Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Big Ideas -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) which basically means germ-free. There's also aseptic technology, to above 100 degrees The juice is heated straight into a sterile container then packed where no air can get in. it's safe to drink for up to a year. Because there's no bacteria, the sweet Valencia juice in summer, It means juice companies can store in winter to make it taste better. then add it to fresh Navel juice would contain some fresh orange juice But though the juice and some old aseptic juice, allowed to label it as fresh. the makers are still some controversy. And that's been causing exactly what's in our juice. Some say we should be told to above 100 degrees Heating the oranges destroys some of the vitamins. companies add extra Vitamin C. And to make up for that, some juice going on into labelling laws At the moment there's a big inquiry are pushing for changes. and some politicians still be juice in the supermarket But whatever happens there'll you can always make it yourself. or, if you'd rather, you enjoyed it. See you next time. That's all we have time for. Hope Closed Captions by CSI This Program is Captioned Live. # Theme music I'm Waleed Aly. Hello and welcome to Big Ideas, On the show today, according to John Pilger. The State of the World The Byron Bay Writer's Festival In his keynote address at

the outspoken ex-pat journalist and disappointing place. still finds the world a dark on a magnitude we can't imagine, George W Bush is a criminal American government, the military is at the centre of

than a brand, Barack Obama is nothing more and no more than a cigarette paper political parties. separates the major Australian stalwart Phillip Adams. Pilger was speaking to ABC National light in often dark times. Pilger's work has been a beacon of a revelation over and over again. The reality is brought to light in a constant inspiration - His courage and insight are please have the decency to blush. the wonderful Pinter - says, Harold Pinter - 'Pilger is fearless, to facts the filthy truth he unearths with steely attention I salute him.' and tells it like it is. that need to be steelily addressed, OK. Let's look at some of the facts a bit here. and I'm just going to cherry-pick I can remember being quite shocked Christopher Hitchens when a young and quite healthy and detested Clinton. told me how much he loathed disappointing president. He had found Clinton a monstrously And this wasn't the chicanery, than that. it was rather more fundamental Late Night Live But when you were last on you were quite tough on Obama. a riff on Obama? Would you like to give us that's all you have to say. Well, Obama is a US president, (Laughter) President is completely irrelevant. The fact that he's the first black US moment when he was inaugurated There was briefly an historical things that US presidents do - but he's increased all of those you see, they always... since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, since FDR - presidents have presided over administrations increasingly reactionary and that's speeded up from Nixon on. And Clinton -

that I would agree with Hitchens - it's probably the only thing

one of the worst, is that Clinton was one of the most, the economic problems in that he made all around the world that ordinary people have the Clinton administration a lot of that can be laid at de-regulation of markets and so on. for their almost perverse because he was easy to hate. Anyway. Bush stood out in the first year or so And you may remember there were joke books about him of the Bush's administration finish a sentence and he was stupid. because it was said he couldn't he was never stupid. Well, he was none of those things, He did a couple of - a magnitude you and I can't imagine I mean, he was a criminal on and Obama is pretty much the same. five wars running around the world, Obama's got something like more gifts than anybody has. he's given Wall Street he was supposed to have come - He's betrayed the people from whence that is African Americans and people at the bottom of society. Obama is a brand. the whole selling of a brand. Obama almost exemplifies The myths around Obama came from small donors. were that most of his support That is absolutely not true, Wall Street lobbyists. they came from the major on the south side of Chicago, Obama always was an operator the Democratic Party worked his way through over the United States - and behold we now have him presiding which we saw last week - almost as some sort of comic opera. had this phoney debate As the house of representatives

about a deficit ceiling. the US did for many of its own people The truth is that the one thing standard of living. was to provide a certain Under Obama - certainly under Bush - much of that has been stripped away. but under Obama So, look the US president

the showcase, he's a symbol. is basically the man in front of He does have certain powers, but Obama has exercised those powers elements that we've ever seen, on behalf of some of the most extreme such as The Pentagon. American power, in my view, I mean the great shift in to the centre of government has been the bringing of the military in the United States. virtually has no power now. The State Department the world making absurd statements Hillary Clinton wanders around it has very little power. but other than that, The Pentagon has the major power to bring all The Pentagon officials and Obama was the first president for Defence including the Secretary of State over into his administration. from the Bush administration a military government. So we have, effectively in the US, is irrelevant. That he's a nicer man than Bush this is a recent development. I'm surprised you think the Eisenhower administration I vividly recall the last minutes of

he warned America, where on his way out, would do at the time, as C Wright Mills industrial complex. about the military the way The Pentagon, He talked about the politicians the manufacturing industries, were all in fact, cohorts working incredibly closely together and here's a republican president and indeed a military man, warning America it had happened.

