30 June, 2011

Who elected these three?

I really shouldn’t be surprised when my intelligence is insulted any more, but being the naïve young thing that I am, I still take it to heart every time is happens.

Today’s example comes from business leaders, Gerry Harvey, John Singleton and John Symond.  The three of them have called for a fresh election to “restore confidence.”  Symond said, “We've got a government in limbo, dictated to by minor factions.”
Wow, do you think he means the mining industry?

Predictably enough, Tony Abbott agrees with them.  So can we assume that if he had been successful in securing the support of the independents last year, that he would have called another election less than twelve months into its term?  Place your bets!

It bothers me that people who are so powerful are so ignorant about how the Australian government works.  As I wrote last week, we don’t elect a government, we elect a parliament and that parliament is the government.  The Australian people, in their collective wisdom, chose a hung parliament and if that displeases a small group of millionaires, then they can cry all the way to the bank.  We have elections when it is constitutionally mandated, not when a few minor factions decide they want a do-over.

There is also the enormous conceit in the assumption that a new election would return a clear majority.  Who says it would?  While it’s fair to say that nobody expected this result, this election is really no different to any other.  Every electorate voted in their representative, and there are a lot more voices being heard in this parliament than there would have been under either a Labor or a Coalition majority.

If Harvey, Singo and Symonds don’t like that, then their vote is worth just as much as the next person’s.  And doesn’t that piss them off.

29 June, 2011

How does enterprise bargaining feel now, Peter?

After being defeated in his bid to replace Alan Stockdale as Liberal party president, Peter Reith has said he is no longer bound to be silent about his feelings on the Party’s Industrial Relations policies.  He has also alleged that Tony Abbott asked him to run for party president, but then voted for Alan Stockdale.  Reith has further suggested that Tony Abbott conspicuously showing his vote to Alan Stockdale tipped the balance in Mr Stockdale’s favour because it showed the rest of the party what the leader expected.   Alan Stockdale won the ballot by one vote.

It’s already fairly clear that Reith and his proposals were rejected not so much on the grounds of bad policy but on the ground that it was electoral suicide the last time they tried it, and doing it again would hand a massive free kick to Labor.  Don’t let anyone say the Liberal party is completely out of touch.

To those whose memory stretches back more than one parliamentary term, there is a delicious irony in Peter Reith – the man who brought us the waterfront dispute, WorkChoices, Australian Workplace Agreements and the removal of unfair dismissal protection – feeling hard done by for having management gang up on him and unfairly dismiss his individually negotiated workplace agreement. 
If only he had a union to stick up for him.

26 June, 2011

Some Nuggets from my 45s Collection

At the risk of sounding like a miserable old fart, I feel a little bit sorry for generations for whom there is no ritual to playing music. Whether it’s actually playing an instrument and singing, or setting up a piano roll, putting a vinyl record on, slipping a cassette into a ghetto-blaster, or even selecting a CD, there has always been some kind of physical act involved with playing music until recently. I can’t help but wonder if the ability to just dial up a track and have it play without any real tactile interaction with the recording is making people value music a little less.

I’m not a vinyl purist by any stretch, but I confess that I sometimes miss the ritual of putting a record on and seeing it being played as I hear the music. I think the fact that all software media players have glorified screen-savers called visualisations is confirmation that people want something visible to focus on while they listen. Every once in a while, I set up my old turntable and plug it into the computer to digitise a few more records. I’ve been enjoying the trend on YouTube towards showing the record playing and thought I’d post a few myself. The video quality is a bit crappy but the audio is good. I’ve taken care to post only music that is rare, out of print or by people who don’t need the money, but I accept that this is a grey area of copyright and repeat here what I said on all the uploads: If you enjoy the music, please support the artists. Don’t steal music!

Here are a few nuggets from the more eccentric corners of my 45s collection:

Redgum: The Drover’s Dog
I bought this before I even had a turntable of my own. Redgum are best known for I Was Only Nineteen. This was released a few years later and tells the story of Bob Hawke’s political career a capella to the tune of Gilbert & Sullivan’s When I was a lad, from HMS Pinafore. The title refers to a comment from Bill Hayden, who Bob Hawke replaced as ALP leader shortly before the 1983 election, that the drover’s dog could beat the incumbent Fraser government.

