There was another of those special announcements by the Prime Minister today that was supposed to impress.
After so many months of muddle – we now have ‘decisive’ and bold’ actions. Sadly they have so far proved to be mostly hot air. But the press has been impressed.
There are many nasty things about the current Turnbull government. Granted he is not Abbott, but he has instead installed a very strange set of protocols for how he deals with – or not deals with – many difficult issues.
another male federal politician, another of Malcolm Turnbull’s chosen boys, demonstrates how being patronizing to women must be a qualification for being in the Turnbull government.
Credlin & Co.
How the Abbott Government Destroyed Itself
Australia continues with inhumane treatment of people who were legal refugees.
Waiting for this one – a book about one of the weirdest periods of Australian politics. From the publishers:
Credlin & Co. How the Abbott Government Destroyed Itself by Aaron Patrick. Tony Abbott and his chief of staff, Peta Credlin, ran a brilliant opposition campaign. But their approach led to disaster in government.
There is talk in the art world about the National Gallery of Australia’s (NGA) changes to their permanent collection galleries and how this has included the movement of the famous Jackson Pollock painting, Blue Poles, from its long historic position downstairs to the upstairs galleries.
Reviews: Quarterly Essay 60 — Political Amnesia
How we forgot how to govern, Laura Tingle, November 2015
This is a recommended read for those with any sort of interest in how Australia has been and continues to be manged by the political ruling classes for the last couple of decades. I cannot say that anything Laura Tingle wrote about was shocking news, given my own experiences of dealing with governments and their bureaucracies, but her insights and observations are definitely worth the read.
If you happen to be driving past the South African Embassy in Canberra, you may notice a lonely and disused sentry box on the corner near the entrance to the embassy and its residence.
There are so many stories to be told around the installation of the memorial to the 353 people who drowned while attempting the journey to Christmas Island on 19th October 2001.
Some good thoughts on the current tax debate – click here.
The interviews on the ABC program Kitchen Cabinet are in some cases simply soft propaganda for particular politicians.
I remain totally unconvinced about the leadership of Malcolm Turnbull. I agree that the country is far far better off now that Abbott is no longer out there trying to terrify everyone.
I often wondered whether Abbott was not quite sane – and more recent events have done nothing to dispel this thought.
Oh my god! I have been denied my chance of ever being made a knight in Australia!
I suspect that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is still locked into appeasing those on the far right that this country needs to reduce its spending on the social welfare programs. There is little evidence that the Turnbull government is looking to have the top wealthy few and big business pay their share of taxes and thus increase the revenue.
The ACT Government and its business advisors have adopted a destructive language to justify their negative approach to parklands and open spaces in Canberra.
There certainly were some moments of true stupidity as well as some very evil deeds carried out. It may take quite a while for the country to recover.
It was while visiting regional towns in Victoria that I was reminded of quite silly events that are happening back home, or at least close to home.
I support the introduction of light rail networks across Canberra. We should not be having this debate in 2015. The first tracks should have been laid down in the late 1950s or at least by the mid 1960s.
Here’s a couple of perspectives on the so-called ‘stop the boats’.
This sign has been mentioned by me previously – click here.
It was during a recent North Canberra Community Council meeting that I realised I was hearing something very rare. The presenter was talking about fairly matter-of-fact issues to do with changes to local traffic lights and footpaths and it sounded as though she identified with the issues being dealt with.
Recently the Dickson Residents Group were sent copies of reports that were published following a series of consultations about the redevelopment of a range of sites in South Canberra.
A political speech with a difference! She nailed the issue right on the head!
Here in Australia there is no-one like this in our Parliament. It is time for a change – where are the Australian Mhairi Blacks?
It often occurs while driving south along Limestone Ave, that you encounter a new message from a local church. Often they make powerful political statements on current issues.
There’s no doubt that while Greece is doing it tough and much of the damage was brought on by all forms of dubious practices within Greece and Europe’s banks, the attitude of Germany and the European Union will be remembered for all its nastiness. Yet again – George has hit the nail on the head. click here
We have endured several days of stuff written by the junk journalist writing on the Greece decision to reject the demands of the Intentional Monetary Fund. The Greeks voted no and the journalists have reproduced the media releases of those with ties to the Big Banks. It has taken a few days but at last some real journalism is appearing on this important topic.