Where is the Quantum leap? Well yes, that speech by Eisenhower is often quoted but perhaps he was just thinking of his moment in history, at the time, because he himself presided over a very dangerous administration with an absolute maniac running foreign affairs called John Foster Dulles, who was a Christian fundamentalist, a real fanatic and Eisenhower let him get on with

almost bringing the world to the edge of Armageddon. But he saw himself as a man with a certain legacy so he made this very prophetic speech. No. I agree with you. I think that certainly since the Second World War, administrations in the US have become, by a certain degree, more extreme, and that Obama is just another US president. We almost have to, particularly in this country, in which we display such an obsequiousness to the United States. We have to have a sea change in our attitude towards this great ally, otherwise we'll never come to terms with our place in the world. We may never come to terms with our own sense of ourselves,

unless we understand that the big friend across the Pacific is something other than we're forever told it is. Let's circle around to Australian identity and Australian issues later. Are you suggesting that it would have made no difference politically had Hillary Clinton won rather than Obama? None, business as usual. No, business as usual. Yeah, slightly more irritating. Doesn't make any difference therefore who wins next time? I don't think so. There is a dim prospect that some of the Tea Party rackers might under some circumstances get up. Many of us would see that as a time for lemming-like leaps off cliffs.

But you don't think that would be that consequential?

I don't think it's possible to be more extreme than the administrations the way they are. They have nothing to do with the American population. If you look at the credible polls, I mean we're talking about rulers here, we're not talking about the people. And American's are so often stereotyped as being cast in the same mould as their people. Not in my experience. And if you look at the credible polling by Washington Post, CBS, the Pew Organisation, you find that the rulers of the United States at every level are so far to the right, so extreme from the views of the population, that any kind of formal democracy that is those elected

representing the people, is virtually ended. I mean, the American's have such sensible views. from our own. They're not very different from the views of most countries. They want to have proper health care, they don't want to go to war,

they don't want to be chained to a situation in the Middle East

that never changes. They want their unions to represent them. They have what used to be called, very basic social democratic views. None of their views, none of their principle views are represented in Washington. You know, when the 2008 recession, so called, or depression, whatever it was, the great collapse happened. The anger in the United States at their leaders, was like a presence in that country. I read an extraordinary statistic, where in one day the White House received 24,000 emails and almost all of them were raging at the people running their country. And I think that in less vivid terms

is true in all parliamentary democracies now. I think that's perfectly true and what's happened is that there's been a shift to the Right which I want you to connect back to this good, sensible views of the ordinary punter. But there's been a shift to the Right here and it occurred to me a couple of weeks ago to discuss it on air, that the repercussions of One Nation wasn't that it died the death it should have died

out of sheer intellectual exhaustion - there's a contradiction in terms. But that it was embraced and accommodated and incorporated by the major parties. And I remember shortly before one of the Howard victories, a president of the Labor party saying 'This is the choice, if you want 100% of One Nation, you vote One Nation. If you want 90% of it, you vote for the Nats.' If you want 80% of it, you vote for the Libs and if you want 70% of it, you vote for us. Now, people don't seem to realise that there's been this sort of tectonic shift in the way our politics are conducted. Yeah, I think that's right. I think the Howard - I mean, Howard, who had views on race and on xenophobia that were not all that different from Pauline Hanson. You go back to the 1980s Howard's various campaigns particularly against... ..I remember people at the time people against Asians and others they had sort of vaguely subtle veneer but he was... he absorbed Pauline Hanson, as he suggests -

