Al Qorby


Until now the main take home message for me from the whole Corby saga was that if you are going to be international drug smuggler, make sure you are a good looking Anglo female in your mid-to-late twenties since this seems to be sufficient proof of your innocence to the vast majority of Australians. But this isn’t exactly news as the Tampa incident already demonstrated the inherent racism of the population of this country.

But it turns out we aren’t just racists, we are terrorist sympathisers too. According to Channel Nine’s highly scientific poll, 20% of our fellow countrypeople think its legitimate to carry out biological attacks on foreign nations who have the nerve to find one of our pretty white girls guilty of a crime. The fact that she had an open trial and her defence was largely based on heresay which wouldn’t have even been allowed to be presented in an Aussie court seems irrelevant.

And yet we can’t understand how the populace of Islamic nations would feel sympathy for Al Qaeda when America imprisons Muslims for years without any openness or any trial whatsoever…


10 Responses to “Al Qorby”

  1. I hate polls that only have “yes” and “no” buttons next to a reasonably long question. I almost clicked “No, I don’t like the terrorist attack” instead of “Yes, I condemn it”. Perhaps they could expand the captions to “Yes, I don’t like killing people” and “No, I’m a loony” or something. It will no doubt reassure everyone to know we’ve now reached 30%.

    That Corby girl did look quite hot in some of her Herald Sun/MX/Age photospreads/front page news. I particularly liked the bikini shots. If only all innocent victims were so attractive, the news would interest me much more. And it’d be easier to understand, too. I’m not saying all the bad guys should be ugly, just a different sort of hot. They’d be brunettes and wear dark clothes — kind of like Faith in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Yes. That would be good.

  2. I think I’m going to be ill.

    Thats not to say I expect any better from Australians as a whole.

    Cos oh yes extraterritoriality is not a thing of the past, for powerful nations to inflict on those with a weaker military – its perfectly legitimate for us to expect it from nations smaller than our own. Cos dont forget, we’re better than they are.

    (utter cynisism, just to be clear)

  3. The poll has gone to the great excel spreadsheet in the sky, but it has not yet turned up with final numbers on their list of previous polls. Hopefully we’ll see it soon — unless it’s been erased from history. In which case I doubt this post will survive the cleansing. Especially if it involves Time Dragons.

    Truly, we’re a very self-centered people. At least we haven’t forgotten the rest of the world exists yet.

  4. Main problem is that no one did any testing on the bag of grass that would have cleared or incriminated Ms Corby. The evidence that would have exonerated Ms Corby should have been collected right there.

    The Indonesian Judge clearly wants to move from the small district court post that the three of them have been placed- and clearly expect their verdicts to be over turned on appeal.

    Hense they imposed a 20 year sentance to be either quashed or extended depending on the quality of the legal team that the Australian Govt put together.

    It’s a dark time for your average traveler- One thing’s for sure, that if I’m traveling to Bali I’ll take a bag with only two days worth of stuff in it as my hand luggage, and not let that bag out of my sight.

    Still with the hysteria that is Air Travel these days- it’s best to be early quiet wear slip on shoes and not crack jokes about terrorists. That smiling bimbo of an Air Hostess? See that glint of don’t F#$%ck with me in her eyes? She’s been trained in subduing terrorists and will break your nose in a blink on an eye. These are the times we live in people…

  5. I would think it difficult to make categorical statements about the Australian population based on Channel Nine and Herald Sun polls, although you all seem to be managing it rather well. It’s not exactly what I’d call a random sample :)

    In any case, the Australian public can’t share all the blame – the media treatment of the Schapelle Corby case has been ridiculous. I only wish they had given similar treatment to the unlawful imprisonment of David Hicks and Mamdoug Habib.

    Incidentally you need to not be so selective with your facts Andrew – a defence based on heresay? Sure, but it’s also undeniable the police investigation leading up to the trial was completely botched. In addition to the much publisised fingerprint issue, a singular piece of evidence – the weight of the bag when it arrived in Indonesia – is seemingly missing. Given that the bag was almost certainly weighed on her departure, it seems a rather critical piece of her case.

