Executions, Promotions

Apparently there was a legally sanctioned execution of Australian drug dealers in Indonesia.  Tarquin O’flaherty and Quentin Cockburn wised to add their thoughts.

Tarquin O’Flaherty:
It is today, the 28th of April and I’ve just watched the ABC news. Dominating every thing else was the fact that those swiney ole Indonesians are, despite our pleas, despite our best diplomatic efforts, determined on executing our two boys.

There are flowers  everywhere, postcards everywhere, impassioned pleas from governments, diplomats, concerned journalists and huge swathes of the general public, desperate to see this matter resolved in a Western, and civilized manner. 
Despite all this, our love, our fears our desperate tears, implacable, uncaring, determined to see this thing to the death, the wholly insensitive Indonesian authorities will execute these two men very soon now.

Watching the ABC news, not one journalist interviewed a dead child’s  parent.  At no stage did we see a mother, helpless with grief, incoherently try to understand why the child she had nurtured had been found dead in an alley with a needle in her arm. Or, why some kid in a nightclub toilet had overdosed and died of a massive heart attack. Somewhere else, a kid high on ice, wanders out into the road and is promptly reduced to pulp by the passing traffic.None of this seemed to matter to the ABC news.

All of this leaves me incoherent with rage. What the hell is going on? What has happened to us? These two Australian boys are not, (despite bleeding heart attempts to say otherwise), innocent. They are lousy, stinking, get-rich-quick drug dealers who were caught trying to smuggle murderous drugs out of Indonesia and into Australia. These drugs, one way or another, will kill our children.

This pair of drug dealers were absolutely aware of the consequences of their actions. They knew if they were caught, they would face the firing squad.

Much as I sympathize with the view that the death penalty is unacceptable, to behave towards these men as if some terrible injustice is being forced upon them, as if they were somehow innocent of the charges brought against them by the Indonesian authorities, is to fly in the face, not just of the facts, but in that of reality itself. They were caught with the drugs strapped to their bodies.  Because of this they have been found guilty of a crime which carries the death penalty.

The pair are, whichever way you swing it, cheap, murderous thugs who would have sold their bounty to the highest bidder had they got away with it. 

It is my view that the ABC has utterly failed in its responsibility, throughout this affair, to behave in an impartial, even-handed manner. It has chosen instead, and inexplicably, to pander to the the lowest common denominator, to support a cretinous, sentimentalized , wholly emotional view which absolutely fails to reflect the facts of this case.

This is, amongst those at the ABC whom we deem to be worthwhile, a shameful display of intellectual failure. Those who have, in the past, contributed to the good reputation of the ABC, must be hanging their heads in shame..

Quentin Cockburn, a poem, ‘Promotion

‘Chan and Sukumaran, their final hours’, (Herald Sun April 29)
‘Political fallout will run deep’, (The Age)
‘It cannot be business as usual’, (Herald Sun)
‘Senseless’, (ABC NEWS)

‘Ambulances containing eight coffins left Nuakambangan’, (Herald Sun)
‘The family said, they asked for mercy but there was none’, (The Age)
‘Amazing Grace in face of death’, (Herald Sun)
‘No one was answering the phones at the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra this morning’, (The Age)

‘As I said before Gallipoli was a splendid failure but the Western Front was a terrible victory, and we should remember out victories as well as we remember our defeats’, (P.M. Tony Abbott. Villiers Brettoneux dedication. ABC News)

Promotion well earnt for those who serve the AFP

Lest we forget


Man as Machine – Anarchy

In the second part of Tarquin O’Flaherty’s examination of the life, times and writings of William Godwin Anarchy is touched upon.

It is impossible here to do justice to Godwin’s work.  His essays and novels were so highly regarded at the time, and so in demand, that there was a growing and constant clamour for them to be translated, at first into French, then German and finally Russian.  His essays, and particularly his ‘Enquiry Concerning Political Justice’ and his novel, ‘Caleb Williams’, remained highly influential throughout the 19th century.