Wings: Give Ireland Back to the Irish
This record belonged to my dear departed Godmother.  I have never seen another copy of it anywhere.  Early Paul McCartney 45s are really very easy to come by, even though they’ll probably be scratched to buggery and missing the original covers.  Look in any second-hand record store, charity shop, antique dealers or junk shop, and you’re probably more likely to find a few copies of Another Day and Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey than not, but Give Ireland Back to the Irish seems pretty rare. 

John Lennon also wrote a song about ‘the troubles’ - The Luck of the Irish - and it illustrates the two different approaches of Lennon and McCartney.  While John’s is direct and confrontational, (“If you had the luck or the Irish, you’d be sorry and wish you were dead,”) Paul adopts the more-flies-with-honey-than-vinegar approach.  The opening verse starts, “Great Britain, you are tremendous / Nobody knows like me,” which sounds like a bit of sucking up but it gives context to the following lines, “But really, what are you doing in the land across the sea?”  It pre-empts any accusations of being anti-British before appealing to people’s sense of fairness: “Tell me, how would you like it?”

Wings: Mary Had a Little Lamb
Paul said he did it for his kids, but it’s also been suggested that this was a sly protest at the BBC’s refusal to play Giver Ireland Back to the Irish.  We report, you decide.  I can’t remember where I got this copy.  I’ve had a copy with generic Capitol label for years and I bought this copy because it had an original custom label.

Barry Humphries: Wild Life in Suburbia
This also came from my Godmother.  As far as I can work out, The Migrant Hostess is the first appearance of the Edna Everage character.  I can’t quite work out if this is devastatingly subtle satire or if she wasn’t very funny back then either.  One thing is does show is that educated hipsters taking the piss out of working class suburbanites is nothing new. 
Side 1: The Migrant Hostess

Side 2:Sandy Stone

Skies, Lufthansa Theme by Klaus Doldinger with Passport
I found this in a second-hand shop some time in the mid-80s and bought it purely out of curiosity.  Dated 1973, it seems to be either an advertising or corporate theme.  If so, it’s certainly successful in conveying the mood of travel.  It reminds me a little of Mason Williams’ One Minute Commercial.

Lonnie Donegan: Does Your Chewing Gum Lose its Flavour (on the Bedpost Overnight?)
I bought this two years ago at a very cool little second-hand place in Healesville.  Lonnie Donegan and the short-lived skiffle trend was quite an influence on the Beatles in the early days and that’s reason enough to have at least one example of his work.

Louis Armstrong: St Louis Blues
Can’t remember where I bought this, but I got it mainly because I was intrigued by the fact that it came in a generic Myer Emporium cover, which suggests that the records were supplied without covers and the retailers had to provide them.  I’ve no idea if that was the case, I just can’t think of any other explanation.

Clearly this record has done a lot of work but in a way, this is how Louis Armstrong should sound.  5.1 High resolution audio wouldn't be authentic.

Roger Waters and the Bleeding Heart Band featuring Paul Carrack: Money (live)
This was the B-side to Sunset Strip, the second single from the Radio K.A.O.S. album.  I don’t doubt that this is a live recording, but it’s pretty clear that the audience noise has been added separately.  I don’t know why he felt the need to do this, but it was released at a time when the Pink Floyd breakup was at its most bitter.  When this single came out, the remainder of Pink Floyd were just about to release A Momentary Lapse of Reason and launch a world tour, so this may have been Roger’s way of saying, “I’m Pink Floyd too!”  It’s an interesting version, but the fakery is unnecessary and undignified.
It’s very good to see that Waters and Gilmour have reconciled their differences now.

Midnight Oil: Instant Karma
Another single (King of the Mountain) bought for the B-side.  Yoko gave approval for the Oils to perform this at the Exxon protest in 1990, but it shows why the future minister for education should stick to singing songs written for him.

Frente: Horrible
Released at a time when 7” singles were becoming a novelty, this is possibly the first time the single version of a song was actually longer than the album version, which clocks in at just 2 minutes.  Frente were always clever at packaging records.  For their first, self-released EP, they could only afford one colour for the cover, so they made it a different colour for each print run.  This led to some fans buying one of each colour.   With this single, initial copies came with a unique Polaroid of the band.
The B-side is the “acousdelic” version of The Destroyer, which I like much more than the album version.  Both these songs are classic Frente.  Frente were one of those bands that released an unrepresentative single very early on and sadly had to spend the rest of their career trying to live it down.  Far from being the shiny happy people of the Accidently Kelly Street video, Frente’s other output was closer to Neil Finn’s “Leonard and McCartney” method, wrapping slightly dark lyrics around gorgeous pop tunes that often belie the subject matter.