but that's true in all parliamentary democracies. The major parties in the UK have absorbed the racism of the National Front. We've had this horrific situation in Norway. Now we're hearing a lot of about peaceful little Norway. Well, nonsense. 25% voted for a party called The Progress Party in Norway which is a far Right party with Xenophobic and Islamaphobic views. This, what I would call, and it applies to Australia - Islamaphobia - certainly in Europe is extremely dangerous. It's a... Islamaphobia is a word, a polite word for racism. And it's not all that dissimilar for the kind of thing that was built up against Jewish people in Europe during the 1930s. The circumstances are different but if you took the word Islamaphobia and replaced it with anti-semitism none of this would be allowed now. None of this, kind of - the kind of messages that we get from our own government in this country about refugees, the treatment of refugees, are not dissimilar from the messages that have gone out in Norway, other parts of Europe and other western countries. In other words it has a license, it's being allowed. And that's one of the things that Howard did. And during those grim years he gave us a license, via his attacks on political correctness, to say foul things in a way that - we'd learnt better manners, basically. And if you actually read what the Norwegian assassin has to say about the Australian connections - let's not overstate this - but it is clear that he endorses and approves of that sort of quadrant collective in their attacks on Islam, political correctness and in their attacks on multiculturalism. They are the issues that the assassin draws from and he's the pointy end of conventional politics. Well, he named Howard himself. I mean, I know we can't have guilt by association but I think there are connections. He named Howard, he named the... Windschuttle... ..He named Keith Windschuttle, the chief denialist of the truth of our history. He named Cardinal Pell... ..the chief denialist on climate change... ..yeah, and a few other things thrown in as well.

And he named people who inspired him who have taken an extreme position, but we don't... our mainstream media or our mainstream discourse have not recognised them as extremists. And they are extremists.

Anybody who in any form propagates race or violence on a large scale, like war, that isn't a defensive war, is an extremist, no matter who they are. (Audience applause) John, you and I wrote endlessly on the issue of Iraq and Afghanistan and, like the millions of marches, were absolutely ignored. It just went on and happened. You're interesting, though, in your response to Libya. Mhm. Talk to that. Well Libya's just the same old story. Libya, I mean - the invaders of Libya are now falling out with each other and they want to get the hell out. If you look at the WikiLeaks cables, on Libya, for 2007, they show that the United States and Europe are very, very worried about Gaddafi's plans to refuse to privatise his resources. In other words, the state was going to hang on to the biggest oil supply in Africa. Now, at that time, the West and the US were back in Libya, Gaddafi was back in the fold,

they were back there because they really wanted what Libya has, otherwise it's a long stretch of sand, otherwise they wouldn't want it. It's got these extraordinary resources and Gaddafi was asking for - not asking for - he was demanding the kind of terms of engagement with the international oil companies that were basically unacceptable. Now, with everything that has gone on in the last decade, you'd have to be really stupid to actually ignore that in what happened in Libya. This ridiculous UN cover for an attack that has nothing to do with the protection of people, has everything to do with - for instance the French have been the most enthusiastic about it because Sarkozy has this idea a Mediterranean Union. to create what he calls

the old French Empire Which is basically to re-activate along North Africa. along the Maghreb, The British are keen to be in it, with the Americans and things, because they like bombing it's part of what they do. they want part of the action. But seriously, those WikiLeaks cables, But if you look at what the Gaddafi regime is saying, not going to privatise 'we're not only and let you have all our resources, the Russians and the Chinese we're going to talk to there were 30,000 Chinese in Libya and the Chinese - most of them are now gone. when it was attacked, reasons for that attack So there are serious geo-political geo-political reasons for - just as there were serious So you don't regard it Eastern pro-democracy movement? as a legitimate part of the Middle No. No, it's a - they're all different. Yes, parts of it certainly were, the world decided to take part in it, but by the time the rulers of they corrupted it. You know, the leaders of it - has just been assassinated one of the leaders, General Eunos, by his own people. He was a former henchman of Gaddafi. by the CIA in Washington for years. The other main general has been paid what parts of which They've contaminated against this regime. were undoubtedly a genuine uprising There's no doubt about that. tribal war, And it's turned into a kind of in Somalia, not terribly different from the one which is painted differently. the uprising in Egypt. Very different from the one in Syria, Certain elements of it are similar to the West saw the opportunity but the difference is the Arab uprising. to do something about in the Middle East since January You must remember what has happened has taken - all the centres of power by surprise took Washington, London, Paris, a foothold and do something about it. and Libya was a chance to get I don't think there's any other way. That's the way I see it, behind bars in a courtroom, Mubarak was their man and now he's frightened to death about this. they must be absolutely Other dictators could go, you know. The default position on Iraq, the official stories were crap. you and I both knew that The default position was always that a human rights issue, it was at heart, etc etc. forget the non-existent WMD, that situation? You're comfortable with With? With it being a human - With that argument being applied. to Tripoli - When that argument is applied when it's applied to Libya, I'm sorry, a human rights cesspit? you don't think it was that bad as Well, yes. human rights. But the attack had nothing to do with a country, I mean when great power attacks it doesn't do so for human rights. ever, There is no human rights element there is a cover of human rights,

