Saturday, 18 February 2012

Saturday SoapBlog: Bryan Law - Why Gavin King must be elected

Former Green and Labor supporter and prominent national peace activist, Bryan Law says that the Queensland seat of Cairns will fall from Labor's historic grip next month, and controversial LNP candidate Gavin King must be elected.

Bryan Law says that King has been there for peace activists consistently for six years and he fully supports and endorses his election on 24 March.

Law says the ALP ''sux big-time'' and invites CairnsBlog readers to indulge his take on Gavin King, Kirsten Lesina, the ALP dirt machine, and the way ''Labor degrades us all in its bossism and contempt'', asking voters to make a little electoral history next month.

Why Gavin King must be elected on March 24

The Problem

In 2012 mainstream politics is phoney. It’s degraded and degrading. The ALP has become a travesty. While it claims to be a party for social justice and equity, its record over the past two decades has been one of bossism and slavery to big business.

Focusing on the Queensland government we’ve seen the white-anting of our health system, the privatisation of irreplaceable public assets, open disputes with working unions, gross failure in Aboriginal affairs, and a first-class effort to portray mediocre hacks as “outstanding” intellects and office-holders. As Treasurer and Deputy Premier, Andrew Fraser has overseen the bankruptcy of Queensland’s Treasury, and the subordination of policy to managerial incompetence. Yet according to his own media unit, he is “the greatest Treasurer” Queensland’s ever had.

A key dynamic in Labor’s failure has been the pre-selection of MPs who are notable only for their obedience to factional bosses. For example: MP for Barron River Steve Wettenhall in 2011 was completely spineless around the ALP policy commitment to decriminalise abortion, which is clearly part of the Party platform. The Minister for Women, Karen Struthers, made a good deal of political capital in 2009 by promising women’s groups this policy would be enacted. They both chickened out when so instructed by Party bosses.

In October 2010 a young couple stood trial in the Cairns Supreme Court charged with procuring an abortion. A coalition of community groups supported the couple, and used the trial to agitate for the Labor government to keep its promise. Every Labor MP in far north Queensland ran away and hid. Steve Wettenhall sent the organising group a (confidential) letter saying he was strongly in favour of their objectives, but had to hide because Party bosses said no.

So instead of being honest, implementing their promise, and keeping faith with the citizens whose votes they rely on for government, the ALP decided instead to shaft its supporters in the hope of avoiding controversy. The problem is that this is the only kind of behaviour we see from the ALP, which sets the standard of politics firmly in the gutter.

Gavin King

I first met Gavin King in December 2005, in Alice Springs, where he was working as a journalist for the News Ltd title The Centralian Advocate. I was with a group called Christians Against ALL Terrorism. We intended to enter the Pine Gap spy base and conduct a citizens inspection.

Gavin King joined us for the event. He spent an evening with us as we prepared and walked into the base. He kept all his agreements with us, and took photos and notes of our actions. For doing that he was threatened with arrest by the Australian Federal Police and had his camera and photos confiscated. While the action clearly had news value, and Gavin was a working journalist rather than a peace activist, he was honest, reliable and a pleasure to deal with.

Gavin moved to Cairns in 2007 to work for the Cairns Post. He was a great help in early 2008 in publicising a problem the Pine Gap crew were having with ASIO and the AFP around our trial.

Secret court orders had been made against us in a closed court. Gavin had to take legal advice before publishing, and was at some risk. He publicly revealed what was going on. Between the front page story Gavin gave us, and shorter pieces by AAP and the Sydney Morning Herald, the secret orders were withdrawn – and we proceeded to a much fairer trial.

Twice in two years that I know of, Gavin took a personal risk to practice the principles of his profession. He stood up for free speech and the public’s right to know. I can live with disagreement. No-one is perfect. We all make mistakes. What I need to know about any man or woman is the integrity, authenticity, and credibility that lies behind what they say. I know Gavin is highly principled, and he puts those principles into practice.

More importantly, Gavin can be relied upon to stick by his principles when the going gets tough.

Since 2007 Gavin has kept in touch with our little peace group, met with visiting peace activists, and engaged with the issues of peace and war. In October 2011 he facilitated a workshop with US activist Kathy Kelly. I can look forward to Gavin taking a seat in Parliament.

Kirsten Lesina

I don’t know Kirsten well at all. She has never attended a peace meeting or event. As a Cairns Regional Councillor she’s out of my division, and has never engaged with anything important to my interests. I have no knowledge of how she deals with the difficult parts of life.

What I do know is that, during the pre-selection process for Cairns, Kirsten Lesina allowed herself to be used in a dirty factional dispute where Labor Unity arseholed Richie Bates (union organiser of decades standing) because of his position in the privatisation dispute. Kirsten agreed to undermine Richie at the invitation of a spiteful Desley Boyle.

During that process, Kirsten sent an e-mail to a colleague saying she’d join whatever faction could give her a seat in Parliament. She said “I am unaligned at present. I will join the faction that supports me in getting pre-selected.”