Basically, if I have the right of it, Godwin believed that the principles of justice, equality and private judgement should be applied to all of the institutions we surround ourselves with.  If this is done in a properly critical manner, with justice and equality as essential criteria, then, quite quickly these bodies will be discovered to be corrupted and unfit for purpose.  They are,  time and time again, found to be more interested in their own well being, their own survival,  than the well-being of the population at large.  These institutions include the government, the church, freedom of speech and toleration Societies, the law and any other institution or group within society which impinges on our private right to judgement.  This judgement, according to Godwin, will of course be based on reason, and reason, in the ‘cogito ergo sum’ sense, is based on justice.  Any conglomeration, or agglomeration of persons, even in marriage, on examination, becomes questionable.

(A perfect example of this institutionalised corruption in modern times, is the absolute refusal, by governments in the West to give countenance or credence to any form of government other than the existing ‘democratic’ one.  Godwin’s beliefs were based around Anarchism, ‘…a theory of government based on the free agreement of individuals rather than on submission to law and authority…’ (OED).  Anarchy nowadays has come to mean disorder and lawlessness.  Cuba, where an infinitely more humane form of communism has been practised, has been brought to its economic knees by Western sanctions simply beause their version of justice and equality is more equal and just than ours.  Without these sanctions, the Cuban alternative to our ‘democracy’, a communism based on justice and equality, might have provided a really successful alternative to our patently corrupt, multinational driven form of government.  It might have brought  the level of Western governmental corruption to the public’s attention.  The West could not could not allow this to happen, so we’ve had 60 grinding years of shameful, pitiless sanctions against a tiny country which, for half a century at least, has not been a conceivable threat to anyone.  ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ however, just like ‘Anarchy’, have passed into the American language as dirty ‘commie’ words)

Man as Machine – Mary Woolstonecraft

Over the next few posts Tarquin O’Flaherty explores the fascinating world of philosopher William Goodwin, beginning today with a piece about his wife, Mary Woolstonecraft, the mother in law of Percy Shelley.

Mary Woolstonecraft (1759-1797) one of the legendary early pioneers of womens’ rights, famously wrote ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Women’ (1792) in which she argued that women were not inferior to men and only appeared so due to their lack of education.  She was married to the philosopher William Godwin (1756-1836), a believer in Utopian ideals, who argued that vice and crime could be eliminated from society simply by eliminating the appalling conditions people were being forced to endure during the Industrial Revolution.  In short he believed that the Industrial Revolution, in exploiting labour for profit, actually created crime.  He believed that if you treated people in a just manner, then their need to resort to crime (for survival) would be eliminated and, as a consequence, the conditions for an ideal society, at the very least the foundations for it, might be laid.

Woolstonecraft died at 38, a few days following the birth of her daughter, Mary.  Mary Woolstonecraft-Godwin grew up, wrote the novel ‘Frankenstein’, then went on to marry Percy Bysshe Shelley, the poet.

After his wife’s death, William Godwin produced a biography to honour her memory.  The biography revealed that, prior to her marriage to Godwin, Woolstonecraft had had at least two ‘illicit’ liasons, one of which, with the American, Gilbert Imlay, had produced a daughter, Fanny.  This proved to be so scandalous in the eyes of society that Woolstonecraft (the scarlet woman!) was written out of history for over one hundred years.  She was not rediscovered until the 1920s when the fight for womens’ rights gained more ground.  Her name remains an unfamiliar one even now.

Poetry Sunday 26 April 2015

Here’s a poem about how the important things in our lives may be discovered to be less important than we’d thought. How repression, fear, cowardice and all sorts of other bits of negativity combine to conceal us from our own failures. We build dizzyingly complex personal psychological defences for ourselves, because freedom, real freedom,  frightens the life out of us.

In the 1960s, when this poem was written, nuclear Mutually Assured Destruction was an ever present threat.

The poet, Roger McGough,hilariously uses this threat to brush aside all ‘respectability’, and gloriously confines this newly acquired freedom to an unrestrained episode on a stationary lunch time omnibus.

