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. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    In quite a cutting contribution David Crowe says we’ve yet to see what Scott Morrison really stands for.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/we-ve-yet-to-see-what-scott-morrison-really-stands-for-20200220-p542lm.html
    Jenna Price looks into how to stop men killing their wives and children.
    https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/gender/how-to-stop-men-killing-their-wives-and-children-20200220-p542s6.html
    The Australian Government has fallen into one that encourages divisiveness among its citizens rather than promoting unity, writes Grant Turner.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/scott-morrisons-politics-of-division,13613
    Domenic Powell reports that the chief executives of two of the nation’s largest retail employers have blamed incorrectly configured software as a key cause of staff underpayments, arguing this issue also often leads to businesses overpaying workers. I have a message for them. It works . . . you don’t!
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/software-the-root-cause-of-underpayment-and-overpayments-top-retail-ceos-say-20200220-p542se.html
    Katharine Murphy explains how Anthony Albanese has said Labor has to take the initiative in defending Australia against the dangers of climate change because the summer of catastrophe has highlighted our national vulnerability and because business and the states are now demanding national leadership.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/21/bushfires-highlight-need-for-urgent-climate-action-and-a-real-target-anthony-albanese-says
    Alexandra Smith writes that Liberal and Labor ministers from NSW and Victoria are demanding the federal government release $1.6 billion in NDIS funding, saying that short changing people with disabilities should not be used to balance the federal budget.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/ministers-accuse-federal-government-of-prioritising-budget-surplus-over-ndis-20200220-p542mt.html
    Shane Wright explains how a surprise lift in the jobless rate has raised expectations of an interest rate cut to strengthen the economy.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/young-and-old-struggle-for-work-as-job-market-weakens-20200220-p542qb.html
    Tim Pallas declares that it is now the states that are doing the heavy lifting on reform while Canberra retreats into its shell.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/canberra-must-return-to-the-reform-party-20200220-p542pu
    John Kehoe writes that Australia’s domestic private economy last year went backwards for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis and says fixing the slow economy is up to Canberra.
    https://www.afr.com/policy/economy/fixing-the-slow-economy-is-up-to-canberra-20200219-p542cs
    Rightly, Tony Featherstone declares that large companies’ practice of late payment has to stop.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/small-business/these-late-payment-shenanigans-have-to-end-20200219-p5425f.html
    Michael West provides us with Scott Morrison scorecard from before the triple black swan of bushfires, floods and virus.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/scott-morrison-scorecard-before-triple-black-swan-of-bushfires-floods-and-virus/
    Kasey Edwards explains what we haven’t learnt from St Kevin’s. She makes quite a few good points.
    https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/what-we-haven-t-learned-from-st-kevin-s-20200220-p542l7.html
    Meanwhile the acting principal of St Kevin’s College has been forced to step aside less than 24 hours after being promoted to the position, due to an allegation that she pressured a former school counsellor not to report a grooming allegation involving a teacher and a schoolboy.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/st-kevin-s-acting-principal-steps-aside-over-legal-complaint-as-school-orders-review-20200220-p542k8.html
    Christine Jackman gets stuck into Andrew Bolt and Gerard Henderson over their reaction to the St Kevin’s esposé.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/02/20/andrew-bolt-gerard-henderson-st-kevins/
    Our economy has become one in which the demand for employment exceeds the number of suitable vacancies, writes Nicholas Haines wo describes the job market as a game of musical chairs.
    https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/australias-unemployment-crisis-the-job-seekers-game-of-musical-chairs,13611
    Nine months into his first term as elected Prime Minister, has the “miracle” man lost his halo and – like the acrid smoke which hung menacingly over the country – is Morrison’s Government on the nose asks Michelle Pini.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/australia-adapts-to-ridding-itself-of-the-morrison-government,13614
    The closure of Australia’s largest coal-fired power plant could be brought forward as Origin Energy assesses a “range of scenarios”, including the impact of climate change and the influx of renewable energy, which could influence its shutdown date. This will set the Coalition rump going!
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/origin-energy-says-coal-plant-closure-date-open-to-review-20200220-p542pd.html