that Iraq was all about now our media may tell us human rights. had a lot of support in Iraq. but you know Sadam Hussein actually human rights violations. But, of course, there were many, many a number of countries. But there are many many violations in I can think of Indonesia. The late General Suharto

the dictators. was probably the most viscous of all I don't remember any attack on him, with most of his arms, indeed the British supplied him Capasis Guerillas. the Australian's SAS trained his It's got nothing to do with - for an attack on another country. human rights is always a cover Unless, unless - the second world war, I mean even during for many countries, such as the UK. that was a war of national survival So the human rights was not an issue, the Jewish people if you take what was being done to in places like Auschwitz. as we now know from all the documents that have been written and all the memoirs in the liberation of Europe, that was not a major factor the major factor was the - certainly it's own survival, as far as Britain was concerned, empires of the West. but also the survival of the great around the world all these years, If I've learnt nothing from wandering

a morality in great power, I've learnt that you don't invest and you do it in groups, you do it in individuals

but you never do it in great power. otherwise, I think. You get it all wrong parties thither and yon, The slow, agonising death of Labor in the studio, I can remember sitting hearing about the coup against Rudd. not believing the story I was it was clear that it had happened But by the end of the program committed suicide. and I said, Labor party has just at the next election, It now faces annihilation

and deeply wounded having already been savaged too many senior people and I can't think of even the goodies, in the Labor party, with a scintilla of confidence. who face the future They just think their era over. for the British Labor Party as well, That certainly seems to be the case under Miliband? or can the British Party bounce back to, because, Labor... I'm not sure where they'd bounce back ..I mean... democracy is that... ..the crisis in parliamentary cigarette paper between the parties. ..if you're lucky you could run a

at all now between the major parties. There's no distinctive difference trying to persuade us Much of our media is devoted to and so personalities figure large. that there is a difference But, there isn't a difference,

politics in Britain and my observation of and it began to happen, is that there has been a convergence probably at the end of the 1970s. I would think, almost,

was complete the convergence And all that Blair did the Blair years, and you had a situation during the Right of the political spectrum where the Labor party was to slightly to the left of them. and the Tory party was situation here, And, you know, it's a different but in principal its much the same - spectacularly demonstrated for me The convergence was most of John Howard, during the so called 'dark victory' the refugee victory. to my rage with Kim Beazley, When my rage with Howard was nothing who totally capitulated on the refugee issue and no-one on either side of politics has had the guts to roll that back. We're still looking at an abysmal system. (Audience applause) Well, I don't think he capitulated, that's what he was there to do. I think Kim Beazley has held these views for as long as I can remember Kim Beazley and that he was in the Labor party or in the Liberal party is irrelevant, really. And -

Very close to the US security system, wasn't he? Yeah, he was extremely. I remember I was on one of Geoffrey Robertson's Hypotheticals during the '80s and somehow Geoff Robertson managed to convince half the Hawke cabinet to turn up and play roles as if they were in a mythical government - very revealing. And Beazley called Geoff the night before and said 'I hear Pilger's on the panel' and he said 'yeah, so what?' He said 'well, you know I haven't really got clearance'. Clearance! He was then the Minister for Defence, hadn't got clearance to be in the same room as me, you know. None of us have clearance. None of you are cleared, you're all under deep suspicion. And so, of course, when Beazley - and Geoff said 'Ah, don't be absurd, you know, come along', Beazley came along and and stood in the corner for a while, everyone else I got on with extremely well, Hayden and all the rest were there and so I thought 'the hell with this' and I went over to Beazley and I stuck out my hand and I said I understand you've had difficulty coming here tonight and it just, look, it's a story that just tells the absurdity of so much of politics and the sameness of so much of politics. Because we could have had a Liberal cabinet playing those roles and they wouldn't have said anything different, really. John, let's now look at a problem, I think, in your argument. You, to some extent, romanticise the electorate. You talk about American voters with an innate fundamental decency that doesn't want to go to war, etc. And I would suggest we could say that about the Australian electorate, and yet, both electorates are characterised by not simply ignorance, but by willful ignorance,

by choosing not to know.

