Dual Loyalty

As writers and bloggers are so fond of saying; you couldn't make it up. You don't cross the Iron Curtain and come out without scars ...
· Jozef Imrich, Survivor of the Iron Curtain Crossing

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Calling all NSW Parliamentary Library staff from the good old days when Dr Cope was in charge (1962 - 1991), when going to Stack meant an encounter with the lovely Arthur, to the bindery with Wally and Brian, when we tried to stay awake as Richard enthused about gov. pubs as part of our initiation, when internal memos were as simple as 'Missing Foodstuffs overnight', when Neville Wran told me at one Christmas party that 'The Library was the most efficient service in Parliament', when Franca and Greig conversed in Italian, when David, Greig and Brian Vaughan had their tete a tetes (what were they talking about ?), when we had our own Brazilian cowboy on staff and when Dr Cope donned his white Cocktail jacket we knew it was party time - and that's what it's time to do - to party...well at least to get together and share our memories.... (Ring 02 92302111)

Dr RLC - Cope
[ Image by Don McPhedran taken at the NSW Parliamentary Library circa 14 days and 5 years after MD birthday Title Russell Cope, New South Wales Parliamentary Librarian 1962-, at his desk Date of Work - 02 May 1963 ]

As the friendliest and considerate President in my time in NSW Parliament, Johno Johnson, noted: In 1991 Dr Russell Cope, the Parliamentary Librarian, concluded 40 years of meritorious service Dr Cope is one of those living treasures that few institutions have


The publications of Dr Russell Cope in New South Wales began to shape an ethos of excellence in parliamentary librarianship at the beginning of the decade, and helped alert and unite practitioners Australasian Parliamentary Libraries - History

Everybody's Free to Play in the Bear Pit or a Sandpit Strangers in the House
You did not have to be mad or CW to survive at NSW Parliament House but it helped ;-) Time and again we've seen strange examples of parliamentary bureaucracy. My former boss, Dr R.L. Cope, has worked in the parliamentary environment for 40 years and provides this amazing summary of parliamentary culture. Culture of a Parliamentary Bureaucracy - Can fiction be fact? A Note

Russell Cope might not qualify as The noblest Roman of them all!", but he
certainly will rank as one of the outstanding librarians that this country has produced, and undoubtedly the doyen of Parliamentary librarians of this generation . We often hear the throw-away line "You are a Gentleman and a Scholar" offered as a frivolous, but sincere expression of appreciation, to a person who would probably have difficulty in satisfying either criterion . In the case of Dr Cope, both meanings are entirely applicable : those of us who have had the pleasure and privilege to be associated with him, are thankful of the
opportunity of sharing a small part of the stage of Parliamentary librarianship which he has graced for nearly thirty years, and
can attest to the undeniable fact that Russell Cope is both a scholar, and a gentleman.
Annual Reports
A library’s approach to online government information
Mr Speaker informed the House of the retirement of Dr Russell Leslie David Cope from the position of Parliamentary Librarian on 21 July 1991, and made the following remarks. "With the indulgence of the House I wish to make a few remarks about Dr Cope in recognition of his service. Russell Cope joined the staff of the Parliamentary Library on 1 March 1949 some 4 months short of his 18th birthday. His 41 years of loyalty to the Library places him in the vanguard of service to this Parliament. Even more remarkable is that the last 29 years of his service has been as only the seventh Parliamentary Librarian since 1856.
During the time he has worked in the Parliamentary Library, Russell has seen the Library staff grow in size from 10 to, currently, 33. This increase in staff reflects the ever increasing demands that Members and others have placed on the Parliamentary Library. Dr Cope has also been at the forefront of evolving new services to meet those ever changing needs. A part of those new services have been dramatically illustrated in relative recent times with the move of the Library to its current modern premises and the introduction of associated modern technology.
1990 provided the crowning glory to Dr Cope's career with the very successful sesquicentenary celebrations of the Parliamentary Library.
I am sure all Honourable Members will join in with my grateful and personal thanks to Dr Cope for his distinguished service to this Parliament and acknowledgment of the help provided by the Library as a whole. I also wish to convey to Dr Cope the best wishes of the House for an equally long and well deserved retirement."
Mr Greiner moved, That Mr Speaker's remarks with reference to Dr Russell Leslie David Cope on his retirement from the position of Parliamentary Librarian be entered in the Votes and Proceedings.Dr Cope