    Greg Bourne tells us that a paper published in the scientific journal Nature by Benjamin Hmiel and colleagues shows that the proportion of methane emissions made by man is 25 to 40 per cent greater than previously estimated. This represents bad news for the boosters of gas fired power.
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/why-the-dash-for-gas-and-cash-is-not-an-option-20200220-p542tb.html
    Nuclear power is expensive, slow, inflexible, uninsurable, toxic and dangerous at a time when renewable energy generation and storage is becoming faster, cheaper and more efficient writes Josh Wilson, shadow minister for the environment.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/there-is-still-no-place-for-nuclear-energy-in-australia-20200217-p541of.html
    The terms of reference for the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements steer a careful path around the question of climate change. What a surprise!
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6640823/fire-probe-to-focus-on-practical-things/?cs=14225
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/20/bushfire-royal-commission-to-look-at-mitigation-but-not-climate-change
    Oh my! The Berejiklian government concedes the cost of its signature metro rail project under Sydney Harbour and the central city is set to blow out by up to $3 billion, laying blame primarily on an “overheated” market for contractors.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/i-am-sorry-minister-concedes-metro-line-will-blow-out-by-3-billion-20200220-p542n0.html
    Michelle Grattan’s Friday essay goes to the government juggling health security and wealth security as its China travel ban is extended.
    https://theconversation.com/grattan-on-friday-government-juggles-health-security-and-wealth-security-as-china-travel-ban-extended-132202
    Victoria’s former Liberal party director has avoided a referral to Australia’s highest court over controversial ads designed to look like they came from the electoral commission. Looks like another green light to me.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6639679/ex-liberal-director-avoids-court-referral/?cs=14350
    “Let’s get religion off the agenda – NOW” exhorts Rosemary Jacob.
    https://theaimn.com/lets-get-religion-off-the-agenda-now/
    Isabelle Lane tells us how the battle for online grocery shopping supremacy in Australia is ramping up.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/consumer/2020/02/20/woolworths-coles-amazon-online-shopping/
    Sam Maiden reports that Adam Bandt has called for school fees to be scrapped for public schools as families face costs of up to $5000 a year for ‘free’ education.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/02/20/greens-adam-bandt-school-fees/
    According to Anthony Galloway Labor will go to the next election promising to achieve a net zero emissions target by the middle of the century and to junk Kyoto carry-over credits, again setting up climate change as a major battleground over the next two years.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/labor-to-announce-net-zero-emissions-target-by-2050-20200220-p542tv.html
    Judith Ireland writes that almost 18 per cent of Australian children live in poverty, amid fears “the next generation is set up for failure,” due to rising housing costs and stagnant income support.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/set-up-for-failure-almost-18-per-cent-of-australian-children-in-poverty-20200220-p542vp.html
    Rosemary Rogers, the former chief of staff to then-NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn, has pleaded guilty to dishonestly obtaining financial benefit by ­deception. $14.3m in fact.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/margin-call/rosemary-rogers-in-guilty-plea-on-deception-charge/news-story/69769918039d4266e451bae566a5a71c
    “When scandal means nothing, how can the media hold our leaders to account?”, asks Jeff Sparrow.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/20/when-scandal-means-nothing-how-can-the-media-hold-our-leaders-to-account
    The judge who handed down a 40 months sentence on Roger Stone blasted the notorious dirty trickster, describing his behaviour as “a threat to our most fundamental institutions”.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/truth-still-matters-trump-ally-roger-stone-gets-40-months-in-prison-20200221-p542wz.html
    Bernie Sanders is cruising towards the Democratic nomination but Richard Wolffe wonders if he can win.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/19/bernie-sanders-democratic-debate-centrists
    Qantas could deploy special flights to help retrieve stranded Chinese students as the window narrows for them to arrive in time for semester one.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/universities-scramble-for-flights-for-chinese-students-should-travel-ban-end-20200220-p542r5.html
    More than 150 historians and researchers have signed up to access the soon-to-open Vatican archives of Pope Pius XII, evidence of the intense scholarly interest into the World War II-era pope and his record during the Holocaust.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/what-secrets-do-the-vatican-archives-hold-about-pope-pius-xii-20200221-p542wq.html
    This “businessman” has earned nomination for “Arsehole of the Week”.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/how-police-lured-businessman-to-reveal-1-5b-cocaine-network-20200220-p542uz.html

