‘No worries’: Carr unconcerned about NSA spying


Senator The Hon Bob Carr (Labor NSW) Official Portrait 16 March 2012

news Australia’s Foreign Minister Bob Carr said over the weekend that he “wouldn’t think” Australians had anything to be concerned about in relation to the NSA Internet spy scandal which engulfed the United States last week, despite the fact that the issue appears to exclusively relate to NSA access to foreigners’ data on US cloud computing servers.

Late in the week, UK newspaper the Guardian published classified documents created by the agency, which stated that the NSW was able to gain “direct access” to the servers of companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo and Skype. The access allowed US officials to collect information including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats.

Subsequently, the New York Times reported that the US Government had used the system to collect information on non-US citizens overseas for nearly six years. The revelation of the move has caused outrage, amongst the general public as well as those specifically interested in digital rights and privacy online.

However, speaking on Ten’s Meet the Press program over the weekend (the full transcript is available online here in PDF format), Australia’s Foreign Minister Bob Carr appeared to display a lack of concern about the issue.

“Would Australians’ information – obviously they use the big technology companies that have been handing over data to the National Security in America – should Australians be concerned that their data could have been spied on?” the Foreign Minister was asked. “I wouldn’t think so,” replied Carr.

The Foreign Minister said the NSA controversy needed to be assessed in the context of the United States striving to meet the balance between the demands of security in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and the demands of privacy. “There’s no country that takes the rights of its citizens more seriously than with America, with that focus,” said Carr, “through its Bill of Rights and its Supreme Court, on where individuals stand in relationship to Government.”

Carr said although the US would always struggle to get the balance right, in the end the country had a lively political system, with various politicians standing up with a strong voice for the rights of its citizens. When it was pointed out to the Foreign Minister that the NSA issue related exclusively to foreign citizens, Carr said he would need to get advice on the issue. “This controversy has got a long way to go in America,” he said. “… We’ll examine carefully any implications in what has emerged for the security and privacy of Australians.”

In the wake of the revelation, Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Greens Senator and Communications Spokesperson Scott Ludlam have demanded answers from the governments of Australia and the US, in relation to the scandal.

“Australians will be very troubled by the allegation in The Guardian and The New York Times that the US National Security Agency is engaged in large scale, covert surveillance of private data belonging to non-US citizens held by American companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Youtube,” said Turnbull in a statement last week.

“I think Australians have always understood data housed on US servers is subject to US laws such as the Patriot Act, but the Guardian story about the so-called PRISM programme suggests there is extensive surveillance and interception of foreign citizens’ data without a court order and indeed without the knowledge of the internet companies themselves.”

Turnbull said he had “raised the matter with the US Government’s representatives in Australia and sought clarification”.

“These reports have potentially very significant commercial implications,” the Liberal MP said. “There is a massive global trend to cloud services. The vast majority of the cloud service providers are US companies. These companies have, with US Government support and endorsement, been promoting their services globally, and have sought to allay concerns that data hosted by them would have less privacy protection than it would in Australia.”

“Today’s reports elevate those concerns to an even higher level especially since it has been alleged that foreign-owned data hosted by US Internet companies has lesser protection than data belonging to US citizens.”

Similarly, Ludlam called upon the Australian Government to disclose whether or not it had access to private information on Australian citizens using the so-called PRISM program mentioned in the reports by the Guardian and the New York Times. “A number of the tech companies are denying that they’ve ever heard of PRISM or that US intelligence agencies have installed ‘backdoors’ in their servers,” Ludlam said in a statement last week.

“Australians use these services to the point of ubiquity. Does the Australian Government believe it is appropriate that the US intelligence agencies appear to be engaged in warrantless realtime surveillance of the entire online population? Does the Australian intelligence community have access to this material? And is this the reason the Attorney Generals Department have been so insistent that Australian ISPs institute a two-year data retention regime?”

“This is a major example of the important role whistleblowers play, and it is unfolding with the trial of whistleblower Bradley Manning under way in the United States, and just one day before the anniversary of the publication of George Orwell’s 1984. It wasn’t intended to be an instruction manual,” Ludlam concluded. The Senator has filed a number of pertinent questions on the issue with the Attorney-General’s Department.

Other Australian organisations are also actively questioning to what extent Australian data has been caught up in the NSA’s collection points.

