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criticalmass 31st Jul 2012 03:05


Marxist-Leninist political doctrine requires the men-with-guns to be under the control of the men with political power. Chairman Mao famously paraphrased this with "all power grows from the barrel of a gun" or something very similar.

The constitutional position of the ADF is a matter for the lawyers to consider. Unlike the USA, I am not aware of anything which prevents either assets, material or members of the ADF being used against Australian citizens.

RJM 31st Jul 2012 03:43

I really can't accept that we're at the stage of any political move involving the ADF acting against the citizens. The ADF would barely have the manpower now anyway...

It is likely, though, that Gillard will take any steps she can to hang on to power, including hanging on to the furniture as she is dragged from the Lodge.

One of the strangest aspects of her strange administration is the way Gillard herself sails on serenely, apparently in denial of the chaos - mostly of her own making - behind her, around her and ahead of her.

I also have the feeling that Gillard may have some unspoken Fabian program at the core of her 'philosophy', which thankfully she is too inept to implement.

Buster Hyman 31st Jul 2012 04:19

Yeah, I too cannot see the ADF having any hand in this.

I think she'll do what she can to hang onto the power, but half the delusion is believing everything she's saying...and thinking everyone else will fall for the old "say something often enough & it becomes the truth" routine. (You know what I mean, we've seen it on this thread many times...)

eagle 86 31st Jul 2012 04:27

"Vote early vote often" is not only the prerogative of the left - someone very close to me has been doing it for years.

bob johns 31st Jul 2012 04:44

bob johns
Wilkie was an army officer.

Saltie 31st Jul 2012 05:41

The ALP and the military have some history, not all of it happy. Many would not remember, but people were almost in as deep despair at the state of the country towards the end of 1975 as they are today.

Not long before the removal of the Whitlam rabbl... government in the November of that year, three very senior military offcers were unexpectedly retired. Everyone who was involved will deny it, but the only credible explanation for these sudden retirements could be that the Whitlam government was afraid of a (gasp!) military coup.

I was in the system at the time and knew (and had served under) one of the three, and, as desperate as we were, I can assure everyone that I - and no other serving member that I knew - would ever have followed this man if he'd tried anything even remotely approaching a coup.

I can only assume that the same would apply for the ADF today. The population has been disarmed - (thank you, John Howard.) You don't need the 'barrel of gun' any more.

MattGray 31st Jul 2012 05:42

Wilkie was an army officer.
So was "Can do" Campbell - one of the best things to happen in Australian politics in recent times.:ok:

That together with the depredations of Baillieu and O'Farrell will give Australians with short memories ample time before the next election to reflect on what life would really be like under Liberals federally.:ok::ok:

In Spain, they call it "semana del infierno". In English, it's known as "the week from hell". Whatever the language, Premier Campbell Newman has had it this week.

From comparing Queensland's economy with Spain, to recommending a new federal tax, to leaking details of a private dinner, Mr Newman has racked up his worst week since storming to his state election win in March.

The man who fought against Julia Gillard over a flood levy for Queenslanders last year has been skewered by both sides of politics over his proposal for a new federal tax to fund a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Last night, Mr Newman was left out in the cold by his own party after he revealed details of informal discussions at a private dinner with the Prime Minister and state and territory leaders in Canberra on Tuesday night.

Mr Newman said he asked the Prime Minister towards the end of the main course if she had "thought about a tax... like a flood levy"

As Brisbane's lord mayor, Mr Newman opposed a flood levy to help Queenslanders, saying he would "prefer to cut or delay projects than raise rates to pay for the recovery".

"We don't want to have a flood levy," he said on February 8, 2011.

But Mr Abbott sided with the Prime Minister's suggestion that the money should come from general revenue.

That sparked another twist when Mr Newman declared, "whether the federal Coalition supports it or not, I don't care, that's not the point".

The Premier's bad week began on Tuesday when he said that a "bankrupt" Queensland was the "Spain of Australian states".

Those remarks attracted derision from the Federal Government, with Treasurer Wayne Swan calling them "the most reckless and irresponsible comments" he had ever heard from a premier.

Mr Newman's assessment coincided with an address to Chinese investors by Treasurer Tim Nicholls, who told the business people the state was a "stable and attractive place to invest". Courier Mail

500N 31st Jul 2012 06:57

Talking about Military officers.

As much as some people didn't like his politics, we need a head kicker like Kennett. He'd fix the mess, would fix the Asylum seeker problem and get things moving generally. And maybe even get rid of some of the dead wood in the Federal system.

On the subject of Asylum Seekers, I see the Navy rescued another boat today.

