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. Scott Morrison has flagged new laws which could overturn a landmark High Court decision on Indigenous “aliens”, warning Australia’s laws should remain “blind to race”.

    In a split decision last week, the court found Indigenous Australians cannot be regarded as “aliens” under the constitution, due to a special cultural, historical and spiritual connection to the land.

    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/indigenous-aliens-case-sets-dangerous-precedent-morrison-20200217-p541n3

    Ably assisted by one of the three dissenting judges.

  2. And now a good story re teachers and what they do.

    Dale missed 3.5 years of school, then achieved band six in HSC maths

    At seven years old, Dale Clark stopped going to school. His attendance was patchy in kindergarten, even worse in year 1, and by year 2 his anxiety was so crippling that he gave up altogether.

    ………………………………..He has applied to study aged care at TAFE, and is excited about his future. “Making decisions was one of the biggest troubles of my life,” he said. “[I was scared] to do things. But as soon as I started doing them, I was like, wow, I can choose where my life goes now.”

    For that, he thanks his teachers at Campbell House. “Had it not been for them, I would not be half the person I am today. I’ll never forget them, nor the things they taught me.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/dale-missed-3-5-years-of-school-then-achieved-band-six-in-hsc-maths-20200217-p541hp.html

    • Oh and two thumbs up for Dale . He chose something worth while and it would definitely be a career not taken up for the money !

  3. If you haven’t seen this yet give it a watch –

    Russell Crowe’s video for last night’s Fire Fight Australia – Concert for National Bushfire Relief

  4. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Peter Hartcher points the finger at Beijing over the handling of the coronavirus issue.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/the-coronavirus-crisis-was-made-in-china-but-no-one-will-say-it-20200217-p541hk.html
    Shane Wright discusses the horrible December retail sales figures released yesterday.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/fires-smoke-kept-shoppers-away-in-key-christmas-period-20200206-p53yaw.html
    Sally White reports on a large survey conducted by the ANU in which Morrison and the Coalition have been severely punished.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6633904/bushfires-scorch-confidence-in-morrison-and-the-government/?cs=14350
    Here’s Paul Karp’s take on the survey.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/18/coalitions-handling-of-bushfires-causes-substantial-decline-in-support-anu-poll-finds
    Paul Bongiorno writes that the government has got itself into a position on climate change where little option for Morrison but to assert he’s doing more to keep Australians safe from climate change – when all he is doing more of is spin.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/02/17/government-assertion-climate-change/
    Christopher Knaus tells us that Labor will ask for an investigation into how the Liberal party mistakenly disclosed a $165,000 donation from a key Scott Morrison ally and frontrunner for a $1bn government contract.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/18/labor-pursues-liberals-over-deleted-record-of-165000-donation-from-scott-morrison-ally
    Morrison has declared Australians will be fuming after Holden allowed its business to “wither away” even as it pocketed $2 billion in taxpayer-funded subsidies. He and his boosters miss the point. The grants were to support PRODUCTION, not protect sales. Anyone in the know has foreseen Holden’s demise given the parlous state of its product offering of late.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/government-slams-holden-for-unacceptable-decision-to-axe-brand-20200217-p541lt.html
    Joshua Dowling conducts an autopsy on Holdens.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/why-holden-died-global-forces-accelerated-model-failure-20200217-p541pb.html
    And professor of marketing Gary Mortimer explains why Australians fell out of love with Holdens.
    https://theconversation.com/why-australians-fell-out-of-love-with-holdens-131907
    Bruce Newton outlines the slow, painful death of Australia’s most iconic car brand.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/consumer/2020/02/17/holden-slow-painful-death/
    Simon Benson writes that Morrison is expected to adopt a technology investment target to avoid Australia signing up to an internationally imposed requirement for net zero emissions by 2050, with the new ­climate change plan to be presented at this year’s UN summit in Glasgow.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/business-council-of-australia-issues-climate-challenge-to-both-sides-of-politics/news-story/a1855423d4a19d62bb618bce717ec3a9
    An unimpressed Michael Pascoe writes that logic says that if a $150 million program specifically budgeted for “regional development”, for stakeholders in “regional and remote communities”, overwhelmingly ends up being spent in cities, there’s something dodgy going on. He says the Liberal campaign HQ ran the regional grants scheme.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2020/02/18/michael-pascoe-regional-grants/
    This article in The Conversation says that our trade talks with Europe and Britain are set to become climate talks.
    https://theconversation.com/our-trade-talks-with-europe-and-britain-are-set-to-become-climate-talks-130544
    The Canberra Time editorial declares that if the AFP raid on the ABC was legal the law is wrong.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6634752/if-afp-raids-were-legal-the-law-is-wrong/?cs=14258
    Alan Austin writes that if we measure government competence by the number of its senior executives sacked over ethical failures, performance debacles or leadership fights, the current Coalition Government is the least competent in Australia’s history.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/coalition-ministerial-resignations-bust-40-setting-new-record,13602
    David Crowe discusses the government’s consideration of the effect of the coronavirus on its budget.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/budget-surplus-under-threat-as-treasury-considers-coronavirus-wildcard-20200217-p541nf.html
    Adrian Rollins reports that parliamentarians are pushing for a legal review to buttress the independence of the Auditor-General following an unprecedented exercise of powers by Christian Porter.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6632687/politicians-call-for-review-of-auditor-laws/?cs=14350
    This will be interesting. Australia’s first group legal action for noise and health impacts from a wind farm has been lodged in the Victoria Supreme Court against the 106 megawatt Bald Hills project in Gippsland.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/neighbours-take-bald-hills-wind-farm-to-court-over-health-complaints/news-story/90133f79fccbe1fdda61c4ee4f754a61
    The AFR reports that tax reform architect Ken Henry warns economically damaging “stealth” tax rises on personal income and companies have left the nation’s revenue at breaking point.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/stealth-tax-rises-are-hurting-the-economy-20200214-p540yq
    That paper’s editorial says that Morrison must partner with the states on tax reform.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/morrison-must-partner-with-the-states-on-tax-reform-20200217-p541i3
    Global tech giants are lobbying Australian officials in secret talks in Geneva over a deal which could allow them to continue to operate without regulation, despite regulatory calls here to address Facebook and Google’s data abuse scandals; anti-competitive practices by Facebook, Google and Amazon, Apple’s tax avoidance, Uber classifying itself as a technological platform to avoid regulation and enable its exploitation of workers; and the human rights risks of facial recognition software. Sophie Hardefeldt reports.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/regulatory-chill-tech-giants-lobby-negotiators-at-secret-swiss-talks-to-subvert-national-regulators/
    According to Jess Irvine Martin Parkinson, who helmed the federal bureaucracy, said voters needed one level of government to hold accountable for declining school results.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/federal-government-should-get-out-of-school-funding-says-former-top-bureaucrat-20200217-p541kz.html
    Adam Carey looks at the aftermath of the exposure of the goings on at St Kevin’s College by 4 Corners.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/st-kevin-s-headmaster-expresses-regret-over-reference-for-convicted-coach-20200217-p541ob.html
    Dana McCauley reports that employers who underpay workers could be forced to publicly name and shame themselves with signs admitting wage theft under potential reforms.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/employers-could-be-forced-to-name-and-shame-themselves-over-wage-theft-20200217-p541iz.html
    Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has insisted the government is strongly committed to strengthening cyber resiliency across Australian business, following the crippling ransomware attack on logistics giant Toll Group.
    https://www.afr.com/technology/toll-cyber-hack-puts-pressure-on-government-20200216-p541ak
    Greg Jericho writes that first-home buyers are flexing their muscles as investors lose their oomph.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2020/feb/18/first-home-buyers-flex-their-muscles-as-investors-lose-their-oomph
    The Australian Public Service Commissioner has called for ministerial advisers to be given clearer instruction on their role and how they relate to the public service. The call comes amid increased scrutiny on the accountability of political staffers following the Auditor-General’s sports rorts report.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6633467/aps-commissioner-says-ministerial-staff-need-guidance/?cs=14329
    Finbar O’Mallon writes that experts are concerned that the Morrison government’s push to simplify the way welfare recipients report income may lead to another robo-debt “disaster”.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6633338/fears-of-robo-debt-disaster-repeat/?cs=14350
    And now Luke Henriques-Gomes reports that the government has claimed it does not owe welfare recipients a duty of care over the robodebt scandal and has denied alleged debtors were placed under “duress”, despite admitting in court documents that some debts were based on “false” assumptions.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/18/coalition-says-it-has-no-duty-of-care-for-welfare-recipients-over-robodebt
    Fergus Hunter examines the effects of Australia’s Huawei ban are having on our relationship with China.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/huawei-ban-a-thorny-issue-hurting-china-australia-relations-says-ambassador-20200217-p541ic.html
    Meanwhile Huawei is organising a series of public forums it says is aimed at letting Australians form their own view of the controversial company.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/a-fair-go-huawei-plans-town-hall-meetings-to-win-over-public-20200217-p541jo.html#comments
    Australia’s Chinese students are languishing in China due to the coronavirus travel ban and our universities, over-reliant on Chinese students, are feeling the financial strain, writes Dr Binoy Kampmark.
    https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/coronavirus-chinese-students-and-the-university-cash-quagmire,13604
    Indonesia’s minister of health has said Indonesians should keep praying to God to ensure the country remains free of coronavirus as he defended his country’s handling of the outbreak. Make up your own mind!
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/indonesian-minister-blames-budget-efficiency-for-low-coronavirus-test-rate-20200217-p541ma.html
    Stan Grant doesn’t want his rights shackled to appeasing conservatives.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/i-don-t-want-my-rights-shackled-to-appeasing-conservatives-20200217-p541ho.html
    Stephen Bartholomeusz looks at what might lie ahead foe trade relations between the EU and the US.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/the-us-might-be-getting-ready-to-play-nasty-in-trade-spat-with-europe-20200217-p541gy.html

