Nixon for the rest of her life.

The Prime Minister then declared Top Cop officially launched, bungling the book’s title.

True to form the Prime Minister stuffed up the books title when she officially launched it.

It was left to the publisher, Louise Adler of Melbourne University Press, to take on Ms Nixon’s foes in the media and the police in a firebrand speech.

Desperate to recoup the publishers costs, Louise Adler of Melbourne University Press, worked hard to spin Nixon’s sorry history as something positive.

”She took on a coalition of hardcore recidivist police resistant to change, opportunistic politicians adept at the dog whistle and a tabloid media both stoking and profiting from resentment and ignorance,” Ms Adler said. ”What better target could that nasty coalition have than a woman intent on cultural change at the helm of a largely macho organisation?”

Ms Nixon is not really bad, she is just a victim of all of these nasty men who were just out to get her because she is a woman with a few extra kilos to carry around and her problems are all a result of the resistance  of the evil patriarchy.

Ms Adler also revealed that a Herald Sun reporter had called her during a news conference last Friday, evidently by mistake, and left on her voicemail a discussion about how to structure a story on Ms Nixon and her book.

Ms Adler also revealed alleged  that a Herald Sun reporter had called her during a news conference last Friday, evidently by mistake, and left on her voicemail a discussion about how to structure a story on Ms Nixon and her book. Thus alluding to the hack gate scandal in the UK

It was ”a small insight into how easily and insouciantly truth is manufactured and reputations are taken apart,” Ms Adler said.

I know that among my friends here if I suggest that the  MURDOCH EVIL EMPIRE is behind the trashing of this righteous Sista’s name I will get applause.

Labor Party elders Joan Kirner, Barry Jones and Mary Delahunty were there, as were several who lived through the Black Saturday fires.

The Party faithful were in attendance to help Nixon to play her victim card to perfection and they even managed to get some Black Saturday victims to  attend even though most are unimpressed with Nixon

Former Victorian premier Ms Kirner – who knows a few things about being a woman in power and being picked on by the media – said Ms Nixon was ”fair game” when she was in power, but that the recent pursuit of her was ”bullying”, not reporting.

Joan “Im a victim of the nasty MURDOCH EVIL EMPIRE too” Kirner said that Nixon should not be criticised just because she is trying to promote her self serving book on any media outlet that will give her air time and that they should just get with the program to promote a book from a righteous member of the sistahood.

”In the book she named bullies and this is what I think the Herald Sun approach has been about since she left public life,” Ms Kirner said.

In the book she has a big sook about the MURDOCH EVIL EMPIRE who just hate the idea of a sista making herself look good in print.

Later, Ms Nixon suggested people ought to ”move on” from their anger over her decision to leave her post for a pub dinner on Black Saturday.

Later Nixon was suggesting  the great mushroom risotto and saying that after that  they should “move on ” to a cold desert when people are dying on a Black Saturday.

All quotes from here
Well I hope that makes the Age piece entirely clear to our readers 😉
Cheers Comrades

Nixon, Chandler & The Age go for ‘The Triple Banger’

If you want to rewrite history then hire a fiction writer.

Why does it come as no surprise that on the eve of the launch of ex-Victorian Chief Police Commissioner Christine Nixon‘s controversial book Fair Cop, The Age newspaper in Melbourne is running an article under the heading News out to ruin me: Nixon ?

Why? Well, to start with, the whole article is clearly plugging the book’s release. It’s a promotional (or puff) piece of ‘advertorialising’ dressed up as a serious news story that is clearly designed to draw attention and bolster interest (and sales) of the book … which just happens to be authored by Age senior writer Jo Chandler.

But there’s more to this self-serving and intellectually dishonest article. It’s a three-pronged attack that:

  1. Blatantly plugs Nixon’s & Chandler’s book.
  2. Deflects blame for Nixon’s failures by shooting the messenger.
  3. Takes a free swipe at The Age’s only real opposition in the print media, News Ltd.

It’s the old ‘triple-banger’. Why settle for one piece of shite journalism when you can go the whole hog and score a few more free hits? In for a penny, in for a pound and let good, unbiased reporting be damned. This is rubbish.