Australian navy rescues sinking boat

They seem to have the system down pat now. Some quotes:-

"There were about 65 passengers and four crew on board the boat, which contacted the Australian Maritime Safety Authority to report it was sinking at about 8am yesterday.

Even though the distressed boat was reportedly some 308 nautical miles north west of Ashmore Islands and in the Indonesian search and rescue zone, AMSA said that Australia - not Indonesia - was best placed to help the vessel.

According to Customs, 101 boats carrying more than 6900 people have arrived in Australia this year."

500N 31st Jul 2012 07:03


"I was in the system at the time and knew (and had served under) one of the three, and, as desperate as we were, I can assure everyone that I - and no other serving member that I knew - would ever have followed this man if he'd tried anything even remotely approaching a coup."

I agree. We may be commanded by Pollies but I find it hard to believe Aussie troops would use weapons against Aussies in today's age.

Just to dispel a myth
"I can only assume that the same would apply for the ADF today. The population has been disarmed - (thank you, John Howard.) You don't need the 'barrel of gun' any more."

We have NOT been disarmed, certain category's of firearms are no longer allowed but their are MORE firearms now in civilians hands than before Howard's theft of our personal property. I have 10 times more than what I did then and I'm not the only one. On top of more firearms, their are also MORE firearm owners than before as well.

MattGray 31st Jul 2012 07:32

Day 30 yesterday since the carbon tax started.

The ASX is now up 3.7% - adding about $41 billion to the value of the market! :D

As His Excellency John Dauth AO LVO Australian High Commissioner to the Court of St James's said yesterday at the Australian Olympic Committee garden party at his residence Stoke Lodge "It's the economy stupid".

Nevertheless I'm sure someone who has drunk too much of the Abbott Kool-Aid will be along shortly to prove yet again that you can fool some of the people all of the time. :rolleyes:

Buster Hyman 31st Jul 2012 08:49

500N. You're right about Kennett. The ALP campaigned against him by comparing him to a bull in a China shop, well, they weren't far off the mark! But, he was the right man at the right time for the state.

Now, I didn't agree with all of his policies, but you'd never die wondering about where he stood on an issue. He ran the Government, not the backbenchers, not any faceless people, and most certainly not a committee! He polarised opinion about himself, but he got on with the job.

Big Ted, on the other hand, well he's trying to emulate him, but he's not quite the presence the State needs. He may even be a one term Premier!

CoodaShooda 31st Jul 2012 09:43

Yes Matt

The economy is doing well (as long as you're not working in retail, manufacturing, construction, tourism, cattle export and state public service, or earn over $80,000pa) and most people are no longer significantly concerned about the carbon tax.

Doesn't seem to be helping labor though.

bob johns 31st Jul 2012 10:32

bob johns
Yes Matt but Newman knows what he is doing! ---Military men--- I was flying aeroplanes in a remote area of a newly independent country south of the equator when Goofy got the sack in 1975. I was at home looking after my young wife ,who was ill, when we got the news on a very weak ABC station.When the newsflash started the boffins cranked up the output of the transmitter and nearly blew us out of the room. Now this tiny ,remote highland town (about 150 european people) had an Australian ArmyUnit in residence- roads, bridges, power, water etc a major 4 captains the rest about--30 were all senior ncos the local people were learning how to look after themselves .I was able to break the news in the mess at 1700 and if I had been wrong I would have been tarred and feathered-- the beer was free for a fortnight. I dont think we need to worry about Aussie diggers turning their guns on Aussies especially to boost some shitty politicians ambitions.

Andu 31st Jul 2012 11:04

From the Andrew Bolt bl_

An interesting situation developing in Singapore where a merchant ship has “rescued” Tamil asylum seekers trying to come to Australia. The vessel MV Sea Fortune took them to Singapore where they were met by Sri Lankan representatives and given air tickets back to Sri Lanka. The people refused to leave the ship (similar to Oceanic Viking situation). Singapore will not accept the people and the shipping company wants their vessel to continue on its normal operations. However they do not wish to sail with the asylum seekers onboard, due to health,sanitation and safety issues, knowing that probably no other country will take them. There is now potential for merchant ships to ignore Safety at Life at Sea situations knowing that they may be stuck with “survivors” for an extended purpose, costing the shipping companies lots of money and loss of other cargo. No doubt the Australian Government will again cave in and allow the people to come here. Australia no longer decides who comes to this country, the boat people make the decision for us.

Lucky Cat of Melbourne (Reply)
Tue 31 Jul 12 (05:53pm)
First I've heard of this. It will be interesting to see how this turns out. What's the bet the "solution" that gets them off the boat will include free Qantas tickets to Australia?

