Richard Ackland’s piece in the SMH 27/06/08 : High Court ponders World Youth Day largesse.

June 30, 2008 at 2:15 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

 

High Court ponders World Youth Day largesse

Richard Ackland           Sydney Morning Herald     27/06/08

Five days before the last federal election John Howard dipped with desperation into his grab bag of tricks and came up with $22 million of Commonwealth money for World Youth Day – the Catholic Church’s proselytising and marketing extravaganza to be held in this city next month.

Is that expenditure in breach of the constitution? The issue has hurriedly come before the High Court. It has had a couple of rounds already, and is on again this morning.

The applicant is Carmelo Vescio, a non-practising Catholic. When he heard about this money being splashed around in an effort to woo the vote of wavering Catholics he immediately contacted the relevant minister in Canberra, Peter McGauran (Xavier College, Melbourne), to ask, “On what basis are you doing this?”

He received no reply. Howard and his staff also refused to respond. Appropriate ministers in the current government have not replied.

On March 20, Vescio filed a writ of summons in the High Court seeking to challenge the expenditure as offending section 116 of the constitution, which says: “The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.”

These funds for World Youth Day will be appropriated by legislation. Of course it is not the only money for the event. The NSW Government is ladling another $86 million, Telstra is stumping up a heap of sponsorship money, and if you look up the World Youth Day shop on the internet you can see the dazzling array of merchandise, or “religious products”, that can be ordered with your credit card.

Does section 116 get in the way of Howard’s political bribe? The High Court has shown reluctance to get involved, except for Justice Michael Kirby (Fort Street High).

When the writ arrived the Chief Justice, Murray Gleeson (St Joseph’s, Hunters Hill) refused to accept it. He directed the court registrar to decline to issue the proceedings without the leave of a judge.

Vescio and his lawyers then sought leave from Justice Susan Crennan (Our Lady of Mercy, Heidelberg). She refused it, saying the documents were “confusing, prolix and embarrassing”. She added that the complaints “are political in nature”, presumably unlike Howard’s largesse.

So it came on before Kirby last Friday. Time is of the essence because Vescio wants the money stopped before it is all gobbled up in the frenzy of papal excitement.

Five days before the last federal election John Howard dipped with desperation into his grab bag of tricks and came up with $22 million of Commonwealth money for World Youth Day – the Catholic Church’s proselytising and marketing extravaganza to be held in this city next month.

Is that expenditure in breach of the constitution? The issue has hurriedly come before the High Court. It has had a couple of rounds already, and is on again this morning.

The applicant is Carmelo Vescio, a non-practising Catholic. When he heard about this money being splashed around in an effort to woo the vote of wavering Catholics he immediately contacted the relevant minister in Canberra, Peter McGauran (Xavier College, Melbourne), to ask, “On what basis are you doing this?”

He received no reply. Howard and his staff also refused to respond. Appropriate ministers in the current government have not replied.

On March 20, Vescio filed a writ of summons in the High Court seeking to challenge the expenditure as offending section 116 of the constitution, which says: “The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.”

These funds for World Youth Day will be appropriated by legislation. Of course it is not the only money for the event. The NSW Government is ladling another $86 million, Telstra is stumping up a heap of sponsorship money, and if you look up the World Youth Day shop on the internet you can see the dazzling array of merchandise, or “religious products”, that can be ordered with your credit card.

Does section 116 get in the way of Howard’s political bribe? The High Court has shown reluctance to get involved, except for Justice Michael Kirby (Fort Street High).

When the writ arrived the Chief Justice, Murray Gleeson (St Joseph’s, Hunters Hill) refused to accept it. He directed the court registrar to decline to issue the proceedings without the leave of a judge.

Vescio and his lawyers then sought leave from Justice Susan Crennan (Our Lady of Mercy, Heidelberg). She refused it, saying the documents were “confusing, prolix and embarrassing”. She added that the complaints “are political in nature”, presumably unlike Howard’s largesse.

So it came on before Kirby last Friday. Time is of the essence because Vescio wants the money stopped before it is all gobbled up in the frenzy of papal excitement.

