Getting The Government We Deserve

I’m so gob-smacked by this that words just about fail me.

One of the glaring deficiencies in the Australian adaptation of the Westminster system of government, at both the federal and state levels, has to do with casual vacancies in the Upper House – the Senate in the former, and the Legislative Council in the latter (in all cases except Queensland, which abolished its Upper House in 1921).

In the case of the Lower House, a casual vacancy created by the death or resignation of an MP results in a by-election, in which the people decide directly who should act as their replacement representative in parliament for the remainder of its term. This is as it should be.

However, in the case of a casual vacancy in the Federal Senate, Parliament is expected to accept the recommendation of the Premier of that state, even if the state government is of a different political stripe from the government in Canberra. Long tradition dictates that the Premier, in such a case, will accept the name put forward by the state president of the former Senator’s own political party; this candidate would then be formally proposed by that state’s parliament. This tradition has been generally respected by both sides of politics; the most famous breach occurred in 1975, when the ALP controlled the Federal Senate by a single vote. Upon the death of ALP senator Bertie Millner in June that year, Queensland National Party Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen refused to accept the name put forward by the Queensland state branch of the ALP, and instead plucked from obscurity one Albert Patrick Field, a french polisher of no distinction who, though he had been a member of the ALP for over 30 years, was deeply conservative and as openly critical of the Whitlam Labor government as he was full of praise for Bjelke-Petersen. Field was immediately expelled from the ALP for accepting the appointment. The tipping of the balance of power led to the 1975 constitutional crisis and the downfall of the Whitlam government in November of that year. In 1977 the Fraser coalition government, possibly burning its bridges behind it, used a constitutional referendum to formalize the convention into law.

While the law regarding casual Senate vacancies was intended to cover senators dying, falling ill or undergoing serious personal or family crises, of late it appears to have been seized upon by political parties as a loophole for shoe-horning their own favourite sons into the parliament without the bother of having to go to the people. It is remarkable how often these unelected members are instantly gifted with high parliamentary or ministerial office. Such was the case with Bob Carr, former Premier of New South Wales who, in March this year, had room made for him by the sudden and very dubious resignation of NSW Labor senator and apparatchik Mark Arbib. Carr was sworn in both as a Senator and the Federal Foreign Minister on the same day and, as I write this, is in New York with Julia Gillard, lobbying the United Nations for Australia to be appointed a seat on the Security Council.

Actually, whatever his faults, Carr’s strengths overshadow the weakness of the system which permitted his ascension to the Senate and Cabinet without needing a single Australian citizen to vote for him. A former career journalist and bibliophile, the supremely erudite Carr is also an Amerophile, sits on the Board of Directors of the United States Study Centre at Sydney University, and is a walking encyclopædia of United States history and literature in particular, having often in his days as Premier amazed American political and academic audiences with the breadth and depth of his knowledge of their country. Carr has consistently stated openly over the years that the post of Foreign Minister was the one he has always aspired to, and indeed some even among his political opponents concede that he could almost have been born for the rôle. In fact, the contrast between Carr and Gillard when they are placed together like this is so embarrasingly obvious that Gillard’s speechwriters have been forced to come up with revamped screeds, containing so many big words that our Dear Leader sometimes has difficulty in getting them out.

But I’m not here today to talk about Carr. In most state parliaments, casual vacancies in the Upper House are appointed by a joint sitting of both Houses. While this is, on the face of it, marginally fairer than the situation federally—at least the appointments were made by people we voted for directly—in practice it means that whichever party has the numbers in the State house can nominate parliamentarians in their own smoky back rooms.

Such was the case with the man whose picture appears at the top of this page: a certain Bernard Vincent Finnigan, a man whose name I could not even mention to you until twenty-four hours ago, due to a court suppression order. This young man, one of twelve children from a deeply religious rural family, graduated from the University of South Australia in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts and immediately joined the Australian Labor Party, becoming entrenched in factional politics as part of the right-wing Labor Unity faction. A union official and political intriguer for the next ten years, in 2006 Finnigan, at the age of just thirty-four, and having never held down a real job in his life, was appointed by the South Australian parliament as a Member of the Legislative Council, following the death of Labor MLC Terry Roberts. In his maiden speech, Finnigan chose to highlight the Catholic religious doctrine which he claimed to guide his actions:

I would like to acknowledge that, despite my stumbles along the way and however imperfect my efforts, I am a servant of Christ and subject of His reign in history.

