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. Bondi beach – yesterday.

  2. “Now I want you to picture this alternative,” Frydenberg said. “The member for Rankin is about to deliver his first wellbeing budget. He walks in, barefoot, into the chamber … robes are flowing, incense is burning … beads in one hand and speech in the other … gone are the seats, gone are the benches … and in their place, meditation mats for all, Mr Speaker … hugs for all, Mr Speaker”.

    Given the hoarding, and the stampedes in our supermarkets, I wonder if pandemics destroy goodwill, rendering this closing bit of whimsy entirely redundant. But in a spirit of generosity, not I told you so, Chalmers might want to drop a meditation mat around to Frydenberg on Monday.

    Perhaps some essential oils.

    The treasurer might just need them.

  3. Open up the twitter thread below and there are plenty of links to free old TV shows on YouTube

  4. The NSW government has closed Bondi beach after yesterday’s crowds.

    Bondi Beach closed over crowds amid coronavirus pandemic

    A bit late. Anyone there who was contagious has already passed on the virus.

    When are Australians (and a whole lot of idiot backpackers) going to take this pandemic seriously? They are happy to do what the MSM says and panic-shop but when it comes to social isolation they ignore instructions.

  5. The CrimeMinister refused Albo a spot on his so-called “war cabinet” but is happy to give Greg Combet an appointment. Why?

    Probably because union leaders are not going to take anyone associated with the government seriously.

  6. Bill Bowtell is both deeply concerned and immensely frustrated.

    He is concerned by the coronavirus, which is spreading in Australia at rates that put the country on a trajectory similar to Europe. And he is frustrated with the government, which has let it happen.

    “Let’s cut to the chase,” he fires down the phone line, before even being asked a question. “They were warned 12 weeks ago by WHO [the World Health Organization] and others what was coming. They did not accumulate test kits. They did not accumulate the necessary emergency equipment. They did not undertake a public education campaign. They gave no money to science, no money to research, no money to the International Vaccine Institute, no money to WHO. They diligently did not do anything useful.”

  7. Serious stuff

    • That’s what happens when Australian companies are flogged off to overseas interests.

      Wilmar BioEthanol is a branch of Wilmar Sugar, formerly CSR/Sucrogen (Colonial Sugar Refining Company). Wilmar is based in Singapore.

      In 2009 CSR separated its sugar and energy and its building materials businesses, the sugar and energy part became Sucrogen and the building materials remained CSR.

      Sucrogen was sold to Wilmar International in 2010 along with the sugar mills owned by Sucrogen. (On Labor’s watch.)

      You can’t blame an overseas-owned company for looking after its overseas customers ahead of its Australian ones.

      Recochem is a Canadian company, privately owned. Again, they are going to look after their overseas customers, especially Canadian ones, before they look after Australian customers.

      Both companies use Australia as a farm for growing sugar cane then use that product to make their ethanol and ship it overseas.

      It’s called good business tactics..

  8. From The Guardian.
    “CloseSkip to main content
    The Guardian – Back to homeContributeSign in

    What term do you want to search?Search with google
    Make a contribution
    Australia edition
    Digital Archive
    Discount Codes
    Guardian Puzzles app
    The Guardian app
    Inside the Guardian
    Guardian Weekly
    Middle East
    Global development
    Coronavirus live
    Coronavirus news: Thousands more beds and 20,000 extra staff to aid fight in UK – live updates
    Italy deaths pass 4,000; More US states, including New York, tell people to stay home; Dow Jones falls 900 points. Follow the latest.

    UK panic buyers urged to think of frontline workers
    Italy and Spain record highest single-day death tolls
    New York announces all non-essential workers must stay home
    The week explained | Sign up for our weekly newsletter
    See all our coronavirus coverage
    LIVE Updated 14m ago

    Coronavirus: officials hold a daily briefing on outbreak in UK – watch live
    Aamna Mohdin (now), Nicola Slawson and Rebecca Ratcliffe (earlier)

    Sun 22 Mar 2020 02.57 AEDTFirst published on Sat 21 Mar 2020 11.42 AEDT
    Key events
    38m ago NHS to get thousands more beds, ventilators and extra healthcare staff
    52m ago Leading peers call on government to do more for self-employed
    1h ago Africa’s coronavirus cases rise above 1,000
    2h ago Finland confirms first coronavirus death
    4h ago Summary
    5h ago Spain’s death toll surpass 1,300, with close to 25,000 confirmed cases
    5h ago Pakistan and Vietnam suspend international flights
    Live feed
    1 new update
    16m ago 02:55

    Nicola Slawson Nicola Slawson
    There is deep concern among hospitality industry workers on zero-hours contracts who are unable to work now that bars have been closed, a representative of bar workers in the capital has said.