“As the world continues to learn the full extent of spying and surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA) in the United States, questions must be asked as to whether Australians have been caught up in the surveillance,” the Pirate Party Australia said in a statement issued over the weekend. “Australians have a right to know if and under what terms any Australian intelligence agencies may also have been involved in the PRISM program and whether their personal information has been compromised or surreptitiously accessed by foreign intelligence agencies.”

“It is presently unclear whether Australian intelligence agencies have had access to the information collected by the NSA under intelligence sharing agreements.”

In addition, Electronic Frontiers Australia has also raised its voice on the issue. “While it’s … unclear at this point exactly how the PRISM program is accessing data, it does appear to be clear that this represents the largest mass surveillance scheme in history,” the organisation’s executive director Jon Lawrence wrote in a statement last week.

“The Guardian has also revealed that the UK’s signals intelligence agency, GCHQ, has been receiving information gathered through the PRISM program about British citizens. Given the close working relationship between Australian and US intelligence agencies, it is therefore reasonable to presume that Australian intelligence agencies have also been receiving information gathered through the PRISM program about Australian citizens.”

“If this is true, it represents an outrageous affront to the privacy and civil liberties of all Australians, and the Australian government must inform the Australian people about what they knew of these surveillance activities. It is not acceptable to hide behind the standard line that the government does not ‘comment on national security and intelligence capabilities’, which has been the Attorney-General’s initial response.”

Coming in the wake of the revelations about ASIC’s inept actions to block scam websites, resulting in some 251,000 ‘innocent’ websites also being blocked, and the imminent release of a report from the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, which is expected to recommend the introduction of mandatory retention of internet and telecommunications data affecting all Australians, internet freedom and privacy are under possibly the greatest threat ever in Australia.

Simply incredible that Bob Carr would take such a blase` attitude towards this issue, when virtually every other side of politics and every other online rights and privacy organisation globally has reacted with outrage to the news that the NSA has backdoor access to US-based cloud computing servers. This is not the small issue that Carr seems to think it is — it goes right to the heart of how anyone in the world uses the Internet, and the governments of the US, UK and Australia need to come completely clean on this issue immediately.

I think we can all agree that what is going on here with respect to the NSA is just not good enough, and the Australian Government needs to immediately disclose its involvement in the issue.

I mean … I could be wrong, but doesn’t the Australian Government have a pretty fundamental responsibility to protect its citizens from this kind of massively intrusive activity on the part of foreign governments? How would the Australian Government react if it had been found that China had this kind of backdoor access to all of our data stored overseas? It’s time that Australian Governments started insisting on the basic rights of Australians with respect to their treatment by the United States; and not just ponying up whenever Washington wants another free ride. Carr could at least commit to asking the question of the US authorities — which the Coalition has already done. If the Foreign Minister won’t do even that much … then he doesn’t deserve the title.

Image credit: Office of Bob Carr


  1. Totally agree with your assessment.

    I think people’s patience with politicians from both of the major parties on issues like this is wearing pretty thin.

    • …and lets not forget that Bobby C is a self proclaimed yankophile… not just a Civil War history nerd then, it also runs to rolling over and presenting his sorry bony butt to Uncle Sams surveillance probes while simultaneously ejecting Assanges and assorted other annoying antiyanksters…

  2. Isn’t this kind of foreign power surveillance *exactly* the reason why companies like Huawei have been prevented from involvement in the NBN (whether justified or not)?

    You can’t have two different rules (though, of course, politicians will dance until they drop to ensure that’s exactly what happens).

  3. The line I love is the “You have nothing to fear is you are doing nothing wrong” line.

    Which is funny because fear is a terrorist’s weapon of choice.

    So in fact we do have something to fear even if we are doing nothing wrong as terrorists target the innocent.

    Stupid statement to say.

    Or are those that use the line assuming everyone is not innocent?

    Challenge: I will write an app that will log everything you do on the internet and automatically upload it for all to see.

    Come on cowards. Step right up. If you are doing nothing wrong you have nothing to fear.

    • “Come on cowards. Step right up. If you are doing nothing wrong you have nothing to fear.”

      I will step right up on 14th September.

      • “I will step right up on 14th September.”

        You’ll be voting for a party that endorses spying? Great. You wont mind my app being installed on your devices then.

    • If I’m doing nothing wrong, there is no reason to spy on me… unless “innocent until proven guilty” is another safeguard thrown out the window. Which various governments would like to do… to us.

