Andrew Bolt has been called a racist on his own TV show by former Labor frontbencher Craig Emerson. Bolt attacked Qantas’ decision to support the Recognise campaign for Indigenous constitutional recognition as racist, but Emerson said Bolt was the racist for his attacks on fair-skinned Indigenous people
Click on the image for the video when Craig Emerson calmly messed with Andrew Bolt’s thick head!
Australia has been suffering for several years now through an era whereby an ideological ultra conservative group of people (mostly men), who make up the Institute of Public Affairs, have been allowed to dominate the important social, financial and environmental debates.
For many years Australian voters have been trying to see the good things in political characters such as Malcolm Turnbull and Joe Hockey. Joe Hockey is now famous for his speech delivered in the UK in which he outlined that The Age Of Entitlement is over for Australians.
The Queensland state government spent millions on the Roma Street Parklands. This parkland was set to add huge value to any apartments built around its edges. One would have thought that the City would have insisted on at least some higher levels of design for such buildings. Continue reading Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane, Part Two→
Opinion: The lies and more lies and mindless spin of the Rabbott Government
The present government must hold the record for the amount of lies and the level of stupid and patronising spin. While their high levels of lies and misrepresentation worked to get them into government, it seems that they had convinced themselves that such high levels of crap would continue to fool the people who voted for them.
Opinion Piece: Measuring the fairness of the 2014 Federal Budget for rural people
An online report following the 2014 Commonwealth budget announcements and how they relate to people in rural and remote areas of Australia. The piece was posted by the National Rural Health Alliance. Definitely worth the read. It is not good news. Click here.
The ideology of ultra conservatives now dominates the current Australian federal government and we all know that this mantra simply reflects those pulling their strings, being the same industry groups who managed their ascension into government.
There’s so much written, but not read, about the inequalities in today’s society. It is welcomed to see a lone voice in our local media occasionally urging people to step back and think about what sort of society is being created.
Kelly Hogan does not fit well into the simple music categories. On this album the sound is a mix of many styles, being a bit of pop music, country, club blues and any combination or versions of the above and more. She has a great voice.
She is a friend and backing singer for Neko Case, so the one song here by Kelly, Golden, is in honour of her friend.
Points of Focus: Historic Photographs from the Pacific
University of Sydney, Macleay Museum
This exhibition is advertised as being of historic photographs from the Pacific spanning a century beginning from the late 1850s. With these words both in advertising and online, the expectations were for an extensive exhibition of photographs of the pacific islands.
The first story was told to me about a proposal being put to someone’s recent board meeting suggesting that the organisation needed to do far more about the status of women in their particular workforce. That is, along with the business councils in Australia, the organisation could devise some manner by which annually they recognise and award the female achievers.
In a world of inequity, the reactions should not have been so surprising.
Sally McManus tracks Abbott’s Wreckage of Australia
Here’s a blog that I recommend that you bookmark and to check regularly.
You probably are already aware of the damage being done to Australia by Rabbott and his feral friends. Sally McManus is listing them all. It is unbelievable! and it continues to grow. Click here for the link
Comment: refugees and Australia’s uncivilised behaviour
It is very hard to put together the words to describe how thinking people in Australia feel about the situation we are in thanks to the Commonwealth Governments of the last couple of decades.
I am totally and always have been against the concept of detention for refugees. As for detention centres on islands and in other countries for refugees trying to come to Australia, it is unbelievable that any civilized country would even have contemplated this. Continue reading refugees and Australia→
Malcolm Fraser’s comments say most of what any thinking person has to say about migrants and Manus Island; except that a certain dangerous and uncivilized Minister should resign and sent to detention immediately.
Amongst the news items in the last week was the report on the enormous profits by Australia’s Commonwealth Bank. This one slipped through while the media was taken up with all the usual superficial distractions.
The ever increasing gap between the rich and the poor
I did not think the day would come in my lifetime when I would find myself agreeing with a speech made by a Pope.
There are many issues unresolved about his church and many nasty things that it remains responsible for. It is one house that needs to get so many things in order before it can be credible on the world stage.