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe


    Peter Broelman

    Matt Golding



    Mark David

    Glen Le Lievre

    Johannes Leak
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/f17890f52e80bc3ed1f0c242db555e7e?width=1024

    From the US










  2. Paris Street reacts to the nasty comments made by Andrew Bolt and Gerard Henderson –

    Paris Street
    ·
    This is what I have to say to Gerard Henderson and Andrew BOLT. Please share widely.

    Andrew Bolt and Gerard Henderson,

    I have listened to the comments you both made in relation to the ABC’s 4 Corners documentary that aired on Monday the 17th of February. In your own words, Andrew: “every action invites a reaction”. So, here is my reaction.

    To have what I was subjected to trivialised on Tuesday night, especially after it was mentioned (and this is assuming you have actually watched the entirety of the documentary), that I hoped telling my story would be the first step to moving on, is inconsiderate particularly when Gerard, you make the comment: “well of course we’re sympathetic to the victim”.

    Also, if you displayed any sympathy towards me, you wouldn’t be minimising what was inflicted upon me. Gerard, you wouldn’t respond to Andrew’s question “how bad was it” by saying “well not at all”. I was invited to jump into a 59 year olds bed. I was invited to lick the pre-cum off that same 59 year olds penis. The Facebook messages he sent me. I was fifteen. He was convicted of grooming me. For your own knowledge, (it clearly needs enhancement), please refer to the relevant legislation of what grooming actually is. In this, you should take note that, and I will now quote from the Victorian State Government website: “The offence of grooming concerns predatory conduct undertaken to prepare a child for sexual activity at a later time.” To listen to you say that no sex occurred is actually beyond relevant information of the crime itself.

    Speaking of facts Gerard, you said, and I quote: “I can understand the victims annoyance after the event but if you look at the hard facts of the case and you consider the time when this occurred…” Well, this occurred alongside a royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse. I was a victim of child sexual abuse. St Kevin’s is an institution. Please refer to the findings of that royal commission because this might enhance your knowledge (and hopefully some understanding) of the pain and suffering that victims endure from not being supported.

    Just to make it clear: I returned to St Kevin’s because this is where my friends were, my twin brother was (and I don’t know if you’ve ever tried doing this) but settling into another school at the same time you’re giving evidence in a criminal trial as a victim of sexual abuse isn’t very easy. What also isn’t very easy is settling back into a school where I was asked to maintain corridor relations with the dean of sport who endorsed Peter Kehoe, upon my return. You didn’t mention him in your ‘bolt report’ did you? Also, I found out about Stephen Russell’s reference in 2017. Not 2015. Fact check, or, check your facts before you make comments about them.

    Also, if you paid particular attention to the documentary Andrew, (I think this is necessary especially when you intend to make comments on a sensitive topic), you will note that he wasn’t, in your own words “later jailed”. He was in fact, and as Louise mentioned in the documentary: “sentenced to a community corrections order and placed on the sex offenders register for eight years”. Just a fact check.

    Now lastly Andrew, to say that “the school hadn’t had any complaints against him” well, this might well be true. But if you had any level of understanding into the issue of child sexual abuse, it might be worth noting that disclosure of this type of information (information that is very sensitive to the victim) can take significant time to be disclosed. On average it takes longer than 20 years for victims of child sexual abuse to disclose information.

    Please, both of you, build some common decency and human courtesy into what is required in relation to sexual abuse. Especially if you are to make public comments about it.

    Gerard Henderson and Andrew Bolt, how would you feel if someone acted the way Peter Kehoe did towards me, towards children of your own? Would your comments be any different?

