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July 2013

Dear 408203 - just a couple o' good lookin' roosters in a ute.

There is a bloke who I have known since before Uncle Chop Chop knocked the Turk at outside Bojangles in St Kilda.  (Sorry Chop Chop, I forgot you had manners and a criminal gentleman never knocks his victim on the good lino when there's a lemon tree that might benefit outside).

This ad says everything that needs to be said 408203.   Ever since the bloke got a .22 calibre hole in both hands in front of the  forehead, I've wondered why we haven't had a radio show together.  

How come they're lookin' now?  Well mate, we are that couple o' good lookin' roosters.

UPDATED - Two men in the tower whose names will remain V1 and V2. Anytime now IL-76 Captain will be good.

UPDATED - For the congenitally insouciant - this is a video of an Antonov that was  prepared before. It did not take-off today from 'Straya to PNG.



Tomorrow you will see lots of photos of an Antonov taking stuff to PNG to house Kevin's People. It's a PR stunt.

The Antonov Ilyushin is a big bird.   But seldom does she use as much strip as she did here.

Classic quotes from Aussies in the tower.

The Vodka-Burner is rolling.

V1.  Rotate.   We Have Schmirnoff.

And after the bitumen ran out, the strip ended, and the hills came into view - "I hope I have enough film.........."



Reader JQ remembers former Prime Minister the late Sir John Grey Gorton, GCMG AC CH and the late Lady Gorton on the occasion of their visit to Nui Dat, South Vietnam, 1968

Reader JQ writes:

Hi Michael,


The below report is on Sky News & other news outlets.


But the bigger surprise was the presence of Therese Rein - the first wife of a PM ever to visit a war zone”.


In June 1968 Mrs Gorton visited Vietnam with Mr Gorton & that included a visit to Nui Dat.


I must go through my old photos & see if I can find one of her.





Here's Prime Minister Gorton with members of the 1st Australian Task Force, South Vietnam, 1968

John gorton in vietnam 1ATF

John Gorton in Vietnam again

John gorton in Vietnam

Nui Dat, South Vietnam. 1968-06. Bettina Gorton, wife of the Prime Minister, signs the visitors book of the Sergeants' Mess at the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR), during a five hour visit to South Vietnam's Phuoc Tuy Province. With her is Sergeant Brian Tobin of Holsworthy, NSW. Mrs Gorton accompanied her husband on a tour of Australian units serving in Vietnam.

Mrs Gorton Nui Dat

And considering his precedessor disappeared during a swim, here's a statement you'd expect from a  war veteran wounded in WW2 - displaying no concerns near the enemy.

Mrs holt goes swimming

Here's Sir John's war service, a precis from Wikipedia - it really is worthwhile to follow the link back to Wikipedia to learn more about this great man, his childhood and the way he came to meet Bettina who showed a lifelong love of languages.   Here's Lady Gorton with her Indonesian Language teacher Mrs Johns in The Lodge.

Bettina gorton and mrs johns

War service


On 31 May 1940, following the outbreak of World War II, Gorton enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force Reserve.[7] At the age of 29, Gorton was considered too old for pilot training, but he re-applied in September after this rule was relaxed. Gorton was accepted and commissioned into the RAAF on 8 November 1940.[8] He trained as a fighter pilot at Somers, Victoria and Wagga WaggaNew South Wales, before being sent to the UK. Gorton completed his training at RAF Heston and RAF Honiley,[9] with No. 61 Operational Training Unit RAF, flying Supermarine Spitfires.[10] He was disappointed when his first operational posting was No. 135 Squadron RAF, a Hawker Hurricane unit, as he considered the type greatly inferior to Spitfires.[9]

John Gorton prior to leaving for war service in 1941.

During late 1941, Gorton and other members of his squadron became part of the cadre of a Hurricane wing being formed for service in the Middle East. They were sent by sea, with 50 Hurricanes in crates, travelling around Africa to reduce the risk of attack. In December, when the ship was at DurbanSouth Africa, it was diverted to Singapore, after Japan entered the war.[11] As it approached its destination in mid-January, Japanese forces were advancing down the Malayan Peninsula. The ship was attacked on at least one occasion by Japanese aircraft, but arrived and unloaded safely after tropical storms made enemy air raids impossible.[12] As the Hurricanes were assembled, the pilots were formed into a composite operational squadron, No. 232 Squadron RAF.

