Propaganda Watch Links

( Blog site started only on 15 March in response to Murdoch's Brisbane Sunday Mail newspaper's smearing of Queensland election candidate Pauline Hanson on 14 May with naked photos they later acknowledged to be fake. Latest articles include:

of 21 Jun 08 by John Stapleton in the Australian newspaper. More propaganda in favour of immigration and the guest worker program. Read what Mark O'Connor has to on this.

editorial in The Australian of 19 May 08

editorial in The Australian of 16 May 08

of 17 May 08. The Australian's editor-at-large Paul Kelly praises Federal Immigration Minister Chris Evans' decision to increase the annual immigration intake to 300,000

31 Oct 2007: Murdoch's Australian pronounces Peter Garrett's subsequently backtracked commitment to sign the new global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, without the prior commitment of China and the US, to be a blunder. It begins "PETER Garrett's political credentials were in tatters last night after Kevin Rudd forced his environment spokesman to issue a humiliating clarification of Labor's greenhouse gas policy."

Many would have thought Garrett's support for the Tasmanian Pulp Mill and, prior to that, support for Uranium, rather than his policy, now withdrawn, that Australia show real leadership on the issue of greenhouse emissions is what woud have would have done far more damage Garrett's poltical credibility.

Related article , 31 Oct 2007

26 Oct 2007: As if we have not already been reminded sufficiently, this story restates one of the supposed major selling points of the Howard Government, that is that Australia has historically low unemployment (without regard to the fact that an ‘employed’ person need only work 1 hour per week). Implictly this has all been caused by Howard alone and we are therefore all beholden to return Howard to office. See in regard to this one.

In the printed version the continuation on page 10 has a different heading: "Labor up against jobs hurdle". More than likely that was the original headline until someone must have decided that that was not sufficiently subtle. However, in changing the front page headline it appears that they neglected to also change the continuation headline.

It is puzzling that a newspaper which notionally champions Indigenous participation should be so critical of an Aboriginal man in a senior public sector job.

Published on Online Opinion, . Article originally on the

in the Guardian of 11 Feb 2003

Main Links

by Kenneth Davidson in the Melbourne Age of 5 May 08

by Kenneth Davidson in the Melbourne Age of 31 Mar 08
Could a 30-kilometre tunnel from the Upper Yarra Reservoir to Big River, which flows eventually to the Murray River and costing $300 million save the dying Murray River system?

, SMH 16 Apr 08

" id="PollutionInChina">Pollution in China

The prosperity that some Australians and Chinese are now enjoying as a result of the boom in the export of our finite non-renewable mineral wealth is being paid for now, by life-threatening pollution. The links below were obtained using the google search terms 'China' and 'pollution'

, 26 Aug 07

, Wikipedia

, Christian Science Monitor, 19 Mar 06

, International Herald Tribune, 26 Aug 07

, National Geographic News, 9 Jul 07

by Pete Murphy from the United States, author of

by Steven Lunn of the Australian, 21 Apr 08. Also , and

CONSTRUCTING city buildings to be obsolete after 30 years is a scandalous building industry practice - and one of the most extreme examples of energy inefficiency in modern society, according to international futurist Patrick Dixon. 

Naomi Klein warns that will attempt to use financial crisis to steal more publicly owned wealth.and dismantle remains of the US Social Welfare System. Read article in . Originally published in the Los Angeles Times on 27 January 2008

in the Archdruid Report of 26 Mar 08
How the rise in the cost of oil can have unanticipted flow-on effects, causing other forms of energy, bot non-reneable and 'renewable' to be more expensive thatn anticipated.

Bayside Bulletin 15 Nov 07

Queensland State Sustainability Minister Andrew MacNamara has criticised the Redland Shire Council for threatenting the Koala with local exitinction as a result of its promotion of population growth and housing development. Earlier this year as other local government s were resisting The Queensland Government's demands for enforced population growth, Redland Shire actually offered to exceed the population growth targets that the Queensland had intended to demand of it. As a consequence even a minister of the to pro-grwoth Queensland Government recognises the threat that this poses to the local wildlife of Redland Shire.

