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January 2015

Scottish Government does what the Australian Government wouldn't over the death of the Saudi King

Scotland didn't drop its flag for the Saudi tyrant, good for them - here's the UK's The Telegraph newspaper's report.

Ruth Davidson attacks flag tribute for Saudi king

A rift opens up between the Scottish Tory leader and David Cameron after she describes the UK Government's decision to fly the Union flag at half mast over its buildings as a "steaming pile of nonsense".

A rift has opened up between Ruth Davidson and David Cameron after she condemned as a “steaming pile of nonsense” the lowering of flags on UK Government buildings as a mark of respect for the death of the Saudi king. 

The Scottish Tory leader said the decision to put Union flags at half mast over Downing Street and other Whitehall departments was a "stupid act on its own and a stupid precedent to set". 

But her outspoken criticism came as Mr Cameron and the Prince of Wales prepared to fly to Saudi Arabia to join international figures paying tribute to King Abdullah, who was seen as a crucial Western ally despite his human rights record. 

The Prime Minister said that he was "deeply saddened" and that the ruler would be "remembered for his long years of service to the kingdom, for his commitment to peace and for strengthening understanding between faiths". 

The UK government's Department for Culture, Media and Sport sent out the request to lower flags over UK Government buildings.

The Scottish Government offered its condolences to the people of Saudi Arabia but a spokesman said: “Flags are not routinely flown at half-mast from Scottish government buildings to mark the deaths of foreign heads of government or state."

Classic video from the last time Labor was in power in Queensland

By March 2010 my listeners at 4BC had had enough of the soft on crime approach of the Beattie and Bligh Labor Governments.

We decided to do something about it.   I invited the Queensland Attorney-General Cameron Dick, Police Minister Neil Roberts, Shadow Attorney-General Lawrence Springborg and Deputy Police Commissioner Ian Stewart to a community forum to discuss how Queenslanders felt.

I think Cameron Dick in particular got a lot more than he expected.

This farewell tape made as I left 4BC in December 2010 gives some real insight into the issues of the time too.


At the ABC the Prime Minister doesn't rate a title - but as for Mr David Hicks.......

Here are two articles published by the ABC, this on David Hicks - and this on the Prime Minister. 

It used to be the case that media outlets had standard editorial policies about the use of honorifics like Mr, Dr etc.   Convicted felons are almost always referred to by their surname alone, while public officials like the Prime Minister could usually expect the respect of at least Mr or Ms.

At the ABC David Hicks gets the Mr Hicks treatment pretty much every time his name is used in this lengthy article, notwithstanding his current status as a convicted man.  



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But when it comes to our ABC and our Prime Minister....

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The title Mr Abbott doesn't appear at all in the article.   Editorial standards at the ABC are all over the place - and they provide a real insight into the organisation's prevailing attitudes.

Kowtowing to Saudi Arabia - our flag at half mast for the death of a despot

Our flag at half mast today

This is the formal announcement.

His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud



To: All Flag Marshals – Action Australia Wide and relevant overseas posts

Australian National Flag to fly at half-mast

Saturday 24 January 2015

His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud

His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the Head of State of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, died on 23 January 2015.

As a mark of mourning and respect and in accordance with protocol, the Australian National Flag should be flown at half-mast all day on Saturday 24 January 2015Australia wide from all buildings and establishments occupied by Australian Government departments and affiliated agencies.  Other organisations are welcome to participate.

In accordance with flag protocol, all flags and ensigns at each flag station should be flown at half-mast during daylight hours.  However, should it be the custom to fly the flags of other nations at your flag station, it would be appropriate to seek permission from the diplomatic representatives of that nation to half-mast their flag.

The financial and staffing implications arising from weekend flag marshal duties are the responsibility of each organisation.

Further information on the protocols for half-masting the Australian National Flag is at

Your assistance is appreciated.

Commonwealth Flag Officer

23 January 2015

Thanks to Bevan Shields for the photo from Canberra today.


Mark Scott and the ABC have deigned to promote Alan Jones! Shock-jock no more, Alan's a "conservative media commentator".

For years now whenever the ABC talked about Alan Jones he was derided as a "shock jock".   The impression the ABC was trying to convey was that Jones is not worth listening to, that he says things for effect etc.

Here are 3 quick examples of the ABC at work.

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Not now!    Alan is apparently in step with the ABC/Fairfax-collective on Campbell Newman's LNP government in Queensland.    In recognition of his new status Mark Scott has been graciously pleased to invest Alan with a new title.

Now that Alan is deriding the conservatives he's a "conservative media commentator".

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This stuff from the ABC is more than simple trivia.

In the modern Twitter/sound-grab media world about 15% of the impression you make is based on what you actually say.   Maybe 5 odd % is how you say it.   80% of the impression you make is based on the role the media casts you in.

If you're cast as a villain, you're a villain.   If you're cast as an elder statesman with great wisdom so be it.

Shock-jock to conservative media commentator in one easy step, we await the investiture.

The NSW Attorney General's Department says we can't know why Michael WILLIAMSON's mates escaped prosecution

I've just received this letter.   I disagree with your Attorney General's department, I think it's centrally in the public interest that we get to know why only Michael WILLIAMSON was prosecuted.

I think we deserve to know what deals were done, by whom, with whom, for what benefit and why?

[email protected]

2:41 PM (1 hour ago)
to me
Dear Mr Smith

I  refer  to  your  email  to the Attorney General, the Hon Brad Hazzard MP
about  matters  relating to the prosecution of Michael Alexander Williamson
(R  v  Williamson).  The  Attorney  General  has asked me to respond on his
behalf.  I  sincerely  regret  the  delay  in  replying which occurred at a
departmental  level.   There  was  a  delay  in the receipt of advice and a
further delay occurred as a result of an internal administrative oversight.

I understand you are enquiring about the identity and/or status of informer
witnesses  in  this matter. I regret the information you are seeking cannot
be  disclosed  to  a member of public as such information is privileged and
would ordinarily attract public interest immunity.

Thank you for your enquiry about this matter.

Yours faithfully

for Director
Community Relations Unit
NSW Department of Justice
Locked Bag 5111, Parramatta NSW 2124
Phone:  02 8688 7586
Fax:       02 8688 9620
Email: [email protected]