The Friday Fling …

… this week is in the Woolshed behind The Pub. So kick up your heels,

order your drinks and munchies from the indefatigable C@tmomma

be very polite to Mr Bushfire Bill

send your number requests to moi The Boss

and hugs and best wishes to CK Watt, his OH, and anyone else in need of comfort (pretty much all of us).

Last of all – enjoy the band!

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692 thoughts on “The Friday Fling …

  1. For all relinquishing mothers, mothers who have lost contact with their kids and mothers who have experienced loss, through, drugs or death. Its just one day- this too will pass.

  2. Posted over at the other place…

    Thanks to Gecko( Posted Friday, May 3, 2013 at 3:02 pm | PERMALINK
    A brief recap on some of Labor’s achievements)… we can be very exact in answering your question:

    * NBN (the real one)

    * BER (at less than 3% dissatisfaction rate)
    *
Gonski

    *NDIS/DisabilityCare
    *
MRRT & aligned PRRT
    *
Won seat at the UN

    *Signed Kyoto

    *Signatory to Bali Process & Regional Framework
Established
    *Fair Work Australia
Established
    *Carbon Pricing/ETS

    *Established National Network of Reserves and Parks
    *
Created world’s largest Marine park network

    *Introduced Reef Rescue program
    *
National Apology
    *
Sorry to the Stolen Generation

    *Increased Superannuation from 9 to 12%

    *Changed 85 laws to remove discrimination against same sex couples
    *
Introduced National Plan to reduce violence against women and children

    *Improvements to Sex Discrimination Act
    *
Introduced Plain packaging
    *
Legislated Equal pay (social & community workers up to 45% pay increases)

    *Legislated Australia’s first Paid parental leave scheme

    *Established $10b Renewable energy fund
    *
Legislated Murray/Darling Basin plan

    *Increased Education funding by 50%

    *Established direct electoral enrolment
    *
Created 190,000 more University places

    *Achieved 1:1 ratio, computers for year 9-12 students

    *Established My School

    *Established National Curriculum
    *
Increased Health funding by 50%
    *
Legislated Aged care package
    *
Legislated Mental health package

    *Legislated Dental Care package
    *
Created 90 Headspace sites

    *Created Medicare Locals program
    *
Created Aussie Jobs package
    *
Created Kick-Start Initiative (apprentices)

    *Funded New Car plan (industry support)
    *
Created Infrastructure Australia
    *
Established Nation Building Program (350 major projects)

    *Doubled Federal Roads budget ($36b) (7,000kms of roads)
    *
Rebuilding 1/3 of interstate rail freight network
Committed more to urban passenger rail than any government since Federation
    *
Developed National Ports Strategy

    *Developed National Land Freight Strategy
    *
Created nations first ever Aviation white paper
    *
Revitalized Australian Shipping
    *
Reduced transport regulators from 23 to 3 (saving $30b over 20years)
    *
Introduced NICS – infrastructure schedule
    *
Australia has moved from 20th in 2007 to 2nd on OECD infrastructure ranking
*Awarded International infrastructure Minister of the Year (2012 Albanese)

    *Awarded International Treasurer of the Year (2011 Swan)
    *
Introduced Anti-dumping and countervailing system reforms
    *
Legislated Household Assistance package
    *
Introduced School Kids Bonus
    *
Increased Childcare rebate (to 50%)

    *Allocated $6b to Social Housing
    *
Provided $5b to Support for Homelessness
    *
Established National Rental Affordability Scheme ($4.5b)
    *
Provided the highest pension increase in 100 years

    *Created 950,000 new jobs
    *
Established National Jobs Board

    *Allocated $9b for skills and training over 5 years
    *
Established Enterprise Connect (small business)
    *
Appointed Australia’s first Small Business Commissioner

    *Created Tourism 2020

    *Completed Australia’s first feasibility study on high speed rail
    *
Established ESCAS (traceability and accountability in live animal exports)
    *
Established National Crime Prevention Fund

    *Lower taxes (Ave family now paying $3,500 less p.a. than in 2007)
    *
Australia now the richest per capita nation on earth
    *
First time ever Australia has three triple A credit ratings
    *
Low inflation
    *
Low interest rates (Ave mortgagee paying $5,000 less p.a. since 2007)

    *Low unemployment

    *Lowest debt to GDP in OECD
    *
High Dollar fifth most traded in the world and now IMF Reserve Currency
    *
One of the world’s best performing economies during and since the GFC
    *
Australia now best performed for global Sovereign Risk
    *
Overseen the largest fiscal tightening in nations history (4.4%)

    *21 years of continuous economic growth (13% since the GFC)
    *
11 years of continuous wages growth exceeding CPI

    *Increasing Productivity

    *Record foreign investment

    *Historic levels of Chinese/Australian bilateral relations

    Australia has a fiscal strategy to return to budget surpluses over the economic cycle without damaging its economy with austerity measures proven to fail. It has a future linked to the National Broadband Network, renewable energy and improved productivity through greater investment in education. It has improved social equality and has a larger voice on the world stage.