    So in a justice system set up so the only thing the prosecution had to do was prove the bag was hers, how can that possibly be fair? How can we be told to respect the legal system of other countries by a government who ignores people like David Hicks? Whether she is innocent or not is irrelevant.

    And actually I don’t care at all about what happens to her. I just crave balanced discussions.

  6. Hey… this might turn into a discussion if we’re not careful. Just a few points:

    The majority of Australians voted for Mr Howard last election. The majority of Victorians buy the Herald Sun. By definition, it’s the clever ones who have managed to get onto the internet or sms into a poll.

    Also: I was bagging the media, mostly, in my original comment talking about hot girls.

    I would have talked about the trial but I know not one bloody thing about it, despite having read several articles in the papers and seen A Current Affair. Funny, that.

  7. Facts in isolation are not “points”.

    The point I was trying to make was not that readers of the Herald Sun are few, but that a result of a voluntary poll conducted by a conservative, often fear-mongering paper does not represent the Australian majority. It is generally accepted that minorities on the political extremes are the most vocal is it not?

    Saying the Herald Sun is more popular means nothing. Saying the more people voted for John Howard means nothing, especially considering he only just received half the votes, and probably not all for the reasons that seem to be suggested.

    Scarily enough (for me), I was inclined to agree with Andrew Bolt today when he said that “mainstream Australia” doesn’t care about the Corby case. In a way I suppose it’s similar to how most of us didn’t care enough about the rise in HECS fees to do anything, but the relatively small number of students who barricaded buildings got themselves on the news.

    And yes Tom, clearly you were bagging the media, so I don’t know why you thought I was addressing your post. Okay I can a bit, but I wasn’t talking to you so shush :) Anyway I should clarify in future, but I was addressing Andrew’s initial post, and some general sentiment which you all repeated.

    I just think you are all making huge generalisations about the Australian majority based on –

    1. How and what the media chooses to report (decisions which are in the hands of few individuals)

    2. Herald Sun and similar polls which about 1500 people reply to, and maybe all they do is believe what they read.

    3. The fact that Howard is in power.

    In any case the Labor party is seriously crap. We need to work on that.

  8. That’s three times in recent history that Andrew Bolt has said something vaguely reasonable. I’m concerned. Is the end of days coming and no one told me?

    There was a vague “everyone’s agreeing on wrong things” tone to your post. But I suppose I’m a bit pessimistic these days. The election broke my spirit. It’s my reasonably firm belief that the majority of Australians are douchebags. I shouldn’t let it shine through, I should give them the benefit of the doubt.

    I care about a lot of things that I don’t do anything about. I don’t believe that my doing anything could possibly affect the way the universe goes about its business. I didn’t give a shit about Corby though, and still don’t, mostly because, as I say, I don’t believe we got anything near a sensible coverage of the thing. The media’s decisions are in the hands of the culture that they’ve all learned the trade in: they report as they do because they’re reporting to a bunch of meatheads. Well, maybe. There I go again.

    While I agree that I’m too pessimistic about the Australian people, though, you have to admit that the results for that poll were somewhat scary. Not as scary as the vague tendency in society towards “Torture is Nice” but still a little scary.

  9. Jackson, didn’t you realise that as long as you put some sort of disclaimer at the start of a set of grossly unfounded assertions, you are wholly justified in what you say? This a technique I learnt from such high quality media as the Herald Sun and A Current Affair (as well as quite a few dubious physics papers). I described the ninemsn poll (sarcastically) as ‘highly scientific’ and am thus entirely in the clear for whatever I say afterwards.

    Being slightly more serious for a moment, I am well aware that this poll, and much else said about the Corby case is likely a load of bollocks. Over the course of the trial there were a number of times something pissed me off enough to make me consider blogging but I resisted because my point of view was likely as biased and ill-informed as what had pissed me off. However, for this I couldn’t resist. Admittedly, I was grossly unjustified in generalising to the entire 20 million Australians (although this was intended somewhat tongue-in-cheek) but I don’t care which lunatic sub-section of our society chooses to answer these polls (and believe me, the number of sickening poll results I’ve read to immigration and terrorist related question makes me deeply hope it is a very small extremist minority) and how blaze they were in answering, it is still astonishing that 20% say that using WMDs against a foreign nation is not instantly condemnable.

