Children’s Literature

I was one of those painful children who was a VERY early reader. And I devoured books from at least the age of 3. Even books that my parents’ friends considered unsuitable … so, what was a problem about reading ‘Lolita’ when I was 10?

One of the delights of my childhood was our regular schedule: payday, we’d do dinner at Happy’s Restaurant in Garema Place. I’d then be allowed to choose a Puffin Book all by myself at Verity Hewitt’s Bookshop. Non-Friday night payday, we’d visit the local library, and I would have finished reading my two books by Saturday night. Throughout my late childhood and adult life, however, I have ALWAYS revisited my favourite children’s fiction, and each time re-reading has revealed different, sometimes surprising, nuances.

Which is why I was so delighted to read this from another WordPress blogger – Calmgrove:

For the readership the books were originally aimed at doubtless they were entertaining, but for all their superficial fantasy they also portrayed a reality — the threat of nuclear holocaust, the nature of authoritarian parenting, the evils of totalitarianism — that could upset any rose-tinted view that assumed that all was right with the world.

And that’s why it’s so important that children read, have access to books, to libraries, to classrooms where such fiction is held in esteem. For here, without the bitter pill Victorian novelists forced children to read, are deeply moral narratives. Here there may be crises to face and wicked antagonists popping out of the woodwork; but there won’t be the piety that accompanied too many tales from the 19th century, stories in which the protagonist suffered calamities and atrocities with a reverential quietude and passivity, accepting the fate that a noble sacrifice might offer.

No, as the 20th century proceeded the protagonist (other than the gung-ho British bulldog type who might show natives and the lower classes his superiority with feats of derring-do) would increasingly exhibit humanitarian values and a sense of compassion, combined with a bravery that wouldn’t require outstanding physical prowess or a privileged education. Nesbit’s children’s books are regarded as marking a sea-change from the piety of Victorian and Edwardian literature written to improve children to a more realist yet sympathetic fiction written with their innate sense of fairness in mind.

I generalise of course. But think of the classics that stand the test of time: in the main they are the ones that are based on moral outrage against injustice, war, deprivation, waste, greed, and so on. Whether the scenario is small-scale — family-based, perhaps, maybe in a school — or of epic proportions, stretching across continents, such narratives share the values of many traditional fairytales: standing up for what’s right, and recognising responsibilities.

In an era when most of our daily news stories concern the apparent success that arises from cheating, bullying, lying, exploitation and abuse, and when much contemporary adult fiction seems to end in tragedy or at the very least ambiguity, is it not important for all our sakes to counter that with alternatives? I don’t mean the saccharine endings of romcoms or the impossible triumph, against all the odds, of plucky outsiders over supervillains in the apocalyptic final reel; I’m thinking instead of the child hero who learns to do what is right because…

Well, just because.

My response – from my heart:

For me, children’s lit, fables, legends, etc., has always been about subtly teaching children how to deal with dangerous emotions, with adversity, and with despair. (One of the worst things I think my late unlamented mother-in-law did to my spouse was to refuse to read him – and refuse to let him read – ‘fairy tales’, because they weren’t “true”.)

The starkest example I’ve experienced about the value of children’s lit in this domain was the publication of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”.

That was back in 2003, at the height of the propaganda, gaslighting, and downright dishonesty about the “Coalition’s” purported and actual reasons for the invasion and – almost – destruction of Iraq.

– The intolerance of anyone who disagreed.
– The ill-treatment of anyone who disagreed.
– The calmunies directed towards anyone who disagreed.

And, as I read that book, I thought, “Yes, sounds SO like Bush (US), Blair (UK), and Howard (my Oz PM).” Lie after lie after lie, vilification of anyone disagreeing, and the intense desire to destroy anyone disagreeing with their vile stance.

It didn’t – quite – work then.

Now, however?

1,383 thoughts on “Children’s Literature

  1. A timely thread starter Fiona! I’m currently re-reading some of my fav Enid Blyton children’s adventure and mystery series. I know that Enid’s views on gender roles are outdated, the outright health & safety dangers the child characters are put in (underground passages,climbing ivy covered walls, rowing boats in stormy seas and other parents’ nightmares!) and her formula style in plot development are among the many faults pointed out by modern day critics. But these are minor compared to contribution Blyton and other kid lit authors make to child development. The discovery of the joys of reading. The firing up of children’s imaginations and opening up a world beyond self.
    The empowerment of children as they transition into the adult world within the security of their childhood space (camping, school holidays, having fun and eating yummy food, their own non adult retreats). Showing that children can be equals to adults in their world.
    These are common threads in kid lit. It is what makes these books read by generation after generation.
    Good kid lit is even more important today with pervasive nature of hand-held technology and the social media it contains. The cyber bullying and its tragic consequences. The couch potato syndrome of the over use of this technology. At least with reading kid lit you wanted your own adventures, build your own cubby or tree house.

