News That’s Fit To Punt – 30/May/2012

Julian Assange Loses Appeal

Here it is, fresh off the press. Julian Assange is going to be extradited to Sweden.

But his lawyer Dinah Rose, QC, asked the UK Supreme Court court for two weeks in which to consider the judgement and possibly to request that proceedings be re-opened as she believed part of the judgement was based on a legal question that had not been raised during the hearing and which she had not had a chance to argue on. She said this related to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

The court gave Mr Assange a stay of 14 days on the extradition order so that Ms Rose could make the application. Mr Assange did not appear in court.
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n a majority decision of five to two, the judges decided that the European Arrest Warrant issued by Sweden asking for Mr Assange’s extradition was legal and should be enforced.

If the court does not allow its proceedings to be re-opened, Mr Assange’s only other legal avenue would be the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. If that court should agree to take his case, he would be allowed to remain in the UK until the hearing.

The scarier thing for Julian Assange of course is the likelihood that he is then swept to the USA where a Grand Jury indictment awaits him.

Mr Assange’s legal advisers are believed to fear that if he goes to Sweden he could then be extradited to the United States, where authorities are considering a range of charges against him over Wikileaks including espionage and conspiracy.

American authorities link him to the case of US Army Private Bradley Manning, who faces court martial over 22 alleged offences, including “aiding the enemy” by leaking classified government documents to Wikileaks.

UA prosecutors reportedly believe that Private Manning dealt directly with Mr Assange and “data-mined” secret databases “guided by Wikileaks list of ‘Most Wanted’ leaks.

Nothing there we don’t already know. Anyway, we should mark the moment where Julian Assange lost his appeal to be extradited to Sweden.

The End Of The SMH As We Know It?

Who’d a thunk the Kiwis were scabs?

Fairfax staff walked out at 5.30pm.

The move came as hundreds of journalists from publishers Fairfax and News Limited met with union officials at stopwork meetings today over ongoing concerns about jobs in the industry.

Fairfax plans to move the mostly sub-editing jobs from newspapers in Newcastle and Wollongong to Fairfax Editorial Services in New Zealand.

At 7pm, the company issued a statement saying it would continue to publish as usual and was disappointed at the decision to strike.

Well, that’s dramatic. Of course it kind of makes sense in the way that all jobs can be out-sourced on some level. If I may, I would  submit that this is a bad decision. The moment you out-source a part of your business, it’s a commitment towards a shorter corporate memory and opening the door to a potential nightmare in prcocess failure. A simple example might be Foxconn who, at arms length from Apple managed to do considerable harm to the Apple brand.

On the other hand, it is entirely reasonable to think that Kiwis can provide the same service as sub-editors in Australia with a much lower cost. If Fairfax thinks these are totally fungible processes, then you can understand how this is happening. Perhaps we as the public should be grateful they didn’t send it to India or the Phillippines like the Telcos do it.

Hypocrisy Truly Knows No Bounds

…or rather, Hypocrisy they name is Abbott.

The government moved to gag the debate and Mr Thomson, who has always voted with Labor since being exiled a month ago, instead joined the other crossbenchers who, on principle, never support a gag motion.

The Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, and the manager of opposition business, Christopher Pyne, made for the doors but Mr Abbott was ordered back by the Speaker, Anna Burke, because it was too late to leave. His vote was counted.

Which is totally motivated by this little bit here:

The opposition does not want to ever accept Mr Thomson’s vote, fearing it could create a precedent in which it may have to grant him a pair in case he takes extended leave from the Parliament, thus negating any numerical advantage it would achieve from his absence.

Mr Abbott has also been demanding the government never accept Mr Thomson’s vote, claiming it is tainted.
Sitting in his office while the numbers were being counted,

Mr Abbott told the National Times Labor should refuse to accept Mr Thomson’s vote just as John Howard used to refuse the turncoat senator Mal Colston’s vote by having a Coalition senator abstain.

He said the Coalition would never be trapped into having to grant Mr Thomson a pair.

Kind of self explanatory.

This Craig Thompson affair has been pretty awful for the last 2years. it won’t go away because the Coalition – in their retarded bully minds – think that if they can get Craig Thompson to quit, then there would be a by-election and hey presto, they get that seat and with it the government. What they don’t seem to get is that the destruction of Craig Thompson’s life through trial by media, as engineered by the Coalition, is going so far into questionable territory that it would taint an in-coming Coalition government for a long time. If Tony Abbott is  willing to do all this to an individual to get his way, then how safe can any citizen feel in this country?

It is true that the allegations against Mr. Thompson are pretty vulgar and scandalous (if you have that turn of mind) but so far charges have not been laid. Yet it is also true that Mr. Abbott is trying to turn Parliament into a kangaroo court and the execution room where death by public opinion is the sought means. His position goes from total disapproval of Fair Work Australia because it favours the unions, but a 100% acceptance of its findings against Thompson after a four year inquiry, during which while it was going on, he used the ongoing investigation as an example for how bad Fair Work Australia was.

You can’t make this stuff up.

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