Then, like the hundredth monkey tale, having had it happen once, it gradually expands to include;

‘…every street, in every town in every country…’

In the end, it is a story about love and the triumph of love. All of the horrors, the terror, the misery and poverty, the violence and cruelty foisted on us by our great leaders are as nothing because, and thank the gods for it, in the end, love conquers all.

Long may it remain so.
Ira Maine, Poetry Editor

‘At Lunchtime: A Story of Love’ by Roger McGough

When the bus stopped suddenly to avoid
damaging a mother and child in the road, the
young lady in the green hat sitting opposite
was thrown across me,
and not being one to miss an opportunity
I started to make love
with all my body.
At first, she resisted saying that it
was too early in the morning and too soon
after breakfast and that anyway she found
me repulsive. But when I explained that
this being a nuclear age, the world was going
to end at lunchtime, she took  off her
green hat, put her bus ticket into her pocket
and joined in the exercise.
The bus people, and there were many of
them, were shocked and surprised, and amused-
and annoyed, but when word got around
that the world was coming to an end at lunchtime,
they put their pride in their pockets
with their bus tickets and made love one with the other.
And even the bus conductor, feeling left
out climbed into the cab and struck up
some sort of relationship with the driver.
That night, on the bus coming home,
we were all a little embarrassed, especially me
and the young lady in the green hat, and we
all started to say in different ways how hasty
and foolish we had been. But then, always
having been a bit of a lad, i stood up and
said it was a pity that the world didn’t nearly
end every lunchtime, and that we could always
pretend. And then it happened . . .
Quick as a flash we all changed partners,
and soon the bus was aquiver with white
mothball bodies doing naughty things.
And the next day
and everyday
In every bus
In every street
In every town
In every country
People pretended that the world was coming
to an end at lunchtime. It still hasn’t.
Although in a way it has.


MDFF 25 April 2015

There is no Musical Dispatch this week.

Any suggestion that this has something to do with the inability of the AWM to recognise the Frontier Wars, or the racist treatment of the indigenous servicemen who served in WW1 is pure conjecture.

However we do have a Mine Tinket for your perusalCaptain Came and Took

Woolworth and ANZAC

The Office of The Rt Hon Michael Ronaldson
Minister for Veterans Affairs
Canberra ACT

Grant O’Brien
Managing Director and Chief Executive
Woolworth’s Pty Ltd

Re: The Promotion of Little Digger brand Toilet Paper

Dear Mr O’Brien,

The Federal Government has been thrilled with your enthusiastic response to the Anzac Centenary Celebrations, and I would like to personally thank you as Minister for your generous contribution to the Aussie Little Hero’ award scheme.  This year’s recipient, Tyson Dyson was warmly congratulated for his inspirational essay, Me and me mates, a Nation born at Gallipoli.  Copies of this essay will be distributed to all families in Australia and with the fridge magnet will do much to ensure the Anzac legend lives on.

Your corporation’s generous donation of ten million dollars to the federal party will go to ensure that one very needy child at the neonatal unit at the Nauru Detention Centre, or one of those living in remote communities, will be equipped with your superb book, ‘V.C Heroes’, and will be in the running for the Home brand Anzac colouring competition first prize, a trip to Gallipoli, and all expenses paid tour of our recent victorious campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It is with this in mind that I congratulate you on your decision to recall from sale the Anzac toilet roll, and Dardanelles brand of feminine hygiene products in favour of the re-badged Little Digger toiletries.  We believe that an association intended or otherwise between products geared specifically for Women and Anzac was inappropriate.  We would also like to suggest that your product line Anzac Bitter, Anzac Lager, and the discount priced Anzac Cove cigarette packs were promoted and sold in poor taste, as the consumption of these products precluded sale to minors.  We at the Federal Government want to ensure that the spirit of Anzac is an entirely family event in keeping with the sacrifice endured by Australian men to make this country safe.  Lest we forget.