    Reflect on the comments you have made and never make them again in the future. They make me sick

    • Paris Street has been in a psychiatric hospital as a result of his ordeal. I wonder if this was caused by the grooming or the court case where he was cross examined for 2 days by Robert Richter QC. My sister & I reckon the cross examination would have rattled him to the core of his being

  3. I think there should be a group “Arsehole of the Week” or maybe of the year award given to the Queensland police, certain sections of the media and all those whining men who are making excuses for the vile creature who murdered his wife and children and playing down his act of coldblooded, premeditated slaughter.

    The police are keeping “an open mind” on this murder, despite admitting they knew all about the violence in this relationship for some time.

    On Thursday, Det Insp Mark Thompson confirmed domestic and family violence orders had been granted against Baxter, saying there had been “a number of engagements of police” between the couple.

    “I can confirm Queensland police have engaged with both Hannah and her estranged husband in relation to domestic violence issues,” he said.

    “We have also engaged with both of the parties in referring them to support services.

    “When it comes to Hannah we have dealt with her on a number of occasions and worked with the Brisbane Domestic Violence Centre in supporting Hannah throughout her family issues. And we’ve also referred Rowan Baxter to support services as well.”

    But in comments that drew an immediate and angry response from domestic violence advocates, Thompson also said police would keep an “open mind” about Baxter’s motives and wanted to speak to people who knew both families

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/20/queensland-police-spark-anger-with-open-mind-comment-on-of-hannah-clarke-and-children

    FFS! Isn’t it clear what happened?

    The police are still asking if Ms Clarke might have been at fault, still trying to imply she must have “done something” to set him off, still trying to find a way to excuse this abhorrent excuse for a human being. It’s never the man’s fault, is it, it’s always the dead woman who must be blamed, she must have upset him.

    No wonder so many women suffer domestic abuse in silence, they know police will see their men as the victims.

    Certain media outlets (special award to the Daily Mail here, and I refuse to link their appalling, sugary crap) are talking up how much this vile creature loved his children, making a big deal of his links to NRL, although he never made the grade there.

    If he loved his children he would not have murdered them.

    Who cares what sports he played? It’s just not relevant. It’s all media attempts to make him seem to be the victim, a “good bloke” driven to an unspeakable, appalling act out of love.

    Then there are the usual chaps whining on Facebook posts about this “poor man” being driven to commit a crime because he missed his kids. I’ve just seen one of these whining dads saying wtte “of course he lost the plot, we all do when we are not able to be with our kids”. Have these idiots never worked out why their relationships broke down? Do they never think they might have been responsible? Of course not, they are too busy nursing their fragile, bruised egos to ever be able to admit they might have been at fault.

    This was far more than “losing the plot”. Who deliberately chooses exactly the right time, buys a jerrycan of petrol, heads to his wife’s residence and lies in wait until she has all the kids in the car before attacking with petrol and setting fire to the car? Only a monster bent on revenge because she dared leave him, that’s who. A controlling, jealous monster who places his own hurt feelings above the lives of his kids.

    It takes a real coward to do this, or to support someone who does such a thing. Cowards who thought it was perfectly OK to control and beat up their women but cannot bear the thought those women might find the courage to leave. Cowards who bleat about missing their kids when you can bet they barely noticed the presence of those children while they were living as a family.

    The only positive thing in this whole, terrible crime is this – at least this monster took his own life. Even then he was a coward. He didn’t burn with his kids, couldn’t face that pain, he stabbed himself in the chest and begged those who tried to help to let the fire burn.

    Hannah Clarke’s parents say this monster was jealous of his wife because she was fitter than him and had better qualifications as a trainer. They say he controlled every aspect of her life.

    At least this media story tells it as it is – no sickening gloss about a “loving father here, just HER side of the story, as witnessed by her parents.
    https://www.news.com.au/national/queensland/news/killer-who-torched-his-family-was-a-master-manipulator-victims-parents-say/news-story/72ca9e797b3a340faf9123fd5b2351bf

    • The article by Jenna Price had a family photo at the top with the fathers face pixelated out. Another family photo did not pixelate his face …pity

      Would be great if all media outlets pixelated the faces of violent perpetrators and not naming them, rendering them “unpersons”

      Queensland Police should be unequivocal in their condemnation of a person who pours petrol over another and lights a match, whether the perpetrator is alive or not

    • Another thing that’s really pissing me off – the constant steam of men on social media blaming the Family Court.

