Home > Current Affairs, Harry's Growl - Election 2013, Politics - Domestic, The EYE-BALL HGZ [Harry's Growl Zone] > EYE-BALL’s Harry’s Growl on – Election 2013 – Growl No: 44 – Foreign Minister Bob Carr – The “Gallah” that feasts and is never concerned with the damage left behind …

EYE-BALL’s Harry’s Growl on – Election 2013 – Growl No: 44 – Foreign Minister Bob Carr – The “Gallah” that feasts and is never concerned with the damage left behind …

June 10, 2013
Latest ‘Harry’s Growl’ Posts:

Larry Pickering Cartoons – Updated 10th June 2013 – click to view in a new window:

To see more of Pickering’s Political cartoons – use this link

– 8th June – Election 2013 – Growl No: 43 – The Independents and The Greens – why do they accept an alleged Criminal as PM? –

– 6th June – True Leadership – we are yet to experience the way it was meant to be

– 31st May – Election 2013 – Growl No: 41 – On Reflection – Abbott should have known better – they all should have known better –

– 30th May – Election 2013 – Growl No: 40 – Abbott gets a backbone & – New AG MArk Dreyfus really is a “TOSSER”

– 29th May – Election 2013 – Growl No: 39 – A Disguised New Tax – Political Party Membership by Default …

– 17th May – Election 2013 – Growl No: 38 – – Swan’s Rubbery Figures – A “Waste of Space” Oddity … by Parody …

– 2nd May – Election 2013 – Growl No: 37 – Police Investigation into Gillard – When will the Media do their job –

– 22nd Apr – Election 2013 – Growl No: 36 – Minister Jenny Macklin – Delusional and in Complete Denial –

– To see more EYE-BALL Harry’s Growl posts: click here …

– Election 2013 – Growl No: 44 –
– Foreign Minister Bob Carr –
– The Gallah That feasts and –
– is never concerned with the damage left behind –

| Author: EYE-BALL’s Harry’s Growl | 10th June 2013|

Latest Pickering images – 4 New Cartoons added 10th June 2013 – see image links to the left.

The latest Bob Carr ‘joker in the box’ moment came via his interview on the new SBS program – ‘The Observer Effect‘ last night.

This was the 2nd episode for this new program – the IView replay is not yet available, however the transcript of the interview is and is pasted below.

It is a great interview by Fanning and I congratulate her for getting Bob Carr to share his views and opinions so frankly …

I have pasted the whole interview transcript below and it is quite long – but the section of the interview that this post finds most interesting can be accessed directly – using this link – there is a return link provided to take you to the beginning of the Interview …

‘The Australian’ reported on this interview as well – also pasted below – or linked here:

Firstly – The SBS Transcript:

| Program: The Observer Effect | Date: June 9th, 2013 | Link to On-Line Story. |

Transcript of interview between Ellen Fanning and Bob Carr for The Observer Effect, conducted 9 June 2013.


ELLEN FANNING: Good evening, and welcome to the Observer Effect viewing the events of the week through the eyes of the people who shape Australia. Our Observer tonight, Australia’s Foreign Minister, Senator Bob Carr on why he’s looking to the Greek god of fortune to save Labor come election day. And smart, funny successful, find out what makes Wendy Harmer cry.

Bob Carr would have to be about the longest serving Labor political leader in Australia, Federal or State. He joined the ALP when he was just 15, that is over 50 years ago, back in the days of black and white TV when Australia had a population of 11 million people. Now, a senator for New South Wales, and Australia’s Foreign Minister, he is simultaneously an author, a student of great literature and an opera buff. Bob Carr, thanks for joining us.

BOB CARR: Pleased to be with you.

ELLEN FANNING: There’s been a lot of talk this week about scripted political lines. Now, you’re a man who loves words. What are the greatest words you’ve ever had to deliver?

BOB CARR: I think speaking at a commemoration for the Australian dead in Bali. I think that was ‑ that was a major challenge. It was in the Parliament, and on another occasion in a football field and in Coogee‑‑‑‑‑

ELLEN FANNING: I remember.

BOB CARR: ‑‑‑‑‑in Sydney.

ELLEN FANNING: What did you say?

BOB CARR: I ‑ I tried ‑ I need to revisit the speech, it was over 10 years ago, but I tried to capture their spirits hovering in the clean air, the spray of the surf around us, as we noted the fact that these were friends parted from us in tragic circumstances.

ELLEN FANNING: So lines, when they come out of your mouth, when they come from the heart like that, really resonate, don’t they?

BOB CARR: Yeah, they do. I think oratory is to a large extent a connection ‑ an emotional connection between the words and the audience, and you rarely get that. And, of course, as a political leader you’re forced to speak very often about the mundane, and if you sound flat and boring it’s very often because of the subject you deal with is flat and boring, but when you get invited to speak about a matter of life and death, then ‑ then you’re challenged.