The article starts out with claims by Nixon that News Ltd papers were “instrumental in bringing down her successor in the job, Simon Overland”. As if she’d know. Nixon claims that News Ltd “turned on Mr Overland after he criticised The Australian for publishing leaked information that he said could have compromised a major terrorism raid”. That’s utter crap. The truth is that the new Baillieu government wanted Overland out because he was a Brumby appointment and they felt he was not ‘their man’. All those stories on Overland’s so-called bias & bungles run by the Herald Sun – that, yes, were damning – were actually fed to the media by the State Government, who were the real drivers of Overland’s unfair demise. And they were run in The Age, on the ABC and in most other media outlets too. News Ltd was just a messenger and, while they may have only been too pleased to run with the story and then some, there is no doubt whatsoever that Overland was dead-man-walking from the moment Ted Baillieu surprisingly won office late last year. Even if News Ltd had played the leaks down, Baillieu would have got rid of him one way or the other. Talk about shooting the messenger.

Nixon then goes on (or, more correctly, the Age writer directs her on) to use the treatment of Overland as some kind of parallel to the very damning news articles that were run by the Herald Sun after Nixon’s amazing mea culpa at the Black Saturday bushfires Royal Commission. She accuses them of conducting “a relentless campaign … to force her from public life”:

”In the 2½ years since retiring, they have run a vendetta against me. They have published articles and beat up stories saying I am not supposed to teach courses, shouldn’t be allowed to sit on boards, not allowed to do leadership lectures, should have quit my job as chair of the Bushfire Recovery Authority, should not mentor people, and the final one is I am not allowed to write a book.

But Nixon (and The Age) conveniently overlook the fact that what the Herald Sun was running – albeit with great vigour and enthusiasm – was exactly what the great majority of the general public believed in too.

Look, despite what *some* people seem to believe, the general public is not that stupid as to be swayed by the Herald Sun’s so-called campaign to ‘oust’ Ms Nixon. We all know that they put a slant on many of their lead stories but we all sat through those live streams of Christine Nixon giving evidence and being cross-examined (twice) quite brilliantly at the Royal Commission, or at least we saw large excerpts of them on our TVs. And boy, did that speak for itself or what?

And, exactly what political agenda does Ms Nixon (and The Age) think News Ltd had in wanting her out? How was that in any way political or biased? Wasn’t the real problem that John Brumby, in a rather bizarre move, chose not to sack Ms Nixon following her self-inflicted downfall and, instead, appointed her to another highly paid position ($380,000 per year, I believe) to head up the bushfire recovery task force? Of course it was. The public was rightfully outraged by this slap in the face. To think that Nixon should be further rewarded, despite her obvious shortcomings, was too much for most fair-minded people to bear, and the hard-hitting Herald Sun articles certainly reflected that.

Sure, according to many bushfire victims, Nixon did a good job in the recovery (although according to just as many others, she didn’t) but that was not, and is not, the point. The point is that most people believed she should not have been given that job in the first place and, instead, cut off from the public purse to make her own way in the private world (with a bloody big payout of course).

But it doesn’t stop there. No, The Age somehow manages to relate all this back to what is taking place in the UK:

Ms Nixon said what had emerged overseas following the News of the World hacking scandal was that News Ltd tries to intimidate people who get in its way. ”They make people fearful of saying anything in case they have the [News Ltd] guns targeted at them. Against me they used vehicles like the Police Association to fire the bullets. The person who loads the gun is the Herald Sun and The Australian.”

Oh, yeah, drag in the entirely unrelated British hacking scandal to suggest the Evil Empire was after her too. Maybe they hacked her mobile phone that she switched off for three hours when she went out to dinner while the State burned and people died? And hasn’t she got something wrong in that statement above? Is she seriously suggesting that News Ltd tells the Police Association what to do and say in public? Wouldn’t it be more the other way around? Wouldn’t it be the self-serving Police Association (a sort of union and a most unimpressive body, I agree) that would feed stories to the media and let them run with it to suit their own ends? I think so.

And then, to top it all off, the article attempts to back up Nixon’s claims of News Ltd’s so-called campaign against her by quoting whole slabs of excerpts from Chandler’s book, such as below, which sounds like they’re appealing to their own authority:

In her book she reflects how Herald Sun editor Simon Pristel rang her media person one night at 6 o’clock during the Bushfires Royal Commission and asked if it was true that on the night of Black Saturday she had held a party at home to celebrate her departure from Victoria Police. The spokeswoman told him it was not true, but that Ms Nixon had gone to a local hotel for a quick meal with her husband, her father and a friend.

”It was a fishing exercise. Pristel was still quite new to the job, and one of the trademarks of his editorship would be to bring to the Herald Sun – once distinguished by its concise, straight-bat coverage of issues – more of the shrill Fleet Street ‘red top’ tabloid formula of ‘name and shame’ campaigning,” she wrote.

