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September 09, 2007

So we spent 250 million dollars

on a fantasy?

Could I say to the people of Sydney, I'm sorry that you've been inconvenienced. It's not the fault of our visitors, it's not the fault of either the NSW government or the federal government, it's the fault of those people who resort to violence in order disrupt gatherings of this kind
Mr Howard said.

Um - it's spelt I R A Q, and apparently tens if not hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died, along with several thousand US British and other soldiers, which to me would constitute "violence". Is there not one [nsfw]ing journalist who has the guts to call these people on their drivel? Guess not.

September 9, 2007 | Permalink


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What utter bullsh*t. The security had nothing to do with "safety", public or otherwise, it was purely to save Johnny Howard and his mates from potentially embarrassing protests, and to distract the public from the real issues: Iraq (as you've said, and thanks for the Austrian troops we sent), miners in China having to dig themselves out when they've been buried by a mine collapse caused by the owners' laxity (and their friends thrown in jail for 10 days - for illegal mining - when they tried to dig them out), not to mention Putin's having anyone who disagrees with him murdered. And we're doing uranium and gas deals with these guys, while supposedly sorting out global warming (what on earth is an "aspirational goal"??).

I would like to say something in defence of (some!) journalists - there were journalists at the protest yesterday who were clearly distressed by what was happening, and who assured us they would try to make it a major story. Ultimately they are at the mercy of their masters, the owners, since the days of editorial independence are over. Read Adele Horin in the SMH yesterday - she calls them.

As one of the placards read yesterday: "If you can't walk among us, you're not fit to lead us".

Posted by: Deb Lander | Sep 9, 2007 6:48:43 PM

Great placard that Deb - long gone are the days that kings would lead their troops into battle on horseback. Though fewer battles, king lead or otherwise would be surely a good thing


Posted by: John Allsopp | Sep 9, 2007 7:21:00 PM

Hey John - glad to see I'm not the only one irritated by journalists not calling politicians on their bullshit and spin.

(Excuse me for going off on a tangent, but this is tenously related, and hopefully interesting)

What I'd be interesting in discussing - perhaps at Web Directions - is how we make use of our technological knowledge, our events, the Web 2.0 sites, etc, to make some sort of difference. Meaningful social change, in essence. When I was discussing the latest RailsCamp - http://wiki.railscamp07.org/railscamp07/ - with a non-tech friend of mine the other day, she suggested (out of the blue) we run some dutch auctions, something to raise money for the $100 computer initiative or something like that - something that'll make a difference. It reminded me of a blog post by Ethan Kaplan about Gnomedex - http://blackrimglasses.com/archives/2007/08/12/saw-patti-smith-tonightand-thoughts-on-gnomedex-07/ - (only some of that post is directly relevant to here).

I'm not sure what will happen in regards to RailsCamp, and I don't want to presume on the time of the other attendees when issues like this haven't been mentioned before - but I'm open to ideas. I'm ideally looking for something more meaningful than donating money, or running web petitions, or anything like that.

And to draw this back to your post - so journalists aren't asking the right questions. What can we do, in the circles we move in, the events we organise, to either make them ask better questions, or put ourselves in the position to the questions ourselves?

Posted by: Pat Allan | Sep 9, 2007 11:54:31 PM

Pat, would like to take you up on the offer to discuss :)

Posted by: Michael Koukoullis | Sep 10, 2007 11:24:29 PM

me too btw pat


Posted by: John Allsopp | Sep 11, 2007 1:54:29 PM

Ah cool :)

Well, I imagine that John will be pretty busy while Web Directions is running - so if we're going to chat then, I think that choosing the time/place is your call, John.

Otherwise, I'm in Sydney from Tues before WD to the Wednesday after. My Saturday's booked out, but my days are free beyond that and WD (evenings are another matter).

That said, it might work best to open it up as some open forum/birds-of-a-feather (ala WWDC) session during Web Directions? The more the merrier, after all (and the broader range of discussion).

Posted by: Pat Allan | Sep 11, 2007 3:37:24 PM