Kirby was not actually hearing an appeal from Crennan. He was only deciding whether the application for leave to issue the summons was reasonably arguable.

The appeal from Crennan is on this morning before a full court. In breathing life into the case and saying it should be expedited, Kirby said: “If there is some defect in the applicant’s process it is sometimes appropriate to endeavour to cure that defect, rather than to prevent the person having one of the most fundamental rights that exists in a society governed by the rule of law, which is access to the courts.”

How’s that for a swipe? It got better: “The reference by Justice Crennan to the fact that the complaints of the applicant are ‘political in nature’ does not necessarily render them insusceptible to consideration against the standards set by the Constitution.”

The hurdles that have to be leapt by Vescio’s legal team include earlier decisions of the court on giving money to church schools, the Greg Combet case (Work Choices advertising) where “appropriation for the purposes of the Commonwealth” was considered, and also the various decisions on an individual’s “standing” to challenge the constitutionality of a law.

As Kirby said, it is all “arguable”.

And some of the arguments have already emerged. The applicant says he is personally affected by being excluded from Royal Randwick as a racegoer during the papal mass. He’s also excluded from certain streets and “airwaves”.

Counsel for the applicant, Peter King (Sydney Church of England Grammar School), said that during World Youth Day (ie. a week) people who go to Randwick are excluded from practising any other religion except Catholicism. This amounts to an “interference” in religious observance – sponsored by the state.

The particulars asserted before the court say that that the papal mass is a religious observance and so it must be taken as correct that “it excludes participation by persons who profess other faiths and religions”.

We will see how it fares today. If Vescio is not successful in his leave appeal then he can join the NoToPope brigade and hand out condoms to the worshipful “pilgrims” flocking to the holy of holies – Randwick racecourse.

justinian@lawpress.com.au

 

Kirby was not actually hearing an appeal from Crennan. He was only deciding whether the application for leave to issue the summons was reasonably arguable.

The appeal from Crennan is on this morning before a full court. In breathing life into the case and saying it should be expedited, Kirby said: “If there is some defect in the applicant’s process it is sometimes appropriate to endeavour to cure that defect, rather than to prevent the person having one of the most fundamental rights that exists in a society governed by the rule of law, which is access to the courts.”

How’s that for a swipe? It got better: “The reference by Justice Crennan to the fact that the complaints of the applicant are ‘political in nature’ does not necessarily render them insusceptible to consideration against the standards set by the Constitution.”

The hurdles that have to be leapt by Vescio’s legal team include earlier decisions of the court on giving money to church schools, the Greg Combet case (Work Choices advertising) where “appropriation for the purposes of the Commonwealth” was considered, and also the various decisions on an individual’s “standing” to challenge the constitutionality of a law.

As Kirby said, it is all “arguable”.

And some of the arguments have already emerged. The applicant says he is personally affected by being excluded from Royal Randwick as a racegoer during the papal mass. He’s also excluded from certain streets and “airwaves”.

Counsel for the applicant, Peter King (Sydney Church of England Grammar School), said that during World Youth Day (ie. a week) people who go to Randwick are excluded from practising any other religion except Catholicism. This amounts to an “interference” in religious observance – sponsored by the state.

The particulars asserted before the court say that that the papal mass is a religious observance and so it must be taken as correct that “it excludes participation by persons who profess other faiths and religions”.

We will see how it fares today. If Vescio is not successful in his leave appeal then he can join the NoToPope brigade and hand out condoms to the worshipful “pilgrims” flocking to the holy of holies – Randwick racecourse.

justinian@lawpress.com.au

————————————————————————————

 

As a practising Catholic (St Ignatius’ College, Riverview), I found much to agree with Richard Ackland’s piece in the SMH 27/06/08 : High Court ponders World Youth Day largesse.

 

Many Australians, I’m sure, would be less than impressed with tax payers’ money going directly to promote a religious function. The Church in any secular society is always ill-advised if it needlessly antagonizes people in seeking privileged treatment from the authorities at the expense of others. The dispute with the racing fraternity about  Randwick Racecourse being used for a Papal Mass is a point in question. Surely there is ample church property in and around Sydney where this event could take place; the grounds of my old school, Riverview readily come to mind. The citizens of this country may be favourably disposed towards World Youth Day but many may not want to have to pay for it or be disadvantaged by it.

