ARCHIVES 1997-2007  --- ARCHIVES 2007 +


Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, UK and US intelligence organisations have a common sharing base.  It is called "Five Eyes".

The trust that is the foundation for this sharing is probably based on common language and culture.  This does not exclude other intelligence sharing partnerships.  Australia shares intelligence of common interest with Indonesia.  I am sure various Sunni and Shia countries share intelligence (e.g. Iran and Syria).  Likewise, Israel probably shares with Turkey and Egypt and The Kingdom.  Russia and the USA share information.  So "Five Eyes is no big Anglo conspiracy.

The recent discovery that Australia tapped East Timor cabinet discussions when making the sea treaty in circa 2002 should not be an issue to any player in the field.  However it is to be condemned that a wealthy Australia should use these methods against a poorer, smaller novice when making a treaty concerning their major potential income source.  This will be a black mark against the historical record of Alexander Downer and John Howard.  Especially Alexander Downer, who apparently took a lucrative position with Woodside, the mining company involved.  Lest Labour party hacks look to my words for support, I should point out that this level of remuneration is orders of magnitude less that Labour NSW stole from the people of Australia.


The recent Chinese declaration of territorial airspace was, I suspect, a response to an earlier Japanese government purchase of three disputed (Senkaku/Diaoyu) islands from their private owner.

My own theory of "skill in negotiation" is that one should look at the background of the negotiator.  The more bodies he stepped over to get where he is, the better he will be.  So China and India are both ahead of the USA and Japan.  And the USA is ahead of everyone else.  I suppose the obvious solution will occur sooner or later, and a sharing arrangement will save everybody's face.

This theory also puts the Indonesians well ahead of our own Australian mob.  Res ipsi loquitur.


While I do like the idea that QANTAS is a recognisable Australian brand, I am not so inured to the brand that I am happy to support an airline that is riddled with featherbed union agreements.  A quick search of the web revealed that Qantas pilots were making up to 50% (or $50,000) more for the same job.  For 2,000 pilots (source "2,200 ipads to pilots") at an average $50,000 It could be argued that would account for $100 million of that $300 million projected loss for 2013.  Likewise negotiations with engineers would likely provide similar savings.

So my advice is, sack Allan Joyce and tell the pilots to relinquish their wage agreement or Qantas will go to the wall.  Because I do not see why my tax dollar should be used to subsidise the salaries of Qantas pilots who are on a minimum of $150,000 p/a when Virgin pilots are on around $100,000 for the same job.


There is news that Turkey is buying hydrocarbons direct from the Kurdish semi autonomous region of Iraq.

Just a bit of background.  Kurds are estimated to number between 15-20 million of Turkey's 80 million population.  They comprise between 5 and 6 million of Iraq's 30 million population.  There are about 2 million Kurds in Syria, and another 8 million in Iran.  (Data from "world factbook"). So there are between 30 and 35 million Kurds who do not have their own country.

The central Governments in each of those countries appears very unwilling to offer secession or autonomy.  The deal between Turkey and Iraq's Kurds appears to be a big step towards autonomy for the Iraqui Kurds. 

I suspect we will hear more about a Kurdish nation before too long.