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Alan Moir

    Peter Broelman.

    Dionne Gain

    Matt Golding




    John Shakespeare

    Mark David

    Glen Le Lievre


    Paul Dorin

    Johannes Leak FWIW.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/161b1f7f25e70ff30157db9beb0bc659?width=1024

    From the US



  5. Yesterday the CrimeMinister said this –

    JOURNALIST: Volunteer firefighter Paul Parker says he was sacked by the RFS after heckling you. Did they make the right call there with firing him or would you like him to have his job back?

    PRIME MINISTER: Well, first of all, there should never be any question about whether he should have been fired or not, of course he shouldn’t. But the RFS confirmed this morning that he wasn’t, by the way, and I’m pleased about that. Look, to Paul, I’d say this. I understand Paul was feeling incredibly exhausted and incredibly drained by those events and he was working his tail off, defending his community. The other thing is, as I’ve seen it said that what he was responding to and the truth is what I said at that time, I never said, never said, that firefighters enjoyed doing this. What I said – and this was misreported at the time, misrepresented, I should say – what I said is that firefighters would be out there defending their communities. They’d want to be out there defending their communities when their communities were at risk. And all firefighters I’ve met, as hard as it is, of course, you don’t want to be out there. You don’t want to have to be in that position. But if your community is at risk… I was at Wingello on Thursday- Friday afternoon, and I met with a very brave Brigade there who saved their town. Now, of course, they would prefer not to be having to save their town. But on that night, that was their job and you couldn’t have stopped them from being out there and defending their community. And so that’s what I said at the time. It was completely misrepresented. There was a lot of things that were misrepresented over the summer. There was a bit of a pile on. But I’ve got thick skin and I’ve got work to do. I’ve got a job to do. We’re going to rebuild these bushfire affected areas and we’re going to get people in the homes and we’re going to keep growing our economy, despite the threats of Coronavirus or the many other things that we have to get over the top of, the drought and all of these challenges. But as Australians, we will get over them, because I said at the election, if you have a go, you’re going to get a go. And what this program demonstrates is we’re staying true to our word on that. What we took to the election, we’re staying true to our word on that. We’re delivering the tax cuts. We’re getting people in their first homes. We’re putting the money and building the infrastructure. We’re expanding our trade deals. We’re putting the money into skills. These are the things that matter. These are the real things that change people’s lives. And it’s great to see that we’ve changed some lives here today with this program. Thank you all very much for your attention

    https://www.pm.gov.au/media/doorstop-officer-vic

    And then he shut down the doorstop and ran away, because the questions were not to his liking.

    During that doorstop he said “I’ve got a thick skin” twice (at least) in response to questions about criticism of him.

    He does not have a thick skin, he’s extremely touchy about being criticised. (If his cult influences his thinking as much as we are constantly told it does then he takes any criticism of him as criticism of his god – he believes his god wanted him to be PM so how dare anyone criticise him or question his actions. He’s just fulfilling his god’s will, he’s a man on a divine mission.) He has quite the reputation for walking away from anyone who does not fall at his feet in gratitude for his attention, as we saw several times during his visit to Cobargo and other bushfire-devastated areas. He also tends to shut down pressers when the questions get too tough, or to respond with a load of blather that is nothing to do with the question.

    This photo was taken on Sunday 5 January, during a visit to HMAS Albatross, at Nowra, the day after the Paul Parker video hit the news.

    Does this look like a man with a thick skin?