 

David Wall

152 Wilson Street

Newtown 2042 NSW

Phone: 02 95505053

 

 

Permalink Leave a Comment

Raheen, in the news again!

June 21, 2008 at 12:16 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

 

Raheen is the former home of Archbishop Daniel Mannix, in the suburb of Kew in Melbourne and now owned by Richard Pratt. A house associated with the great and famous and perhaps infamous over generations. The illustrious of Church and State and Commerce have walked in its corridors – from the forenamed Archbishop and Joseph Lyons to John Wren and now Richard Pratt.

   Apparently the name ‘Raheen’ in Gaelic means ‘little fort’. We can imagine the many conversations between Daniel Mannix and Bob Santamaria and even between Arthur Calwell and the Archbishop before the Labor split. Their differences were said to be patched up here before Mannix died in 1963. Even though it was claimed that Calwell had said that there would be no peace until ‘the angel of death had visited Raheen.’ These reputed words of Calwell’s have not been verified.

   I can’t recall that there was any reconciliation between Santamaria and Calwell. Bob Santamaria in an SBS interview recalled running into Calwell in Mebourne shortly after the death of his son and he tried to convey his condolences and Calwell’s response was: ‘I don’t want any sympathy from you.’

   The drama and intrigue directly and indirectly associated with this salubrious piece of real estate still beguiles the country with the misfortunes facing the present owner, Richard Pratt, who is facing criminal proceedings, of lying to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

   Whatever the outcome of this, I guess the old house will survive the present mutable times. That is unless some mad redeveloper with a new grand design for the suburb does not convince the powers that be to pull it down. 

Permalink Leave a Comment

Dan out of Africa joins his friends for lunch at the Tearoom Queen Victoria Building, Sydney

June 20, 2008 at 8:10 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

Dan out of Africa joins his friends for lunch at the Tearoom Queen Victoria Building, Sydney

1. Paul & Dan  2. Paul  3. Paul,David,Dan  4. Helen & camera  5. Helen  6. Dan  7. Jenny  8. Jenny,Paul,Dan  9. Helen,Jenny,Paul,Dan

 

 The joy of meeting far surpassed the amount and quality of the food.

Permalink 1 Comment

David Augustus Ruiz Wall on an artistic journey

June 19, 2008 at 6:49 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

David Augustus Ruiz Wall on an artistic journey

“Art is the only thing that can go on mattering once it has stopped hurting.”     
Elizabeth Bowen

Permalink Leave a Comment

Post-Courier Editorial on being safe in PNG

June 19, 2008 at 12:58 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

 

How To Be Safe In PNG’: Editorial

 

(Post Courier)

The Papua New Guinea daily newspaper Post Courier has an editorial comment on the current crime situation in the capital of Port Moresby. We are running the editorial in full because of its provides significant insight into the challenges facing lawful society in Papua New Guinea.  (Pacific Magazine)

How To Be Safe In Modern PNG

We are heading into more daunting times at the hands of criminals in our midst. The latest rash of crimes added to the warnings emanating from a high-level meeting of security advisers makes this plain.

Basically, the criminals are getting smarter and devising new ways of making money illegally.

Police and other law enforcement agencies are finding it harder to keep up with the smarter criminals, as well as the “knock on the head, knife in the ribs’’ variety of neighbourhood troublemakers.

Last week alone, there were two kidnappings in Port Moresby, one involving the snatching of two brothers and their sister as they were dropped off at school in the morning by their parents. City police chief Fred Yakasa was justifiably proud that police were able to quickly and safely retrieve the children and prevent the ransom being paid.

At about the same time as the kidnapping, key officers of our security agencies were meeting to confer and discuss the national security.

One officer confessed that the agencies were not prepared or trained to handle the more sophisticated crimes that are springing up in our society.

Businesses were suffering and society was losing “intelligent people’’ who were withdrawing from such an atmosphere and retreating to their home countries or, in the case of Papua New Guineans, back to their rural roots, the meeting was told.

