William Barton, a head of state to unite Australians

Mount Isa Aboriginal William Barton would unite Australians as GG or President

William Barton, an Aboriginal Australian didgeridoo player, composer, teacher and leader, was born in Mount Isa on 4 June 1981. He learned to play from his uncle, an elder of the Wannyi, Lardil and Kalkadunga tribes of Western Queensland. He is widely recognised as one of Australia’s finest traditional didgeridoo players and a leading didgeridoo player in the classical world. “I’m doing what I love,” Barton says. “I want to take the oldest culture in the world and blend it with Europe’s rich musical legacy.”

At the age of 12 Barton was working in Sydney, playing for Aboriginal dance troupes. He toured America at 15, after which he decided he wanted to become a soloist rather than a backing musician and started to study different kinds of music. In 1998, he made his classical debut with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and became Australia’s first didgeridoo artist-in-residence with a symphony orchestra. In November 2022, Barton was named Queensland’s Australian of the Year.

Naturalised Australians on the voting register have the right to vote for the person that they want as GG or President. Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese should give it to them. After all, Albanese himself was chosen democratically by a ballot in 2022 to be Prime Minister, so William Barton deserves the same right.

For factional reasons, Albanese is likely to support Barton and Liberal leader Peter Dutton, a former Queensland cop, is reportedly ready to sign up for William Barton’s promotion. Out of conviction? Or maybe guilt!

The key stakeholders are all in place: Prime Minister Albanese, Liberal leader Peter Dutton, King Charles III and Australian voters. Why the delay?

Kevin Rudd’s revival: watch out Washington

In 2013 Canberra journalist, media commentator, public relations specialist Kerry-Anne Walsh, known widely as “KA”, published her remarkable book, The Stalking of Julia Gillard.

The sub-heading caught the eye: How the media and Team Rudd contrived to bring down the Prime Minister.

Ms Walsh wrote in the Introduction to her Gillard book:

“This is my contemporaneous diary on an extraordinary time in Australian politics – that of the Gillard Government from June 2011 to April 2013. From mid-2011 I scribbled notes, conducted interviews, chatted to people informally, and kept media and personal diaries of the rolling events.

“Initially, my idea was to record the unfolding drama of how the government and Independents handled Australia’s first minority parliament since 1939, but it became quickly apparent that while the minority parliament was functioning remarkably well under Gillard’s leadership, there was a heaving political undercurrent being generated by a minority within the Labor caucus that kept threatening to derail its success. I noticed that as the months passed, the vast resources of the Press Gallery became more focused on Rudd’s ambitions for a comeback than anything the historic minority parliament had to offer.

“So these are my personal observations, focusing on Team Rudd’s slow-death destabilisation campaign against Gillard, the media’s treatment of it and the combined effect on the government. It’s not a defence of Gillard; I didn’t talk to her for the book, and I don’t gloss over her mistakes. It’s an expanded personal diary of observations, if you will, about a politician who was never given a fair go: not in the media, not by Rudd, not by some in Caucus…

“While there are rigorous, professional and highly competent journalists reporting from the Press Gallery, what confounded end disturbed me as the months passed by was how many more got swept up in Rudd’s power play, giving momentum to his ambitions to reclaim the prime ministership. They became players, not reporters.

“There seemed to be a lack of appetite for rigorous assessment of Rudd the man and Rudd the politician, and of his motives, and the devastating impact he was having on the government. I noted how some of the best-paid journalists and commentators at News Ltd and Fairfax became Rudd’s mouthpieces in the war he raged against Gillard. He could seldom do any wrong; his antics were generally afforded benign unquestioning prime-time media coverage. The underhanded work being done by his acolytes was respectfully kept in anonymous shadows while being given headline treatment.

“On the other hand, Gillard was continually cast as a liar and a policy charlatan, and lampooned for her hair, clothes, accent, arse, even the way she walks and talks. If ever the deck was stacked against someone, it was Gillard.”

This week, Canberra-based author Robert Macklin, born in Brisbane, devoted his well-informed weekly blog to Kevin Rudd. Macklin wrote a biography of Rudd in 2007 and appears to have regretted it ever since. Robert Victor Macklin, born 1941, is an Australian author, journalist, commentator and political activist. He was educated at Ironside Primary School, Brisbane Grammar and the Australian National University (ANU).

He began his writing career for Brisbane’s Courier-Mail, later moving to The Age in Melbourne and then The Bulletin in Sydney and the Canberra Times. In 1967 he became press secretary to Deputy Prime Minister John McEwen shortly before the death of Harold Holt when McEwen briefly became Prime Minister.

In 1974 while working in the Philippines at the Asian Development Bank he began writing both fiction and non-fiction books, beginning with the novel The Queenslander. He returned to Australia in 1975 and wrote The Paper Castle (1978) and Juryman (1980), adapted by MGM for the film Storyville (1994), starring James Spader and Jason Robards.

His non-fiction work includes Seven Cities of Australia, Dark Paradise, Norfolk Island: Isolation, Savagery, Murder; 100 Great Australians, The Secret Life of Jesus, Jacka VC: Australian Hero, Fire in the Blood: The epic tale of Frank Gardiner and Australia’s other bushrangers, Bravest: How Some of Australia’s Greatest War Heroes Won Their Medals, the memoir War Babies, Kevin Rudd: The Biography, My Favourite Teacher, The Great Australian Pie, One False Move, SAS Sniper (with Rob Maylor), Redback One, SAS Insider, Warrior Elite, Hamilton Hume, Dragon & Kangaroo.

With Peter Thompson he co-authored The Battle of Brisbane, The Man Who Died Twice – the life and adventures of Morrison of China, Kill the Tiger, Keep Off the Skyline and The Big Fella: The Rise and Rise of BHP Billiton.