  2. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    According to The Australian, a Joyce backer, Llew O’Brien, has quit the National Party.
    Michael Pascoe tells us what a leak about the RBA says about an insecure and rattled Morrison government.
    Shane Wright explain how the Morrison government has been warned it will have to overhaul its approach to helping the unemployed as automation threatens the disabled and low skilled.
    Rob Harris says that Australia will take a new long-term emissions reduction target to November’s UN climate summit, as the Morrison government weighs up whether to join more than 80 countries to commit to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Meanwhile Zali Steggall and other crossbenchers will introduce a bill to something like this in parliament today.
    The editorial in the Canberra Times says that the government has serious questions to answer over its infamous robodebt scheme and should make amends for its unconscionable behaviour.
    Tony Walker looks at why the High Court should allow the release of archival documents regarding Whitlam’s dismissal.
    Katie Burgess tells us that now Australian researchers have accused the Coalition government of delaying the announcement of grants for political advantage.
    And Luke Henriques-Gomes reveals that disability support pension recipients were increasingly forced to pay back alleged welfare overpayments as the government’s botched robodebt scheme progressed, despite repeated claims that the program did not target the vulnerable.
    Solar photovoltaic scientist Dr Matt Edwards accuses the government of being wilfully blind to the economics of renewables. He says that with all subsidies taken out, solar PV and wind wipe the floor with gas, coal and nuclear.
    Jennifer Hewett writes that while it may only be $4 million for a feasibility study but the government’s announcement of a feasibility study of a new coal-fired power station will fire up the arguments over Australia’s energy policy in a tense atmosphere.
    In the face of the climate disaster it helped create, the Australian government has given us only lies and denial says Tim Flannery.
    The AFR reveals that a nine-year-old payment in Papua New Guinea is threatening to derail the Australian-listed, Horizon Oil, after it repeatedly ignored corruption warnings and paid $US10.3 million ($15.4 million) to an unknown shell company.
    Tom Rabe reports that NSW rail workers will refuse to staff the state’s new intercity fleet, citing safety concerns with the multibillion-dollar trains, escalating tensions between the Berejiklian government and rail union.
    The hospitality empire of celebrity chef George Calombaris is on the brink of collapse and could be placed into voluntary administration as early as this week, with about 500 employees facing an uncertain future reports Gemima Cody.
    According to Clancy Yeates banks have been trimming interest rates on term deposits in early 2020, new figures show, as returns to savers continue to be eroded by the global shift towards ultra-low interest rates.
    Looks like Marise Payne has done some good work here.
    There is now an opportunity for platforms and publishers to establish a set of common standards that provides transparency around the distribution of news content writes Facebook’sMia Garlick.
    The experienced Tom Alegounarias says that in Australia, teachers are scrambling. They are overworked and undervalued. While they are subject to skyrocketing demands, they get inadequate and declining support and guidance.
    Alan Austin writes that Trump’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday was not just hubris and braggadocio. It tried shamelessly to falsify the record, notably on the shaky US economy
    Better coordination and planning can reduce the severity of Australian bushfires, writes Greg Prior who says that unpaid volunteers are the backbone of the bushfire response.,13570
    Nicholas Gruen says that we’re still handing Orders of Australia to the wrong people.
    Euan Black identifies the five industries set to soar and fall over the next five years.
    Dana McCauley writes that Catholic Health Australia has urged the government to force wealthy older Australians to pay more for the sector’s services, especially those living in multimillion-dollar properties.
    Government’s religious discrimination bill enshrines the right to harm others in the name of faith explains law professor Simon Rice. He concludes that Porter’s third attempt cannot be taken seriously if it persists with this perverse approach to religious freedom.
    The photo Donald Trump doesn’t want you to see but shared anyway.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Peter Broelman

    Jim Pavlidis

    Matt Golding

    Matt Golding

    Glen Le Lievre

    Culture warrior Johannes Leak strikes again

    From the US

  3. Read an article in SMH which I can no longer find that said AEMO had choked solar farms in Vic and western NSW access to the electricity grid to the extent that it was no longer viable to invest in renewables in Vic because weren’t allowed to start generating revenue
    Mind you a week ago Vic & NSW faced blackouts when 4 coal fired power stations went off line in a heatwave

  4. The campaign to have Bettina Arndt stripped of her totally undeserved, totally inappropriate AM award heats up –

    Rape survivor urges Governor-General to cancel Bettina Arndt’s Australia Day award

    A spokesman for Governor-General David Hurley said he “respects the courage and leadership Ms Tame has shown through her advocacy”.

    “The Governor-General acts on advice from and recommendations made by the Council for the Order of Australia.

    “If and when the Governor-General receives requests to terminate or cancel an award (such as Ms Tame has made), it is referred to the Council for the Order of Australia for advice and action.”

    Ms Tame said the award sent the wrong message to the community

    I know the PM is not supposed to have a say in who gets these awards, but he does appoint the panel and I see his grubby fingerprints all over this inexplicable award. Who else would order an award be given to a “born-again Christian” who preaches hatred of women and supports rapists? The CrimeMinister has form on this, supporting a known paedophile, Frank Houston, through his friendship with Brian Houston.