    All this (and more) despite a hung parliament, a recalcitrant press and the most negative and asinine Opposition since Federation.

    One of the finest parliamentary periods in our history.

  3. The SA Chapter meet-up is for lunch on Saturday of the June Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend. Please contact me through the Mods, if you want to attend, unless you already have my email address, then contact me directly. Suggestions of a venue are welcome.

  4. Thanks for that Mark and thanks to Gecko. It is an awesome list by any reasonable measure. It seems inconceivable that a pretender like Abbott is even in the contest, let alone leading.

    I’m hoping Ian is right and that once people get through the smoko period and look at the whole picture, both of what’s been done and what is planned, they’ll vote in their own and their nation’s best interest.

    Nothing’s changed yet, polling-wise. But it is reassuring that policy, however reluctantly disclosed by the MSM, is creeping into the agenda. Once the agenda moves beyond slogans, as it is beginning to, the coalition are offering nothing much but “aspirations”.

  5. fiona

    [“Cleaned out” can be read in so many ways …]

    I had a sister, a slightly twitched B-I-L (back in but getting better, I think – depressed/suicidal), my nephew and wife with 5 kids and a niece with guy and boy.

    And a Cavalier Spaniel dog.

    Things were busy. Ms Ciara has gone of for a nap.

    I’m cleaning up.

    A good Sunday.

  6. Catalyst,
    Here is the other side of the equation to yours: Children who have lost their Mothers recently. I just received this e-mail blog post from jon kudelka about that subject:

    Unguarded Moments

    Here is a collection of very short stories called “Unguarded Moments” written by my mother Sandy Kudelka . Cancer finally got her a month or so ago, though the final score was her: 3, cancer: 1. She was a top-shelf mum and it seems like a good day to put them up.

    Racing to nowhere thump, thump, thump

    Brain cancer has catapulted me into old age. I’m a frail senior citizen now at the gym, doing the Government-funded project Living Longer, Living Stronger. I grimly hold the handles of a treadmill machine. On the one next to me, a young android with no chest and glistening tight body, is racing to nowhere, thump, thump, thump, in time with the rhythm in her ears. I wobble over to the machine that strengthens weak shoulders.

    Not long ago, I was pacing the school grounds, Assistant Principal, in charge.

    Pip (Phillip) phoned me at my office on the off-chance that, after all these years, I might go with him to a dinner. Sure, I said (being busy at the time) and without much ado, Pip found himself putting the phone down quite quickly, wondering if indeed it was years and years ago, since school, that he last talked to me.

    That’s how it happened – simple – and that’s how it developed. Pip had a straightforward philosophy on courtship. Where there’s chemistry between two people, then don’t muck about, he always used to say, and he kept on telling me we had stacks of it.

    Next in line for the pearly gates

    I have a cap jammed over my chemo, ray-treated hair. Grey, wispy bits do a dismal comb-over job on the bald spots where my oncologist says there will be no re-growth. Old woman’s hair, grandmother hair.

    I’m installed in the next generation, next in line for the Pearly Gates. A grandmother twice over, doing the night shift, patting for wind, milky burps over my shoulder, that distinctive curdled milk smell wafting around me, day and night.

    Sometimes I yearn to stop the grandmotherly chores of feeding, tending. I have a deep tiredness that I don’t remember with my children. Yet I wonder at the infinite capacity of the human heart to love when the new born provides a genuine, melting smile and the toddler crawls fiercely to meet me and I drop on all fours and we meet in the middle of the hall with great flapping of arms, rapturous clapping of hands and whoops of sheer delight when I hug her like mad.

    Yesterday I was a child

    Yesterday I wasn’t a grandmother. I was a child. All day I read Anne of Green Gables. I held the same book in my hands in 1950 as my mother did in 1925. Look, there is my name ‘Sandra Smith’ in my 8-year-old scrawl and above that, my mother’s name, ‘Anne Edwards’.

    I imagine my delightful crawling fiend in eight years time, holding that same book, entranced with Anne’s story, as were the family generations before, and tears well in my eyes, because old people cry so easily.