      • Actually you aren’t just an annoying old fart. You are also wrong but I tried once to convince a Christian that they were wrong and that was futile as well. I now accept that the elderly and infirm have an opinion and much as I may disagree they have that right.

  4. Carr like all our current Govt members, are just U.S. puppets, much like mainstream media in AU who have given this SFA coverage and only the ABC todate has even hinted at the ramifications for non -U.S. citizens.

    And it is to Carrs advantage to say ” nothing to fear” since Au is part of the eyes of 5, they would be privy to this information, its how AU spies, likey spy on aussies without a specific law or Act that permits them to, which we know would be the downing of any government who enacted such an en-mass law.

    I have in the past 24 hours given advice to no less than 6 small businesses who have asked me about where is safe to host their business mail, all intent on moving away from gmail.

    My response was to recommend 2 hosting companies here in AU, or if they must give their aussie dollar to foreigners, to Germany, where such actions have been challenged and already ruled unconstitutional.

  5. Why do politicians from the major parties want us to vote for small parties and independents? Everything they do on both sides makes me think they don’t want our vote.

  6. It’s not really a surprise Carr takes this attitude given the government he is part of wants to do much the same here. The Attourney General wants to force ISPs to log every phone call made and received, every email sent and received and every web site visited by every Australian. Add to that the government’s efforts to limit free speech, limit freedom of the press and limit the web sites we can access and you have a government we should all be very concerned about.

    The mainstream media seems to have picked up on PRISM but they’re completely ignoring our government’s version of the same thing. It’s about time that changed.

  7. Barbrady: Move along – Nothing to see here.

    Carr needs to gain some IQ points before he surpasses Barbrady.

  8. The reason Carr is blase and offhand is that he is cunning enough to know we should never believe anything until it is officially denied. “Wouldn’t think” covers his approach nicely – he doesn’t care what US spies capture because he gets his views from there… his well-known admiration for all things US is approaching idolatry. Can’t wait to see the last of him (in a ministerial position); even the feckless seat-warmer Julie Bishop is to be preferred.

    • Thank goodness you said something that gives me hope for the future. Let me tell you a little story.

      I once went to visit the client who is a dentist and next door to his office, the local electoral organisation had set up their own office in the lead up to the 2007 election. I thought he is an opportunity to vote early, since it was three weeks out to not already made up my mind who I was going to vote for.

      As I approached the door I was put upon by at least three old Farts and I suspect their wives, waving liberal how to vote cards in my face. I was polite, as I always am but pointed out to them that perhaps they should think fairly seriously about their vote, rather than vote as they always had done because the difference between thinking voter and a Liberal voter is that one thinks and the other is a Liberal.

      One old fart, in a tartan tie lambasted me for voting labor, which in fact I was not doing, I was actually voting for the Greens for no other reason than I could.

      The fact that my vote is secret is quite important to me. I will vote for who I want to vote for when I want to vote for them-but each election I sit down and consider the options carefully, before voting to any party that has as its leader an abbott and a bishop, the policies of both being driven by an archbishop in Sydney.

      I firmly believe there is a place of the church in the overall scheme of things but it is not in politics. If one is to read the news recently one would find that there are quite a few questions raised about the nature of Catholics especially their interaction with children and why a political party would want to be led by or guided by such a structure escapes me.

      I strongly approve of your use of the word “feckless” in the same sentence as the word “bishop”.

      Please note for the pedants; all un-capitalisation is my own.

  9. One reason for Carrs attitude is that the Australian Government wnats to do the same thing here and if we worried about the USA then we would worry about the Australian Government plans.

  10. Well, what do you say hey? Carr and Hawke have both been tied to supplying the US with information about what the ALP government, both state and federally, had been doing for years and Carr has the gall to besmirch Assange.

    Now he is quite happy to ignore the spying by US intelligence on Australian people.

    This bloke doesn’t care. He wasn’t elected by the people so therefore thinks he can do what he wants.

    Come Sept 14 the ALP is gone in my eyes. Bribes, theft and fraudulent use of union monies, creating class warfare, ignoring the peoples wishes and not to forget amassing a huge debt for no return is what this government will be remembered for.

    If i spied on Carr’s emails and web usage i would be going to jail. PERIOD.

    How then is the US intelligence communities actions any different?

    • If i spied on Carr’s emails and web usage i would be going to jail. PERIOD.

      How then is the US intelligence communities actions any different?

      US intelligence officers swear an oath of allegiance to uphold the US Constitution and carry out their duties under the direction of their superiors who ultimately answer to the POTUS and Congress.

