Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Libya.

Good work comrades. Don't let them fuck it up.

"In this moment, only the mediocre in spirit could refuse to share in the pure joy inspired by this in every way compelling event"

French philosopher, Bernard-Henri Levi.

53 comments:

Alex said...

In that case, I guess I'm somewhat mediocre of spirit. I'm nervously looking at Tunisia and Egypt and thinking more "good fuckin' luck, commrades".

Meanwhile, I find myself listening more and more to Al Jazeera, just to avoid around-the-clock coverage of "The Craig Thomson Situation".

Perseus said...

Yes, hooray for Libyan people power. Perhaps all those people who yelled at me for suggesting Arabs and Muslims around the world should rise up against their overlords (I was apparently being 'racist') can now accept that violent Muslim terrorists and dictators are NOT representative of either the culture or religion, and need to be snuffed out in purges such as this Libyan one. Bring down the rest of them!

I have read that left-wing superman, Chavez, might be taking in Gadaffi. How will the Brunswick lefties feel about that?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Pers, I've found the Brunswick lefties tend to shuffle their feet and say "umm" a lot when you mention Chavez, these days.

Mr E Discharge said...

What a fabulous victory for the people. The people at Exxon, at Shell. at Texaco and especially the the people at BP, who, since 1934, have worked tirelessly to bring democracy to the Middle East. Well done all. On to Iran!

patchouligirl said...

Let's hope they don't replace him with something worse eh?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

The hole in your theory Mr E - and it's a bit of a biggie - is that the chaps from Exxon, Shell, Texaco and BP all had a very comfortable relationship with Gaddafi Regime.

The last thing they want is to have to deal with a lot of jittery idealists who now have access to rather a lot of impressive military hardware.

squib said...

I thought Mr E was being sarcastic and I second wot Patch said

Mr E Discharge said...

The hole in your theory Mr E - and it's a bit of a biggie - is that the chaps from Exxon, Shell, Texaco and BP all had a very comfortable relationship with Gaddafi Regime.

Since the nationalisation of the Libyan Oil Resource by Gaddafi in 1970, the major international Oil companies with exception of BP, have been forced to enter into joint venture with Libyas National Oil Corporation as the majority shareholder in most cases. Under this arrangement foreign companies are required the pay substantial royalties on every drop of oil extracted and heavy import duties on any equipment brought into the country.

NOC also exercises control over the local refining facilities and regulates the amount of product exported. Any foreign company doing business in Libyan does so strictly on Gaddafis terms.

The enormous revenue generated from this has funded thirty years of spectacular social and economic benefits for the Libyan people and major physical infrastructure, particularly Water Supply.

Under Gaddafi, the Libyan people had:

Unemployment benefits

Each family member was subsidized by the state annually $ 1,000

For every newborn was paid $ 7,000.

Zero taxes and levies.

Free Water.

Free Electricity.

Free Medical including Optical Dental and Prescription Medicine.

Free Education to Tertiary Level including fully funded Educational Internships overseas where required.

Opening a personal business was partly subsidized by the State.

Bank Loans at zero interest.

Petrol at Fourteen Cents per Litre.

And yes, Gaddafi used the opportunity to wildly enrich himself and those around him, and yes, he has made a total cunt of himself on the world stage more than once, in Libya he still has enormous popular support with good reason.

When and if a new regime is installed, the first thing that will happen is the dismantling of the NOC, removing the regulation and imposts on foreign operators. Open slather for the oil companies, nothing for the people of Libya.

Perseus said...

Unless you were from an ethnic minority or an opposition party, in which case, you received none of the above.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Up until 1990 Mr E, that might have been broadly true.

Since then, however, Gaddafi has engaged in a particularly odious crony capitalism (complete with idiotic schemes) that benefited the ordinary people of Libya not one iota.

Mr E Discharge said...

Unless you were from an ethnic minority or an opposition party, in which case, you received none of the above.

Entrenched tribalism is common within the Arab culture, Sadly.
So yes, some people may not have received their fair share. I live in a strong Labor Electorate.When Labor is in power I do better, when the libs are in power, not so well. Life. Could be worse, I could be Aboriginal.

Members of opposition parties under a Middle Eastern Dictatorship do less well than the general population?

No shit?, Sherlock!

Alex said...

When Labor is in power I do better, when the libs are in power, not so well

Argh, imagine forty years of unbroken Liberal rule. I think I'd be joining an armed uprising, too.

Mr E Discharge said...

Ramon,
A couple of questions if I may.

1:As a self-identified Socialist, do you feel that the people of Libya in general terms are better or worse off as a result of the Gaddafi Regime?

2:Are you confident that whatever regime is installed will improve the plight of the Libyan people to a similar degree to the first twenty years of the Gaddafi regime?

Personally, I'm not a big Gaddafi Fan, but the prospect of unfettered control by foreign interests worries me.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

As a self-identified Socialist, Mr E, I have no idea.

What I do know is that a brutal and corrupt tyrant has been overthrown by a popular revolt.

Alex said...