Julian Lennon: Stick Around (extended version)
Ah yes, the 80s 12” single and slapped-together extended mix!  But even that can’t wreck this great song.  I’ve got a lot of time for Julian Lennon – I think he’s had a raw deal.  I’ve no doubt Virgin signed him as a 21yo for his name only, but he’s a real talent in his own right.  He’s been criticised for not being as talented as John, which is kind of like being told you’re not as handsome as George Clooney.  He’s also copped flak for sounding too much like his father, which is ridiculously unfair.  So it’s okay for people like Lenny Kravitz and Liam Gallagher to sound like John Lennon, but it’s not okay for people who were genetically predestined to.  And then when Julian went and wrote a song that even his father would be proud of, people just assume it’s John anyway.

I found this 12” at the Camberwell Market about a year ago.  It’s stamped as a promotional copy and I’m not sure if this version was ever officially released.

25 June, 2011

Some Facts about Parliamentary Democracy

There’s a word that’s been thrown around a lot regarding the proposed carbon tax and that word is “mandate.”  The reasoning is that since the policy was not taken to the election, and indeed Julia Gillard said there would be no carbon tax under a government she leads, there is therefore no public mandate for the introduction of such a policy.  It may seem like an open-and-shut case on the surface, but there are a few problems with this argument.  It all comes down to how the Westminster system of government operates.

John Howard claimed a mandate to introduce the GST after the 1998 election.  However, while the Coalition may have won the majority of seats in the House of Representatives, they did not win the majority of the popular primary vote nationally.  As with most other systems, the national popular vote is not relevant and I am not specifically arguing that it should be.  My point is that while the Coalition may have won a working majority in the lower house and the right to implement their policies, it’s drawing rather a long bow to go claiming a public mandate.  Six years and two elections later in 2004, the Coalition won far more soundly, winning the House of Representatives, the irrelevant popular vote and most importantly, control of the Senate in their own right.  It was this that led to the introduction WorkChoices.  The industrial relations reforms that were enacted during that parliament had always been on the Liberal party’s wish-list but they knew they could never get it through the Senate.  No mention was made of the policy during the 2004 election campaign.  Howard’s excuse for enacting major reforms that were never mentioned during the campaign was that everyone had always known it was something the Liberals wanted to do.  Alternatively, he could have reiterated his comment from 1987 that “The mandate theory of politics from the point of view of proper analysis has always been absolutely phoney.”  He was right about that.  Mandates have always been an argument of convenience for one side or another. 

In this sense, the Gillard government in 2011 has as much mandate for a carbon tax as the Howard government of 2004-2007 ever had for WorkChoices.  If anything, they have more.  The policy is not a matter of arcane political history as Howard’s IR reforms were.  In 2010, everyone really did know that the ALP and quite a few muzzled Liberals wanted a market mechanism for reducing carbon emissions.  For sure, Gillard was an idiot to say there would be no carbon tax under a government she leads but then, she doesn’t truly lead the government.

No, I’m not saying she’s controlled by Bob Brown – that would be ridiculous.  What is conveniently forgotten by a lot of people who ought to know better is that under our system, we do not elect prime ministers, we do not elect governments, we elect a parliament.  Each electorate votes for a representative to go to Canberra and represent the views of that electorate in the parliament.  That’s it.  It’s the parliament that then decides who does what in the executive.  There is absolutely no reason why, in this parliament, we could not have Julia Gillard as prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull as treasurer, Bob Brown as minister for the environment, Andrew Wilkie as minister for defence, Barnaby Joyce as minister for finance and Bob Katter as speaker.  The government is the parliament.  Parties are merely convention.  There’s nothing that says parties have to split off and work against one another.  Anyone who talks about the two-party system doesn’t understand the system because the system makes no allowance for parties.  It’s simply human nature to form groups. 

Equally, there’s nothing to stop the National Party going into coalition with the ALP.  I’ve often suggested that they should since Labor policy often reflects the needs of the Nationals’ base more than the Liberals, who seem to take the Nationals for granted as the rural wing of the Liberal Party.  It’s telling that the Nationals are the most abandoned party in Australia with three of the four cross-bench independents being former National MPs.

