Don’t Say G13, Say G8 plus 5 plus Egypt

Today Wednesday various world leaders are going to get together to have a talk fest. According to the folks over at China Daily there are going to be two lots of talks, in one venue the G8 and the other venue G5







United Kingdom





South Africa









It gets more confusing because it also be called the G14 since Egypt has been invited. Also our glorious leader Kevin Rudd will be along for later meetings. My internal conspiracy theorist says that he is along to get the good word and bring it back to the party faithful. The invitation to Egypt is the most enigmatic.


The First World War was not fought for freedom

The Radical Antipodes or the WW1

was not fought for freedom

Here is a pub trivia question.

Which countries that were involved in the First World War had what we consider to be universal suffrage?

Universal suffrage being defined as all people over the age of majority (21 years in 1914) having the right to vote.

The answer may surprise you. It was only Australia (qualified) and New Zealand. To our Australian shame I should point out that Aborigines were considered simple and thus were wards of the State and we had failed to grant woman the right to vote at Federation.

Allies WW1 Women suffrage in 1914 Year granted Notes
Australia Yes


Belgium No


Canada No


Quebec women had wait until 1940 before they could vote in provincial elections
France No


Only exercised at national level in 1945
Egypt No


Great Britain No


in 1918 for 30 years and over, full extension in 1930
India No


Dominion of the British Empire in 1914
Italy No


Japan No


Some county level voting before 1945
New Zealand Yes


Pakistan No


Dominion of the British Empire in 1914
Portugal No


Russia No


Saudi Arabia No Not yet Considered part of the Ottoman empire in 1914
South Africa No


1930 for white women and 1996 for all citizens




Central powers WW1 Women suffrage in 1914 Year granted Notes
Austria No


Part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1914
Germany No


Hungary No


Part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1914
Iraq No


Part of the Ottoman empire in 1914
Syria No


Part of the Ottoman empire in 1914
Turkey No


Part of the Ottoman empire in 1914


Some of the values are based on Wikipedia and quick google search give qualified answers for the vote actually given. Examples are French women being given the vote in 1944 but only able use it in 1945 and if you were a muslim woman living in Algeria (then considered part of France) you could only vote in 1958 or in Australia real true franchise being granted after the 1967 referendum which recognized Aborigines.

It should be pointed out that full legal rights for women followed or is following years after the right to vote was granted. As a male it is embarrassing to think that in 1914 in many respects even in Australia a woman’s rights were marginally more than a child’s.

The paradox of the First World War was that it was not fought for freedom but that many of the freedoms that we take for granted came out of the changes that that terrible event created.

Boutros Ghali – “Israel Has a Habit of Closing its Eyes to Hard Facts”

From Der Spiegel online. 5 Jan 2009
Boutros Boutros Ghali interview

SPIEGEL ONLINE: What has led you to this conclusion?

Boutros-Ghali: Israel has a habit of closing its eyes to hard facts. In geographical terms, the Gaza Strip represents almost exactly 2 percent of the total area of Palestine. There is no getting around the fact that this area would have to be greatly expanded as part of the scope of a genuine peace agreement. An additional fact on the ground, which the Israelis prefer to forget about, is the 1.3 million Arab Palestinians who remained in their villages and cities when the state of Israel was founded in 1948 and who make up about one-fifth of Israel’s current population. By around 2060, the Palestinians will account for roughly half — if not more — of the inhabitants of Israel and the areas occupied by Israel.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: According to that theory, this demographic development will put an end to the dream of having a state with a majority Jewish population, something which greatly concerns the Israelis. But does it have any bearing on the current conflict?

Boutros-Ghali: The growing imbalance between Jews and Arabs in the area controlled by Israel is of decisive importance for the near future of the Jewish state. Already today, you can see that the Zionist idea of having a purely Jewish state is not going to work out and that this (demographic) development renders the idea no longer tenable. The fuse is already lit. Emigration from Israel is already on the rise — and not just in the wake of crisis situations. More and more parents are losing faith in the future and want to spare their children from having to live a life marked by constant fear and a lack of peace. But Israel’s current leadership appears to be solely motivated by a concern for election tactics. Given the scale of the damage that has already been done, that is irresponsible.


But wait there is more

Boutros-Ghali: Working together, the Arabs put a good peace plan on the table that envisioned recognizing Israeli sovereignty within the pre-1967 borders in return for an independent Palestinian state within these borders. Israel made the mistake of ignoring this offer.

One of the questions that must arise, is Zionism possible without a purely Jewish state? Can Zionism exist where all citizens are equal before the law regardless of religion? (Israel currently avoids these issues by not having a formal constitution.)

Boutros Boutros Ghali because of his association with the ruling elites of Egypt could be said to be putting forth an unofficial line. Egypt is warning Israel of the rise of the radical forces in the Arab world and that just as Israel monitors Egypt, Egypt too monitors Israel and it is in Egypt’s interests to have peaceful neighbours.

Boutros Boutros Ghali comes from a prominent Egyptian political family. He was formerly the Secretary General of the United Nations.

On the G20 meeting

The G20 meeting is a step up. At least there is a fairer representation of the worlds population. Not perfect since the EU gets five bites. Countries that should be there that aren’t are Nigeria, Iran, Egypt and Pakistan. The USA will expect that Mexico, Canada, UK and Australia will be in their corner. The EU block will be Germany, France and Italy with the EU itself and some moral support from Turkey. The rest will be factions unto them selves. Russia and Saudi Arabia have common interests. 

The joke is that Australia’s natural allies are Russia and Saudi Arabia. We cannot afford to alienate any of our Asian partners. An interesting time will be had by all.

It does look like China will announce what it thinks the US dollar should be worth. This is going to constrain US policy. This is going to be more important than the presidential reality show that has just finished.