I pay tribute to one of Parliament's most valuable and faithful officers. I am not talking about a Speaker, Premier or some other elected representative, nor am I speaking about a long-serving Chamber officer who has helped guide proceedings for decades. Instead I pay tribute to one whose work rarely attracts the limelight focused on the rest of us; someone who, throughout a 35-year career here, has supported the work of members on behalf of those we represent and—more importantly, in my view—has worked to ensure that our parliamentary system and its history are better understood by the wider community and succeeding generations. David Clune
In 2009 Greig Tillotson has announced his retirement effective at the end of July. Greig has worked within the NSW Parliamentary Library for over 30 years and became
Librarian in 2006. Greig Tillotson


I am grateful for crossing paths with dynamic people like my boss at the parliamentary library Dr Cope

• The New South Wales Parliamentary Library is the oldest of Australia's nine parliamentary libraries, and is also one of the oldest official libraries in the country. Established by the administrative action of the Legislative Council in 1840, it became a Joint Parliamentary Library with the introduction of responsible government in 1856. The Library's functions were further specified by Joint Resolutions in 1862 and 1968. But in 2009 it has no website NSW Parliamentary Library once a rooster now a feather duster; [There is a climate of corruption in NSW Knowledge is the mother of wisdom and virtue; Ghosts roaming NSW Parliament: John Hatton was something of a burr under the saddle of New South Wales politics; Librarian admits he was paid by US bookseller NSW Parliamentary Attendant circa 1980-1981, a bloke who took my BH neighbour Sonia Todd, and his Strictly Ballroom, to Bratislava circa 1986. My spies tell me that Buz as always disobeyed the communist authorities on and off the stage ;-) Mark Anthony Luhrmann; Librarian Mark D'Arney killed himself after blowing the whistle on the discount sale of 3000 historic books from the State Parliament's library Death of a whistleblower; Thou canst not die. Here thou art more than safe. Where every book is thy epitaph In memoriam, Mark D'Arney, Librarian ]

CODA: The crowning glory of the former NSW Parliamentary Library, now called the Jubilee Room, is the ornate stained glass lantern, one of the best examples of stained glass in Sydney. It too was restored in the 1980s with the rest of the room and the old sections of the Parliament. The words around the central medallion echo the room's origins as a library: "Knowledge is the mother of wisdom and virtue".

Monday, October 26, 2009

Earlier this month one of the oldest of blog hosting programmes, Blogger, celebrated its 10th anniversary. According to the BBC, Blogger claims to have more than 300 million active readers and enough words to fill about 3.2 million books like Cold River

First Real Blogger, St. Francisof Assisi wrote: Lord make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow Love. Where there is injury, Pardon. Where there is error, Truth. Where there is discord, Harmony. Where there is doubt, Faith. Where there is despair, Hope. Where is darkness, Light. Where there is sorrow, Joy.

There was much storytelling but it was the ocean that brought out the energy ... today with friends like Gina, John and Rich there always seems to be more joy than sorrow no matter how angry the sea or world is ...

(john wilton TM at the iceberg 26-10-09 AD)

... and so it began back at Darling Point true connections, true emotions, true friends!

Hope Over Fear Materialistic happiness causes emotional misery
Even In Latvia, blogging has become part of the air on the poetic internet. The blogosphere seems to burst with emotions, something rarely witnessed before

As the sun breaks the dawn of a new day, he floats on a white cloud amidst an azure sky. He is draped in an elegant silver robe, his obsidian hair fluttering seductively in the cool breeze of the early morning. His gold flecked brown eyes, glimmering like a pair of gemstones, as the breaking sun crosses their path. His smooth, always tanned flesh contrasted beautifully within the silver robe and against the bright cerulean sky. His arms rise and stretch out to me, his rose-colored lips move to speak, but I always awake before I can hear the words he wants to say. I have dreamt this scene everyday for almost two years. Everyday that is, except today.