They allowed themselves, they wanted to be convinced that a few boat loads of poor bastards trying to escape Afghanistan, Iraq, were a threat, that they were illegals, that they queue jumpers, all these trick phrases and so you had the two major parties, and the minor ones, falling over themselves to manipulate that fear. You've talked about it happening in Norway,

it's happening in this country.

It does, in many ways, fight above its weight in the international world, so where's the connection then? trying to bring a degree of sanity, I see a disconnect between democratic sensibility your faith in an innate playing out. and in the way the world is I think they both - Well, I'm not sure, look, I take your point, Phillip, when I quoted American views - but I think both those points, popular American views, and on the distribution of wealth, I think they, on war in this country. they would be very, very similar Ah, I think that that view of really disgraceful attitude can co-exist with the kind of, that does exist as well. a section - I'm not saying that there isn't the public, of the electorate, and a substantial section of or stupid that are not willfully ignorant

or, um, or worse than that. And there have been actually the University of Melbourne some polls conducted by that demonstrate that. a sizeable proportion That demonstrate who are hostile to these people. of the Australian population I'm not in anyway excusing that is down to us, us, because in the end it whether we change things. that proportion of people. And that includes civilised countries can be - However, as we know, very, very through them. fear can run like a bush fire

civilised country in Europe, Germany was considered the most culturally, politically interesting ever it's one of the most and within a few years turned into this monster. fear and prejudice had been parallel of that in this country I'm not suggesting there's any who are so cynical but while we have politicians so cynical and so manipulative, and a media that is are going to find, then that sizeable minority they pick up a newspaper every time, you know, some kind of message - they're going to get coded message, it's not often coded, that as you've described, embodiment of the Australian myth - the very people who should be the on Earth to get to this country, that is they've gone through hell I mean, what - get to this country. and have been courageous in trying to exemplar of an Australian... They should be the absolute (Applause) this cowardly view. ..and instead this cowardly view, You know, I read recently

whatever it calls itself these days, that the Border - or other, the Border Protection something he was a military man running it, the guy - to save a boat said that we are under no obligation Christmas Island, like the boat that foundered off 40 people were killed. in which something like They are under no obligation. How is he allowed to say that? if we have a system running He's only allowed to say it that licenses him him to say it, and, as you suggest, the population a sizeable proportion of support that view. that are willing to that might be decent in this country. That is - that undercuts anything people in detention in Australia You know, we have, there are 1,000 (Mumble from audience) Hmm? 7,000, are there?

I must have been thinking of, Christmas Island perhaps? am I thinking of if I'm right on this, Anyway, it is that more children, more children are detained now the Howard years. than were detained during with Malaysia Ah, this disgusting arrangement put aside moral and human, where people who have the legal - this country as refugees, the legal right to come to are being packed off to Malaysia - the refugee convention. a country that has not signed We're talking Germany! I mean, you know. Well, talk whatever you like. political behaviour. This is the most base behaviour, at straws... Let me clutch desperately (Applause) veterans of old media. ..You and I are survivors, you make documentaries. You know, we push words around, you must tell the audience Incidentally, with your latest film. how you were recently banned people reaching for newspapers, But, you talk about they're doing that less and less, for information. they're casting a much wider net another session this morning I was complaining in put themselves in a media bubble that many people, unfortunately, and simply find reinforcement and their prejudices. for their bigotries for the first time in a long time, But there is, and suddenly a new dynamic and a new energy. the Jasmine Revolution? Did we see it working well in

transformational around the world? Is it likely to be sources of information now, Well, I think there are so many many of them not very good, ah, illuminating - but many of them new and quite, very, very illuminating, that the old media, it's almost as if they've decided compete anymore. that they're not going to such a sort of calcified status quo. I think the old media represent they define the news we should get, You know, they define our politics,