Little did his audience at the time comprehend the true nature of these stumbles and imperfections, or appreciate how quickly thereafter they would come to light.

Finnigan has consistently voted conservative on all social issues, opposing state moves to allow voluntary euthanasia and giving same-sex couples access to gestational surrogacy. Being elevated shortly thereafter to the Cabinet under the government of Premier Mike Rann, he was subsequently given an unloseable third placing on Labor’s ticket at the 2010 polls and was duly re-elected. He was subsequently promoted to be Leader of the Government in the Upper House, and was spoken of by many in the ALP as a future Premier.

Which is where it all started to go downhill. On 20th April 2011, Finnigan’s home was raided by police. Computers were seized and Finnigan was arrested and charged with a variety of child-pornography offences, some of which, due to the nature of the images found and apparent age of the children depicted, fell into the “aggravated” category. The following day, Finnigan resigned his Cabinet position and parliamentary offices, and was suspended from the Labor Party until the charges were disposed of.

OK, you might be thinking, no-one else knew about this beforehand, and anyone can inadvertently back a loser. Not to mention that we are all innocent before the law until proven guilty. And you would be right. This, however, is where the gob-smacking bit starts. As the charges against Finnigan are classified under South Australian law as sex crimes, the court automatically granted a suppression order against publication of his name in relation to these charges. Fat chance of keeping that under the mat in the internet age. I’ve been aware of this matter for over a year, but haven’t mentioned it on the blog before today as I wanted to avoid any potential legal hassles. The suppression order lapsed yesterday, when Finnigan was ordered to stand trial on a number of counts of obtaining child pornography, and attempting to do same.

Now it gets even worse. Though Finnigan has pleaded not guilty to all charges, his lawyer, Michael Abbott QC (no relation to Tony Abbott that I’m aware of), is not even trying to pretend that his client did not do what the Crown Prosecutor and the investigating police detectives know damn well that he did. Instead, Abbott is basing his case around the poorly-drafted provisions of the South Australian criminal code, which state that an offence is only committed if the victim (i.e., the child depicted in the image) was under the age of consent at the time the crime was committed—that is, when the images were downloaded or otherwise accessed. Effectively, if upheld as a precedent in this case, this gives paedophiles free reign to obtain and view child pornography providing the images are more than twenty years old! According to this report:

Mr Abbott said it could not be established by the prosecution that there were victims or what their ages were at the time of the alleged offences.

“If you have no victim, you have no aggravated offence. Our argument is as simple as that,” Mr Abbott told the court.

“It’s not enough to say, we’ve got pictures or websites or whatever.”


It gets still worse yet. For the last year, Finnigan, stripped of parliamentary duties, has refused to resign his seat, though the current Premier, Jay Weatherill, has recently written to him asking him to do so. For over a year, he has sat silently on the government benches, doing nothing, treated by his former colleagues and foes alike as if he were carrying a live hand grenade.

He has pocketed over $200,000 of taxpayers’ money in the form of his parliamentary salary, for no observable service.

As an MP, all his legal expenses are likewise being picked up by the taxpayer.

How sickening is all this to the ears of an Australian taxpayer? Very. At a minimum, Finnigan himself should admit what he did and then resign from parliament. Or deny all charges, instead of asking his lawyer to get him off on a technicality.

You can’t even blame the Labor Party for this mess. Both sides of politics have rorted the casual vacancy provisions of the Constitution, and every time it occurs the people’s faith in Australian democracy diminishes.

My own solution is, if we are indeed going to persist in having an Upper House which purports to uphold the interests of the States above all, then instead of the barely-comprehensible proportional representation system which sends twelve senators from each state to parliament, divide each state geographically into twelve regions, each of which sends one member to the Upper House. Casual vacancies to be filled from a by-election, the same as the House of Representatives. The parties would hate it, because they will no longer be able to put up faceless hacks in the Senate. The Greens would fight it to the death, for it would finish them off permanently as a political force. And parliamentarians generally would hate it, because it would immediately expose the undemocratic nature of the Senate: each senator from Tasmania represents about 20,000 electors, while each NSW senator represents ten times as many. Yet their votes have the same value. Former Prime Minister Paul Keating in 1992 memorably referred to the Senate as “unrepresentative swill”. He should have remembered that it applies to his own side as well as the opposition.

