7th October 2004


The Democrats are probably finished as an Australian political party, and they most likely have Meg Lees' GST vote to thank for it.  I suppose it is because most politicians are elitist, and consider that they are a superior breed, with special intelligence and abilities that set them apart from we the common herd.  Meg Lees promised in the election campaign to resist the GST.  Her sophist rationale for being the deciding vote that permitted GST introduction was that the Senate term for which she promised to resist the GST did not start until the following June.  Nobody now thinks that the Democrats would "keep the bastards honest".

The Greens, which are (is?) a one man act by a person called Brown, (who apparently lived for a while at Trunkey Creek NSW which is a village of maybe 100 people less than 20 Km as the crow flies
from Barvennon) has got a few wacky ideas, and a few good ideas.  I am not particularly keen on some of his socialist taxation ideas.   So long as he stuck to sustainability in environmental protection, bans on GM, quarantine, and libertarian drug ideals, he would have had my support.  The Labour/socialist baggage is outside my mandate.  The deal to support Labour in Wentworth is probably intended to destroy the chances of independent Peter King.  All parties have fear & loathing of independents.

According to the latest polls, Pauline Hanson has not got the support that was quoted in my last diary.  Well I'm not much in touch with Queenslanders, but suspect that they are part of the national trend among voters to vote (select) their own preferences.  I also note that Pauline's supporters have resisted in the past the tendency to expose their voting intent to survey interviewers.  I believe that Pauline has a lot of support among those who see through the journalistic gobbledygook, and might well get a few more primaries and preferences than the surveys indicate.

Mark Latham in Labour is coming across increasingly as just an ordinary, rather nasty person, having much in common with his sponsor and mentor, shadow treasurer Simon Crean.  As time goes by I trust Latham less and less.  The contrast with Howard is stark.  I have heard PM Howard make it clear in his criticism of a Labour policy that "I do not wish to criticize the person" whereas Latham makes it clear that he not only disapproves of the PM's policies, but considers our PM to be a shifty person & a scurrilous liar etc.  I am beginning to appreciate Howard's strategy of running a long campaign; it gives Latham the rope for we the people to get to know Mark Latham the man.

Most Labour policies appear to be crafted for immediate appeal without the substance of possible fulfillment.  It is increasingly becoming clear that the promise that all those over 75 will obtain instant free hospital access is in the same category as Hawke's promise to eliminate poverty for children: a beautiful idea that will almost certainly prove impossible to fulfill in actuality.  Labour's sop to it's union controllers is the revision of the Industrial Relations act.   Although the promise is theoretically to only "correct glaring inequities", my own cynical view is that allowing Australian Industrial Justices to meddle with industrial agreements is like being a little bit pregnant.  Australian justices have a well deserved reputation for taking the arm when being hand fed.

It does appear that Latham was "rolled" into making extravagant promises on preservation of forests in Tasmania.


Iraqi terrorists seem to be attempting to emulate the US car culture (There are about 50,000 road deaths in the US each year) by killing their fellow Iraqi citizens and themselves at an accelerating rate.  I guess we will see that rate increase up until the US elections, and then tail off.  (I give the terrorists credit for realizing the futility of attempting to affect Bush or Kerry when either has won the election.)  I am bemused that the terrorists should think that killing themselves and their fellow Iraqi children should somehow influence US public opinion towards sympathy (or fear) for their cause, which clearly seems to be to set up a religious dictatorship.  Despite appearances (and occasional lapses) the average US citizen is decidedly against religious influence on government.

25th October 2004

On the other hand, the Sunnis might be trying to stop an electoral process that would see the Sunnis much worse off than they were under Saddam Hussein.  The reason is that the Sunnis controlled the government in a majority Shia nation under Hussein.  That undemocratic situation derived from history.  For many centuries up to the first world war, the Turkish (Ottoman) Empire (Emirate?) dominated what is now the middle east.  The English (via Laurence) freed some of the Turkic empire (they knew the weaknesses in an oppressively governed empire was terrorism) and after WWI the English were given a mandate to govern (among others), the areas now known as Palestine, Israel, Iraq & Jordan by the League of Nations (which was the precursor of the UN).  In the case of Iraq the British arranged democratic elections.  For whatever reason, the Shia community boycotted the election and as a consequence the Sunnis dominated the first Iraqi government.  By corrupting the machinery of government the Sunnis managed to entrench themselves in power and that situation was maintained until the US invasion.