The Age 14 Nov 07
TWO new reports that paint a dire picture of the Murray River say 70 per cent of red gum forest on Australia's greatest waterway is in poor health and declining. 

Sydney Morning Herald 15 Nov 2007
Fifteen Greenpeace activists occupied a coal-fired power plant on New South Wales' Central Coast this morning, protesting against the climate change policies of both major parties.

The Australian 1 Nov 07
THE Australian National Audit Office has launched a scathing indictment of the navy's $2.1 billion frigate upgrade.
The upgrade is four and a half years overdue and projected to run tens of millions of dollars over budget.

Banks Are Thieves ().

Links to articles which may be of interest to candobetter visitors

(Published Friday 17 June 2011 by Ethan Huff in ) Millions of people eat and drink from plastic and styrofoam cups and containers every single day, and the US government now admits that many of these consumer products contain known cancer-causing agents. The formaldehyde preservatives found in many disposable coffee cups and foam take-out containers, as well as styrene, another chemical additive used in such products, have both been added to the federal government's list of known or suspected carcinogens. 

(Published Sunday 19 June 2011 by Paul Craig Roberts in ) While we were not watching, conspiracy theory has undergone Orwellian redefinition.

A “conspiracy theory” no longer means an event explained by a conspiracy. Instead, it now means any explanation, or even a fact, that is out of step with the government’s explanation and that of its media pimps. 

A note to interested readers: If you know of articles likely to be of interest to other readers, you could consider adding links as comments here. We can then add the links to this page. Of course, also please continue to include links in comments in response to other stories or in our section. For those unfamiliar with , the HTML source for the ">link above, as I typed it into the Drupal page editing form, is:

<h4><a href="" id="example_link">Disposable coffee cups, carry out containers filled with cancer-causing agents</a></h4>

The surrounding <h4></h4> tags could have been replaced with the <h1></h1>, <h2></h2>, <h3></h3>, <h5></h5>, <h6></h6>, or <p></p> (paragraph) tags or even omitted altogether as a Content managed web-site will treat line-breaks as paragraph ends (although strict HTML doesn't). Even if the link were to be included in a comment as only or even just we would still be able to make use of it, but please at least include some descriptive words or the title, so that we can know what the link is likely to lead to before we follow it and can be more confident that the post is not spam.

Also, please feel encouraged to post here your thoughts about the linked articles, whether supportive or critical.

Immigration Links

- Keeping a critical eye on immigration-related issues in Australia.

of 21 Jun 08 by John Stapleton in the Australian newspaper. More propaganda in favour of immigration and the guest worker program. Read what Mark O'Connor has to on this.

editorial in The Australian of 19 May 08

editorial in The Australian of 16 May 08

of 17 May 08. The Australian's editor-at-large Paul Kelly praises Federal Immigration Minister Chris Evans' decision to increase the annual immigration intake to 300,000

By Ross Gittins in the Sydney Morning Herald of 12 June 2007.

Shows how Prime Minister John Howard, who, during the Tampa crisis of 2001, pledged to the Australian people , has raised Australia's real, but unoffical annual rate of immigration to 300,000 of which only an insignificant fraction are humanitarian refugees. This is in spite of the fact that Howard's election victory of 1996 was largely attributed to the unpopularity of Labor's corruptly administered high immigration program. In 1996, annual immigration was reduced to 68,000, but he has since raised it by various devices to 300,000 to suit greedy employers, land speculators and property developers This has had catastrophic consequences for Australia's environment and the living standards of many existing Austalians, principally through housing hyper-inflation.

-470400">Will “the great immigration debate” take place?, 21 May 08 on

First published on 2008-06-19 13:14:07 +1000

Water Links

by Kenneth Davidson in the Age of 14 July 2008

These excerpts from the Age article of 7 June were sent to me by the group Plug The Pipe ()
which is fighting to prevent The Victorian Government's plans to pipe away much needed water from the Goulburn valley in order to meet the needs of population expansion which is being imposed upon the Victorian public to suit the developers who bankroll the Victorian Labor Party _ James

BARLOW also objects to the water trading that allows big agribusiness to soak up a growing share of water supply, and the notion of large-scale water diversions ? pumping and piping water around states or nations, from where it exists in nature to the big cities, industries, or agricultural areas where it's consumed. Such scenarios set the needs of rural, indigenous and farm communities against urban centres, she argues ? an observation echoed in the angry bush push against a north-south pipeline in Victoria.