”It would cast itself as moral arbiter. Such a culture can have little regard for fairness, or for nuance, and a lot to do with selling newspapers and, sometimes, with pursuing its own agendas.

Or maybe Pristel was onto something. At her first appearance at the Royal Commission Nixon failed to disclose that she had left her post early and ‘gone to a pub’ for dinner, so obviously Pristel’s call was made after that first appearance. If he was fishing then that’s exactly what he should have been doing as a professional and thorough journalist – looking for the truth. So what if he asked if she held a party at home and got that bit wrong? He was onto something and it came out … in her ‘media person’s’ response AND under further cross-examination. The HeraldSun had every right (and indeed a duty) to pursue the question of Nixon’s exact whereabouts on Black Saturday after she failed to disclose it the first time .. under oath!

And this excerpt from Chandler’s book is so self-pitying and self-aggrandizing that it’s almost sickening:

”In the wake of the royal commission, I was informed by sources that the Herald Sun had told them unequivocally that they would see me brought down, the attacks would continue until I quit or was sacked. By now, the paper was heavily invested in demonising me to its audience, and so my pursuit also became a matter of editorial ego. The prize would be my scalp.”

Yes, I too wanted to see Nixon “brought down”. She certainly should have quit before she did and I reckon the great majority of the Victorian population felt the same way … and they certainly didn’t need the Herald Sun to spell it out for them. Nixon demonised herself while the paper simply gave its ‘audience’ what they wanted to hear. What nearly everyone wanted to hear.

But this excerpt from Chandler’s book takes the cake. Here Nixon and Chandler attempt to paint the Royal Commission as “failing” in its outcomes, the implication (of course) being that their findings about her leadership were also wrong:

In the book, Ms Nixon says she believed the Bushfires Royal Commission had failed to achieve its aim of producing better leadership. Instead, it was likely to lead to risk-averse management, with leaders constantly on the lookout to ”cover their arse” during a disaster. ”This is dangerous. Such thinking might dissuade leaders, whether at the political level, in the crisis room, or out at the fire front, from bold and brave decisions in the moment.”

So it wasn’t her fault? She made “bold & brave decisions” on the day? What, like getting her hair done, keeping a private appointment and, of course … dinner.

Well, at least the Royal Commission (and The Age) finally got something right. The article finishes with this telling paragraph. I guess even The Age did not have the audacity to leave this out and, besides, they’d already achieved their objectives of flogging the book, whitewashing Nixon’s record and sticking it to the opposition. The truth doesn’t get in the way of this story because it only appears at the very end:

The commission found that Ms Nixon’s approach to emergency co-ordination during Black Saturday ”left much to be desired” and condemned her performance as ”hands off”. It said she should not have left emergency headquarters at dinner time, particularly when she had no deputy acting in her place.

And that speaks for itself. Not even a senior writer could bend that truth.

I am no fan of News Ltd and I agree that the Herald Sun in particular does run agendas. I just disagree with others on their impact on the public at large and especially the impact they have on things like election results. We ALWAYS get the government we want and deserve – that’s our history. But give me a break: For Nixon, Chandler and The Age to suggest that News Ltd were almost solely responsible for Ms Nixon’s so-called woes (and I bet she’s doing it real tough) is nothing more than one media outlet taking a free swipe at its major opposition. It’s self-serving crap – in more ways than one.

Oh, the article also carries a readers’ poll that says: Was Christine Nixon given a fair go by the media? Please select an answer. Yes/No

But I’d like to add a few more:

  1. Has Christine Nixon’s book (that was written by an Age journalist) been given one almighty leg up and a great big free plug by The Age?
    Please select an answer. Yes/No
  2. Do you think News Ltd’s reports on Nixon in the aftermath of the Black Saturday Royal Commission where she admitted failing her duties were a reasonable reflection of general community sentiment?
    Please select an answer. Yes/No
  3. Is The Age trying to stick it to its opposition News Ltd with this self-serving article?
    Please select an answer. Yes/No
  4. Is Christine Nixon a screaming hypocrite to blame the media for her poor image while using another paper to enhance it?
    Please select an answer. Yes/No
  5. Are Christine Nixon, Jo Chandler & The Age ‘shooting the messenger’ by claiming that News Ltd “ruined her”?
    Please select an answer. Yes/No
  6. Would you buy Christine Nixon’s/Jo Chandler’s self-serving book Fair Cop?
    Please select an answer. Yes/No
  7. If “yes”, how much would you pay for it?
    Please select an answer. $40, $30, $20, $10, $5, $1, Nothing – you’d have to pay me to read it.
  8. Has the author of Nixon’s book, Age journalist Jo Chandler, ever written anything worth reading?
    Please select an answer. Yes/No/Jo who?

