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Christian based service movement warning about threats to rights and freedom irrespective of the label.
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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.

This new movement, “The 100 days – Claiming Back Zealand”, claiming back our democracy, is targeted to achieve just this. We need to remind ourselves that at crucial periods in history, it has often been an essentially simple idea which has been right for its time. As G. K. Chesterton has pointed out, “the simplification of anything is always sensational” – a concept the Swiss have long turned to…advantage…

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:
--- William Shakespeare

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 minor parts were played by an all-female cast: a stenographer, an interpreter for English, and another for Swedish. Her Honour was seated in front of a strange yellowish backdrop, the kind familiar from modern Wagner productions. Seating and legroom were satisfactory, the acoustics excellent.

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
The court ordered a viewing of the infamous final five minutes of an originally hour long interview, the very five minutes that got Bishop Williamson into this mess. Then the matter of the absent witnesses was taken up again: two documents were read out, one by the legal department of the Swedish television station SVT1 which stated that they would not help the court due to lack of trust in the German legal system, and the other by the Swedish Ministry of Justice, who wrote that they would not be rendering the court mutual judicial assistance since freedom of speech is guaranteed in Sweden but not so in Germany.

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.
- All these and the following scenes were interrupted by "five minute recesses" that were fifteen minutes long each. The trial lacked any real coherence, haphazardly jumping from one matter to the next, not even the many "five minute recesses" being synchronised to the action on stage. The only thing that kept everything together, were the endless, totally superfluous repetitions. It was weird.

A real highlight – called as witness for the defence
A real highlight was the act in which Herr Krah, whom we first encountered two paragraphs ago, was called as a witness for the defence. As lawyer for the SSPX, Herr Krah had a great deal of knowledge as to what had transpired having witnessed the events unfurl himself. Of this he gave an informative account. In answer to the judge's questions, he drew a detailed picture of Williamson's standard of living, describing not only his home but also which tube to take in order to get there! He then told of Williamson's position within the fraternity, that the bishop wields little or no power in the SSPX, and that Richard Williamson is considered and considers himself "an eccentric Englishman".

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
To summarise, Herr Krah was nothing short of a waffling windbag basking in the cold glow of that yellowy neo-Wagnerian backdrop. He gave a heap of information that nobody really cared about, including details likely to harm the bishop. But he enjoyed himself, and that is probably what mattered most.

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
Now it was time for the summation of the defence. Herr Loßmann proceeded to recapitulate the entire story as it had slowly unravelled before our eyes through a profusion of irrelevant repetitions, tedious tangents, and futile five-minute recesses.
In short: On occasion of the ordination of a Swedish deacon who had converted from Protestantism not merely to Catholicism, but to one of its most traditional branches (which caused a stir in Sweden), a Swedish camera crew went to Zaitzkofen, near Regensburg, and asked the ordaining bishop, Richard Williamson, for an interview which he granted them. They spoke about religious matters for over fifty minutes, and then, once they had gained the bishop's trust, suddenly asked him about a comment he had made about the Holocaust twenty years ago in Canada.

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.
The Swedish television station STV1 then approached the leading German news magazine Der Spiegel with this story, which the Spiegel proceeded to publish three days before the interview was to be aired on Swedish television. As soon as the SSPX had gotten wind of this they had their lawyer, Herr Krah, get in touch with Williamson, the latter asking that the interview not be broadcast, something that was realistically not going to happen, and insisting that this interview not be made available over the internet. When Matthias Krah contacted Bishop Williamson, he was immediately aware of the gravity of the situation saying something along the lines of "typical journalists, you can't trust 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
The court took a thirty-minute recess, during which Her Honour decided on the verdict, the grounds for which were eight pages long. The court reconvened at 03.00 p.m. for the final scene, and Judge Frahm read out the verdict: guilty, fine: 10.000 Euros, i.e. 9.000 GBP or 13.500 USD. She gave the following reasons for the verdict: Williamson had denied the Holocaust, and though he may be convinced that it had not taken place, this is irrelevant since history has shown the Holocaust to have taken place, and furthermore even the highest courts have knowledge of this subject. Richard Williamson was also aware of the fact that his opinion would reach the public, but had nonetheless continued to express it. His crime was therefore a deliberate action.