However at least on the topic of inequity this Pope seems to have hit the nail on the head.
Comment: on the wonders of two 2014 Superbowl advertisements
First a declaration. I know almost nothing about sport. I have no interest in sport. The whole ‘Superbowl’ thing is of interest in a very limited basis in that it is such a weird cultural phenomenon. It and large sporting events like it are way beyond my interest and understanding.
In the lead up to the 2014 Superbowl I noticed the occasional comment relating to how people were looking forward to viewing the Superbowl advertisements. This I found very strange.
The Best Planned City: Olmsted, Vaux, and the Buffalo Park System
Despite all the evidence and all the advocacy, our political leaders are still not up to the challenge of dealing with something that is a threat to life as we have come to know it here on this planet. True leadership seems to be in short supply these days.
This landmark piece of legislation, hailed internationally, fitted well with her belief that “governments have got a role to make sure they can help people in circumstances they can’t control – either through their health failing or an accident”.
The Australian Government is currently not doing much, except to hand power to its business friends.
We expect all manner of stupid decisions to follow soon. That is, once the business groups have worked out what they want this Rabbott Government to do. Hence all the reviews underway, which are being overseen by the business and lobby groups who brought this government to power.
There have been many times I have driven by a particular church along Limestone Ave and have thought about another church and pub on Broadway just south of the Sydney CBD.
Dear old St Barnabas Church burnt down in May 2006. It has since been replaced with a brand new building.
Before the fire, the church was an icon for anyone driving down Broadway into Sydney because of its signage in front of the church that could be read by passing motorists. The church used to frequently change the wording and this was matched by the pub across the road. The banter between the two sets of signs became known as the “Priest and the Publican”.
There was a routine piece in the Canberra Times about the current heat wave, temperature around and above 40 Degrees Celsius, and backyard trees or in some case about the lack of them. The article pointed to the now well established reality, that during such times those residential properties that lacked shade were suffering higher temperatures.
Once upon a time, not that many years ago, Australia was on the world stage as a leading in actions on climate change. It was not that a lot had actually happened. The truth was that a many new initiatives were being proposed.
Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid: The national edukashon minister announced that after years of development, years of consultations and a bloody huge amount of work, that he considers he needs to appoint two close political associates to look into getting ‘balance’ back into the curriculum. They state that they will be independent. That probably means their report will be independent of facts and of intellect.
It is obvious that this is more about getting the old ‘culture’ wars started again and to drive particular ideological points into the headlines while loads of other disastrous changes are being put through by the Rabbott.
It was while staying with friends on holidays that I took the opportunity to occasionally take their dog for its evening walk. The dog is a very friendly and well-behaved golden retriever. While walking this happy animal I was reminded of the feelings I have sometimes when approaching a person walking a dog. It happened a couple of times that I could see people move out-of-the-way as I approached with the dog.
From The Guardian Australia: Tony Abbott’s top business adviser accuses IPCC of ‘dishonesty and deceit’. ‘The scientific delusion, the religion behind the climate crusade, is crumbling,’ Maurice Newman says.
It does not get much worse than this. The Rabbott government has been doing some stupid things of late, and there’s promise of even more stupidity to come in 2014.
PS: If the ABC could cease having politicians on Q & A, maybe the program format could deliver real debates and possibly become watchable. We need engaging commentators not politicians or their stooges on such programs.
The Rabbott government has moved quickly to shut down and to strangle so many progressive, financial, immigration, education, indigenous, disability, social welfare and climate programs, that it is difficult to identify which of their ideological decisions are the most dangerous to the future of this country.
Freedom of speech and the freedom from discrimination are both fundamental to our way of life. Yet these are now very much under immediate threat thanks to this inhuman national government.
Opinion: about manufacturing and innovation and a few more topics
While I am not too worried about the closure of GM’s (Holden) manufacturing plants in Australia in 2017, I am concerned as to whether manufacturing as an Australian industry and its associated innovations are not being supported. It is hard to find intelligent comment on these subjects in the Australian media.
Opinion: Damon Young: Distraction blame the mind, not the machines
An interesting few words from Damon Young on the machines that distract some people. Damon likes to observe – here’s one of his people observations. I think that too often I have observed his subject.