    No-one knows what he said to Shane Fitzsimmons, who is still working his socks off during the fire season, to make the man look so upset and to make Gladys look so shocked. Whatever it was everything about FauxMo screams of anger – the clenched fists, the expression on his face, his leaning forward, threatening posture. It tells us the CrimeMinister is a bully, picking on a much smaller man because he can, out of anger. .

    This is not the way a man with a thick skin behaves. It is not the way a real Prime Minister behaves either, especially not in public when there are cameras around.

  6. The government spin about Holden shutting up shop isn’t working.

    Who would have thought Australians actually have memories, can recall exactly who dared GMH to leave and which PM shut down Australia’scar manufacturing industry?

    Why are billions off susidies to overseas-owned coal mining companies OK but subsidies to car manufacturers, who employed more people directly (not to mention the spin-off industries) were not?

  7. Well, who would have thought? Doctors prescribe a relatively new drug intended only for neuropathic pain relief but hand it out for any ache or pain like packets of Smarties, then discover years down the track that the drug is addictive.

    Doctors prescribed Lyrica believing (incorrectly) that it was “safe” because it is not an opioid. That was regardless of the side effects that include depression, suicidal thoughts, drowsiness, weight gain, blurred vision, severe allergic reactions and more. And now – addiction.

    Lyrica, a drug linked to depression and anxiety, now the top pain medication on the PBS
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-18/lyrica-pbs-drug-linked-to-depression-anxiety/11921882

    I was prescribed Lyrica in 2014, for neuropathic pain, by a locum GP who was horrified I took a paracetamol/codeine mix which I’d been taking for years, decades, without becoming addicted. I didn’t need pain relief often, but I liked to have those tablets handy for the few times a year I had a bad attack.

    “We have better drugs” he said, and gave me Lyrica. I took one tablet, turned into a zombie and decided it was not for me. It didn’t fix my pain either. Maybe if I had taken it every day for ever it might have, but why do that and risk all the nasty side effects (yes, I did look them up) when I needed relief only for a night or two, a few times a year, so I could sleep?

    Lyrica is nasty, nasty stuff. Avoid it if you can.

    https://www.drugs.com/lyrica.html

    • It is one of the many drugs available that Razz has been able to take without any side effects, certainly none that you have described. Maybe it is a drug that different people react differently to. She is horrified that they may make it harder for her to get. Razz suffered neurogenic pain because of MS for many many years before she was prescribed the Lyrica which made her pain much more bearable.

    • I don’t think Razz will have any problems, she is using the drug for what it’s meant to help.

      I know someone who has taken it since it was first released, she swears by it and has none of the side effects. It seems to react on some people and not others. I was one of the unlucky ones.

    • I meant to add – it’s doctors who are just handing it out to anyone who complains of an ache or a pain that are the problem.

      We expect doctors to know what the drugs they prescribe are intended for, but it seems many do not.

      I blame the scare campaign built up around codeine – doctors need to prescribe something, anything to ease pain so they go with drugs that are supposed to be non-addictive.

  8. The crime minister is not the only one talking out of his arse.

    The claim
    Greenhouse gas emissions, and whether they are going up or down, is once more at the centre of debate.

    Liberal MP Katie Allen entered the fray when she told ABC TV that the Coalition Government had “done a great job” reducing emissions.

    Dr Allen was immediately accused of lying by Labor’s Pat Conroy, who said she was “factually wrong” because emissions had, he claimed, risen every year since 2014.

    “They have fallen since 2005,” she said in response. “They are the lowest they have ever been.”

    Is Dr Allen correct in claiming emissions have fallen since 2005, and that they are the lowest they have ever been? RMIT ABC Fact Check investigates.

    The verdict
    Dr Allen’s first claim, that emissions have fallen since 2005, is misleading and her second claim, that emissions are the lowest they have ever been, is incorrect.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-08/fact-check-carbon-emissions-under-the-coalition/11662018

  9. The government has given a whole $2 million to a fund to develop a vaccine for COVID-19

    Big deal. The usual CrimeMinister tactic – just shove some small change at a problem and hope it goes away.

    They gave $247 million spread over four years to the unwanted school chaplaincy program.

    A vaccine is a fair way off, it will take a year or more to get one to the testing on humans stage.

    There is the possibility the virus will mutate and that will make existing vaccines useless.

    https://www.sciencealert.com/who-says-a-coronavirus-vaccine-is-18-months-away

    If I hear one more politician talk about “keeping Australians safe” I may do something regrettable.

    • I agree … “keeping Australians safe”. You get a feeling of discrimination as if to protect people here against the sort of lepers coming off the ship. It’s a very unhappy situation.

  10. Don’t mention the war!

    An officer on Australia’s flagship Antarctic icebreaker, the Aurora Australis, was asked by bosses to remove a social media post showing her on deck with a banner critical of Scott Morrison’s climate policies after Australia’s Antarctic Division contacted her employer.

    Madeleine Habib, currently in Antarctica, unfurled the banner with the words “Scomo – Coal or Ice?” and posted the picture on her Facebook page.

    Habib was asked to remove the post on Monday after her employer, P&O Maritime, was contacted by the government’s Australian Antarctic Division, which contracts the ship.

    AAD confirmed it had contacted P&O Maritime “to advise them of a social media post” but said “no specific request” was made about what the company should do.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/19/aurora-australis-remove-social-media-post-criticising-scott-morrisons-climate-policy-antarctica

  11. The cashless debit card has failed to reduce family violence in one of the first trial sites and may have actually coincided with an increase in abuse, police data released under freedom of information laws suggests.

    New figures obtained by the Australian National University researcher Elise Klein add more weight to critics’ claims that the card has not reduced reports of family violence about three years after welfare recipients were placed on to the card.

    Western Australia police data released under FOI laws in 2018 had shown family violence-related assaults and police attendances in the East Kimberley communities of Wyndham and Kununurra rose after the card was introduced in April 2016.

