September 29, 2004


"All in all," writes the Wall Street Journal, "this is one Aussie election that the world will be watching."

It sure will, especially now that a convicted serial killer has been named as a Labor candidate:

Opposition Leader Mark Latham is standing by the Labor Party's gun-toting Queensland candidate Dr Ivan Molloy despite new concerns about his past.

Mr Latham continues to defend Dr Malloy, despite confusing claims about the academic's past associations with an Asian guerilla organisation ...

Mr Latham inadvertently referred to Dr Molloy as notorious serial killer Ivan Milat when first addressing reporters, but he laughed off the mistake.

So did the Sydney Morning Herald. When George W. Bush blundered during a speech, the SMH ran it on the front page, provided video, and launched a reader poll. When Latham blunders ... well, just try to find any mention of it. It’s hidden in there somewhere.

Who else from Australia’s criminal elite might Latham next mistakenly enlist to the Labor cause? Mark Brandon "Chopper" Rudd, perhaps?

Posted by Tim Blair at September 29, 2004 04:00 AM

Where does the Wall Street Journal source its info,

Like the U.S., Australia is having a national election that is at heart a referendum on the war in Iraq.

This is bullshit. As is this,

Mr. Howard's principal opponent, Labor's Mark Latham, has chosen to make Australia's participation in the multinational coalition in Iraq the main issue in his campaign.

Not only has Latham not emphasised the War, he recently declared 'this election is a referendum of Medicare'. However, the Journal gets closer to the truth here,

Mr. Latham is a center-left politician with policies close to those familiar in European welfare states.

Posted by: jafa at September 29, 2004 at 06:39 AM

There are many Americans that don't understand their own political system ("Bush stole the election!"), so it's no surprise that reportage of certain nuances of the current Australian electoral climate don't meet with your approval.

For that matter, at this point, even Kerry would probably be happy to quit talking about the war. ("Look, I'd do essentially the same thing, only smarter and better, unless I'd do nothing at all except talk about it endlessly. My position is clear.") Then he could get back to the Democratic Party's core values, "policies close to those familiar in European welfare states." Americans seem very willing to believe they have a "right" to "affordable" health care this year, whatever that means. Somebody else can pay for it!

Also, I believe Ned Kelly is probably the only member of Australia's criminal elite I've ever heard of. The killing thing aside, he was at least in favor of redistribution of wealth, correct?

Posted by: Hazy Dave at September 29, 2004 at 07:52 AM

he was at least in favor of redistribution of wealth, correct?

Sorta, he stole from the rich, and gave to himself.

Posted by: Quentin George at September 29, 2004 at 07:53 AM

On an unrelated note, I see someone resurrected the lazy "Prescott Bush was a Nazi" smear in a now closed thread.

Where do we find these idiots?

Posted by: Quentin George at September 29, 2004 at 08:00 AM

They find us.

Posted by: Robert Crawford at September 29, 2004 at 08:31 AM


Dr Molloy who is a political scientist and was doing research at the time the picture was taken; and is going to be slammed now!! Its like saying someone who researches any subject is smeared with mud come on and a good stir no doubt: I feel he will be a hopeless as he will actually understand the issues and will not be some mere mouth piece ie the same as Barry Jones who was far to intelligent for politics

Posted by: jb at September 29, 2004 at 08:51 AM

Seems like Molloy and Milat have gun waving in common. Did they create a similar mental pattern in Lathams mind? I guess we will never know.

Yes, there seems to be those in the press that seem to like to colour facts to suit their very biased view on things, and to try and denigrate George Bush. In the stampede to find 'bushisms' a whole genre of al gorisms have escaped public attention.

Whilst Kerry appears too dry to generate Kerryisms, I cannot wait till a page of let them go nude Teresa 'Marie Antoinette' Heinzisms comes out somewhere.

Posted by: dawn at September 29, 2004 at 08:58 AM

trying to prove your political opponents are closet Nazis, Stalinists, terrorists or child molesters seems to be standard practice in the intellectual vacuum we have here. However, that doesn't mean they aren't. Certainly not because someone 'closed the thread'!i

Posted by: tug at September 29, 2004 at 09:24 AM

Here's an interesting letter to the editor that appeared in AUstralia's most right wing paper today: The Australian:

"I AM a right-wing conservative but today I have no hesitation in standing shoulder to shoulder with Phillip Adams in his disgust with John Howard's spending spree.

Howard used to boast that he was the most conservative leader the Liberal Party had ever had. Yeah right. This spending spree is Whitlam-esqe.

And the worst thing about it is that it is setting a reckless precedent for when Labor eventually do get back in power. Imagine the programs of monumental waste Labor will come up with – and when that happens I will blame Howard.

