Can you say Conflict?

RossK over at the Gazetteer has a good story about Graham Whitmarsh’s role in signing off on the $6 million indemnity that sealed the deal on the BC Rail trial.

The deal, of course, meant we wouldn’t get to hear from the next scheduled witness, former finance minister Gary Collins.

How convenient then, Mr. Whitmarsh’s relationship with Collins?  Convenient or troubling?

From Public Eye:

“Subsequent to Mr. Whitmarsh’s appointment to the Head of the Climate Action Secretariat it was further revealed by the media that Mr. Whitmarsh had previously worked in the sporting and military sectors, as well as most recently working with former finance minister Gary Collins at Harmony Airways”.

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2 Responses to Can you say Conflict?

  1. Gary L. says:

    Any SMART criminal knows that one MUST work alone. If ONE other person knows about his/her actions, it is one too many. In this present debacle, many, many “know”, and have the goods on many others.
    The Players should be afraid, very afraid. The Factories that churn out Brown Envelopes are still in productivity…………..

  2. Janaina says:

    no. I read the intro and a random chpetar when trying decide whether a polemical book’s worth buying. Usually not..But I went back and read another chpetar of The Blogging Revolution to be fair. I’d read the chpetar on Egypt ’cause I used to live there and visit the blogs occassionly. I read the chpetar on Iran..It’s just like the one on Egypt. Only worse. Like that chpetar the Iran chpetar takes up half its space with a cursory and not-too-insightful run-down of the context interspersed with the inevitable distaste that we in the new world have for the filthy urbane environs of a Mid-East city. These are not particularly illustrative and lack either the deft analysis of Chris Hitchens or the provocational (and intentionally chauvaunistic) humour of PJ O’Rourke. Needless to say he writes not as well as either of these chaps. And he begins a nauseating number of sentences with the phrase It is’, or its conjunction. I found it dead prose..The rest hardly touches on blogging really. A lot of it’s soundbytes from books and TV. And then there’s the uninspiring contact-with-the-locals anecdotes. In the beginning Lowenstein makes the extraordinary declaration that:Aside from North Korea, there is perhaps no other country on the planet that is more misunderstood than Iranp21_Now Iran is misunderstood. I don’t think it even understands itself really. But North Korea? What’s to understand? China, Japan, Russia, several African nations, France even are much better candidates than N Korea for misunderstanding. The information from the land of Kim Jong-il is entirely consistent in its portrayal of a failing Stalinist state. Iran doesn’t compare. Lowenstein’s perfectly entitled to make this statement but he doesn’t back it up at all. We’re just supposed to take his word for it..Lowenstein correctly points out the impact of the CIA-led removal of Mossadegh in 1953. He likewise is correct in stating that the 1979 revolution was not entirely inspired by Islamist ideology. However, and this impacts negatively on his elucidation of the Egyptian situation, he doesn’t care to explain how a relatively modern country with a strong middle-class came to be a Theocracy. Nor does he understand that the theocratic elements are one tier amongst three of Iranian authority. The others being the government and the military..One thing that was interesting is that he visited a Jewish community in Tehran. Iran, as he points out, has the largest ME Jewish diaspora outside Israel. He doesn’t however explore the contradictions between this phenomena and the fact that Protocols of the Elders of Zion is read widely even by determinedly secular people. He gets asked by some such whether he, as a Jew, find it easy to get work in America (because they’re in control don’t you know). He denies this a little too flatly I thought. Backing off My Israel Question perchance?.When he introduces the section on his interaction with Iranian Jews he begins with something especially sloppy:While I was in Iran, I met blogger Mohammed a twenty-five year old with a neatly trimmed goatee. He asked that I didn’t reveal his name in print p 47_There are no quotes around Mohammed’ nor is there a note telling us it’s not his real name. Mr Lowenstein has been accused by such as Andrew Bolt of being a somewhat, ahem, unethical journalist. I can only s’pose Lowenstein’s pleased to feed the troll. For some reason there’s a footnote attached to the (yet another) banal notation of the goatee. When you flip to it, it tells you that this anecdote about meeting Mohammed in a cafe is sourced from a meeting Lowenstein had with Mohammed in a cafe!.Thanks for that Tony. Just in case I missed it the first time..It’s interesting to note that he begins by telling us that this happened while he was in Iran’. The section appears well into the chpetar on Iran, we’re already well-used to his being there and he hasn’t told us he’s left. Again what for? The fact that Mohammed has nothing to do with the Jewish diaspora makes it somewhat mysterious that he’s there introducing the section. I s’pose Lowenstein’s gotta drop in a blogger every now and then. After all he hardly refers to them..He’s a disciple of Pilger and Chomsky. Like them however there’s no real appreciation of the realpolitik realities. I don’t fault Pilger for this, his task is to tell stories other journalists don’t and he tends to succeed. Chomsky is an unabashed idealist who appears to simply believe that Utopia is possible simply by an effort of will..The contradictions between America’s stated values and its foreign policy are well established themes of historical scholarship. If Lowenstein wants to follow the path blazed by Pilger he’d do well to have a look at the work of Charles Beard or WA Williams. Andrew Bacevich even. But no. He’s John Pilger without the rigour, the powerful interviewing technique or the previously uncovered information. All he’s got is the radical posture and and the travel perks. Most of the book is basic stuff one could write better from a desk in Australia. The local encounters are insubstantial, the analysis doesn’t exist, the understanding of blogs is minimal and he doesn’t even write well..He’s a wanker.

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