Interview goes ‘viral'
The fact that the interview had gone viral on YouTube was ignored since this was certainly not the bishop's fault and went against his express wish. However, §130 Penal Code stipulates that incitement of the People (Volksverhetzung) is only given if the crime is perpetrated publicly and is suited to disturb the public peace. But: nowhere does it say that the public must be a German public! By having the interview broadcast in Sweden, millions of Swedes could see it. These then could feasibly contact their friends and relatives in Germany and thus endanger the German public peace. Therefore, the bishop is to be found guilty and fined 10.000 Euros. - And that's the end of that.

Defence counsel defends SSPX - not client, not truth
Finally, it must be said that this trial was of no value to the struggle for freedom whatsoever, since the defence counsel defended neither his client nor truth but merely the SSPX. Then, the idea of having a twenty-nine year old female judge is, considering that judges ought to be male and at least forty years of age, a total joke, a joke topped only by the ridiculous (if talmudically exquisite) argumentation of the lady.
At the end of the day, this trial showed us what happens when the System is left to itself, without anybody struggling against it. And as Michèle Renouf pointed out: "by reducing the fine they reduced the bishop." - - Markus Haverkamp

* 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 PM and a couple of his senior political staff dined in an alcove at the flash Japanese eatery on March 30 with Herald Sun editor Simon Pristel, editor-in-chief Phil Gardner and Peter Blunden, managing director of The Herald and Weekly Times… The trigger came when Mr Rudd discovered what would be on the front page of Melbourne’s tabloid the next day.

The paper was splashing with a story suggesting Opposition Leader Tony Abbott would, as the headline put it, “Shut the borders”. The front-page story spilled to two inside pages under a strap banner that read ‘’Border Wars’’. The story was apparently the catalyst for Mr Rudd to express his strong views - at some volume in a packed restaurant - about balance in recent coverage of sensitive issues. He did not hold back - and the editors gave as good as they got. I’d say more, but confidences must be respected.

I’d merely add that I have no reason at all to suspect this recent judgement of mine to be false: But one disillusioned day you will hear from many who now work with him that how Rudd seems is bizarrely different to how he is.
I don’t just mean that this publicly prissy churchgoer is privately a foul-mouthed, arrogant, paranoid and abusive control freak, but that many of his brightest ideas swiftly flop.  


THE RULE OF LAW OR TYRANNY ?

by Betty Luks
We know there are many people fighting for their rights within Australia (and of course around the world). To name just a few: Dr. Fredrick Toben (freedom of speech) farmer Peter Spencer (property rights) Dr. John Wilson (right to trial by jury). But fellow Australians, don’t you think the rights of a young Aboriginal girl, allegedly violated while under the care and protection of staff within a State authority in Queensland, are just as important as other Australian children?
As a woman I find the offences committed against this young girl barbaric, hideous and revolting. At the age of 14 years her young body, her person, her sexuality was violated by a pack of alleged rapists. Isn’t her young life just as valuable, just as precious, as other young lives?

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
We, the undersigned legal practitioners formerly on the Bench, currently at the Bar or in legal practice, seek to re-affirm our sworn duty to uphold the rule of law throughout the Commonwealth of Australia and to indicate our deep concern about its undermining as the unresolved Heiner affair reveals.

We believe that it is the democratic right of every Australian to expect that the criminal law shall be applied consistently, predictably and equally by law-enforcement authorities throughout the Commonwealth of Australia in materially similar circumstances. We believe that any action by Executive Government which may have breached the law ought not be immune from criminal prosecution where and when the evidence satisfies the relevant provision.
To do otherwise, we suggest would undermine the rule of law and confidence in government. It would tend to place Executive Government above the law.

At issue is the order by the Queensland Cabinet of 5 March 1990 to destroy the Heiner Inquiry documents to prevent their use as evidence in an anticipated judicial proceeding, made worse because the Queensland Government knew the evidence concerned abuse of children in a State youth detention centre, including the alleged unresolved pack rape of an indigenous female child by other male inmates.

The affair exposes an unacceptable application of the criminal law by prima facie double standards by Queensland law-enforcement authorities in initiating a successful proceedings against an Australian citizen, namely Mr. Douglas Ensbey, but not against members of the Executive Government and certain civil servants for similar destruction-of-evidence conduct. Compelling evidence suggests that the erroneous interpretation of section 129 of the Criminal Code (Qid) used by those authorities to justify the shredding of the Heiner Inquiry documents may have knowingly advantaged Executive Government and certain civil servants.