The patron saints of modern conservatism – Reagan and Thatcher – would disown this phoney. Phillip Adams for treasurer.

John Ruddick
North Sydney, NSW

Well waddyaknow, blogmire!?

Posted by: Miranda Divide at September 29, 2004 at 10:26 AM

Even a broken clock gets the time right sooner or later Miranda.

Posted by: gaz at September 29, 2004 at 10:52 AM

agree that the "spending spree" is discrediting Mr Howard more than Mr Latham. But, you're getting away from the topic.

What's your view on Dr Malloy?

Posted by: Lofty at September 29, 2004 at 10:54 AM

Well, if we're going after the trivial slip-ups rather than the issues, how about Tim's own "Lathemisms"? You'd think Latham is a word he'd know how to spell by now.

Posted by: Karl at September 29, 2004 at 11:15 AM

tug, would you prefer to be banned instead?

Posted by: Andrea Harris at September 29, 2004 at 11:19 AM

Jb I am of the opinion that one of the interesting and important reasons that Australians respect institutions, including universities, far less is because the education gap has been markedly reduced over the last 2 decades or so. Australians know that they are better educated and informed, and that they have the ability to bypass the gatekeepers of knowledge who reigned in the past. That ownership of and access to information and thus the growth of knowledge for individuals is understood by business organisations but not by our academics and others who were used to telling Australians what "they needed to know" and how to think. Therefore I am little impressed by the notion that Molloy has some kind of special ability in understanding terrorism and its ramifications. He is another observer accredited with a PhD but this does not make him objective and insightful. Indeed his naivety and idiocy in expecting that waxing wobbly on a critical matter such as terrorism would not attract attention to his less than whole hearted opposition to groups who kill civilians for political ends puts him in the dumb box actually.

Posted by: Ros at September 29, 2004 at 11:21 AM

Dr Ivan Molloy explains his visit as one of learning about these people so as to combat them.Would he have us believe he only befriended these people so he can help defeat them?He seemed quite comfortable with both the machine gun and his terrorist hosts.I believe the reverse is true,that he is bringing the beliefs of the terrorists to a fertile home in the Australian Labor party.Of course it wouldn't be conveyed in those terms,they would run the line of the poor dispossesed fighting for social justice.

Posted by: gubbaboy at September 29, 2004 at 12:06 PM


6 billion in extra spending over 4 years is undesirable, but it is hardly "Whitlamesque spending spree" or "setting a reckless precedent". Some of the so-called "spending" is in the form of reduced taxes. Overall, Howard's extra spending is not even enough to increase the size of government as a proportion of GDP.

I'm not defending the Howard spending, but let's just quit the media-driven hyperbole, OK?

Yes, Howard spends too much of our tax dollars. So what's new? Where have Phat Phil and all the rest of the media been for the last 8 years? Where were they when Labor rejected the Libs proposed spending cuts, year after year, budget after budget?

Posted by: Alex Robson at September 29, 2004 at 12:18 PM

It's not only about what Molloy did 20 years ago.

Just a few days ago, he endorsed the idea that Coalition MPs were responsible for the Bali terrorist attack.

He's still sympathetic to terrorists in my opinion, because he blames our government for their actions.

Posted by: EvilPundit at September 29, 2004 at 12:45 PM

What is this man doing in the Labour party. This is a heinous and outrageous crime agains the political process - he should be a Greens candidate.

Posted by: JBB at September 29, 2004 at 12:50 PM

I see in the SMH that a number of CEOs of "some of Australia's most innovative and successful companies" have called on the Government to save the old-growth forests. One, Fabian Dattner of the Dattner Grant fur company said: "It is commercial insanity to destroy such a beautiful and irreplaceable natural asset".

She was referring to trees, not minks.

Posted by: Freddyboy at September 29, 2004 at 12:53 PM

This is off-message apart from the fact it relates to the election campaign but I wanted to point it out somewhere. Alan Ramsay has a really loony article in the SMH today, likening the wicked, electorate-bribing Howard to the wicked, electorate bribing Menzies in 1949 promising to end petrol and other rationing, where the saintly Chifley did not. He seems unaware that Menzies actually DID end petrol etc. rationing!

This is cognitive dissonance at a new level.

Posted by: Sue at September 29, 2004 at 12:53 PM

The same Ivan Molloy wrote an op-ed in The Oz a few years back declaring himself to be an old-style socialist who nonetheless supported the mandatory detention of asylum-seekers. (Well, it was Labor Immigration Ministers - Gerry Mander and Nick Giannopoulos, according to Slaythem - who brought in the policy).