  5. Did anyone – except a few journalists – seriously believe Barnaby and his mates would cross the floor to defeat government bills?

    This ends that topic -Christensen has ratted on Barnaby.

    The only bills the government has on their tiny agenda are the religious discrimination bill and the union-busting bill. There’s nothing else. Barnaby and Co would never vote against either of these.

    As for the possibility they might support Zali Steggall’s climate change bill – never!

    There was also the thought – a ludicrous one – that Barnaby and his mates might be so pissed off they would support a motion of no confidence in the government. That’s never going to happen. Barnaby wants to be leader of the Nats and Deputy PM, he’s never going to vote to overthrow his own government. Neither will Christensen and O’Brien.

    • I’d like to think so, Curioz, but I think whoever happens to lead the Fed Libs over the next 22 or so months will have his (of course) claws undetatchably fastened to the body of OzPolitics.

  6. Problem with giving kids books—they only read electronic devices!

    Well, one greatniece reads books, doubt any others or their parents do. Bought that greatniece an Enid Blyton book and gave her my “Walking with Dinosaurs” book (bit old for her I suppose but in a year or two may be of more interest.

    My block is slowly being developed, have two bare-bones pergolas there with fruit trees down the sides.

    Was there in January, four trees out of the 32 I planted died, 3 cherries and the crab apple. Going to buy 2 cherry trees, a John Downie crabapple and a third peach tree to replace the losses. Also more cider apple trees and perry pear trees etc.

    Going to plant about 50 pinot noir grapevines next year. Have the posts in place, April-May (depends on rain to get the right soil moisture) then have a local rotary hoe and spread a fair bit of gypsum where the vines are to go and around the trees. In Sep I will go down again (flying I think, have had a gutful of the damn ferry) and spread compost etc where the vines are to go then thick mulch,

    All taking shape!

    • Sounds good!

      Are you going to made cider with the crabapples too? My brother made some once – I’m not sure what variety of crabapple, but it turned out pretty good. (Certainly better than the commercial ones which are too sweet, and lack a balance of bitterness and sharpness.)

    • I wonder what some of the big businesses who have underpaid their workers will be made to pay out? It is hardly fair if only small businesses get to pay penalties (no matter how egrigious their behaviour)

    • Curioz,

      I think the grand theft specialists should be hit with substantial financial repayments (that MUST be enforced) but also an appropriate porridge sentence. Unfortunately, the maximum sentence seems to be 5 years.

  7. Media Watch stopped short, just short, of calling the AFP corrupt in the Angus Taylor saga.

    They could just have asked Anus: “Why did you sign that document?” and asked one more question: “Who told you it was fact?”

    • That – if anything – should be the signal for the less corrupt Coalition to cover their arses and support a properly empowered and financed Fed ICAC.

      If they wimp out again, may their souls rot in hell.

      (I can write that with impunity because I’m an atheist, and don’t ‘believe in’ souls. But they do …)

  8. It’s not just the Nats who are fighting.

    Liberals – the so-called “modern Liberals” – Trent Zimmerman and Dave Sharma said the government should not be financing new coal power stations. That won’t endear them to the the coal-hugging side of the government.

    If this government is going to implode then I hope it happens soon. I really don’t think Australia can handle two more years of this level of corruption, incompetence and infighting.

    • Leone, agree completely.

      However, Zimmerman and Sharma are the voices crying in the wilderness.

      The rest of their party will only hear:

      “Make straight the way of the Lord.”

