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. Flouting the rules because they can –

    Environment Minister Sussan Ley apology for Lent speech with cold but told she does not need coronavirus test

    MEMBER for Farrer Sussan Ley pulled out of a speech for Lent at St Matthew’s Church in Albury on Sunday after contracting cold symptoms.

    The move by the Environment Minister followed her being at a Cabinet meeting last week with Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton who later tested positive to coronavirus.

    However, Ms Ley said she had been told it was not necessary for her to be screened for COVID-19.

    “I’ve had a bit of travelling over the past week and I developed some mild cold symptoms on Friday evening,” Ms Ley said.

    “Following both the health department advice, and personal advice I sought from a doctor over the weekend, it was indicated that I don’t fit the criteria for testing

    I’d love to know which doctor gave her this shonky advice after she had been in contact with Dutton. Anyone want to guess?

  2. Jesus christ, Colbeck is like a clone of Tony Abbott. A complete political animal, shares his speaking manner and even has a similar face. My skin crawls when he speaks, and I’m already disgusted by how this show is just waffling on and not telling us anything useful.

  3. I watched the whole show, bloody useless in my opinion. Colbeck defending Morrison’s Trumpian response of “nothing to see here, everything’s fine, there is no war in Ba Sing Se”, Gallagher hit with a tranquilizer dart to prevent her upsetting the government, token additions by the doctor in the set and the business leader in the live feed, and the guy also in the live feed asking the real questions and showing the appropriate outrage at this government’s action mostly ignored.

    Meanwhile I’m getting daily phone calls from my parents and grandparents in tears with all of us saying that we don’t know what to do right now. The shops are empty, everyone’s scared, this is just fucking despicable.

  4. “Meanwhile I’m getting daily phone calls from my parents and grandparents in tears with all of us saying that we don’t know what to do right now. The shops are empty, everyone’s scared, this is just fucking despicable.”

    That was the point of that Q&A: to tell us what is (not) being done and what should be done.

    Sam Mostyn’s: “One reliable source being honest and front and centre about what is and what we should do.” is the take-away.

    Colbeck said they are relying on CMO Murphy. ’nuff said.

  5. abc/rn news roundup at 6am. One line stood out. National policy is for the aged to be put at the back of the queue for medical services.

    So, that puts us out, assuming that would aply to the disabled as well. We will try and keep isolated. Grandson was sick yesterday but they needed some sage. I met him at the door and treated him like a leper. It wasn’t very nice as we usually greet with a peck on the cheek, load them up on fruit juice and stuff.

    Hope everyone here keeps safe and well.

  6. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Emmanuel Macron, has put France into almost total lockdown, introducing new rules stopping people from leaving home unless strictly necessary and banning them from meeting others and spreading the coronavirus.

    I just heard Trump rate his own performance on addressing Covid-19 as a TEN!!!