I usually awaken with a smile on my face, but sadness in my heart. Smiling, because I have dreamt of him once again, sadness, for never hearing the words he wishes to speak.

But this morning, I awakened with a smile on my face and gladness in my heart. For this morning I heard his words.

“You must live for yourself now, for only through your life will my memory be kept alive. I will be waiting here for you, but you have a long life to live. Honor my memory and live your life to the fullest. I will always love you, but you must accept the love others offer, for my love is contained within theirs”

And with that I awakened this morning. A smile on my face and weight lifted from my soul.

For I now know that he would not want me to be alone any longer. And on this day, I awakened with someone to share breakfast with for the first time in two years. With a smile on my face, and gladness in my heart, I awoke to greet a beautiful day.

A Daily Dream: Everything ended in a mere exclamation mark! [Bridging the ideological divide in the American Catholic Church. Exiting St Patrick's Cathedral into the damp heat of New York in September, I try to see if I can single out Rocco Palmo from among the tourists lounging under the scaffolding, grateful for a shady seat on the cathedral steps We are always missing the other half; For boys, sugar and spice aren't nice Writing
about difficult truths
; Great Indian Wedding (GIW)]

Saturday, October 24, 2009

British banks have just five working days to show they have "got it". On Saturday, they must submit to the regulator – the FSA – their planned bonus awards, widely estimated to total £6bn. Prince Andrew may have said in an interview that he regards this sum as "minute in the scheme of things", but, as the economy still falters and unemployment rises, it was clear last night that the banks will grant themselves their billions in an increasingly hostile atmosphere Stop the fat-cat bonuses! George Soros turns on the bankers

In an economic crisis like this, billionaires like George Soros can't just sit idly by
Chrystia Freeland, US managing editor, interviewed George Soros, the fund manager, about the state of the world economy, relations between the US and China, his investment performance and regulating bankers’ compensation. This is a transcript of that interview.

In an economic crisis like this, billionaires like George Soros can't just sit idly by Those earnings are not the achievement of risk-takers ... These are gifts, hidden gifts, from the government. Soros said there was a need to regulate payments to employees, even if that meant banks found it difficult to retain talented risk-takers...
That would push the risk-takers who are good at taking risks out of Goldman Sachs into hedge funds, where they actually belong, because hedge funds take risks with their own capital, not with deposits and not with government guarantees.
Soros also said he believed the decline of the U.S. dollar would be limited by its tie to the Chinese currency. "As long as the renminbi is tied to the dollar, I don't see how the decline in the dollar can go too far.
There is a general lack of confidence in currencies and a move away from currencies into real assets ... There is a push in gold, there's a strength in oil and that is a flight from currencies.
Soros said the rally in the U.S. stock market would continue for the rest of the year, but warned that the hope of a rapid recovery in the U.S. is misplaced.

Transcript: George Soros interview; [George Soros – one of the riches men in the world, the convicted insider trader, the man who single handedly brought down one of the biggest bank in Hungary, the man who back’s far left groups like MoveOn, the man who bragged that he bought the 2008 presidential and congressional elections – and heart throb of MSNBC, is mouthing off again – and this time about Wall Street Profits in the Financial Times. Soros gifts’ from the state; Google soros; George Soros Shares Latest Insights on Economics and Politics]
• • Former Czechoslovak and Czech president Vaclav Havel will become an honorary citizen of Bratislava Havel & Blava ;Vaclev Havel To President Klaus: Don't Hurt Our Reputation = Vaclav Havel, man of words and unshakable determination, had a question Havel, Still a Man of Morals and Mischief

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Gitka, the Slavic Vatican chef, Andrej and more than 120,000 people packed a field outside the Czech city of Brno on Sunday for an open air mass by Pope Benedict XVI who is on a high profile visit on the 20th anniversary of the fall of communism. Pope Benedict has wrapped up a three-day visit to the Czech Republic where he used an outdoor mass to urge young people to remain faithful to world needs God-fearing people prepared to Czech patron saint, St Wenceslas; Pope Benedict

Change the World? Why Not Courage and Heart of Dreams
KEVIN relied on a number of mentors in my life. To bring things full circle, here’s a guest post from Cameron Gallagher, a young man I’ve started mentoring, on challenge, courage and dreams...

