Forget the fall, what about the fallout?
Channel 9's morning news program showed footage of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard stumbling and falling during her official visit to India over and over again — at least 10 times in succession.
Then for “balance” it showed footage of a similar stumble by former PM John Howard (who, unlike Gillard, wasn't wearing high-heeled shoes on grass at the time) — replayed just three times.
Focusing on such trivialities, the corporate media distracted their audiences from the real political plunge Gillard took during the visit: opening the door to selling uranium to India. The country has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), has a growing armoury of nuclear weapons (including intermediate-range missiles) and is engaged in a dangerous nuclear arms race with its neighbour Pakistan.
The Gillard ALP government would have us believe this decision is made out of concern for the welfare of India's 1.2 billion people, of which more than 400 million live below the poverty line.
That was the insulting excuse given by her Minister for Digging Up And Flogging Off As Much As We Can No Matter The Cost, Martin Ferguson, when the government forced through the policy reversal on selling uranium to NPT non-signatory states.
The truth is the deal is about protecting the lucrative profits a couple of giant corporations make from exportign Australian uranium. It is not about helping the poor of India. It is about helping India's richest.
Australia's exports of another poison, coal, are helping further enrich Indian billionaire Gautam Adani, the sixth richest person in India. Gillard rubbed shoulders with this gangster-like character whose, mining, port and power plant empire is being implicated in a serious corruption scandal.
A scalding report by public ombudsman and former Indian Supreme Court justice Santosh Hegde implicated Adani's corporate empire among other corporations in cheating the state of Karnataka out of billions of dollars in royalty, tax, and other payments. “Huge bribes were paid,” said the report. “Mafia-type operations were the routine practices of the day.”
This is just one more example of the venality and moral bankruptcy of the Australian government. Its shameless bribery (through tens of millions of dollars of gifts and politically channeled aid) to secure the two-year temporary seat on the UN Security Council (another notorious gang of thieves and arms merchants) is another example.
Australia can be expected to loyally side with its partner-in-crime, the US, which accounts for three-quarters of the US$66.3 billion-a-year global arms market.
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