Power to the people, I say.

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52 Responses to Getting The Government We Deserve

  1. Kitler says:

    Well we had Ted Kennedy who on drugs and alcohol left a young women to drown at Chappaquiddick and didn’t bother to inform the police until he’d sobered up and this was a man who liked his women to be young teenagers. He was eulogized by his comrades in the last Dem convention. This kind of rot runs deep and if we knew the truth we would be horrified by the stealing the murder, rapes and pedophilia rampant among the worlds leaders. Until we learn to say enough is enough it will continue.

  2. Luton Ian says:

    There is an approximate parallel from Ireland; Judge Brian Curtin, who was accused of possessing kiddie pron, but refused to resign from the position of judge, he could only be dismissed by parliamentary impeachment, which is a very slow process.

    Curtin continued to receive his judges salary, and, before the impeachment could dismiss him, he retired through ill health, and received his full judges pension. The court case against him also collapsed.

    These are fallible human individuals.

    Whether “democratically elected*” or however they reach “power”, they are individuals who claim a “right” to rob and coerce other individuals, against those individuals will and better judgement.

    Coats of arms, fanfares of arse trumpets held by cherubs and blown by unicorns, or what ever other window dressing is applied, does not change these characters from being individual humans.

    In the case of politics, those who rise to positions of power are those who are best a spinning demagogic lies, weilding the stick of the coercive apparatus, or brown nosing those higher up the ladder.

    There’ll be plenty more like Finnegan is alleged to be, and worse, in there. Wielding the stick over you.

    * democracy; will of a majority – gang rapes and lynchings are also exercises of the will of a majority – is will of a majority a justification for any coercion?

  3. Luton Ian says:

    Time to take our own decisions

  4. GLo says:

    Firstly, I agree with the sentiment of a properly representative and elected second house though I once argued that the old style UK House of Lords with only hereditary Peers was superior to the lacky filled version where politicians get to appoint the very people who are there to check the power of Parliament….

    A few points. The Law (in every Country) should be changed to reference Child Abuse Images rather than Child Porn. It may seem like a semantic difference but the former states exactly what the image is…evidence of a crime against a child. Child Porn as a description legitimises the image’s intended sexual use.

    Secondly, there is growing evidence for a very strong link between image offences and contact abuse.

    I would recommend reading the above link and any further studies one can find to explore why the perception that ‘Its only a picture’ is not only wrong, but dangerous because suspects are not investigated fully and victims are not identified. Furthermore, the ‘its only a picture’ statement also fails to grasp the effect of re victimisation on the child in the picture. Years on, the person may be aware that there are pictures of their sexual abuse on the Internet for anyone to see or download for their own gratification.

    The lawyer representing the accused probably thinks he is very clever, but maybe if he was a little better informed, he would stop and think about the consequences of his legal jiggerypokery.

  5. Luton Ian says:

    OT (this early in the thread!)

    went out about 7:10 this morning, and the stream which is piped under my access track was almost up to the doors on the 4×4 pickup.

    I came back half an hour later, and I chickened out, and took the back route in accross the moor. we haven’t had the 50mm/day for 2 days that was forecast, more like 30mm/day, but it is still very wet and the low pressure is centred right over northern England

    I was past a new windfarm (built this year) yesterday, and one of the half dozen or so turbines shut down while I was looking at it.

    It must be a real pain for the grid dispatchers to have thermal stations running ready for the wind crap to go from near full rated capacity, to un-predictable shut down, because the wind got just a little too strong.

  6. Luton Ian says:

    here’s the radar.

    I used to live in the bottom right hand corner of Ireland, look how good the radar info there is not

  7. Kitler says:

    From what I can gather from various sources pedophilia is quite common among the wealthy and powerful and usually cases when they come to light as in Jersey only low lower level flunkies get convicted and the pleas of the victims to prosecute the higher level people in power go ignored and the case is closed and forgotten about. This is really a serious problem in all western countries but as the abusers control the strings of power nothing will ever get done.

  8. Luton Ian says:

    some cartoons for you

    h/t Danny Sanchez, at

  9. Luton Ian says:

    Here’s an interesting one on the age of consent question, a 15 year old pupil eloping with her 30 year old teacher.

    it’s consensual, but the state won’t recognize her as being capable of giving her consent, until her 16th birthday. I’m not sure what the age of consent is taken as in France, or wherever they are now.

