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Saltie 12th Feb 2013 03:31

An oldie, FullOppositeRudder, but no less true for that. Many say the woman screwed her way to the top. What a pity that, having done so, utterly srewing everything she touches seems to be all she knows how to do.

I've heard someone say that Rudd had 'the Casanova touch', (everything he touched, he screwed). The woman who shafted him has brought that trait to a whole new level.

7x7 12th Feb 2013 04:11

Homestay boat billet gets the bullet | thetelegraph.com.au

THE federal government's much-heralded "homestay" program for asylum seekers has collapsed, with just four people who have arrived on boats currently staying with Australian families.

The revelation, at a Senate budget estimates hearing, came as immigration officials admitted the children and ex-wife of alleged people smuggling kingpin Captain Emad remain in Australia on visas despite having deceived the government about the status of their father and husband.

Australian Homestay Network executive chairman David Bycroft said host families had been left "disappointed" after services providers for asylum seekers slowed placements to a trickle.

The hearing heard the program was on a "hiatus" until the Department of Immigration could place asylum seekers with hosts close to services. He said in some cases boat people wanted to be closer to their friends.

"We are disappointed for the asylum seekers, and for the hosts. It has been incredibly tough, they get ready for someone to arrive and then it has been called off at short notice," Mr Bycroft said.

Former immigration minister Chris Bowen and the Homestay Network agreed host families would be paid almost $300 a week if they housed two asylum seekers. There were 600 asylum seekers placed but the program has suddenly come to a near halt after just 34 placements so far this year and currently only four people are staying in family homes.

Meanwhile, immigration official Robert Illingworth told the hearing that although Mr Bowen had cancelled the permanent protection visas of Captain Emad's family they had been allowed to stay on other visas.

His children, who claimed he was dead when they sought refugee status, and his ex-wife, have been granted humanitarian stay temporary visas and removal pending visas.

"The decision to cancel the protection visa does not necessarily mean the original protection decision no longer stands, the person can be a refugee, not withstanding there might have been an element of deception in relation to the grounds they obtained the visa," he said.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said the new visas, under which the family does not have a removal date, were extraordinary.
Capt Emad's "children" are grown adults occupying separate houses to his (not)"widow" - houses provided by the poor bloody taxpayer.

7x7 12th Feb 2013 04:32

Would it safe to say that this bloke's "not happy, Jan"?
Cheapskate Gillard gives the QLD Flood appeal a one finger salute

February 5 2013: Gillard contributes $1 million the Queensland Flood Appeal.

So here’s what Julia Gillard and Bob Carr have given away, of your money, since the Australia Day long weekend, the weekend when tropical storm Oswald smashed Bundaberg.

February 11 2013: Gillard contributes $15 million to rehabilitate 40 kilometres of main road in South Tarawa, Kiribati, which has been undermined by rising sea levels and coastal erosion.

February 4 2013: Gillard contributes $5 million to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) South Sudan.

February 4 2013: Gillard contributes an additional $3 million in humanitarian assistance for people are still reeling from the impact of Typhoon Bopha in the southern Philippines.

31 January 2013: Foreign Minister Bob Carr today pledged a further $10 million in humanitarian assistance for people affected by the worsening conflict in Syria.

30 January 2013: Foreign Minister Bob Carr today pledged $15 million to provide better access to education for the boys and girls of Myanmar.

30 January 2013: Foreign Minister Bob Carr has pledged $5 million in humanitarian assistance for Mali and the surrounding region to assist hundreds of thousands of people affected by conflict and food insecurity.

25 January 2013: Gillard provides a further $2 million to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP).

25 January 2013: Gillard announced a further $2 million to help (Fijian) children get back to school in the first term of the school year following the devastation of Tropical Cyclone Evan late last year.

So between the Australia Day long weekend and 11th February 2013, Gillard & Co has given away $57 million to various foreign aid beneficiaries. I’m sure the Queensland flood victims could have used the $57 million to help them out?