      If you spied on Carr’s emails in your private capacity, you’re just a trouble-making, nosy snoop and deserve to be locked up. PERIOD.

      • So your telling me Congress knew about it? If you have been keeping up with the story (which i doubt), the intelligence community in the US go through a secret closed court with no accountability to anyone nor transparency.

        People have details in their emails which may include dates of birth, financial details, political views and lots more, something i know myself and a lot of others would not be happy with the intelligence arm knowing.

        Lets not forget the fact they are spying. In wartime (which the US is currently in) you get executed for that type of stuff, hell, the US has executed plenty of people for doing what they themselves are doing.

        But hey, if your happy for someone to know everything about your life then just publish it on Facebook and don’t cry about it when it comes back to bite you on the butt.

        Countries in the past have gone to war for a lot less, just ask Bush and Co.

        As for Carr, he has already shown his bias and his unwillingness to help Australians out unless they are drug couriers, the blokes a worm and parasite on Australian politics.

      • I’m afraid I have to agree…

        Like the coalition, nobody remembers the global financial crisis that Australia survived. Nobody remembers the pensions increases done by Labor, no one remembers that no jobs were lost.

        Unfortunately however, I have to agree that in September Labor will be gone and will be replaced by the aforementioned feckless Bishop/Abbott/Pell triumvirate, and then will suffer 15 years of their excesses and then this moronic electorate will put Labor back in.

        What’s the weather like in Nauru?

  11. I thought these companies (Apple, Google, etc) were Irish companies? That’s where they (don’t) pay tax. I wonder what the Irish government position is on spying on their citizens?

  12. Either Mr Carr doesn’t understand fundamental basics of US law and foreign policy, or he’s disingenuously obfuscating by misdirecting the topic claiming the US has constitutional protections of privacy. Yes, US citizens have some pretty strong constitutional protections, but they don’t apply to foreigners in any way. The US constitution is utterly irrelevant in this context and has no place in the discussion. Statements like this are the perfect way to make a bad situation for someone only related to you at arms length into a very nasty situation for you directly. A few more idiotic moves like this will see the ALP directly associated with this issue, particularly with their pretty shocking recent history on privacy.

    You know, the sickening fact is I wonder if the NBN and stronger commitment to public welfare is worth giving the ALP another term. Then I remember the alternative is the LNP and their history of flagrant, unapologetic dishonesty, and their history on privacy during Howard term, capitulating to Bush’s every whom – the LNP will try to spin this like they are a better alternative, but the facts demonstrate this is not the case, unfortunately. The only answer seems to be commitment to parties like the Pirate Party and Free Party Australia – while I am enough of a realist to recognise the futility of hoping for a fringe party to gain enough seats to be effective, it remains the only logical course of action.

    • Better the devil you know. As far as i concerned the ALP rank as Satan so far and the LNP a minor minion. I agree with your view on parties like the Pirate party and what not but they shoot themselves in the foot with some pretty stupid and way out there policies. I’d only be going backwards and most certainly downhill with the Greens and current Independents.

      My mind is made up on economic stability, something the LNP handled well but the ALP have totally trashed.

      LNP left us with a surplus and no debt, ALP left us with no surplus and a massive debt.

      Doesn’t take a genius to figure out who is more credible in the economic stakes.

      • Rex, that is the typically simplistic view that is so wrong with political debate in this country.

      • “LNP left us with a surplus and no debt, ALP left us with no surplus and a massive debt.
        Doesn’t take a genius to figure out who is more credible in the economic stakes.”

        Possibly not, but it does apparently take someone smarter than you.

        If you really understood the ‘economic stakes’ you’d also know that only amongst Abbott-lovers is this debt seen as a problem. Internationally, we still have nine “A”s credit rating, and there’s only a dozen or so countries that can say that. Apparently, the rest of the world think that our economy is in very good condition. Perhaps you can explain to us why they can’t see this problem, when it is so clear to you.

        • The biggest issue is not the debt, but the rate at which it is accumulating especially in Wayne Swans words a “good economic climate”.

          If it was a good economic climate why are we accumulating debt so quickly?

      • “LNP left us with a surplus and no debt, ALP left us with no surplus and a massive debt.”