ELLEN FANNING: You said one of your great indulgences as premier was your speech writer Bob Ellis. Now, I remember there was an occasion where you had to deliver ‑ and this is true ‑ a speech about the bravest dog in New South Wales that year.

BOB CARR: Yeah, and I ‑ I think like any assignment you should ‑ you should do your best‑‑‑‑‑


BOB CARR: ‑‑‑‑‑with any assignment.

ELLEN FANNING: This wasn’t one of those mundane occasions.

BOB CARR: Well, Ellis gave me words that elevated it above that.


BOB CARR: And while I was praising this dog, and he was ‑ he was there breathing heavily‑‑‑‑‑


BOB CARR: ‑‑‑‑‑at my knees ‑ yep. I said ‑ I outlined the virtues of dogs as a species, and Ellis gave me these words, he said, “Dogs are better people than we are. They’re better humans than we are”, and I‑‑‑‑‑

ELLEN FANNING: Straight faced?

BOB CARR: Yeah, and I told the story of how this dog had charged into a burning house to alert and guide his master and the dog seemed to follow every word and he panted even more heartily as I got to the point where I was going to present him with the medal.

ELLEN FANNING: Paul Keating said you have got a voice, you Bob Carr have a voice he’d die for. You know, we all watch the voice on television these days and we watch the development of a person’s voice. You have cultivated yours. Tell me how you did it and why.

BOB CARR: I remember I saw in a theatre program once acknowledgment for a voice teacher, so I tracked her down, I rang her up.


BOB CARR: Yeah, her name was Gina Pirro, and she’d trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She was living with polio, so she became a voice teacher rather than ‑ a voice coach rather than an actor, and when I went to her for the first time she said, “You have got a vigorous voice”, she said, “But it lacks vitality”. So she set about the challenge of giving me exercises, poetry and Shakespeare, to put vitality into it and I loved it and she was a very good coach.

ELLEN FANNING: As you know how best to communicate has been a big topic of discussion in Canberra this week. With yet another around for disastrous opinion poles for Labor, Kevin Rudd supported Joel Fitzgibbon didn’t even try to spin it. A couple of hours later, ALP senator Doug Cameron joined in the revolt against the spin doctors and throughout it all, the Coalition’s countdown clock for the election kept ticking down.

MAN: I brought the manual with me. I’ll see what it says. It says I should say, “Polls come and go, but the only poll that matters is on election day.”

WOMAN: And the only poll that counts is on election day.

MAN: Why should I just take a view that some kid in, you know, in the media department of some Minister or the PMO is telling me what I should say. I mean, this is nonsense.

ELLEN FANNING: Is it nonsense?

BOB CARR: Well, the best lines are those that come unforced and you have got to have some confidence in politics to get to that point. I remember Neville Wran was challenged once. There’d been an awful murder, a nurse murdered in Sydney after being tortured, after being raped, and there was a cry. This was the early 1980s, 1970s. There was a cry for the reinstatement of capital punishment and Neville had to meet that, I think 70 per cent of the people in the wake of Anita Cobby’s murder would have said capital punishment. And Neville Wran had to deal with that. No‑one would have scripted this line for him, but he said, “Capital punishment would be too good for them.”


BOB CARR: And that diffused it. “Capital punishment would be too good for them.” It sort of met the demands of those arguing for capital punishment by saying, “I agree with you, but let’s think about it.” That technique of agreeing but disagreeing at the same time was perfect. He was ‑ he was the master communicator that I recall that I worked with, and, of course, Keating who had the gift, even when he slightly misused a word, he sort of gave it accuracy. He sort of gave it extra force.

ELLEN FANNING: What are you thinking of?

BOB CARR: It’s hard to think of the best example, but sometimes you can get it wrong. When he described the Prime Minister of Malaysia as being recalcitrant, he was reaching for a different word.

ELLEN FANNING: Well, Banana Republic comes to mind.

BOB CARR: Yeah, that’s right, and it technically wasn’t right, and in the 24 hours after that, if he could have recast it, he would have used a milder word, but on the historical frame it was the shock the country needed.

ELLEN FANNING: At the same time you’re saying in the 24 hours afterwards he would have withdrawn it. I mean, is that part of the problem here, the fear of saying something wrong forces the modern political class to say, “Well, we best test this line, we best go and do a focus group and ask people what they think, so we can echo back to them what they’re thinking, so that they think we know how they think.”

BOB CARR: You can try too hard and everything you say is flat and dead and dull.

ELLEN FANNING: And is that part of what’s happening to the Gillard government at the moment?