In all about 4224 properties were damaged with 2302 deemed uninhabitable. More than half of those uninhabitable properties, about 1321, are in Bundaberg.

And to really rub salt in the wound, on 8th February 2013, Gillard reprioritised up to $375.1 million in Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the 2012–13 financial year to support asylum seekers waiting to have their claims heard in Australia. The support will cover food, shelter and other essential items.

The reprioritisation represents a small portion (around 7 per cent) of Australia’s total aid program, which is still expected to reach around $5.2 billion in the 2012–13 financial year and is consistent with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee’s (DAC) Reporting Directives.

Only Labor would treat fellow Australians in their time of need as an inconvenience.

RJM 12th Feb 2013 07:18

She'll get hers:

From Pickering today

Kevin Rudd had overturned more than 100 years of Labor tradition when he demanded the right to select his own ministry. He unwisely chose Julia Gillard as his deputy and, after the treacherous Shakespearean drama had unfolded, Gillard was left with the same luxury, but chose her ministry more carefully.

Prior to Rudd's challenge last year he glumly stated, "During my term as prime minister, we removed the right of the parliamentary party to elect the ministry. On reflection, I think that may have been the wrong call because it did add to a sense of powerlessness on the part of various members... and a lack of a sense of independence on behalf of ministers as well."

But that rueful Rudd statement can fairly be taken with a grain of salt as it was made on the eve of his challenge so he was clearly seeking to re-enfranchise those he had disenfranchised.

Although not the first Labor Prime Minister to break with this tradition, Rudd's decision had unwittingly broken his hold on office and ensured his disloyal assassin of longevity.

Caucus' ability to choose the ministry is critical to the ALP machinery. It allows the factions, the faceless men, power to promote and protect their own representatives in government.

That system gives balanced influence to the unions, the true heart of the ALP.

It also has the demonstrable effect of limiting the PM's power as cabinet members are endorsed by their factions.

If Cabinet members are selected solely at the PM's whim they are beholden only to the PM.

This is what the factionless Rudd wanted but now Gillard enjoys the power unwittingly bestowed on her by her mortally wounded victim, Kevin Rudd.

Gillard's ability to kill off Rudd was due to an unusual alliance between the Socialist Left and its hated NSW Right. This temporary alliance was arranged by the infamous Graham Richardson and his little mate, Eddie Obeid, with the agreement of Bob Carr, Bill Shorten and Bill Ludwig.

No Labor prime minister with the history of incompetence, criminality and unpopularity of Gillard would have lasted a week without the personal power that has neutered current Cabinet members and their ability to vote for Rudd.

It is inadvisable for Cabinet members to show dissent without factional backing and Gillard has used that weakness with devastating effect to shore up her tenuous position.

Gillard has wielded this power with true feminist venom. Anyone threatening her is unceremoniously disposed of.

Although terminally crippled, she was still able to intervene in Labor's treasured pre-selection process in the NT without censure.

The unearthing of Obeid's criminal NSW Right by the ICAC is about to change the face of Labor's power structure.

The ALP's culture of crime is being laid bare and Gillard's early election date will not forestall the inevitable.

If Gillard makes it to her election date we may, for the very first time, have an incumbent Prime Minister charged with multiple criminal offences asking the electorate for another term.

Gillard's recent body language shows she is fully aware of impending police charges.

If she does the right thing and resigns it will be left to the hapless Swan to lead the ALP into political oblivion.

But Gillard will not resign voluntarily and she is constantly emboldened by those she has promoted around her.

Gillard will choose to take the ALP down with her.

She is truly capable of that.

RJM 12th Feb 2013 09:57

From Pickering, ten minutes ago....

Apologies for the length.

For the first time in Australia's history we are now witnessing a sitting Prime Minister seeking re-election while under investigation by a major fraud squad. The Left of the Press still shows no interest.

The Victorian Fraud Squad is not investigating Blewitt, Wilson, Bill the Greek, Bill Shorten or anyone else except... The Honorable Ms Julia Eileen Gillard.

