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.

25 June 2015

"Heads should roll" declares PM

As responsible journalists in this whose-side-are-you-on Australia under the Abbott Government, we have to be careful
in so many ways.

This from a Canberra Doorstop Interview today:

25 June 2015
Prime Minister
Address to Australian Strategic Policy Institute; defence white paper; national security; future submarines project; Q&A appearance of Zaky Mallah.

PM, can I just ask you, what do you make of the ABC's decision to repeat Q &A yesterday, and have you banned Government ministers from appearing on the show?
Utterly incomprehensible – utterly incomprehensible. Here we had the ABC admitting a gross error of judgment and then compounding that terrible mistake – that betrayal, if you like – of our country by giving a platform to this convicted criminal and terrorist sympathiser, they compounded the mistake by rebroadcasting the program. Now, frankly, heads should roll over this – heads should roll over this. I've had a good discussion with the Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull. I know he has made a very strong representation to the ABC. We've announced that we are not satisfied with an internal ABC inquiry because so often we've seen virtual whitewashes when that sort of thing happens. There is going to be an urgent government inquiry with recommendations, and frankly, the ABC ought to take some very strong action straight away.

On 7.30 (ABC.TV), the Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, is asked about this :
LEIGH SALES: Do you agree with the Prime Minister that heads need to roll over the Q&A broadcast?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, look, I'll decide what metaphors I use and the manner in which I use them.

Was that witty and weird, or what? Or just a little bit of history repeating?

The word is about, there's something evolving,
Whatever may come, the world keeps revolving...
They say the next big thing is here,
That the revolution's near,
But to me it seems quite clear
That's it's all just a little bit of history repeating.

'History Repeating' (Propellerheads feat. Shirley Bassey)

We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come.
This morning's The Age Editorial (read the full text here) : 

Free speech Forgotten in the Q&A furore

Zaky Mallah made a hotheaded outburst on live television during Monday night's Q&A program on ABC-TV. He has since claimed his tone of voice was perhaps too harsh, which is sophistry, for his words alone were enough to cause offence. Yet Mr Mallah has the freedom to think and say foolish things. Australian ears are not so precious that he must be silenced. Better he be heard, and his muddle-headed logic exposed.  ...

In that light, Prime Minister Tony Abbott was wrong to demand of the ABC "Whose side are you on?" after the broadcast, and again on Wednesday after the program was repeated. This smacks of populist point-scoring rather than a genuine concern about the security of the nation. Is Mr Abbott's faith in the power of free speech so feeble that neither he nor the members of his government can puncture Mr Mallah's opinion, so instead seek to attack the messenger?  ...
This evening, 'Head of the ABC' (sic) Mark Scott delivered the 2015 Corporate Public Affairs Oration : a powerful defence of the role of the ABC. 

Read the full text here (extract below)
Watch the video presentation here

As someone said to me this week, free speech arguments would be easier if you were always defending Martin Luther King. At times, free speech principles mean giving platforms to those with whom we fundamentally disagree.

It was the crux of the Charlie Hebdo argument last year and of course, the source of the maxim that was used to describe Voltaire’s beliefs — “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Here at the offices of bLOGOS/HA HA, our experienced and responsible rédacteur en chef  is not easily intimidated. Nonetheless, pinned to her door - irony? caution? - is this 1872 depiction by CHAM, clipped from our files of Le Charivari : 
a giant of a man, a journalist accused of insulting The Assembly, mockingly crowned with his own publication, sentenced to a year of public derision. LOGOS/HA HA : The Laughing Stock

Que pendant un an le journaliste ne porte d'autre 
coiffure que le numéro dans lequel il a insulté 

click image to enlarge   
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...