    It’s unlikely that the relationship would last anyway, she’s still got a lot of growing up to do, though, that said, would she ever find as good a boyfriend again? he’s willing to risk all to be with her.

    Yeah, I’ve been following that one in the news.

    My very first teaching post as a young bloke was at a small rural school. I got the job after my middle-aged predecessor ran off with a fifteen-year old in his class. It’s really quite common and I think your story only hit the news because it was an exclusive church-run outfit which turned out to have quite a history of these things happening.

    For some time now I’ve been mulling over how to approach the issue of Liberty and children. I have started, and thrown out, a number of attempts at an article over the past couple of years. The age of consent comes into that but the whole topic’s so loaded I need to do a lot more research before I try to write anything – Oz

  10. Luton Ian says:

    I agree about the difficulty of the subject, a child going from total dependency at birth to (hopefully) self ownership at some time.

    Who knows when the self ownership bit might happen? I used to tease my Italian brothers in estrangement, that Italian males weren’t ready to leave their mothers until they were in their fifties.

    The more I think about the elopement, there is a big element of high time preference and desperation involved. Their want for each other can’t wait for her 16th birthday, one or both either can’t give or can’t accept the promise of the other still being there when that birthday comes.

    I know that the little fella in the trousers isn’t known for thinking of consequences, or for his patience,

    and if she “feels it burning in her beaver”*

    I hope they don’t get caught. if they do split up, far better it’s their decision, rather than some hypocritical kiddy fiddler judge, in the name of the state making and then forcing that decision on them.

    One of my friends, sometimes bemoans the fact that he never had a daughter – he wanted to name her after a mineral – Spodumene

    and sometimes he’s glad that he never had a daughter, as he’d have murdered the spotty youths (and the maths teacher with expanding waistline) who’d come calling in the hope of getting into her pants, as he used to try with other people’s daughters, when he was in his teens.
    * One of Natalie Portman’s lines in the film “your highness”, the only youtube clip I can find of the scene looks and sound like it was recorded with a phone camera from a CRT screen TV in someone’s bedroom.

    Personally, I think some of these teachers are examples of arrested development (à la Nabokov), are still mentally boys and have not learned how to handle teenage crushes (a near-weekly occurrence in my experience). They should go to some sort of “growing-up” school themselves before ever being allowed near a classroom – Oz

    From someone else who’s been there:

    UPDATE: there ya go Ian: French police have announced that they are not looking for the couple in question, nor do they even regard it as a police matter; apparently the age of consent in France is only fifteen, and they consider the girl old enough to travel voluntarily with this bloke.

    What’s the bet that, within a few years, it’s lowered to fourteen? Drip, drip, drip…

  11. Luton Ian says:

    Hi Oz,
    I’ve just read the daily mail article;
    Hats off to the French prosecutor for his matter of fact injection of common sense; would the daily mail offer moral support for British police arresting someone accused of the “crime” of playing music in Iran?

    It isn’t a “crime” here (yet), so why would we want the police to arrest people for doing it else where?

    The excerpts from the girl’s social media postings paint a picture of immaturity and insecurity – pretty typical 15 year old girl, but I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the mail’s confused outrage.

    “we want Meggan back” say the parents

    Why? do you own her? is she property?

    The state wants her back? I’m sure the Mail would be spouting its supposedly moral indignation if the state openly and explicitly claimed ownership of all children under the age of 16 (as Ceaușecu claimed state ownership of the unborn foetus).

    An example from my own school days, one of my best friends when I was about 16, used to shag whichever boy she fancied at the time, in the school kitchen staff’s toilet at morning break time (she never shagged me 😦 just cried on my shoulder when she got dumped)

    sure, the parents, the cops and the mail’s readership might not like it, but a higher power than them gave her a sex drive and the parts to enjoy it with,

    Those parts are there, they are hers, rather than to be given to her on her 16th birthday. Like my school friend, she could be shagging whoever she could get, every morning break time.