Sacked for attempting to expose Gillard, radio jock Michael Smith filed a complaint against her, and only her.

Smith, an ex cop, knows his business and is certain to have had his paperwork in order.

A mountain of evidence involves central character Gillard and a comprehensive prima facie case will shortly be dumped on the desk of the Public Prosecutor.

Fraud squads do not react to innuendo, rumour or smear, only evidence and the diligence and confidence it has exhibited so far suggest charges are imminent.

Media Lefties who are still clinging to the line, "this story is going nowhere", might like to consider the following:

Ralph Blewitt has returned twice from Asia to give further evidence.

Bob Kernohan has spent considerable time at St Kilda Road headquarters.

Former partner in Slater & Gordon, Nick Styant-Browne has refuted Peter Gordon's account surrounding Gillard's dismissal, stating it was "stunningly incomplete". He also has been interviewed.

Bruce Wilson's bodyguard, Vassilis Telikostoglou (or Bill the Greek bullshit artist as Gillard refers to him) has returned from Greece.

A dozen detectives have spent time is NSW and five days in QLD interrogating Gillard's paralegal assistant at the time, Olive Brosnahan.

Tim Daly, ex WA AWU Secretary says he has boxes of evidence under lock and key. He said he, "...knew this matter would one day rear its ugly head". Mr Daly has given evidence.

Ian Cambridge and the ALP's Rob McClelland, authors of the comprehensive and explosive "Cambridge Affidavit", are damning of Julia Gillard.

Cambridge, a FWA Commissioner, originally said he was unable to comment, later saying he would stand by his affidavit.

He has now agreed to cooperate fully with detectives and is encouraging others to do the same.

Cambridge has already been interviewed.

Sacked Attorney General, McClelland is also expected to cooperate.

Federal Court Judge Bernard Murphy (a Gillard appointment) will also be interviewed.

The extent and veracity of existing evidence invariably promotes further evidence in what is now an unstoppable, expanding snowball of damning evidence against Gillard.

The cooperation of the AWU's culpable Paul Howes, Bill Ludwig and Bill Shorten is not so assured.

Craig Thomson of the HSU has been charged with 154 offences including fraud. He continues to sit in Parliament and Gillard continues to accept his tainted vote.

But can a Prime Minister facing numerous fraud charges stay seated?

Can she claim she has done nothing wrong while competing on the hustings for re-election? Extremely unlikely.

That would be unprecedented but Gillard would do that if she was allowed to.

Fortunately she can expect a tap on the shoulder very shortly.

She will be the last person to be asked for an interview and she will likely refuse to cooperate in yet a further example of poor judgment.

A refusal to be interviewed would invite a possible embarrassing trip to a Police Station and a strip search followed by a court appearance and an application for bail. Just ask another sitting MP, Craig Thomson.

We have witnessed daily an array of diversionary tactics but Gillard cannot escape the inevitable.

The Press meanwhile is besotted with NSW's Obeid and Macdonald.

Rudd also attracts their relentless interest as he circles like a confused shark. He smells blood in the water but is unsure if he wants a fight, a feed or a f**k.

Meanwhile, this far bigger story is gathering a head of steam and about to blow Parliament House off its foundations while the Left of the Press yawns in stoic denial.

The Press insists, nonchalantly, that the Victorian Fraud Squad is boringly investigating a range of people. That is incorrect.

Evidence has been taken from a range of people but there is only one person of interest, there is only one person a complaint has been levelled against, there is only one person under investigation, and that's Julia Eileen Gillard.

The Fraud Squad has implied they are thrilled with their progress and hopes to have its case wrapped up in weeks.

Their case will revolve primarily around four criminal actions "allegedly" committed by Gillard. There are many others but these four are the easiest to prove.

1: Gillard as a solicitor had acted to facilitate fraud on her employer's own client, the AWU.

