David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

08 July 2014

Unimaginable Great South Land

LOGOS : The Speaking into Being of the World : 
speech, reportage, information, debate, journalism
LOGOS/HA HA : present imperfect

JOURNALISM IS NOT A CRIME : Last month in Egypt, the Australian journalist Peter Greste and his two Al Jazeera colleagues Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed were jailed for 7-10 years for their journalism.  

(Keep on) Rockin' in the Free World
We are deeply concerned that this verdict is part of a broader attempt to muzzle the press freedom that upholds democracies around the world.
Julie Bishop, Australia's Foreign Minister
SMH, 23 June 2014
LOGOS Ships Sink Lips : Meanwhile, two boats with several hundred Sri Lankan asylum seekers, mostly Tamil, are reported to have left Southern India bound for Australia. All media questions to Scott Morrison, the Australian Government's Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, are absorbed by him into the Sovereign Silence. 
LOGOS LOUDIMUS : The response has been loud.

Michelle Grattan in The Conversation
What is offensive about this government is not that it is pursuing tough policies, but that it is trashing accountability and is so lacking in empathy.
The boats did need to be stopped; the budget does require fixing.
But an empathetic government would bring some humanity to the first and greater sensitivity to the second, while a less arrogant administration would show more respect all round.
The week-long refusal of Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott to give information (or confirmation) about asylum seekers reportedly being transferred at sea - with perfunctory process - and sent on their way to Sri Lanka shows extraordinary disdain for the public’s right to know.
It reeks of the masters-of-the-universe mentality.

- full article (here)

Malcolm Fraser on twitter

Malcolm Fraser @MalcolmFraser12 · Jul 3 Handing AS [Asylum Seekers] back to SL [Sri Lankan] navy at sea redolent off handing Jews to Nazis in 1930s
"The case of the disappearing boats" (AGE)
Last night I saw upon the sea,
A little boat that wasn't there,
It wasn't there again today,
Oh, how I wish it would go away

-  with apologies to Hughes Mearns
All week, Scott Morrison had been wishing away the little boat from India. The Immigration Minister steadfastly refused to acknowledge its existence or that of its human cargo, 153 Tamil asylum seekers; or that of another boat carrying 50 Tamils, which had come from Sri Lanka. By week's end, it seemed Morrison's wish had come true.

In a high-stakes, high seas operation – which Morrison never confirmed, preferring to call it speculation – Australia set out to deliver these boat people back into the hands of Sri Lanka, the regime they had fled, a country the United Nations suspects of systematic abductions, torture, rape, extrajudicial killings and the "disappearing" of its citizens. Now Australia had "disappeared" their boats. It was as if their odyssey had never happened.

SMH/AGE : Rick Feneley, Jason Koutsoukis, Sarah Whyte
full article here
Fran Kelly to Senator Abetz
In an interview with ABC's Insiders program, host Fran Kelly put to Senator Abetz that the transfer of 200 Tamil asylum seekers into the custody of the Sri Lankan Navy was a matter of public interest, and that the government’s lack of transparency aroused concern. She then asked "since when does our government disappear people?"

“We don’t disappear people,” Mr Abetz replied. “What I think every Australian will know and understand is that our professional people in the Australian Navy, in the Australian Border Protection force, treat everybody with due care and respect and according to international obligations.”

SMH : Ben Doherty (here)

LOGOS NULLIUS : Let's muzzle the ABC

Turnbull says he was not consulted on ABC board appointees    

The appointment of conservative columnist Janet Albrechtsen and former deputy Liberal leader Neil Brown to the panel overseeing ABC and SBS board appointments this week sparked fears the government was preparing to stack the board with partisan appointments.

On Friday Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull distanced himself from the appointments of Dr Albrechtsen and Mr Brown as he acknowledge concerns of political influence, but said the nomination panel for ABC and SBS boards is appointed by Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet boss Ian Watt.

''You have to assume that Dr Watt chose Neil Brown and Janet Albrechtsen in his own discretion,'' Mr Turnbull told ABC radio.

''I was not consulted nor was it the intention of the legislation that the Minister for Communications should be consulted on the membership of the panel.'' 

SMH : James Massola, Matthew Knott  ( here )

HA HA HOORAY : Last week, as those boats were setting out for Australia, it was announced that Hieu Van Le would be the next Governor of South Australia.
South Australia's Lieutenant Governor and University of Adelaide graduate Hieu Van Le came to Australia in 1977 as a Vietnamese refugee. His remarkable journey to Australia is the stuff of legend and his achievements within Australia almost as extraordinary.

If there was a defining moment which said to the world that Hieu Van Le would be a leader, it came in a small wooden fishing boat crammed with more than 50 seasick people three days out to sea from Vietnam in 1977.

Read Robyn Mills' full account of The Remarkable Journey here


Tony Abbott says Australia 

benefited from foreign 

investment because it was

'unsettled' before the 



When explaining why foreign investment was so important for a country like Australia, Mr Abbott said the country would be unimaginable without it.

“As a general principle we support foreign investment. Always have and always will,” he said.

“Our country is unimaginable without foreign investment."

“I guess our country owes its existence to a form of foreign investment by the British government in the then unsettled or, um, scarcely settled, Great South Land,” he said.


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