In late January 1942, the squadron became operational and joined the remnants of several others that had been in Malaya, operating out of RAF Seletar and RAF Kallang.[13] During one of his first sorties, Gorton was involved in a brief dogfight over the South China Sea, after which he suffered engine failure and was forced to land on Bintan island,[10] 40 km (25 mi) south east of Singapore. As he landed, one of the Hurricane's wheels hit an embankment and flipped over. Gorton was not properly strapped in and his face hit the gun sight and windscreen, mutilating his nose and breaking both cheekbones.[14] He also suffered severe lacerations to both arms. He made his way out of the wreck and was rescued by members of the Royal Dutch East Indies Army, who provided some medical treatment. Gorton later claimed that his face was so badly cut and bruised, that a member of the RAF sent to collect him assumed he was near death, collected his personal effects and returned to Singapore without him.[14] By chance, one week later, Sgt Matt O'Mara of No. 453 Squadron RAAF also crash landed on Bintan, and arranged for them to be collected.[15]

They arrived back in Singapore, on 11 February, three days after the island had been invaded.[15] As the Allied air force units on Singapore had been destroyed or evacuated by this stage, Gorton was put on theDerrymore, an ammunition ship bound for Batavia (Jakarta). On 13 February, as it neared its destination, the ship was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-55 Kaidai class submarine and the Derrymore was abandoned. Gorton then spent almost a day on a crowded liferaft, in shark-infested waters, with little drinking water, until the raft was spotted by HMAS Ballarat, which picked up the passengers and took them to Batavia.[16]

Two schoolfriends, who had also been evacuated from Singapore to Batavia, heard that Gorton was in hospital, arranged for them to be put on a ship for Fremantle, which left on 23 February and treated Gorton's wounds.[17] When the ship arrived in Fremantle, on 3 March, one of Gorton's arm wounds had become septic and needed extensive treatment. However, he was more concerned about the effect that the sight of his mutilated face would have on his wife. It is reported that Betty Gorton, who had been running the farm in his absence, was relieved to see Gorton alive.[10][18]


After arriving in Australia he was posted to DarwinNorthern Territory on 12 August 1942 with No. 77 Squadron RAAF (Kittyhawks), during this time he was involved in his second air accident. While flying P-40E A29-60 on 7 September 1942, he was forced to land due to an incorrectly set fuel cock. Both Gorton and his aircraft were recovered several days later after spending time in the bush. On 21 February 1943 the squadron was relocated to Milne BayNew Guinea.[19]

John Gorton's final air incident came on 18 March 1943. His A29-192 Kittyhawk's engine failed on take off, causing the aircraft to flip at the end of the strip. Gorton was unhurt. In March 1944, Gorton was sent back to Australia with the rank of Flight Lieutenant. His final posting was as a Flying Instructor with No. 2 Operational Training Unit at Mildura, Victoria. He was then discharged from the RAAF on 5 December 1944.[19]

During late 1944 Gorton went to Heidelberg hospital for surgery which could not fully repair his facial injuries.

And here's Kevin Rudd and Therese Rein in Afghanistan.

Rudd and rein

Mayday Mayday Mayday - Securite Securite Securite

Thanks to Jeff of FNQ

This Mayday at 15:07 AEST today - 60 souls on board in trouble approximately 300 km NNE of Christmas Island off the coast of West Java (Ujung Genteng area

FM RCC AUSTRALIA 280507Z JUL 2013 AUSSAR 2013/5088

This message for ships at sea, Securite about 2 hours earlier this afternoon.



Postcards from the Visa Processing Factory on Christmas Island

Between Sharon and me, here are a few Postcards from Christmas Island where lettuces cost $18 and nothing is too good for Kevin's clients.

Public servants christmas island

This is the "Front End" of the Visa Processing Factory.   This point marks the end of the raw material stage, or the People Smuggling Operations, a $450M market created in 2008 by Kevin Rudd as part of his regional economic stimulus.

Christmas island loading dock

This hoist lifts the incoming asylum seekers on a barge.   It has accepted handover of 45,000 people from People Smugglers since operations geared up in 2008.   There have been substantial losses in throughput and not all the consignments end up at this extraction point.   The beauty of the People Smugglers' Business Model established by The Rudd  is that economic stimulus to regional criminal networks is provided for successful embarkations only.   Their funding is not dependent on delivery to the input function at the Visa Processing Factory.

Here it is as the sun makes its way to the Middle East.