It’s unacceptable to me that wannabe politicians subordinate principle to personal preferment. How can Lesina even pretend to principle when she’s effectively for sale to the highest bidder? Or does “maximise personal profit” count as a principle in today’s ALP?

The disgusting, horrible ALP dirt machine

On 14 June 2008, Gavin King wrote an opinion column about the dangers of alcohol bingeing and sexual assault for women in Cairns. In the column, Gavin wrote “That doesn’t excuse the mongrels who commit such crimes.”

The opinion piece was sparked by a comment from Snr Constable Cary Coolican of Cairns Police, who said of sexual assault allegations “During investigations, it has become apparent that many of the victims have been under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substance at the time of the offence and do not recall the act itself or the circumstances surrounding their complaint,” Sen-Constable Coolican. This was reported in the Cairns Post on 12 June.

For those who think language is important, Gavin referred to “women” or “young women” throughout his column. The sub-editor gave the news story a headline about “girls”. The article and opinion column caused a minor flurry in Cairns and then disappeared.

It was brought back on 19 September 2011 by an anonymous blogger in Cairns who runs a spoof site called Hillbilly Watch. If you want to catch up with Labor hack humour, bias and vitriol, this is the site to visit. If you know who the unaccountable voice is, please let me in on the secret.

Gavin wasn’t pre-selected until 2 October 2011. The Hillbilly blog was simply an acknowledgement by the Labor dirt machine that Mr King’s preselection posed a real threat to their own poor candidate. The dirt machine was gearing up. Note the language by Hillbilly hack; “Gavin King Excuses Rape”.

On 4 February 2012 the story emerged in the mainstream media under the headline “Drunk girls to blame for rape”.

The story was by-lined by Evan Schwarten, a scion of the Rockhampton Schwartens, heavyweights in the Queensland ALP. Schwarten took his material direct from the Hillbilly hack. Notice how the language of dirt grows ever more extreme and detached from reality as the machine grows ever more desperate. ’Women ought take some responsibility for their safety’, becomes “Gavin King encourages rape” (unattributed) or “girls blamed for rape” (attributed). The exaggeration part of a calculated effort to inflame emotion and create division. This kind of behaviour degrades our polity.

The Premier, the Treasurer, the Minister for Women’s Affairs, and a sad parade of Labor leaders, have got down into the dirt and perpetuated the attacks of an anonymous, unaccountable Labor blogger.

Last week the Premier, Anna Bligh, caused a pamphlet to be circulated around the electorate of Ashgrove and Brisbane which portrayed the Schwarten distortion as a quote from Gavin, and tried to claim that Campbell Newman condoned rape. “Drunk girls to blame for rape”. Our Premier is just triffic at lies and dirt. I expect to see a lot more of it between now and 24th March. How sad.

  • The ALP has lied to women in Queensland by refusing to implement its party platform on abortion.
  • The ALP has lied to the people of Queensland about privatisation and the condition of our economy.
  • The ALP preselects candidates on the basis of their obedience to factional bosses.
  • The ALP believes in character assassination and the politics of dirt.
  • The ALP is so good at the politics of dirt it’s the very first (and only?) tool they reach for.
  • We’d be criminally stupid to vote ALP in Cairns
I have both positive and negative reasons for endorsing Gavin King. He is a talented and principled young man willing to take a personal risk for what he believes in. He will at least listen to my friends in the peace movement as he makes decisions and advocates for Cairns in the state parliament. Gavin King is committed to social justice and community engagement.

The Queensland ALP is rotten to the core, and will only grow worse if rewarded by a return to office.

In closing, here’s a King column in the Cairns Post that Hillbilly hack didn’t want to re-print. Among other things it recounts the Union activism of Gavin’s father, and his bitter disappointment with the ALP’s betrayal of the working class.

And that's why I support Gavin.


Wendy Davie said...

The only reason: because Bryan Law wants it. Ha Ha Ha

Carol Cunningham said...


Carol Cunningham said...

snowaball's chance in hell I reckon ... but I could be proven wrong

palmfarond said...

Well said Bryan. So terribly disappointing that all the ALP can do is get in the gutter when there are so many important issues to be addressed and policies to be pronounced. A Labor debt of $85Billion is just the start. We need a change....bring on Gavin, Michael and Robyn... to save our Queensland and our Cairns.

Nicky Martinovic said...


Michael P Moore said...

Nicky, suggest you write 1,600 words about why Kirsten should be elected... and I'll gladly publish it...

Nicky Martinovic said...

For what purpose Michael?

Michael P Moore said...

Oh, no reason, I just thought since you oppose Gavin (which I can understand) it would be good to hear your rationale why Kirsten should be elected, other than a simple ''groan'' .....

Nicky Martinovic said...

Who I vote for and why is nobodies business. But thank you for your interest.

Bryan Law said...

Nicky, you exemplify a politics of negativity and exclusion. You affect to derision of my arguments, yet you were the one who kept my views off the "progressive" discussion list. You play the role of censor.

When Michael asks you to contribute thinking, you must discover that you don't have any. So it's offensive to ask.

What a pathetic politics you and the ALP exemplify. Roll on March 24.

Michael P Moore said...