  9. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Katharine Murphy gets into the detail of what was an awful Essential poll for Morrison.
    David Crowe forms the opinion that Scott Morrison has just witnessed a show of force from an angry faction that will come after him on climate change when it is ready.
    Some SMH journos says this represents a proxy war over the government’s direction.
    Paul Bongiorno opines that the climate wedge has just deepened for Scott Morrison as Coalition rebels toy with power.
    Denis Shanahan says the humiliation of Michael McCormack and his Nationals leadership chaos show no sign of ending and daily draws Scott Morrison and the Coalition further into the quagmire of dissent and bitterness.
    And Phil Coorey reckons Morrison was humiliated by all this.
    Michelle Grattan headlines her take on yesterday with “It turned into a profitable day at the office for Nat rat”. She describes Labor’s action as “a highly astute tactical play”.
    Kirsten Lawson writes that Nationals defector Llew O’Brien delivered a blow to the government yesterday, leaving his party in further disarray and exposing Morrison’s fragile hold on votes in parliament.
    Mike Foley tells us that Zali Steggall says her proposed “sensible centre” laws for more ambitious climate action will need Coalition MPs to cross the floor and public pressure to get through.
    The SMH editorial says that political courage needed to move the country’s climate policy forward. Joyce and The Greens get a serve.
    Ross Garnaut explains how zero national emissions by 2050 is indeed possible.
    Extending the life of just half of the Liddell coal-fired power station would cost as much as $100 million a year and, even then, technical issues would cloud the reliability of the ageing plant writes Peter Hannam.
    The Age explains how Crown Casino got visas for its high rollers.
    Eryk Bagshaw reports that Australia is set to extend its coronavirus travel ban in a move expected to hammer the education sector and block 100,000 international students from entering the country in time for the start of semester.
    Andy Marks declares that politicians need to quit their addiction to pork.
    Peter Hartcher looks at Hockey’s time as our ambassador to the US.
    The stumbling Australian economy needs rescuing writes Greg Jericho. It’s time for more government spending he says.
    There are certainly problems in German politics as Merkel’s time comes to a close.
    Prof Chris Aulich writes about Morrison and the four Ds of crisis management – deny, deflect, denigrate and delay. This is a cracker!
    Sally Whyte writes that the government is ‘trashing the public service in the process’ of hiding Gaetjens report.
    The budget surplus is almost certainly gone as economists warn Australia’s run of good luck has finally ended with the coronavirus and bushfires punching holes in revenue and forcing up spending writes Shane Wright.
    Alan Austin explains how Australia’s retail sector is suffering disastrously from the Morrison Government’s failures in economic policy.,13581
    Australia’s free trade agreement with Indonesia has been billed as a win-win for both nations. But the deal might not be quite as sweet as Scott Morrison and Indonesian president Joko Widodo made out in their historic meeting in federal parliament yesterday says Euan Black.
    Kate McClymont has more on the corruption in the NWS Labor government from some years ago.
    Jennifer Duke reveals that the National Broadband Network is jostling for access to millions of dollars in state government innovation money in a bid to fund upgrades as the federal budget comes under pressure.
    At last! A doctor puts some perspective into the coronavirus issue. It worries him that the media are making a mountain out of a molehill.
    Without an arms-length process to control federal sports grants, vote buying will further erode trust in politics says Craig Emerson.
    The Guardian keeps rolling them out. This time Paul Karp tells us about how a donor to the Liberal National party received a $5.5m jobs and investment grant, despite potentially being ineligible because it is a registered training organisation.
    And Christopher Knaus writes that former resources minister Matt Canavan repeatedly delayed releasing documents about his interactions with coal lobbyists until he resigned his post, rendering a freedom of information request void. The case again highlights a significant flaw in Australia’s FOI regime, which makes it exceedingly difficult to access documents held by a minister if they shift portfolios or resign.
    Flood management researcher Chris Kays explains the big problems with “dangerously irresponsible” planning for the Hawkesbury flood plain.
    Dana McCauley reports that Christian Porter says he’ll consider legislating to stop so-called “double-dipping” by casual staff and extra sick leave for shift workers if two court decisions don’t go the government’s way.
    Matt Canavan has resigned the Resources Ministry, but the radioactive waste he signed off on has up to another 10,000 years in office, writes Dave Sweeney.,13579
    Jenna Price piles into Harvey Weinstein’s female lawyer here.
    Trump easily avoided a guilty verdict in his Senate trial for abuse of power and obstruction of justice and, in the same week, was praised by Republicans for a State of the Union address in which he didn’t fall off the stage writes Martin Hirst.,13580

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Peter Broelman

    Jim Pavlidis

    Matt Golding

    John Shakespeare

    Alan Moir reminds us an old one of his.

    The Australian’s John Spooner takes over from Leak.

    From the US

  10. Another High Court defeat for Dutton –

    High court rules Aboriginal Australians are not ‘aliens’
    Paul Karp
    The high court has decided that Aboriginal Australians are not aliens for the purpose of the constitution, a major defeat for the deportation powers of Peter Dutton’s home affairs department and a significant development in the rights of Indigenous Australians.

    In four-to-three split decision the high court ruled on Tuesday that Aboriginals cannot be aliens, giving them a special status in Australian constitutional law likely to have ramifications far beyond existing native title law.

    The majority of the high court ruled that Brendan Thoms was not an alien and the commonwealth therefore did not have power to order his deportation. The court was not able to decide if the second plaintiff, Daniel Love, is Aboriginal Australian, requiring a further hearing to establish the facts.

    The plaintiffs were born in Papua New Guinea and New Zealand, each with one Aboriginal parent, and face deportation due to laws which allow the cancellation of visas on character grounds.

    Lawyers for the two Indigenous men, backed up by the state of Victoria, argued the Australian government cannot deport Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders even though they do not hold Australian citizenship because the constitutional definition of “alien” can’t be set by the government of the day through citizenship law

    And the judgement –

  11. Speaking of the cashless debit card –

    And here’s a very long post from The Say NO Seven on the duplicity of Jacqui Lambie, Twiggy Forrest and his Minderoo cash-cow.

    We have received feedback from people who attended Goldfields meetings with Jacqui Lambie. These people attended meetings in good faith, to meet Jacqui Lambie and they inform us that did not know that Minderoo representative Anne Mills was also present in the room until we posted the newsletter that reported her being a member of Jacqui Lambie’s delegation .

    These ladies reported to us that they are deeply concerned about this issue, that they poured their hearts out in that room, and did not realise they were speaking effectively to Andrew Forrest himself. They saw the woman taking notes and now wonder where their private information is going to.