BOB CARR: Oh, no, I mean, Tony Abbott ‑ Tony Abbott’s lines are “Send back the boats”, we know that doesn’t work, the public knows it’s not going to work, they know this is a more complex problem than is incorporated in that simple kindergarten incantation. No, you don’t get away with that.

ELLEN FANNING: But similarly, the only poll that counts is the poll on‑‑‑‑‑

BOB CARR: Of course, of course.

ELLEN FANNING: That’s another silly line, isn’t it?

BOB CARR: No, I learnt a lesson when I got hit with a big complex problem. I was doing something at Byron Bay as Premier in my first term, all of a sudden I got a phone call saying, cryptosporidium and giardia, terms I’d barely heard of, were found in Sydney’s water supply and we had to advise the people of Sydney they couldn’t drink the water coming out of their taps. Well, I was a man in shock. I did a media press conference at the lighthouse above Byron Bay, but it wasn’t ‑ it wasn’t adequate. I mean, I got messages from home that there was a demand for me to go back and take control of the crisis. I ended up later that day simply walking into a media conference and saying ‑ delivering the truth. “We don’t know what has caused this. We’re damn well going to find out. Yes, you have an absolute right to be able to trust the quality of the water coming out of your taps, but I have got this legal advice. At the present time it’s not safe to trust it. We’re going to get on top of this and find out.” And again when I justified a difficult bit of policy, a medically supervised injecting room‑‑‑‑‑


BOB CARR: ‑‑‑‑‑still the only in Australia.

ELLEN FANNING: And this is for injecting heroin for heroin users to go to a safe place.

BOB CARR: Get them off the street. Get them off the street and not in a back alley where if there’s an overdose they’ll be gone in a few minutes. I just sat in TV studios like this one and said, “We think it might save lives.”

ELLEN FANNING: Bob, for all your love of words, you did have to engage in sport as the Premier. This week the State of Origin kicked off and punched on with New South Wales clenching the first game, and their captain Paul Gallen grabbing the headlines for hitting Queensland’s Nate Myles, great sporting moment or pure thuggery?

REPORTER: First blood to the Blues, but what about that punch.

REPORTER: In an instant a flurry of fists made him part of Origin folklore. His combination will be used to sell the games for years.

MAN: Now, you look at all the promotions promoting Origin. It sinks. I hope the NRL step in now and don’t allow that footage to be used to promote the game.

ELLEN FANNING: 80,000 people in that stadium. A lot of them cheering that punch, what does that say about Australian culture, do you think?

BOB CARR: I don’t ‑ I don’t know. I don’t know what to say about it.

ELLEN FANNING: Did you watch the State of Origin on Wednesday night?

BOB CARR: No, no, no. I was born without a sporting gene.


BOB CARR: It’s a bit of a disability in Australia. It’s got to be counted as such. I went to these things as a Premier. By the way, we always won the State of Origin when I was Premier.


BOB CARR: It was the inspirational quality of my leadership that found its way to the players.

ELLEN FANNING: At the same time we saw a young man hit on the streets of Sydney just recently, knocked down with a punch similar to the punch on the footy field, and he’s come around this week,, the Prime Minister’s tweeted her congratulations. An extraordinary story that he recovered from that with a giant scar on his head. Are there mixed messages in our society about how we deal with violence?

BOB CARR: I’m sure there are. Normally ‑ normally violence is alcohol fuelled, clearly not on the football field, and I don’t think you can talk about it without talking about the derangement that comes with binge drinking. If you want to put yourself in a risk category of being a victim from violence, go to a bar late at night or hang around a street when the pubs are spilling out.

ELLEN FANNING: And yet you describe Australians as funny, friendly, benign people. How does that reconcile with what we call entertainment?

BOB CARR: I think that description of Australians is right. I mean, I walk around the streets where I live in the eastern suburbs of Sydney or around the city itself. There’s good cheer. It’s a society where people can be darned determined to vote you out, but they’ll treat you with respect. I remember once in the lead‑up to the 1988 State Election, I was Minister for Environment, we were down for a big defeat, and I was walking up the hill in Maroubra Road near my electorate going home after working in the electoral office, and there was an old chap coming down with a walking stick and I thought, “I’ll give him a bit of charm on the way, that’s one more vote I’ve got in my pocket.” I said, “Good morning, sir. Good morning sir”, and as quick as a flash he said, “It will be good‑bye on Saturday.” I thought ‑ I’ve always valued that because that ‑ that’s the cheekiness of the electorate, and he knows in his bones that he, not I, is the master.

Comment: Tell me anyone who sees Bob Carr walking the streets near where he lives – does he have body-guards – or is this all just about humanising Bob Carr …

ELLEN FANNING: Yeah. And do they say that to you when you walk around Maroubra now today?

BOB CARR: No, they don’t.

ELLEN FANNING: They don’t.

