A letter to the Prime Minister
Click on image for the story
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.
It is sad to see that world architecture has continued the trend to have a dominance of the boys in their decision-making – this picture says it all!
I have long been disappointed by the quality of Australian journalism. This includes the quality of the work being done through the ABC as well as most mainstream media. It has become far to easy to churn out any story without checking facts.
Architects and their awards have come to my attention for three reasons of late. The first was when Enrico Taglietti was featured in the local paper, The Canberra Times. According to the report one of his significant architectural achievements was being considered for a special award. Click here for the article.
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
“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
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.
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.”
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?
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
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.
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
There’s a very thorough article about the combined architectural and developer and government mishandling of the whole ground zero site in New York.
In Manly (Sydney), the harbourside pool is closed after heavy rain because of pollution. One wonders where is the pollution coming from.
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?
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.
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.”
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.
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!
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.
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
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
When Andrew Forest came out with his statement on welfare, it reeked of loads of clap trap. It was an example of pure deception disguised as caring for those on welfare.
The security at the Museum of Contemporary of Art (MCA) in Sydney is usually very attentive and they are very helpful if you ask them anything. Today while visiting we noticed a fault.
Two commentators have offered intelligent comment on the two atrocities currently occupying headlines and interest.
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.
Bob Menzies, the hero of the Liberal Party. Some of us have other thoughts about this man who wanted to sell out his country.
From an article by Jori Finkel in the Art Newspaper:
In New York, Sperone Westwater comes in at 91 versus nine. Team Gallery at 85 versus 15; Matthew Marks at 84 versus 16, and Mary Boone at 83 versus 17. Some of the top galleries in Los Angeles tell a similar story: Blum & Poe is 89 versus 11; Prism is 88 versus 12; Thomas Solomon is 85 to 15, and Patrick Painter is 83 to 17.
The debate over what different people, institutions and township are doing with their formerly treasured artworks by Rolf Harris has been sad to watch. This style of artwork was always more of a populist marketing campaign. His art was and remains simplistic and very ordinary at best.
I was a little shocked when he was commissioned to paint a portrait of the Queen. Continue reading Unloved Art
I have to admit that I have used an Amazon account often. I became a little worried by stories mentioning the workers in the US. More recently I noticed that Amazon had removed the cheaper postage rates. This made many items not all that different in price especially when booksellers such as Reading in Melbourne provide free postage.
It never stops. Amazon is doing another deal that disadvantages everyone. click here
Time everyone shopped anywhere but at Amazon.
Paul Costigan, 29 June 2014
While we all thought that our government was already dealing out extraordinary cruel treatment to people who have had to leave everything and seek asylum in Australia, the Immigration Minister has proposed more foul legislation for Parliament to consider.
The saga of the phone hacking trial has delivered verdicts based on the evidence that was presented and accepted. The difficulty was always going to be that Murdoch power and money could always outdo the resources of those trying to make the charges stick.
A campaign to get Amazon to pay living wages to their workers saw a fake book uploaded. It has been since taken down but last time we checked, this link was working. click here.
That’s the Australian Prime Minister – and someone needs to give a medal to that guy in the last scene. One word that so accurately summed up how people feel about this phoney Prime Minister.
Paul Costigan, 3 June 2014
A couple of nights ago on the ABC’s 7.30 Report, the program’s presenter, Sarah Ferguson, interviewed the Palmer United Party senator-elect Dio Wang. Much has been made of this interview with much scorn heaped on Dio Wang for his somewhat naive responses and that he stated he was not across many of the financial details that Sarah Ferguson indicated that he should have been.
For me this was of little interest compared to the far more serious issue at play.
The independence of a legally qualified judiciary and the transparency and accountability of government are the cumulative result of many centuries of progress.
Yet again there’s a nice piece on The Conversation about how we need to be far more serious about carbon. It also points towards the use of Green-Wash by corporations to allow them to continue with business as usual.
I have commented on this on our other blog – The Sustainable Settlements Institute – click here
Once upon a time in the not too distant past a gathering of Australian State/Territory Premiers and the Prime Minister looked like this image below.
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.
Apparently not so.
If I were to write to the former Prime Minister about the Sydney Botanic Gardens Master Plan consultations, I would most likely say:
Dear Mr Keating,
I am writing in response to news articles reporting on your comments to the proposals being canvassed as part of the Master Plan for Sydney’s Botanic Gardens.
A few comments on the ‘events’ that occurred during the live broadcast of the ABC’s (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) program Q&A.
Read the latest by clicking on the image right. (or here)
I love the proposition about her being ‘complete fool!’
Over the years there has been a massive increase in the recognition of women musicians. It would therefore be a natural expectations that important music magazines would reflect this achievement. Then again, why such optimism?
Andrew Leigh on Power and Privilege: An excellent article on where is society has been travelling in relation to power and privilege. The article is by Andrew Leigh who happens to be my local federal member of parliament.
How many other federal members are publishing such intelligent articles so regularly? Not many I fear.
