Well a number of manicured men in dark suits and a couple of women walked out in 35degree smothering heat on Saturday and sat down to an Aussie BBQ lunch on the lawns of QLD parliament house; a beautiful spot right on the river. This picture speaks volumes about geopolitical consciousness of the world leaders wearing clothing so unsuitable for the sub tropics as the day was 11degrees above the average for this time of year; thank you climate change right on queue. By the way what was the carbon footprint on this little junket I mean climate change was on the agenda right?
When you break it all down, time wise that is, the G20 leaders really only had a matter of no more than 5 or 6 hours tops to discuss the major issues. So the cost can be broken down to roughly $66million an hour and I wonder did they, or we, get our monies worth? I have serious doubts…firstly Abbott brought his usual ineptitude to the proceedings attempting to obtain validation over domestic policies the Aust people reject..1/ GP co-payment 2/ cost of tertiary education now unregulated 3/ coal and other mining to underpin our economy – Abbott actually said coal will save humanity… time to group face palm folks on the count of three 1 2 3 duh! Abbott is a self pumped up idiot. He was not given a mandate by the Australian people for any of his budget cuts or policies so instead he goes looking for approval from the international community. Abbott’s actions highlight how he lacks understanding of the working of the international political community. In the week leading up to the summit he came out saying how the Australian continent before white settlement was just bush and since then how civilization had created a nation. What this belligerent bastard did was to re-inscribe the notion of Terra Nullius Australian sovereignty is falsely based on. Not only did it deeply offend first nations Australians and non indigenous people alike Abbott was telling the world community Indigenous Rights and domestic policy is our business not yours. With mining lined up they need to get to the resources Abbott and the mining magnates have to get rid of Indigenous land rights held by a few first nation communities.
To me most of the issues had already been discussed and partly negotiated prior to the summit in the usual course of diplomatic workings and other summits like ASEAN. So the meeting appeared to be more about face to face networking and the physical connection with ‘family’ as they like to refer to themselves.
At least Angela Merkel had a good time in the inner city party precinct of Caxton Street on the Friday night. Apparently out for dinner she came across fellow German travelers and took time to say hello and pose for selfies.
Obama is such a slick operator you have to give credit where credit is due. He gave a speech at University of Queensland and won over the audience within two minutes of opening his mouth…how? Obama pronounced words in an Australian manner for instance he said Brisbin not Brisbayne and he used colloquial language as 4X a local brewed beer (XXXX) and “have a burl” meaning to have a go and made reference to Bris Vegas. Many in the audience were students and his speech was aimed at inspiring them to take on a leadership and a ‘necessary’ activist role in order to bring about change for the better. What Obama did was to contradict everything Abbott is hoping to do or really not to do when it comes to Climate Change. Putin kept much to himself and at the BBQ sat on his lonesome at one of the tables…I think he forget his deodorant and humanity.
Brisbane was turned into a police state and a public holiday was declared for the business district and surrounding inner city suburbs within the security zone. The streets of Brisbane grew increasingly silent during the lead up to the public holiday on Friday when the majority of leaders and their delegations began to arrive. Many roads in and around the security zone were blocked off and buses stopped outside the city and trains while still running detoured so as not to stop near the Convention Centre where the summit was being held. Police were in full riot gear in the oppressive heat, quite ironical really. No matter where you lived you heard helicopters flying over head checking checking checking.
There was a total of 21 ‘registered’ protests with each group assigned a number of police negotiation officers to make sure the group new the rules and kept within the new laws. Police also designated the march route and made sure all media kept at least 3-4 metres away from the protestors. The biggest march was held on Sat with approx 800 people representing several protest groups. I seriously question the effectiveness of the marches under such controlled and contrived circumstances.
- Protesting is about disrupting the joint and the people making them aware #G20Brisbane protests held the hand of the police…fizzer no effect
- When the rally and march does not disturb the status quo…who is the protest for? #G20Brisbane
- When the march had to stick to pre determined police route nowhere near the G20 leaders or the general public…who is the protest for? #G20Brisbane
What was equally curious and annoying is the rest of Australia didn’t seem to give a hoot, no other protests went ahead anywhere else in other states and very very few people travelled to Brisbane. The ‘fear’ of Black Blok protesters coming from Europe never happened I think mainly because Australia is still viewed by the rest of the world as being in the antipodeans far far far away…we refer to this mind set as our tyranny of distance.
G20 has been much ado about nothin’ really. People of Turkey it’s your turn next year and you have my sincere condolences.
On its webpage the museum declares itself a “vanguard of interactive and participatory experiences”. It calls visitors “to enter, to discover, to “unravel” and to “desypher” and yet the webpage (like the museum) only unravels a use of symbols from our multicultural dictionary: sharing, mutual, understanding, and on and on. Words that are as artistic and as rusted as the museum’s Corten veil that punctures the entry with a spray of holes; and so too, unfortunately, the museum “story” of Muslims in multicultural Australia is riddled with gaps.
Despite the promise there is no emphasis on our “Australian Islamic context”, and there is no resisting of “the temptation to orientalise the project”. We are an “ideal” other whose exotic achievements are listed hopefully for approval and whose religious entrails are squiggled into a seductive calligraphy that all awaits the oohing appreciation of the observing white gaze.