    The mail also has a strangely blurred and distorted idea of what police should be involved in,

    she isn’t actually hurting any one else – sure the parents feel aggrieved, but if that were a crime, so would a young adult leaving home, be a crime, as would a messy bedroom, unwashed dishes…

    The parents have absolute ownership of their own emotions, the daughter does not own them, and the fat blue line have no business there.

  12. Luton Ian says:

    I’ve never read Nabakov, friends who have (and were honest enough to say it) say that they almost found themselves sympathising with the kiddy fiddler, then recoiled in horror from the very well executed literary device they’d just fallen into.

  13. Luton Ian says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if the age of consent did go to 14 or lower;

    There’s a sizeable group of voters who’d see no problem with it being 6

    and, if the age of consent goes down, how much easier it will be to lower the voting age too. they’re high time preference constituency, and they’re cheap to buy, come election day, just promise them a “right” to OPM.

  14. Kitler says:

    As a father of a daughter all you need is a shotgun to get rid of pesky critters bothering them. In the case of the teacher who eloped to France with the 15 year old he should be hung up by his gonads in front of the school as a warning to others not to break loco parentis. It has nothing to do with consent the issue is he broke a bond of trust between him, the child, the school and the parents. It’s why collegae lecturers are not supposed to sleep with their 18 year old students it’s a trust issue.

  15. Kitler says:

    Also 15 is still a child and can not be considered an adult and in reality giving the vote to anyone under 21 is a mistake as they have immature still developing brains. Which is why they are used as canon fodder in wars they are too stupid and fall for the adults call to arms or can be drafted without much complaint.

  16. Luton Ian says:

    Listened to the 6pm news on the way home, and it was a rich source of Irony;

    For “abducting” an ever so unwilling “child”, the teacher himself has been ab-rested by the british fat blue line, on his way to a job interview in Boulogne, they were walking hand in hand.

    To save her from being abducted, so clearly against her will and by a stranger whom she can’t possibly have trusted, the girl has been “taken into protection”, obviously at her own request, and by people whom she knows trusts and likes, and who only have her happiness at heart…

  17. Luton Ian says:

    Kitty, why should he be strung up, by whom and on what pretence?

    Would he be at liberty to defend himself against such an act of aggression, with commensurate force?

  18. Luton Ian says:

    Just posted this in the violence an inch below thread

    The shoebat, make the claim that the film maker was partner in crime with a Copt hating Muslim con man who has terror links; and he happens to be shoebat’s first cousin.

    Was the film made by muzzies with the intention of putting pressure on our freedom of speech?

    The commies used to work that way, Hitler had German troops in Polish uniforms attack a German radio station, Stalin shelled a russian town, so he could blame it on the Finns, according to Litvinienko, the former KGB were blowing up apartment blocks in Moscow to provide pretext for the Chechen wars. There is plenty of precedent for such false flags.

    H/T firehand

  19. Kitler says:

    Luton Ian this is not a victimless crime as a 15 year she has the sense of cheese grater and is far from being an adult even if she dresses like a tart. She is still a child and can not knowingly make an informed choice and said to consent. He is 15 years older than her and he should know better and he is guilty of statuatory rape. If she had turned 18 then she would have been mature enough to make a choice but if she had been 18 her choice would most certainly have been different than a man 15 years her senior. By doing so now she is giving Freuduians a field day about “daddy issues”.
    You really have to have to be a dad and have a daughter to understand why said man deserves to be strung up by the ghoolies as an example to perverts everywhere.

    This will be the next thread guys, but a few days away yet (swamped with work, and Oz Jr and I are camped in front of the TV all afternoon today anyway).

    Without pre-empting myself too much, you’re both right, and both wrong. There are two more fundamental issues here, neither have anything to do with the teacher. And I say that as a man with both a daughter and a shotgun. I’ll elaborate soon – Oz

  20. Luton Ian says:

    Who is the “victim”?

    I agree, he’s very foolish and a bit creepy to have accepted a teenage girl’s crush, and I can add a long list of could’ves, would’ves and should’ves, regarding his actions.

    How is he a perv? true the girl looks young, but, at 15 she is more developed than one of my nieces was at 18, niece would have been legal, but had only just started to develop physically.

    Statutory rape is almost un-prosecutable in Britain, and, on Irish case law; same legal system and precedent from one informs the other, statutory rape ceased to exist a few years back, the only substantial difference between this case and her class mates shaggings behind the bike shed, is publicity.