"The delinking of water from rural communities is a recipe for disaster for food production in Australia, and will make Australians eventually more dependent on food from other countries," says Barlow.and will make Australians eventually more dependent on foodfrom other countries," says Barlow.

Piping and diverting water also depletes the natural watershed, she says, interfering with the hydrologic circle we once learned in school would provide for us eternally, and setting up a cycle of diminishing rain returns. She cites the work of Slovakian hydrologist Michal Kravcik, who argues that only by bringing water back into the
landscape ? creating opportunities for it to flow, to pool, to permeate the soil, to replenish groundwater systems and return to the atmosphere ? will the water cycle be restored.

She pushes the theme of water conservation even further, far beyond buckets in showers and Stage 3A water restrictions, to revolutionary extremes, challenging governments to rethink their economies in a landscape of water scarcity. To question the diversion of massive flows of "virtual water" into commodities exports ? wheat, rice, cotton and other crops.

"Australia cannot maintain its position as a leading exporter," Barlow argues. "I don't think the United States can either. The amount of water being shipped out to make profit for a handful of corporations and agribusiness is not sustainable, and why should other people be drinking substandard water in Australia, and some farmers be put off the land, while others get the luxury of access to this water?

"These are very hard questions that have to do with the global systems, and global values of economic globalisation. Local communities know this, they know that something is profoundly wrong."

Food links

of 23 Jun 08 by on WebDiary. Describes the intricate dilemmas faced by an Australian farmer in the west of NSW – whether to continue grazing of livestock, which can be done sustainably, but which provides an insufficient income or to turn part or all of the farm over to mechanised monocultural wheat cropping, which, whilst far more lucrative, is at a frightening cost to the longer term viability of the farm.

in Science Alert, Thur, 01 May 08 by Peter Salonius

Many keen thinkers have understood that the driver enabling our numbers to shoot so far over long-term carrying capacity has been the one-time gift of fossil fuels, ...

... the other major factor that has enabled our numbers to shoot so far over long-term carrying capacity has been the one-time gift of erodible soils and the vast store of nutrients they contained until we began to irreversibly mine them about 10,000 years ago with cultivation agriculture.

Christopher Cook on US industrialised food production: the author of Diet for a Dead Planet describes the dysfunctional state of the US's industrialised food manufacturing and distribution system on .

Business-as-Usual Not a Viable Option

Lester R. Brown, 16 Apr 08

A fast-unfolding food shortage is engulfing the entire world, driving food prices to record highs. Over the past half-century grain prices have spiked from time to time because of weather-related events, such as the 1972 Soviet crop failure that led to a doubling of world wheat, rice, and corn prices. The situation today is entirely different, however. The current doubling of grain prices is trend-driven, the cumulative effect of some trends that are accelerating growth in demand and other trends that are slowing the growth in supply.

14 Apr 08 from .

(CNN) -- Riots from Haiti to Bangladesh to Egypt over the soaring costs of basic foods have brought the issue to a boiling point and catapulted it to the forefront of the world's attention, the head of an agency focused on global development said Monday.

by Justin Norrie, Tokyo , 22 Apr 08 in .

Food fears: Being a rich nation is no protection for Japan, which faces the fallout of relying too heavily on foreign food to supply domestic needs.

Lynda Hurst, 12 Apr08 in .

Riots over rising grain prices are ripping through the developing world and the United Nations warns there's worse to come. Was Malthus right? Are we getting too numerous to feed ourselves?

NSW Electricity Privatisation Links

" id="WebDiary">From

by Ian MacDougall, 10 May 08

The ostensible argument for power privatisation is that NSW needs the money for schools, hospitals and other expenditure. The reality is that sale of capital is touted as the way to finance ongoing expenditure, analogous to the classic case of the farmer who sells off a bit of the farm each year to keep the family clothed and food on the table.