    “There are some questions about the data but it does still show it’s definitely not decreasing … and there is some increase,” Klein, who has studied the card’s impact in the Kimberley, told Guardian Australia.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/19/cashless-debit-card-fails-to-reduce-family-violence-rates-in-kimberley-towns

  12. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    David Crowe previews what Albanese will propose in a wide ranging speech in Brisbane today.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/labor-s-plan-to-turn-government-s-time-bomb-into-an-economic-opportunity-20200218-p5420r.html
    On a similar subject to Albo’s main thrust National Seniors Australia has warned Treasury’s Retirement Income Review panel that without major reforms, such as dropping “perverse” incentives that discourage saving for retirement, retirees are at higher risk of poverty.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/why-punish-them-call-to-allow-retirees-to-work-without-a-pension-cut-20200218-p541rh.html
    And Amy Remeikis writes that in his fourth “vision statement” since taking up the Labor leadership, Albanese pledges to develop a “positive ageing strategy”, with a focus on building superannuation, reshaping cities, increasing employment opportunities and boosting healthcare.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/19/anthony-albanese-mother-promise-older-australians-superannuation
    Emma Dawson writes that there are significant structural problems in our superannuation system. Reducing excessive tax concessions that overwhelmingly favour the wealthiest Australians and reining in excessive fees are two issues that must be addressed to ensure the system is fair and sustainable.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/what-exactly-is-a-comfortable-lifestyle-in-retirement-20200218-p541wk.html
    Paul Kelly reckons Morrison will have his work cut out in finding the sweet spot between science and politics.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/scott-morrison-must-find-sweet-spot-between-science-and-politics/news-story/11d0020b750ec607133c33d44ebf742f
    In quite a good read Ross Gittins opines that our economy doesn’t work for the common good. He says that the era of “economic rationalism” and “microeconomic reform” has ended, leaving Scott Morrison with much damage to clean up.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/our-economy-doesn-t-work-for-the-common-good-20200218-p541rz.html
    Luke Henriques-Gomes reveals that the cashless debit card has failed to reduce family violence in one of the first trial sites and may have actually coincided with an increase in abuse.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/19/cashless-debit-card-fails-to-reduce-family-violence-rates-in-kimberley-towns
    Economist Alex Joiner writes argues why we need more economic stimulus, rather than a balanced budget.
    https://www.smh.com.au/money/planning-and-budgeting/why-we-need-more-economic-stimulus-rather-than-a-balanced-budget-20200218-p541tn.html
    Paul Karp writes that, in a sign the government is looking for innovative ways to implement Scott Morrison’s threat to crack down on environmental protests, the attorney general, Christian Porter, has sought views on whether the federal building code could be used to “prevent multiple secondary/environmental boycott demands and behaviour”.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/18/coalition-may-use-government-contracts-to-crack-down-on-environment-protests
    The SMH reports that management of NSW’s river systems has almost certainly failed because there has been no monitoring of how much water was available and how much was removed, according to damning new audits handed to the Berejiklian government this month.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/damning-disappointing-debacle-in-state-s-water-sharing-plans-20200218-p541xg.html
    Growth on the state’s public transport network has hurtled past long-term government predictions, with 93 million more trips taken on buses and trains last year than what was forecast for 2031. Oh dear!
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/public-transport-growth-surges-past-nsw-government-predictions-20200218-p54208.html
    Nick Porter writes that, as is becoming common, Morrison appears to have grabbed the wrong end of the stick. Instead of complaining about the cost of industry assistance, he should have been marvelling at the magnificent return on investment Australia achieved with the car industry. He says critics continually carp about the taxpayer subsidies, conveniently ignoring those larger but less-visible subsidies given to the mining and banking sectors. This contribution, which goes beyond the car industry, is a very interesting read.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/holden-s-problem-was-not-the-taxpayer-subsidies-20200218-p541ww.html
    The SMH editorial says that even though Sydney’s dams have substantially just filled, the city’s water crisis is by no means over.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/water-crisis-won-t-get-washed-away-by-recent-deluge-20200218-p541zp.html
    Judith Ireland explains how the national sexual assault and domestic violence helpline needs an “urgent” response to improve its handling of complex cases, with repeat callers accounting for a quarter of overall interactions last year and counsellors reporting they do not feel adequately supported to manage the situation. But don’t worry, Anne Ruston’s right on it!
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/urgent-response-needed-to-help-complex-callers-to-1800respect-20200218-p541qc.html
    The AFR looks into Coles’ $20m wages underpayment problem.
    https://www.afr.com/work-and-careers/workplace/coles-investigated-for-underpaying-managers-by-20m-20200218-p541se
    John Collett reveals that a continuing exodus of financial advisers from the industry is leaving some lower-value clients “orphaned” without guidance, or shunted off to automated online investing, or “robo advice.”
    https://www.smh.com.au/money/planning-and-budgeting/clients-left-in-limbo-as-financial-advisers-head-for-the-exits-20200214-p540xi.html
    Researcher Dennis Miller opines that the court ruling against ABC highlights the enormous deficiency in laws protecting journalists’ sources
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6636696/court-ruling-against-abc-highlights-the-enormous-deficiency-in-laws-protecting-journalists-sources/?cs=14329
    Welfare recipients were forced to correct the employment income they reported to Centrelink 15m times in one year, the government has revealed, as it makes the case for new laws to simplify the process.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/18/welfare-recipients-forced-to-correct-income-to-centrelink-15m-times-in-one-year
    And the government has claimed it does not owe welfare recipients a duty of care over the robodebt scandal and has denied alleged debtors were placed under “duress”, despite admitting in court documents that some debts were based on “false” assumptions. What a clusterf**k!
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/18/coalition-says-it-has-no-duty-of-care-for-welfare-recipients-over-robodebt
    The AFR tells us that there is no better place to see the final death throes of the premium department stores in Australia than within the walls of the Westfield shopping centres owned and managed by Scentre Group.
    https://www.afr.com/chanticleer/how-westfield-ate-the-department-store-20200218-p541zz
    Apartment-buyers purchasing off-the-plan will have more rights to rip up sale contracts after the first phase of the Barr government’s strata reforms passed the ACT Legislative Assembly.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6635885/apartment-owners-handed-powers-to-break-sale-contracts/?cs=14225
    Nick Toscano tells us that BHP’s new chief executive Mike Henry has signalled the mining giant could exit thermal coal and boost exposure to minerals used in green technologies as it looks to reposition itself for a lower carbon world.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/bhp-boss-weighs-thermal-coal-exit-if-the-price-is-right-20200218-p541tg.html
    And in a bit of a call to arms Simon Crean writes that Coal’s days are numbered and our future is hydrogen, but this is an evolution.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/coal-s-days-are-numbered-and-our-future-is-hydrogen-but-this-is-an-evolution-20190728-p52bkt.html
    Using the sports rort issue David Tyler explains how our democracy is being trashed.
    https://theaimn.com/trashing-our-democracy/
    Dana McCauley reports that health insurers and private hospitals are stepping up calls for government reform to help reverse a membership decline the regulator has warned is unsustainable, as tens of thousands of younger Australians drop their cover before the next premium rise.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/calls-to-change-private-health-after-funds-lose-47-000-younger-members-20200218-p541wy.html
    Almost 3 million Australians were directly affected by the summer’s bushfire crisis, a new survey has found, with more than half of Australians likely to be affected by smoke reports Sally Whyte.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6634648/almost-3-million-australians-directly-affected-by-bushfires/?cs=14225
    Nothing divides a community, or a nation for that matter, more than inequality yet conservatives throughout history have practised it with fervour unequalled by any other political philosophy writes John Lord.
    https://theaimn.com/inequality-just-what-do-you-mean-by-that-surely-you-dont-mean-you-are-my-equal/
    Daniel Andrews has condemned St Kevin’s and principal Stephen Russell, who has tried to distance the school from a former athletics coach.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/never-a-member-of-staff-st-kevin-s-headmaster-distances-school-from-convicted-coach-20200218-p541ub.html
    The New York Times has a good look at how China Inc. might restart as the coronavirus issue retreats.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/i-don-t-really-see-a-good-outcome-china-inc-struggles-to-restart-after-coronavirus-shock-20200218-p541q4.html
    Mungo MacCallum piles into Morrison over The Gap report.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/mungo-maccallum-morrison-builds-then-dashes-hopes-over-gap-report,13605
    What a nightmare for those stuck on petri dish ships! The dramas don’t end once they get off the boats.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/australians-cleared-of-coronavirus-don-t-know-how-they-ll-get-home-20200218-p5421m.html
    Bloomberg’s officially in the race now.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/game-on-bloomberg-qualifies-for-democratic-presidential-debate-20200219-p5423r.html
    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that the neoliberal establishment residing within the U.S. Democratic Party would not want Bernie Sanders to get the presidential nomination.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/shadow-boxing-sanders,13606
    Barraged by hundreds of sex-abuse lawsuits, the Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday in hopes of working out a potentially mammoth victim compensation plan that will allow the hallowed, 110-year-old organisation to carry on.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/mammoth-sex-abuse-lawsuits-force-boys-scouts-to-file-for-bankruptcy-20200218-p5421a.html
    This truckie has certainly earned his nomination for “Arsehole of the Week”.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/truck-driver-allegedly-rapes-13-year-old-he-met-on-snapchat-driving-to-canberra-20200218-p541uq.html