Gillard will say she was taking instructions from the AWU (Blewitt and Wilson). This claim will not hold water and naivete can be no excuse this time. As a solicitor she was the guiding and advisory entity. There were a number of due diligence steps she should, and could, have taken as a solicitor but omitted to because, by taking those steps she would have alerted her employer and its client to the fraud.

Likely outcome? Guilty as charged.
Crimes Act 1958 - SECT 86 (2): A person who dishonestly, with a view to gain for himself or herself or another or with intent to cause loss to another, by any deception procures the execution of a valuable security is guilty of an indictable offence.
Level 5 imprisonment (10 years maximum)

2: A false document.
Gillard produced a false document, namely an "Association" designed to facilitate fraud on her employer's client, the AWU.
It was named as a vehicle for "workplace reform". Recently Gillard claimed it was a "slush fund" holding funds used for election of unionists, but the document with her own handwriting notates it as, "The Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association".
It was clearly meant to be neither. It was to be used for, and was duly used for, defrauding Gillard's employer's major client, the AWU. No file was opened, no charges for work done were made so as not to alert her employers or their major client. Gillard was sacked when the charade was discovered. But it was too late, by then over $1million dollars had passed through 13 different bank accounts and had disappeared. Gillard will claim there is no proof other than Blewitt's testimony. Not true. There were two other people present at the Slater & Gordon office when she drew up that false document, Senior Partner Bernard Murphy and Bruce Wilson. Senior Equity Partner Jonathan Rothfield (who underwrote the mortgage on the Kerr Street property) was also briefly present.
When the extent of the fraud became evident, Slater & Gordon, Gillard, Wilson and the AWU itself went to ground. The other rats immediately scattered and soon there was no involved person left working for Slater & Gordon. Peter Gordon left, Bernard Murphy shot through to Maurice Blackburn to continue ripping off insurance claimants. Rothfield disappeared while the uninvolved, diminutive Adam Bandt went quietly about his business. Gillard wasn't seen for the next six months and never tried to renew her Practising Certificate. When the matter was raised in the Victorian Parliament a massive cover-up ensued as it was clearly a damning indictment on everyone involved. It had remained covered up until Julia Gillard, as PM, and in another display of exquisite judgment insisted two journalists be sacked for daring to expose it.

Likely outcome? Guilty as charged.
Crimes Act 1958 - SECT 83A
Falsification of documents
(5B) A person must not, with the intention that another person may commit an offence against subsection (1), make, or have in his or her custody, or under his or her control, a machine or implement, or paper or other material, which is, and which he or she knows to be, specially designed or adapted for the making of a document which, if made by that other person, would be false.
Penalty: Level 5 imprisonment (10 years maximum).

3: Misleading the WA Corporate Affairs Commissioner.
When an initial attempt to mislead the WA Commissioner failed, Gillard wrote to him offering the bona fides of Slater & Gordon as a guarantee that the proposed "Association" was legitimate. That letter has disappeared from the Commission's files. If that letter can be located by the Fraud Squad it represents the most serious of the allegations. A copy of the letter was in Gillard's private file. Bernard Murphy took the file when he left. It was given to Nicola Roxon at Maurice Blackburn. It clearly showed an intention to gain an advantage by deception. If the letter is not located, it is likely that someone in the Commission will testify as to its existence and its intent to decieve. The proposed Association document was also deficient of the legal requirement of at least five members, there were only two. Regardless, the Commissioner understandably accepted the assurances of Gillard's letter on a Slater & Gordon letterhead.
Likely outcome? Guilty as charged.
Crimes Act 1958 - SECT 83A
Falsification of documents
(1) A person must not make a false document with the intention that he or she, or another person, shall use it to induce another person to accept it as genuine, and by reason of so accepting it to do or not to do some act to that other person's, or to another person's prejudice.
Penalty: Level 5 imprisonment (10 years maximum).