" id="OzLeft">From

The Labor Party ranks according to Michael Egan

by Ed Lewis, 9 May 08

The public discussion over electricity privatisation in NSW is increasingly becoming a traditional union bash in the media. Today, Michael Egan, another former Labor Party official and politician, steps forward to read about a properly respectful attitude towards politicians.

-512">Read the rest of this entry on Ozleft »

by Ed Lewis, 8 May 08

Another banker weighs in on the Iemma-Costa side of the NSW electricity privatisation battle today, although it’s obvious Babcock and Brown’s Stephen Loosley is a bit better informed about the present state of the Labor Party than either Paul Keating or Bob Carr.

-511" class="more-link">Read the rest of this entry on Ozleft »

by Graham Matthews, Green Left Weekly, 10 May 08

The plan for the privatisation of electricity in NSW is like the mythical creature the hydra, which had multiple heads. It had to be “killed” many times before it would actually die — and every time it was “killed” it could bite back apparently unharmed

by Tim Dunlop, 5 May 08

Isn’t it the case that the people of NSW are against privatisation; the Labor Party’s platform is against privatisation; and the Premier went to the last election promising not to privatise the state’s electricity? So that by now saying he will privatise electricity, isn’t the Premier defying the will of the people, ignoring his own party’s platform (and conference), and breaking an election commitment?

It’s all very well to get a in a tizz about “unions running the state” and other clichés from the conservative playbook, but in this case, by what right can Mr Iemma justify his disregard of public opinion, his party platform, and his own election commitments?

by Tim Dunlop, 30 Apr 08

by Tim Dunlop, 11 Dec 07

Brian Robins and Alexandra Smith, SMH 11 Dec 07
As Tim Dunlop "an uncritical article which (happily) buys into the line."

by John Quiggin, 19 Jun 08

by John Quiggin, 21 Dec 07

, John Quiggin 12 Dec 07

, John Quiggin 11 Dec 07

by John Garnaut, The Age, 12 May 08

SOONER or later, some anti-privatisation activist will start doing background checks on China Huaneng Group, which is at the front of the queue to bid for $15 billion in NSW power assets. They'll see that Sydney might soon be powered by the world's biggest corporate contributor to global warming.

, SMH, 11 May 08

Michael Costa's bully-boy tactics may have hurt Labor but not the Premier or his privatisation plans, reports Andrew Clennell.

, SMH, 10 May 08

Michael Costa's bully-boy tactics may have hurt Labor but not the Premier or his privatisation plans, reports Andrew Clennell.

, SMH, 19 Apr 08

by Paul Keating in SMH 30 Apr 08
Paul Keating, who counducted his own fire sale of Commonwealth Government assets, and broke his 1993 election pledge not to fully privatise the half-privatised Commonwealth bank lends his moral support to Iemma, and Michael Costa, whom he describes as "as honest a pair of souls as NSW politics has had".

, SMH, 6 May 08

, ABC News, 7 May 08

, AAP in SMH of 4 May 08

Includes utterances by Wayne Swan and Malcolm Turnbull. Turnbull's take, before Iemma was lionised by the media for subsequently defying the decision of the Labor Party, not to mention the NSW public:

"Morris Iemma seems to have lost the confidence of much of his party room and the vast majority of the Labor Party, he is a broken premier, and the tragedy for NSW is he is in power until 2011, well at least the government is."

, The Australian editorial of 5 May 08
This contains such gems as:

“If electricity privatisation can be defeated because unions representing a few thousand electricity workers don't like it, how difficult would it be to stare down union interests to overhaul health and education?” Thus the editorial ignores the wishes of two thirds of the NSW public opinion who now oppose privatisation and who in 1999 emphatically repudiated the Liberal Party when it stood for elctions on a platform of electricity privatisation.

“NSW is still paying a heavy financial price for Mr Carr's submission to trade union power.” (In fact, as Professor John Quiggin has on 27 Dec 07, the defeat of Carr’s privatisation bid “ in 1997 saved the NSW public between $5 and $10 billion.”)

