The Forum that was considered too kooky and racist even for Pauline Hanson (see below) is apparently considered a thoroughly worthwhile event by others. Thus it is that Helen Caldicott, known as an anti-nuclear activist, has this weekend lent her name to the Inverell Forum — along with the Sydney Forum, one of the two main annual gatherings of the far right in Australia.
Other speakers at this year’s Forum, in addition to the usual assortment of conspiracy theorists, opponents of Big Gub’mint, and advocates of alternative medical practices, included Greg Clancy — who denounced the multicultural menace — and an anxious Anglo-Saxon named Andrew Fraser (who also spoke at the 2006 Forum).
Oddly enough, last year’s Inverell Forum was to feature Pauline Hanson, but she withdrew after being informed she was to share a platform with a neo-Nazi, Welf Herfurth. Herfurth spoke on the subject of the German NPD, of which he was once a member. (Herfurth also spoke at the 2003 Forum on the same topic.)
In 2007, Herfurth was joined by Richard Krege, another Holocaust denialist, who spoke of his experience (in the company of Frederick Toben, currently the subject of legal proceedings) at the infamous conference in Tehran on the subject of the Holocaust. Krege, an engineer, maintains that only 5,000 people died at the death camp at Treblinka, of disease, rather than the 800,000 historians estimate.
In 2006, in addition to Fraser, the Inverell Forum featured convicted criminal Dr James Saleam, who spoke in praise of what he and his white supremacist party, Australia First, terms the ‘Cronulla uprising’.
Still, Caldicott is also going to Sydney to address the 911TruthNow conference, where on March 14 she’ll be speaking on the subject of the use of depleted uranium in weapons, in the Middle East in particular, where millions have served as unwilling guinea pigs in US military experiments. Speaking of which, last year’s Sydney Forum featured a Palestinian speaker, Rihab Charida. She spoke on the subject of Palestine. However, she notes that:
I was not asked to speak at this event by the organisers. Three days prior to the event, a friend who was scheduled to speak asked if I could replace him, as he had other commitments. Stupidly, I agreed without investigating who the Sydney Forum was organised by and for. Therefore, I prepared my talk as a standard presentation about Palestine and went to deliver it with no understanding of the purpose of the Forum…
[Tomislav Sunic’s] talk had my friends and myself feeling sick. We realised that we were surrounded by fascists and rednecks. Even then, I didn’t click that the entire event was held for white supremacists. I thought that maybe this was a forum attracting different people (right leaning), including rednecks. Obviously, I now realise it is a forum organised exclusively by and for white supremacists.
To all but the most naive, the function of inviting speakers such as Helen Caldicott and Rihab Charida to address such events as the Inverell and Sydney Forums is to lend them an air of credibility, and to allow their organisers to claim that such events go ‘beyond left and right’ and aren’t the gatherings of the rural and urban-based far right, composed of the kinds of audiences who remark — in reference to Rihab — that ‘She would have been of much better use as a mud flap for my car’. That, and the remnants of an older generation of right-wing letter-writers, precisely the kind who found a home in One Nation.
Tim Blair (Culture wars over, say leftists, The Daily Telegraph, February 23, 2008):
Dr Helen Caldicott enjoyed mainstream media respect from about the mid-’80s until it became obvious her nuclear devastation fantasies were never going to come true, some time around, oh, 1989. Thereafter she’s largely been limited to the ABC and similarly inclined outlets.
Lately things have become even worse. Next month lefty Helen – one of our new cultural overlords, remember – is listed to speak at a Sydney meeting of the global 9/11 truth movement, which holds that the events of September 11 2001 were somehow faked or the result of a conspiracy led by the US Government.
In the universe of modern crazy, your truthers are at the top of the list. Where normal people see footage of massive jets piling into the World Trade Centre towers, truthers see all manner of clues hinting at unmanned aircraft, substitute flights (where did the passengers go?) and controlled demolition.
Even noted engineering and physics scholars are sometimes drawn in by truther theories on building collapse. Willie Nelson, for example.
So Caldicott, if not actually signing on to the truther fable – and we’re yet to see her speech; she may well do – is at least prepared to lend this group whatever credibility she has left after warning us for decades that all nuclear plants are as unreliable and prone to Aeroflot-style commie bungling as Chernobyl. It’d be sad, except for the fact that Caldicott is possibly the only person on earth whose support might detract from the truther cause.
Get used to it, people. The war is over. We now live in a Helmichael Caldinig country. Say sorry to your atomic duck.
Hanson will share stage with Holocaust denier
February 15, 2007
ONE Nation founder Pauline Hanson plans to share a platform with a prominent denier of the Holocaust and a well-known neo-Nazi activist.
Ms Hanson will be a special guest next month at the Inverell Forum, an annual talkfest in the NSW country town that has long been associated with right-wing extremist groups.
Ms Hanson announced in December that she hoped to resurrect her political career by standing as a candidate in this year’s federal election.
She will share the Inverell platform with Richard Krege, an Air Services Australia engineer who recently attended the Holocaust Conference in Tehran. The Iranian government-sponsored conference attempted to disprove the accepted historic fact that six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis during World War II.
Mr Krege is regarded by fellow Holocaust deniers as an expert on the notorious Treblinka concentration camp, in Poland. Although 800,000 Jews and others died there, he claims just 5000 perished of disease and none were killed.
The Inverell Forum website said the gathering would discuss the “current Zionist propaganda campaign designed to condition the public to accept the inevitable first attack on Iran”.
Ms Hanson will also share the platform with Welf Herfurth, a long-time activist with Germany’s neo-nazi National Democratic Party before he moved to Sydney.
Mr Herfurth will address the forum on “what other nationalists outside Germany can learn from the NPD’s practical approach to politics and creating a parallel society”.
Other speakers at the forum include James Cook University academic Bob Carter, a leading global warming sceptic.
Ms Hanson could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The forum will hear how “recent events in Australia have galvanised her once more into taking up the cudgel for patriotic Australia”.
Ms Hanson served a term in federal parliament when she was elected as the MP for Oxley in 1996.