    I’d even go as far as saying that today’s ironic actions by the doughnut munchers, will cause pupil and teacher, far more hurt and lasting damage than the relationship ever would, especially to her conscience when they con her into stitching him up. I wouldn’t be surprised if she tops herself in a year or two, as a result of the swine getting their sordid “evidence” out of her, and dragging it through a show trial.

    He’ll get over falling down the steps in the single floor level pi& $ty, sorry, cop shop, soon enough, and he’ll get a job in another field too, he’s supposed to be good at maths so it’ll likely be well enough rewarded, even after the discount for his “criminal” record (not a bad move for him).

    Just as a general precaution, I’ll recommend this to help prepare any libertarian for when the state decides to pick them up for one of the many “crimes” every one of us commits each and every day. It describes the con techniques used to get you to incriminate yourself, only presented by a higher level incrimminator than we’re likely to meet.

  21. Luton Ian says:

    “The child has his full rights of self-ownership when he [/ she] demonstrates that he has them in nature — in short, when he [/ she] leaves or “runs away” from home.”
    Rothbard, Murray N., The Ethics of Liberty, New York University Press, p. 102.

  22. Amanda says:

    Sad, really. News is full of who shouldn’t, but did; the world is full of those that can, but think better of it later; those that do, but could just as easily have not. And then there is me. I’m of age (ha ha ha), I’m legal, I’m fully mature and then some, and I know what love and responsibility are. And yet, partly on account of the foregoing, I’m sitting here feeling as de-barred as any woman in a burka.

    Ahh – love and responsibility. Thank you. I’d say you’ve come closer than any (on this thread) to the solution, which IMHO lies at least partly outside the scope of Libertarianism – Oz

  23. farmerbraun says:

    I posted a link on the previous thread. There are some interesting comments also.

  24. Ozboy says:

    OK, the teacher has been arrested in France, is being held captive in a French prison, pending extradition to Britain, for doing something which is not illegal in France.

    You may well sympathize with the state on this issue. But this action by the French and British authorities sets such an almighty precedent, I hardly know where to start. Expect it to be invoked on all manner of issues, none of which have to do with minors. A woman in Britain, a Saudi national, is observed on a date with a man who is not her husband. Or sunbaking in a bikini. A Chinese national in Britain is seen surfing dissident websites. An Indonesian tourist is spotted purchasing cannabis in an Amsterdam café. All these acts carry penalties in the participants’ home countries, far greater than anything this teacher faces when he lands back in England. I wonder if they have really thought this through.

  25. farmerbraun says:

    OZ, if you’ve been following the Kim Dotcom saga in Godzone, you will know that this is par for the course.In Dotcom’s case it has gone horribly wrong for the Yanks/Hollywood crowd as a result of rank incompetence by the NZ Secret Intelligence Service.

  26. Luton Ian says:

    Well put gentlemen,

    The precedent is now set.

    I used the example of an Iranian playing music; regardless of what the stupid “crime” is in our home country, we can now expect to be arrested for it in any other country.

    The ratchet strap of ever increasing state coercion has just clicked another notch or five tighter.

    Saudi and Iranian women, out without a male relative, uncovering their faces, driving a car.

    Political exile is now an impossibility

    Going on the trot from military conscription, say in Iran or syria.

    Has this been spread around the other places two or more gather together in the name of liberty?

  27. Kitler says:

    Ozboy the European arrest warrant signed by most of the EU means that they ARE guilty of a crime and an extraditable one. Also if you are okay with a 15 and 30 years getting it on then you must be okay with a 13 year old and a 73 year old if they love each other, or what about a 9 year old having reached puberty and it does happen and some weird old schizophrenic with a beard in the desert in his 60’s.

    That is a presumption upon a presumption. You don’t know what I’m “okay with” (but you will shortly).

    Not that my personal opinion is relevant. What is relevant is that the French government is officially “okay with” what this teacher and his student were up to, irrespective of what you or I might think about it. A foreign government was not okay with it, and prevailed upon the French to allow that nation’s law to take precedence over French law, on French soil. The French, not unsurprisingly, surrendered.

    Forget about the case at hand for a moment. Can you really not see the precedent that has just been set? Oz

  28. Luton Ian says:

    I think the bloke in question was in his late 50s
    those little purple lozenge shaped pills weren’t invented back then.