    Up to 150,000 Australians could die from the coronavirus under the Morrison government’s worst-case scenario, as it considers advice on restricting visits to pubs, cinemas and aged care homes. (As a matter of interest, the nursing home of which I am chairman will be isolating itself as a facility from tomorrow morning).
    Scott Morrison, like Trump, is showing himself to be an abject failure in the engine room of public policy writes Kevin Rudd who says the government’s coronavirus crisis approach is ‘go late, go half-measures, and go to Hillsong’.
    Fiscal discipline has put the NSW government in good shape to deliver stimulus. Treasurer Dominic Perrottet must now be bold in his response to coronavirus urges the SMH editorial.
    Boris Johnson has just announced “difficult and highly disruptive measures’’ across the United Kingdom, forcing all citizens aged over 70, pregnant women and people with vulnerable medical conditions to self-isolate for 12 weeks to protect them from the impact of coronavirus.
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison is stuck between the rock of the economy and the hard place that is the health of the nation, and more than one medical expert thinks he is getting it wrong writes Paul Bongiorno.
    According to Tony Walker a lack of confidence in US leadership is adding to coronavirus panic. He quotes Churchill’s famous comment that America always does the right thing once it has exhausted other possibilities.
    Peter Martin explores what addition stimulus and other measures the government might announce on Thursday.
    Providing communities with accurate, timely and logical information about coronavirus is essential to avoid complacency and panic, writes Professor John Dwyer.,13686
    Rob Harris explains arrangements for the operation of a scaled back parliament and its operation. (Who on earth would want to “pair” Pauline Hanson?)
    Shane Wright and Rob Harris say that billions of dollars worth of assistance to prop-up key industries will form part of the Morrison government’s second stimulus package as the Reserve Bank prepares to cut interest rates and start unconventional monetary policies to protect the economy.
    First toilet rolls, now testing!
    Ita Buttrose says mixed messaging from the Morrison government and state leaders over the dangers of coronavirus is confusing the public.
    It’s appropriate the federal-state national cabinet is being dubbed a “war” cabinet because surely this country has not experienced such a sense of crisis since the dark days of World War 2. As the coronavirus cases escalate rapidly, there is an increasing feeling that things are starting to run out of control writes Michelle Grattan.
    Michael Pascoe: Yes, they are making it up as they go along.
    Nick Bonyhady reports that prominent businesswoman Sam Mostyn urged the government to let a single impartial expert lead the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
    Peter Hartcher examines the state of the Chinese economy.
    From Jakarta James Massola tells us what an omnishambles has been Indonesia’s handling of the coronavirus problem.
    Staff in our intensive care units are preparing for the worst but hoping public health measures will keep the patient load manageable.
    A national organisation representing Australia’s welfare recipients has called on the government to suspend mutual obligations to prevent people having their payments suspended during the coronavirus crisis.
    The National Broadband Network will be put to the test as a growing number of Australians work or study from home due to the coronavirus pandemic writes Isabelle Lane.
    The Treasurer’s 2020 Intergenerational Report is as close as we get to a long-term plan for Australia’s population and economy, but will it be anything more than just a political document? Abul Rizvi reports.,13693
    The Fed has just used all its ammunition to fight the coronavirus. But the impacts of the pandemic are, however, quite different to those of the financial crisis says Stephen Bartholomeusz.
    Kerri Sackville wants to keep the schools open for the sake of the kids.
    The AFR explains how regulators have been forced to take unprecedented action to offset heavy foreign investor selling of government bonds and to discourage banks from shutting down loans to small business.
    Karen Maley tells us that top financiers believe the Reserve Bank will pull the QE trigger in coming days in order to restore lasting calm to turbulent bond markets.
    Dana McCauley writes that Infectious disease experts have warned against a suggestion that authorities should let the deadly coronavirus spread to achieve “herd immunity”.
    Coronavirus is causing panic-buying, but what does that mean for Australia’s food security?
    Now more than ever, we have to be honest about intensive care beds writes oncologist Ranjana Srivastava. This is a very good contribution, regardless of the coronavirus problem.
    4 Corners does it again, this time revealing more alleged brutalities by our SAS.
    Peter Hannam reports that The Morrison government’s failure to activate the so-called “water trigger” when assessing the proposed Adani coal mine in Queensland will be challenged in the Federal Court.
    Trump’s attempt to buy a German coronavirus vaccine shows why big pharma needs to change.
    “No one close to Trump has the guts to say what needs to be said: Stop talking! Now. Don’t utter another word. Put your phone away. Go to Mar-a-Lago and play golf” writes The New York Times’ Timothy Egan who says that Trump thinks he’s Churchill but he’s more Chamberlain.
    Bloomberg explains why banning short selling right now makes perfect sense.
    Australians have gone mad for toilet paper and hand sanitiser as the threat of the deadly coronavirus looms ever larger. In the US, one of the biggest runs has been on guns and ammunition. This is not going to end at all well.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Matt Golding

    Andrew Dyson

    John Shakespeare

    Fiona Katauskas

    Glen Le Lievre

    John Spooner

    From the US

  7. Congratulations to

    for making it into the cartoon section of today’s papers 🙂

  8. Why the frack are so many fracking stupid people still panic shopping?

    Yesterday afternoon I went to the shops. I needed vegies and fruit, urgently. The fruit and vegie place was as well stocked as it was pre-panic, no problems there at all. I’m hearing some supermarkets are running out though, thanks to the looters and panickers.