This serious inconsistency in the administration of Queensland's Criminal Code touching on the fundamental principle of respect for the administration of justice by proper preservation of evidence concerns us because this principle is found in all jurisdictions within in the Commonwealth as it sustains the rule of law generally.

The Queensland Court of Appeal's binding September 2004 interpretation of section 129 in R v Ensbey; ex parte A-U (QId) [2004] QCA 335 exposed the erroneous interpretation that the (anticipated/imminent) judicial proceeding had to be on foot before section 129 could be triggered.

We are acquainted with the affair* and specifically note, and concur with, (the late) the Right Honourable Sir Harry Gibbs GCMG, AC, KBE, as President of The Samuel Griffith Society, who advised that the reported facts represent, at least, a prima facie offence under section 129 of the Criminal Code (Qid) concerning destruction of evidence.
In respect of the erroneous interpretation of section 129 adopted by Queensland authorities, we also concur with the earlier 2003 opinion of former Queensland Supreme and Appeal Court Justice, the Hon James Thomas AM, that while many laws are indeed arguable, section 129 was never open to that interpretation.

Section 129 of the Criminal Code (Qid) - destruction of evidence - provides that:
"Any person who, knowing that any book, document, or other thing of any kind, is or may be required in evidence in a judicial proceeding, wilfully destroys it or renders it illegible or undecipherable or incapable of identification, with intent thereby to prevent it from being used in evidence, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment with hard labour for three years." (Underlining added).

It concerns us that such an erroneous view of section 129 was persisted with for well over a decade despite the complainant, supported by eminent lawyers, pointing out the gravity of their error consistently since 1990 when knowing its wording and intent were so unambiguous, with authoritative case law available for citing dating back as far as 1891 in R v Vreones.

Evidence adduced also reveals that the Queensland Government and Office of Crown Law knew, at the time, that the records would be discoverable under the Rules of the Supreme Court of Queensland once the expected writ/plaint was filed or served. With this knowledge, the Queensland Government ordered the destruction of these public records before the expected writ/plaint was flied or served to prevent their use as evidence.

Such scandalizing of these disclosure/discovery Rules by the Executive also concerns us. So fundamentally important is respect for these Rules that the Judiciary's independent constitutional functionality depends on it.
Under the circumstances, we suggest that any claim of "staleness" or "lack of public interest" which may be mounted now by Queensland authorities not to revisit this matter ought to fail.

Neither the facts, the law nor the public interest offer support in that regard. However, should such a claim be mounted, we suggest that it would tend to be self-serving and undermine public confidence in the administration of justice and in government itself knowing that the 2004 Ensbey conviction, taken by the same Queensland Crown, did not occur until some 9 years after the relevant destruction-of-evidence incident.

This affair encompasses all the essential democratic ideals. The right to a fair trial without interference by government and the right to impartial law-enforcement, to say nothing of respecting the rule of law itself rest at its core. Respecting the doctrine of the separation of powers and our constitutional monarchy system of democratic government are involved.

We believe that the issues at stake are too compelling to ignore.
We suggest that if the Heiner affair remains in its current unresolved state, it would give reasonable cause for ordinary citizens, especially Queenslanders, to believe that there is one law for them, and another for Executive Government and civil servants.
We find such a prospect unacceptable.

We urge the Queensland Government to appoint an independent Special Prosecutor as recommended by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in its August 2004 Report (Volume Two - Recommendation 3) following its investigation into the affair as part of its national inquiry into "Crime in the community: victims, offenders and fear of crime".

Such an independent transparent process we believe will restore public confidence in the administration of justice throughout the Commonwealth of Australia, more especially in Queensland.

• The Hon Jack Lee AO QC - Retired Chief Judge at Common Law Supreme Court of New South Wales
• Dr Frank McGrath - Retired Chief Judge Compensation Court of New South Wales
• Alastair MacAdam, Senior Lecturer, Law Faculty, QUT Brisbane, and Barrister-at-law
• The Hon R P Meagher QC - Retired Justice of the Supreme and Appeal Court of New South Wales
• The Hon Barry O'Keefe AM QC, Retired Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW, former ICAC Commissioner
• Mr Alex Shand QC
• The Hon David K Malcolm AC CitWA, former Chief Justice of Western Australia

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  

© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159