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Peter Broelman

    Matt Golding




    Alan Moir

    John Shakespeare

    Mark David

    Johannes Leak
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/88d5a995dd7bae2ca4ba3cef3b330491?width=1024

    From the US









  13. Well, that was fun – no internet at all until about 10 minutes ago., and no mobile either. It went off at 9 this morning, just as I was about to check BK’s links. I could read his post but not actually use any of the links.

    This seems to be becoming a regular event – same thing happened a week or so ago.

    Telstra sent me a message on Monday – four days late – saying they were doing “upgrades” nearby, but that was supposed to be done and dusted on the day I received the message.

    Whatever is going on is being handled in a very, very inefficient way. No-one minds being offline (and without a phone) for a morning, as long as proper warnings are given in advance, not when the work is supposed to be ending, and certainly not when the work appears to have continued after the advertised end date.

  14. I’m not taking much interest in the US presidential election, but I have noticed a lot of anti-Bloomberg comment popping up.

    Like this –

    SHAUN KING: Voting for Mike Bloomberg is the line I just can’t cross
    https://thenorthstar.com/king-voting-for-mike-bloomberg-is-the-line-i-just-cant-cross/

    And this –

  15. The Australian Federal Police did not interview Angus Taylor before concluding further investigation would not substantiate whether an offence had been committed in relation to a letter he signed containing inflated data about City of Sydney council’s travel spending.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/19/afp-did-not-interview-angus-taylor-over-false-document-before-dropping-investigation

    At least Martin Parkinson spoke to Mesma and Poodle before giving his “nothing to see here” nod.

  16. He’s at it again – jet-setting around the country at our expense, refusing to answer questions, running away from the press.

    This report about today’s opening contains the biggest load of bullshit, lies and jingoism I’ve seen since – er – Australia Day. The way the Crime Minister tells it Australia will be solely responsible for the first trip to Mars. Actually our lousy, negligible $150 million gift made only to impress Trump won’t pay for much at all.

    Prime Minister spruiks Australian role in NASA’s Mars plan at launch of space agency base
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-19/australian-space-agency-headquarters-open-in-adelaide/11978930

    And the submarine issue? The Murdoch press says the government is refusing to say if maintenance for the Collins Class subs will be moved to WA. Obviously that’s the government’s plan, they are just too scared to admit it.

    This story is paywalled, so for those who do not have extensions that dodge Murdoch paywalls, here it is – most of it.

    Scott Morrison stays silent on moving SA’s Collins Class submarine maintenance jobs to WA

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison is staying silent about when he will make a decision on the future of a lucrative submarine contract, amid growing fears hundreds of South Australian shipyard jobs could shift to Western Australia.

    Mr Morrison, visiting Adelaide on Wednesday, said he wouldn’t “rush” a decision on where full-cycle docking for the ageing Collins Class submarine fleet would be based.

    “I am not one to rush these important decisions,” he told reporters at the opening of the Australian Space Agency at Lot Fourteen.

    Mr Morrison added he wouldn’t outline any timetable for a decision, but said it would be made in the national interests.

    It comes after a defence analyst said the decision had become “politically toxic”

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………
    [Insert a lot of meaningless gibberish from the Crime Minister]
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………

    “If the decision was to stay in SA, they would just announce it, so I do suspect that the recommendation is to move,” the Australian Strategic Policy Institute analyst said.

    “I suspect they’re working on messaging or strategies to sell the move to South Australians.” MacTaggart Scott Australia director Peter Richings, an SA-based supplier, said companies needed an answer soon because it affected their decision-making.

    “I don’t understand why a decision can’t be made,” he said. “What is more frustrating is just the lack of any timescale.”

    Mr Richings pushed for a decision by Easter.

    Mr Morrison’s National Security Committee of Cabinet will ultimately make the final decision after receiving a recommendation from Defence.

    Powerful crossbench Senator Rex Patrick, who has put the Government on notice it will have a tougher time working with Centre Alliance if there is an unfavourable outcome for SA, said it “should be made as soon as possible”.

    Splitting the work made no sense “other than to manage the politics,” Senator Patrick said. But he was concerned the split had become the Government’s preferred option.

    Workers were “becoming more and more concerned about the delays,” Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union SA branch president Peter Bauer said.

    “They want a decision … so they can get on with their lives,” he said.

    Australian Industry & Defence Network SA president Gary Bettcher warned the delay would affect business confidence.

    Premier Steven Marshall at the weekend said he wanted a “speedy decision” to remove some of the uncertainty for workers.

    A decision to move the jobs would be a nightmare scenario for his Government.

    Labor’s defence spokesman Richard Marles said Mr Morrison needed to make a call “sooner rather than later” and must “provide a full explanation to South Australians”.

    Defence Minister Linda Reynolds confirmed a decision had not yet been made

    https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/scott-morrison-stays-silent-on-moving-sas-collins-class-submarine-maintenance-jobs-to-wa/news-story/5338d749bb35694e7098

  17. The court case to determine whether or not Josh Frydenberg is a dual citizen went to court yesterday. It all hangs on which set of lawyers can convince Their Honours that Josh’s mum was or was not a Hungarian citizen.

