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About this website

SydWalker.Info is a personal website. I live in tropical Australia near Cairns. I oppose war, plutocracy, injustice, sectarian supremacism and apartheid. I support urgent action to achieve genuine sustainability and a fair and prosperous society for all. I rely upon - and support - free speech as defined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (see below).

with the dawg

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers"

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Unless otherwise indicated, material on this website is written by Syd Walker.

Anyone is welcome to re-publish material sourced from this site, as long as the source is acknowledged with a hyperlink.

Material from other sources reproduced here is presented on a 'Fair Use' basis. I try to cite references accurately. Please contact me if you have queries, comments, broken link reports, complaints - or just to say hello.

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FNQ: The Poverty of Political Debate
Nov 17th, 2008 by Syd Walker

This morning I listened to a couple of interviews on local ABC radio.

The first was with a representative of the Cairns Chamber of Commerce. The second interview was with a local union representative (from the AWU). The context for the discussion was the global economic downturn. How may it affect Far North Queensland? What can we do to keep our region’s economy afloat?

Both contributors, I have no doubt, are nice well-meaning people. But what struck me was the utterly vacuous nature of their analyses and proposals. As business is the base of the Coalition Parties – and organized labor the bedrock of the ALP – our apparent inability to take swift, intelligent, interventionist action for our future benefit becomes explicable.

If our local political elites had half a brain, they’d be busting with proposals for significant Federal investment in this region.

We need major projects to stimulate the economy. We also need to develop a more sustainable way of life. BOTH are urgent priorities. Projects that deliver BOTH will enjoy very widespread support.

So where is FNQ’s ‘ready to go’ list of sustainable development projects which our local politicians could be selling – right now – in the corridors of power down south?

Here are a few suggestions:

· Upgrading the region’s sewerage systems to world best practice
· Systematic remediation of te region’s toxic sites
· Large-scale forestation to reestablish riparian and wildlife corridors
· Building a new, high-efficiency rail system for the region
· Upgrading the region’s infrastructure for disaster amelioration
· Establishing more state-of-the-art eco-tourism visitor facilities on public lands

Military Bloat, ONLP & Jim Turnour
Oct 8th, 2008 by Syd Walker

Kevin Rudd

Kevin Rudd: a somewhat better view of the world

In its first year, the Rudd Government has been the kind of disappointment I expected.

There are bright sides to the picture. The demise of Howard and his mean-spirited club was certainly a breathe of fresh air. Canberra’s environmental policy is now more progressive – although not in any fundamental way. Appalling abuse of the human rights of would-be immigrants has subsided. Some of the more hard-nosed brutality of an incipient police state has receded, for now at least – although as far as I’m aware, all the 20+ anti-Terrorism laws passed by the Australian Parliament earlier in the decade remains in force.

But in too many respects, as expected, it’s been business as usual.

I’ll focus here on just one policy area here: ‘Defense’.

First, a disclaimer.

I use terms such as ‘Defense Budget’ and ‘Defense Minister’ under protest. In more honest times, ‘War’ was the word. But War has morphed into Defense, a term more palatable for the post-modern masses. We are yet, as Orwell suggested, to see the war machine run by a ‘Ministry of Peace’. But we’re heading that way. Real peace itself, of course, remains an elusive dream – mainly because of incessant war-mongering by ‘allies’ in the ‘free world’.

Anyway, back to ‘Defense’… Did anyone notice, shortly before the world’s money markets dived, that Mr Rudd gave an extremely generous funding guarantee to ONE specially favoured area of expenditure?

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