The Guardian 30 November, 2005
The soap opera that is the NSW Supreme Court hearing into the collapse of telco One.Tel last week reached a crescendo of sorts as the sons of two of the world’s biggest capitalist parasites spun their sad little tale. Lachlan Murdoch told how his pal Jamie Packer sobbed as he apologised to Lochie for involving him in the failed company. One.Tel went under in 2001 with $600 million from daddy’s New Corporation, dragging thousands of jobs and investors’ savings with it. The poor little rich boys will no doubt get a slap on the wrist as punishment. It’s their system, after all.
Flack Jacket Johnnie’s secret trip to Afghanistan wasn’t just a meet-and-greet the troops exercise. No, Howard was there to signal that more Australian troops will be sent to Afghanistan, on orders from Washington. All the talk of "exit strategies" is just so much bull. The Government intends to drag Australia deeper and deeper into the US plans for world domination.
With the Howard Government’s public approval rating nearing an all-time low, expect Treasurer Peter Costello to make an announcement on Christmas Eve. Not to tell the public of a coup that’s ousted his hated enemy Flack Jacket Johnnie, but to herald tax cuts and a generally bright and happy future for all of us in a system that’s spinning out of control and deeper into crisis. Of course the major tax breaks will, as usual, be given to big business and rich individuals.
Next year the Australian SAS troops will be training with the Indonesian military’s death squad, Kopassus, who have violated pretty much every human rights law on the planet, including mass murder in East Timor and West Papua. Not surprisingly, the US has restored official military ties with Indonesia also. The US ban was a gesture in the face of international condemnation of Indonesia’s human rights violations. Now Indonesia is seen as of the "utmost importance" in the fight against terrorism and for "national security", according to the US State Department.
CAPITALIST HOG OF THE WEEK: is the Vatican. Trainee Catholic priests will get three years to "straighten" themselves out and prove they’ve overcome their homosexual "tendencies". Said a Vatican statement, "They must have clearly overcome [their sexual leanings] for at least three years before ordination as a deacon". How they’ll go about proving it, has not been made clear by the church, but the long-awaited Vatican document "Instruction Concerning Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with Regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in View of Their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders" should certainly map the road to heterosexuality. But what happens if they succeed? Does it mean they’ll start fancying the opposite sex? What if this leads to a yearning for marriage? Maybe another doctrine, with the title perhaps of "Instruction Concerning Criteria for Homosexual Converts to Heterosexuality Who at some Stage May want to Marry a Member of the Opposite Sex …"