A percentage of the modern forms of crime is due to the influx of criminal elements from overseas. But there are many local imitators who are thriving with human smuggling, “sexploitation’’ of pornography and prostitution and kidnapping offences.

The term “inside job’’ is becoming common. The high value robberies and cases of fraud are often linked to privileged information being leaked to the criminals from inside the companies and other organisations that are the targets of crime.

Managers will need to look carefully at the knowledge of their most important operations and review on the basis of “need to know’’ as to what information is available to employees.

The latest trend of holding family members as ransom to get company officers to unlock a company safe is more worrying. You cannot, as a manager, provide security at all hours of the night and day for all of the staff who have the access and information to unlock access to valuables.

For that crime, companies will need to get smarter. For kidnappings and the like, every individual will have to look again at their daily habits and exercise more care, changing routine and checking safety practices.

http://www.postcourier.com.pg/20080617/tuhome.htm

Permalink 1 Comment

Australian Army Medical Corps, AIF, Middle East, 1918

June 17, 2008 at 8:06 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

captain-wall-aamcjerusalem-olivet-1918A.A.M.C.A.A.M.C.

 1                          2                                 3                                         4

Captain Wall     Jerusalem                A.A.M.C. unit                                A.A.M.C. unit

Recommend a reading of:

Armageddon, 1918: The Final Palestinian Campaign of World War I

 By Cyril Falls

Permalink Leave a Comment

Australian Army Medical Corps, AIF, Paris, 1919

June 17, 2008 at 2:04 am (Commentary) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Captian J.A.WallAustralian Army Medical Corps, AIF, Paris, 1919

My father, Captain James Augustus Wall, standing on the right and wearing a slouch hat next to the man in civilian clothing.

Were the Australians in this photo thinking about the approach of the Australian delegation to the Paris Peace Conference?

Australian approach

The Australian delegates were Billy Hughes (Prime Minister), and Joseph Cook (Minister of the Navy), accompanied by Robert Garran (Solicitor-General). John Greig Latham later Sir, was also part of the delegation. Frederic Eggleston had been invited, but left in disgust at Hughes’ behaviour. Indeed, Latham was to run successfully for the Federal seat of Kooyong on a policy of ‘Get Rid of Hughes’, so appalled was he at Hughes’ behaviour. Their principal aims were war reparations, annexation of German New Guinea and rejection of the Japanese racial equality proposal (see below). Hughes had a profound interest in what he saw as an extension of the White Australia Policy. Despite causing a big scene, Hughes had to acquiesce to a class C mandate for New Guinea.

Source: Wikipedia

Permalink 4 Comments

“And seek for truth in the groves of Academe.” Horace

June 15, 2008 at 8:08 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Sydney UniversitySydney UniversityNicholson MuseumRomanNicholson MuseumSydney University

 

Atque inter silvas Academi quaerere verum.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Luncheon meeting

June 14, 2008 at 12:56 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

 

An esteemed meeting of two intellectuals for lunch took place on Saturday 14th June at Woolworths, George Street, Sydney, in the cafeteria.

    Before entering this highly regarded establishment both John Bowers and David Wall paid their respects to the past Sovereign Queen Victoria, Empress of India and Queen of the British Empire.

    The nourishment selected by our two luminaries reflected the past greatness of the British Empire. John chose the roast beef of old England with vegetables and gravy and David selected a meatball, gravy and vegetables. This was all washed down with cups of white coffee.

    Over the meal a highly discerning conversation took place. A friend of John’s prophesies the Tribulation taking place in September. David seems not to fancy his chances during the Rapture. Anyhow, it’s all happening.

    To cut to the chase, the lunch had to finish rather hurriedly as John had to attend a Seventh-day Adventist service, being the invited guest of a beautiful Indonesian lady of that persuasion. Was it the Seventh-day doctrine of the second coming that attracted him or the beautiful lady? Is there a shared eschatology? David thought it was slightly incongruous John going to a Adventist meeting with a belly full of roast beef.

    At one point during the discussion David told John that he tended to take all theology with a grain of salt. No doubt John would put this down to David’s amillennialism.

    Both enjoyed their lunch very much.               