Because most of the time, one party gets an outright majority in the lower house, we end up with what is effectively an elective dictatorship.  Legislation is passed on party lines, tempered only by the Senate – and in the case of 2005 to 2007, not even that.  This current parliament is different because no party has an outright majority.  As such the operation of this parliament is really a lot closer to what was originally intended.  Each MP represents their own constituents’ interests, all policy is open to debate and everyone has to show up to divisions.  Is that really such a bad thing?

Since the parties refuse to work together in the manner I suggested above, that meant both parties had to negotiate with the non-affiliated MPs to decide who would form government.  Greens MP Adam Bandt said from the outset that he would support a Labor government, as is his prerogative.  The four independent MPs said they would reserve judgement, as is their prerogative.  Nationals MP Tony Crook, despite being part of the LNP Coalition, chose to sit on the cross-benches.  As we all know, of the four independents, only Bob Katter sided with the Coalition, while Andrew Wilkie, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott sided with the ALP but importantly, they only agreed to support an ALP government on money bills and confidence motions.  All other legislation is looked at on individual merit, which is how it should always be. 

In order to secure these votes, Julia Gillard had to make policy concessions to the Greens and independents that were not mentioned in their election platform.  Predictably enough, this has led to accusations that she lied in her policy statements during the election campaign and that she is being controlled by minority interests.  It makes for cute politics, but it’s another argument of convenience.  We all know Tony Abbott sweet-talked the independents just as much as Julia Gillard did.  I’ll take Andrew Wilkie’s claim that Tony Abbott offered him a billion dollars to redevelop the Royal Hobart Hospital with a drop of saline, but the idea that the coalition would not have made policy concessions to the independents and even the Greens to secure their support simply isn’t credible.  Labor or Coalition, whoever formed government in this parliament was going to have to make policy concessions and adopt positions they hadn’t taken to the election.  Government policy is not about what either party said during the election.  Government policy is about what will pass the parliament because the parliament IS the government.

Tony Abbott’s almost daily demands for a redo election are an affront to the electorate.  The Australian people in their collective wisdom decided not to trust either party with absolute power.  If one really wants to talk about mandates, Australian voters have mandated that all policy is up for debate and no side gets to pass legislation easily.  Again, this is much closer to what the system intends than we have been used to. 

It also makes it much easier for the Coalition to enact its policy if they wanted to.  Remember that any member of parliament can introduce a bill.  This has always been the way, but it’s usually stifled by one party having an absolute majority.  In this parliament, all the Liberals would have to do is convince a couple of the cross-benchers that their bill is a good idea and it would be passed and Labor would be stuck with it.  There is nothing to stop them doing this other than the desire to hang onto the conventions of governments and oppositions.

This hung parliament is an excellent opportunity for the house to work as it was originally intended.  No wonder both the major parties think it’s such a drag. 

13 June, 2011


While it goes over a lot of ground already covered in numerous other documentaries, LENNONYC has one major advantage. It doesn’t just talk about John the activist, John the iconoclast, John the reformed philanderer and John the family man, but most importantly, John the musician. The film is at its best when focussing on that aspect on John’s life.

Naturally, the film has to deal with stories previously told, such as John’s flirtation with the yippie movement and problems with immigration and the FBI. Also, despite being primarily about John’s love affair with New York, the film gives just as much time to the “lost weekend” period in Los Angeles, much of which has been gone over before.

Many of the usual suspects are interviewed, including Elliot Mintz, May Pang and the ubiquitous Geraldo Rivera but things get interesting when they talk to the musicians who played with John through the 70s. Even when it’s Jim Keltner talking about John’s drinking in LA, or members of Elephant’s Memory talking about having their ’phones tapped too, it brings a perspective that previous films haven’t shown. Producer Jack Douglas and Yoko’s recollections of what they did on the evenings following John’s death are particularly moving.

The film could stand to be about twenty minutes shorter but it does bring a new angle to the story of Lennon in the US, from participants who aren’t usually heard.

Highlight: Recollections from musicians about making the albums and studio banter.
Feature: * * * *
Extras: None
Audio: Dolby 5.1, Dolby Stereo

12 June, 2011

Why people should still vote for Anthony Weiner

Yes, I’m going there, because for all the over-reporting of this ridiculous story, there is one small point (stop it!) to be made.