4: Witnessing a person's (Blewitt's) signature on a legal document, namely an affidavit, while not in the presence of, and without the knowledge of, that person. This should be an open and shut case as dates and times and Blewitt's absence or presence can easily be ascertained. Gillard was present at the auction of, and did the conveyancing for, a Fitzroy house for her boyfriend Bruce Wilson. Wilson used the false Power of Attorney for Blewitt to purchase the house with fraudulently extorted funds without Blewitt's knowledge. It was hurriedly sold without Blewitt's knowledge

Likely outcome? Guilty as charged.
Crimes Act 1958 - SECT 83A
Falsification of documents

(4) A person must not use a copy of a document which is, and which he or she knows to be, a false document, with the intention of inducing another person to accept it as a copy of a genuine document and by reason of so accepting it to do or not to do some act to that other person's, or to another person's prejudice.

Penalty: Level 5 imprisonment (10 years maximum)

There are many other instances of illegalities including inducing WA AWU union members to allow funds to be moved to another account that Gillard could reasonably have been expected to know was not an AWU account.

Bruce Wilson, with a new partner and baby, may not be keen to spend a long period in jail. His prior agreement forged with Gillard that they both doggedly declare their innocence may well fall apart once he is confronted with the Fraud Squad's evidence.

Up until now there has been no complaint filed against Bruce Wilson, only Gillard.

He is likely to reassess his situation once he sees the futility of denying it and is offered part immunity.

Bruce Wilson is not a man known for his moral fibre.

Blewitt was not given immunity but was assured that any evidence he gave would not be used against him in court.

Now that sort of assurance would be a very attractive proposition to Bruce Wilson.

Blewitt could still be charged on peripheral or unrelated matters.

The former statement of Bill the Greek's builder mate, Con Spyrides, was that Gillard had no knowledge of the source of funds used to renovate her house in Abbottsford.

When asked to make a statement to that effect he refused on legal advice. That refusal speaks volumes as to the truth.

Mr Spyrides knows he would be breaking the law if he were to make that statement under oath.

Regardless there is plenty of evidence to show that funds laundered through fashion house, Town Mode, and casinos were used to renovate Gillard's house, with her full knowledge.

I'm no detective but if I had the massive resources of a professional fraud squad and had interviewed all persons of interest and corroborating parties including past employees of Slater & Gordon, I would certainly feel confident I had sufficient evidence against Gillard to put her away for a lengthy period.

Whether that happens or not is problematic. But Gillard is certainly under investigation right now and should resign.

If she is charged she will be forced to resign. She is not a Craig Thomson who can rely on the ‘innocent until proven guilty' principal.

She will not be permitted by her own party to sully the Office more than she already has.

The ICAC's exposure of rampant fraud within the NSW ALP (those who catapulted Gillard into Office) will not help Gillard.

The ALP's endemic criminality is percolating through all State ALP branches, Governments and major unions.

Gillard is blind to the sense of the determination of fresh fraud squads under a new Victorian Commissioner. There is a determination to redress the bad taste of past police criminality under Labor Governments.

Gillard and her many supporters in the media seem oblivious to the seriousness of what is happening.

But, now there is nothing left for we sexist nutjob bloggers to do except to sit back and watch the long arm of the law take its inevitable course.

Justice will have to be seen to be done.

ALP and union corruption will both be cleansed by the fires of the pyres of the guilty.

We will need a comprehensive, competent and clean Opposition to the overbearing numbers of an Abbot Government.

The end

Fliegenmong 12th Feb 2013 10:01

Just to add some balance to the rabidly right toxic posters of hate (he he:p)......the left's very own Andrew Bolt....:suspect:

Timid Tony Abbott tenders tiny target | The Courier-Mail

I've not read his articles before, but was somewhat stunned to see an article like this in the 'MSM'......

Speaking of Brough, just watch Abbott's face when he is faced with a question about the whole "Ashbygate" affair surrounding Peter Slipper, former staffer James Ashby and possibly extending as far as the offices of Christopher Pyne and Abbott himself.

Well I haven't been able to see Abbot's face when asked that, 'Cos I've never seen the MSM ask anything as probing as that of Abbott, (Given I don't watch MSM at al really, can't stand the ads and the supposed 'entertainment') which is surprising this article even gets published in a 'Murdochracy' paper :confused:

Anyway, tear yourselves apart over an opposing view......I guess...