Other postings mentioning Andrew Leigh – click here
Paul Costigan, 2 May 2014
The Monthly has published an excellent article of the Abbott crowd and how his old boys are in charge. The image on the cover is worrying simply because it is so factual. The artist has captured their collective personalities far too accurately.
Do not show this image to children. Click here.
Since taking office in 2012, the Attorney-General for Queensland and Minister for Justice, Jarrod Bleijie MP has made a conscious effort to reintroduce symbols of the monarchy.
Queensland’s own Glorious Revolution has seen Senior Counsels replaced with Queen’s Counsels, the new government logo replaced with the traditional Coat-of-Arms, the new law courts named the reigning British Monarch, and a political fight over the royal succession laws.
Any major city or city district has ambitions to attract tourists. When it works well everyone prospers and the locals can be happy. Tourists arrive and spend money.
Brisbane’s South Bank Corporation’s lack of equity in their management
It was while researching the background on my pieces on Brisbane and in particular on the South Bank Corporation, that I was checking on its corporate status when I came across a rude piece of evidence on the corporation. Continue reading Brisbane’s South Bank Corporate Equity
It is definitely worth reading these fine words from a Labor politician who has just been done over by her own party’s election processes.
And to add to her fury, she was insulted by the election of a complete dud and stupid bloke to a senate position that should have been hers.
click here for her side of the story in glorious detail.
The McDonalds versus the town of Tecoma story as reported earlier, click here, has come to a sad close with the locals having lost the battle. Despite the majority of the citizens not wanting to have a McDonalds outlet within their village like precinct, the planning regulators ruled that what the citizens requested had no bearing on the outcome.
there’s so many issues
This government draws its strength from others and from their belief in the right to be in government. This government does not care what is being said by people such as those in the March in March protest. This government would view the protesters as being the problem, not their messages. It is going to be a difficult few years living in a country where democracy is being trashed.
It is worth checking the latest list of The Rabbott’s national wreckage – click here.
Paul Costigan, 5 April 2014
When women earn high positions and speak up for their professional goals, they encourage more to do the same. There’s an online article by Barbara B. Kamm in which she says: Continue reading Equity and Corporate Boards
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.
Following the IPCC report earlier this week, it was predictable that these dire warnings received just token media attention. The reporting was more along the lines of ‘just another report’. With the current Australian Government stuck in ‘business as usual’ mode, being just do what we did in 20th Century, I suspect this important report will be quietly ignored by the population.
George Monbiot has used a another story to make his point – click here
Canberra had until recently an envious program of public art under the previous Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope. The city has a mix of public art. That’s the nature of the beast. But!
Hope: Refugees and their Supporters in Australia since 1947, Ann-Mari Jordens, 2012
That Sinking Feeling: Asylum Seekers and the Search for the Indonesian Solution, Paul Toohey, 2014
The above photograph was attached to a 2004 Sydney Morning Herald article. Has it been that long that Australia has been doing these dreadful things to refugees? No. It has been much longer than 10 years. The really sad fact is that in 2014 this country has implemented programs to deal with boat refugees that just cannot get any worse.
I have an earlier post on the this cafe – click here
I have visited this place often and have to say that is often quite busy with social groups, business meetings and all sorts of gatherings.(good) The music is too loud to the extent that it usually hinders easy conversation (bad).
There’s an online report about what is happening at the Mitchel Library. We have colleagues there and they have been talking about this for several months.
At last a journalist has reported on this threat to this much-loved and marvelous institution. click here for the story.
When you thought you had to put up with that face far too many times for the next couple of years, along comes a way to make The Rabbott disappear from your browser – click here
There’s a Crikey post on Australia’s Operation Sovereign Borders – or more accurately – Operation Silly Buggers. The article is on Crikey and may or may not be available to everyone as it requires a log-in. But hopefully it will work as it says it all about the lunacy of our Rabbott government. click here.
We had previously reported on the great work being done by David Marr on providing some of the real stories behind the outing of the evil ones involved in the criminal activities of child abuse in Australia.
Here’s the link to the former post on this blog – click here.
Click here for a nice article in The Atlantic identifying that we have to do something about linking being bossy and leadership.
I was thinking of appropriate words to say about the unbelievably stupid but evil comments by the richest woman on the need for government to put the boot, even more, into the disadvantaged in our society.
Such a mean person, who continues to reap the benefits of all sorts of subsidies and tax reductions, deserves to be spoken of in the harshest terms. Yet one does not want to stoop to her levels of incivility.
Thank god for Billy Bragg. With his experience of Thatcher, he is the perfect person to put Gina the Buffoon in her place. Click here.
Empires of Food: Feast, Famine and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations
Evan D. G. Fraser and Andrew Rimas. Random House, 2010
As if there was not enough information available on how the world is not paying attention to all the warning signs, this book was recommended to me to make me aware of the dire situation coming our way in relation to the supply of adequate food for coming generations.
This is all linked in with the issues of climate change, population growth and the way we have allowed our food supplies to be controlled by particular market and political forces. This book is a must read for all.
A call to put the Rabbott in his place!
For those outside Australia, more of this political story is in this newspaper article – click here. The speech is absolutely brilliant.