When Anthony Weiner sent a crotch-shot to a Twitter follower, his first excuse was that his account had been hacked and that he did not send that photo. Nobody really questioned this explanation. After all, politicians’ websites and social media accounts are large targets both for everyday hackers and for political opponents specifically. His story fell apart when he said he couldn’t confirm or deny that the photo was of him. The obvious follow-up question was, “You don’t recognise your own underwear?”

Having lied about originally sending the picture, he might as well have lied about the rest. If he’d said, “No, that picture isn’t of me,” who would have been able to disprove it? Who would have asked him to drop ’em and fluff up for a comparison?  A good liar would have brazened it out until the story went away.

This tells us something very important about Anthony Weiner. No, not that he has been flirting online. He wouldn’t be the first representative to do that and as far as we know, all of Weiner’s contacts were of age. And he wouldn’t be the first Twitter user to send a ribald picture as a publically visible @reply when they meant to make it a direct message (I’m looking at you, Marieke Hardy). In any case, TwitPic is not private in any way - all your posts are visible to anyone who views your profile.  And he’s certainly not the first politician to come a cropper in not realising how unsecure the internet is – witness the allegedly “tech savvy” governor of Alaska who did government business over a Yahoo webmail account.

No, the really important thing it tells us is that Anthony Weiner is a very, very bad liar.

In a political culture where people are usually defined by the nature, nuance and effectiveness of their obfuscation, this is worth knowing. Bill Clinton (in)famously said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” which is technically true depending on how you define sexual relations. Larry Craig used his “wide stance,” as his explanation for being misidentified as trawling for a quickie in an airport bathroom. To give him the benefit of the doubt, his explanation may be completely true, strained though it may seem. He initially said he would resign, but he hasn’t and nor should he, since his neither his oath of office nor his election promises said anything for or against picking up rough trade in public toilets. Since Weiner hasn’t done anything that he could be arrested for, why should he resign when Craig hasn’t? Then there is Newt Gingrich’s excuse that it was his passion for his country that led him to have affairs. Well, there’s another precedent Weiner can cite! But perhaps one of the greatest pieces of weaselling that we’ve seen lately – one that makes Bill Clinton look amateurish – is the justification that came out of Jon Kyl’s office for him completely making up a statistic in a speech on the floor of the Senate. He claimed (although it's now been changed in the official record) that ninety percent of Planned Parenthood’s activities were related to abortion. Predictably enough, people checked this statistic and found the number was more like three percent. In a parliamentary system, misleading the house is a grave offence. The explanation from Kyl’s staff after he was caught out was that it was, “not intended to be a factual statement.” Oh, well that’s alright then.

So while not to defend Weiner’s behaviour, is it not just a little refreshing to have someone who we know is really bad at lying? And when we know and expect everyone to be lying to some extent, in a political climate that accepts, expects and ranks lying, at the same time as demanding an unnatural level of wholesomeness, I say vote for the bad liar.  He’ll take you closer to the truth than the good ones.

01 June, 2011

A letter to my MP

Dear Mr Broadbent,

I am sure you have received other copies of automatically generated emails so there is no need for me to send you another copy and I will simply say my own piece.

The treatment of cattle in Indonesia is beyond inhumane, it is downright evil - and that is not a word I use lightly.

It has been said that live export is not the problem and that instead, more must be done to upgrade Indonesian slaughterhouses and improve training there.  I believe this is a naive notion that dodges our responsibility for what goes on there.  As long as we export live cattle, we are enabling this torture.  As long as we breed livestock, we are responsible for what happens to them.  Quite simply, the only way to stop it is to stop it.

I accept that the cessation of live exporting may cost jobs.  So did banning whaling.  So did the introduction of sewerage and digital cameras.  So have efforts to reduce smoking.  Industries change as society does.  I do not begrudge anyone their livelihood but we have to ask ourselves how much we are prepared to tolerate for the sake of such trade.  We are clever enough to find alternative markets and alternative products.

I am not a bandwagon-jumper.  I have felt this way for some time now.  The despicable treatment shown on 4 Corners this week brought wider awareness to the issue and we must use this momentum to end this practise.

We cannot plead ignorance any more.  There is no doubt to give the benefit of.  This must be stopped by any and all means possible.


Write yours HERE.

