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Byron Shire
June 24, 2024

Neither hagiography nor hatchet job

Latest News

$6.8 million Tweed pound contract awarded

The Tweed Shire Council has awarded a $6.8 million contract for design and construction of a new state-of-the-art animal pound and rehoming centre.

Other News

Iron Gates L&EC appeal hearing comes to an end:  decision reserved – Part I

The long-standing, controversial Iron Gates case came to an end in the Land & Environment Court (L&EC) last Friday after a two-week Hearing commencing at Evans Head on 3 June and finishing in the Court in Sydney on 14 June. 

Driven with soul

Under a different stage name Milo Green is an award-winning songwriter and musician who has supported iconic artists like Diesel, Dragon, Josh Pyke, Glen Shorrock (Little River Band) and more.

Whian Whian public school kids are all in D-tension

The Whian Whian Public School whole school band, D-Tension, are preparing for their first gig of 2024 and it’s going to go off with a bang – or at least a flash of lantern light on Saturday in Lismore.

Editorial – Let’s learn about government housing!

With all the noise and fury over the lack of ‘affordable housing’, it might be useful to define what different types there are in Australia’s market-based housing system. 

270 ready to contest Seas The Day women’s surfing at Kingscliff

The world’s largest female participation surf event Seas The Day is returning for its second year at Kingscliff Beach...

No ‘key worker’ or ‘affordable housing’ for Ballina Council’s Wollongbar development

On the second last piece of Ballina Shire Council-owned residential land they have decided to develop the land with no affordable or public housing components. 

Film review: We Steal Secrets: The Story Of WikiLeaks


John Campbell

One should declare one’s prejudices before commenting on matters that polarise opinion; I’m not a camp follower of Julian Assange. For mine, he is just another self-righteous showpony who, by accepting succour from a regime that denies journalists in its own country the freedom of speech that he claims to be champion of, has shown himself to be a supreme hypocrite and exploited fool.

Alex Gibney’s doco, which is neither hagiography nor hatchet job, did nothing to dissuade me of my view, but, if anything, it is more balanced than both Assange’s detractors and supporters would prefer. ‘Boys with toys’ is an expression formerly applied to the masters of war and their sophisticated [sic] weaponry – today, power has shifted to those who control information. It is still a bloke’s world, however, and as a supremo computer geek with matching ego, Assange quickly became a player of stunning, unforeseen significance. The phenomenon of WikiLeaks, from the high-minded if simplistic ideals of its inception to its undignified hubris, is charted here with clarity and with the unequivocal testament of all parties involved, on both sides of the fence.

Assange comes across as unnervingly amoral and not immune to the trappings of rock stardom, but the true hero, if we can use that cheapened word, is Bradley Manning, the American soldier who, as whistleblower, provided WikiLeaks with its most explosive data. An outsider obsessed with his sexuality, Manning’s weird story is intensely compelling for its humanity, as is Adrian Lamo’s, the confidant who dobbed him in.

The knee-jerk dismissal and vilification by the mob gathered below the balcony of Equador’s London embassy, like pilgrims at the Vatican, of the Swedish women who accused Assange of sexual assault bring to mind the ‘ditch the witch’ treatment meted out to our first female PM. What we allow to be done in the course of defending our freedom is as much a matter for public scrutiny as it is for personal reflection. This probing film is a welcome rebuttal of the foolish cult of the messiah.

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