Sadly I must also inform you that the Federal Government, although not disagreeing in principle to the spirit of the advertising campaign, would like the following products withdrawn from sale. Anzac Brand BBQ lighters, Anzac branded footballs, Little Digger coloured dice, and John E Turk Corned Beef, as they are currently licensed to the AFL, who will be promoting them over the Anzac day weekend with a display match between Essendon and Collingwood.  We also ask you to withdraw the brand, John E Turk, and Abdul falafel wraps from the shelves as we have received complaints from the Turkish embassy that such nicknames are copyright controlled by the Ataturk, (licensed to Coca Cola) soft drink company.

I commend you for your enthusiasm in putting Anzac onto the shelves of your supermarkets across Australia so that ordinary working families will know the Anzac legend.  I would also like to remind you that your maternity products, “Birth of a Nation” though worthy have caused quite a ruction at the RSL.  It’s not the principle that’s at stake, but the brands, ‘No mans’, ‘Western Front, and ‘Thin Red Line’ are currently licensed to the Disney Corporation in the development of their new holiday theme park ‘Anzac-land’, due to be opened at the Gold Coast in 2017.  Use of these brands is in breach of the licensing agreement made between the two parties, and subject to action from the Department of Consumer Affairs.

We wish you all the best in your new campaign for 2016-17 to commemorate the lesser known campaigns on the Western front, and wish you all the best with your ‘Passion-dale “range of cosmetries, and ‘Ypres’ home cleaning products.

Yours Sincerely


Our First Airliner – Description

Following yesterday’s dramatic revelation and illustration of Australia’s first Airliner, Quentin Cockburn has provided this comprehensive authenticated description.

The Eureka, (registration A111) manufactured by the Pacific Oriental National Commerce Establishment (PONCE), was a speculative venture overseen by Macpherson Macrobertson to establish the first all Empire airline service linking Australia with Great Britain via Darwin, Singapore, Madras, Aden, Marseille, (optional stopover at the El Morocco Club Mers El Kebir) and Southampton. This ambitious programme saw the construction of six prototypes named in honour of famous Australians. The first being the ‘Don’, a hundred seater dedicated to the illustrious batsman.  The five other prototypes, the Ned Kelly, Ginger Meggs, Roy Rene, Melba, and Pharlap were withdrawn from service after the loss of the prototype and the sale of drawings and manufacturing license to the Boeing Aircraft Corporation, Seattle WA.

Authors Note: The Eureka Don represented a bold step in Australian aviation.  Amongst its many firsts were the ingenious use of hydrostatic suspension in on board toilets, (adapted after the inaugural flight with ‘splash curtains’), the use of a fully integrated valet service, and the option of forward and rear facing promenade decks, allied to the famous Wintergarten and Hall of Mirrors to establish it’s distinctive ‘Pelican Bill’.  Nicknamed the ‘Flying Pelican’ or ‘Nobbys Nuts’ in reference to it’s many protuberances and overall distinctive appearance it presaged the era of large airliners by some fifty years.  Only now the new Airbus A380 can boast such impressive interior appointments.

Type Specifications

Powerplant: Six 450 hp Bristol Cheetah radial engines adapted and upgraded by Ronaldson Tippet Engineering to incorporate optional kerosene start and 78 rpm reverse geared Laycock de Normanville variable pitch four blade propellors.

Range: 1850 miles

Ceiling : 6000 feet

Capacity: 100 passengers

Construction: Burnie Board over Duralinium frame.  Canvas Flight Control systems

Crew: 12 Pilot/ co Pilot and staff of ‘The Grill’ Pacific Hotel Bondi

Military Specifications

A militarised version was muted in the Defence White Paper 1933, for operational use as maritime patrol, and logistics support.  Codenamed ‘The Drongo’, it was essentially similar though changes were made to the catering requirement, the staff of the Pacific Grill retained, first class converted to an officers mess, and some superficial changes made to the menu, soggy chips substituted for bully beef for the second class as ranks, and deletion of hydrostatic toilets after relief apertures were drilled into the sides of the fuselage.  As an RAAF bomber and transport it was proposed to install two Boyes Anti-Tank Rifles in forward and rear facing sponsons, and one six inch type V11 Q.F. Naval Gun.  The development project was mothballed after officers objected to the smoking ban. (see illus.)