500N 31st Jul 2012 12:27

Your description of Kennett - right man, right time for the state. I lived through him and IMHO, he set Victoria up for the success it had following him. Even those who voted him out wished they hadn't afterwards as another 4 years would have been good for the state.

I disagree with you re Ted trying to emulate him, I don't think he is but I do wish Ted would just get on with it and get a bit of momentum going.

Interesting story.

"There is now potential for merchant ships to ignore Safety at Life at Sea situations"
Agree, but the way the Navy is being sent here there and everywhere,
they don't need to pick them up, the Navy (RAN) will even in areas outside our area of responsibility:ugh:

Sorry, I believe Howard had it right.

Feed the sharks once and the boats will stop coming (my words, not Howards).

parabellum 31st Jul 2012 13:00

Having lived there for ten years I wouldn't put it beyond the Singapore authorities to bring about the disembarkation of these Sri Lankans from the ship and escort them to the airport and on to the aircraft, probably in small packets and under heavy escort.

Many years ago I remember trying to explain to my son, only just out of nappies, how, having just planted a seed, you would then have to wait some time to see a result, he, like some,(one), here on this thread and the effects of carbon tax, had great difficulty in understanding this concept, I understood my sons difficulty, he was only four years old after all.

Buster Hyman 31st Jul 2012 14:57

I disagree with you re Ted trying to emulate him, I don't think he is but I do wish Ted would just get on with it and get a bit of momentum going.
Fair call. Emulate in as much as being hell bent on restoring the State's coffers & reducing the unsustainable reliance on debt for Infrastructure etc. Reducing the size of the Public Service...which I know only too well...in an effort to create efficiency but sadly, they're not going about it the right way.

Kennett did all this with a sense of optimism & enthusiasm whereas Baillieu seems absent. Now, in fairness, I'm critical of the politics of popularity which many pollies think is mandatory in this country, so perhaps he's doing us all a favour by not getting his head on the idiot box every five minutes but, if he is getting the job done, he better let somebody know about it!

allan907 31st Jul 2012 15:26

Tucked away in the back blocks of Singapore in an ex-British Army barracks is a contingent of highly trained ex-Gurkha soldiers who are held at a moment's readiness to deal with this sort of thing. In the words of Michael Cain - not a lot of people know that. I do.

Wouldn't surprise me if they were refining ship boarding methods right now.

500N 31st Jul 2012 17:13

Maybe I was a bit harsh, some things are getting done here in Vic although a fair bit is legacy. But after Bracks, we don't need another one the same. He is TOO invisible. OK, we don't need someone on the TV everyday but a bit more often would be good, like you said about Kennett, spruiking the state, getting enthusiasm going, although Ted could kick some of the doom and gloom heads that are around !!!

"politics of popularity which many pollies think is mandatory in this country"
I like that.

Andu 31st Jul 2012 21:57

Reported on this mornings ABC news, (dare I say it, almost breathlessly), that Australia and Indonesia are "close" to signing an agreement allowing Australian forces to enter Indonesian waters and territory to rescue those in distress "without delay". This as a result of the incident last week when Australian forces were unable to offer assistance to a boat in distress off Madura Island - NORTH OF JAVA.

Note to the Chris Evans staffer who reads blogs like this to compile the daily briefing for his/her Minister: "Minister, we, the people of Australia, feel that YOU and your government are making our country something beyond a laughing stock."

Please include this in your daily blurb to the Minister, preferably heavily highlighted.

500N 31st Jul 2012 22:19

I am dismayed at this - sending our warships and troops to do their job.

I am not fully up to speed on SAR areas of responsibility except that each country has their own area, Australia's being huge.

WTF is the point of this if we now need to do the Indonesians job for them in their area ?

I think it is a case of the Indo's don't want to do it if it involves Asylum seekers
but would do it if it involves a commercial ship.

Would we not be better off giving them a few ships and training a crew or two ? We have done it with their Anti Terrorist squad (with the US), Detachment 88 and that was from nothing.

I just did a quick search, the Indo's build their own small Navy craft so they have the ability.

We don't need to send Warships, we need to send large boats that can easily take on board others. The warships can then be used for what they are supposed to be used for.

The quicker we get someone in Gov't who makes some hard decisions, the better.


Andu 31st Jul 2012 22:23

It's an old Indonesian tradition called "taking the piss of the village idiot as far as he'll allow the piss to be taken out of him", 500N.

They've identified a prize village idiot and are enjoying themselves immensely.

Look on the bright side - after the Libs get in, if this agreement is in place, our Navy might be able to take the boats back close to Java "legally".