    Then I thought while I was there I’d pop into the supermarket in the same complex, where I shopped last week. I was only after milk, bread and cat food. I had planned to do a big shop at the end of the week, maybe now I won’t bother.

    The shop had had a lot of empty shelves last week, but yesterday it looked as if it had been looted. No bread – except for the stuff that’s trucked in from who knows where and filled with preservatives and anti-fungal gunk, the stuff I never buy. I scored the last loaf of bread from a local baker. Milk and cat food were in good supply though, thank goodness.

    Just as well I didn’t want anything else. I did a bit of checking. No meat – the looters and panickers must have realised they have freezers, because from what I’m hearing this shortage is happening in supermarkets across NSW, but oddly not in butcher shops which seem to have plenty of meat. No tinned tomatoes beans or lentils. No dried beans or lentils either. No toilet paper, tissues or paper towels, of course, although signs said there would be deliveries today. No flour, although the looters had not snapped up the “alternative” flours like spelt. Pasta almost gone, although again the “alternative” varieties were plentiful. Forgot to see how the rice was holding up. No longlife milk, but shelves full of alternatives – almond, soy, coconut etc. I don’t buy that crap, if I want almond or coconut milk – lovely used to make porridge in winter – I make my own. No cheap rolled oats and only one box of the vastly more expensive Uncle Toby’s version, although there was plenty of instant oats. Even peanut butter was almost gone.

    If only these loons would stop, use what little intelligence they have and realise they only need to be prepared for a possible two weeks in isolation. Why buy up a year’s supply? The oats, dried beans pasta, flour and rice will get weevils within a couple of months if not stored very carefully, and I doubt the panickers have the intelligence to understand how to do that. The meat will only last in the freezer for a certain time and if the power goes out in the next storm and stays off for 24 hours or so (as has happened over summer) you’ve lost the lot.

    I can get a home delivery from my friendly local co-op, I’ve done that a few times lately, and unlike Coles and Woolies they have not cut out deliveries. But they are run off their feet now and instead of being able to promise delivery on the day and time of your choice they say they may take a few days to get to you. Besides, I don’t want to look like a panic buyer.

    All this inconvenience and, for some, stress, because a bunch of idiots want to prepare for a siege.

    If only Australians were not so freaking stupid, if only they were not such brainless sheep!

    And – you cannot blame this on the usual excuses – ethnicity or seeing Asian shoppers stocking up to send to China, or Middle Eastern people panic-buying because there are only a handful of Asians here and no-one from the Middle East or of that ancestry. It’s pretty much 95% white, Anglo-Saxon, English speaking here.

    Australians should be ashamed of themselves. No wonder we have the farcical government we have – the brainless returned it. Now they can suffer the consequences. It”s a shame 48% of the population has to suffer along with them.

    • My experience at Coles: no pasta at all except 2 small packets of Barilla, no tomato paste, no flour, no toilet paper AT ALL, no oats except some UT. Then I went to iga, bought some oats – plenty there – and some flour. It’s a mad world. Bought a lot of berries, will make some preserves. Crazy.

  9. The thinking behind the UK’s ‘lock up the vulnerable” and let the rest catch it approach.

    ……he believes it (UK policy) is more sustainable over time than that of the WHO, which he says appears to want to eradicate the virus entirely, like with SARS, rather than learning to live with a virus that may be here to stay.

    “At some point, I suspect the WHO is going to have to change its position to something like the UK government’s, and not the other way around,” he says.

    Read more:

  10. Woolworths and Coles have introduced special hours in their supermarkets to ensure that seniors and people with disabilities will be able to shop in less crowded aisles during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Woolworths said patrons would be granted access by showing a relevant, government-issued seniors, pensioner or disability card, while other shoppers would not be able to enter until after 8:00am.

    From today onwards, Woolworths stores will open exclusively to the elderly and those with a disability from 7:00am to 8:00am daily, and from Wednesday Coles will do likewise at the same times.

    Key points:

    . The new Woolworths hours began today from 7:00am nationally

    . Coles later announced it would do the same, starting on Wednesday

    . Access will be granted only to those with relevant, government-issued cards

    • 87 year old Mater’s response to that was “Humph! And how am I to get to that shopping centre at that time of day with no car, no direct public transport link and no idea where it is anyway?”