    Tracked down by a trail of tissues

    Old people’s noses drip more easily too, not just because we cry more. They drip when we sip steaming soup and hot tea and go outside in the cold. My nose has become like a dog’s and I am continually drying it, which brings me to my most recent observation about humankind.

    The world, I have observed, is divided into good nose blowers and poor nose blowers. There are those who do a great blast, single-handedly, and it’s done – and then there are poor nose blowers, like me, who do a feeble, two-handed job and it all gets messy, and if it’s done at meal times, people need to look away.

    A poor nose blower needs huge supplies of tissues at the ready and, as a result, I can be tracked down by a trail of scrunched-up tissues that proliferate in my pockets, up my sleeves and under my pillow before they carelessly fall to the floor.

    Chemo diet was certainly effective

    I have a friend, a Sydney-sider, North shore, shopper without peer, seasoned by years of pounding pavements for quality bargains. We meet for a smart lunch in my favourite book store then we hit the sale. I put on narrow-leg jeans, size 9 – that chemo diet was certainly effective, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

    Below my neck, I look youthful, a mere slip of a girl, with slim hips in half-priced jeans and perky, artificial breasts – a legacy of breast cancer in my late 30s. I remember the surgeon giving me the good news that I would never droop. At the time, I wasn’t impressed, but now, with gravity taking it toll everywhere else, I’ve developed a real admiration for those defiant boobs.

    We become quite skittish, my friend and I, certain that my new jeans and my youthful figure will attract a rich male travelling companion who will sweep me off to Rome, Paris, Hanoi …. The upbeat mood follows to a shoe boutique, where I deliberately forget my wobbliness and buy expensive high-heeled Italian boots for that seductive long-legged look.

    I have ‘normal salivary flow’

    My dentist is so proud of me when he pronounces after my examination that I have ‘normal salivary flow’. I am proud too. He tells me that chemo treatment usually causes the dreaded ‘dry mouth’ where, without saliva, you end up with tooth decay, smelly breath and innumerable fillings. So hurray! Who cares that my treatment stopped my hair re-growth and, with permanently bald spots, I now have a look of ‘the mange’? Not I, nor my dentist!

    I contentedly swish my normal salivary flow around my teeth and I’m reminded by a friend that the flow consists of a daily production of one and a half litres. Could this be right, do you think?

    Dancing the lurch (The last waltz?)

    Oh the grandeur and dignity of the waltz! It was Pip’s signature dance, but our last one, together across a shop floor, was something else.

    We were desperately exhausted by treatments of our respective cancers and on our way home, we needed to get supplies. Holding hands for support, we negotiated from car to shop. Oh what a frail, pitiable, cancer-ridden couple we looked, crossing the road and stumbling inside.

    Alas, the things we needed were right across the shop floor – there they were on those distant shelves. Pip, ever-resourceful, suddenly held me in a waltz mode for support, and we waltzed and lurched together across the shop floor, like a crazed Vaudeville act, veering towards our supplies.

    Back in the car and heady with success, we used up our last ration of energy, choking with laughter at the alarmed glances of shoppers. Black humour can be sustaining.

    Life’s little ironies

    Pip and I were sometimes boyfriend and girlfriend at school and then we went our separate ways – he to the family farm and I to university. Years later, after our respective divorces, he suddenly turned up, looking perhaps much sterner and certainly much balder that he covered up with the ubiquitous comb-over.

    Very quickly I realised it was necessary for me to provide him with a simple ultimatum – lose that comb-over or lose me. Now today, I do comb-overs on all my bald spots and spray them to fix. Oh, the ironies of life.

    Beyond the Grave

    Pip died at home in our bed and during that time, he showed me how to accomplish a fuss-free death.

    On the third night afterwards I ventured back into our bed.

    I’m under the freshly laundered red and white doona cover with matching pillows (‘Red Cross sheets’, Pip used to say). I steadfastly stay on my side, not venturing onto his, and I’m trying hard to go to sleep. I begin to hear scrabbling noises coming towards me. They seem to come from inside the wall near my side of the bed. Sleepily I turn over, as I used to, and wait for Pip to tickle the back of my neck, a he used to. There’s the tickle and now it’s scampering up my back and I jump out of bed with a yell.

    I sit on the bed edge in the dark. All quiet. No noises, no funny feelings on my back. Just me. Why couldn’t I have appreciated Pip’s Grand Design of engineering a message from the grave – a notoriously difficult achievement – instead of putting it down to the workings of a few mice? Sometimes I can kick myself.