    Drew Mallins, founder of the London Bartenders’ Association, says measures announced yesterday to ensure 80% of employees’ wages will be paid by the government were welcome but there is still a lack of clarity for those on zero-hours contracts, which is causing anxiety.

    The Facebook group for the LBA, which has more than 30,000 members, has been awash with worried bar workers over the last two weeks, Mallins said. The association is calling for the government to provide clarity for those not covered by the measures.

    Mallins has also been working with the Drink’s Trust, the UK charity for the drinks industry, which is working to provide mental health resources for those in the hospitality industry.

    “We think it’s highly likely there will be people in the industry whose mental health problems will be exacerbated by the crisis,” he said. “They have also got a HR expert on board and they will be answering questions from the membership.”

    On a positive note, he said some bars are finding ways to continue operating in London by providing food and drink for takeaway.

    “Lots of bartenders are really creative so they are doing things like bottled cocktails for delivery. There has been a rush to get listed on delivery apps and websites,” he said.

    16m ago 02:55

    Unlike many news organisations, our reporting is free and available for everyone. We need your support to keep delivering quality, unbiased, factual journalism that’s open and independent.

    The events of 2020 so far have demonstrated the crucial importance of clear, reliable information that explains, in steady measured tones, what is happening. We check facts, meticulously source information, explain the background and keep things in perspective, so that readers can use our work to make decisions about their life, health and security.

    Support the Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Make a contribution – The Guardian

    18m ago 02:53

    More than 500 travellers from UK and Ireland are currently stranded in Peru as the window for repatriation closes.

    In a live TV interview on Friday night on Canal N, the main Peruvian national TV channel, defence minister Walter Martos stated that Peru’s borders would close completely and they will “close all airports” from Saturday night 21 March.

    When asked if there will continue to be flights available throughout the state of emergency, Martos’ response caused alarm. He said:

    No, the day of tomorrow is the last day that we will be giving the facility for the foreigners to leave and for our compatriot Peruvians to return. We had made it flexible due to some problems that Peruvians compatriots in foreign countries had in repatriating themselves. From Sunday, they will close all airports.

    There are fears this will leave more than 500 UK and Irish nationals stranded throughout Peru in a desperate situation.

    “The government squandered their window of opportunity with inaction”, says Anwen Greenaway from Oxford.

    In a letter to the British Embassy in Peru, Fred Fransis, a stranded traveller in Peru, said: “It seems that a big opportunity has been missed. A week has passed with no solution regarding repatriation while other countries have succeeded. The situation has developed into a crisis. Reports here are that all borders will be strictly closed tomorrow Sunday and no more repatriation flights afterwards. There is only one day left for action on your part!”

    24m ago 02:47

    John Lewis will be closing all 50 of its shops temporarily from Monday, the first time in the 155-year history of the business that it will not open its shop doors for customers.

    The company confirmed it will be closing the shops as a result of the impact of the coronavirus.

    The online site will continue to operate as normal, alongside Waitrose’s physical and online shops.

    Chairman Sharon White said:

    The Partnership has traded for over 155 years, during which time we have faced many difficult periods, including two world wars and the 2008 financial crisis. On every occasion, thanks to our customers and Partners, and the long standing relationships with our suppliers and stakeholders, we have emerged stronger.

    We all need to continue to support each other and our strength and resilience will be tested. But they will not be broken.

    Updated at 2.57am AEDT
    38m ago 02:34

    NHS to get thousands more beds, ventilators and extra healthcare staff
    The NHS has struck a deal with private hospitals to provide thousands more beds, ventilators and extra healthcare staff from next week to aid in the fight against coronavirus.

    The extra resources, which include nearly 20,000 staff, will also help the NHS deliver other urgent operations and cancer treatments.

    The deal with independent hospitals is thought to be the first of its kind and will include the provision of 8,000 hospital beds across England, nearly 1,200 more ventilators, more than 10,000 nurses, over 700 doctors and over 8,000 other clinical staff.

    Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said:

    This is great news for the hospitals and staff doing everything they can to combat coronavirus.

    Under the agreement, the independent sector will reallocate almost its entire national hospital capacity to the NHS and will be reimbursed at cost.