BOB CARR: The people ‑ no, people‑‑‑‑‑

ELLEN FANNING: You don’t get the sense that they’re going to vote Labor out?

BOB CARR: Well, clearly we’re behind in the poll, I don’t need to be reminded of that, but what I think ‑ what I use that as an example of is the cheerful democratic character of Australia. The people are the masters, they put us in, and as Ben Chifley said, great Labor Prime Minister, “They don’t have to offer a reason for voting you out.”

ELLEN FANNING: What about the Sydney Olympics, is it true you told Andrew Denton that the 100‑metre sprint would be made more interesting with an addition of a leopard.

BOB CARR: I made that as a serious point.

ELLEN FANNING: A serious point.

BOB CARR: I said we have got to understand as we cheer our swimmers on that‑‑‑‑‑

ELLEN FANNING: Well, they’re running the 100 metres actually.

BOB CARR: Yeah, I understand that.


BOB CARR: I’m just switching to another sport.

ELLEN FANNING: Just to be clear.

BOB CARR: That as we cheered our swimmers on, that a healthy dolphin unloosed into the pool would have done a whole lot better, and giraffes set loose rather in the manner of the Colosseum in Roman days, would have put our runners to shame. I was trying to be ‑ I’m glad Andrew Denton remembered that.

ELLEN FANNING: Also, you know, you write worse of yourself in your diary. “As the beach volleyball dragged on, I plugged in my walkman and heard a lecture on James Joyce.”

BOB CARR: Yeah. Well, I was going to be there for hours and I’m, like everyone, capable of enjoying the athleticism and watching the competition and learning something. I hate not to be learning anything. I think a day in which I haven’t memorised something or acquired some insight, devoured good words, is a day wasted.

ELLEN FANNING: At the same time, you are a fitness fantatic, you’re a very fit person, and in that way you sort of remind me of Tony Abbott. You’re both very determined in your ‑ that’s quite a serious point ‑ in your political life to bring a sense of your best physical self to your endeavours. Do you see that in Abbott, because Abbott of course was someone that you tried to recruit for the Labor party.

BOB CARR: Yes. Well, I think anyone who’s doing his cardio, I envy anyone who can do his cardio everyday, I think cycling would be a fantastic challenge. It beats the cross‑trainer or the stationary bike that I use, but I just think ‑ I just think that after a burst of cardio at the start of the day you feel better all day.

ELLEN FANNING: And what about Abbott, how close did you come to recruiting him?

BOB CARR: I think it was a time when he ‑ he thought some of the traditions of New South Wales Labor were good, but I don’t think it ran very deep. I think it was a momentary ‑ not even flirtation, but a momentary point of interest. And someone is entitled to do that, to pick up one political brand. I remember when I was very young, when I was 14 or 15 looking at political parties, I wrote to all political parties in Australia to get information on their policies, and they‑‑‑‑‑

ELLEN FANNING: How old were you when you did this?

BOB CARR: 13 or 14 actually.


BOB CARR: I joined the Labor party when I was 15. And all of them sent brochures but the Communist Party sent and organiser who came to the fibro cottage at Maroubra and knocked on the door, but my father gave me a big lecture, he said “Don’t come complaining to me when you can’t get a job.” He said, “Your name will now be on a record. Your name will now be in the files. You’ll be blocked for employment.” I thought, “What have I done?”

ELLEN FANNING: Do you think that Tony Abbott had a similar moment about Labor? Do you think he looks back and guess, “Oh, my gosh, that was too close.”

BOB CARR: Yes, yes, he didn’t get into it. He didn’t get into it, so he was drawn to the conservative side. As we all know, he went to the very conservative side, the very right wing side of liberal politics, which is the reservation that I think people have got about an Abbott government now.

ELLEN FANNING: Let’s turn to your portfolio now. The big international news this week was riots in Turkey where a youth protest over some trees in a park turned into a movement that challenged the authority of the Turkish government.

MAN: The people are forced into protests organised by extremists.

MAN: The display of excessive use of force against the first demonstrators who started this protest with the aim of protecting the environment was wrong. It was unfair and I apologise to my countrymen.

ELLEN FANNING: What are we seeing here? Is this a long slide into authoritarianism for a proud secular country?

BOB CARR: I think all friends of Turkey are concerned about what seems to be happening there, but I think the thing I can say is a Foreign Minister in respect of what’s come out of Turkey is that we trust the government will respect the right of people to demonstrate peacefully, will respect that right, because that is one of the norms of a democratic society. You respect the right of people to gather in protest, and to march in the streets against the policies of their own government. That is normal behaviour in a democracy. It’s what democrats can celebrate.

ELLEN FANNING: And that’s the test, isn’t it? That’s the test of the Prime Minister to see whether he continues in this vein or whether he does, as you say, respect that basic tenant.

