Monthly Archives: December 2020


Foco Nuevo in December 2020

Great night thanks to Sarah Calderwood, Paul Brandon and Jumping Fences (Sue Monk, Lachlan Hurse, James Harper and Ross Gwyther) … hopefully we can return to full Foco Nuevo concerts again soon. Kurilpa Hall is open for lunch on Thursdays … Continue reading


I like this Post-Truth critique by Andy Paine particularly his comment about tertiary education.

The recent government funding cuts to arts degrees in Australia are part of an attack on the idea of the university as a space dedicated to the abstract quest for knowledge. Governments like ours (and indeed, the hierarchies of many universities) see tertiary education as valuable only in as much as it supports economic acquisition. But if we want a society that values the truth, we need to support the pursuit of understanding for its own sake.”

What we need also is better organisation.

Ian Curr 
Workers BushTelegraph
M: 0407 687 016


We are living in the “post-truth” age. It’s a line repeated so many times in recent years it’s become a cliché. Hasn’t the truth always been a nebulous, subjective concept? Haven’t humans always told lies? It seems a bit short-sighted, even arrogant, to think there’s something unique about our current era.

Yet there is something particular about our time that deserves mention. A combination of the philosophical ideas of “post-modernism” that value a multiplicity of perspectives over the notion of one objective “truth”; and technological changes that encourage a subjective, individualised way of viewing the world. These have certainly impacted our culture in a way that has changed our relationship to “the truth” as an idea. Commercial and political interests have both used and extended these changes to make them a prominent part of public life.

In a great example of self-fulfilling prophecy, “post-modernism” is a term that seems to…

View original post 2,433 more words


2021: Best of All Worlds?

Oh babe, meet me in Tompkins Square Park I wanna hold you in the dark One last time Just one last time Mumford & Sons *** Warning *** In a post-truth world, this is not a happy Christmas story. There … Continue reading


Who owns Australia?

The foreign investment review board recently released data on the ownership of agricultural land in Australia. Some are shocked by the amount of land owned or leased by interests in China. However we need to look behind the facts to … Continue reading


Coles: fire this time?

This gallery contains 1 photos.

Hard words rangacross the factory floorJuan heard the sound of hatebitter words to injurea shout that sent the signalfor the war to come – ‘Brisbane Barrio’ by Jumping Fences Disparity between rich and poor is growing. Offshore wages are catching … Continue reading


Lytton Road is unsafe

This gallery contains 1 photos.

The roll-over of a truck on Lytton Road at the intersection with Colmslie Rd in early 2020 illustrates the danger of this roundabout (pictured), and the costs and disruption involved in emergency repairs. In 1992 a truck driver friend … Continue reading


Food Irradiation

This gallery contains 1 photos.

Why do Australia and New Zealand governments want the power to irradiate all fruit and vegetables? More trade, pure and simple. But what about human and animal health? Previously there was only one food irradiation plant at Narangba on the … Continue reading


Music and Revolution

Can the revolution tell the people what music to write? Well, no, of course not. So what is the relation of music to the revolution? Here is Humphrey McQueen’s take on it through the lens of Beethoven after 250 years. … Continue reading


Two more stupid towers in West End

This gallery contains 2 photos.

There seems to be a whole new way of looking at life and death here in Victoria Street. If you’re burned to death in Pymble, Redfern or Panania you’re an accident victim. If you’re burned to death in Victoria Street … Continue reading


Free the refugees by Xmas

This Friday evening, 5pm 18 Dec 20, Cnr Main & Warmsley St, Wooloongabba … Residents might want to avoid driving along Main St, Kangaroo Point after 5pm this Friday, as Refugee Action Collective are organising another protest against the ongoing indefinite detention … Continue reading


Extreme Weather: blowing fossils fuels away

Wind at Wello Point * Tweed River in flood * The road has turned into a waterfall in Dorrigo, NSW Wellington Point, Brisbane 12 Dec 2020 Tweed River Murwillumbah NSW 16 Dec 2020 Drone vision of the Tweed River, Murwillumbah, … Continue reading


Unions for Refugees

Unions for Refugees at the Kangaroo Point Refugee prison. They have closed the balcony and we can no longer see the men. Hopefully they could hear our voices. – P.M. There are a number of court cases going on atm … Continue reading


‘Sovereignty never ceded’

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Header image: That T – shirt I am wearing in the banner picture (at far left [where else] taken by Gordon Curtis in the 2012 May Day march in Brisbane) came out of “Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance” – WAR … Continue reading


No shortage of petrol in East Brisbane?

