Monday, September 10, 2012

Some Questions for Labor Voter, Kate Brettell

In the wake of the weekend's NSW local government elections, it was inevitable that Murdoch's Zio-conservative Australian would be pinning the blame for the swing against The Greens in Marrickville on their support last year for BDS.

Today's issue, for example, had this to say on page 1:

"Gillard government supporters attributed the result to the Greens' obstruction of the government's asylum-seeker changes and contentious local government policies such as a trade boycott of Israel... Mr Albanese, whose inner-western electorate of Grayndler has shown strong support for the Greens in recent years, said Labor had increased its vote by running a 'local affairs not foreign affairs' campaign. The campaign sought to highlight the Greens' interest in issues such as a boycott of Israel rather than policies that mattered more to local residents." (Labor steps up Greens attack, David Crowe)

 A trade boycott? This is Marrickville Council, not a commercial entity. Local, not foreign affairs? Wherein lay the Greens' interest in foreign affairs this time around?

And this, the reason for my post, on page 4:

"Kate Brettell considers herself a long-time supporter of the Greens. But like many others across NSW she chose the council elections to lodge her displeasure with their 'airy-fairy' policies. Ms Brettell, a 34-year old community services worker, felt this time the Greens had failed to connect with local issues. 'I normally vote for the Greens so I was willing to listen, but they weren't really talking about concrete issues,' she said yesterday. In particular, Ms Brettell thought the move by Greens councillors last year to establish an embargo against Israel had pushed residents away. 'I think that really turned a lot of people off because it just isn't a local issue,' she said. 'Whether or not you agree with it is beside the point. It is not something I want my local council to be spending their time on. Their policies just seem a little bit airy-fairy.' For Ms Brettell, the local Labor candidate focused on local issues such as cleaning up the streets and improving traffic conditions. 'It was obvious they had been consulting,' she said." ('Their policies were a bit airy-fairy', Harry Edwards)

1) Kate Brettell, are you the same Kate Brettell mentioned in this AusAID reference to a Global Youth Peace Summit: "Youth ambassadors in Thailand... Kate Brettell... attended the last world youth peace summit (Asia-Pacific region) at the United Nations' regional headquarters in Bangkok," helping to  "develop a regional vision and action plan for world peace" (Global Education,

2) If so, did not that particular initiative strike you as a tad airy-fairy and altogether too non-local?

3) Why was your reported displeasure with Marrickville Council's airy-fairy support of BDS last year not assuaged when it ceased to be Marrickville Council policy early last year?

4) Seeing you voted Labor, do you consider that party's unequivocal support for the state of Israel - throwing birthday bashes for it in federal parliament, sending their troops, both federal and state, on junkets there, lining up with it against the rest of the world in UN forums, soliciting campaign funds from its wealthier supporters, hopping-to when its lobbyists snap their fingers, and tolerating members of its external intelligence arm flashing Australian passports when on the hunt - not only worse than airy-fairy but downright inimical to both the national interest and the maintenance of world peace? Is Israel really something you want your state and federal governments spending their time on?

5) Finally, have you ever watched that wonderful BBC comedy series The League of Gentlemen? I'm sure you'd very much enjoy Tubbs and Edward Tattsyrup with their signature refrain, This is a local shop for local people. There's nothing for you here. It's sooo you, Kate!

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