BOB CARR: I think that’s a reasonable thing and it’s a reasonable thing for a Foreign Minister of a friendly country to say, respecting the right of your citizens and demonstrate peacefully against your policies is a democratic norm.

ELLEN FANNING: In October last year, there was a big of kerfuffle that you take your wife, Helena on overseas trips with you. This year is your 40th year of marriage. What does it mean to you to have your wife at your side?

BOB CARR: Well, she’s very useful, but the argument for taking her is that it is strictly within the guidelines, they’re the guidelines and I’d never depart from the inherited guidelines.

ELLEN FANNING: Now, just for clarity, when you say she’s very useful, you mean she’s very‑‑‑‑‑

BOB CARR: On the travel.

ELLEN FANNING: ‑‑‑‑‑useful on the ‑ yes.

BOB CARR: On the travel. On the travel she’s been enormously effective of being my eyes and ears in going out to the aid projects that I haven’t got time to see.

ELLEN FANNING: And what does it say when they see an Asian face in a confident western woman as the Foreign Minister’s wife in the world.

BOB CARR: I think it’s just a subtle reminder that Australia is a multicultural nation.

ELLEN FANNING: Now, Bob, you always have this tendency to make the ‑ to take it away from the personal and into the political, but I must pin you down. 40 years, Helena is watching tonight so be careful, she reminds me of Margaret Whitlam. She’s an accomplished woman. She’s happy to walk a few paces behind you, but I must say occasionally from behind there, there is a roll of the eyes, very affectionate, towards you standing out the front. What has been the secret of your great marriage.

BOB CARR: I think her happy disposition. I think that she’s someone’s who ‑ and I think this reflects the wonderful family she came from growing up in Malaysia. Indian father, Chinese mother, wonderful old Chinese grandmother who didn’t speak English, but ‑ and had bound feet out of the old China, the pre‑1911 China.


BOB CARR: And I think it was almost idyllic. Her mother was a nurse, her father worked in the local hospital, she went to the school run by Irish nums. It was a very ‑ it was a very ‑ I think a very nurturing way to grow up, and that just re‑enforced, I think, a genetic disposition of being happy.

ELLEN FANNING: So you have had the great fortune to live your life alongside someone who has brought you happiness everyday.

BOB CARR: Yeah, even when I have been staring at political defeat all those years in opposition, she’d say ‑ she said, “Forget it. It doesn’t matter.” In Shakespeare words, “There’s a world elsewhere.”

ELLEN FANNING: We’ll be back in a moment, but first given the week Labor has had, it’s obvious the party and its beleaguered MPs need some help. A miracle fixer who can somehow put the tattered party back together again. Well, pouring through the archives we found our man with a video prepared for the annual Walkley Awards for Australian journalism.

BOB CARR: Hi, I’m Bob Carr and I’m Australia’s Mr Fix‑it. You want a lawyer rescued from Libya, can I fix it? Yes, I can. You want a seat at the UN Security Counsel, can I fix it? Yes, I can. You want to stop global warming, can I fix it? Yes, I can. You want the Walkley for the most outstanding contribution to journalism, can I fix it? Yes ‑ what do you mean I can’t? I’m Bob Carr.

ELLEN FANNING: After the break we’ll look at some of the things that need fixing and get Bob’s observations on how to repair the damage. We’ll also be watching for our viewers’ observation on Twitter using #observersbs. You can follow us on Twitter @observersbs or catch up with us on Facebook and we’ll be right back after the break.


ELLEN FANNING: Welcome back to the Observer Effect. Viewing the events of the week through the eyes of the people who shape Australia. And this week our Observer is Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr. Critics of US president Barack Obama are saying he’s sounding more and more like George W Bush every day. Yesterday, the President defended a surveillance program which taps into the servers of nine of the world’s leading Internet companies, including Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Youtube to spy on foreigners. The data can reveal the user’s contacts as well as their location.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This does not apply to US citizens and it does not apply to people living in the United States. You can’t have a hundred per cent security and also then have a hundred per cent privacy and zero inconvenience.

WOMAN: Secretly go to a secret Court that produces secret orders and then they collect information on secret and it turns out on millions of Americans on an on‑going daily basis.

ELLEN FANNING: Look, Bob, I know you’re the Foreign Minister and you’re not supposed to, you know ‑ you’re supposed to be careful in what you say about the Americans, but how ‑ Obama is standing there saying, “Well, don’t worry, it doesn’t affect Americans.” Hello, hello, over here, down here.

BOB CARR: I would like more information. This story is just breaking. I got a desire to know how it might impinge on the rights and responsibilities ‑ the rights and freedoms of Australians. Beyond that, I’m not going to venture into it because it is in the realm of security and intelligence and there’s a longstanding practice on both sides of politics not to comment on that for very obvious reasons.