Soon there will be no fewer than eight (8) petrol stations within a kilometre of each other in East Brisbane ! The owners say that the proposed development ‘falls within the Brisbane City Council guidelines’. What kind of guidelines are … Continue reading


Chomsky’s Bad Dream

Noam Chomsky: Speculation of course, but I’ll indulge in a bad dream — which could become reality if we are not on guard, and if we fail to recognize that elections should be a brief interlude in a life of … Continue reading


Some Medevac refugees win fight for freedom

Congratulations to Refugee Solidarity Meanjin, Refugee Action Collective and Unions for Refugees in Brisbane for their sustained campaign to achieve the release of Medevac refugees. Please see reports below from Refugee Solidarity (Meanjin) and the ABC. – Ed., WBT. __oOo__ … Continue reading

Vale Mungo MacCallum

Lean and Nosey like a Ferret – Mungo Wentworth MacCallum: December 21, 1941 – December 9, 2020

The first and possibly last time I saw Mungo in the flesh was at the Abel Smith Lecture theatre at the University of Queensland in the early 1970s. We were born on the same day, only 9 years separate us. Although I may have seen him once after that at the Poinciana cafe in Mullumbimby which he used to frequent in more recent times. Mungo represented an age when Labor-in-government was a party of modest reform rather than the reactionaries that grace government benches these days. That was Whitlam era politics.

The day I saw Mungo he was giving political commentary on Vietnam, Keynesian economics, capitalism, the Prime Minister ‘Big Ears’ Billy McMahon. While Mungo spoke at length on the ‘bible bashing’ bastard Bjelke-Peterson Bruce Petty was keeping up by drawing on a long piece of transparent film that rolled speedily across an overhead projector. They had us in tears of laughter. Mungo and Bruce kept us transfixed for over 90 minutes. Mungo was a self-confessed ‘class traitor‘ having given up on the rich and powerful and gone over to the side of the underdog. Mungo was born into the squattocracy, the impecunious distant offspring of the aristocratic Wentworth family.

“Gough Whitlam is remembered more for the agony of the dismissal than for the many great achievements his government wrought in a mere three years,” wrote Mungo MacCallum. At first he thought Whitlam to be a snob but changed his mind.

Our first meeting changed my mind completely; I was won over to lifelong Whitlamolatry. In place of the sinister manipulator I had half expected I found an amiable, funny and rather shy man desperately eager to explain his plans to transform the smug backwater from the Menzies years into a model for the rest of the world. In those days the idea that Australia could take any kind of leading role beyond sport was breathtaking, yet Whitlam seemed to find it entirely possible if a meticulously prepared program of public education and overdue social change could be carried out – and, as he outlined it all 35 years ago, there seemed no good reason why it should not. Certainly, in the rapidly changing times of the late 60s it was a cause worth embracing, and embrace it I did.”

Nation Review, 20-september-1973, Gay Pride week

Mungo and Michael Leunig were a formidable combination at the Nation Review (the ferret) funded by millionaire Gordon Barton. Barton later funded the Australia Party, a small ‘l’ offshoot of the Liberal Party that later morphed into the Australian Democrats under the leadership of Don Chipp who was a minister during the Menzies era. The left of the Democrats finally found a home in the Australian Greens after their leader supported Howards regressive tax, the GST. Mungo famously called Howard ‘an unflushable turd‘ when he became Prime Minister in 1996.

With Mungo’s passing goes an age of journalism which was courageous and irreverent, if not entirely independent. After Nation Review Mungo ‘free lanced’ for Fairfax and Murdoch to earn a living.