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‘Gang of four’ fire fools down to one

This might not be of much interest to those outside ‘The State of No Greens’, Victoria. Where I live. The only place to be … unless theres a fire.

I dunno if having the coalition in government will make much difference to the economy, public transport or the way things are run in general. I doubt it.

But one positive is the announcement by the State Emergency Services Commissioner Bruce Esplin that he is resigning after 10 fruitless and incompetent years in the job. Post haste. Like, straight away.

Esplin knows he wont last 5 minutes after Baillieu is sworn in. Why?

Well this is the bloke responsible for developing and putting emergency plans into action in the event of a State emergency like, you know, a big flood or … a f*cking big bushfire like we had in February 2009!

The problem was that even though Esplin had been in his very well paid job for about 8 years, come Black Saturday he hadn’t actually got around to having such a plan. No plan for early warnings, no plan for evacuations or escape routes and no plan on how to co-ordinate the fire fighting and other emergency services.

Worst of all he did not even declare a ‘State of Emergency’ on the day of the biggest emergency in the State’s history. This would have allowed the Army to be called in. You know, so they could go in and try to save some of the 173 lives that were lost. Why didn’t he do that? Well not much point seeing he hadn’t got around to putting the Army on notice even though the conditions were predicted days ahead. What a dick.

Even now nearly 2 years later bald eagle Esplin still doesn’t have a real emergency plan.

I wonder how much hes paid? My guess is about $300,000 per year.

I wonder what sort of payout he will get? My guess is a few $million. For what?

Thanks for nothing Esplin. F*ck off and stay away.

In case you don’t know or dont remember here are the others from the Black Saturday ‘Gang of four fire fools’:

Police chief Christine Nixon: Officially the person in charge but chose to get a hair cut and spend an hour or so chatting with her ‘biographer’, Age journo Jo Chandler, knowing full well the State was burning. And then after spending only 3 hours in the emergency centre – doing nothing – went out to the pub for dinner and switched her mobile off. While people died. Bad luck for Jo Chandler whose first book looks like never seeing the bookstore shelves. If its ever published it’ll go straight on the $2 table. 

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CFA chief Russell Rees: Best described as a meek, mild & shy man. Not the type you would want marshalling the troops and leading from the front. Did not have a clue where the fires were and appeared to think it was someone elses job. Left ground crew stranded and gave no clear instructions or necessary data. A hopelessly inept bureaucrat.

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DSE chief Ewan Waller: The guy in charge of protecting our State forests. Probably thought it was just another opportunity to have a bloody big burn off like in 2003 & 2006 when he let the slow-moving fires in the northeast of the State all join up into one mega-burn that went for 6 weeks. Keeps hiring more salaried firefighters and expanding his empire. Keeps NOT fighting fires or putting them out. Loves a burn off though. Why is he still there?

Come on Baillieu, give this final member of ‘The gang of four’ fire fools the flick.

‘PM, you know this information didn’t come from the Liberals. You’ll need to look a lot closer to home.”

28th July timetable

I was feeling a bit flat yesterday which is why I was rather absent from the comment threads for most of the day, But this little story is one that looks like it will keep giving as it is revealed that Julia Gillard is some what less than caring about the plight of our pensioners and (surprise surprise!) rather indifferent to those women who do the right thing for the country and make the next generation of Aussies.

She allegedly argued that it was wrong to think the scheme, due to start on January 1, would be an electoral winner because it would be resented by people beyond child-bearing age and stay-at-home mothers.

It is also claimed she questioned the size of last year’s $14 billion age pension boost – which delivered an extra $30 a week in the single base rate – commenting that the elderly didn’t vote Labor.

Ms Gillard did not deny the claims last night. ”I was very pleased to be a member of the Labor team that delivered these two historic achievements. Pensioners and families deserve more support, and this government has given them that support,” she said. ”Cabinet discussions are confidential.”

The claim that she opposed paid parental leave in cabinet emerged just two days after she used Sunday’s televised leaders’ debate to talk up the government’s scheme, which will offer primary carers 18 weeks’ paid leave at the minimum wage of about $570 a week.

Her allegedly negative stance on the pension boost was also at odds with her positive reference to it during the leaders’ debate, which elicited a positive movement in the ”worm” meter that tracked TV studio audience responses. ”We did a major increase in the pension to help older Australians,” she said.