    Talking, as couples sometimes do (in the early years of a relationship, when there are still things to say, and a desire to talk…) with my then partner all of those years ago, we somehow got onto the subject of playing with ones self,

    she claimed that she hadn’t done it since she was about 12 years old, because…

    after that, she had boyfriends who wanted to do the work for her.

    I see your mention of a chap with a beard, who liked pre-pubescent girls, and agree that such actions disgust me too

    but, I’ll still raise you this, from the same suite;

    Bearing in mind my example from an ex; In your desire to deny others self ownership of their own bodies, you aren’t going to manage to stop little girls and little boys examining what the other one has, and what things might fit where, unless:

    -You keep them in isolation,
    -you guard them 24/7 and beat them to keep them apart
    -you chop off the bits which they might enjoy having their friends explore

    -if any of those fail, you kill them

    given those options, which is likely to be more damaging to the individual? the options or the chance of them playing a more grown up game of doctors and nurses?

    But it’s not about the individual.

    Is it?

  29. Luton Ian says:

    I think the wheez that the doughnut inhalers used on our surrendering grenouille neighbours was “abduction”

    I wonder who their Marshall Petin was was this time around?

    I don’t have a TV, so I didn’t get to see moving pictures of the girl’s mother. Friends tell me that she comes accross as more than just a bit of an ogre – I bet that was one “happy” reunion :-0

  30. Kitler says:

    Ozboy er no this is not precedent the European arrest warrant has been in place for a number of years and there have been lots of prior cases of people being dragged from their beds to face the music elsewhere in Europe. This case is just one of many, it’s why I’m not going back to the UK. There is no more freedom or justice anywhere in the world anymore I’m just waiting for the sh**e to hit the fan and come out the other side alive. Technically as the girl is a minor and not a legal adult he could be said to be guilty of kidnapping.

    It’s happened before? That doesn’t surprise me. Just don’t let your 20-year-old son/nephew/etc get caught drinking in an English pub. Legal in UK, illegal in most of the USA. As Ian said, even political exile is becoming impossible – Oz

  31. Kitler says:

    If you wish to read about or watch a play about teenage maturity in relationships read or see Romeo and Juliet.

  32. Kitler says:

    Currently extradition between the USA and the UK relies on committing a crime under the jurisdiction of the other, terrorism being one example by providing support for those do. Unfortunately the same laws apply to banking. I don’t honestly care at the moment about whats happening it’s just a symptom of the coming breakdown in finance and governments into chaos. Bigger things are heading our way.

    Apparently the UK has much more lax banking laws than the U.S., including unlimited “re-hypothecation” i.e., leverage. Which is why so many U.S. financial institutions went to London after 2008. Read about it here – Oz

  33. Kitler says:

    Well that sucks that’s the wrong video.

  34. Amanda says:

    Hello Ozboy. I’m interested in your kind comment to me above but you only hint at your meaning. Would be interesting if you chose to enlarge on it at some point. In a few days (snowed under right now); all will be made clear.

    Anyway, ‘Planet Ozboy’: that’s a fallow field. Are you going to plant it? Yes, one day when I’m not so busy (sigh). Anyone want to learn how to brew beer, fell trees safely, grow vegetables organically in wicking beds or cook up a wildlife storm? Oz

  35. Kitler says:

    I’m glad Jim did not fix it for me…..
    He was a popular childrens TV presenter back in the klate 70’s and 80’s now it turns out he was a probable kiddie fiddler and the BBC is probably going to get sued for knowing about it but doing nothing.

  36. Luton Ian says:

    Hello little boy, would you like to see some puppies, err, I mean appear on TV?

    I bet the BBC is equally as full of them as the various clergy and the swimming associations were found to be. Betcha the pigs and the various social work departments are too.

    There were allegations that one of the Blue Peter (long running kiddies general interest TV show) presenters from a decade or more back was a date rapist, that got out when female presenters kicked up more fuss than the BBC could ignore, wonder if any of the presenters from our time watching it were kiddy fiddlers (looking at some archive pictures, Valerie Singleton was hot!).