The Shia have learned their lesson, and are apparently eager to vote at the next Iraqi election.  However having a fair & democratic vote is not to the liking of the Sunni minority (located mainly around Baghdad).  They liked it when Hussein had control of the purse strings of government, because the seat of government is where much wealth is disbursed.  The Sunnis are extremely reluctant to permit a fair election which would put the seal on their minority status.

It would be advisable for the Sunni terrorists to consider the likely result if they fail in their attempt to stop the formation of a democratically elected government in Iraq.  I would suspect that the Shia clerics (who might well have some influence with the newly elected government) would want to have the murderers (and their co-conspirators, which would probably include their extended family) hunted down,
and would want to dispense Muslim (Sharia) justice on those murderers who were responsible for the terrorist acts carried out against the heroic (mostly Shia) people who attempted to bring peace and good government to Iraq.  I believe that Al Quaida might well find that by involving itself, it has taken a tiger by the tail.

What the Sunnis might achieve is the splitting up of Iraq into a Shia Caliphate in the south, a Kurdish democracy in the north, and a small, poor Sunni
theocratic/terrorist dictatorship (something like The Lebanon) around Baghdad.  I would imagine that the northern and southern states/provinces would jealously protect their oil wells against the Sunni murderers.  Of course Turkey would be quite upset if an independent Kurdish democracy were formed, but this is one of the consequences of their refusal to allow transit by the USA when the Iraqi war started, and as members of the European trade block they will be prevented from military adventurism.

Western liberal journalists do not seem to understand that the Palestinians do not want to negotiate with Israel.  They want to delete Israel.  Bill Clinton applied incredible political pressure on Israel, and forced the Israelis to make concessions that have not been seen since 1957.  Under the Clinton agreement, the Palestinians would have had their own country, on the old (UN) borders, and half of Jerusalem.  The Palestinians (Arafat) refused.  They wanted the right of return to Israel for all displaced refugees.  (I find that a strange requirement.  Palestinians have committed acts of terror & murder against those displaced Israelis who have settled in Palestine, yet they apparently expect Israel to welcome and protect displaced Palestinians.)

My own assessment is that Palestinians would not and could not accept any offer of peace short of surrender from Israel.  They would not because too many Palestinians state that they want all of Palestine.  They could not because, even after a peace treaty was signed, fundamentalist Muslims would feel bound to continue to commit terrorist acts against Israel.   Muslims believe that murdering Jews is god's work.  That is what history records that the Prophet Mahommed did in Medina, and what the Prophet has done serves as an unchallengeable example to his followers.

The Israelis, being the victims, realize this.  That is why they are building the wall.  That is why they respond to every Palestinian murder with deadly force directed with intent to execute the leaders of the murderous Muslim gangs.  If necessary, I would speculate that they would keep the Palestinians bombed into such a primitive state that they cannot mount murderous attacks on Israeli citizens. 

How will it all end?  The world is moving on.  The time of oil as the premium energy source of the world is running out.  The world will find another energy source.  The Arab states are dissipating their human and financial resources on theocratic ambitions and a futile and unwinnable war instead of bootstrapping their culture into a liberal democracy.  In another decade or (at most) two (which is about when known oil resources will be exhausted at current consumption) the Arab nations will sink back into insignificant oblivion again.   (It is pellucidly clear that no Muslim Arab nation, even with oil wealth and technical assistance, has been able to develop an advanced primary or secondary industry except by hiring foreigners.)  Despite there being half a billion Arabs from which scientists and engineers might be trained, arabs apparently have to import most (if not all) of the scientists required to build WMD.

That same technology was
apparently not beyond the capability of around three million odd Israelis, who have developed a much admired battlefield weapon (the Uzi) and are reputed to have nuclear weapons and not only ballistic missiles, but also a burgeoning anti-ballistic missile technology.