ELLEN FANNING: Will you ask them about it?

BOB CARR: I’ll certainly get a report on what this means for Australia and for Australians.

ELLEN FANNING: I notice that Malcolm Turnbull came out and said that he was seeking clarification from the US. I would have thought that was your job.

BOB CARR: Well, I’m in the same position. I’m seeking clarification of this report and what it means for Australia.

ELLEN FANNING: I wonder how we ended up here, though. I mean, more Americans would die from criminal acts in America than from terrorists, not to underplay the terrorist threats, but that’s the reality.

BOB CARR: No, but the answer to that objection is simple.


BOB CARR: The reason for the height of detention to security post September 11 is that some time in the future the attack could be a really substantial one, not just turning planes into bombs at ‑ with the destruction of those thousands of lives, but detonating a nuclear weapon in the heart of a popular city. That’s what this is all about after September 11.

ELLEN FANNING: And that’s why the Americans do things like this if in fact they do.

BOB CARR: Well, the challenge is nuclear terrorism.

ELLEN FANNING: And is that‑‑‑‑‑

BOB CARR: And the essence of September 11 is that it’s a harbinger of serious sustained attempts by terrorists to produce mass atrocity crimes. Mass atrocity crimes. The ultimate would be detonating a nuclear weapon in Time Square.

ELLEN FANNING: You say Time Square. What about Martin Place, what about Federation Square?

BOB CARR: We’re all very conscious of this in Australia. In Europe, the focus would be on terrorists with the capacity not just to detonate a bomb in a subway system, Madrid, London. Not just to attempt what we know terrorists have attempted in Australia is they’ve put the ingredients for a bomb together, but attempting to get fissile material in the form of a backpack or a suitcase nuclear weapon.

ELLEN FANNING: Has that ever happened? Has anyone ever tried to do that in Australia as far as you know.


ELLEN FANNING: Let’s stick with security matters. Green Senator Scott Ludlam asked you some difficult questions about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. One was whether Assange is entitled to protections under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Now, that’s the part of the Bill of Rights that protect freedom of speech and freedom of the press. In other words, should you, Senator Carr impress on the Americans that Assange is really a journalist, a legitimate publisher and, therefore, should not be prosecuted.

BOB CARR: Not to my knowledge, no, wouldn’t be a matter of concern to Australia to make a case for him, no.


BOB CARR: Why would we do that? There’s nothing more to say about it, and we’re not going to over-service these consular cases.

REPORTER: Is that grand jury investigation still on‑going or has‑‑‑‑‑

BOB CARR: I don’t know.

REPORTER: You don’t know.

BOB CARR: I can’t tell you. You need to address that to the American government.

REPORTER: We’re not interested to know whether it’s still on‑going?


REPORTER: Why is that.

BOB CARR: Well, it doesn’t affect Australian interests.

ELLEN FANNING: Since when was it not in Australia’s national interests to represent a citizen in strife aboard?

BOB CARR: Well, the assumption of the question is wrong, and that is we know there is a grand jury taking place in America. We don’t know that.

ELLEN FANNING: And a grand jury for clarity is a group of people who come together to decide whether criminal charges should be laid against someone.

BOB CARR: Yes. And this story has been going on for two years now. Wouldn’t the Americans have announced something if there were. They don’t tell ‑ if there’s a process going on in the US justice department, it’s not vouchsafed to their own government let alone to a foreign government. That’s the first thing to say. The second thing to say is that no Australian in trouble had received more consular support than Julian Assange. I don’t think it’s appropriate that we go on providing that in London. His difficulties in London have got nothing to do with the US government. Nothing. If America were seeking to extradite him, we would have heard about it in the last two years in which he’s been resident of the UK because the UK has got an extradition treaty with the US. It’s all about the Swedes seeking him on a criminal matter and winning in the British Courts. Therefore, it’s not a matter for Australia except into its consular aspects. Is he receiving due process? And will he receive due process in Sweden? And we’ve satisfied ourselves on both counts.

ELLEN FANNING: At the same time, we saw this week the trial of Bradley Manning. Now he’s the young American who leaked all these documents to WikiLeaks and the prosecutors in his trial have said really clearly, look, Julian Assange aided and encouraged Bradley Manning to do this. Julian Assange conspired with him. I mean, it seems there’s every indication from what they’re saying they’ve got their sights on Julian Assange. They’re saying he aided, abetted and helped him. They want him.

BOB CARR: That’s a big leap of logic. The Americans are trying to establish that there’s something maligned and not innocent in what Bradley Manning did. I can’t comment on that. That’s not a matter of Australian interest. It’s between America and Bradley Manning.