    Now I have severed my links

    I have sold my house and moved from the country to Hobart, closer to the children, grandchildren and city friends. It hasn’t been done without emotion and I comfort myself with clichés like ‘you need to move on’ and ‘Pip would have understood’ and ‘it’s only a house’ – which is true, but it was the house he built for me.

    Now I have severed my links. Yet I see him still, his desperately thin frame, his battered navy-blue work cap and under the brim, those eyes driven, restless from the grand passion for building the house, as if that passion would finally burn him up until he became weightless, ethereal.

    On the night he died, I watched the huge expanse of black sky with its one intense star.

    Suddenly the heavens opened as splashes of vivid light – yellow, red, green, blue – hit and transformed that star.

    Was that Pip, weightless, ethereal?

    Wait for the thump

    Every morning, back in Hobart, I wake early, waiting for the thump of my newspaper on my lawn.

    That thump gives me such inexplicable joy that my legs start to tingle and I have to move and stretch them like mad. Here it is, they say, your very own little house, with paper home- delivered.

    Pretty soon I’ll get up, go out to the garden, pick up my paper, get my muesli, add in fruit and make a cup of tea and there I am, at breakfast near the window looking over the garden. Home is where your paper is delivered before breakfast.

    The other day, clear-blue and green, my two grandchildren joyously crawl and roll on my brightly mown grass.

    Ah, moments of time.

  7. Gorgeous Dunny,
    If you believed what you were told on ‘Insiders’ you’d be scoffing right about now at that list of achievements by the federal Labor government. Apparently they do too much! Makes the poor dears heads spin. So they laugh at them.

    Aren’t they pathetic? 🙂

  8. fiona

    [ don’t blame her! ]

    Things are done here quickly and tend to be frenetic rather than stylish.

    I’ll wake her up around 6’ish.

  9. So did everyone ‘get’ Lenore Taylor’s coded message today at the end of Insiders about Tony Abbott’s ‘No Confidence Motion’ in the government?

    Apparently, he will, indeed, be bringing it on this coming week in parliament. Not at the beginning, but, if I figured out Lenore’s coded message correctly, instead of his Budget-In-Reply speech on Thursday night. In front of the nation, on prime time television.

    The very definition of an evil politician, giving no quarter.

    Why, oh why, cannot a government bring on a ‘No Confidence Motion’ in an Opposition FFS? The equation is unequal and being exploited!

  10. I don’t care what Lenore Taylor might or might not have implied. Abbott cannot just pop up and launch into a motion of no confidence instead of giving his budget reply. It might have escaped Stuntman’s notice, but there are rules that have to be followed. I would expect a political journalist of Taylor’s standing to know all about them, obviously she doesn’t.

    There are certain motions which require no notice, but a no confidence motion is not one of them., Abbott has to give notice of such a motion and then the Clerk has to report it to the house ‘at the first convenient opportunity’. It then goes into the order of business.

    Once the notice has been given the Leader of the House – Albo – can arrange the order of business in any way he likes.

    There’s more, lots of it, here –
    http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/House_of_Representatives/Powers_practice_and_procedure/practice/chapter9#mot
    .

  11. Back from a lovely lunch. Shortly heading off to have dinner with my parents.

    c@tmomma

    I thought a motion of no confidence had to be done during the course of the day’s sitting?

  12. Qanda tomorrow night

    Clive Palmer – Mining Magnate
    Ged Kearney – President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions
    Tim Nicholls – Queensland Treasurer
    Larissa Waters – Queensland Greens Senator
    Bob Katter – Political maverick and Leader of the Australian Party

  13. On twitter

    [MT via @bernymcatlady “Okay for 3000 business to pay levy for paid parental leave, Not okay for 500 companies to pay carbon price” #auspol]

  14. further to my post this morning on tradies (or lack of them!)….Thanks C@T for those short cameos stories..That is one part that became a thing of the past with the “new regiem” tradies..; smoko stories and yarns…got some of my best material from those sessions!
    I remember my father complaining that here in Australia, the weather being so temperate all year around, there was not that three month break like they had up in the Dolomites where snow shut the whole place down for three months, so that no outside work could be done and a lot of time was spent refreshing old tales and song nights etc.

  15. Checks to see if the Matt Cowgill piece on Hockey’s unenlightened views on the ‘End of the Age of Entitlement’ is better than moi’s… 😉

  16. C@t – I watched that Lenore bit, I think she’s just guessing. They may well try to bring it on this week, but I’m tipping it won’t be during the in-reply speech allotted. if they did, I think it would backfire. In fact, I think Rob was goading them recently to have a go and not string it out, so if its this week it may be because of that. He wants it done and dusted.