      The sibling reported that the manager of the supermarket they were standing in at that precise moment looked completely confuzzled,

  11. I suppose now BoJo has decided all over 70s, pregnant women and vulnerable people with chronic illnesses will be put in isolation for 12 weeks all sorts of rumours will start racing around Australia and there will be even more panic-buying.

  12. This could be fun

    The federal treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, will learn on Tuesday if he is ineligible to sit in the Australian parliament, just days before he is expected to unveil the second round of stimulus to combat the economic effects of Covid-19.

    Frydenberg’s eligibility has been challenged in the federal court by a Kooyong constituent, Michael Staindl, who alleges he is disqualified by section 44(1) of the constitution because he is a citizen of Hungary, which Frydenberg denies.

    The federal court heard the challenge in February. Chief justice James Allsop, justices Susan Kenny and Alan Robertson are listed to give judgment on Tuesday at 2:15pm in Sydney and Melbourne.

    • The information probably was too vague to be understandable to native English speakers as well

  13. Quite

    Bowen also says that Scott Morrison’s yesterday’s announcements about changes to parliament were made without consulting Labor.

    I understand that the Prime Minister made some unilateral announcements as to howParliament works without any consultation with the Labor Party. That’s been fixed and Mr Morrison and Mr Albanese had a conversation.

  14. If bloody NZ can have this situation then why the bloody hell did we keep hearing about shortages and constraints on testing kits here ?

    Dr Ashley Bloomfield, director-general of health, said all cases of the virus in New Zealand have been recorded from overseas travellers arriving in the country, and at this stage there was no community outbreak.

    “New Zealand has no barrier from cost to testing, nor is there a constraint on capacity.” Bloomfield said.

  15. Is it something about the reactionaries?

  16. Grunt is way out of his depth

    Close to 2,500 doctors have written to health minister Greg Hunt asking for immediate action on containment of coronavirus, Melissa Davey reports.

    “Many of us are in contact with colleagues in Italy, Spain and France and they are begging us to learn from their mistakes,” the letter states.

    “With access to intensive care the death rate from COVID19 is likely less than 1%, but in an overwhelmed system without access to intensive care the death rate approaches 4%.”

  17. The special shopping hour for the aged and disabled has not got off to a good start.

    I didn’t think it would work.

    Why? Because something happens to a lot of brains when people hit old age – they become greedy. Ever been caught in a stampede for the buffet lunch at a function for old people? I have. It’s terrifying. They queue up at the door until the place opens then rush for the food. Being trampled in the rush is a distinct possibility. I’ve seen the same behaviour at the movies too, old farts trying to queue-jump so they can get in first.

    The same thing will happen at early morning oldies shopping sessions – they will strip the shelves of everything, whether they need it or not.

    I’m not being ageist – you all know how old I am. I’ve been watching this behaviour for decades, it never stops. Old people can be exceptionally greedy, pushy and dog-eat-dog in their rush to get what they want.

  18. Read the thread. Ms Coopes is very angry, with good reason.

    This is about Bevan Shields of the SMH. His article is a load of old cobblers.

  19. An e-mail. Commendable


    As the owner and operator of 42 Westfield centres in Australia and New Zealand, we appreciate the ongoing community concern about the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

    I want to let you know what precautions and actions my team is taking to prioritise your wellbeing whilst managing business continuity in our centres which are regarded as essential services in the community.

    Cleaning and hygiene

    We apply the highest standard of cleanliness and hygiene across our Westfield Centres. We have increased the routine cleaning of frequently touched hard surfaces.

    We expect our retail partners to apply the same principles to their cleanliness and hygiene.

    If a retail partner becomes aware of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 within their customer facing teams in our centres, they must contact their local Westfield centre management immediately. We would then work with our retail partner and the relevant health authority to support any required public communication and advice on deep cleaning.

    We remind all customers to practice regular hand washing, use hand sanitiser and cover sneezes or coughs with your arm, not your hands. Hand sanitisers are available at the Concierge desks and other locations around our centres.

    If you have flu-like symptoms, you should seek your doctor’s advice.