To say you will have the boundaries of what is courageous for you pushed will be an understatement. Sometimes you won't find the courage, and that too, will hurt. Sometimes, a lot.

But with each challenge, you will grow stronger. And you will learn, as I am learning, that the reward of living life in a world where everything remains forever possible is a reward far greater than any material prize could ever be.

So now I must live up to the seed I have sown, and the very idea of trying to do that terrifies me. The 99 percent is already telling me I'll fail and stuff it all up. However, in reality, that just means I have another opportunity to prove those voices wrong.
So, my question to you is this;
Are you ready to Change the World?
Because you are only one choice away.

• If Obama's well-chosen inspirational language improves the climate of negotiation in long-standing disputes, this is an achievement in itself. Mentoring; [Let us remember that rivers and water underpins everything. There has been increasing debate about censorship in its many guises in recent times; everything from what constitutes pornography to what people should be allowed to wear. There are deep fundamental issues here that do deserve to be talked about and acknowledged. These issues ultimately boil down to questions of freedom of expression and openness to ideas; any ideas. These twin concepts are a cornerstone of vibrant democracy, which is why being precise about the meanings of the words used in the discussion is important. Classifying censorship: the shadow without end; Serena Williams, Kanye West and Joe Wilson all recently made seemingly unscripted outbursts: their apologies won't erase their incivility.A lot of sorry, buts ...; The Richest People In America. Forbes magazine. 1 October 2009. America's super rich are getting poorer. For only the fifth time since 1982, the collective net worth of The Forbes 400, the annual tally of the nation's richest people, has declined, falling $300 billion in the past 12 months from $1.57 trillion to $1.27 trillion. My Amerikan Families Again - Richest People In America]
• · A message of hope led Lucienne Simon to pursue an exhibit depicting the Great Depression; Hope and optimism are not the same. 'Hope is humble, trustful, vulnerable. Optimism is arrogant, brash, complacent. Hope has known the pang of suffering and the chill of despair. A spiritual moment - a vibe you can't articulate
• · · A mega-wealthy ex-pat Kiwi has been unwittingly caught up in an alleged $500-million-plus fraud with claims top Russian government ministers were involved Any suggestion that Renaissance was involved in a 2006 tax fraud is wholly false ; Tax Evaders Face Choice: Pay or Pray
• · · · Richard Murphy is a founder of the Tax Justice Network and director of Tax Research LLP. An expert on tax policy, he writes a daily blog which provides regular news on his activities and opinions at So refreshing to see someone telling the truth A leading adviser on research and development tax credits has leapt to the defence of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), claiming its officers are right to crack down on those trying to exploit the system. Peter Denison-Pender, managing director of Alma Consulting, refuted claims made by accountancy Grant Thornton earlier this month that tax inspectors were being unfairly tough with companies seeking R&D tax credits. HMRC is not the bad guy here. All they are doing is clamping down on production masquerading as research. Good for him. Bad for GT. And how good to see someone saying that cheating and then blaming HMRC is unacceptable Perhaps there are ethics out there, after all, in amongst the self promotion; Oscar Wilde would have regarded our modern Corporations Law not only as uneatable, but also indigestible and incomprehensible ...
There is no dispute; it is unlovely and unloved. Complex, ungainly, internally inconsistent, conceptually troubled; the Corporations Act 2001(CA 2001) is a mishmash of old law, ad hoc amendments, provisions pulled willy-nilly from different legal systems, statements which are not law at all, ideological posturing, and
drafting styles that swing wildly from the colloquial to the technical. Despite massive efforts at law reform in the last fifteen years, and continuous tweaking, the CA 2001 remains, as Sir Anthony Mason found it, indigestible and incomprehensible All in it together Unlovely and Unloved: Corporate Law Reform's Progeny
• · · · · QUEENSLAND'S politicians have been warned to explain how they spend their massive secret allowances or risk facing a British-style MP expenses scandal MPs' allowances should be revealed: Information Commissioner; ; You’re going to purge tax havens, Prime Minister? But Britain is the biggest tax haven of them all ; Parliamentary expenses