But when the joke is at the expense of dangerous politicians such as the Minister for Ruining the Arts, George Brandis – all I can say is – go for it. Hit on the image for the story – or click here.
George Monbiot has made a good call on the pope’s letter to the world on climate change – click here.
We all now sit back and watch the catholic prime minister of Australia, who is an ardent climate denier and environmental wrecker, deal with this message from his spiritual leader.
The dumbness of our political leaders just gets worse.
There are too many amazing horrible things about the current Australian national government. The arts have not been treated seriously by this lot since they came into government. They did not even bother to have an arts policy at their last election. Then with absolutely no notice or consultations, Brandis has ripped a huge amount of the funds from the Australia Council for his own departmental funding program. Click on the image for the story.
Jack Waterford announced he was stepping down from full time employment with the Canberra Times. He is a great journalist.
Anna Bligh: Though The Wall
I am not going to write my own review of this book as the wonderful Sara Dowse has written a comprehensive piece about the book. I have not read many of the political biographies that seem to be constantly landing on the shop’s bookshelves. click here for Sara’s review and her wise comments.
Guy Rundle has uploaded a good piece of writing to Crikey.
It is a soul-destroying piece of writing. It is a frightening piece of writing because of its obvious warning and forecasts for Australians. Click here
There’s not a lot to be said when something so blatantly wrong happens. With all the cut back to government spending, Abbott makes yet another crazy decision by funding this well-known problem maker for those trying to get the world to focus on climate change.
An ethical person speaks out
I met Jon Stanhope a couple of times when he was Chief Minister for the ACT. Canberra benefited from his leadership. He continues to be a person known for his strong ethical stance on important issues.
He also liked public art – but that program was killed off because of the Liberal Party trolls who used the media to hammer the program.
Things that make you smile.
The stupidity of the Rabbott Prime Minister
Be Warned – be Afraid – be Very Afraid
Development dilemmas: part three
The future of the Dickson Precinct and beyond
This is the third of several posts on planning and development issues for Dickson in Canberra. Residential groups around the country share similar frustrations, dilemmas and challenges in dealing with planning and development bureaucracies.
Another view on corruption in the media
I have mentioned many times in previous posts just how sad it has become in this country in that our media has largely been corrupted. This has come about after years of attacks and more recently by careful placements of the ‘right’ people to board positions to influence the debates within the media, particularly our ABC.
Political outlook for Australia
This is going to be a tough year to get through. Australia has one of the meanest and morally corrupt governments imaginable. In fact it is not a government of the people, but a set of opportunist politicians with strings being pulled by many corporate interests including that foreigner, Rupert Murdoch.
Journalism, Nut Jobs and Terrorists
When it comes to most main stream media outlets, I have no positive expectations that they will be able to report on events with any credibility. The best one can do is to note the event and if you require relevant background information, then you need to search around and possibly wait a day or two for some of the real journalism to offer opinions and their take on events.
Barangaroo Point to open in March 2015
Reality Check on the lie of ‘Stop The Boats’
There’s an article from The Guardian that says it all. It is a very good reality check on the spin and lies coming out of our major political parties at the moment. Neither have been honest with the reality of the situation for refugees and both are still caught in dealing with slogans.
Question? Who lent Abbott the jacket?
Now this is where politicians really get totally weird – or just plain stupid!
The nastiness of Abbott’s and Morrison’s Team Australia
When the Australian Government’s spokesperson, Tony Abbott announced in August, that we all had to be part of Team Australia, we all knew what it meant. From his perspective, you were either with ‘us’, or you are against ‘us’. This government is about inequity and being plain nasty to anyone it deems not to be part of their agenda – Team Australia.
Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty
There’s a good review of this book online that points to the book being a good read. This theme of the effect of the growing inequity on economics and the basis of capitalism is now commonly talked about. click here
The Abbott as Minister not for Woman
As 2014 draws to an end, the Credlin Government spokesperson, Tony Abbott, went on TV to talk positive about the changes to the Ministerial portfolios just announced. It was supposed to be an opportunity to finish the year with a positive after being such a crap government all through 2014.