    If you have returned from overseas effective 16 March 2020, you are required to self-isolate. You should not visit a Westfield centre during this period.

    Following the advice of health authorities

    When it comes to the health and wellbeing of our customers, retail partners and people, we follow the advice of the Australian and New Zealand health authorities.

    We have shared regular updates with our people and other stakeholders to ensure they are aware of the latest travel advice and guidance on what to do if they have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19.

    In our centres and across our digital channels, we have provided guidance and advice for customers as well as signage focused on good hygiene practices. We will update these messages as needed.

    Focused on delivering for our customers and retail partners

    Our Westfield centres are open and trading.

    We are working with our retail partners to ensure our forward program of in-centre activations addresses the necessary wellbeing precautions whilst supporting business continuity.

    Confidence when you visit

    Members of the community should be confident to go about their day-to-day activities including shopping at their local Westfield.

    As circumstances continue to develop we will update our approach to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our customers, team members and communities is our highest priority.

    If you’d like more information, please click here.

    Thank you for your support,


    Peter Allen
    CEO Scentre Group

  20. The Victorian Government has moved to sack the dysfunctional City of Whittlesea council, three months after chief executive Simon Overland was removed and an independent monitor installed.

    Legislation has been introduced to State Parliament today to dismiss the council due to serious governance failures revealed by municipal monitor Yehudi Blacher.

    Mr Blacher found the council went through five chief executives within five years and spent $500,000 on legal disputes..

  21. Why is she wasting time talking to that piece of chalk?

    Education minister Dan Tehan is being pressed by the ABC’s Patricia Karvelas on school closures; Is there a point in time at which school closures, whether they be mass or targeted, will be inevitable?

  22. Just another example of “Australians being Australians)

  23. “That time a Liberal Party Senator literally told Australians – 3.3 million of whom are in casual work and in fear of their livelihoods – that their food problems could be solved by… hiring a caterer” – Van on Facebook.

    And why not hire a few nannies to look after the kids, and a chauffeur, and some out-of-work gardeners while you are at it.

    FFS! These Liberals have NFI!

    Time to build some guillotines and oil the wheels on the tumbrils?

    • *scuttles out to da back shed to sharpen and oyl Mme La Guillotine*

      Soz – we duzzent do trumballz here …

    • There’s always an excuse…

      “We can’t get deliveries in due to truck curfews.” – lobby government to (temporarily) remove the curfews.

      “We don’t have enough staff to stock the shelves.” – Just leave it on the pallet, Aldi-style!

      “We don’t have room for a pallet.” – Move the Easter eggs, HCBs etc. out of the way and/or advertise Easter stuff on survivalist websites.

  24. I’m going into town to test out the Wooly’s supermarket at the undogly hour of 7am in the morning. Don’t need much, just a couple of things the haven’t been able to get for a couple of weeks, I expect a wasted trip and a long long day after going into town so early. I wake up early, but slow to get mobile and motivated.

    Our biggest problem for this footy season may have been solved, or at least delayed. 16 yro will be playing for a team in town, while the other is still in under 16’s out here. There will be the odd week that we will have to seem to play favourite and the choice is so difficult. We love the way each plays the game, they are different in their attitudes and ability. It seems the season is going to be delayed and maybe not even played.

    We have got so used to ‘going to the footy’ since we moved back up here that we don’t know how we will cope not going out at least every second Saturday. It is really our only social events for the year. It is going to be a looooonnnggg winter.

  25. Aldi hours are 8:30 to 8.

    Except: “As of Wednesday, 18 March 2020 we will be changing all store trading hours to 9.30am-7pm (unless other state and local trading restrictions apply).” An hour each end to stock, at a guess.

    And restrictions:

    Toilet paper – 1 unit
    Dry pasta – 2 units
    Flour – 2 units
    Dry rice (excludes microwave rice) – 2 units
    Paper towels – 2 units
    Tissues – 2 units
    Hand sanitisers – 2 units

    And a limit on certain returns 😀

  26. It never occurred to me that people would take groceries back for a refund. Why on earth would you bother?

    If you accidentally bought something you don’t need then why not donate it to a charity? If you deliberately bought trolleys full of toilet paper then shame on you.