This partly changed with the privatization that happened under the Keating Government. However most still believed it was a national carrier even though it was run by a private board.
a YouTube Guardian presentation on tea production (11 minutes)
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
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
One concerns a local incident, and the other from north Queensland. Plus there’s two more that have arrived as this post was being prepared.
This is serious stuff. So please brace yourself for the shocks.
The Australian Government’s Education Minister, Christopher Pyne (one of the most annoying people around), announced before Christmas that Australia is to move to having more ‘Independent’ public schools. Most of us would be lucky to understand just what that term meant.
What does such a move from this ideologically driven government mean for the future of education in Australia?
I have witnessed that when a certain group in society gains access to any social media, or online forums, or even reply sections online, that with very little encouragement, they quickly plunge headlong into some of the worst troll like and uncivilized behaviour.
If you have been to any event lately, you may have observed how people now use their phones to take photographs. This habit of taking a photo before taking something in is not new. What is new is the barrage of camera phones that now appear above any crowd when something is happening. There’s a very telling photograph heading up an article on this in Rolling Stone. Click here for the article.
and I also agree with most of the listed complaints about people’s behaviour at concerts.
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.
more news about our friends, the Banks!
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.
As reported in the Australian Financial Review, the great caring foreigner, Rupert Murdoch, who is always on about the disadvantaged having too much access to government support and that related social welfare program should be abolished, has yet again managed to rip off the Australian public.
The article reports how through the careful management of paper shuffling, no money actually moved, that the Murdoch press made an enormous claim for some form of tax subsidy.
This has been observed by many. It is indeed really strange.
Those who have known him longer say that it is all part of his manufactured persona.
With all the spin and calls to be patriotic and to use the Navy for its political purposes, the Rabbott government has carried on with its attack on the ABC.
Do you know a Natasha Prinsloo? A real charmer!
Some people just do not mature well. Natasha Prinsloo returned to university at around age 28, graduating in her thirties. Therefore even though she is in fact a fairly recent graduate, she has come to be treated as a more experienced and a senior member of the art world.
Natasha quickly grew aware of being able to pretend to be far more senior than she is, and has taken on the persona of a senior professional. Given that she is able to ‘charm’ the more naive men around her, her employers and her clients, this has meant she rose quickly to a middle management job.
Once upon a time I was a rusted on ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) watcher. I relied on the ABC, and SBS, for most of my news and current affairs.
Over time as a reaction to the style of gotcha journalism that became the norm on the ABC, radio and TV, I started watching less and less. Today as the result of this quiet reduction in watching and listening to the ABC, I have found that I now routinely do not watch or listen to the ABC.
from the Guardian: 14 January 2014
Neil Young has entered into a war of words with Canada’s Conservative government, accusing officials of “killing” First Nations through their exploitation of the Alberta tar sands. The Toronto-born singer has exchanged verbal volleys with the office of prime minister Stephen Harper, who replied that “even … rock stars” rely on oil.
Do you know Burt and Barbs Roddick?
Burt Roddick is usually grumpy about something at all the meetings he regularly attends. On the surface it seems that he wants to be fussy about some vital details. Whereas most people have learnt that this is just his way of keeping attention on himself as one who needs to ask questions and therefore avoid any real intelligent input.
To anyone else, this behaviour by Burt is recognised as being pedantic, not very helpful, or simply that he is unpleasant.
Just being grumpy is actually good behaviour for Burt Roddick. He is far better known for being an in-your-face bully and for being obnoxious if you dare to disagree with him. This rude behaviour happens often as most intelligent people find they easily differ with the reality that is Burt Roddick’s world. Continue reading The Fiction Gallery : Burt Roddick
The Latest from our Rabbott Government
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.
Tecoma community objects to Big Mac development
Occasionally in Australia it still happens that a community gets their collective act together to take on the local authorities over some stupid planning decisions. I have been involved in such an action – the Great Marsden Street Battle.
It also happens that communities take the ‘shocking’ decision to say no to the invasion of one of the big box retailers, or in this case one of the big fast food giants.
The outer Melbourne community of Tecoma was awakened one day in 2011 to the imminent invasion into their picturesque community of Macdonalds.
We wandered recently over to Green Square Kingston for some late breakfast and coffee. There are now four different cafes serving breakfast/brunch in this one place with another across the street. I would estimate that there would be at least another six further around the block. We thought we may check out a new cafe that had opened just weeks earlier.
Do you know Zoe Crabtree?
Zoe is a very intensely keen member who has chaired several sub-committees that are concerned with significant issues.
Zoe is a person of adequate intelligence, is in a senior middle management position, has sway over the lives of others and has developed a reasonably profile within her immediate arena of work. This profile is usually concentrated around her colleagues and the associated circles of influence.
Stupidity in action
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.
A recent opinion piece on bullying that you may have missed given the way the mainstream media reports such things.
For the article by Julia Baird – click here
The mainstream media filled headline after headline about the closure of a particular car manufacturing company.
Our loyal opposition parties did not help as they joined in crying out loud through the media about the closures. Meanwhile damage was being done elsewhere in plain sight.
An emphasis on the Not For Profit Sector
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’.