*Sort of on the topic of toppling leaders.*

Dearest Ramon (who is wise in all things political and Labor related),

For the last few days, all I hear from Australian news is "Is Gillard's position untenable? Will she step down? How long before she's dumped?" (Even "Russia Today" is sounding like a better place to go for news). I have two questions:

1) Is this really on the cards?
2) Isn't the primary objective of news services supposed to be telling people about things that are happening, as opposed to things that might possibly happen?

All words of wisdom greatly appreciated.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Good questions, Alex.

My response would be;

1) Buggered if I know

2) I've given up on political commentary in this country. More and more it resembles those annoying little dogs that bark all day at nothing.

"Yip, yip, yip, Gillard will be replaced by Peter Beatie...yip, yip, yip, no she'll be replaced by Kevin Rudd...yip, yip, yip, no she'll be replaced by some bloke I've just met down at the pub."

Ignore them all, that's my advice.

MG said...

I've given up on politics full stop in this country. The only thing that would get me interested a bit would be if Kev came back. For real.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

if Kev came back

Ain't gunna happen, Melbs.

Sorry.

I do have heaps more lemons, though.

Alex said...

A fantastic analogy and some sound advice, Mr Insertnamehere. But it may be difficult to follow, given that political opinion seemingly is the news, now. "ABC News24", for example, may as well rebrand itself "ABC Headlines+Speculation".

And Beatie as the great hope of anything is bloody depressing. I'm with you, Melba; I'm missing the (not so) old days of Kruddy v Manbull.

MG said...

Oooh, if you're offering Ramon. Should we have a beer and do a transfer? Anyone else interested?

With child chaperones or without?

I'd like to have an eyeball with Alex but methinks she's in another state. And I'd like to catch up with Perseus but I think he's cross with me. And Bob just runs away. Who else? Mr E hates me, so he's out. Plus I think he's not even in the country. Anyone else in Melbourne?

MG said...

Alex we hit publish at the same time.

In other news I bought Ms Hardy's book and read it in less than 24 hours. I liked it. Alot.

Mr E?

Alex said...

Queensland. So I guess that means no lemons for me.

And I'm going to resign myself to looking silly here and ask who Ms Hardy is?

Alex said...

Oh, Marieke, of course, never mind. What kind of book is it?

Kettle said...

I used to have a girl-crush on Marieke but I'm struggling with her since I watched a filming of 'First Tuesday Book Club.' I like what she's doing with the Women of Letters series but do you mean her book-book MG, as opposed to her edited collection?

And Ramon I'm dirty with you; you called me a flibberty gibbert (when I'm actually a prematurely old, melancholic thirty-something), you refuse to share your lemons with anyone who lives outside Melbourne and you didn't post a PSF today. Hmph.

Alex said...

What turned you off at the filming, Kettle?

Kettle said...

I'd always hoped she had fascinating and insightful things to say but due to time constraints on the show these were edited out... but over the two hours of filming I don't remember hearing her say anything that wasn't a one-sentence emotional response: "I didn't like it," "It was repetitive and annoying," none of which I felt were adequate for a commentator with such an audience.

MG said...

Kettle, book book vs edited collection. I don't know what you mean. It's essays and some have appeared partly in publications but I've not read said publications. It's not a novel and while a little slow in parts, in other parts was really good.

I don't watch book club show.

Alex, I knew it was QLD, shame.

Alex said...

C'mon Melbs, it ain't that bad up here.

Kettle said...

Melbs Marieke has released two books in the last month: You'll Be Sorry When I'm Dead and an edited collection of letters that have been presented at the Women of Letters talks. The link for the latter is here:

http://blog.booktopia.com.au/2011/08/31/women-of-letters-reviving-the-lost-art-of-correspondence-edited-by-marieke-hardy-and-michaela-mcguire/

Apologies for not HTMLing properly; too early for brain working proper.

MG said...

Didn't mean that Alex, but I think you know that? Meant shame you can't meet for lemons and beer.

Thanks Kettle, not so interested in the Women of Letters thing. What I really want from her is fiction but maybe she's not that type of writer.

I found her new website/blog too. It's brand new.

Alex said...

Yeah, I was just playing, MG. My policy against emoticons probably doesn't help here.

But you'd best post a link to that site. I'm sure Mr E will be dying to check it out, aye?

Kettle said...

I found her new website/blog too. It's brand new.

Ooh MG! You've got to post the address.

Melbourne Girl said...

I too am anti-emoticon. Actually this is fairly emoticon-free place, which is one of the reasons I like it here. That and the good spelling/grammar. Oh and the lemons.

http://mariekehardy.com/blog

Only a few posts and no comment facility. I have emailed her about that.

Mr E Discharge said...

Who else? Mr E hates me, so he's out. Plus I think he's not even in the country.

That's just so bloody typical, Melbs.
There was I thinking we'd settled our differences ages ago. But apparently not. For your information, I do not hate you. I think there's a lot of stuff we agree about, it's just that Marieke Hardy isn't one of them. I'm hoping Ms Hardy will stick to her writing in future and leave TV production to someone with talent and/or imagination.