"Refugee hard line is right"
By Ivan Molloy
The Australian (3 April 2002)

As a member of the Left (and a de facto green) in the ALP for nearly 20 years, I have championed its position on Vietnam, uranium mining and many other flawed aspects of Australian domestic and foreign policy. I have spent much time in Asia and Central America researching and supporting many popular struggles against oppression. I am a strong supporter of the Palestinians and abhor our present Government’s “all the way with LBJ” mentality. I am also a republican!

But on the issue of detainees, I’m afraid I part company with so many of my colleagues, many of whom have protested outside the Woomera detention centre in recent days. In fact, on this issue, I am sympathetic to the conservative Howard Government’s stance.


With its high standard of living, rule of law and democratic freedoms, Australia offers a valuable safe haven for all refugees, but the nature of this safe haven is essentially linked to our sovereignty and integrity as a nation, which, in turn, are linked to our immigration and refugee programs. To allow the latter to be violated at will serves to ultimately jeopardise the egalitarian and democratic nature of our society.

Ivan Molloy is a senior lecturer and head of politics and international studies at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Maroochydore.

Posted by: Uncle Milk at September 29, 2004 at 01:15 PM

"Australia is having a national election that is at heart a referendum on the war in Iraq."

It's quite daunting that so august a journal can publish such patent absurdities. The legend on the lectern at which Howard stood last weekend on live national television said it all: "Keeping interest rates low".

Posted by: Paul Pottinger at September 29, 2004 at 01:29 PM

"Australia is having a national election that is at heart a referendum on the war in Iraq."

It's quite daunting that so august a journal can publish such patent absurdities. The legend on the lectern at which Howard stood last weekend on live national television said it all: "Keeping interest rates low".

Posted by: Paul Pottinger at September 29, 2004 at 01:29 PM

I agree with Ros about the decreasing respect for our educational institutions. How can one take seriously an institution that calls itself the University of the Sunshine Coast! Perhaps next we'll have a University of the Frozen South, in Tasmania. Or how about the University of the Dead Heart at Alice Springs?

I'm guessing Dr Malloy's PhD thesis was some drivel like: "Semiotic Interpretations of SE Asian Liberation Movements: Towards a New Paradigm".

Posted by: Freddyboy at September 29, 2004 at 01:40 PM

As a resident of the coast, I get to read Ivan's
drivel in the local papers.

The man is a typical "All our fault,root causes,
evil Amerikkans blah blah", Chomskyite.

Always has been,always will be.

Posted by: fred at September 29, 2004 at 02:47 PM

It's uncanny you should bring up Ivan Milat, Tim. Just the other day I was thinking that Ivan Milat would be a fantastic UN ambassador for Australia. He would would have so much in common with his colleagues at the UN. Appointing him would give Australia a leading role rather than a bit part in the international theatre of the absurd. While I haven't personally met Ivan Milat, I've had the honour of meeting his brother Bill Milat, who is a friendly and charming fellow. I was careful, though, not to wear any backpacks to the meeting. However, if we can't get Ivan Milat, Ivan Molloy looks like the next best thing.

Posted by: Clem Snide at September 29, 2004 at 03:01 PM

Actually it is Johnny that is the left of centre candidate.

He apes Whitlam in terms of government spending and his promotion of big government.

Posted by: Homer Paxton at September 29, 2004 at 03:28 PM

Dr Ivan Molloy PhD (USC)(that's University of the Sunshine Coast, not University of Southern California),formerly Latham Professor of Liberation Movements (SE Asia) and MP, now appointed roving Ambassasor Plenipotentiary of the People's Democratic Republic of Australia for International Freedom and Islamic Brotherhood.

Should be a strong candidate for Kofi Annan's job.

Posted by: Freddyboy at September 29, 2004 at 03:52 PM

There's a University of the Sunshine Coast???

Posted by: Jorge at September 29, 2004 at 04:04 PM

Thanks for the extract from Molloy's Op. Ed. Piece.

Surely one of the cricial phrases is he admission that he had been "researching AND SUPPORTING the many popular struggles against oppression."

Tim, can't you or The Bulletin take this up, fast?

Posted by: Sue at September 29, 2004 at 04:26 PM

Don't forget Joint Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Freddyboy, together with Osama bin Laden and Jacques Chirac. You are right, though, when you suggest that it would take a moderate like Molloy to get Kofi Annan's job. The UN prefers someone who only fantasises about flying aircraft into skyscrapers, rather than actually doing it, since the UN needs its employees hanging around long enough to collect on their superannuation if they want to bankrupt the Great Satan. But I still think we would need someone of Milat's proven record of achievement to get a seat on the prestigious UN Human Rights Committee.

Posted by: Clem Snide at September 29, 2004 at 04:30 PM

Clem, he'd be in good company with President Omar al-Bashir of the Sudan. He might even get some inside info on the heroic liberation struggle of al-Bashir's Janjaweed against the evil Africans of Darfur. Could be worth a post-doctoral research paper.