Cabinet sources could not recall that Ms Gillard had made the reported comments on parental leave and pensions in cabinet. But the key decisions were often taken in the ”kitchen cabinet” of Kevin Rudd, Treasurer Wayne Swan, Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner and Ms Gillard.

Oakes, who was also the recipient of the leak about an alleged leadership deal on the night before Ms Gillard deposed Mr Rudd, identified his source last night as Labor.

When Ms Gillard responded that if the Liberals had allegations to make, they should put their names to them, Oakes said: ”PM, you know this information didn’t come from the Liberals. You’ll need to look a lot closer to home.”

I must admit that I just love the fact that even though he is dead to the Labor party that Brother Number One or one of his supporters is doing their darnedest to ensure that the woman who struck the killing blow will be reminded of the unwashable blood that is on her assassin’s hands. I bet that Gillard wishes that she could bug Laurie Oakes’ Phone and email accounts so that she could find out just who his source is.
It is no surprise though that Gillard would argue against maternity leave though and like a lot of socialists she actually does not care about pensioners, preferring to spend the money that the rise in their stipends costs on schemes for which she could have her name put to like building that shiney new school hall project… Hmm if only so many of the “Labor mates” had not had their noses so deeply in the trough of government largess then she would not have to contend with stories like this one in today’s OZ:

In Victoria, BER projects were run by the state Education Department for greater efficiency.

School principals and parent councils were not given financial details of projects or control over construction.

However, a major building company hired to carry out works on 33 schools told the inquiry that construction costs were inflated and the building permit fees were “considerably higher than we normally pay”.

BDH Constructions managing director Henry Bongers said: “The designs of most of the templates would be some of the most expensive we have been involved with on a square-metre basis mainly due to the shapes and structural design.”

He also said that building permits took too long and, as a result, many sites that had been set up and fenced “lay dormant” for up to four months.

“I believe that with better planning and more consultation with building industry representatives, the whole process would have been more organised, streamlined and had much better value for money,” Mr Bongers wrote in his submission.

Another builder, Vaughan Constructions, described as “rorting” the practice of bundling individual projects into a single, large contract to enable workers to be paid an additional hourly site allowance.

Vaughan Constructions general manager Andrew Noble said the practice, which was endorsed earlier this year by the Victorian Building Industry Disputes Panel, “has major consequences to the cost of the BER program”.

Horsham Rural City Council raised doubts about the limited use of local builders in the BER process and “the minimal economic benefits” to the local economy.

“This appears to be very evident in Horsham and Wimmera, a region which has been impacted by the long-term drought and, more recently, the Black Saturday bushfires,” said Tony Bawden, economic development general manager. “To our knowledge, the bulk of tenders let in our region have been to builders from outside the region.”

The Masters Builders Association of Victoria also expressed concerns about the cost of building permits, which it says blew out to four times greater than normal in Western Victoria.

Several schools complained about not getting value for money or being disadvantaged by being a government school and having the Victorian department run the BER program. Bannockburn Primary School council president Les Rowe wrote in his school’s submission: “Our building is to be the same size as a school portable yet is costed at least three times this amount.”

Fish Creek and District Primary School principal Robin Smith told the inquiry he did “not believe the timeliness, the transparency, or the final product delivers best value to our community”.

Mr Diment, whose Ocean Grove Primary School falls in Labor’s marginally held seat of Corangamite, said he still did not know when his school’s BER project was going to be completed.

click for the Courier Mail story

The final layer of this rather putrid cake is the revelation that the rail line to Redcliffe just won’t happen unless the  Bligh government can find the necessary 300 million to provide the rolling stock and other necessities to actually make the trains run. Now this is a very big ask for the woman who leads a government which has been mad keen to sell off the most profitable parts of the rail net work( the Coal trains) and other infrastructure assets so that she can balance her budget the reality is that the often promised Redcliffe rail line will be a huge impost of the Queensland budget and there is every chance that despite these promises the only trains that will run in Redcliffe any time soon will be those built by the local model railway  club.

So lets see what new developments are revealed in today’s exiting journey in the Omnibus and I know that I have concentrated on the woes of the Government here today but I fully expect that Ray will pipe up and enunciate the foibles of the opposition in the comemnts

Cheers Comrades

Update

I am watching Gillard’s news conference about the Leak to Laurie and she looks rather rattled the tone of her voice is very clearly angry. This is a rather clear difference to the more measured and spin stained efforts earlier in this campaign. For the first time she is being asked the hard questions and its very clear that she doesn’t like it one bit !

Tune in to ABS news24 now!

Cheers Comrades

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