perceive great events. they define how we should I think generally, people, when they can go on to the internet coming, say, via WikiLeaks, or read the raw material of truth are just not having that anymore. I don't think that's the reason. an electronic revolution going on I think there is which way it is going and we're not sure ways if it's going to catch up. but the old media has to change its I mean, it's been such a regression. in the 19th Century, You know, in Australia, we had, some of the most exciting newspapers, where the whole idea of journalism of the people. was that you're on the side you weren't agents of power. You were agents of people, the Sydney Monitor You had papers like of Governor Darling, that brought down the reign who ran the colony. this military dictator All that changed to the 20th Century contracted so much when the whole media scene in Australia, that we now have, you know, advanced society in the world. the most restricted media in any the capital city press With one proprietor owning 70% of similar corporations. and the rest of it in the hands of That's not a free media. And I think what people are, many people, especially young people - especially young people who travel, are looking elsewhere. They're looking on the net, clearly, they're looking at the kind of websites, American websites - some of them are extraordinary, where you can get a digest of news that you can't possibly get in this country. So theres a revolution going on in journalism, I think. Well, one of the revolutionaries of course, is local boy made good, Julian Assange. I got an email from him some years ago... (Scattered applause) ..telling me about his idea for WikiLeaks and signed up immediately. You have been talking to Julian, I believe, in the last couple of days. Mm hmm. Where's that at? Well, I'm very pleased to hear some of you clap because I have a lot to do with Julian Assange and with his legal struggles and it will be good to reassure him, as I often do, that in his own country there is a great deal of popular support for him. (Rousing applause and whistles) I, I - do you think the Byron Bay audience is a bit Left? (Laughter) No. I think it's the answer to your question about common decency, really. You can - it doesn't have to be in Byron Bay. audience is a bit Left? but it doesn't have to be in Byron Bay. I've spoken to audiences in every capital city in this country and smaller places and I think I would have got the same response about Julian and WikiLeaks all over this country. In fact, I was one of the organisers of an event

at the Sydney Town Hall in February. We had 2,000 people come and a couple of hundred people couldn't get in and that was all about justice for Julian Assange, an Australian whose Government has let him down, so appallingly, so appallingly. When the Prime Minister, herself a lawyer, pre-judged him when he has been charged with nothing. When his organisation has broken no law whatsoever. Finally, the Australian Federal Police had to say that, When his organisation has broken no law whatsoever.

And so on and so forth. So, I think Julian's WikiLeaks is very much at the fore of this revolution. I mean, most of the - I was going through my notes that I've made coming up here and, you know, on virtually every page the source is a WikiLeaks leak cable that I've read. You know, I've spent all those years trying to get scoops and find out what our rulers are really saying in private, as opposed to public when they lie most of the time, and, you know, in a couple of years they haul this out on major issues, such as Australia, you know. There were 730 cables that WikiLeaks has, they're really worried about this in Canberra, and of those, I think something like 300 are confidential and about, something like 50 or 60 are top secret. Now, not all of those have been released and if you look at the sequence of events when Gillard and McClelland started attacking WikiLeaks and when the first Australian cables were released, it was quite clear that they were scared. Especially about the rise of Gillard herself as Prime Minister and the getting rid of Rudd and the role of the US embassy and the role of the people who were in the embassy. It's all there in WikiLeaks cables. For instance, that Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister, suggested to Hillary Clinton that it might not be a bad idea to attack China. Ah, and what that was connected with was something that we've heard nothing about and that is the US wants to move its major headquarters to confront China, its principle rival in the world, to Australia. That's the prognosis. That, in other words, our main trading partner and the country that we have to have a peaceful relationship with, we have this ridiculous association with US policy that wants to see it off and in a particularly violent way. We wouldn't have known that had it not been for WikiLeaks cables. So, um - Do you foresee a time in our lifetime or perhaps in the lifetime of younger people sitting here today when Australia will finally learn not to in fact roll over on its back and allow its tummy to be tickled like a puppy.