An ordinary suburban cafe, with an ordinary sullen teenage waitress and faux-friendly barista. The tables are unvarnished barrels. The cups are marmalade jars. And the coffee is bitter, weak and overpriced.
Opinion: About some of the not so nice links that come with sponsorship and funding.
It was this story on Crikey “Packer’s Sydney arts donation a lay-down misere‘ that took me back to discussions I had been involved with over several decades including when we used to debate such issues openly in the arts. In recent years, all sorts of Sydney groups joined the public debates about the horrors of gambling and in this instance campaigned, unsuccessfully, against the granting of the license for a second casino.
As the deal was signed, it was arts organisations in Sydney who had agreed to take money from James Packer as the payment demanded for the granting of the new casino license. James Packer has never shown an interest in the arts.
Interesting to hear the mainstream media go on about the high court decision on marriage equality. Yes the ACT legislation was voted down by the judges.
But the real story is how the judges went further and made the call on what the court will allow to be constitutionally recognised as marriage when the Australian Parliament decides to get its act together and do the logical thing.
Under the judgement by the high court, once the National Parliament has passed the inevitable changes, the high court will not stand in the way of the changes, that is there will be no avenue for a challenge by all those vexatious religious types.
It was after a couple of conversations in the last months with people with whom I was able share experiences about bullying in various workplaces, that I have decided to make research in this area one of my ongoing topics.
As I have spent most of my working life in the Not For Profit sector I am including this sector as part of the main focus of this research.
This line of research and subsequent comments will be a ‘work in progress’.
Fiction Gallery:Patrick Henderson:On being not here
Do you now a Patrick Henderson?
Patrick Henderson attends meetings called to carry out the business of the gallery for which he is a company director.
When Patrick sits at the table he remains very alert to the presence of his mobile and aware that there may be emails, text messages and tweets that require his attention.
Patrick’s commitment to these distractions is such that he cannot ignore them. Because of his lack of control of the technology, poor Patrick has become one of the many who are physically present somewhere but are rarely mentally completely there.
Opinion: Voices of Wisdom amongst so much ranting.
Comments on the statements by Australia’s Governor General, Quentin Bryce.
Every now and then Australians are taken aback when one of our national representatives actually makes intelligent and thoughtful contributions to public debates. This happened recently with the delivery of the Boyer lectures by Australia’s first female Governor General, Quentin Bryce.
First an admission. I used to be a reasonably keen urban cyclist . However some time back, I had two serious near misses whereby I was run off the road by local buses. After the last bruising, the bike sat in garage till one day I sold it on. Whenever I can , I now walk instead. But I do miss the experience of cycling through neighbourhoods.
Today there was a very good summary in the Guardian on the situation and changes to urban cycling across many cities internationally. Click on the image below.
There’s currently a crazy debate here in Canberra about cyclists and vehicles and pedestrians. Crazy because the debate has been dominated by no so cool people who are not accepting of any other point of view. So I wonder what the problem is?
Make no mistake: Zoe’s law is an assault on women’s reproductive rights. It’s not a coincidence that those who design ‘foetal personhood’ bills are often associated with anti-abortion beliefs. Australian women have to fight back.
My difference of opinion would be on her statement “Australian women have to fight back”. This is for everyone, men and women, to be concerned about.
The Democracy experiment continues to be under threat
An article from the Asia Sentinel hits the mark on the media issues in Australia.
A milestone of a dubious kind was passed in Australia recently when it was discovered that the number of public relations practitioners had for the first time exceeded the number of journalists actually working as reporters and editors. (Hamish McDonald)
Opinion Pieceon the state of Australian Architecture Awards
It was while standing in front of the National Gallery of Australia (NGA), that it occurred to me that the extension, which includes the new entrance, had not figured in awards. I am fully aware of the controversies about how these extensions came about. Should any of that have excluded this architectural addition to the nation’s art gallery from being the recipient of awards.
I intend to write more about the NGA in the near future, but for now I my curiosity has turned to the architecture awards as run by the national professional body, the AIA. These awards are lauded nationally, so why not apply a reality check as to how their award winners really stack up.