    I don’t want to get to sidetracked by discussing details of the actual Corby case because like the rest of us I don’t particular care and certainly don’t know. The only point I will make is this: You say how can a justice system be fair if all the prosecution has to do is prove the bag is hers. The implication I get here (and sorry if it is not what you meant, but other people have actually said this to me, so if I am not rebutting your words, I am rebutting someone else’s) is that this is the case in Indo but in Australia more would have to be proved. I disagree – if someone came through customs here (or pretty much anywhere else) with a bag of drugs I think that would constitute proof beyond reasonable doubt that they were guilty in all but the most exceptional of cases, which I would argue the Corby case isn’t. That is my main dispute with the ‘furore’ — while the judicial systems in Australia and Indonesia are very different, I think she was as likely to get a fair trial there as here. In any case there will be weaknesses in both the prosecution and defence cases. As long as the court can here these, as I believe they did here, and treat them in a balanced manner I believe justice has been served. Anyway, you may well disagree and as I said I am not really interested anyway so let’s leave that there.

    Chapter 4 of this thesis is entitled “Media and the masses: How can we generalise from the vocal few whose opinions are heard in the media to the population as a whole?” I agree that the whole mess is largely the result of a media beat up largely driven by an attempt by Channel 9 to reverse falling ratings for its news in Sydney. I agree that the media is equally if not more to blame than the general population. However I don’t think we should shift the blame too much. The reason the media went overboard was precisely because they know what sells papers — pretty white girls wrongfully detained in third world prisons do, Muslims tortured and wrongfully detained by Americans don’t. The journalists working for the Herald Sun are, I imagine, generally good people who went into journalism with noble intentions. The reason they spend most of their time writing crap is because crap is what people want. Of course, it is a vicious circle — people want crap because that is what they are told they want etc etc — but living as we do in a (quote-unquote) democratic society I think we have to be careful in blaming the media for giving people what they want.

    And the reason it is what people want is because they are are lazy. True, 97% of Aussies don’t give a fuck about Corby and we only here from the other 3%. Similarly, most Americans aren’t gun-toting, anti-abortion, homophobic born-again Christians who think they are doing God’s work despite the impression we would get from the media. But just as it is the minority who speak the loudest, it is the minority who act the loudest and the silent majority, although largely disagreeing with the vocal minority can’t quite get up the energy to do anything about. I say this as someone who has disagreed with virtually every decision the Howard Government makes but who has never quite made the effort to protest against globalisation, refugee detention, the war in Iraq (although here my opposition was lukewarm) or to march for reconcillation. It would be much worse if a fifth of our population did want to nuke Asia (ok, I am getting carried away) but if it is only 20% of the vocal 3% which do, and the rest can’t be bothered stopping them, the end result will be the same. I am sure that most Germans in the 1930’s were jolly nice people who would rather, other things being equal, that millions of Jews weren’t slaughtered. But they had bigger issues to concern themselves with so the vocal minority got their way.

    So, while I agree with Jackson that the views expressed in the poll aren’t representitive of the whole of Australia, if the rest of Australia doesn’t do anything about it then they may as well be their views. In conclusion:

    Corby – who cares?Media – guiltyAustralian population – jury still out (cos we have juries in this country unlike those monkeys to our north who wouldn’t know a judicial system if it came up and bit them on the arse)

  10. If Howard starts slaughtering millions of Jews, then I’ll go and stand outside parliament house with a sign. We all should, let’s agree to that now.

    I agree with everything you say Andrew, and I know that most of our blogs are largely tongue-in-cheek so I’m sorry for my reaction in a way. Some days I think I’m desperate to believe in people, because I’d rather not live in the kind of world I think we are. It makes me feel better to argue with all the pessimists out there, even though most days I agree.

    When you say “rest of Australia” though – you also mean us. We are those people that don’t care enough to do anything. Surely then we have no right to complain about it, because we are part of the problem. That’s why I find hating Howard easier than hating Australians, because I didn’t vote for him.