    The court will give its decision later.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/18/court-told-frydenberg-ineligible-for-parliament-because-of-mothers-hungarian-citizenship

    I hope this document made an appearance. It clearly states the family were of “Hungarian Nationality”.

    Then there’s this one, clearly stating Erika Strausz (Josh’s mum) was of Hungarian nationality and born in Budapest during WWII. You would expect a big organisation dealing with displaced Jewish people to get their facts straight.

    I wasn’t sure if it was genuine, but there they are, in the AJDC archives, on the SS Surriento on 26 November 1950, leaving Genoa, heading to Australia..

    Almost at the bottom of this document, if you want to check –

    Click to access Complete_Departures1950.pdf

    • An excellent example of “Be careful of what you wish for”.

      Australia does not need a religious discrimination bill. It was a brainfart fromfake Christian Lyall Shelton and his ultra-right-wing cronies after the successful passage of marriage equality.Those who demanded this bill wanted to make same sex marriage illegal again.

      Now the whole process has blown up in the government’s face.

  18. From Facebook group “Bring Priya, Nades and their girls home to Biloela”

    Please take the time to listen to this podcast.
    ……………………………………………………………………………..
    We are grateful to all of the journalists working hard to report Priya and Nades’ story truthfully and accurately, in the face of the misinformation spread by certain politicians.

    Because the truth matters, we need to point out that Priya, Nades and the girls are being held in the smaller “Construction Camp” detention facility, which the Human Rights Commission assessed as unsuitable for children and families many years ago

    https://www.facebook.com/solidaritywithBiloela/

    The podcast is an episode of The Guardian Australia’s “Full Story” series –

    What will happen to the Biloela family held on Christmas Island?
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/audio/2020/feb/19/what-will-happen-to-the-biloela-family-held-on-christmas-island

  19. He says some very stupid things

    Asked whether he supported Adani’s controversial Carmichael coal project given Labor’s equivocations during last year’s election, Albanese said the proposal had now been approved. “It’s a good thing those jobs have been created. I support jobs regardless of where they are.”

    Albanese said he supported the jobs Adani would generate “and the economic activity that will arise from them”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/19/anthony-albanese-backs-adani-coalmine-but-criticises-proposed-collinsville-power-plant

  20. The government is not big on “duty of care”. Not Robodebt victims, not asylum seekers ;

    A Manus Island refugee has a broken leg and several others are injured after being attacked by an angry mob last night in Port Moresby.

    Sudanese refugee Yasir Omar said the attack in the suburb of Boroko started at about 11pm on Tuesday night, when refugees were accosted outside their accommodation by intoxicated locals.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/409913/manus-island-refugees-injured-by-mob-attack-in-port-moresby

  21. My latest project on Wikipedia is complete. Namely every Queensland state election from 1915 onward now has a “Seats changing hands” table, indicating the overall change of power at each election from 1915 to the current day.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1915_Queensland_state_election#Seats_changing_party_representation

    The exact swing could not be calculated before 1963 because from 1944-1960, Queensland had a “First past the post” voting system, and pre-1944, had a rudimentary Optional Preferential Vote system in the form of Contingency voting. But, every seat change is there now, and I’m glad I did it, preparing to do the same for other states in the near future.

  22. A rorting we will go! A rorting we will go!

    A wealthy pentecostal church whose leader described the Liberal MP Lucy Wicks as a “dear friend” won thousands of dollars through a grant process Wicks wields influence over.

    The Hope Unlimited Church, largely based on the New South Wales Central Coast, was awarded an $8,580 grant in November to upgrade its auditorium with soundproof acoustic panels and a new partition wall.

    The grant was delivered through the federal government’s Stronger Communities scheme, which gives local politicians significant power in shaping who can receive money.

    Hope Unlimited Church is led by Mark and Darlene Zschech, a prominent Christian singer who previously worked alongside Hillsong’s Brian Houston.

    Darlene Zschech has previously described Wicks, the MP for Robertson, as a “dear friend”.

    Wicks has attended Hope Unlimited Church on multiple occasions, speaking on stage during a 2015 event and praising the church in parliament following a subsequent visit in 2017, saying it was “run by two incredible people, Mark and Darlene Zschech”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/20/liberal-mp-lucy-wicks-denies-conflict-of-interest-over-grant-to-church-that-called-her-a-dear-friend

    Bloody inbred lot.