His awards include the Blake Dawson Prize for Business Literature (with Peter Thompson) in 2009, and Canberra Critics Circle awards for One False MoveDark Paradise and Hamilton Hume – Our Greatest Explorer.

He is a graduate of the screen writing course of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School and has written and directed documentary films in 32 countries of Asia and the South Pacific. With producer Andrew Pike, he has written the screenplay Barefoot on Australia’s only Chinese bushranger, Sam Poo.

Married to Wendy Macklin, he has two sons, and currently divides his time between Canberra and Tuross Head on the NSW South Coast. Macklin throws some incredible light on Rudd’s explosive and warped personality in his latest weekly blog. He suggests that while Rudd has taken the Washington DC job, his real aim is to be  Secretary-General of the UN. He wants to rule the world on behalf of capitalism and imperialism!

Meanwhile, Ms Walsh’s book has become a hot-seller in Washington DC. People in high places – the White House, the Pentagon, the CIA and the State Department – want to read a “fair dinkum” account of Rudd’s treachery and his modus operandi. They’ll find it all in Ms Walsh’s 300-page account of Rudd’s sinister overthrow of Prime Minister Gillard. Read it: you won’t be disappointed.

Things you may have missed

“What should be the appropriate response of the international community (especially OECD countries where Israel is a member of the club) to the new Israeli government? The first one is recognising the State of Palestine on the basis of the June 4, 1967 borders. This should have been done years ago, as soon as it was clear that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process was based on the solution of two states for two peoples.

“This was not done until today (December 2022) and with the withering away of the viability of the two-state solution, recognition of the State of Palestine might be the only way to breathe some life into the almost deceased body. This is not such a radical proposal because 138 member states of the United Nations already recognise the State of Palestine, but most of the OECD member states have not.

“Now is the time for action, not more thinking about it. Spain, France, Luxembourg, Italy, Norway (to name a few candidates), and especially the US and the UK, which both bear a great deal of responsibility for where we are today, need to come out and recognise the State of Palestine or to cease mouthing the mantra of the two-state solution. Enough hypocrisy.

“An appropriate international response to increased settlement building and the “legalisation” (in quotes because all settlements are illegal under international law) should be to boycott all settlements.

“I want to make something clear. I don’t believe that any future government of Israel will be able to remove hundreds of thousands of settlers from their homes. After decades of living there, justice would not be done by creating injustice to the young generation of Israelis who happen to have been born where their parents went illegally. But at the end of the day, regardless of the eventual negotiated solution to the conflict, the majority of settlers will remain where they are.

“All of the above should have been the appropriate international response to all of the previous governments since the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin (who at least tried to advance peace with the Palestinians).

“The appropriate international response to the Palestinians should be to demand free, fair and democratic elections immediately. In response to moves for democracy in Palestine, the rest of the international community should recognize the State of Palestine.

“Yes, this is a kind of quid pro quo. The Palestinians must resolve their internal split. They must finally allow the people to elect their government (it has been 17 years since the last elections).

“The Palestinians must put their house in order, create good governance, fight corruption, rebuild law and order and demonstrate that they seriously wish to be a member state in the community of nations. The first step is holding new elections, which is the one thing that almost every Palestinian demands. The international community must also insist that the newly elected Palestinian government will announce that they will be prepared to return to any negotiating table at which there will be an Israeli partner interested in genuine peace with the Palestinian people.

“The appropriate international response does recognise that the new Israeli government won a decisive victory in the elections, but that is only part of the story. The victory was not the stunning victory that Netanyahu presented. Netanyahu won by playing the system much better than the outgoing government. But his coalition received 2,304,964 votes. The parties in the outgoing coalition won 2,014,436 votes, a difference of 290,528. But if we also count in the votes for two more Arab factions (Hadash-Tal and Balad) the votes not for Netanyahu’s coalition amount to 2,649,140. That does not change the results of the elections, but it does contest Netanyahu’s claim that the Israeli public supports him and his new government. That is not true.

“Roughly half of Israelis support him and his government, and slightly more than half do not. I contend that those who do not support his government and what will be their policies are no less passionate about their opposition than Netanyahu’s supporters are about their beliefs. But the international community, especially the OECD nations, support democracy and they know that democracy cannot truly exist without equality. Democracy cannot coexist with racist laws or policies that deny significant segments of the population their basic human and civil rights. Democracy cannot exist with occupation.

“We Israelis in the opposition will make our voices heard loud and clear. I am calling for the friends of Israel, those who really care about Israel and not those who just pay lip service to Israel, to come out with their appropriate international response as proposed above.”

Dr Gershon Baskin, PhD, is the founding co-Chairman of IPCRI, the Israel Palestine Centre for Research and Information, and a columnist for The Jerusalem Post. He is a political and social entrepreneur who has dedicated his life to Israel and to peace between Israel and her neighbours. He is now directing The Holy Land Bond. Read his complete column here.

Actor Paul Newman takes a final shot

An unpublished poem by Paul Newman (1925-2008) American actor, socialist, film director, racing car driver, philanthropist and entrepreneur, has been discovered. His life was dedicated to civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights, ending the nuclear arms race, and electing opponents of war and militarism. He was married to Oscar-winning actress Joanne Woodward for 50 years from 1958 to 2008. Some lines from the recently discovered poem read:

Half my lung,

Removed by knife,

Is tightly packed in plastic now

Along with other waste

Then dumped somewhere on Staten Island

Or Jersey.

I had other plans for it of course.

The lung.

A state funeral along with the rest of me

Honoring a life of plunder well-spent.

I can remember, I think I can

When I was on the stump

On the shout full voice full fury

Pissing way above my rank 


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