    Sir Simon Stevens, the NHS’s chief executive, hailed the deal with the private sector, saying:

    We’re dealing with an unprecedented global health threat and are taking immediate and exceptional action to gear up.

    The NHS is doing everything in its power to expand treatment capacity and is working with partners right across the country to do so.

    David Hare, the chief executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network, said:

    We have worked hand-in-hand with the NHS for decades and will do whatever it takes to support the NHS in responding to this pandemic.

    This significant additional capacity across the country will be a major boost to the NHS’s efforts to treat those patients that need hospital care over the coming period and the independent sector stands ready to maintain that support for as long as needed.

    Updated at 2.42am AEDT
    44m ago 02:28

    A Bosnian man became the first to die of the coronavirus in the Balkan country, Reuters reports.

    The death was confirmed by the manager of a hospital in the north-western town of Bihac.

    Bosnia has declared a nationwide state of emergency over the coronavirus outbreak. The country has so far reported 90 cases.

    Updated at 2.29am AEDT

    52m ago 02:19

    Leading peers call on government to do more for self-employed
    A number of peers including Floella Benjamin, Melvyn Bragg, Joan Bakewell, John Birt, Rowan Williams and Lola Young have written a letter calling on the chancellor to put in place emergency funds to support the self-employed during the coronavirus pandemic.

    The letter notes:

    The current welfare system is just not devised for a situation where the government is strongly advising that the creative industries cease to work. Much of the workforce is not entitled to any notice or redundancy pay. It is entirely dependent on one-off engagements such as concerts, gigs, theatre shows and in the case of musicians, peripatetic teaching. If they do not work, they do not get paid. The welfare system is just not structured in a way that will support the vast number of musicians and creatives who are immediately out of work overnight.

    Other countries, such as Italy and Canada, have put in place emergency funds to support the self-employed in these uncertain times. The Chancellor last night announced a funding grant for small businesses of up to £25,000 to cover costs due to COVID-19 –the self-employed also operate in a similar way to these small businesses. If the government could consider a similar grant or emergency fund to assist the self-employed and those on zero-hour contracts with the loss of earnings, that would go some way in making up for the income that has been and will continue to be lost.

    The government must also extend statutory sick pay to all workers who are affected by COVID-19.

    Updated at 2.28am AEDT
    1h ago 02:13

    Tesco has today announced that it will be giving a 10% bonus to its workers in stores, distribution centres and customer engagement centres across the country.

    The bonus will be backdated to Monday 9 March for all permanent colleagues, who will receive the increased hourly pay rate till 1 May, when the company will review the situation.

    Jason Tarry, Tesco’s UK and ROI chief executive, said:

    It’s been an extraordinary couple of weeks and despite the enormous challenges, it’s been incredible to see how colleagues have stepped up and responded, doing an outstanding job during this uncertain and difficult time.

    This pay bonus is just one way we are saying thank you to our colleagues and recognising that they are on the frontline, helping to feed the nation.

  9. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Peter FitzSimons launches into Alan Jones for putting lives at risk with his take on coronavirus.
    A light hearted diary of a journo working from home for a week.
    Conservative governments are not used to asking the public to engage in collectivism or solidarity, and we are not used to hearing it from them – perhaps that’s why some of us seem reluctant to comply writes Jacqui Maley.
    Michelle Grattan explains how the government’s new $66 billion package will take coronavirus economic life support to $189 billion.
    Bioethicist Peter Singer openly discusses the triages that will occur in the probable event of demand exceeding supply of ICU beds.
    With the coronavirus, here’s what’s really going to matter for the Australian economy writes Greg Jericho.
    Lee Duffield writes about neoliberalism in a time of coronavirus.,13713
    Through all its promises, the Coalition Government has botched the job of delivering an NBN comparable with the rest of the world, writes Anthony Eales.,13715
    Quillette has published an article which says that while the disease itself is, of course, an apolitical phenomenon, Iran’s repressive, theocratic political system has played a role in the especially high toll that coronavirus is taking on the Iranian people.
    The New Daily tells us that there are 36 cruise ships around the world with Australians on board – some with cases of COVID-19 – struggling to find a port that will let them disembark. Some of them have already turned into Petri dishes and are struggling to contain the viruses spread on board.
    Britain has agreed a deal with private healthcare providers to free up beds and medical services for the state-run health system as one emergency doctor warned the country could suffer a worse fate than Italy during the coronavirus crisis.
    Australia certainly isn’t short of policy headaches, but one promises to be of migraine proportions: our school funding regime has reached new heights of absurdity and needs urgent review explains The Independent Australia.,13714
    John Elder reports that the WHO has launched massive trial of four promising antiviral drugs.
    An excellent contribution here from Jack Waterford who calls for increased testing and epidemiological investigation as well as better researched journalism.
    Authorities around the world are cracking down on people in public places amid concerns that vital distancing measures to curb coronavirus are being ignored.
    The coronavirus story is unfathomably large. We must get the reporting right commits The Guardian’s Lenore Taylor.
    Graeme Blundell praises the ABC’s Sarah Ferguson for doing a remarkable job staying composed in her harrowing three-part series on the Catholic Church’s most notorious child sex offenders.
    Bluff, bombast and blame is all that Donald Trump can offer in this crisis writes Nick Cohen. He is spot on!