7x7 12th Feb 2013 10:10

This,(below), from some bloke called rudi, on the Pickering Post. As Pickering's comments disappear within a few minutes of being posted, it's worth saving.

Wayne Swan is a vile, disgusting, public trough-swilling, grossly overpaid, thoroughly under qualified, pathologically dishonest, monumentally repugnant, morally destitute, vomitous, self-serving, bottom-dwelling, anti-Australian, treasonous, galactic hypocrite.
Don't hold back like a weak-kneed wuz, rudi. Let it rip.

Solid Rust Twotter 12th Feb 2013 10:27

Bit of a fence sitter is young Rudi, no?:}

SOPS 12th Feb 2013 11:04

Come on Rudi, tell us how you really feel:E

Fliegenmong 12th Feb 2013 11:17

What's the reason Pickering's followers comments disappear within a few minutes? ;)

RJM 12th Feb 2013 11:19

His site's constantly under attack by person or persons unknown...

RJM 12th Feb 2013 11:33

It all adds to the pantomime unreality of Australia's government, at least the way it's portrayed in certain media.

In onde corner, you have the 'nutjobs' like Pickering, Smith and to a lesser extent Bolt pursuing down its hole what is either the biggest fake rabbit ever seen or a legitimate claim of criminality against the serving PM, while well more than half the journalists in the nation (who by definition chase rabbits down holes) studiously ignore the whole thing.

Is our PM a pathological liar and at least a petty criminal?

If she is, is Abbott's likely chicanery over Ashby equivalent?

Whichever way the Gillard accusations turn out, a lot of people are going to look incredibly stupid.

Is there really a right wing hate media?

Do the left leanings of many journalists really trump the curiosity their profession is founded on?

And what of Rudd? Could he really form a government with a party half of whose parliamentary members have publicly declared him to be a psychopath and varmint of the lowest order?

And what would an unbiased assessment of the Rudd/Gillard government to date really look like?

Well, you have to admit it's enteertaining, if at a price.

Fliegenmong 12th Feb 2013 11:38

Oh OK!, I thought it may have been something to do with removing defamatory comments, so as to not getting Mr (?) Pickering in trouble?

is his site under attack from people removing defamatory comments??? :confused::confused:

Excuse my simpleness, I'm trying to work out a Samsung Galaxy 'ACE' phone that has been tossed aside to me now that Jnr Fliegs has a bigger better phone thingy...they are without Rhyme or reason theses phones!, no help forthcoming from Jnr Fliegs other than 'I never used that function'...loosely translated means..."Can't be @rsed to help"

Fliegenmong 12th Feb 2013 11:54

'Tis indeed entertaining at a price RJ! Come Sept. 15/16/17 TA will announce I need sign an employment contract that makes me competitive in a free market, this will equate to about a bowl of rice a day...

Naturally I'll be sufficiently enlightened to see how good this practice is, because it means 'Australian Companies' are competitive....that is a good thing, and I'll be happy about earning a bowl of rice a day, every worker in Aus. will be, and to help pay for the reduced tax revenue, increase taxes etc, we'll all work longer, harder....this is a good thing in a developed nation, apparently

What we need to understand in this Country is, the likes of AJ, LC, etc are here to save us, they do this by striving to reduce QF conditions as far as they possibly can...you will not reap the benefit of cost efficiencies, that's tied up in management 'KPIs'.........all you need do is vote LNP., they'll take care of the rest.....:ok:

RJM 12th Feb 2013 11:57

Are you so sure that the Abbott means WorkChoices bogey isn't just an ALP beatup, Fliegs? They've denied it often enough. Maybe you're worrying for nothing. Alan Joyce isn't going to have a very popular airline if it's crewed by lowest tender non-Australians.

Stranger and stranger

Pickering is a multi-Walkley Award winning journalist and was once a top ranking cartoonist. Then he became bitter...

