Peter Boyle

Australia’s top silk and civil rights advocate Julian Burnside QC has suggested introducing a law that makes it an offence for politicians to lie. I don’t know how practical this would be, but imagine if politicians could be forced to tell the truth and ’fess up like the makers of Ribena?

Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) general secretary Farooq Tariq was released from detention in the early hours of May 7. Tariq and more than 1000 others were rounded up the previous Friday in a failed attempt by the government of General Pervez Musharraf to weaken a mass reception for a visit by suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry to Lahore. Chaudhry was suspended for being too independent of the Mushurraf regime and too respectful of the rule of law.

It’s like having one of those nightmares that seems to grow more horrible as it drags on. We’ve been looking forward to the next federal election for a chance to get rid of John Howard, but with each day federal Labor leader Kevin Rudd sounds more and more like Howard.

This year’s proposed US spending on the Iraq war is larger than the military budgets of China and Russia combined. The combined spending requests would push the total for Iraq to US$564 billion, according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS).

Paul Wolfowitz, president of the World Bank and formerly US President George Bush’s deputy secretary of defence, doesn’t seem to comprehend why he is in trouble. He has admitted to ordering a US$60,000 pay increase for his lover, a World Bank employee, before seconding her to the US State Department as part of a generous compensation package.

Last week, right-wing Sydney Radio 2GB “shock jock” Alan Jones was let off with a ticking-off from Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for inciting on air the infamous anti-Lebanese bashing spree in Cronulla in 2005.

“Democracy remains a great danger to those who have privilege and control. When you are part of the top 1% of the population that has as much income as the bottom 75% of the people, democracy is a permanent threat to your interests.”

There was something very sad about the debate in federal parliament around the Labor opposition’s grand plan to bring Australia up to speed on internet broadband. Behind the noise and smoke of the furious jousting was the sobering fact that both sides of the House embrace the corrupt logic of privatisation.

March 14 was Black Bashing Day on Tim Blair’s blog . Most other days are Muslim-bashing days, but on this day his red-neck cyber-mates decided to pick on Jakalene X, Aboriginal activist, rap artist and the lead candidate on the Socialist Alliance upper house ticket for the March 24 NSW election.

The Blue Team appeared to regain some advantage after the leader of the (mislabeled) Red Team was forced to admit he’d made an “error of judgement” in meeting up three times last year with convicted fraud and former WA premier Brian Burke (now a professional lobbyist).

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