ELLEN FANNING: And Julian Assange is a very divisive figure, he’s running for political office come September. Does he annoy you? He’s called you all sorts of things ‑ arrogant and ignorant ‑ and says you’ve been briefing the Americans; does he irritate you?

BOB CARR: No, he’s fallen out with every everyone he’s ever dealt with. The people on the Guardian; the people who have raised money for him during his campaigning. He’s fallen out with all of them, and it’s not surprising the amount of campaign that somehow Australia should swoop in and collect him and liberate him, but we have got no legal standing in this. The Swedes have won in the British Courts.

ELLEN FANNING: Does it irritate you? Does he irritate you?

BOB CARR: No, not remotely.

ELLEN FANNING: And we’ll be back with more in just a moment.


ELLEN FANNING: You’re back with the Observer Effect and our guest this week, Senator Bob Carr. There was a sense this week that the Labor party just gave up. Two Labor backbenchers got the cardboard boxes out to pack out their Canberra offices. Why wait for electoral defeat? Might as well pack up now, really. And Malcolm Turnbull looked quite moved on the telly when he started musing about the decline of Labor. Some, however, kept their sense of humour despite predictions by one Labor identity this week that the Gillard government is facing an electoral disaster.

TURNBULL: One Labor person said to me the other day, said that he’d in his earlier life he’d been a divorce lawyer. And he gave up being a divorce lawyer because he couldn’t handle just the bitterness and hatred that you see sadly all too often in divorce and he gave it up and he said to me, you know, the hatred in our party room makes the most unhappy, vicious, bitter divorce look like a picnic. And that’s Labor’s tragedy.

BOB CARR: If things get that bad, I’ve got a different career pattern. I’m going to have a placard around my neck offering to recite slabs of Shakespeare for five bucks a time.

ELLEN FANNING: Bob, if I give you five bucks, what would you recite for me?

BOB CARR: Probably Macbeth, the shortest tragedy. Its images of blood and darkness appeal greatly to Abraham Lincoln, one of my heroes. So they’ll be my specialties, I think, when I’m walking around Martin Place after politics.

ELLEN FANNING: Not the comedies? Not the comedies.

BOB CARR: No, I don’t like his comedies.



ELLEN FANNING: The divorce analogy‑‑‑‑‑

BOB CARR: And that’s savage age enough. I prefer Ben Johnson’s.

ELLEN FANNING: The divorce analogy seems apt. I mean, it does rather look like Kevin has had custody of the party this weekend.

BOB CARR: Okay. Well, you‑‑‑‑‑

ELLEN FANNING: Took them on an access visit to Geelong.

BOB CARR: Okay. Yeah, there are two games taking place here.


BOB CARR: Let me explain to the audience.


BOB CARR: She’s getting me to say something about domestic politics because that will give ‑ generate a headline in tomorrow’s papers. My game is a different one. My game is not to say anything about domestic politics because I don’t want my name attached to any inflammatory comment. Now‑‑‑‑‑

ELLEN FANNING: Now, may I‑‑‑‑‑

BOB CARR: ‑‑‑‑‑I’m older, I’m more experienced. This is ‑ this is the key to who is going to win.

ELLEN FANNING: Well, can I pitch it to you another way: what I am trying to do is to get him to tell me what he really thinks about what’s going on inside the Labor party because I think there’s a public interest in hearing it said. What he is trying to do is get through this without telling me what he really thinks.

BOB CARR: There’s a US President Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s, and he’s famous for being taciturn, no‑one can get words out of him. At a White House banquet once, a woman sitting next to him said, “Well, Mr President, I’ve taken a bet that I can get you to say more than three words.” He paused, looked at her, and said, “You lose.”

Comment: the next passage is of great interest …

ELLEN FANNING: Well, I’ll admit defeat and I’ll ask you my last question. You took up the reigns of the Labor party in New South Wales after a terrible electoral defeat. You were one of the last people standing and you took on that role and had seven years of opposition that I think your speech writer Bob Ellis called “The sour but bracing years of opposition.” What did you learn about endurance, about persisting in political life?

BOB CARR: I think ‑ I think you have got to worship at the shrine of the Goddess Fortuna, I think. That’s everything is luck, everything is fortune. And I was very fortunate. We came close in 1991, and then got over the line by a very modest margin in 1995, and I suppose anything I contributed along the way kept the party alive, kept the party united, kept the party and me modestly interesting, but then luck took care of the rest of it. It was good fortune that got us there in the end and, I suppose, like Julius Caesar, I should be making a sacrifice at the shrine every now and again.

ELLEN FANNING: Has Julia Gillard and Labor run out of luck?

BOB CARR: Yeah, but luck can change. The Goddess Fortuna can come down and tilt things with a little touch of her forefinger, and ‑ but I have gone too far. I’ve gone too far. My resolve is not to say anything that can be translated or transmuted into a comment on domestic politics.