He's also a helicopter pilot. Here's how he used to spend his time before he got divorced and had to sell his helicopter to raise cash to pay his wife - hence the bitterness.

From a recent Pickering Post (sorry again for length but I found it very interesting reading):

The Solomon Islands Tsunami

For me it stirred old memories better forgotten.

A catastrophic tsunami south-east of the Solomons in 1998 was not reported here. (No footage, no news.)

I flew my Jetranger from Port Vila to assist. On arrival everything looked normal from the air except for a small cross on a vast beach of one small Island.

I landed and realised that it was the top of a steeple. Only the cross remained of a church which was now below mountains of sand dumped on the village by the massive rotating wave.

I had no idea how many people were below the sand but villagers farther back in the tree line were dying from horrific injuries.

I was told that children had raced up from the beach that morning yelling that the tide had suddenly gone out. Elders had realised what was happening and everyone had scrambled to higher ground.

Some made it, many didn't.

I quickly assessed the most critically injured and tried to help them into the chopper. Strangely they resisted me.

In Bishlama they explained that their dead had to be cared for first.

I was stunned as I listened to their instructions. They would not allow the injured to be attended to until all their dead had been returned to their respective islands of birth.

This seemed to be madness as there were at least 20 visible bodies.

But I put eight in the net sling and a small boy in the passenger seat, who said he knew where their islands of origin were.

It turned out he didn't know.

Other islanders rejected the bodies and redirected me to other islands. They didn't belong there either and fuel was low.

I dumped the bodies on a beach somewhere and returned south to Santo to refuel and pick up a 44 gallon drum of jetA1. Now, with the eight bodies in the net, I would be seriously over weight.

I returned to the beach dumping the 44 gallon drum and recovered the net of bodies which by now were decaying in the hot sun.

It was dark by the time six of the bodies had been returned to their rightful islands. The two remaining bodies I left on the beach next to the fuel drum.

Without light it was proving an impossible task and the tsunami ravaged island had only the odd torch. There was no sleep as the whimpering, crying and screaming filled the night.

My first aid kit did little for fractured skulls, missing limbs and mangled torsos.

In the morning the scale of the problem became clear.

At least another dozen had died during the night and the villagers still refused to allow me to get any of the critically injured back to Port Vila hospital (which was a fate worse than death anyway).

I decided to do the wrong thing. I again loaded eight stinking bodies in the net and dumped them in a lagoon on the other side of the island at the same time threatening the boy with placing a spell on him if he told anyone.

[Witchcraft and voodoo is widely practised here along with cannibalism and head shrinking. I had witchdoctor status as I had emerged from the sky. A taboo is like pointing the bone, you will voluntarily die in one day if placed under a spell.]

Anyway it worked for long enough to eventually dump all the dead in remote lagoons.

Now I was able to fill the chopper with those who were least injured first because I figured the most seriously injured would be dead anyway by the time I returned from the five hour round trip.

I needed to refuel from the 44 drum on the beach so I could make it to Santo but I had forgotten about the two rotting bodies lying next to it.

One of the bodies was the uncle of one of the injured and they all demanded to be taken back to the tsunami island until repatriation of the dead was properly completed.

I reluctantly returned, avoiding a revolt in mid flight. I sat in the shade, desperately trying resolve the situation. Now others had died and it seemed beyond hopeless.

So I did something that still haunts me, I flew back to Port Vila and saved no-one.

On the flight back I wondered what other small islands were suffering the same fate. Had aid come from Honiara. I had heard no other choppers on HF radio.

I tried to justify, or at least rationalise, the unholy situation.

What was really more important? To respect a cultural custom or to save lives?

Whose decision should it be? Theirs or mine?

Lately I sleep believing it was rightfully theirs. We believe we are different to that… we are much more sophisticated.

But are we really?

We condemn their symbolic cannibalism yet we taught them our Christian rite of symbolic cannibalism; breaking bread and drinking wine... the flesh and blood of our late hero, Jesus Christ.