    They tell us that they would NOT have spoken in these meetings had they known or they would have asked Anne Mills to leave. They genuinely believed they were just talking to Jacqui and her staff. We have proof she was in the room and first person testimony from several people that she did NOT formally identify herself as a Mindaroo employee.

    It may be of some concern to members to hear that Minderoo were also granted a $550.000.00 grant by the Morrison government – a targeted grant meaning no competition – and for community development purposes – despite having no Social Welfare or community development qualifications and the plethora of community run organisations that do.…

    Please note that this grant was essentially a gift – listed as ‘Targeted or Restricted Competitive’ so an intentional decision by the LP government to ignore local groups in favor of a politically supportive and convenient corporate body. There was no open grants process.

    Mindaroo already have a senator (Senator Matt O’Sullivan) in place in our parliament who worked with them for 9 years.

    Just this past week, the ex SA premier announced he is now working for them as well.

    To know they wander about on private tours with Jacqui Lambie through cashless card zones without the consent of those in the room or ANY LEGITIMATE REASON TO BE THERE AT ALL just tops the huge political influence rorting cake.

    As unregistered lobbyists they do this in blatant abuse of national lobbying laws, as they are representatives of Andrew Forest who remains pulling the strings and he is not a registered lobbyist.

    Despite their press, it has been shown over time and several senate hearings, that Minderoo have NO interest in the personal welfare of cardholders or the Australian people, they are a business, and their senate testimonies prove this. They are on Hansard as being technology focused and so, in it for the money to be made from tech they will on sell to banks – clearly they are seeking to profiteer even more from the poor as their fast growing wealth demonstrates.

    Minderoo are also registered election campaigners with AEC if you didn’t know, and this alone should ring alarm bells throughout the Senate and House that they are influencing a senator and Australian policy makers so closely. That this private corporate entity has even been ALLOWED to tour with a senatorial delegation and has been granted such wholesale exclusive and intimate daily contact with a SENATOR OF THE AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENT should be shocking enough – in any other parliament it would be- but the fact this gross and undue influence is being gained by Indue Ltd and known cashless debt card supporters just adds to the moral crime of it all. NO WONDER our voices go unheard and are so deeply misrepresented and disrespected.

    If Jacqui wants to allow herself to be used and taken as a fall girl by Andrew Forest and the LNP then that is HER decision, it is not representative of good senatorial behavior and it is a flagrant abuse of her position by them as much as by Jacqui herself. If her staff can’t see that enough to her alert her to the possibility of the same, then that is on them too. We tried.

    It remains, that corporate governance applies to corporations governing themselves, it does not in any sense give ANY private corporate organisation like Minderoo ANY legal or moral right to interfere in parliamentary or government processes or to govern by proxy, the Australian people. THEY HAVE NOT BEEN ELECTED TO REPRESENT the Australian people ANYWHERE for ANY reason.

    This blatant collusion and corporatism must be stopped, it is completely unacceptable, it is unfair and further abuses the trust of the Australian people. It makes a mockery of the entire card evaluation process and casts doubt upon every conclusion drawn in the House.

    Lobbying laws exist for GOOD REASON. Jacqui and her staff are taking us all for idiots, patronizing us, patronising forced trial participants, and displaying their contempt for the poor in general when they should be looking hard in the mirror and looking around them at the storm that is brewing. It is very clear to us that Jacqui isn’t the only one Minderoo are following around either and people on cards are not the only people being ‘experimented on’ by this insidious group –

    WE DO NOT CONSENT to Minderoo employees acting for or with government groups, Senators or ministers. There is a clear pattern of political influence buying by this group on some very critical issues of Australian policy and governance and it must be stopped. We are sick of it; sick of the deceptions and manipulations, the lies and sick to death of Minderoo buying their way into government and treating us all as if we were idiots. We don’t even have to campaign on this at this point, the extent of influence rorting is clear, and the absolute and growing fury of the Australian people at the immoral, reckless and unconscionable conduct of this entire government is making itself clearer everywhere, every day.

    The real world impact of any further roll out of CDC will be similarly as clear as crystal, and will not be able to be ignored. We have not lied in our representations of the realty on the ground, and any roll out will within a year, show the proof of that as testimony already shows the devastating consequences in all 4 sites already.

    The ultimate fault, blame and accountability for any future roll out will lay on the shoulders and the conscience of ANYONE who votes for it this sitting, and rightly it should. You do and will reap what you sow.

    People are being driven to suicide, losing their homes, losing their safety and their financial and social security. They have been having their basic rights infringed upon and forced to submit to corporate controlled cards and contracts without their free prior and informed consent, with no evidence to justify any of it. This isn’t just about access to cash , it never was. This is about stopping abuse, and stopping abusers perpetually abusing the most vulnerable people in the nation.

    Ultimately this group are bullying cowards, not up for a fair fight on the facts and evidence they skulk around behind the scenes and use Andrews billions to buy their way in the door. .We should not be the only ones who place people before profits.

