Three cheers for Hone Harawira: "hip hip hooray, Howard IS a racist"

July 10, 2007

Aussie PM labelled `a racist’` – The Dominion Post

Intervention plan shows Howard ‘racist’ – Maori MP [SMH]
Thank you Hone Harawira. Thanks for having the courage to say it: John Howard is a racist. His government is racist and his actions in the Northern Territory – purportedly to stop sexual violence against children – is a grab for precious resources, particularly uranium.

One of the men in this image
is a racist bastard,
the other one said so.

The Howard government wants to make Australia a key player in the nu-killer-ization of the planet. Australia has the world’s largest reserves of recoverable uranium and global capital wants to get its hands on the stuff.

In order to do this any objections of the traditional owners must be overcome. What better way than to manufacture a moral panic as a national emergency and then militarise the place.

Speaking a couple of days ago on Maori TV, the Maori Party MP Hone Harawira compared Howard’s actions to those of the Bush regime in Iraq. Three cheers to Hone Harawira.

What’s been interesting is the apologetic way that the media has reacted to this story. It was covered on TV1 on Monday night in tones of shock and outrage: “How dare an uppity politician from the Maori party publicly declare a foreign leader to be racist?”

It’s about time and other NZ politicians should do the same as Mr Harawira and call Howard a “racist bastard”, because he surely is.

So far Howard has not commented on Mr Harawira’s outburst, but New Zealand PM Helen Clark’s office saays the comments are “regretable”. What’s regretable Prime Minister is that you won’t say it too.

today the Maori Party issued a media release calling for a special caucus meeting to discuss what Howard is up to. It’s a good idea to push this issue, but frankly I’d be surprised if the Clark government has the guts to confront Canberra on this issue. Here’s a taster of the Maori Party release, which you can read in full here:

The Maori Party Caucus today called a special caucus meeting to consider the Australian Government’s response to the report, describing it as a sledge-hammer approach – a widespread and ill-thought through attack on Aboriginal communities in Northern Territory – rather than focusing on the extremely significant situation of child sexual abuse.

Australia does have a “black history” and there is a lot of institutional racism. Unlike in New Zealand the indigenous “problem” in Australia is largely hidden in remote communities. Most Australians wouldn’t have a clue what’s really going on in the outback and, unfortunately, their ignorance is maintained by a media that is reluctant to really change Howard on this issue. However, not all Australians are troglodyte head-in-the-sand white supremacists. Here’s a song from Australian comedian Eddie Perfect, it’s perfect for John Howard.

If you want to know more about the nuclear fuel cycle in Australia (the link above is to a pro-nuclear blog site), try Nuclearfree Australia

The YouTube Election

April 27, 2007

Free Times – Columbia’s Free Alternative Weekly:

In this week’s Free Times, Dan Cook commented on the ways in which YouTube may become an interesting media battle ground in the 2008 US Presidential election. Noting that unauthorised clips of several candidates had made it to the site, he went on:

“It’s looking more and more like a YouTube election season after John McCain made his way to the site in a big way last week with comments he made about Iran. Speaking on April 18 at a VFW hall in Murrells Inlet, S.C., McCain was asked about whether the United States might launch air strikes against Iran. McCain responded making a reference to the song “Barbara Ann” by The Beach Boys, saying, “That old, uh, that old Beach Boys song, ‘Bomb Iran.’” He then sang a mock version of the chorus, “Bomb, bomb, bomb … .” Though the comment was clearly made as a joke — McCain’s position is that bombing should only be used as a last resort — the episode highlighted once again how the democratization of media is throwing scripted presidential campaigns off balance. Previous videos that have made waves this election season include an amateur Barack Obama ad that lampooned Hillary Clinton and a video of Sen. Clinton singing the national anthem off-key.”

This is interesting from a media theory point of view and very useful to me. I’m just beginning to write a book about this, hopefully to be published next year in Australia.
It would be even better if Cook were right that this is the “democratization” of the media. My worry is that the YouTube generation don’t vote, many of them are perhaps still underage.
If they did mobilise, perhaps McCain would go down, but Hilary and Obama wouldn’t be far behind.

There’s similar stuff posted on YouTube about Australian Prime Minister John Howard, but the lampooning of the PM hasn’t made the news yet “down under”.
My favourite SATIRICAL YouTube clip of the PM is this little ditty: “John Howard is an ar$&l1cker” [RATED PG, occasional use of obscene humour]

When suicide collides with politics

April 26, 2007

Parents should monitor children’s web use: PM –

Australia’s outgoing* Prime Minister, John Howard, says parents should monitor their kids’ internet use. Ths is the only thing he has to say about the suicide of two teenage girls recently in Australia. Both had posted suicide notes on their MySpace pages.
Howard you are a total hypocrite.
In this case he says that the Government can’t do anything because “you start running up against freedom of speech”. But when it comes to censoring other forms of communication over the web, the Howard Government has been in the frontline of increasing censorship, monitoring and surveillance.
This is a more accurate statement of the Coalition’s real sentiments:

Although he was always on the lookout for ways to tighten laws in the public interest, it was a difficult task because governments could not trample on people’s freedom of expression.

That’s right, the sedition laws, tightening adult content provisions for free-to-air broadcasters and on the internet and cracking down on Islamic preachers. Howard and his cronies have been vigilant in looking out for opportunities to tighten the laws in these areas. But is not, it seems, willing to do anything to prevent tragic suicides.

*There’s an election later in 2007 and I’m hoping Howard will go