Nicky, you're a prominent contributor to a political forum, so it has become of interest

Nicky Martinovic said...

Probably only to you Michael. My friends and family know where I stand. That's all the matters to me. I don't feel the need to get on a soap box and try to change anyone's mind about their decision on who they will vote for.

Michael P Moore said...

Really? You can't be serious? I dare say that 99% of people on this page have a desire to change and influence others for their beliefs and ideologies..

Nicky Martinovic said...

Nope. Not me. I believe most have already made up their minds

Michael P Moore said...

at least 30% don't decide till a week out then the % is around 12-15% (at least ) on polling day...

nomooremike said...

You can tell the Cairns Blog is in trouble when Bryan Law is trotted out with his usual bullshit.

The fact that the owner of Hillbilly Watch is anything but a Labor supporter nulls the whole pile of irrelevant piddle. He attacks Labor regularly.

Now Moore himself posts, to attack someone who isn't impressed with this latest attempt to attract posters to this blog.

KitchenSlut said...

I note Bryans reference to Gavin's solid labour family background:

"Union activism of Gavin’s father, and his bitter disappointment with the ALP’s betrayal of the working class"

The link to the Cairns Post from Bryan on this is that:

"In recent months, I have spoken to many people who once voted Labor, including my father, who lives in Labor heartland in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales."

Funnily enough those rusted on Labor mates of dad in Cessnock previously turfed out died-in-the-wool working class Labour premier Unsworth for the extremely reformist Nick Greiner in one of the biggest shocks in Australian political history.

Why? The redneck miners in Cessnock revolted because Unsworth had proposed gun laws ten years before John Howard. It was the ONLY issue in Cessnock. Just another slight incidence of revisionism from this professionally deficient second-rate journalist.

I appreciate your own experiences with Gavin, although please appreciate in return that this does not replicate the exerience of others where the experience is of a serial manipulative liar who refuses even basic standards of professional journalism such as correction of simple imbecilic factual errors of basic numeracy.

His behaviour in this regard is not any cultural change at all but simply a replacement of one personality disorder with a similarly dysfunctional human.

Previously posted on this blog the problem with his rape comments was his inadeqaute response when a simple apology and acknowledgeent was all that was required. Instead he spun and lied like a typical politician.

As an acolyte you appear to be influenced too much because he was the only one prepared to give you the pretence of credibility.

Some of us recognise the need for cyclical change but are simply sad about the current quality of what passes for a choice. Curiously, your rationale for giving Gavin a vote seems to be that he will be the traditional labour member you should have had? How weird!

What a strange rationale for voting LNP?

Hank said...

Hey Wendy, So what DO you think about the Labor party response to the abortion campaign? It is interesting the difference between a real effect of action/inaction and the non-real effect around words - beat up or otherwise. Why does the latter trump the former?

When does big-brother-speak [what is not is, what is, is not] our only way of thinking?

Terry Vance said...

Gavin King "highly principled"???
Didn't I read almost every week for years his scurrilous and misognyistic attacks on Val Schier and Desley Boyle? How he used his position in The Cairns Post to mock, jeer, sneer and besmirch Labor politicians but particularly concentrating on our first ever female Mayor? Bryan Law says the ALP "believes in the politics of dirt." The evidence is overwhelming, so does Gavin King.

Alison Alloway said...

As a keen follower of politics for many decades, I dont know how many times Ive read the "confessions" of opportunistic sophists that "my Dad was a staunch ALP/Liberal who is disgusted with the way....blah blah blah." I am immediately suspicious of the persons claims. When the political pendulum starts swinging, the political opportunists come out of the woodwork and almost always make these identical sorts of fatuous claims. One wonders if King's father supported John Howards's "Work Choices" in 2007 for example or was he "disgusted" with the unions opposition?. I would say King is only in the game because the political pendulum is swinging and the winds are changing. He sees an easy ride for himself.

:John: Babet Community Reformation Action Group (CRAG) said...

Bryan Law is well aware that members of all political partys have no conscience voice-vote ... Katters Australia Party is the only exception.
A liberal King or a labour Wettenhall are both ineffective show ponies, as they are just window dressing for the hidden negative force controllers .

hieronymous bosch said...

"Groaner" cannot formulate a coherent argument for Lesina because the only way they can win the state election is to attack their opponent. They cannot stand up on policy. They cannot stand up on achievements. They went to the last election knowing they had sent the state broke, then without a mandate to sell state assets, sold them anyway.

Bryan, you have left out labor's fine stance on the environment. Wild Rivers. Coal Seam Gas Mining.

You also conveniently omitted their achievements for Indigenous Australians. Whoops, still living homeless at the end of Lyons St.

Let's not even enter into federal policies such as selling uranium to India.

What do they actually stand for? It certainly isn't congruent with their blind supporters, still pretending it's 1975, conveniently overlooking their feculant, valueless blustering, all the while bleating, "But the LNP are worse." WOW, now I'm convinced not to put labor last.

And what's worse, now we will have to put up with that bald dickhead they found in a sheltered workshop who'll sell off schools and dredge the habour creating another Gladstone. More reason to hate labor!