    Minderoo, GET OUT of OUR government NOW

  12. Lord almighty!

    Just what we need – more freeloading royal tourists.

    Report of visit to fire areas by William and Kate
    The Sydney Morning Herald and the Age are reporting Scott Morrison is about to issue an invitation to the duke and duchess of Cambridge to visit Australia so they can tour bushfire regions.

    From Bevan Shields’s report:

    “Prince William and his wife Catherine are set to visit bushfire-ravaged Australian coastal towns during a special royal visit that will spur more international financial support for survivors and volunteer firefighters.

    “Preliminary negotiations between the Morrison government and Kensington Palace – the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s official household – have been under way for weeks and Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected this week to issue the formal invitation needed to give the tour the go ahead.”

    And how much will that cost us?

    Last time this pair of freeloaders came to visit taxpayers forked out $474,137 for the privilege.That included airfares for them and their hangers-on, and a preliminary visit by staff.

    How about William and Kate actually do something useful this time, pay their own costs and also make a substantial donation to bushfire relief? Otherwise why bother coming all this way just to look at some charred remains? It seems pretty damn pointless to me, having the rich offspring of the offspring of the aged overlords visit the colonial minions for a photo op and a bit of news footage of the duke and duchess looking “concerned”.

    • I like Speers. He managed to hold Frydenberg to account the week before last, and Marles richly deserves whatever hard time he gets in interviews.

      Speers leaves Fran Kelly for dead.

    • “Misinterpreted advice to senators”?

      That’s much the same sort of lie as “my staff made an error”

      Clearly he only declares his properties when the media catch him.

  13. 12 years ago A Mitre 10 ad (think Bunnings) in NZ went “viral” as they say, the ad…..

    12 years later the gang have got together again…….

  14. TLBD

    Copmpare the two, one has a doctorate in quantum chemistry, the other one’s a former marketer sacked from previous job because of fraud and theft.

    And the job before that saw ministers resigning, a parliamentary inquiry, ‘mysterious payments’ and him being likened to Rasputin. Seems pretty SOP for the Scrott.

  15. Industrial greenhouse gas emissions in Australia have risen 60% in the past 15 years, putting the country on a path that, if it continues, will lead to it missing the target set at the Paris climate conference.

    That is the conclusion of an analysis by energy and carbon consultants RepuTex, which examined the rise in industrial carbon pollution – including from oil and gas extraction, mining and large-scale transport – in the period covered by Australia’s 2030 emissions target, starting in 2005.

    The resulting report highlights the failure of the Coalition government’s “safeguard mechanism” policy, which was promised to limit carbon pollution rises so cuts paid for by taxpayers through the emissions reduction fund, the main national climate policy, were not just wiped out by increases elsewhere.

    RepuTex found emissions in sectors covered by the safeguard mechanism had grown from 89m tonnes in 2005 to 142m tonnes in 2019, and were projected to reach 187m tonnes by 2030.

    If the projection is correct, industrial emissions will have increased 110% over the period in which Australia has promised, as part of the Paris agreement, to cut national emissions by 26-28%.