    Cartoon Corner

    Matt Golding

    Matt Davidson

    From the US

  10. A question has been answered.:)

    Trump wants direct payments of $1,000 for adults, $500 for kids in coronavirus stimulus bill, Mnuchin says

  11. One of the big things pushed by Labor for the NBN, the proper one, was the opportunities it opened up for tele-medicine . Especially for people in remote areas. Could our Turnbull-Abbott economic crime NBN handle this……in fttp NZ ?
    “GPs asked to do 70 per cent of consults online to protect against Covid-19

    ……………….illnesses can be diagnosed through a secure video conference system.It’s possible for a number of people to take part in videoconferences, including members of a patient’s whānau.*
    * family

  12. So much for cruise ship passengers going into isolation –

    The same applies to airport arrivals – once you arrive you have to get home or to wherever you have decided to self-isolate. (If you can be bothered with self-isolation, that is.) What happens to the taxi or Uber drivers who come into contact with you, or the public transport passengers and workers, or the friend or relative who collects you from the airport?

    If we are serious about requiring all arriving travellers to self-isolate then shouldn’t they all be put straight onto special buses without going through terminals, taken to a secure location and kept there for fourteen days, as we did for those returning from Wuhan and the Diamond Princess?

    Australia’s half-arsed efforts at controlling the spread if this plague are going to see infection rates soaring, not flattening.

    • My Mater’s new neighbour arrived home from Singapore yesterday evening. First words out of his mouth were “Don’t get close, I’m just going into self-isolation here. Very pleased to meet you in a couple of weeks.” It’s nice to know that some people are taking it seriously, even if it’s more on the line of ignoring the PM &c, and doing what seems to be sensible on the word of the WHO!

  13. Newstart is now officially “JobSeeker” – the change happened on Friday.

    Despite what you might see in the media and especially on Insiders the government has not really increased the rate.

    What we have is the usual March CPI adjustment that applies to all social security payments. For JobSeeker it’s $6.70 – from $559.00 to $565.70 per fortnight, around 48 cents a day. Don’t spend it all at once!

    The age pension has increased $10.90 per fortnight.

    The government and their media lackeys are talking this up as an increase. It is, technically, but it is a legislated adjustment, one this government would abolish if it could. Governments have no choice, they have to pay it. It barely keeps up with increases in the real cost of living. It certainly does not make those on social security any more able to survive financially.

    Even meaner – the increase phases in over weeks. Social security payments are made on a daily basis, so depending on when your last payday was you might not get the full increase for a month.

    • Samantha Maiden tweeted about that yesterday – she had asked the PM’s office if it was true.

      She believed it. As the same office has already told porky pies to journalists asking about the PM’s whereabouts when he and his family were in Hawaii I see no reason to believe anything they say.

  14. For Gigilene. ‘Crazy’ French person with much time on their hands comes up with something “different” to do while confined 😆

    Après le défi fou de @nassim.yns qui consistait à courir un 5km autour d’une table, c’est un défi complément INIMAGINABLE qui a fait son apparition… 🙈
    Elisha Nochomovitz, résidant à Balma et en plein confinement, a eu l’incroyable idée de courir un marathon (42km195)… sur le balcon, long de 7 mètres, de son appartement ! 😱
    UN DÉFI RELEVÉ EN 6H48 ! 😍
    MERCI ELISHA ! ❤ @elisha_nochomovitz

    • Good on him, KK. I must say the French find it really hard to be confined. Especially those with children and sometimes a big dog.

  15. Please note – the government’s increase in the JobSeeker payment and the youth equivalent is temporary, it lasts for six months and will be removed after that time. Then it’s back to managing on a pittance.