Update 1:
Mr Broadbent's reply:

Dear Mr. S,

Like all Australians, I was shocked and deeply disturbed by the mistreatment of Australian livestock exposed during the Four Corners program on 30 May 2011. I thank you for your correspondence and I share your concerns.

There can be no justification for mistreating Australian animals in Indonesia or anywhere else. As Australians, we should not and do not, accept cruelty to animals.

If we could have our way, Australia would only process, freeze and ship packaged meat to other parts of the world. For one thing, it’s a higher value product. But there are some countries where that is not possible for cultural and practical reasons.

In many areas, especially in Asia and the Middle East, we are talking about villages where there no refrigeration. The only way families in those areas have access to fresh meat is to buy product that was slaughtered locally.

We did see on Four Corners brief glimpses of good practice, where Australian Government and industry investment has provided modern stunning and slaughter facilities to some of the larger Indonesian abattoirs.

We support the government’s decision to ban exports of Australian cattle to abattoirs that do not have such facilities.

It is true that some practices and attitudes in foreign countries differ markedly from our own. We must remember that we’re dealing with centuries-old cultures and change takes time.

That is why we invest millions of dollars to improve animal care and education overseas. Through this trade we strive to be the instrument of change. Clearly, more needs to be done and the industry is committed to extending its work in upgrading Indonesian abattoirs.

Australia is the only country in the world actively working to improve animal care in our destination markets. We must use our influence in those countries to speed up progress on animal welfare reform.

The suspension of exports should remain until Australian expectations of acceptable animal welfare practices are in place. These expectations, are not optional, they are integral to our requirements for the live export industry.

I thank you, again, for your interest in this important issue and I can assure you that the Coalition will continue to work to ensure Australia leads the world in animal welfare – both here and overseas.

Yours sincerely,

Russell Broadbent

Update 2:
My reply:

Dear Mr Broadbent,

I thank you for your prompt reply and for sharing my concerns.  I am glad you and your party support a ban on live exports to under-equipped slaughterhouses and that you agree that animal welfare is not simply "optional."

However, I must respond to some apparent contradictions in your reply:

You say, "If we could have our way, Australia would only process, freeze and ship packaged meat to other parts of the world."  I'm not sure if "we" means Australia, the Coalition or those of us horrified by the treatments of animals in Indonesia.  In any case, the reply is the same.  We can have our way.  We can insist that Australian animals are only taken to humane slaughterhouses and if we are not satisfied that they are, then we withdraw supply.  We are not a helpless party in this situation.  There are laws against selling alcohol to an intoxicated person despite this being an infringement on free enterprise and free choice.  We have this law because it is the right thing to do.  Likewise, we should have the courage to refuse sale to anyone who can't guarantee the animals will be treated to a standard that Australians find acceptable.   One might call it Responsible Service of Livestock.

I take your point about the lack of refrigeration in some of the destination markets.  However, vacuum sealing preserves meat just as well without freezing.  The 4 Corners report showed that far from reducing the suffering of cattle, involvement by government and industry has only enabled more suffering.  As we also saw, some slaughterhouses refuse to use stunning.  Since the brutalisation suffered by cattle does not even come close to true halal, the justification that it's a different culture doesn't stand up.  That treatment couldn't be less halal if the cattle were killed by alcohol poisoning.

Indonesia is not a backward country.  They have cities, cars, computers and mobile 'phones.  That change didn't take as much time and neither should the humane treatment of animals take this much time.  I understand that attitudes are different there.  However, I must say I find it curious that we respect Muslim tradition when there's a dollar to be made.  I am as ecumenical as they come, but I do not see how bleeding animals to death is a culture we have to respect, yet somehow the burqa is a threat to our way of life.

With respect, I see no evidence of Australia striving to be the instrument of change - especially not when we have supplied hardware that is designed to inflict suffering.  Australia has always taken a stand for what we know is right.  To simply say, "That's their way and change takes a long time," was not an excuse not to stand against apartheid, the Taliban or Japanese whaling, and it's not an excuse to tolerate this treatment.  The way to promote change through trade in this case, is to withdraw our trade until this evil practise is stopped.  If they want our cattle, change will come soon enough.

Again, I thank you for your reply and your concern,


Note:  I Googled a couple of lines from the reply and it would appear this is the standard Liberal party response.  I mention this purely out of interest and draw no conclusions from it.