“Mr Iemma must demonstrate that he is prepared to govern for all people and ignore the demands of state conference. ”

in the Melbourne Age of 5 May 08

in Newcastle Herald of 5 May 08

in the Australian of 5 May 08

SMH, 30 Apr 08

, ABC Online News, 5 May 08

, SMH 5 May 08

, Bloombergs, 5 May 085 May 08
Australian corporate energy users urge Iemma to defy NSW public and Labor Party conference decision.

, SMH, 4 Apr 08

, The Australian, 12 May 08

Imre Salusinszky, who had triumphally gloated how the fight over privatisation was all over on the day of the capitulation of ‘opponents’ of privatisation at the NSW parliamentary Labor caucus meeting of 6 May, now writes, “Unions and the NSW Labor Government are no closer to a deal on electricity privatisation, more than a week after Premier Morris Iemma announced he was pressing ahead with the power sale despite a massive rebuff from the party's state conference.“

, Matthew Warren, The Australian, 9 May 08

Lots of straw men set up and demolished, for example:

“Given such a display of finger-pointing, yelling and fist shaking, you'd think privatising the electricity market was a giant leap of faith in government policy; a bold step into the unknown.

“It is neither. One-third of the 45,000MW of Australia's electricity generation capacity comes from privately owned power suppliers. Victorian and South Australian generators and retailers were privatised a decade ago. ...”

In fact the consequnces of privatisation are all too well known, with the sorry outcomes of the privatisations of the Commonwealth Bank, , State Banks and Insurance companies. Only recently the New Zealand government , because it had found that these services had been run down by their private opoerators, which is precisely the opposite of the claims being made of what privatisationof electricity will achieve.

“Typically, former prime minister Paul Keating didn't hold back earlier this week, publishing a demolition of Unions NSW's anti-privatisation position that was aired so robustly last weekend.” ( - see above)

Of Course, there is no mention of NSW Green MLA John Kaye's media release in response of 6 May 08 which exposes a number of factual errors in Keating's supposed 'robust' 'demolition'.

, John Garnaut, SMH, 9 May 08

CHINA'S largest power company has its eyes on Morris Iemma's $15 billion sell-off, as part of an ambitious strategy to buy Australian power, coal and even uranium assets.

(pdf) by D. Cahill and S Beder.

Abstract: This article examines the process of electricity privatisation in Australia in order to identify the dynamics of neo-liberalism in practice. It is argued that neo-liberalism is best understood as a particular mode of regulation in which the state legislates to secure freedoms for capital. In the case of electricity privatisation the main beneficiaries have been corporations rather than consumers and this has been facilitated by a whole host of new state regulations.

, April 2008 (pdf, 29K) by Professor Frank Stilwell.

, NSW business Chamber, 10 Dec 07

, 24 Apr 08

Document by Freehills

Shows how privatisation of NSW and indeed all publicly owned utilities was promoted by the Council of Australian Governments (i.e. the Howard Government and eight state ’Labor’ governments) meeting of April 2007

ERIG found that government ownership (especially in electricity) acted as a barrier to entry and an impediment to competition. To improve contestability and efficiency in Australian energy markets, ERIG recommended disaggregation and full privatisation of government-owned energy assets throughout Australia. This should take place as soon as feasible, given the practicalities of the privatisation process. The recent sale of the Queensland Government’s retail energy assets was seen as a good example for other states.

ERIG (the Energy Reform Implementation Group, established by COAG in 2006) acknowledged that privatisation may be politically sensitive(our emphasis) but emphasised that privatisation of even one element of the contestable energy chain would help to increase efficiency. ERIG proposed a number of lesser options, including the disaggregation of government-owned electricity assets and providing ‘clear signals’ to private investors (the approach adopted by the Western Australian Government was commended).

Coal links

by David Strahan - first published in New Scientist, 16 Jan 

The latest “official” statistics from the World Energy Council, published in 2007, put global coal reserves at a staggering 847 billion tonnes. Since world coal production that year was just under 6 billion tonnes, the reserves appear at first glance to be ample to sustain output for at least a century – well beyond even the most distant planning horizon.

Mine below the surface, however, and the numbers are not so reassuring.