500N 31st Jul 2012 22:40


Yes, good point.

Our ships tow the boat back into an Indonesian Habour !!!

We have enough Very high cost Specialist troops and Police over in Indonesia as it is doing various things (as said in my post above).

We are stretched as it is without adding the Navy to it.

eagle 86 1st Aug 2012 00:26

Keep ignoring him!

Andu 1st Aug 2012 05:23

Three boats today (and we've got another nine hours to midnight). One boat reached Cocos Island undetected, and a number of pax from that boat swam ashore.

Doesn't augur well for the rest of the month, (unless your name is Sarah HansonHyphen).

Also, to counter the problems the Australian Government has had with imprisoning underage crewmembers on the people smugglers' boats, according to a caller into Sydney's 2GB, (who said his source was a crewmember on one of the Navy patrol boats employed on (choke!) border protection), passengers on these boats are offloaded - and (you couldn't make this up!!) - the crews with their boats are sent back to Java(!)

For the next load of country shoppers? The same crew will be running a daily morning and afternoon service.

500N 1st Aug 2012 05:38

In the article I read about the new Navy agreement with Indonesia,
it said that since the beginning of the year, 101 boats and 6600 people
have landed in Australia.

101 Boats !!!

How many of those got to our shores without being detected ?

This country is going to the dogs.

SOPS 1st Aug 2012 05:52

101 boats!!!! So just how many policy failures is that Juliar???:mad::mad:

500N 1st Aug 2012 05:59

Here is the full article from THE AUSTRALIAN. I notice they have now upgraded the total at the bottom since I read this at about 9.00am !!!!
Libs demand strict rules on boat aid deal with Jakarta
  • by: Lanai Vasek
  • August 01, 2012 3:21PM

THE Coalition says Australia will be running a "beach to beach water taxi service" for people-smugglers if a deal to allow the navy free access to Indonesian waters goes ahead without strict conditions.

Australia and Indonesia are reportedly close to signing an agreement that would allow the Australian navy into Indonesian waters without permission to conduct search and rescue operations if an asylum-seeker vessel is in distress.
The Gillard government has yet to confirm the agreement, with Treasurer Wayne Swan saying: “These will be matters that will be outlined when these matters are concluded.”
Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison told The Australian he had no problem with such an agreement as long as Australia was only used as the first point of call in “exceptional circumstances”.
Strict conditions should also be placed upon any deal, such as any asylum-seekers picked up in operations in Indonesian waters being returned to Jakarta.

“We always welcome discussions with Indonesia and working together with Indonesia on these issues but I don't want to see the navy's water taxi service running beach to beach between Indonesia and Australia,” Mr Morrison said.
“I don't have a problem with it necessarily but Indonesia would obviously need to retain responsibility as first responder and coordinator in search and rescue operations, certainly in their own waters and certainly within the search and rescue zone.
“But any arrangement here would have to clarify that anyone picked up in this situation and rescued in this situation, whether it is in Indonesian waters or in their search and rescue zone, would need to go back to Indonesia because otherwise you are running a water taxi service from beach to beach for people-smugglers and that is not an acceptable outcome.”
In the past year hundreds of asylum-seekers have drowned off the coast of Java on their way to Australia.
Indonesia's defence minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro told the ABC he expected a deal to be signed to allow Australian boats free rein of Indonesian waters as early as next month.
“So Australia's asking us when their patrol boats can enter our waters, what are the rules that apply,” Mr Purnomo told the ABC.
“So far they have doing that, but actually they're doing it without rules protecting them. They worry that our radar would be catching them, either the air defence system or the maritime radar.”
News of the pending deal came as another two asylum-seeker boats were intercepted in Australian waters.

In July a total of 32 boats were intercepted in 31, the highest monthly figure on record.

Overnight a boat with 28 asylum-seekers was intercepted followed by another vessel with 43 passengers and two crew.

The arrivals take this year's to 103 boats carrying 6987 asylum-seekers and 164 crew.

Clare Prop 1st Aug 2012 09:07

What is the definition of "Indonesian Waters" in this context?

Coastal waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone, EEZ, which?

allan907 1st Aug 2012 09:16

Anything below high water mark. And if it's been raining and the runway is wet then I think that arriving aircraft doorway also counts.

MattGray 1st Aug 2012 09:52

I wonder if any of the true blue believers expressing angst over boat people ever consider it might have been a good idea if Abbott and Co had supported the Oakeshott bill eh? :confused:

At the time some of the more sensible Libs thought so. Lib MP Dr Mal Washer called on Tony Abbott to consider supporting Labor's Malaysia Solution. But said he didn't want to cross the floor on the issue, declaring he didn't want to "vote against one idiot over another in a dumb and dumber competition''.