ELLEN FANNING: Well, nevertheless, it’s been tremendously poetic, and I thank you for it. It’s been great fun. Thank you for being my guest.

BOB CARR: Thanks, Ellen. My pleasure. Thank you.

ELLEN FANNING: And we have Wendy Harmer with us after this short break.


Comment: There is no shame for the Obeid and MacDonald travesty – Bob Carr does not wear responsibility well – the above levity at his time as Premier given the damage caused to the ALP brand in the immediate years after he was forced out by Obeid – gives a real insight to who Bob Carr really is – could this be Bob Carr’s interview that launches his own Prime Minister bid?

Return to the Top of the Bob Carr Interview Transcript…

Secondly – ‘The Australian’ story …

We’re out of luck: Carr

| Author: Mitchell Nadin | Date: June 10th, 2013 | Link to On-Line Story. |

LABOR and Julia Gillard have simply run out of luck, according to Foreign Minister Bob Carr. But as someone who spent much of his career relying on the “goddess Fortuna”, Senator Carr said luck can change in an instant.

In a wide-ranging interview with SBS’s The Observer Effect program, Senator Carr said he should be making sacrifices to the goddess in an effort to bring fortune back to the Labor party.

“I think you have to worship at the shrine of the goddess Fortuna,” he said. “Luck can change. The goddess Fortuna can come down and tilt things with a little touch of her forefinger.”

Reflecting on his experiences Senator Carr said: “Everything is luck, everything is fortune. I was very fortunate, we came close (in NSW) in 1991 and then got over the line by a very modest margin in 1995 and I suppose anything I contributed along the way, kept the party alive, kept the party united, kept the party and me moderately interesting but then luck took care of the rest of it. It was good fortune that got us there and I suppose like Julius Caesar I should be making a sacrifice at the shrine every now and again.”

Return to the Top of the Bob Carr Transcript…

Bob Carr became NSW Premier the year before Paul Keating was defeated by John Howard. Bob Carr was Premier of NSW until 2005.

Queensland’s Peter Beattie became Premier in 1998 and stayed Premier until 2007.

Victoria’s Steve Bracks became Premier in 1999 and remained Premier until 2007.

These three Premiers presided over State ALP politics for a decade or more and in that time the festering corruption now emerging and being exposed in NSW, and in the other States can be directly aligned with the malignancy that destroyed the ALP in NSW and QLD at the last State elections.

The Federal toxicity stems from the Union aligned MP’s and the loyalty demanded – this ‘loyalty’ is what NSW MP’s were scared of – Obeid’s power was all conquering and the loyalty of the Federal MP’s to their Union factions is now coming apart at the seams.   A chop to the head of a few wantabe leaders could see the ALP finally dumped as a ‘major’ political party …

One cannot believe that this base corruption through a sense of entitlement is singular in its depth of penetration.  The talk of the Terrigal Club, the former Speaker Torbay, Federal Cabinet Ministers Combet, Conroy, and Bourk, all have ICAC established connections with Obeid.

And then Bob Ellis – mentioned above as a Carr’s speechwriter when Premier – and his personal blog comments about the ‘intelligent design Cabinet’ currently serving this Nation,  his delusions can only suggest the cocktail they’re all drinking is mixed with LSD and other hallucinate substitutes … loyalty demanded by drugged induce stupors …

Carr is dangerous and the way I read the above interview has him ready and waiting for the call to elevate him to the PM job.

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  1. June 10, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    The SBS IView replay of the above interview is now available –


  2. June 11, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Bob Carr is many things and galah is adequate, and analogy in a long line apt.

    Cut from above;
    “I think oratory is to a large extent a connection ‑ an emotional connection between the words and the audience, and you rarely get that. And, of course, as a political leader you’re forced to speak very often about the mundane, and if you sound flat and boring it’s very often because of the subject you deal with is flat and boring, ….”

    Well we find you Mr Carr flat and boring, we were over you in 2005 when you retired as NSW Premier, couldn’t be bothered listening to you, or reading about you, and your over inflated ego, and self centred-ness mean you should not have come back as Foreign Minister. You are just another example of the ALP taking their constituency for granted. In fact you are nothing short of a galah in a long line of them.

    Please Shut down. We have much more intelligent things to do than listen to your stuff. The news on Julian Assange overnight is real news worthy. Not conversations with a wanker. Is it time to change hands yet Bob?

    What did Assange say, the 87 diplomatic contacts in the last year were all rubbish?

  3. June 11, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Assange said much more. He claims that he believes he will achieve nearly 2 quotas in the Vic ballot for the Federal Senate Poll. That sounds outlandish, but, if he was to run in my state I would vote for him too.

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