Tuesday, October 22, 2013

▶ John Pilger's Utopia: watch the world exclusive trailer | Film - YouTube

▶ John Pilger's Utopia: watch the world exclusive trailer | Film - YouTube

Published on Oct 21, 2013
Watch the trailer for Emmy and Bafta winning film-maker and journalist John Pilger's epic new documentary about Australia


  1. Before Barnett there was Carpenter and Gallop and the same corruption as we see now.

    One of the biggest scandals of the previous government was the corrupting of process by FMG.

    This involved Aboriginal sites - the department now run by Collier - and all government departments that dealt with Twiggy's applications to mine in the Pilbara.

    Apart from Norm Marlborough other MP's involved included John Bowler and Sheila McHale.

    The biggest losers of all this were and still are the Yindjibarndi peoples.


    Before he was a billionaire, Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest ran with a colourful crowd by: Paul Garvey From: The Australian

    (Andrew Forrest's mother, Judy, told him she attempted to end her pregnancy with him by riding her horse and jumping off a roof.)

    BEFORE he became the nation's greatest philanthropist, Andrew Forrest was a fast-talking salesman who borrowed millions of dollars from a convicted drug dealer and employed disgraced former West Australian premier Brian Burke to help him smash the BHP Billiton-Rio Tinto duopoly in the Pilbara iron ore industry. Mr Burke, a lobbyist and former close adviser to Mr Forrest, boasts in a new book to be published next week that he was able to lean on bureaucrats and MPs to have key legislation passed for the entrepreneur in just a few months, despite the process normally taking 18 months.

    Twiggy: The High-Stakes Life of Andrew Forrest, by Andrew Burrell, a Perth-based journalist with The Australian, also details how four judges in four separate court cases have questioned the businessman's ethics and truthfulness during his colourful career.Mr Forrest rejected repeated approaches to co-operate with Burrell and to respond to claims made by others in the book.

    The unauthorised biography investigates how Mr Forrest transformed himself, through boundless energy and cunning, from a corporate pariah after being removed as chief executive of Anaconda Nickel in 2001 into one of Australia's most successful entrepreneurs and a philanthropist who is feted by the establishment. Last week, he and his wife, Nicola, donated a record-breaking $65 million to the tertiary sector before a VIP audience that included Tony Abbott, West Australian Premier Colin Barnett and state Governor Malcolm McCusker.

    The book describes how Mr Forrest's business ethos was shaped in the get-rich-quick culture of Perth's freewheeling stockbroking industry in the 1980s, and details how he was able to acquire a controlling stake in Fortescue Metals Group without ever having any real "skin in the game".


    The former Labor premier tells how he and his fellow lobbyist, Julian Grill, used their network of contacts to win government support for Mr Forrest - who was then an outcast in the business world - between 2004 and 2007.He told Mr Forrest that Fortescue urgently needed a State Agreement Act - a special long-term contract between the West Australian government and a company that allows mines, railways and ports to be built with government backing.

    However, state agreements were difficult and time-consuming to negotiate, meaning Mr Burke and Mr Grill had to lean on public servants to have one finalised in record time.

    "We got them to meet deadlines - we got a bit obsessive," Mr Burke says in the book.

    Mr Burke also reveals that he came up with a novel way of rapidly moving the bill through parliament. He asked one of his best mates, Labor MP Norm Marlborough, to petition his colleagues for the bill to be introduced in the upper house, an unusual move that enabled it to be passed in a single day.

    In the book, Mr Grill claims Mr Forrest ceased all contact with him and Mr Burke when a media storm over the corruption inquiry erupted in 2007."Most clients took the time to express gratitude for the work we'd done, and explained they could no longer use us, which was fair enough in the circumstances," Mr Grill says."Forrest just cut us off."

  2. Abbott is benefiting from selective amnesia

    ............It is only four years ago that the federal Coalition was in disarray, with a key factor being conflicting perceptions of climate change and what to do about it. The parliamentary Liberal Party (then led by Malcolm Turnbull) had agreed with the Rudd Labor government to vote in favour of Labor's carbon pollution reduction scheme (CPRS).

    This was, after all, consistent with the policies that both major parties had presented to the voters at the previous election in 2007. Labor under Kevin Rudd had made clear its intention to introduce a carbon-trading scheme in government, and clearly had a mandate to do so; even the Coalition under John Howard had promised to do the same.

    In 2009, however, when Abbott unexpectedly became opposition leader by just one vote, he decided to adopt a different approach. He ignored the agreement that his party had made with Labor - it somehow didn't apply to him, apparently - and scorned the notion that the ALP had a mandate. The Coalition under Abbott proceeded to oppose the Rudd government's measures on climate change (and practically everything else), with the result that the CPRS was rejected in the Senate.

    Abbott became the least constructive opposition leader that Australia's Federal Parliament has ever known. His relentless negativity suited his intrinsically combative style and was politically effective as well, in that it contributed to the difficulties Labor experienced in government under Rudd and Julia Gillard. So he persevered with it, even at considerable cost to his personal popularity. Eventually his approach paid dividends, and he finds himself in office leading the nation.

    In his new position, Abbott now has the effrontery to invoke the mandate argument that he spurned in 2010. In fact, his most conspicuous rejection of it as opposition leader concerned the very issue that is currently prominent - how to deal with climate change.

    In calling for Labor to accept his 2013 mandate and present him with the Senate numbers he needs, Abbott is displaying blatant hypocrisy. However, his cheer squad in the media have ignored this in their repeated assertions that Labor should of course comply with whatever Abbott wants on climate change policy.

    Moreover, this assertiveness is predicated on the basis that conceding on the removal of carbon pricing would be a politically astute manoeuvre for the ALP. Some observers even seem to believe that doing anything else would be unthinkable. Yet there is clear evidence to the contrary - none other than Abbott's path to the prime ministership. Opposing everything in opposition ended up working for him.

    Shorten, though, has already signalled that he is not intending to emulate Captain Negative. As he and his Labor colleagues weigh up their options on climate policy, they will be contemplating short-term and long-term factors, considerations relating to political tactics together with the importance of adhering to principle on issues of substance such as climate change.

    Meanwhile, instead of trying to influence Labor's caucus to do what Abbott wants, media commentators should be highlighting the Prime Minister's brazen hypocrisy.

    Ross McMullin's most recent book is the award-winning Farewell, Dear People: Biographies of Australia's Lost Generation.