I'd be happy to have a beer with you. Although plastic glasses might be a worthwhile precaution.

Alex, good call on RT. I watching their news on a regular basis, and while they do have an agenda running, at least they're up front about it. The ABC "24 hour News Channel" has fallen into the same trap as it's US counterparts, in that there isn't that much news available so they fill up the time with opinions about the news, then they discuss their opinions of those opinions, call in some experts to give a in depth analysis of the opinions of the opinions. Then they they go on Twitter to see what SpankyBoy69's opinion of the analysis of the opinions of the opinions are, but which time nobody can recall what the actual news item was in the first place. Rinse, Repeat. Ad Infinitum. Cunts.

Alex said...

Mr E, when News 24 launched I was anticipating hours and hours of in-depth stories from around the world - something a bit like what you get from Foreign Correspondent (or hell, even Global Village on SBS). I probably should have looked at how the channel was being funded first.

RT has a lot of what I would call "news junk food" too. I particularly enjoy listening to that Kaiser bloke who does the finance, even though I know I shouldn't.

Melbourne Girl said...

It's hard to know when you're being serious Mr E. Even in this recent comment. I wasn't being serious and I wouldn't have cared much if you did hate me but I am glad to hear you don't.

So you do live in Melbourne? I thought you were overseas for some reason.

Mr E Discharge said...

Alex,
My reaction at the time was "What the fuck are the ABC thinking, after year upon year of reduced funding and it's resultant impact on production of new content, in what universe does it make sense to spread what little production budget they have over three broadcast channels?".

I will admit that even the ABC in it's current sad state is better than no ABC at all, particularly in it's role as "employer of last resort" for people with names too silly to find gainful employment in the broader community, like Fenella Kernibone, Marieke Hardy and Amanda Duthie.

I share your ambivalence about "that Kaiser bloke". My Grandfather was badly wounded in the trenches in France, and try as I might, even given the passage of time , I can't find it in my heart to forgive the man ultimately responsible.

Mr E Discharge said...

Melbs,
Please don't take this the wrong way, but yes, I do live in Melbourne.

In fact I spend time each day at a cafe in Williamstown, dressed in black, sipping Lattes. Can you get much more Melbournian than that?

Yours in all Seriousness.

E.

Mr E Discharge said...

;)

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Cripes Kettle, I called you a flibberty gibbert yonks ago!

You hold a grudge like the Irish.

ABC 24 largely consists of journalists asking another journalist what all the other journalists are saying.

Melbourne Girl said...

It'd be more Melbourne if you were in Collingwood or Brunswick Mr E.

Why did I think you were an expat? You travel for work? I'm sure you've posted from foreign climes.

Mr E Discharge said...

It'd be more Melbourne if you were in Collingwood or Brunswick Mr E.

In Brunswick or Collingwood, I would be just A black wearing, latte sipping wanker. Willliamstown offers the tantalising prospect of being THE black wearing, latte sipping wanker. A very important distinction, wankerwise.

Why did I think you were an expat? You travel for work? I'm sure you've posted from foreign climes.

It's a Mr. E to me, I was living in the US up until 6 years ago, but the only reference i can recall making here was about my son watching 9/11 happen from an aircraft carrier in New York Harbour. So maybe that was it.

Melbourne Girl said...

True Mr E, why be one of the crowd?

I don't know where I got the overseas idea from but I am happy to know you are local in our number 1 city.

Alex said...

Nah, Mr E, in the "wanky artists" discussion we had you mentioned traveling the world, building custom electronics and stuff.

I remember, because I thought it sounded really friggin' cool.

Mr E Discharge said...

So Melbs.
A beer then? I too have Lemons.

Melbourne Girl said...

Okay but Ramon has to come too. And it has to wait until October because we're going away soon. Alright? Anyone else?

Mr E Discharge said...

Done!

Howza bout it Alex?

I'll chip in $100 towards the airfare.

Mr E Discharge said...

kettle?

Alex said...

That's incredibly generous, Mr E, but I couldn't, in good conscience, let you do that. There's really nothing I could do to make the value of my company justify you going to that expense (at a stretch, I might be worth about $4.50).

Besides, if anyone found out, I could lose my good standing with the creepy shut-ins society.

Kettle said...

I'd be up for that Mr E. I must warn you, though, I have no organic foodstuffs to share. I am, however, more than happy to buy a round of beer.

I have ado-ings transpiring in Melbourne later this year so let me know what date you all come up with.

Melbourne Girl said...

Kettle you let US know when you are coming down, I'm sure we can arrange around you.

Mr E Discharge said...

There's really nothing I could do to make the value of my company justify you going to that expense (at a stretch, I might be worth about $4.50).

You really need to work through some of your self esteem issues.

Offer stands.

Think it over.

Kettle said...

Fab - cheers Melbs. It may not be until the first week in November but I'll check in with you as soon as I know. I hope you all enjoy your lemons in the intervening weeks.