A phrase of John Gordon's in relation to Great Britain but equally applicable of course to our relationships to the US. Do you think we'll ever find the gumption, the political strength, to stand up for ourselves? I think there are two things. If this is going to be an independent country - and it's not an independent country, and if it's going to be a socially and culturally proud society - and they can go on about it at Anzac day year after year or on January the 26th, that's irrelevant, two things have got to happen. The first thing is that nationhood has to be given back to the First Australians. Number one. (Applause) Number one. There's a disgraceful thing called 'the intervention' going on at the moment which is in a nutshell, the old land grab, in which they're going to move people from remote areas to what Jenny Macklin calls 'hubs'. This is apartheid. And until Australians recognise that and start to deal in a decent way with the First Australians, I don't think we can answer your question. I think number two is that we start speaking as a nation, not as a satellite state of the United States. (Applause) That's all. John, you would find something approaching unanimity on that but I'll ask you again, will that happen? I, I'm - look, I'm a very bad soothsayer, Phillip. the fall of the Berlin Wall, I didn't predict the end of apartheid, I didn't think these things would happen in my life time, so, I can't really say. Um, I think there is huge change happening in the world and we better notice it in Australia. It's happening - it's not only happening in a regressive way,

as we've seen in that awful event in Norway or elsewhere. We find in countries like Spain, you know, as we've seen in that awful event in Norway or elsewhere. in the centre of their cities protesting, forming a kind of view about how to change the world. In the UK, the most exciting thing that is happening there is the way young people are addressing the whole question of their society being made so grotesquely un-equal. They haven't - no, it's different from the 1960s as well it should be. But all those great movements are happening.

Historically it's like 1848, you know, when all those revolutions that didn't go anywhere seemed to be trying to make up their mind. When the Chartists were born and stood up to the rulers and so on. I think there's a similarity there. So there are many questions that are being begged but there's great movement across the world and Australia can't stand on the sidelines. We can't anymore be bystanders in our own country, which we are, we have been historically, socially, racially, culturally, for far too long.

(Applause) On that hint of hope we'll wind it up and what I want to do is give you another award. Now, it doesn't really compare to those dozens you've got but it's the highest award that I've got on late Night live. It's ten out of ten and a koala stamp. (Laughter and applause) Thank you John Pilger. Journalist and filmmaker John Pilger

speaking with Phillip Adams at the Byron Bay Writers' Festival where despite his bleak perspective, he got a standing ovation. That's all from Big Ideas for today, but don't forget that for more highlights from all the major Writers' Festivals

check out our website at the address on your screen. And look out for our generous servings of lunch time Big Ideas every weekend on ABC News 24 at 1pm Saturdays and Sundays. I'm Waleed Aly. See you again soon. Closed Captions by CSI 1.. THEME MUSIC Deep in the canyons of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado lies the most important ancient site in the United States. It's our wonder, and its very existence is a riddle. It was created by mysterious people who disappeared without trace long before the Europeans set foot on the Americas.

When it was discovered by two cowboys a century ago, Mesa Verde rewrote the history of the West. It showed that native Americans in this region

had lived in well-built, organised, and permanent urban communities. Within Mesa Verde are concealed the remains of a mysterious people who flourished here about 1,000 years ago. Very little is known about them, beyond the fact that they were great builders. They were called the Anasazi, the ancient ones, by the Navaho. Their spiritual beliefs are also a mystery,

but what we do know has been discovered in their underground ruins. A 'kiva' was a circular subterranean room where families would gather. On the floor was a fireplace, and a smaller hole called a 'sipapu', which was a symbolic connection to the underworld. Inside one of a number of dwellings are wall paintings. Some of the artwork seems to show pyramid structures which have lead some to believe these people may have been descendants of some of the great civilisations of Central America, perhaps even the Toltecs. This small town known as 'Cliff Palace' has about 220 rooms, and was home to around 250 people.

It was one of many small communities and homesteads built into the Rockies. Mesa Verde means 'green table' in Spanish - a name drawn from the surrounding canyon-tops where the Anasazi were thought to farm,

having climbed the steep cliff faces from their towns beneath. Today the Mesa Verde Park is home to over 4,000 archaeological sites

and 600 cliff dwellings. Mesa Verde shows the adaptability of the people. They used the natural features of the landscape not only to provide food, but also to provide protection and shelter, carved from the very rock itself. Closed Captions by CSI

... This Program is Captioned

Live. Warnings that a

Warnings that a double-dip

recession could flatten world markets. The global economy

has entered a dangerous new

phase. Move over Paul Keating -

there's a new world's Treasurer. It's very

satisfying to see that this

award has gone to Australia. A

blow to peace in Afghanistan

when the chief government

negotiator is killed. The

mission he had undertaken was

vital for the Afghan people and

for the security of our country

and peace of our country. And

men are supposed to shopping, but not on the net.

Dad, a guy's selling a pair of jousting sticks. Jousting