  23. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    The Reserve Bank’s efforts to get wages growing faster are being weighed down as workers struggle to get extra hours, despite early signs the jobs market in parts of the country is starting to turn.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/rba-s-plan-for-pay-rises-struggles-as-wages-run-out-of-puff-20200219-p542au.html
    We seem resigned to low wages growth but heroic budget predictions roll in says Greg Jericho.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2020/feb/20/we-seem-resigned-to-low-wages-growth-but-heroic-budget-predictions-roll-in
    Judith Ireland writes about the rather extreme Anne Ruston’s latest utterings on Newstart.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/hard-to-tell-minister-unsure-of-senate-support-for-newstart-drug-test-trial-20200219-p5425x.html
    The Probe Group, one of the Government’s “Robodebt” collectors, and whose executive team has ties to the Federal Treasurer and another federal minister, has seen its business prosper since the Coalition was elected in 2013. Jommy Tee investigates another case of government acquaintances getting wealthy on the public dime.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/probing-probe-inside-the-governments-robodebt-collector/
    Investor Alan Schwartz writes that it is time for the Nationals to get on board, or get out of the way.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/time-for-the-nationals-to-get-on-board-or-get-out-of-the-way-20200214-p540v9.html
    Law professor Luke Beck really exposes the stupidity of the government’s push for a religious discrimination bill.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/religious-discrimination-bill-backfires-on-christians-20200218-p541vz.html
    Adrian Rollins writes that more than a third of people are unwilling to provide personal information to the government because they don’t trust it to keep data secure and almost half are uncomfortable about their personal data being used to inform policy and research, posing a major challenge for the Commonwealth’s drive to deliver more services online.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6638856/governments-digital-agenda-challenged-by-data-distrust/?cs=14350
    Adam Carey updates us on the further fallout at St Kevin’s College.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/st-kevin-s-headmaster-stephen-russell-resigns-in-wake-of-sex-scandal-20200219-p54298.html
    And now a former staff member filed a Federal Court action accusing deputy head and now acting principal Janet Canny of obstructing her mandatory reporting of an allegation of grooming.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/court-action-over-new-st-kevin-s-allegations-20200219-p542gy.html
    But Andrew Bolt and Gerard Henderson are very sympathetic to the school.
    WTF!
    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/feb/19/child-protection-groups-condemn-andrew-bolt-for-saying-convicted-st-kevins-groomer-hit-on-victim
    John Warhurst says that when it comes to politics, old men still defeat young women.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6637553/when-it-comes-to-politics-old-men-still-defeat-young-women/?cs=14258
    The ‘Greenies’ aren’t to blame for Australia’s bushfires. But lies are often more powerful than the truth writes Adrian Chiles.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/19/greenies-australia-bushfires-lies-more-powerful-truth-adrian-chiles
    Nick McKenzie reveals how a suspected spy who allegedly sought to put a Chinese agent in federal parliament was able to leave Australia after being questioned at the airport, exposing a gap in our national security laws.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/suspected-chinese-spy-avoids-asio-s-net-at-airport-20200219-p54274.html
    It’s a fire sale! Holden is set to slash new car prices by up to 50%.
    https://www.drive.com.au/news/holden-discounts-cars-by-up-to-17-500-some-models-are-half-price-123279.html?trackLink=SMH0
    Peter Hannam writes that Mike Cannon-Brookes, one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs, wants the Morrison government to set net-zero emissions target because it “doesn’t make any sense” to have a technology investment goal without clear guidance to investors.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/morrison-avoiding-2050-target-doesn-t-make-sense-cannon-brookes-20200219-p542aw.html
    Jess Irvine explains why reform to the housing system has become urgent.
    https://www.smh.com.au/money/borrowing/the-great-australian-betrayal-we-used-to-call-it-the-dream-20200219-p542cy.html
    Harriett Alexander outlines what happened with water allocations from the recent NSW downpour.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/how-would-you-like-to-handle-it-the-minister-the-irrigators-and-a-flood-20200218-p541yv.html
    Correctly, Greg Sheridan says that we lack the will to have a manufacturing industry.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/we-lack-the-will-to-have-a-manufacturing-industry/news-story/04a38e7f1e257bdb1b0a5cd6a8a2df92
    Prolonged outages at large coal- and gas-fired power stations in Victoria and NSW contributed to a sudden drop in the greenhouse gas emissions generated by Australia’s second-heaviest polluter, new data shows.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/emissions-for-australia-s-second-heaviest-polluter-fall-after-outages-20200219-p542ak.html
    Another dodgy grant. This time to a Pentecostal outfit.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/20/liberal-mp-lucy-wicks-denies-conflict-of-interest-over-grant-to-church-that-called-her-a-dear-friend
    Pru Goward praises Australia’s Christmas Island coronavirus response.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/making-a-virtue-of-christmas-island-the-evacuation-that-did-us-proud-20200219-p54281.html
    Britain’s new visa system toughening entry requirements for non-English speaking migrants but making it easier for skilled workers has been welcomed as “great news” for Australians writes Latika Bourke.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/great-news-for-australians-uk-outlines-tough-new-immigration-rules-that-favour-english-speakers-20200219-p542hf.html
    Sam Maiden tells us that Australia is expected to extend travel bans for non-citizens who have transited through China for another week, as the COVID-19 virus death toll climbs to 1900 people and the evacuation of the Diamond Princess cruise ship is finalised.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/02/19/positive-tests-evacuation-travel-ban-extension/
    Mike Foley tells us that a security and defence expert says Australia should hike taxes on the resources sector to fund a scheme for enticing young volunteers to bolster the ranks of Australia’s firefighting forces and other emergency services.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/tax-the-resources-sector-to-boost-firefighting-forces-expert-says-20200219-p542bt.html
    Wow! Trips in one of Sydney’s busiest bus corridors more than doubled last year and patronage on one train line grew by 40 per cent, prompting experts to warn of the risk of more delays to services due to the pressure on public transport.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/a-squeeze-bus-trips-doubled-in-one-sydney-region-20200219-p5429o.html
    Sally Whyte reports that around 700 people who have applied to the redress scheme for victims of child sexual abuse are still waiting for the institutions they have named to sign up for the program, meaning their claims can’t be processed.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6637338/hundreds-of-abuse-victims-payments-delayed-by-institutions-avoiding-redress-scheme/?cs=14350
    Kaye Lee tells us why ScottyFromMarketing’s latest sales pitch is such a farce.
    https://theaimn.com/why-scottyfrommarketings-latest-sales-pitch-is-such-a-farce/
    The collapse of George Calombaris’ hospitality empire should be a warning to all, writes William Olson who says the restauranteur’s defenders are blaming everyone but him.
    https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/george-calombaris-defenders-are-blaming-everyone-but-him,13609
    And Euan Black reckons there are many more wage theft scandals yet to come.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/finance-news/2020/02/19/wage-theft-coles-target/
    As Santos reports its profits this week, there is one number you are unlikely to hear from chief Kevin Gallagher: $7 billion. That’s $7 billion in gas losses over five years. Bruce Robertson reports on the government’s penchant for backing a big loss industry, future gas liabilities and the Federal Government’s gas deal with the states.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/santos-blows-7-billion-in-five-years-and-no-relief-for-gas-customers/
    Professor Kevin Tolhurst explains why the science on hazard reduction is contested.
    https://theconversation.com/the-burn-legacy-why-the-science-on-hazard-reduction-is-contested-132083
    The 10 universities that account for the vast majority of Chinese students have established serious cash reserves reports Fergus Hunter.
    https://www.smh.com.au/topic/coronavirus-outbreak-1ndb
    The Government has prioritised the interests of resource companies over rural communities and the environment, writes Shay Dougall.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/gas-and-resource-companies-prevail-over-common-good,13610
    Elizabeth Knight reports that Crown Resorts has left investors in the dark with its failure to give guidance on the impact of the coronavirus at its casinos.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/vips-and-virus-off-the-table-at-crown-20200219-p542cu.html
    Donald Trump offered Julian Assange a pardon if he would say Russia was not involved in leaking Democratic party emails, a court in London has been told.
    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/feb/19/donald-trump-offered-julian-assange-pardon-russia-hack-wikileaks
    William Barr has told people close to him he is considering quitting his post, after Donald Trump failed to heed his warning to stop tweeting about justice department cases, administration officials told the Washington Post and Associated Press.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/18/william-barr-attorney-general-trump-tweet-quitting-report

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Peter Broelman

    Matt Golding




    Mark David

    Johannes Leak directs his venom at the WHO.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/0f6a5992d024659c053b21ff4c1f6b4a?width=1024

    From the US










  24. If Lucy Wicks has finally made the headlines because of her rorting then it’s only fair we take a good look at her. It helps explain her alleged friendship with a couple of Pentecostal leaders.

    Wicks is a do-nothing, say-nothing sort of MP, she attracts no attention in parliament. Her style is more background manipulation to get RWNJs of the religious variety into positions of power within the party. If it wasn’t for her involvement in the downfall of Malcolm Turnbull we would never have heard of her until her little gift to her close friends came to public attention.