    The meanness of some people is astounding, as is the stupidity of too many Australians.

  27. Labor politicians doing what the CrimeMinister refuses to do – self-isolating after coming in contact with a coronavirus case – Andrew Bragg – on 9 March.

    The CrimeMinister was in close contact with Dutton a week ago and despite being ill he is still refusing to be tested. He claims he just has a croaky voice because he’s been to a lot of meetings. He’s scared of getting a positive result.

  28. I’m a public hospital doctor. We’re not prepared
    Anonymous public hospital doctor
    17 March 2020

    When you consider the broad age range and health conditions of medical staff, and that one of the contingency plans is to reintroduce retired nurses and doctors to bolster a flagging workforce, it is no exaggeration to say that we are being asked to put our lives on the line.

    It is particularly jarring to be expected to accept the pittance being offered to us by the Morrison government, both in terms of resources and leadership. There is a nationwide shortage in both virus testing kits and masks that can prevent transmission. This has resulted in health guidelines being based on the availability of resources rather than scientific evidence. Masks are such a precious commodity in my hospital that they are being stored in the same locked cupboard as the morphine

  29. E-mail from Coles


    Ensuring everyone has access to everyday essentials

    To allow everyone the opportunity to purchase everyday essentials, we will be implementing a 2-product limit per customer on the following items from Wednesday 18 March:

    Dairy milk
    Grocery milk
    Canned tomatoes
    Pasta sauce
    Liquid soaps

    These restrictions are in addition to current item limits already in place in-store and online. To view these please visit

    Changes to Coles Online

    Our Coles Online home delivery service will temporarily be diverted to focus on elderly and vulnerable members of the community. Delivery vans in our network will focus on delivering groceries to those in genuine need, including retirement and nursing homes. We apologise to our regular online customers for any inconvenience this may cause.

  30. I have a progeny working in a remote area Aboriginal Community hundreds of mile from even a small hospital. There is a school, roadhouse/supermarket, is visited sometimes by tourist buses/grey army, nurses on site and doc once a week. My kid reckons it will be all hell when covid19 arrives, and he says it is inevitable. With elderly and health-compromised of all ages, us cityites fighting over toilet paper will show up for the selfish urban privilege that it is.

    Up there, if stuff runs out of something, everyone just accepts it as a way of life to wait for the next truck, (1x a week.)

    I cannot help compare the attitude of people there, who do not expect everything to be built for their immediate needs. and the rat-eat-rat attitudes of some down here in the city,

    By the way, the Grey Army are already a problem for medical resources, having heart attacks and broken hips out in the never-never (don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame them, I would be one if I could afford it!)
    so Covid19 can only complicate matters. They stay in caravan parks, motels camping sites with overseas tourists etc so ripe for infection.

    • Rat eat rat is exactly right.

      Wise people have been worrying about what will happen when the virus hits indigenous communities but our government doesn’t seem to care. How typical. I have not heard any of them mention special measures or more medical help for remote communities.

      Because so many indigenous people have chronic white-people illnesses and weakened immune systems they won’t survive.

      Our government is only interested in city people and in their usual racist way they believe indigenous lives don’t matter. They will be happy to see not only indigenous people but also the aged, the disabled and the chronically ill die because it will mean more money for their cursed budget.

      Grey nomads should be staying at home, not going on their usual winter trips to warmer places, but I doubt they will. They will see remote communities as good places to escape infection, not realising they are possibly taking the virus with them.

  31. Good morning Dawn Patrollers I will try to limit the focus on Covid-19 as it’s too depressing for me to trawl through it all. For some reason my mind goes back to the last line delivered in the seminal Australian crime series Blue Murder’s police character wo uttered, “The job’s f***ed!”.