  16. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    David Crowe reports that incoming Resources Minister Keith Pitt vowed to make Australia an even bigger energy exporter and sent a message to state governments to open up new coal seam gas fields. This should help Coalition tensions no end!
    Phil Coorey says the Nationals really have put ‘coal’ in Coalition.
    Simon Benson writes about how Morrison’s ability to keep delivering on a key election promise to provide stable and unified government is being rapidly dismantled.
    Ross Gittins argues that the Great Australian Dream is keeping the economy weak.
    Tony Wright has a good dig at Barnaby Joyce’s leadership ambitions.
    Investor Mark Carnegie tells us why the right-wing Morrison government must do left-wing things for Australia to prosper. This is a good read.
    Citizen reporting of the coronavirus situation on China has upset the Communist Party. I wonder if this could be some sort of tipping point.
    Eryk Bagshaw tells us how the Morrison government rejected lobbying by the $38 billion university sector to allow 100,000 international students into the country.
    Australian families stuck in Wuhan are becoming increasingly desperate as their evacuation window closes writes Bagshaw.
    David Tyler writes, “Humiliated, Morrison sticks to his adaptation and resilience con”.
    The SMH editorial has praise for the new Indonesia/Australia agreement.
    The coronavirus outbreak is being used as an excuse for xenophobic behaviour towards Asians Labor frontbencher Andrew Giles will warn as he calls for a new national anti-racism campaign today.
    Sam Maiden reveals that Nationals leader Michael McCormack has been accused of organising a party meeting in Victoria to coincide with the Melbourne Cup by the rebel MP who sensationally quit to sit on the crossbench.
    Kaye Lee writes about the sheer idiocy of Barnaby and the Joycettes.
    According to Rob Harris the annual Closing the Gap report, to be released today, shows a staggering failure to meet targets in improving levels of Indigenous childhood mortality, life expectancy, school attendance and employment.
    Michelle Grattan has ideas on how Morrison will frame his Closing the Gap report today.
    Today, 500 people will gather in Canberra for the annual ANU Climate Update. This event will feature experts on climate science, disaster relief, health, social psychology and community engagement bringing together policy makers, government agencies, industry, students, academics and members of the community. As well as focusing on how our climate changed in 2019, speakers will also discuss how we can respond as a community.
    According to Adam Morton industrial greenhouse gas emissions in Australia have risen 60% in the past 15 years, putting the country on a path that, if it continues, will lead to it missing the target set at the Paris climate conference.
    Kirsten Lawson reports that the Senate is set to strip Liberal Senator Mathias Cormann of his role representing the Prime Minister in the Senate on Wednesday if he continues to refuse to table the Gaetjens report into the sports grants affair. Looks like the knives are out.
    Along with this the tussle over the government’s legal advice on the robodebt saga is set to continue, with the Senate voting to force the tabling of documents outlining what the government was told about its online compliance program and when.
    Peter Lewis writes that with budget ‘surplus’ and coronavirus Morrison is caught between a slogan and a hard place. He concludes by saying these times are testing whether he has what it takes to be anything more than the #ScottyFromMarketting.
    Former Chief Scientist Ian Chubb has written a red hot op-ed bemoaning the effect voters’ complacency and lack of engagement are putting our future at risk.
    Australia’s protection of the coal mining industry doesn’t add up from an evidence and economics perspective, writes Tarric Brooker.,13584
    Shane Wright reports that the average mortgage has hit $500,000 as interest rates super-charge the property market.
    Canavan does it again! Now he has omitted two properties worth more than $1m from his current declaration of interests, declaring “nil” interests in real estate despite owning two houses in Yeppoon, Queensland and Macquarie in Canberra.
    Isabelle Lane reports that telecommunications experts have disputed claims the NBN will be completed on time and within budget and have demanded an end to the secrecy shrouding the taxpayer-funded network. What a mess!
    The AFR says that the growing polarisation in Canberra on climate change may be a cause, and not a reflection, of divisions in the community.
    It’s bad enough that fraud allegations against Angus Taylor are not being pursued, but why aren’t journalists angry? Dr Jennifer Wilson discusses the media’s response.,13582
    Stephen Bartholomeusz explores why seemingly disconnected markets are booming while the world reels from the coronavirus outbreak.
    Dana McCauley explains how country towns will get an extra 100 GPs qualified to deliver babies and treat patients in rural hospitals under a government plan to help address the shortage of doctors in regional and remote areas.
    Michael Pascoe looks at the various arguments over the superannuation guarantee.
    Elizabeth Knight suggests that there will be a significant effect on many companies’ profits as a result of the coronavirus issue.
    Jennifer Hewett writes that the Morrison government is anxiously counting the cost of coronavirus.
    But Emma Koehn tells us that startups are capitalising on renewed interest in environmental solutions after Australia’s bushfires brought climate change to the front of investors’ minds.
    TPG Telecom and Vodafone Hutchison Australia are hours away from learning whether their $15 billion merger can go ahead.
    What will the fallout be from the UK refusing to fall into line with the U.S. ban on Chinese telecoms giant Huawei? Paul Budde comments.,13588
    The Justice Department plans to reduce its sentencing recommendation for long time President Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone, after top officials were apparently blindsided by the seven-to-nine year penalty prosecutors urged a judge to impose.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Peter Broelman

    Matt Golding

    Fiona Katauskas

    Glen Le Lievre

    Johannes Leak

    From the US

  17. Canavan “forgets” to declare his own family home, the home he lives in, not just an investment property purchased on a whim and easily overlooked to those well-off enough to afford extra properties, and it’s all brushed off by the registrar as “misinterpreted advice to senators”.

    Can those Australians struggling on social security payments, especially Newstart, now use the same excuse?

    Sorry Mr Centrelink I misinterpreted the mutual obligation requirements and did not realise I had to turn up for a work for the dole job.”

    Or – “Sorry I didn’t get to my last Job Search appointment, I must have misinterpreted the time”.

    If this incredibly dumb excuse works for Matt then it should work for everyone.

  18. MicMac not only called a party meeting that conveniently allowed his parliamentary troops to attend the Melbourne Cup, he also planned to have a party room meeting in Melbourne at the same time as a dinner celebrating the party’s 100th birthday next month..This would have allowed all Nats pollies to claim expenses for the trip. (And gives a whole new meaning to the term “party room meeting.)

    The PM wants the Nats to stop this rort.

    This is quite the scandal and the Courier-Mail believes it explains why Llew O’Brien ran for Deputy Speaker – Damian Drum supported the rort, saying the expenses to be claimed were permitted by the guidelines.

    PM steps in as explosive Nationals text message revealed
    THE Deputy Prime Minister’s office planned to allow MPs to bill taxpayers for flights and accommodation for a lavish Nationals centenary celebration, an explosive leaked text message has revealed.