    Lucy Wicks is a member of Morrison’s Tuesday prayer group (Pentecostals only), the same group that plotted Turnbull’s knifing. It’s not really a prayer group, it’s more about getting the CrimeMinister what he wants and it’s all done in the name of whatever god they pretend to worship.

    He found himself in a meeting with Morrison’s core support crew – Hawke, Stuart Robert, Ben Morton, Lucy Wicks and Bert van Manen. It was the Morrison prayer group that met on Tuesday nights in parliamentary sitting weeks

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/he-was-in-it-right-up-to-his-neck-how-scott-morrison-deposed-a-prime-minister-20190312-p513jl.html

    https://outline.com/w9kZHw

    Some other trivia about the not-so-lovely Lucy.

    She grew up mostly on the NSW Central Coast, moved to Abbott’s former electorate of Warringah at some stage, wormed her way onto various Liberal Party committees and moved back to the Central Coast around 2013 when she was pre-selected for Robertson via an Abbott captain’s pick.

    Kaye Lee has some interesting information on that pre-selection –

    One could be forgiven for not knowing who Lucy Wicks is – even her electorate had never heard of her before she was parachuted into the seat of Robertson in a captain’s pick by Tony Abbott, bypassing the pre-selection process, much to the chagrin of the local Liberal Party membership:

    “NSW State Executive of the Liberal Party have endorsed Lucy Wicks as the Candidate for Robertson. No preselection was held and the executive of the Robertson Federal Electorate Conference was not notified, only told that this was under consideration today. Nominations for Robertson have been open for 5 months, Lucy Wicks being a member of that State Executive that delayed nominations”.

    The comments from local Liberals were scathing, as the above link testifies. A poster with the aptly-named persona of Back Room Deals summed up the sentiment thus:

    “Lucy Wicks lives in Warringah, Tony Abbott’s electorate . . . hmm. Wicks nominated on Thursday and was rushed through NRC. Then the vote went to State Executive on Friday. The problem is that our leadership has shown no integrity in this issue. To fix the problem in Dobell, a problem of their own making, they take away the democratic rights of Robertson branch members. We will not stand for these tactics, there are 10 branches in Robertson . . . 10 branches with hundreds of unpaid foot soldiers who will walk away, let Head Office pay for the lot come the Election”.

    Lucy then called in the big guns, hosting a morning tea at which Bronwyn Bishop spoke. This was the reaction from someone who attended that function:

    “Lucy Wicks was totally uninspiring and seemed like an impressionable kid that didn’t have a brain between her ears. The helpers there all seemed like young Liberals that were nice, but really, did nothing to add any degree of credibility at all. Dressed like they came off a refugee boat. Doesn’t some-one give them a dress code at all? As for Bronwyn, she was the main star and Lucy apart from telling us she worked in a factory in the Central Coast really had nothing to say. And it showed. Bronwyn did all the talking and Lucy shut up which is just as well I think”

    https://theaimn.com/lucy-who/

    Wicks has always kept very quiet about her religious beliefs, but she is a Pentecostal and, unusual for devout members of that cult, she is recently divorced, as she admits in her latest register of interests.
    https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Members/Register#sz

    Her parents sent her to a Christian school, in her First Speech she talks about their contribution to their local community through their “ministry”.
    https://australianpolitics.com/2013/12/05/lucy-wicks-lib-robertson-first-speech.html

    In 2016 Wicks, together with fellow Pentecostal Alex Hawke and NSW MLC Scott Farlow (another religious nutter who voted to keep abortion in the NSW Crimes Act) earned the wrath of Alan Jones (formerly a strong Wicks supporter) by orchestrating an attempted takeover bid of the Earlwood-Kingsgrove Young Liberal branch. Jones demanded the three be suspended from the Liberal Party, maybe even expelled.
    https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/central-coast/broadcaster-alan-jones-extraordinary-attack-on-liberals-mp-lucy-wicks/news-story/e2c486ad301df58829ab8ae76f91b98d

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/young-liberals-liberal-party-investigating-black-ops-branch-meeting-as-flailing-faction-flexes-muscles-20160527-gp5ywl.html

    Farlow is so little known, so unimportant that both those reports get his name wrong, referring to him as “Scott Fowler”.

    Despite being a religious nutter Wicks actually had an increased vote at the last election, which shows how dumb voters can be.

  25. Labor to announce net zero emissions target by 2050 and will oppose taxpayer funding of new coal power
    Exclusive: Anthony Albanese is expected to confirm in speech on Friday that Labor will oppose using Kyoto carryover credits
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/20/labor-to-announce-net-zero-emissions-target-by-2050-and-will-oppose-taxpayer-funding-of-coal

    Utterly pointless as long as Labor keeps on backing coal mining and bragging about Adani starting up.

  26. Labor has locked in behind a target of net zero emissions by 2050, and will oppose taxpayer funding of new coal-fired power plants, in the party’s first major decisions about climate policy for the next federal election.

    As well as adopting the clear 2050 target that Scott Morrison appears reluctant to sign up to, in part because of rolling combat within the Coalition, Guardian Australia understands shadow cabinet has also decided to oppose using carryover credits from the Kyoto period to meet future emissions reduction targets.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/20/labor-to-announce-net-zero-emissions-target-by-2050-and-will-oppose-taxpayer-funding-of-coal?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

  27. Head firmly in the sand –

    Bushfire royal commission to look at mitigation but not climate change
    Scott Morrison says inquiry will explore how national response could include military, as well as the role of climate adaptation and hazard reduction
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/20/bushfire-royal-commission-to-look-at-mitigation-but-not-climate-change

    This whole RC is a farce, a sham. It will produce nothing of any worth. We might as well ask a troupe of circus monkeys for their thoughts on bushfires and fire prevention. Actually the monkeys might give a better outcome than whatever dodgy witnesses the CrimeMinister puts up.

    And what on earth does a former defence chief know about legal proceedings and the proper conduct of a RC? Why is FauxMo obsessed with the military?

    Does anyone else think the final report has already been written?

  28. This horrible crime is a big trigger for me. To make it worse I just want to talk to my Mum for reassurance and understanding but she is now dead.
    Believe me when I say family violence damagrs you across your whole lifetime

    I am having flashbacks of hiding in the bush from gunfire, being beaten with a lump of wood, getting black eyes or punched in the gut (no marks then). If you have not lived through it, it is hard to understand. Of going to hospital with obvious injuries and no-one caring. I gave birth to a baby in a major hospital, when I was bruised and with a swollen eye, and not one person said a damn thing about it. It was not recorded on my medical file nor one question asked.

    This was in the 1970’s. Nothing much has changed.

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