We also need to sit and watch our own people die as a result of well-held cultural beliefs.

Some of our religions won't permit blood transfusions, we accede to their wishes and people die.

Are these practices any different to that of Pacific island natives? Is the sanctity of a belief a more important option than certain death?

The natives thought so, as do we.

But we believe we are more sophisticated. Mmm.

Fliegenmong 12th Feb 2013 12:24

Are you so sure that the Abbott means WorkChoices bogey isn't just an ALP beatup, Fliegs? They've denied it oftern enough. Maybe you're worrying for nothing.

True, RJM, but as Tony has said himself....in his world there are Gospel and non Gospel truths....so whilst admitting he is a liar, we also never know when he is telling a lie....really a monumental f*** up that the 'MSM' allowed through to the keeper that is, but anyway the Liberal power brokers found it acceptable, just as much as the Labor suicide brokers found it acceptable to support the Red Bogan over the Milky bar kid, despite opinion polls......how much do you wantr to lose by idiots?!?!??!

I know the Red Bogan regularly lies to me (never be a carbon tax etc.)....tone has told me sometimes he lies, and it's up to me to figure it out......I actually see a bigger picture than that tone.....and until you treat me with enough respect, I'll continue to refer to you as 't' tony, as I do 'h' howard, as with 'j' gillard they are incredibly wide of the mark, and as a swing voter t abbott has failed miserably to convince me.....

RJM 12th Feb 2013 12:50

Well don't vote G it's a waste of time. :=

MTOW 12th Feb 2013 21:52

I see the likelihood of an Abbott (note the 'A', Fleigs) victory in September (or whenever) along similar lines to barak obama's (note the 'b' and the 'o', Fleigs) victory over George Bush in 2008. he won simply because he was 'anyone but George Bush'). The utterly ridiculous - and totally undeserved - awarding of the Nobel peace prize to obama six weeks after he became President shows that this emotion was not confined to American voters.

Abbott should win simply because he is 'anyone but julia gillard' (note the 'j' and the 'g'). He may turn out to be a terrible Prime Minister. (I don't think he'll be terrible, but I fully expect to be disappointed in some of the things he does - or, more likely, doesn't do, like NOT undoing enough of the 'progressive' legislation introduced by labor over the last five years.)

However, in the very, very bad Prime Minister stakes, I really don't think anyone could hope to approach julia gillard - or kevin rudd (and no, my shift key isn't broken) - even if they set out to do so. So I think, even were he or she to have reservations about Abbott, any thinking voter would have to vote for him come September (or earlier) - or more particularly, 'anyone but julia gillard'.

CoodaShooda 12th Feb 2013 22:25

Interesting stat in the local paper this morning.

The quota for an NT Senate seat is 33.33%.

Crossin got 34.39% last time.

So labor holding the seat with Ms Peris is not necessarily a done deal.

RJM 12th Feb 2013 23:14

I agree that Gillard is by any assessment a poor PM. Even by her own standard, she has failed - the four things she promised to fix are actually the worse for her attentions. Put simply - she's not up to it. The boys in Sussex Street made a monumental mistake thinking she could do the job.

Gillard has also spent - wasted - a huge amount of a PM's valuable time and energy in trying to diminish Abbott. Another example of Gillard putting her own immediate interest (re-election) ahead of the national interest (eg well-considered judgment on policy) which she is employed to advance and protect.

One way to win a race is by out-performing your competitors. Another way, Gillard's way, is to attack the opposition so they can't win.

I suggest that a lot of the mantra 'Abbott will be a bad PM' is the result of Gillard's incessant attacking of Abbott. Considered rationally, there's no reason Abbott wouldn't be a good PM. Aside from the bogeyman of WorkChoices, Abbott is likely to be steady, well-advised, and certainly no worse than the average quality of PM we had until things began to get weird, with Rudd, then surreal, with Gillard.

To put the question in Gillard's reductivist terms, could Abbott be any worse than Gillard?

I think 'NO' is the answer there.

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