But he blew it. Again! Boss Credlin will be very unhappy. Again!
The meanness of Joe Hockey
and his continued destruction of Australia’s way of life
If there was anyone left in Australia, who for one minute thought that the current Australian Federal Treasurer was anything but a mean and nasty politician, then all they had to do was observe his latest crimes. This man looks after his rich mates especially Big Coal, Banks and Big Miners; looks after this who pull his strings and keep him in power, Murdoch and their cohorts; and does all this by stripping back opportunities for health and well-being from those most disadvantaged.
Comment on musicians making political messages
The song I ma referring to is a tune by J.J Cale, The Problem. It is from his wonderful 2004 Album To Tulsa and Back.
Quarterly Essay 56 – Clivosaurus
The politics of Clive Palmer, Guy Rundle, November 2014
It has been extremely difficulty over the last year or so to get a clear picture of what the hell is going on with Australian Federal politics given the rise and rise of people such as Clive Palmer and his new PUPs – being the other members of the Palmer United Party. The problem has been the reporting by the Australian media. They took the attitude early on to not treat Clive Palmer seriously. This book deals with this issue very nicely. It is a good read.
Australia where strange things keep happening!
It is hard to believe that the once forward thinking country of Australia has a majority of voters who have allowed the country to be run by dangerous idiots. I am not referring to the stooges who were elected, but to the nasty people of Big Coal, Big Tobacco, Big Banks, Big Developers and their planning friends, Big Supermarkets and Murdoch and his camp followers – and there are many.
Comment on the main stream press churnalism
Australia, as with most western countries, suffers because of the death of real journalism. This has been mentioned before in particular with Nick Davies’ book, Flat Earth News – click here.
In Australia the main stream press is quite diligent in ensuring that any real social equity and justice issues are panned as being not relevant if they are mentioned at all. The media have a history of defining and then pursuing a neo-conservative agenda.
Announcement: New Book
Julia Gillard’s – My Story
Happy to promote this book. This story remains complex. There have been several thoughtful reviews of the book published online. As well as the usual crap from the mainstream media, who were part of the problem during Julia Gillard’s time as Prime Minister. Sara Dowse has provided an intelligent and insightful review that is definitely worth reading. click here.
Comments: on the sad state of politics
Here in Australia we have suffered a series of dirty political events that have led to the election of one of the worst possible national governments. However it always an education to pop one’s head up over the wall to look to see how other countries are faring.
Here are links to two bad cases mentioned in recent articles.
Comment: More on Corporations and Inequity
I had reviewed Andrew Leigh’s very good 2013 book, Battlers & Billionaires – click here. Just this week there has been announcements from an American campaign that is raining voices about the control the corporate elite have on the country and how this is destroying the planet and our civil societies. click here
The need for change
“When you have all living systems in decline, just sustaining the decline is not going to solve the problem. We’ve got to have a u-turn here. We’ve got to start restoring ecological systems.” – Van Jones
Music Review online
Linton Kwensi Johnson, more time, from Paris Live, 2004
We have been bombarded recently with a lot of neo-conservative rubbish about how everyone needs to work longer hours and stay in work for more years. There’s so much indoctrination being put about how people need to do more and expect less. I disagree.
Commentary: Did Big Tobacco win this one
I had previously posted a link to a good commentary by Michael Moore of Canberra. He said among other scathing things: “Tobacco companies want to prove that plain packaging does not work because it is being seriously considered by other governments across the world.”
2nd Notice: New Book
Hack Attack by Nick Davies
It has also been interesting to read the story of Rebecca Brooks. The question has been posed elsewhere, was she just a user of the corporate and political systems in order to climb the ladder to join the ranks of those in power?
Comment: Good news from the High Court
Yesterday there was good news from the High Court on limits to the cruel and inhuman treatment of refugees being handed out by the Australian Government. I am not sure how the right-wing mainstream media and the ABC are reporting this, as it yet another indicator of how rotten this government has become. The decision is one step in turning this horrible situation around. Let’s hope there’s more good news to follow. click here for the article by Dr Joyce Chia in The Guardian. Then for more by Dr Joyce Chai – click here.