The First Class comprised the forward section, the Wintergarten and the Promenade Decks. Hot and cold running water, on board cinema, cocktail bar and dance floor embedded in the reinforced wings. Individual suites designed by renowned Sydney architects, Peddled Prop and extensive use of panelling and distinctive murals designed by Napier Waller depicting the dreamtime cycle of Wandjina the flying Pelican.

The Second Class Extensive use of lightweight bamboo furniture and coconut palm panelling adorned the ‘Singapore Room’ a luxuriously appointed rear compartment, (no seats) in which the passengers were required to stand for the duration of the flight and enjoy access to the rear promenade deck, (Indicated on the photograph) which allowed stopovers at unscheduled destinations en route.  Second class passengers had the option of a parachute or an attractively designed, (Ambrose Annear) parasol which could allow partial slowed descent from the aircraft. Amongst the appointments in the second class compartment were cold water, tea urn, kipper filets in oil.  Oily chips during limited hours, and extensive ventilation.  The on board food service established another first, oily and partially cooked food being a standard on air travel ever since.

Third class Options for a third class compartment were dropped after trial flights and taxiing with passengers strapped to the engine nacelles failed.  Fragments recovered during the initial testing phase confirmed the decision to remove passengers from moving parts.

Operational History

After its historic inaugural flight the aircraft was purchased by Boeing Aircraft Corp U.S.A to be developed under license as a full production version.  Mysteriously the aircraft vanished whilst Island hopping to U.S.A via Lord Howe, Rabaul, Tahiti, and the Galapagos Is.  No trace of aircraft nor flight crew was ever found.  It is believed that the officers Wilde and Douglas absconded to the island chain ‘Fragrante delecto’ off the Chilean coast after ditching the airliner.  There were unconfirmed reports that both were recruited by the NDSAP to conduct covert and underground investigations of the political subculture of the ACT.  Post war, unnoffical reports and morse intercepts reveal that the two officers under the codenames Bosen,(trans.)‘Bosey’ and ‘Die poetischen Hosen-mann’ (trans) ‘Poetic Pants Man’ no trace of culture was found. (Bundesarchiv). Unconfirmed sightings at the Mardi Gras and the Office of the Rt Hon. Christopher Pyne are unsubstantiated to date.

Our First Airliner

Today Quentin Cockburn digs deep in the Annals of Australian Manufacturing to bring us No 17 in the non-sequential and inconsequential series with this glorious image, reproduced at the bottom of the post.  Tomorrow we post the full description.

No17. Our First Airliner (Below)

Caption; “ Official photograph The Maiden Flight of the Eureka “Don”

100 passenger airliner on its maiden flight from Manly to Bondi. Piloted by Flt lieut O.Wilde M.C. V.D and croix de la Guerre (on secondment) RAF Reading, and Private A. Douglas, DFC & Bar(the Uranian Flying Club Naples)

Shown here, the Eureka, having once gained it’s cruising altitude of 5000 feet is escorted to Bondi by a flight of Hawker Harts RAAF Richmond, with Squadron leader D. Grey, DFC & Bar.


Poetry Sunday 19 April 2015

Today we repeat one of Ira Maine’s more lucid works, one which probably requires no commentary


My chance has gone, all hope dispatched,
Tears inundate my veggy patch.
I’d thought to fill your pastures sweet
With broccoli and purple beet,

Or share with you the Grand Mystique
Of Brussel sprouts and Fenugreek.
I’d noticed,oh, there’s much to tell
Of how your perfect buds do swell.

You rail against each sod and weed.
I’ve noticed how you husband seed…
And noticed with what pink-cheeked bliss,
You galvanise Asparagus.

But now I find (my senses cloud…)
And must accept that you’ve allowed
The path between our beds to grow,
For all around the rumours crow,

You’ve got another in my stead
To labour in your potting shed.
A lesson’s here, and learn it well,
In matters horticultural,

Don’t take your ease, your ploughshare spent.
Come plough again, her pleasure bent.
Lest there might come another in
To fructify her compost bin!.