On libel cases, Mungo’s particular forte, the law is absurd. Mungo said that every time you mentioned a person’s name or sometimes when you didn’t, it was possible to be successfully sued. Here he gave an example of a satirical piece he wrote in The Australian on a Brisbane police porn raid, where a certain Sonnavover, Ug and Og who communicated in grunts were featured — three Brisbane policemen threatened to sue under grounds that they were clearly identified.

On Bjelke-Petersen’s consciousness, Mungo wrote:

“The choice is, it’s between our system, everything that’s made Queensland what we are, and them, the others, the downhill road to socialism and communism, make no mistake about it, and my goodness, we don’t want that, do we, for democracy to be destroyed all that is necessary is for good people to remain silent, remember that …”

MacCallum saw himself as a ‘romantic Fabian socialist’.

Vale Mungo.

Condolences to his family, friends and readers, a new age is upon us.

Ian Curr
12 Dec 2020


Ban Food Irradiation

It is well over 30 years since LeftPress printed leaflets that cautioned people against food irradiation. The campaign to stamp it out continues. Why is it taking so long for food companies and governments to get the message provided by … Continue reading


Secrets, Privacy & Collateral Murder

“I supported the war from day one, but Afghanistan scares the hell out of me.” – Kevin Rudd, 6 Jan 2008. Prime Minister of Australia speaking to United States Congressional delegation led by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD)and Minority … Continue reading


Bring Julian home Facebook live tonight


Make West Papua safe

6 years on: Remembering the Paniai massacre 11am 08 December 2020  Australian Federal Police offices MELBOURNE and BRISBANE 383 La Trobe St, Melbourne   |   45 Commercial Rd, Newstead, Brisbane West Papuan community rally / funeral rites   Media contacts: … Continue reading


Politics of Forgetting

Politics of Forgetting: New Zealand, Greece and Britain at War Greece was a poor country in turmoil and pain during the 1940s. A military dictatorship was followed by invasion and terrifying occupation by Germany and its allies, starvation, civil war, … Continue reading


Save Brisbane’s Maritime Museum

This gallery contains 1 photos.

The maritime museum looks in a bad way. The old Forceful can no longer go to sea. One member of the museum says: “No doubt the museum has been run by enthusiasts who did pretty well and worked selflessly – … Continue reading


Parliamentary Hyprocrisy on ‘Rule 303’

Welcome to the Paradigm Shift on FM 102.1 4ZZZ Fridays at noon. We challenge the assumptions of our current society, to resist oppression … DECEMBER 4, 2020 Following the release of the Brereton report into war crimes committed by the … Continue reading


Hiroshima Day – end of march ban

Various anti-uranium groups like CANP applied for and were denied march permits by police from 1977 till 1979. At the same time opposition to uranium mining and export was so strong that groups that challenged the march ban and the … Continue reading


A Book of Doors Launch

I am doing a Zoom book event for A Book of Doors with Avid Reader on Monday 7 Dec, 6.30-7.30pm. My editor Edwina Shaw who also edited Bjelke Blues will be interviewing me online. There will be an introduction and welcome to … Continue reading


Paper Chained – callout for writings/art


No Extradition! Bring Julian Home!

On Wednesday December 9, Julian Assange’s father John Shipton, will talk at a webinar in Brisbane about the Assange along with Assange supporter Ciaron O’Reilly and Greg Barns SC, Adviser Assange Campaign.  You can join the webinar here NO EXTRADITION: BRING … Continue reading


Scapegoats of Empire?

This gallery contains 2 photos.

No chance had he to win the cross of honourNo mighty empire echoed with his nameHe did not leave a record, kindly, helpful,A pure untarnished name– Poem on gravestone of Gnr. L. M. Juster who died of wounds in France … Continue reading


Returning to the ‘Scene of the Crime’

In 2014, our friends Greg Rolles, Tim Webb. Sam Quinlan, and Dave Sprigg were brutally assaulted by SAS soldiers on Swan Island, a highly secretive training base off the coast of Victoria. They were hooded, stripped naked, threatened with rape … Continue reading