But of course it wouldn't have suited the Liberals Machiavellian strategy to ensure the asylum seeker issue remains alive and unresolved until the next election. More boats = more votes for the Libs and too bad if a few of them sink and lives are lost in the process.

Afterwards of course the hypocrisy reached stratospheric levels as the Greens were made the whipping boy with endless bleating over them having no mandate yada yada etc.

They did what they did because they could. End of.

Just as "Never ever" Johnny did with the GST.

EffohX 1st Aug 2012 10:55

some of the more sensible Libs thought so. Lib MP Dr Mal Washer
Dr Mal Washer... on a scale of" Dry Libs" to "Wet Libs, Dr Mal (there's that name again) Washer could be classified as off scale in the "absolutely drenched" category, right up there in the outfield alongside Malcolm Turnbull as a Liberal who can be guaranteed to always - but always - come out with sodden wet policy that would be totally acceptable to Labor.

Give us all abreak, Matt. With this latest "development"(!) of the RAN being "allowed, unhindered" into Indonesian waters to collect the country shoppers from the end of the wharf, surely even a True Believer like youself is finding supporting the Gillard "government"(!) a bit like pushing sh1t uphill with a very pointy stick.

parabellum 1st Aug 2012 11:10

More boats = more votes for the Libs and too bad if a few of them sink and lives are lost in the process.

No it doesn't, exactly the opposite, all the arrived boat people will vote labour, a vote for Labour equals a vote for welfare, a vote for The Coalition equals get off your arse and do something useful, sign up in the armed forces, maybe?

The suggested agreement between Australia and Indonesia could actually give the RAN the powers they need to turn back the boats; well armed boarding party boards boat, anyone not part of the boarding party moved to a non vital area of the boat and kept under armed guard. Boat now towed back into Indonesian coastal water, Gemini or similar craft take over tow and complete it to a port or shallow beach area, boarding party now disable boat engine by removing vital parts but not destroying it, boarding party return to mother ship. It could be done if there is a will, do the ALP have it?

500N 1st Aug 2012 11:28


That is a good point. Not sure a Zodiac / Gemini's could tow the boats
but the RIB's certainly could.

Not sure the Indonesians would like your way of thinking though
as I think they are expecting the RAN to take them to Christmas Island.

(Or you could give the the thrill of a lifetime, hook it up to the back
of the Patrol Boat and open her up. Deliver who ever is left back to shore.)

What is the betting that once the agreement is signed, the phone calls
from Asylum Seekers will originate closer to Indonesia / Java ?

SOPS 1st Aug 2012 11:34

THe phone calls will come direct from the Java Sheraton. I mean why even bother getting wet.:mad:;)

parabellum 1st Aug 2012 11:46

If, big IF, the RAN were to follow my suggested procedure then I can imagine the Indonesians sceaming 'foul' after only a couple of successful returns, the corruption is huge and goes a long way up the tree, possibly to the top, so cutting off a big supply train will not be popular.

(Or you could give the the thrill of a lifetime, hook it up to the back
of the Patrol Boat and open her up. Deliver who ever is left back to shore.)

Like this?


RJM 1st Aug 2012 13:34

Tonight, the treasurer Wayne Swan, as our acting prime minister, builds a speech around Bruce Springsteen's 'economic philosophy' as expressed in his songs in support of his continued arttack on Gina Rinehart, Twiggy Forrest and Clive Palmer - part of Swan's atrtempt to define Labour values. Rineharet, Forrest and Palmer are wealthy, highly productive Australians who employ thousands of people and who are not breaking the law.

Yet Swan regrets 'not going hard enough' in criticising them.

Unbelievable. What can you say, other than 'let this be Swan's swan song'.

SOPS 1st Aug 2012 14:02

Sorry RJM to ask this, but have you been into the cooking sherry? (I am overseas so not up with this), but are you saying that Swan is basing a speech, attacking some fellow Australians based on the songs of Bruce Springsteen? To prove you have not been into the sherry please arrange these words into a sentence...plot, lost, totally, have, they, the.

allan907 1st Aug 2012 14:33

Unfortunately SOPS 'tis true. Welcome to the whacky world of dysfunctional ALP "government". They don't seem to be able to help themselves despite the previous bad press for earlier ventures into the realm of pop culture. They haven't yet realised that it's minus one point on the opinion polls everytime they do something like that.

SOPS 1st Aug 2012 14:58

All I can say is "Please God (wich ever God you do or dont believe in) give us an election":confused:

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