    The Courier-Mail can reveal Michael McCormack’s top adviser admitted a party-room meeting had been deliberately scheduled to coincide with the Nationals’ 100th anniversary dinner, to be held at five-star Melbourne hotel on March 13.

    A jaw-dropping text message between Mr McCormack’s chief-of-staff Damian Callachor and others in Nationals offices snares the Deputy Prime Minister in a damaging political scandal, which was brought to the attention of Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday.

    Mr Morrison yesterday urged Mr McCormack’s office to get urgent advice from the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority.

    It is understood Mr Morrison wants it killed off, and believes it would be inappropriate for taxpayer funds to be used so Nationals can attend the event.

    Other Liberals believe it does not pass the pub test, but there is no suggestion Mr Callachor engaged in any wrongdoing.

    The issue is behind some of the tensions that have been brewing within the Nationals since the text message was sent in December.

    When Mr Callachor was asked in December by a Nationals office why a party room meeting was needed in Melbourne, given one would have been held days earlier in Parliament House in Canberra, he responded with: “The party room (meeting) is designed to ensure all members and senators have appropriate travel entitlements.

    The response floored some Nationals, and is why Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien challenged Damien Drum for deputy speaker this week, The Courier-Mail understands.

    As whip, Mr Drum has responsibility for organising party room meetings.

    All Nationals already have the meeting booked in their diaries.

    Mr Drum sent an email to colleagues yesterday saying IPEA accepted that claiming arrangements for travel and accommodation associated with the event was within the rules for MPs and Senators.

    However some Nationals MPs started making private arrangements to fly to Melbourne after being made aware of the text message, given they believe it would be wrong to bill taxpayers and that it is just weeks after deputy leader Bridget McKenzie stepped down over the sports grants scandal.

    Backbenchers earn over $200,000 and frontbenchers at least $350,000.

    In a statement to The Courier-Mail last night, a spokeswoman for Mr McCormack hinted that the party room meeting in Melbourne may now be axed.

    “At the time the Deputy Prime Minister’s chief-of-staff provided the advice to the MP’s office, the intention was to hold a party-room meeting, but this was subject to IPEA advice and confirmation closer to the time,’’ she said.

    “The location of this meeting is a matter for the National Party, and a decision will be made at the regular party room meeting in Canberra on February 24.

    “IPEA has advised in line with the Parliamentary Business Resources Act … parliamentarians can claim for travel expenses (including allowances) that are incurred for the dominant purpose of conducting parliamentary business and represent value for money.

    “IPEA advises the event falls under section a) of the definition of Party Political duties as per Schedule 3 of the Parliamentary Business Resources (Parliamentary Business) Determination 2017.

    “IPEA advises travel to this event would, in broad terms, meet the … definition.

    “But as always, this is a matter for MPs and Senators to determine.”

    Parliamentarians must ensure any expenditure for parliamentary business is consistent with a number of legislated principles.

    A principles-based framework requires that parliamentarians use public resources for the dominant purpose of parliamentary business, including activities that relate directly to the parliamentarian’s role; that support or serve their constituents; are connected with a political party and their membership of the parliament, or relates to the parliamentarian’s role as an officeholder or minister.

    The Nationals have for months been trumpeting its Centenary celebrations.

    On March 13, MPs and guests will attend a Nationals Historical Re-Enactment Ceremony at the Parliament of Victoria, before a Centenary Gala Dinner at Park Hyatt, Melbourne.

    Tickets for both events will cost National Party members $175, while corporate and general tickets go for $550

  19. “What I know is that to rob a person of their right to take responsibility for themselves, to strip them of responsibility and capability to direct their own futures, to make them dependent, this is to deny them their liberty, and slowly that person will weather before your eyes.” (PM’s Closing the Gap report speech.)

    So how does this square with the Cashless Welfare Card?

  20. My favourite books as a kid were The Magic Faraway Tree series. I was thrilled to read anything Enid Blyton. The Famous Five, The Secret Seven: All these books emphasised co-operation and the group achieving goals that each member could not achieve alone. Each character had a particular skill or ability that contributed to the effectiveness of the group. Without each particular contribution, the goal was unreachable. Rather than the single hero/heroine who prevails alone against the odds, this is the power of the group, and females were important in these groups.

    This is different to my memories of other children’s stories, which are about the one finding themselves and through their own strength and determination saves the day.

    I also loved Biggles books, when I discovered them, because I liked the idea of flying those planes.

  21. Because I had an awful childhood,books where kids went on adventures or were at boarding school (I dreamed of going to a boarding school) were my favourites, also kids with a group of friends and a nice home to come home to. So Blyton’s books were good for me.

  22. Mark Coulton has misled Parliament

    Tony Burke:

    The minister just referred specifically to a piece of legislation he alleged had passed this House, I ask him to table it. Because it doesn’t exist.

  23. Doesn’t this miserable, racist, hate-filled government have more important things to worry about?

    Coalition seeks to sidestep high court ruling that Aboriginal non-citizens can’t be deported
    Attorney general Christian Porter says government may be able to legislate a new way to deport those who have committed crimes

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