Paul Costigan, 12 September 2014
Comment: Scotland and the vote for Independence
I am probably like many Australians who for a long time ignored and then wondered what the referendum in Scotland is all about. Curiosity took me to reading several online articles that provided some very thoughtful insights for those interested in the great democracy experiment. Here’s the background – click here.
Commentary: emails and corporate shenanigans and lies
Brickworks – Austral Bricks – Developers and political shenanigans
I am referring to the story generated by the release of the emails between Brickworks (owner of Austral Bricks among other subsidiaries) and the Chief of Staff for Tony Abbott. The point being made now is how this company assisted in the lies about and attacks on carbon pricing while they made profits from the government subsidies then available. click here
Paul Costigan, 10 September 2014
Commentary: when the news gets weird
Commentary: Damage being proposed for public education
We all know that this government is doing everything it can to push through an ideological driven agenda for all aspects of Australian social life. With the blessing of the cluster of Vice Chancellors, the government wants to make the system favour those with money at the expense of those from socially disadvantaged backgrounds.
Commentary: A curious story
Queries about the Prime Minister’s citizenship
I have been watching this story develop in the alternate media and so far it has not been mentioned in the main stream media. The question being asked is whether Tony Abbott ever gave up his dual UK citizenship which is required under the constitution for anyone to be a member of the Australian Parliament?
Commentary: Arts Leadership and the Australia Council
Politics in Australia
We are fortunate in Australia to have some independent voices writing both in hard copy and online. For instance we have the Saturday Paper and The Monthly and online resources such as The Conversation and a host of others.
Unfortunately most of this reading at the moment can be a little depressing as so much of the news is being taken up reporting on the destructive nature of the Federal Government.
Commentary: Who is pushing Big Tobacco’s lies
A good commentary online again from local, Michael Moore. He says: “Tobacco companies want to prove that plain packaging does not work because it is being seriously considered by other governments across the world.”
Review: TV program
Utopia, eight part series on ABC
This series was much-anticipated given the success the same writing team had with their earlier TV series, such as The Hollowmen. After watching four of the eight, I am happy to report that the program started well and then, it simply got better, and then it continued to get even better! I am very much looking forward to the next for of the series.
commentary: Good journalism
There are still journalists who tell it as it is really happening. A few.
I link here to two stories relating to two of Australia’s most evil men. There’s a few more!
One is a story of both of them by Jenna Price in the Canberra Times.
Commentary: Articles by Michael Moore of Canberra
I have mentioned articles written by a local, Michael Moore. While he holds down a very busy job in health, he continues to devote serious time to punching out thoughtful articles in one of the local free newspapers. They are most welcomed.
Commentary: Big Coal, Climate Change and the Australian Government
It seems the news about the intelligence of the Australian government just continues to be depressing. Just how bad can they get? Is Tone Rabbott a complete destructive idiot!
Commentary: on the on-going inequities
Croakey author, Michelle Hughes, highlighted the ongoing inequities within the health science arena – click here.
I identify with her final comment on the selection of keynote speakers as the issue of getting women as key-note speakers was a focus of mine in the past. I did come up with a strategy to deal with it. See my notes below.
Commentary: Civil & Political Rights in Queensland
An article by Harry Hobbs & Andrew Potter
The 2012 state election landslide for the Liberal National Party has had significant consequences for minority groups in Queensland.
Comment: no further comment required
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
Paul Costigan, 18 August 2014
Commentary: George Monbiot
There are lots of good commentators out there who have loads of intelligent views to offer.
George Monbiot, author and contributor to the Guardian, is one of these people.
I have quoted from George before and have a few of his books.
Commentary: on how the women of Australia have been hit (again) by so-called education reforms.
One wonders just how long all thinking Australians are going to put up with so many terrible decisions being made by a federal cabinet that has just the one token woman present. Jane Caro has written a very good piece in the Guardian on how that stupid Education Minister is putting into place even more barriers to equity in employment. click here.
Paul Costigan, 11 August 2014