Paul Keating’s Remembrance Day address “Those Australians fought and died not in defence of some old world notion of competing empires and territorial conquests but for the new world – the one they belonged to and hoped to return to.
This is why Australia was never in need of any redemption at Gallipoli, any more than it was in need of one at Kokoda thirty years later.
There was nothing missing in our young nation or our idea of it that required the martial baptism of a European cataclysm to legitimise us.”
Jonathan Green hits the nail on the head so many times. This is a reality read and one that could leave you completely devastated given the current levels of political debate and the sparsity of good journalism is very much a worry.
Politics in the country is definitely off the rails. The whole Murdoch and Rudd and Rabbott thing has been damaging to any notion of fairness left in the world we live and work.
It seems that within Australia anyone can say they are being open and transparent, that they have plans for the future, are having a governance review, and that they have inherited questionable budgets.
The reality is that they lie, are bullies, and pursue their own interests at the cost of anyone else.
Politicians & their supporting media types do not know when to keep their dangerous comments to themselves!
There’s nothing more basic in our democracy as the processes that underpin the election of our governments. At the time of writing , the WA Senate election has become complicated, not just because of the necessary recount given the closeness of the first results, but because of the unfortunate event whereby by about 1,400 previously counted votes have been misplaced.
I do not get this one. The supermarkets and other retailers have again attempted to convince us that Australia celebrates Halloween and we should be encouraging children and teenagers to wander around and knock on doors to demand sweets. I do not think so!
I’ll migrate that appropriate saying from that other not so relevant event: Bah Humbug.
The Australian politicians were called on to address climate change over a decade ago (at least). Local community groups have recognised the need for climate change adaptation and have been frustrated with the lack of meaningful leadership that should be offered by elected officials.
The mainstream press, as led by Murdoch, and the ABC have provided their own biased information on these complex topics. The general public has received mixed messages instead of meaningful and useful information based on the overwhelming scientific evidence.
The Monthly November 2013, The Power of One, Robert Manne
Before I picked up this issue of The Monthly, I knew that the great democracy experiment was not doing so well. I appreciated that Australia, along with the UK and USA, is now dominated by the political views and priorities of one person, Rupert Murdoch. I knew that in Australia the governments that are elected are more likely to be those chosen by one man; or to be more accurate, those that fall are more likely to have been pushed, or destroyed, by one person and his empire.
I did not think I needed to read another article about Rupert Murdoch. I knew enough already. I was wrong.
Hold the bus! He has researched the possible annual income of the outgoing Prime Minister. Well that ‘s important information I needed to know!
One can not help sense that he is not going to let that Julia Gillard retire quietly and resume life peacefully in her new roles. Must be some dirt here somewhere. Surely such a ‘senior journalist’ could do some real journalism. Is that asking too much? Andrew – get a life, on your bike…
Former Attorney General, Nicola Roxon, has delivered a speech that outlines her ten housekeeping tips for a future Labor Government. However it is her comments about and suggestions for Kevin Rudd that have made the headlines.
On Monday this week, the new Labor opposition party met to talk leadership and opposition front bench positions. The leaders had already been elected and now the caucus would elect the members of the Opposition Ministers and then leave it to the leaders to appoint the actual opposition minister positions to those on the elected list.
an article re-published – in no fibs – was originally published by Mary Crooks
Executive director Victorian Women’s Trust on 5 July, 2013 as a full page advertisement.
I identify with her finishing paragraph:
“The truly ugly aspect of our national life revealed by the past three years should give cause for us all to reflect on what else is required to restore and maintain respect, civility, common decency and a fair go for women – in our society and in our democratic politics.”
In the piece she discusses the reporting of the conversation between Anne Summers and Julia Gillard in Sydney. Alecia questions why the reporting concentrated on the statement by Julia when she referred to ‘murderous rage’. Alecia point was that such reporting was about manufacturing controversy yet again. There remains so many celebratory aspects of this event to be highlighted and discussed but too many reporters have yet again chosen to concentrate on making a headline as some form of criticism.