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30 April 2010 Thought for the Week:
“The move towards the reinstating of democratic freedoms and responsibilities is not maverick thinking, but a growing movement internationally. Two British Conservative MPs have written a book called “The Plan: Twelve Months to Renew Britain”, also containing the 100 Days proposal to put a stop on government edicts and to allow a period of public scrutiny - and of either acceptance or challenge. Most importantly, the final verdict on which way the country should go with regard to a particular piece of legislation would - let us say will… when this battle is won… rest where it should, with the electorate itself. Yes, the public can get issues wrong, but the public can take responsibility for these and reverse its decisions, when need be. Governments frequently get issues wrong, but trying to persuade them to reverse them can be compared to Sisyphus pushing the boulder uphill.
“The 100 days – Claiming Back New Zealand” concept can also restore power to ratepayers under the increasingly problematic authority of top-heavy city council bureaucracies, and can be used in exactly the same way by ratepayers to claim back accountability in their own local communities.
The state is meant to serve its citizens, not vice versa. As a recent News Weekly article on this topic pointed out, blocking referenda are a check on the ambitions of the political class which now controls and dominates our lives. Politicians do not relish the prospect of having their bills very probably and humiliatingly defeated by voters. The polling beforehand would become axiomatic, and would and will actually count towards avoiding such an outcome.
We need to remind ourselves, too, that simple does not equate to simplistic, that in a true democracy the deeply flawed concept of leadership cannot be used to hijack the country's direction. It is the concept of individual initiative, of individual responsibility - of people standing up individually to be counted - as are New Zealanders, increasingly, throughout the country, which offers the best, in fact the only chance to fight for a true, and very possible, democracy. And vital to this movement is the concept of the 100 days to claim back New Zealand.
- - Amy Brooke, The New Zealand Centre for Political Research. www.nzcpr.com
TRIAL OF A BISHOP WHO WASN'T THERE. MEL... WHERE WERE YOU?
To offend and judge are two distinct offices, And of opposed natures:
ReporterNotebook@Gmail.com: A Tragicomedy in a Few Acts and Many, Many Scenes, April 20, 2010. On Friday, 16 April 2010, Pope Benedict XVI’s 83rd birthday, the trial against Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) took place at the Local Court Regensburg, Germany. All in all roughly forty journalists arrived as well as twenty-odd supporters of Williamson, who had to make do being seated in the back row of the absolutely packed court room. Amongst the supporters were Lady Michèle Renouf, Günter Deckert and Ursula Haverbeck, as well as many other well-known faces. Sadly, there were no members, followers or supporters of the SSPX present that could be identified as such.
After the usual security checks, which for a change were handled in a rather civilised manner, the trial started at 09.00 a.m. sharp. The dramatis personæ were: Judge Karin Frahm, a fairly pretty blonde, twenty-nine years of age (!); Senior State Prosecutor Edgar Zach, a grey-haired gentleman probably in his late fifties; and Defence Counsel Matthias Loßmann, a bloke possibly in his mid-forties whose air and appearance were eerily reminiscent of a gravedigger.
The proceedings began with an explanation by Herr Loßmann that Williamson would not be appearing since the SSPX had forbidden him from doing so. Next it was recorded that not one of the three Swedish witnesses had turned up, and that they had neither excused themselves nor given any reason for their absence. Herr Zach then began reading out the indictment. The contents were comprised of the usual stuff familiar to all: Williamson has denied and belittled the Holocaust, has done so aware of the fact that such heresy is a grievous violation of modern dogma, has furthermore committed this heinous act intentionally in a manner suited to disturb the public peace, and must therefore be dealt with accordingly. To his credit it must be said that Herr Zach was calm, collected, read the indictment without any aggressive or hateful undertone, and made a generally polite impression.
In the scene that followed, Herr Loßmann gave a fairly detailed account of what had transpired and how the various events had come about. The judge asked many a probing question, of which a few were simply superfluous. Some questions Herr Loßmann was unable to answer, but a great deal of these gaps were filled in later during an exciting scene in which Loßmann's witness, and lawyer for the SSPX, Maximilian Krah - a smarmy Nick Griffin effigy - took the stand. All in all Herr Loßmann left a rather dubious impression: his account was repetitive, unstructured, and his idiom sloppy and unbefitting of his role.
Here now a summary of a few lesser scenes, in no particular order
Furthermore, an article from a Swedish magazine, which had no real bearing on the case, was translated off the cuff fluently into high quality German - that was really cool. Plus, a segment of a German television programme showing the interviewer of Williamson (Name: Ali Fagan; Status: absent witness) make the comment that he would gladly stand as a witness in a German court of law, etc., etc.
Another delightful scene starred the interpreter for English. Asked by Judge Frahm whether she could translate a letter extemporaneously or whether she needed time to prepare, this lady requested and was granted "five minutes", whereupon she ambled over to her Swedish speaking colleague, chatted with her for fifteen minutes, went back to her seat and translated the text in one go. It was surreal.