MDFF 18 April 2015

This post was first published on 7 October 2011.  The weapons of ethnocentric assimilationists –

Kon Nichi wa,

Dog whistles
Throwing out babies with bathwaters
Deliberately not seeing the wood for the trees
Double speak

These are all weapons that the ethnocentric assimilationists are sometimes unconsciously and sometimes unconscionably yet unrelentingly and often systematically using to disempower and further marginalise already marginalised Aboriginal  societies.

Aspects of the Government’s initiatives to remedy situations of indigenous disadvantage … raise concerns. Of particular concern is the Northern Territory Emergency Response, which by the Government’s own account is an extraordinary measure … These measures overtly discriminate against aboriginal peoples, infringe their right of self-determination and stigmatize already stigmatized communities.” James Anaya, Statement of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of Indigenous people, 27 August 2009.

The Yuendumu Housing Association and later the Yuendumu Community Government Council periodically employed a plumber who would work with one or several Warlpiri ‘off-siders’.

Jupurrula was for many years one such offsider. He did not need a ticket to fix a tap and unblock a sewer. http://youtu.be/0qIOCuBwcTc (One way Ticket to the Blues-Boney M)

I don’t know if Jupurrula can read or write and I suspect even if he was made to try he could never have succeeded in getting formal qualifications, yet he could fix a tap and unblock a sewer and do many more things that he did year after year. Jupurrula moved to Lajamanu years ago.

On my recent trip to the 45th.Anniversary celebrations of the historic Wave Hill walk-off, I ran into Jupurrula in Lajamanu. I introduced him to my Melbourne friend that was travelling with me. With great aplomb Jupurrula declared: “I was the plumber at Yuendumu”. “So are you doing any plumbing these days?” Not one to plumb the depths of despair Jupurrula replied with an infectious grin: “No! Last week I got laid off by the Shire! They’ve got me doing part time yard work”

In typical Warlpiri fashion, he thought this was a big joke http://youtu.be/jop2JdEh_lU  (Laugh to keep from crying- Madonna)

“More fools they…If they’re going to be like that… see if I care… they don’t know what they’re missing…. they can bloody well fix their own taps…. ¿A mi que?

Jupurrula never actually uttered these words but clearly by the way he responded it is what he meant.

If my guess is correct, Jupurrula is now working under the CDEP Scheme, which means he will be put under ‘Income Management’(IM)

But, GOOD NEWS!!! http://youtu.be/uJkrA6DtDgQ (Boney M-Hooray Hooray!) To conform with the “reinstated” Racial Discrimination Act, IM is being made voluntary and being rolled out to other lucky  non-Aboriginal Communities!!! Jupurrula will be able to opt out of IM by convincing Centrelink (“Giving you Choices”) that he is capable of responsibly handling his money!

To fix taps and unblock sewers in Lajamanu, it wouldn’t surprise me if they now fly in outside contractors. I suspect that Lajamanu’s Centrelink personnel, who will have the power http://youtu.be/Rl__b6_Rj9s (Power of Love-Laura Branigan) to decide whether Jupurrula is responsible enough to be exempted from IM, and who probably are half his age and earn at least twice as much as him, are incapable of fixing taps and unblocking sewerage pipes, and even if they could wouldn’t be allowed to because they don’t have a ticket. It also wouldn’t surprise me if they get paid an extra allowance to encourage them to be brave enough to work in such a remote and dangerous place. They are, after all, helping to Close the Gap of indigenous disadvantage.

I won’t bother to tell you the stories of ticketless Jampijimpa that used to run the Powerhouse, until he had this power taken off him, or of ticketless Jakamarra that could make a bulldozer dance.

http://youtu.be/kRNdap-ioNM (Patsy Cline-Tennessee Waltz)

Many a Warlpiri has withdrawn from active participation because the kardiya in charge didn’t know what the yapa working for him/her was capable of, or anything much else about him/her.  http://youtu.be/L-5LwRinkJ0 (You don’t know me-Ray Charles)

What we’ve got here is failure to communicate…. My hands are tied….

http://youtu.be/ALhwQKTRAgA     (Civil War- Guns n’Roses)

Arigato for your attention,
Sayonara, mata uwayi shimazu