A collateral effect of that demonstration at Pine Gap in …

Comment on Peace President Obama dispatcher of drones killing innocents by Alex Nelson.

A collateral effect of that demonstration at Pine Gap in November 1983 was its effect on the NT election campaign announced by Chief Minister Paul Everingham that same month.
Certainly in Alice Springs it was a significant contributing factor to the CLP’s huge victory in early December, winning 19 out of the 25 seats up for grabs for the first time.
What aggravated people in Alice Springs so much was the aggression and rudeness, rubbish and vandalism directly attributed to the protestors; and from its association with the left of politics the ALP was punished for it.
This wasn’t lost on the CLP, for the party was able to capitalise on local anti-protestor sentiment for most of the 1980s.
A master of this approach was the former Member for Araluen, Eric Poole, in whose electorate resided many American families who enjoyed strong friendships with local voters.
Times have changed.
The CLP holds no seats south of the Top End, and the Americans appear to be retreating to fenced-off residential enclaves and no longer integrating with the local community to the degree that once used to be such a distinctive feature of Alice Springs.
This may lead to more questioning of the purpose and role of Pine Gap in our society, and maybe even an increasing rejection of its presence – all of which comes at a time of rising tension as China asserts its influence in our region of the world.

Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Town planning farce: Lawler dodges the hard questions
This encounter instantly reminded me of a passage in George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” when Winston Smith followed an old man into a pub with the intention of finding out from him what life was like before the revolution that led to the rise of Big Brother.
Yet no matter how earnestly he asked the old man to recall the early years of his life, “Winston had the feeling they were talking at cross-purposes.”
He kept on prodding the old man for information but “a sense of helplessness took hold of Winston. The old man’s memory was nothing but a rubbish-heap of details. One could question him all day without getting any real information.”
Plying the old man with beer, he tried one more time but failed: “Winston sat back against the window sill. It was no use going on. He was about to buy some more beer when the old man suddenly got up and shuffled rapidly into the stinking urinal at the side of the room. The extra half-litre was already working on him. Winston sat for a minute or two gazing at his empty glass, and hardly noticed when his feet carried him out into the street again.”
Welcome to the Big Brother reality of honest accountable government in the Northern Territory!


Student boarding funding restored – for now
Isn’t that something? A minister of the NT Government has listened to concerns about a government decision, and reversed it in a day.
Little aggravation, and great relief for many, I should think.
Minister Selena Uibo has set a fine example – now, if only certain others of her colleagues would take notice of public concern about the NT Government’s poor decision-making over the location of the proposed National Aboriginal Art Gallery…


Remains of missing man found near Yambah
@ John Bell (Posted September 20, 2018 at 10:21 pm): The skeleton was identified, a young man only recently arrived in Alice Springs in 1965. It’s believed he was a victim of an accidental discharge of his rifle, not a suicide.


Ring a bell?
Is it just me, or is it the case that the “Boundless Possible” embarrassment has suffered a swift death, consigned quietly to the wheelie bin of history?
Ah yes, a government elected into office that promised us all greater standards of honesty and accountability; but no, it’s just business as usual, that we’ve long endured for decades in the Northern Territory.
It really makes no difference who’s in charge.


Four dogs suspected poisoned with 1080
@ Ruth Weston (Posted September 7, 2018 at 1:08 pm): Sodium fluoroacetate is the commercially produced 1080 poison, and is closely related to potassium fluoroacetate, the poisonous chemical found in a wide variety of plant species.
Both chemicals have the same effect, disrupting the Krebs Cycle (or Citric Acid Cycle) which disrupts the ability of cells to metabolise carbohydrates, fats and proteins for energy production.
It was biochemist Ray Murray, based in Alice Springs with the Animal Industry Branch from 1954 to 1966, who first identified the naturally occurring 1080-based compound that occurs sporadically in poison Gidgee (Acacia georginae) which plagued the beef cattle industry in the east of Central Australia and across the Queensland border.


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