        I’d assume you were joking, except your tone left no room for sarcasm. If you honestly believe that you have no business voting, let alone sharing your idiotic opinion. The LNP under Howard oversaw Government during the biggest global economic boom in history. Taking credit for Australian economic prosperity during that period is analogous to a sports fan crediting a win by his team of choice to his wearing of lucky pants on match day. Not that this stopped the LNP or even the UKs New Labour in their 2008 elections – it was actually amazing how similar the rhetoric was between the two parties on the same subject.

        If the LNP had done a ‘good’ job of economic management they wouldn’t have deregulated the local financial markets to the point where lenders were offering 110% no doc loans. Whoever thinks that is ever a good idea needs their head examined (they certainly shouldn’t be in charge of regulation or even the creation of financial products). What the GFC taught us was unregulated capitalism results in wholesale exploitation of the system to maximise personal profit at any cost. Even now, the people that caused the problems, the people and companies that benefitted the most from it have not been penalised or prosecuted for their role in destabilising worldwide confidence in financial markets or the effect it had on the book value of economies and the companies that constitute them.

        Conversely the ALP response to the GFC was proactive, appropriate and led to internal economic stability that avoided a major economic crisis. Do you know what causes economic collapse? Uncertainty and fear. When people are afraid that the institutions they have entrusted with their money will lose it, they panic and demand it back (either to be transferred somewhere they consider ‘safer’ (or something like gold) or in cash, so it’s removed from the system entirely. Lots of people panicking like that (wholesale crash in confidence) causes a run on the banks. Because banks lend between 8 and 11 times more money than they have in actual currency, a run on a bank will cause it to collapse because it can’t pay everyone. Once one bank falls, confidence across the market plummets, causing runs on all the other banks. This destabilises your currency, propelling it into hyperinflation. Your economy collapses, the currency is worthless, no one has any money to pay anyone for anything, it is impossible to place a meaningful value on anything, with zero confidence in anything that could be considered a currency no one can work, no one manufactures anything, even food production ceases. The economy and the country grind to a shuddering halt.

        That is economic mismanagement. That could have happened to Australia quite regardless of our mining ties with China, because plummeting consumer confidence could have caused a collapse from within. What the ALP did was the polar opposite of that – they talked up consumer and market confidence, they injected cash into the economy, but most importantly they guaranteed the safety of everyone’s money held in the banks. This guarantee eliminated the purpose for withdrawing money from the system – your money was just as safe in the bank as it was in your hand. That ensured the stability of the banks which ensured the overall stability of the loan environment (because fortunately the LNP hadn’t quite managed to deregulate international trade of financial loan products, so we were insulated against the worst of the international sub-prime mortgage collapse). There was still a lot of local loan defaulting which could have been avoided had local regulation not been so relaxed by bullish LNP deregulation policy, but overall the ALP did the best they could do in a terrible situation, and their best happened to be a sterling bit of economic management.

        Had the LNP been in power we know from their statements at the time that they didn’t support the measures the Government took, so if they hadn’t figured out some other way to arrest collapsing consumer confidence to save the banks (and I can tell you that internationally no one came up with a better plan, or even an alternative one that worked) then our economy would have collapsed.

        In times of economic instability stimulus spending is necessary, even mandatory. You save your surplus from the good years so you have cash reserves to bail the country out in when the bubble goes bust. But again, the LNP didn’t leave us with large cash reserves, they spent all their surpluses, even when they were generated by short term boosts from sale of assets (read: privatisation of public infrastructure).

        If you want to talk about economic mismanagement, take a look at the budgets during the Howard years, where the surpluses came from, at what cost to the country long term, where that money was spent. Take a look at what the LNP said publicly during the worst of the GFC. Do some reading of non-right-wing economists on ALP fiscal management. You want good economic management of the country? Don’t put the LNP back in control.

        • Yo Trev,

          Paul J Keating just called. He wants credit back for his crowning achievement of floating the Aussie dollar and deregulating the Australian financial system during his years as Treasurer in the Hawke-Keating era.

          laugh my a– off

          • +1

            Ah Trev baby, you actually might want to see what the iron ore price was over the last 6 years before sprouting so much horsesh*t. Iron is still selling at double the rate it was when Howard got booted! Coal is slighly higher then at the same time as well. Tell me again which gov is the bigger waster????

            Apart from two years (the height of the GFC), Labor has taken in more governmnet revenue than ever. This financial year they’ll take in close to 100 billion more than Howard did in his last budget! Though Swan keeps saying that government revenue is falling?????


            Not only is Swan incompetent, like his red haired boss, he’s a liar!

          • Australia’s leading libertarian and centre-right blog…?