    And the ABC. Even down here in Tassie. There’s no escape – Oz

  37. Luton Ian says:

    Fron Hazlitt’s “Economics in one lesson”, just substitute “action” or “legislation” for “Economics”

    The Lesson
    “In addition to these endless pleadings of self-interest, there is a second
    main factor that spawns new economic fallacies every day. This is
    the persistent tendency of men to see only the immediate effects of a
    given policy, or its effects only on a special group, and to neglect to
    inquire what the long-run effects of that policy will be not only on that
    special group but on all groups. It is the fallacy of overlooking secondary
    In this lies almost the whole difference between good economics
    and bad. The bad economist sees only what immediately strikes the
    eye; the good economist also looks beyond. The bad economist sees
    only the direct consequences of a proposed course; the good economist
    looks also at the longer and indirect consequences. The bad
    economist sees only what the effect of a given policy has been or will
    be on one particular group; the good economist inquires also what the
    effect of the policy will be on all groups.
    The distinction may seem obvious. The precaution of looking for
    all the consequences of a given policy to everyone may seem elementary.
    Doesn’t everybody know, in his personal life, that there are all
    sorts of indulgences delightful at the moment but disastrous in the
    end? Doesn’t every little boy know that if he eats enough candy he
    will get sick? Doesn’t the fellow who gets drunk know that he will
    wake up next morning with a ghastly stomach and a horrible head?
    Doesn’t the dipsomaniac know that he is ruining his liver and shortening
    his life? Doesn’t the Don Juan know that he is letting himself
    in for every sort of risk, from blackmail to disease? Finally, to bring
    it to the economic though still personal realm, do not the idler and
    the spendthrift know, even in the midst of their glorious fling, that
    they are heading for a future of debt and poverty?
    Yet when we enter the field of public economics, these elementary
    truths are ignored.”

    Click to access economics_in_one_lesson_hazlitt.pdf

    What the short sighted little fascists whom the Daily Mail writes for have in mind is this sort of thing

    It would be interesting to know what the girl’s opinion will be looking back on the events when she’s had 20, 30 or a few decades more life experience. Somehow I don’t think her teacher will be remembered as uncle Ernie, cracking an egg in his broon ale.

    A theme I’ll be taking up shortly – Oz

  38. Luton Ian says:

    oops, 20 or 30 decades of life experience, she should be so lucky!

    I meant when shes in her 30s 40s or more.

  39. Amanda says:

    It all sounds good to me, Ozboy! : ) (Someone I love has just bought me a book on how cider is made in the cider counties of England. And I am an ale-lover from way back. And a gardener and pastry cook.)

  40. Luton Ian says:

    Apparently the wild yeast is introduced by the rats which drown in it. That’s what I’m saying anyway. Irish cider maker “Magners” still owes me money, for work I did on their soakaway, so I’ll stick by that story. 😉

    I always chuckle at the pictures of (supposedly Irish) orchards in their adverts. I suspect there aren’t enough Irish orchards to support their output, and I’m guessing that most comes in as concentrate from places like South Africa and Taz (not that there’s anything wrong with that – but it’s not the image they promote).

    There’s (is/was) an urban myth in Kenya, that at the end of one of the bottling runs from the Tusker brewery, the bodies of one or more workers were found at the bottom of the vessel (asphyxiation due to pools of CO2 is a hazard in breweries), but many of the crates of bottles had already been dispatched.

    The myth continues that it was the best batch they’d ever produced.

    Quiet about the CO2, eh Ian? I’m trying to keep the Izen Conjecture alive until the opportunity arises to test it on himself. 😉

    Tomorrow I’m cracking the first of my new batch of lager. Maybe it will inspire me to find some spare time for writing about it – Oz

  41. Amanda says:

    Oz: I do hope it’s a lager that tastes like ale :^)

    English-style, top-fermented ales are my stock in trade. But Mrs Oz prefers my lager, and in fact it’s a much better drop on a hot afternoon after a long day’s work – Oz

  42. Kitler says:

    Luton Ian there may be a grain of truth to the Kenya story my Grandad told me they used to put a side of beef into the vat when they brewed the beer way back when. He also told me they pee’d in the vat to improve the flavour I’m hoping he was lying about the last bit.

  43. Ozboy says:

    OT but I’m not visiting the U.S. elections for a while:

  44. Amanda says:

    Ozboy: I roared with laughter through that. Hilarious. Lehrer was actually very moderate in his moderating — for both sides, which is unusual since the moderators are generally pulling for the Democrat, and it shows.

    Good stuff!

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