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Reverend John Spender and the Rapture

June 11, 2008 at 5:44 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

 

Last month I was fortunate to run into the Reverend John Spender at Mascot Airport prior to him catching a plane to New York. John is the esteemed brother of Sir Ernest Spender, a person well known to the readers of this blog.

 

The Reverend John Spender ministers to a small congregation of members of the Free Independent Apostolic Baptist Church in Bridgeport, Jackson County, Alabama, and is on a world-wide mission preaching the Second Coming and Rapture of the Lord to all willing to hear him.

 

In appearance John is not unlike his brother, and like Ernest, he is an old boy of Charterhouse, however, with the years he has lived in the States, he has largely lost his public school accent and now speaks in tones distinctly Southern States American. Reverend John is a man of middle height, thick set and energetic, all in all a formidable and impressive person.

 

I was anxious to get as much as I could from John about his Second Coming beliefs, but given the extreme limitations of time we both realized that my interview would only allow a superficial discussion. I had only about twenty minutes with him before he had to catch his plane.

 

 

David Wall: Rev. John, do you mind if I call you John?

 

Rev. John   : Call me anything as long as you don’t forget to call me when you hear the trumpet of the Lord.

 

David:  What makes you think I’ll hear it and not you?

 

John:  Very true, David, all believers shall hear it and I can see that you are a believer.

 

David: Thank you, John. But are the Rapture and the Second Coming biblical? I guess they are one and the same.

 

John: Yes. It is true that the Bible does not mention the word Rapture but the word Parousia or catch up is there. The sounds of the Parousia are clearly mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, “The Lord will descend with a shout.” The first sound is directed to the saints. In the second sound we hear the voice of the archangel and old Satan will know this. The third sound will be that of a trumpet, a summons for all sinners.

 

David:  No doubt you would call yourself a Premillennialist and what I want to know in particular is do you follow the dispensationalist interpretation of scripture?

 

John: David, I won’t be labelled but what I will say is that the Rapture is a doctrine of the early Church fathers and the New Testament. The eschatology of the early Church held that the coming of the Lord precedes and introduces the millennium. Irenaeus taught this years before Origen and Augustine put forward their amillennialism. In John 14:20-21 the Lord tells us that He will come again.

 

David: John, can you put a timing on the Rapture and the Coming of the Lord?

 

John: As I said earlier, I won’t be labelled. The time factors are unimportant. Questions about if it is imminent or not can only be answered with reference to scripture, while taking into account the Pre-Tribulation. I’ll give you two references, Ezekiel 38 and Thessalonians 2 as pre-conditional circumstances that must occur before the Lord returns. There will be peace in Israel and a great falling away with the coming of the AntiChrist.

We know that there is not peace in Israel yet, but think about the amillennial position of all the major churches. Their eschatology is fundamentally false, so you can imagine what this does to their doctrine. In this very city of Sydney, Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen, claims to be a biblical Christian while holding an amillennial position, and of course, an amillennial eschatology is the doctrine of the Roman Church upheld by Cardinal George Pell. From this false eschatological stance the mainline churches have all gone on to support the false theory of evolution. You might well see this as a great falling away.

 

(As we were talking there was a call for all passengers on United Airways flight 702 to New York to go to customs. This was John’s plane, so he had to leave.)

 

David: John, thank you so much but just two last questions: do you have any contact with Sir Ernest, your brother, and I’ve often wondered why you, who anyone can see, is a healthy red-blooded male, is still living in the single state?

 

John; Ernest, as you know has chosen a New-Age philosophy, and way of life, essentially a luciferian path to darkness. I don’t know if you have been to Berlin but if you go there just ask where the Seat of Satan is. I pray for Ernest. You ask why I’m still unmarried. Well the short answer is that I’ve dedicated my life to the Lord in expectation of His Second Coming. A union with a good Christian woman is a holy state for most believers, but like the Lord Himself I have chosen his way. David, it’s been great our little chat, but I must away.

 

David: John, Godspeed.

 

(With this John bounded off and I couldn’t help thinking how lucky the parishioners of his church back in Alabama were to have such a pastor.)

Permalink 2 Comments

Next page »

%d bloggers like this: