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The ALP and East Timor

Democracy Diminished by Richard Woolcott has started a debate on the forum about the role of the ALP in the invasion of East Timor, whether politicians and bureaucrats can change and the role of ‘desk warriors’.

Is this the same Richard Woolcott who aided and abetted the Indonesian takeover of East Timor in 1975? Surely it can’t be for this essay is generous, sensible yet unerringly critical of the present state of Australia? (jcollins)

Mr Woolcott, as ambassador in Jakarta in 1975, wrote, "We are dealing with a settled Indonesian policy to incorporate Timor . . . I know I am recommending a pragmatic rather than a principled stand, but that is what national interest and foreign policy is all about." (Sasha Uzunov)

It would be unfair to unload the whole responsibility of the government’s sleaze of the time entirely onto Richard Woolcott,however I think he should attempt to help us out here so we all can move on.Otherwise the title of this forum will remain more apt than intended! (woofavn)

People need the opportunity to start afresh. True it may be that Richard Woolcott and Malcolm Fraser have done things that they now regret. But who hasn’t? Think about radical change in the life of Yitzhak Rabin, Alfred Nobel, Francis of Assisi and Gautama Buddha. Maybe this forum might spark off something to help reconcile some of those who feel anger and hurt.

Read more and join the debate here:

A new flag?

A discussion has started on the forum about the need for a new Australian flag:

I know this has been brought up before but I believe Australia needs a new flag because:
The current flag does not represent all Australians
It is so similar with the NZ flag, its a joke
It should incorporate some design to represent the indigenous history and the europeans, white, non-white
The current govt has done well to squash debate on this everytime, as well as the monarchists. (supporta)

Join this discussion here.

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