A real highlight – called as witness for the defence
Herr Krah went on to speak of the Bishop's personality, characterising him as refined, polite, erudite, well-spoken, and an excellent teacher. He then informed the court that if the bishop questions the Holocaust then only because he is utterly convinced that his opinion represents the truth. The bishop, so he said, is absolutely bound to truthfulness and would never lie. As such Williamson is certainly convinced of what he had stated in that interview. The problem, according to Herr Krah, is that Williamson's ability to perceive the truth is seriously impaired ("ein nachhaltig gestörtes Erkenntnisvermögen"). As an example of this condition Herr Krah told the court that Bishop Williamson does not believe in the 9/11 story, and on having been asked by the judge continued by explaining to the court all about how some, if not many people doubt the veracity of the official 9/11 account.
A waffling windbag basking in a cold glow
Let us now turn to the final act of this tragicomedy. In the first scene Herr Zach gave his closing arguments. He stated that Bishop Williamson had known exactly what he was saying, knew full well that this is against the law in Germany, was counting on the fact that this interview would be made public, and that the bishop had by these means hoped to spread his twisted views on the Holocaust. Considering the fact that Williamson had done this intentionally, a fair sentence would be a fine of 12.000 Euros (i.e. 10.500 GBP or 16.000 USD).
Defence sums up
The interviewer, Ali Fagan, described this question as "a shot from the hip", and the evidence clearly showed that the interviewer had deliberately set a trap for the bishop. After Williamson had answered the question in depth, he pointed out to the interviewer that such comments are illegal in Germany and asked him not to publicise them.
STV1 nonetheless made the final five minutes of the interview available on their website, from where it was downloaded onto YouTube and went viral. By itself this was all fairly inconsequential, for who had ever heard of the SSPX, or Bishop Richard Williamson for that matter? Unfortunately, however, this was exactly the moment the Vatican welcomed the SSPX back into the fold of the Church, and to the viciously anti-ecclesiastical, i.e. Jewish, press, the idea of a Holocaust heretic having his excommunication revoked must have been like curry to a pisshead. As such the matter was blown out of all proportion, causing desired damage to the Church. All this, Loßmann argued, was not the bishop's fault. In fact Williamson is simply a victim of foul play, and must therefore be acquitted.
Her Honour decides history – and guilt
Interview goes ‘viral'
Defence counsel defends SSPX - not client, not truth
* View the act being perpetrated: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGWLAmrHo44
KEVIN'S PUBLICLY PRISSY PERSONAE
What the waitresses made of Rudd’s behaviour, heaven knows. Andrew Bolt’s Blog, 22/4/2010 (06:34 am):-
I’m not sure this report quite carries the flavour of the confrontation, or just how disgracefully the Prime Minister behaved: It wasn’t quite a fight scene from Raging Bull. But it was bruising enough when Kevin Rudd dined recently with a high-powered party from the Herald Sun at Nobu, the Crown Casino-based restaurant part-owned by Robert de Niro.
THE RULE OF LAW OR TYRANNY ?
by Betty Luks
Read the following letter addressed to the then premier of Queensland, Peter Beattie, and ask yourself: “If that was my daughter would I not want to see justice for her? In your mind, put your daughter in her place - and then come out fighting for her rights! Write to politicians, business leaders, lawyers, church leaders, whomsoever you think will help bring this matter before the appropriate authorities so that action can be taken. Insist the Rule of Law must apply in this case as it would in any other alleged criminal action.
In the Sunday Telegraph 16/11/2008 Piers Akerman wrote on the Heiner Affair: Respected feature writer, Piers Akerman, has been detailing the extraordinary story of events in Queensland surrounding the late 1989 inquiry by retired magistrate Noel Heiner into complaints by staff against the manager of the state-run John Oxley Youth Centre in a series of major articles in the Sunday Telegraph and Daily Telegraph. He asks why the ALP Goss government Cabinet closed that inquiry as soon it took office in early 1989, and ordered all documents shredded.
Kevin Lindeberg, a union official, dismissed for claiming the shredding of the Heiner Inquiry documents was an illegal act, has fought relentlessly and tirelessly for 17 years to prove the Heiner Affair involved unprecedented abuse of office and justice. This reached from the unresolved May 1988 sexual assault of a 14-year old indigenous girl at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre and other abuses, to Executive Government being placed above the law by the Goss government of the day.
The Australian 25/9/07 reported: “David Rofe QC has examined the destruction of documents by shredding in a 3600 page 9 volume report, and identified 67 possible breaches of the criminal code by Queensland cabinet ministers and public servants. He believes there should be a full investigation… Kevin Rudd is one of many people who should answer questions about their role in a Queensland government decision to destroy documents in the Heiner affair, says the senior lawyer who has examined the evidence.”
The Judges’ Letter: The following letter was originally sent to the then Premier of Queensland Peter Beattie. It began:
Dear Premier, THE HEINER AFFAIR - A MATTER OF CONCERN
CC: Her Excellency the Honourable Quentin Bryce AC, Governor of Queensland, The Hon Lawrence Springborg MLA, Leader of the Queensland Opposition, The Hon Paul de Jersey AC, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland, The President, Queensland Bar Association, The President, Queensland Law Society.
* (For details see Mr. Kevin Lindeberg's article published in Volume 17 of The Samuel Griffith Society's book "Upholding the Australian Constitution." htft,://www.samuelgriffith.org.au/papers/html/volume 17/v I 7contents.btm
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