    On that note Ross Gittins says that this crisis will turn our lives on their head for so much of this year that we’ll remember it for the rest of our lives and won’t fail to tell our kids about it in years to come.
    Matthew Knott reports that the Trump administration is preparing to unleash a massive US$1 trillion economic stimulus package in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including rapid cash transfers to most Americans, emergency business loans and a bail-out for the airline industry.
    The Australian Red Cross says it needs 14,000 donors before Easter to help ward off a blood shortage, as thousands of people confine themselves to their homes to curb the spread of coronavirus.
    The AFR says that the priority now is trying to hold things together.
    Alan Joyce is a canny operator. As the ravages of the coronavirus began to hit the airline hard, the Qantas boss announced he would take no salary for the rest of the year; no salary for the rest of the financial year that is. Who will the Government bail out? Michael West investigates Australia’s institutions that are Too Big To Fail.
    Simon Benson reports that a government rescue package to protect tens of thousands of businesses facing collapse will be targeted at saving jobs and propping up the aviation, tourism and hospitality sectors, which have been devastated by the COVID-19 economic fallout.
    If you really want to feel bad read this contribution from Chris Uhlmann.
    Paul Kelly writes, “This is a genuine crisis and genuine crises can only be countered­ by open-ended and high political­ declaration. It is important to follow the medical and economic advice. But officials are officials. They cannot change the course of history. That is the job of leaders acting with decisiveness.”
    According to Shane Wright the federal budget deficit could hit a record high $100 billion and public debt approach $1 trillion as the government lifts spending to fight a “coronavirus recession” while its revenue sources collapse and costs go up.
    The Treasurer has conscripted top officials of the RBA, big banks and power companies to work out plans to shield hundreds of thousands of businesses from bankruptcy writes Karen Maley who says Frydenberg is facing the fight of his life.
    Tony Walker explains how a lack of confidence in US leadership is adding to coronavirus panic.
    The Age editorial says that Australia needs to go hard and fast to tackle coronavirus.
    Sam Maiden Reports that Peter Dutton is suspected of passing on the coronavirus to a Sydney businessman at a Liberal fundraiser dinner attended by the Prime Minister and multiple cabinet ministers.
    Australians are more concerned about the economic consequences of the global coronavirus outbreak than their own personal health, new research has revealed, however two-thirds are increasingly worried about the availability of health services writes Rob Harris.
    The Morrison Government has announced a $17.6 billion economic stimulus package to stave off a looming recession but will this work? Alan Austin recalls lessons from the GFC ten years ago.,13696
    Coronavirus testing explained: Think you’ve got COVID-19? Here’s what you need to know.
    Psychologist Jill Newbie advises us how to manage our anxieties during this crisis.
    Funerals are being conducted virtually or downsized and mourners asked not to embrace as the industry gears up for a potential spike in deaths due to COVID-19. Funeral directors are preparing for a worst case scenario as they push for national guidelines on how to best handle the pandemic.
    Michelle Grattan with the latest on parliamentary arrangements for next week.
    A national organisation representing Australia’s welfare recipients has called on the government to suspend mutual obligations to prevent people having their payments suspended during the coronavirus crisis.
    The COVID-19 pandemic will only get worse and the situation has not been helped by weak political leadership but Dr Martin Hirst says he’s preparing, not panicking.,13694
    A team of Singapore-based scientists has uncovered the first glimmer of hope that the COVID-19 virus could be mutating into a less virulent strain after discovering key protein suspected to affect the virus’s transmission and severity has disappeared in some patients. Let’s hope this turns out to be so.
    Nick McKenzie and Chris Masters say that no Australian could now credibly deny that a small number of our special forces soldiers committed executions of Afghans, such was the power of a video obtained by Four Corners and broadcast on Monday night.
    As COVID-19 shuts down festivals and mass gatherings around the world, entertainment editor John Turnbull considers the impact of coronavirus on movies and the cinema industry.,13699
    Here’s how to live without toilet paper.
    Trump sees the coronavirus as a threat to his self-interest – not to people says Adam Gaffney.
    Pauline Hanson’s One Nation has come under fire for derogatory comments posted on its Facebook pages about women appearing at the federal Parliament’s family law inquiry. The Law Council of Australia (LCA) has written to the inquiry head, Liberal MP Kevin Andrews, saying it wants the inquiry to be “discontinued” because it was no longer confident it would be conducted in “a genuine, open-minded and respectful way”. It was bound to happen!
    The woman is a shocker – in every possible way!
    To finish on a light note (for some) . . .

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Alan Moir

    Simon Letch

    John Shakespeare

    Dionne Gain

    Matt Golding

    Andrew Dyson


    From the US

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