    Also – the government did not initially intend for any extra money to go to all those on JobSeeker, it was intended only for those who lost their job due to COVID-19. When this plan was first discussed there was talk of those already on Newstart being given another $750 payment instead.

    There was a lot of immediate outrage about this blatant inequality and by Thursday night the government was saying any extra money would go to everyone on that payment.

    Setting up a system where one person who lost their job gets more than another person who cannot find work – how typically Liberal.

    Giving a temporary increase in JobSeeker then clawing it back – also typically Liberal.

    The long-term unemployed must be punished for this government’s economic failures no matter what.

    • I think the outrage by the recipients at the end of the 6 months will be something to behold. This year is going to be a big free-for-all, everyone will be up in arms about something.

    • I think we should all start writing/complaining about this to our local politicians, especially the LNP ones. I would not object to Newstart being raised to the offician poverty level and left there (probably would cost less in ongoing cost of implementation) than this proposed – not confirmed – hike up and then back down to where it currently is in six months time!
      I have to wonder if the folk proposing such a maneouver have ever actually had to survive on UEB at any point… It’s not like ACOSS and the like haven’t been giving them information about how hard it is because the big companies and the overseas companies haven’t paid their fair share of taxes, either.

  16. More outsourcing, including visa processing


    20 March 2020


    The Australian Government has today announced a broad new policy approach to the acquisition
    and delivery of workflow processing capability in the Home Affairs portfolio and other areas across

    The Government will implement modern, easy to access, digital services for clients in line with its
    response to the Thodey Review of the Australian Public Service. This approach seeks integrated
    enterprise‐scale workflow processing capability that could be utilised across the Commonwealth.

    Key to this is recognising the efficiencies that can be generated from large‐scale government
    investment in technology and the re‐use of capability across government.

    The Department of Home Affairs will conduct a market consultation process in the coming months
    seeking industry engagement and insights into the best way to deliver large‐scale workflow
    processing capability for visa and citizenship applications and additionally, for Customs functions and
    personnel security clearances in the Home Affairs portfolio.

    While current visa systems continue to function, they are out of date, and processing and decision
    making in many cases is still undertaken manually, supported by old technology and limited risk
    assessment capabilities.

    With this approach, systems and capabilities will be well‐placed to meet future demands, enabling
    the Government to respond to emerging global threats and improving service delivery across

    The work the Department has done in recent years to modernise its visa service delivery
    arrangements will be utilised and extended to other areas in developing and specifying the
    requirements for this much broader capability, on which visa processing will still be the first product

    The Department of Home Affairs has consequently terminated the Request for Tender process for its
    proposed Global Digital Platform.

    Click to access New-approach—–Australian-government-tech-capability.pdf

  17. Statement From The Premier
    22 March 2020
    Media Release

    I will inform National Cabinet tonight that Victoria will proceed over the next 48 hours to implement a shutdown of all non-essential activity across our state to combat the spread of Coronavirus.

    This is not something that we do lightly, but it’s clear that if we don’t take this step, more Victorians will contract coronavirus, our hospitals will be overwhelmed and more Victorians will die.

    Victorians will still be able to go to the supermarket, the bank, the pharmacy and other essential stores, like petrol stations and convenience stores. Freight, logisitics and home delivery are also considered essential and will remain open.

    I will also inform National Cabinet that school holidays will be brought forward in Victoria, starting on Tuesday 24 March.

    All measures to be implemented by Victoria are consistent with the health advice provided by the Victorian Chief Health Officer.

    The decision whether to re-open schools after the Term 1 holidays will likewise be determined following advice from the Chief Health Officer.

    I will have more to say on these measures tomorrow morning.

  18. Will Australia be worth saving after this lot are through with it?

    In 2022, if Labor get in, where will they start? This lot have stuffed everything up completely.

  19. Je suis Michael Stype

    Its the End of the World as We Know it (and i feel fine)

    • Way back in 1964 this little 5 yo was told there were other languages by the teacher. To this day I still remember what she taught me “Je suis un garcon” and “et toi comment t’appelles-tu ” . That and the disappointment I felt when told I will have to wait until I am older to learn more 😦

  20. Well derrr!

    Who would ever have thought?

    I might be weird, but if I was backpacking I’d have been heading home when the news of this virus first broke, not lurking around Bondi partying, sharing saliva and other bodily fluids with random persons and spreading my germs around the beach.