45,000 people is a lot of operation of the barge crane

Various commemorative plaques dot the landscape on Christmas Island to mark the Island's history.   This plaque is from an earlier time when the People Smugglers' Model looked like prospering.  The business was closed down around then by an economic vandal called John Howard who simply could not engage regionally and had only slogans and no real solutions.

Plaque re SIEV X

A few weeks before the catastrophe of the SIEV X,  438 prospective clients got picked up by the Wallenius Wilhelmsen merchant-ship MV Tampa after they too came to grief in the waters between Java and Christmas Island.   

Here's what happened.

On Sunday, 26 August 2001 a call to shipping was broadcast at 12:48 Canberra time: "Subject: Distress Relay. A 35-metre Indonesian type vessel with 80 plus persons on board adrift in the vicinity of 09.32.5 south 104.44 east… vessel has SOS and HELP written on the roof. Vessels within 10 hours report best ETA and intentions to this station."

Captain Arne Rinnan, master of the MV Tampa responded to the mayday call: "We are on a voyage from Fremantle to Singapore via Sundra Straits. We have changed course and are headed for position of distress… Please advise further course of action. A Rinnan, Master."

After an hour of setting course for the vessel, Rinnan received a direction from RCC.   This came after Australia's Naval Attache had visited Indonesian authorities in Jakarta.   "Please note that Indonesian search and rescue authorities have accepted co-ordination of this incident."

During the rescue, Rinnan received a call from Jakarta advising him to disembark the passengers at the ferry port of Merak, Indonesia.

After a few hours steaming for Merak, a deputation of agressive persons entered the bridge and confronted Captain Rinnan and demanded to be taken to Christmas Island.   A stand-off ensued and the MV Tampa was not given permission to enter Australian waters.  There is no dock at Christmas Island and the nearest port was Merak.   The asylum seeker boat had come to grief in the Indonesian SAR area and the rescue was under the control of Indonesian authorities.

By 29 August, as Arne Rinnan slowly tried to make way to Indonesia the asylum seekers noticed and again became agressive.   Captain Rinnan then turned, declared an emergency and made way for Christmas Island.

The Howard Government sent Major Vance Khan's squadron of the Special Air Service Regiment with Colonel Gus Gilmore in charge to board and stop the ship.   They stabilised the situation on board, then HMAS Manoora came and took the illegal entrants to Nauru.  

Arne Rinnan took his cargo to Singapore, the people on Christmas Island went fishing and soon after that the boats stopped coming.

For a while Christmas Island operated a gambling resort for President Soeharto's children to come and play with lots of money.   Tommy used to fly down a bit and stay.   They don't come anymore since President Soeharto got the flick and Tommy went to gaol.

But the resort is still there, only now it houses people who are involved with our Visa Factory operations.


This is the area near the jetty at Flying Fish Cove


And here is HMAS Bathurst protecting our border from illegal immigration while contributing to The Rudd plan for just making everything better than it was under Mr Howard.   You can see the smiling applicants on the poop deck, waiting for their barge to come in and bring them to the $10,000 welcome package +internet enabled plasma.

HMAS Bathurst in Flying Fish cove

You saw the memorial for the SIEV X or the 10th asylum Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel earlier.   The memorial plaque for 221st is in the foreground of the photo above.  

Here it is closer up with its squished propeller.

Siev 221 plaque and prop sculpture

Safety First is the mantra of the Labor Movement.   Most factories proudly boast the "185 Accident Free Days" or something like that.

Christmas Island doesn't.   It would be very busy changing the numbers a lot.  Time flies when it's SIEV season and The Rudd economic stimulus payments are flowing.

Sometimes though the Building the Indonesian Wooden Boat Revolution in the Water results in a moment of lucidity when Blind Freddy can see the immorality.

That's when decent people make sure that others know what's going on.

SIEV 221 dec 2010

John Richardson remembers.   Anyone who was there remembers.   Anyone who has met someone who was there remembers.

The waves were like this.


Here is some of the video recorded from an RAN vessel whose crew went to help.


a aa Here is what it looked like from shore. aa

SIEV 221 was only 2 and a half years ago.   SIEV 800 will arrive soon unless The Rudd's scheme is stopped.

Christmas Island is a beautiful place and people should know it for scenes like this Postcard Shot by Sharon, and not the horror that Rudd's policies have brought us.

Setting sun christmas island over jetty