Posted by: Freddyboy at September 29, 2004 at 04:41 PM

Excuse me if I doubt the concerns most of the trolls in this thread seem to have recently acquired for conservative fiscal management, but where's the evidence that Latham intends to spend LESS than Howard?

Oh, that's right. In their head.

Posted by: Quentin George at September 29, 2004 at 04:54 PM

What's this? Latham has promised the following:

Labor leader Mark Latham today promised free hospital care for all Australians aged 75 and over, cheaper private health insurance and a $20 a week grandparents allowance.

Wow. He's a small spender.

Posted by: Quentin George at September 29, 2004 at 05:24 PM

Jorge, yes apparently there is a Univerity of the Sunshine Coast, it's not just some web server. I even *shudder* saw one of its academics a few months ago delivering a lecture; I can only assume personal grooming and shoes are too expensive for its staff to afford.

There is even a University of Western Sydney. I know this because they awarded one of my ex-colleagues a High Distinction for his Undergraduate Thesis, which involved him setting up a Windows NT network.

Posted by: Clem Snide at September 29, 2004 at 05:45 PM

Right, so the people of the Sunshine Coast should have to travel 3 or 4 hours a day to go to Brisbane if they want a university education because some pontificating internet drivel-writer thinks 'University of the Sunshine Coast' sounds silly. You people crack me up.

Posted by: ron at September 29, 2004 at 06:04 PM

Clem, UWS sounds a bit like Enid Blyton University aka Edith Cowan University)in WA.

Posted by: Freddyboy at September 29, 2004 at 06:05 PM

Isn't it better to drive 3 hours to Brisbane(or to move there) and get a recognised degree from a quality university than a mickey mouse quslification from an institution that nobody else recognises?

Posted by: Freddyboy at September 29, 2004 at 06:14 PM

Hey Clem and Freddyboy, suck my balls and hum the national anthem!

I work for the aforementioned UWS. Some of us are not embarrased by Western Sydney at all.

Come around and see us one day and I'll organise an honorary degree in "smack in the mouth" for you. Being a westie, I know how to do that!

What's latin for "shit for brains"?

Posted by: Gibbo at September 29, 2004 at 06:57 PM

Tim, Tim, Tim. Good to see you've now learnt how to spell Lathamisms and corrected your previous error, but a little thankyou wouldn't go astray.

Posted by: Karl at September 29, 2004 at 07:09 PM

Ahem. I meant Lathamism (singular). Sorry readers. (Tim, that's an example of how to honourably deal with your errors, rather than silently cover them up)

Posted by: Karl at September 29, 2004 at 07:12 PM

Hmmmmmmmm, Ivan Malloy Versus Alison Broinowski in a fight to the death. Australia ia the winner!

Posted by: nic at September 29, 2004 at 07:35 PM

Milat/Malloy/Mick whoever: so much about so little; what will you all do when a real story breaks?

Posted by: tug at September 29, 2004 at 08:25 PM

Don't be so defensive, Gibbo, I wasn't having a go at you. In fact, judging by the cleanliness of the toilets the last time I visited the Hawkesbury campus, I think you personally do a great job. However, according to one lecturer from my own alma mater, UTS, who has also worked for UWS, he believes the UWS students make their UTS counterparts look like geniuses. And by crikey, the UTS students ARE. NOT. GENIUSES. Take it from someone who attempts to work with UTS graduates on a daily basis.

Posted by: Clem Snide at September 29, 2004 at 08:44 PM

The patron saints of modern conservatism - Reagan and Thatcher - would disown this phoney. Phillip Adams for treasurer.

Reagan was a small spender?

Like the U.S., Australia is having a national election that is at heart a referendum on the war in Iraq.

I'd have to agree. If the election isn't a referendum on Iraq and the war on terror, then the electorate hasn't been paying attention. Latham announced that troops would be out by Christmas while the bodies in Madrid were still warm (Labor also tried to un-pre-deploy our troops after Bali if I recall correctly), and has stated JI's disapproval of our foreign policy as a reason we should not have been involved in Iraq.

If Latham wins, democracy won't be dead, but it'll be badly wounded.

Posted by: Andjam at September 29, 2004 at 09:04 PM

It will also be very confused. Today Latham declared the election would be a referendum on Medicare.

How will they work out which issue the yes and no votes are for?

Posted by: ilibcc at September 29, 2004 at 10:21 PM


Apologies for my failure to acknowledge. I actually fixed the mistake after a phone call; I hadn't seen your earlier comment.

Posted by: tim at September 30, 2004 at 03:07 AM

Tim, apology accepted. And I apologise to you for the misunderstanding.

Posted by: Karl at September 30, 2004 at 03:08 PM