    Same thing for all those idiots trapped on cruise ships – the majority of those cruises started a week or two ago, those on board must have heard about the rapid spread of the virus. Unless they go around with their heads up their bums they must have heard about the fate of the passengers on the Diamond Princess but they still went on their cruises.

    Why would you do that, especially if you are old, or/and undergoing chemo, or/and on oxygen?

    I will never understand why so many people are so freaking stupid.

    • Re “I might be weird, but if I was backpacking I’d have been heading home when the news of this virus first broke,” . Not if you were from Wuhan, Nth Italy or the US 😉

  21. And there will be a lot more (= less) when they dig deeper

    There are some groups that have missed out on the big boost to fortnightly income support payments announced by the Morrison government today. That includes age pensioners, disability support pensioners, and students receiving Youth Allowance, Austudy and Abstudy.

  22. For state premiers to come out just a few hours before a national cabinet meeting (pretty much a COAG) and say they will do whatever they think is needed whether or not the federal government agrees is damning of the CrimeMinister’s leadership – or rather, lack of leadership.

    If they were not fed up with his antics why come out with all these announcements this afternoon? Why not tonight, after the meeting?

  23. I may have missed something, but from what the Guardian reported on who is or isn’t included in the future stimulus plans, I think there is some confusion today about what this govt will actually do vs what they say they’re going to do.

    I think it’s time politicians and big business/big industry types wake up to the fact that, ultimately, their power and their finances are directly, and indirectly, affected by how secure the general population feels.

    Taking a big picture view, I think every financial success ultimately depends on an upward chain of consumption. That starts with all of us who do grocery shopping, rent or buy their accommodation, buy metal stuff, textiles, plastics, have vehicles that rely on petrol, make art, go to see a film, go to concerts and sport events, employ people etc. Steel, aluminium and glass are all part of the everyday lives of many people.

    If we reduced our spending and also started buying less stuff, it might take a few decades but perhaps there could be a trickle-up effect leading to the big industries wondering why demand is slowly reducing and the shareholders are restless.

    If the population generally feels confident and sees that their government acknowledges the importance of all of society and community, manages the economy well, provides what it is supposed to provide for its constituents, and understands and supports the changing needs of the planet and everything on it, then the economy can do what it’s supposed to.

    • The bushfire victims have still not received any federal help. People are living in tents, sheds and cars because they have nowhere else to go. The government promised aid that turned out to be merely “notional” – just a crime ministerial brainfart. Those who lost everything have to rely on limited help from charities because this government won’t do anything for them

      I fear the same thing will happen with stimulus payments.

    • Leone,

      I have similar thoughts. But what else is to be expected from a flim-flam man? All appearance, no substance? Smoke and mirrors? Plus a big dollop of pseudo-religious snake oil?

  24. patriciawa

    Terrible news at the best of times let alone times like this 😦

  25. What everyone knows

  26. Patricia so sorry for your loss, I know how I would feel if we lost our little furry friend –

  27. Why is the CrimeMinister suggesting the army be called in to deliver food supplies?

    We have fleets of trucks which are able to go about normal deliveries and at least in NSW, maybe other states as well, delivery curfews have been lifted and trucks can deliver to shops 24/7. Truck drivers do not need to have their jobs stolen by soldiers just because the CrimeMinister has this crazed urge to keep saying we are at war.

    We are not at war, we are trying to survive a pandemic. War talk has no place in this crisis.

    The CrimeMinister is not fit for purpose, he’s useless. Nasty blame games are not needed, not are his spiteful, mean-spirited actions or his constant lies and blather about bridges and getting over them.

    Thank goodness the premiers, even the Coalition ones, have ideas on effective management of this crisis, because the Crime Minister has NFI.

  28. Two more local cases of COVID-19 becausae people are just plain stupid. Or arrogant. Or both. These cases are older men, one in his 50s, one in his 80s, who have just returned from overseas and travelled home from wherever they landed, spreading the virus generously to everyone they travelled with.

    They are now in isolation but it’s too late, the damage is done.

    This is why we should not allow people off cruise ships, especially not if they immediately take flights and train trips to who knows where. It’s why all travellers should be isolated as soon as they arrive in the country, not allowed to travel to get home.

    Why isn’t the federal government looking at this? The states are, WA in particular.. They are demanding people go into quarantine at their borders, no exceptions, but people returning from overseas and from cruises are just allowed to wander off and disappear into the crowd. Why?

Comments are closed.