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December 6, 2011

At the National Conference, Senator Mark Arbib and I recruited Amanda and Frier’s 12 month old twins for the Centre Unity faction. President and Secretary of Young Labor 20 years from now.

  1. Aunty Jules permalink
    December 6, 2011 11:11 am

    Those are the smartest babies I have ever seen and it’s so good to see the young ones getting politically active! But sorry Mark, I already have their thumb prints on an application to join the Left. Aunty Jules from Victoria

  2. Ian Stanaway permalink
    December 6, 2011 12:44 pm

    Your optimism, that there will be a Young Labor group in 20 years, will depend on whether the ALP will adopt the recommendations in your collaborative review.

  3. boy on a bike permalink
    December 7, 2011 7:32 am

    Crikey Bob, the SMH has outed you as a Spacey sceptic. Or perhaps a Mendes denier.

    Haven’t seen the play myself, so I can’t comment. But I did love the Ian McKellen version – even saw it on the big screen when it came out.

    I don’t know what the SMH thinks it’s up to – if you don’t like the play, you don’t have to stay. And you don’t have to say nice things about it if you thought it was rubbish. I guess that’s just the SMH displaying it’s usual mantra of GroupThink.

    • December 7, 2011 9:57 am

      Oh dear, Bob. It seems with the last 2 plays you reviewed, you have fallen into the trap of reviewing plays you haven’t actually seen. in the case of Richard III, If you didn’t stay for the whole play your opinion is not valid.
      I saw this production in London, and believe me, the 2nd half was vital to an understanding of the whole. The 2nd half built on the platform laid down in the 1st half, with Spacey’s interpretation of Richard as a narcissistic, yet self-loathing Sado-masochistic two-faced Vaudevillian anti-hero emerging in all its glory only in the later scenes. And the climax was truly jaw-dropping. Not to mention the incredibly physicality of Spacey’s performance.
      I saw Antony Sher’s Richard III in Melbourne in the 80s (I think it was the 80s) and that, to me, was the ultimate. but Spacey came very close.
      I’ve seen all the film versions, but that is not a valid comparison, particularly in judging your ability to hear all the words. You must judge like against like. Recommending that people see a film instead of a play is like reommending they watch football on TV instead of going to the game: it’s a completely different experience.
      I had no trouble hearing all the words in London. It’s either the Lyric Theatre’s fault, or it’s time to get your ears checked!

  4. Kerry Wright permalink
    December 7, 2011 7:51 am



    (I live and work with the Tibetans in India, but am currently in Australia)
    Many of my students in India are exiles from this monastery- some have been children when their brothers were tortured- they can be interviewed (in English)
    The whole area has been on lockdown for months
    Two foreigners we met were smuggled in late one night -and arrested and thrown out- and said it was like a ‘war zone’

    12 monks and a nun have self-immolated since March because of the shocking repressions and conditions

    Why, in our democracy, does the Australian media (with the exception of ABC and SBS)

    seem to have a total blanket ban again on this important news from Tibet?

    In the months since March this year, 12 nuns and monks and others have set fire to

    themselves, in desperation and protest at the situation in Tibet.

    Smuggled footage of self-immolation of nun in Tibet

    See for all direct connected news stories
    eg Dalai Lama’s comments
    Prime Minister’s comments
    Karmapa’s comments
    Analysis of immolations in Tibetan Buddhism

    In particular, the appalling situation at Kirti Ngaba monastery in Amdo, Tibet has resulted in

    many deaths, even of elderly people and parents trying to protect the monks. 60 year

    olds have been imprisoned.

    Historically, Kirti monastery has been singled out for an outrageous number of documented

    monk tortures and imprisonments over the years. It is a scholarly monastery, and the

    resentment about the treatment given monks who refuse to be ‘forcibly re-educated’ is


    Treatment/conditions include:

    Brutal ‘patriotic re-education’

    CCTV cameras in all rooms

    Prevention of monks joining (from other monasteries, under 18, over 60 they have to leave)

    Prevented from studies, rituals, exams, practises

    Soldiers living in monasteries in rooms where monks have been arrested,

    imprisoned, or

    forcibly disrobed

    China has recently even accused the Dalai Lama of ‘paying’ the monks to kill




    The Chinese govt actually offered the monks money and loans to disrobe

    and leave the monastery: none accepted the offer

    I appreciate that the Chinese government also oppresses and tortures and kills it own

    people, a leadership issue that many Chinese people deal with daily, and that many brave

    people here and in China and in exile speak out about.

    Read more:

    Even in Australia, as Kylie Kwong well knows, there are repercussions.

    THIS WEEK: China blacks out BBC interview with Tibetan Prime Minister

    Another imprisoned Lama dies

    Recently a famous Australian humanitarian (Bill Crews) told me he was overjoyed to see a rare event: numerous reporters gathered near the Hyde Park Tibetan protest against the treatment of monks and nuns, and self-immolations in Tibet. But no: They were all there to see Kim Kardashian, at the Sheraton. ‘Mates’ he said, ‘the real story is over there’ (pointing to the orderly Tibetans, signs and flags. ‘Yes’ the reporter said, ‘we all know that. But we don’t get paid for that one’.

    My question to you ALL is: why are so many of our politicians and media simpering and salivating over even more Chinese massive investment and more immigration, when China treat their historical ‘friends’ and neighbours so brutally?

    Why did Bob Carr so outrageously (and incorrectly) say that Tibet belongs to China since the time of the Manchus, and the Dalai Lama was not welcome here?

    But an even more grim question: why are we in Australia actually complicit in genocide (again) by not speaking up, and by failing to report the truth?

    All over the world, people are saying it is our greed. I agree. But there is no excuse, Australia: it is wrong.

    Kerry Wright
    0438 699 494

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