  17. Leroy,
    I’m not so sure that Lenore’s guessing about the ‘No Confidence Motion’being brought on later in the week, as opposed to sooner. I vaguely remember hearing someone else bring up that same scenario, so my ears pricked up when she said it with a twinkle in her eye as if she had been informed of Opposition tactics, and without actually saying it straight out, it was implied.

    Rob Oakeshott can try and encourage the Opposition to bring it on sooner all he likes but he can’t dictate terms to them, the ball is in their court wrt the timing of placing it on the Notice Paper. However, after that, as leonetwo said, it becomes a scheduling matter for the Leader of the House.

    Now, I don’t know, but if Abbott & Pyne wanted it scheduled for the B-I-R slot, would Albo have the chutzpah to stymie them?

    I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. 🙂

  18. I had hopes that the Guardian would blow in like a breath of fresh air, but, Lenore Taylor? WTF? They had a beauty staring them in the face, and they blew it [Mega]

  19. When I mentioned Rob, he meant bring it on this week (any day) rather than put it off until say, June. At one time the opposition seemed to be pulling back on the idea or wanting to let the potential motion hang around on the agenda perhaps as a threat, but Rob was definite that it a matter of such importance should be dealt with ASAP. That’s why I think he’s driven it to happen this week, so the opp may be adjusting their grandstanding plans accordingly. Just in the last day or two I heard Rob mention this parliamentry week as a day of “supply and confidence”.

  20. Yesterday, Denese complained about rummel and other lowlifes getting past the bouncer. Check out his last 2 postings over the road. Pretty ordinary

  21. The moment the first two Guardian Aus potentials-in-talks where rumoured to be David Marr & Annabel Crabb (although she hasn’t joined), I knew it would be an underwhelming refuge for MSM people we’ve seen way too much of already. Futhermore, how many people will read it? Its real heyday may be in future years if Fairfax tanks altogether.

    Having said that, some of their hires are good. Greg Jericho, Bridie Jabour (the ex Brisbane times reporter, she is straight up), and most of non-famous ones seem at least acceptable. The best thing is that if they break real juicy news, its a proper MSM source, so it will get picked up here & overseas. Better than nothing, can’t see any other well resourced news agencies starting up soon.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/gnm-press-office/guardian-australia-makes-new-hires

  22. denese is fine, I just go with the flow, water off a duck’s back, and re-engage when things settle down for her. She has some pretty traumatic memories of previous lib government,s, when she lost her house, and her hubby nearly got drafted to go to Vietnam based on his birthdate.

    Denese may be a bit changeable in moods but she is certainly one thing, a repository of the lived history of the damage right-wing LNP-type governments do to ordinary working people just trying to bring up families and get on with it through hard work.

    And Denese is not afraid of putting that lived history right up the noses of Tory arske-lickers, like those infesting the other place right now.

    Now Denese can behave in ways which are a bit frustrating at times but she always comes around and comes back to fight Tories.

    Frankly I hope Denese does more of it, not arguing policy with them but saying this is what the L/NP did, explain why I should think you lot are any different?

  23. In his budget speech Swan should refer to the irresponsible structural deficit left to us by Howard/Costello in the form of uncapped middle class welfare and how it requires a responsible government to fix it.

  24. C@tmomma
    From earlier – the budget reply is given at night and is televised live, just as the budget speech itself is.

  25. leonetwo,
    Yes, but is the B-I-R considered a part of daily parliamentary business? Therefore, can a Machiavellian, mendacious, malevolent Opposition substitute a ‘No Confidence Motion’ in the government if they choose to?

  26. Just a thought…

    Once Old Media is finally dead …and Murdoch is pushing up daisies …and our NBN is up and running …and people have access to instant fact-checking …and New (Social) Media is dominant ….the conservative side of politics will wither to an in-effective rump…

    New (Social) Media leans heavily towards the Social Democratic region on the political spectrum….

  27. Mark…yes..I would say it’s a case of ‘you can fool all the people some of the time…”

  28. I wonder if they’ll get their tactics and priorities sorted out better this year.

    Last year, I think they passed in the chance to do a budget-in-reply speech.

    Barely had they moved on from that failed moment and Joe pulled on the opposition’s usual stunt of an SSO “…to discuss THE STATE OF THE ECONOMY.” Talk about wankers.

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