            Wow it’s all becoming clearer, as to why you guys are here :/

          • It’s irrespective where those graphs came from, they are the actual treasury figures!

        • Just a few small corrections.

          There have been no large issues with low doc loans in Australia. The major issue stemming from low – doc loans has been the purchase of derivative (classically CDO’s) by investors thinking that they were AAA rated products. This arose from two major factors in the US (note: Not Australia); 1. deregulation of the financial markets so that mortgage debt could be onsold, 2. A push by the Clinton administration to extent loans to the lower socio-economic groups in the US backed by the threat of legislation.

          There was already a deposit guarantee in place before the ALP implemented one in 2007. The main issue was it had remained unchanged nominally for many years and was seen as too low at $10,000. The ALP monumentally screwed up and set an unlimited guarantee which then severly distorted financial markets in favour of the big 4 banks. Even at $1,000,000 this covers a lot of retail and institutional investments instead of purely depositors as a guarantee should. (Just as a heads up your capitalisation ratio’s are too low for banks, at the height of the GFC they were more like 30-40).

          “Had the LNP been in power we know from their statements at the time that they didn’t support the measures the Government took, so if they hadn’t figured out some other way to arrest collapsing consumer confidence to save the banks (and I can tell you that internationally no one came up with a better plan, or even an alternative one that worked) then our economy would have collapsed.”

          I know distorting the truth is an accepted tactic, but seriously? The statement by the LNP was that the cash payments in the stimulus package would have been sufficient. This is clearly demonstrated in economic data from the ABS. There is one quarter of negative growth during which cash payments are given out by ATO. After that it can take upto two years for the rest of the stimulus packages to BEGIN. Effective. Targeted. Efficient.

          “In times of economic instability stimulus spending is necessary, even mandatory. You save your surplus from the good years so you have cash reserves to bail the country out in when the bubble goes bust.”

          If that is what you believe that can you please explain to me why it is necessary to be running such strongly expansionary fiscal policy? We have the same level of expansionary fiscal policy as if we had a recession but we have 2-3% GDP growth. The economy is growing, revenue is growing but there is no plan to reduce expenses from stimulus levels except to wait for revenues to out grow them.

          “In times of economic instability stimulus spending is necessary, even mandatory. You save your surplus from the good years so you have cash reserves to bail the country out in when the bubble goes bust. But again, the LNP didn’t leave us with large cash reserves, they spent all their surpluses, even when they were generated by short term boosts from sale of assets (read: privatisation of public infrastructure).”

          But just to go back a step in economic theory, Keynesian models when expanded to include an international sector and a floating exchange rate have shown that stimulus spending loses effectiveness very quickly and it is much better to let the monetary policy do the heavy lifting.

      • I am forced to agree with most of the respondents, Rex. the points you raise have a place in an LNP party room, but amongst thinking voters they wouldn’t hold up long. If you believe that the only thing a government is for is having surpluses, so long as you truly believe it then you are merely held back in your development.

        If you have any grasp at all of economics, you will know that Australia is the only country in the world after Norway with five Triple-A ratings. Not a single Triple-A rating was achieved under a Liberal government. Not a single Triple-A rating was maintained under a Liberal government. Every single Triple-A rating that Australia has is the result of Labor practices/policies in an environment of huge change, including the GFC etc.

        Now we see Peter rAbbott backtracking the NBN so that will work for today. Again, were you to suffer any clarity of thought, and I really don’t expect that, you would think back to the days of the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Again, a Labor undertaking, with a population in Sydney of around about 60,000, and less than 20,000 cars on the road, a labor government put six lanes on the bridge +2 lanes for trains.

        A Liberal government, at the same time wanted to put three horse-drawn ferries in.

        It is quite tough I understand, trying to keep up with the mildly intellectual who tend to hang about here, but as in many situations better to be silent and thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.

  13. There was a time when I have a lot of respect for Bob Carr. I have always considered him to be one of those people who have the capacity of the got older, to become an elder statesman, much in the way of Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke.

    Not any more.

    • I hate it when I push “Post”, by voice. Apologies for that. To restate-

      There was a time when I had a lot of respect for Bob Carr. I have always considered him to be one of those people who had the capacity, as they got older, to become an elder statesman – much in the way of Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke.

      Not any more

  14. So I’m under surveillance from a country that I can be extradited to for breaking laws I have no say in the creation of….

    Sounds perfectly legit to me.

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