Thursday, October 08, 2009

JOHN Hatton must be feeling a sense of déjà vu these days.. The murder of lender of last resort Michael McGurk and the revelations the company he kept reached all the way into State Parliament would have had a familiar ring to the anti-corruption campaigner, whose tell-all biography is being prepared for the presses. Having fought for a more transparent system of government for much of his 22 years in politics, this latest episode in what seems to be a never-ending story of undue influence and murky dealings would have come as no surprise Life story of corruption fighter timely for NSW

Life story of corruption fighter timely for NSW Anti-corruption crusader highlights political woes
What kind of people would meet furtively on a Saturday morning hundreds of kilometres from home, charter a houseboat, and motor to a secluded cove where, under cover of darkness, they make plans to change the course of public administration in Australia? The Cold War may be over, James Bond may have hung up his Walther PPK, but espionage of a different sort is alive if unwell - the business of spying on the bureaucracy from within, and revealing its secrets. And the nine people who set sail on the good ship Luxury Sirius on Lake Macquarie the other weekend were well aware of the extreme prejudice that can result.
Among them were men (and one woman) who had been sacked or turned into non-people, made to idle out their working lives at desks with no telephone or paperwork, whose families had been split up by arbitrary transfers, who had been driven to the brink of insanity by ritual humiliation from the people they sought to expose.
"Honest public officials are the major potential source of the information needed to reduce public maladministration and misconduct," said one man who ought to know - Tony Fitzgerald, whose devastating report cut a swathe through corrupt police, the judiciary and Parliament and laid the institutional foundations for what is now virtually a new State of Queensland. But whistle-blowing comes at a price ...

A nobody who became a national treasure, John Hatton was in Parliament as an independent for 22 years and helped set up a number of anti-corruption inquiries, including the New South Wales Police Royal Commission in 1994. He says that the lack of accountability and responsibility in politics since then has only become worse. There's a huge cross-section of people of all political persuasions who are absolutely disgusted and expressing anger about the secrecy, the lying, the cheating, the abuse of process ... 'we didn't know, we're taking no responsibility.

Against the machines; [In local government a confidential meeting is a conflict in terms. The smart money will always find out In the face of improper pressure inaction is corruption; John Hatton on Wiki; It took up 451 hearing days, heard from 902 public witnesses and cost an estimated $64 million. Malcolm Brown reports on the Wood royal commission, 10 years on Holding judgement]
• · There was no holding back for former independent State Member for the South Coast John Hatton when he agreed to have a biography written about him HATTON TELLS ALL - Biography of former MP John Hatton will shake some skeletons out of the closet; Blog about newsagents
• · · NSW's tortuous road to reform; New rules allowing multi-storey development on Jervis Bay have pushed the retired anti-police corruption MP John Hatton back into crusading mode Old crusader fights tide of high-rise; Juanita Nielsen was a stylish Potts Point/Kings Cross heiress and local publisher murdered in July 1975. It is generally assumed it was criminal elements doing the bidding of high density urban developer interests reacting to her crusading for the bohemian heritage character of her suburb Juanita Nielsen, suburban news publisher foul murder 30 years ago
• · · · The fictional tale probably sounds pretty familiar, if a little exaggerated. Politics takes comedic spin in 'In the Loop'; US president Barack Obama says he feels 'humbled' after being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Nobel President: Obama's 'unclenched fist' won the prize; Google on Obama and Nobel prize
• · · · · I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me Morality, What? Where?; The orthodoxy that often does the rounds is that religions are the well springs of our moral compass and that that the diminution of religious adherence leads to a moral vacuum. This leads ineluctably to the sense that religions have a moral monopoly and that we are lost without faith. But the argument that I wish to promote in this blog is that there reverse is true O Glorious Prejudice; Arianna Huffington seems very well connected in every sense of the phrase, be it in high society or in her online offspring, the Huffington Post. But can she hold on to her maverick approach and her instinct to 'bring people together'? The queen of the digital water cooler