      The Family Court were not involved in this.

      Baxter had to attend court next month, but not over access to his kids. He had breached a DVO and the police had charged him. That was what his court date was for.

  4. Dear Puff,

    I’m so sorry that you have been made to face those realities again. I certainly believe you about having to live with the consequences for a lifetime.

    You’ve also had to deal with so many other losses over the past few years.

    I can’t do ‘prayers’, but I hope that you can find some comfort in knowing that even people you haven’t met do acknowledge the traumas you continue to face.

    Helen

  5. Add Bettina Arndt and Mark Latham to that group Arseholes of the Year award.

    They are behaving in their usual anti-female way, condemning “feminists” for piling onto a poor, wronged man. I’m not going to post their tweets.

    You can also add Sunrise for giving Latham a platform.

  6. The resources, water and northern Australia minister, Keith Pitt, and Nationals senator Matt Canavan will both update their register of interests over errors in relation to interests in investment properties.

    Canavan will amend his register to declare two properties worth more than $1m after Guardian Australia revealed he had relied on an incorrect reading of rules that interests disclosed to previous parliaments do not need to be re-declared.

    Pitt, who was elevated to the ministry in the latest reshuffle after Canavan resigned, told Guardian Australia he made an “administrative” error in failing to declare he owns a beneficial interest in, and is the director and secretary of, Branyan Investments Pty Ltd.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/21/keith-pitt-and-matt-canavan-correct-errors-uncovered-in-register-of-interests

    • Why do they always wait until they have been caught breaking the rules before they update their registers?

      Are they so arrogant they assume they won’t be found out, or are they so stupid they cannot manage a nit of paperwork?

  7. Also in ref. to domestic violence… They are going to print labels on alcoholic drinks warning pregnant women. Why not also warn their partners, those who can’t control their violence towards them.

  8. Brisbane car fire detective taken off the case after suggesting killer Rowan Baxter may have been ‘driven too far’

    Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll says the decision to stand down the detective who was leading the investigation into Wednesday's murder-suicide at Camp Hill "had to be made".

    On Thursday afternoon, at a press conference about the deaths of Hannah Clarke and her three children Laianah, Aaliyah and Trey in a car fire, Detective Inspector Mark Thompson suggested killer Rowan Baxter may have been "driven too far".

    Commissioner Carroll said Inspector Thompson volunteered to stand aside when she asked him to remove himself from the investigation via phone call this morning.

    "And I totally agreed with that," she said.

    "In fairness to Mark and myself and the agency, we want to remove the noise and concentrate on the issue.

    "There is a mother and three children who have been murdered and I want to concentrate on that

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-21/qld-police-commissioner-apologises-detectives-camp-hill-comments/11987426

  9. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Peter Hartcher basically tells Morrison to either shit or get off the pot. He looks at the country’s moribund economy, its infrastructure deficit and public lack of confidence.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/it-s-our-time-to-get-out-of-the-blocks-australia-20200221-p5437s.html
    Ross Gittins gets to the bottom of what wages growth is so slow.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/no-progress-on-wages-but-we-re-getting-a-better-handle-on-why-20200220-p542ul.html
    Paul Bongiorno describes Morrison’s slow burn.
    https://outline.com/C83bDn
    Paul Kelly recons Albanese has bet his leadership on zero emissions.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/anthony-albanese-bets-leadership-on-zero-emissions/news-story/24d109205a2818450af0e6516d517345
    Laura Tingle tells us what Gaetjens’ fine print reveals about the sports rorts. She says that in politics, the question you are asked can be just as crucial as the context in which you answer.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/labor-leaves-the-government-s-smokescreens-intact-Poli20200221-p542zd
    Politics lecturer George Rennie writes that the sports rorts experience tells us we need an independent umpire.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/21/the-sports-rorts-remind-us-politics-is-a-game-of-mates-we-need-an-independent-umpire
    Over the past year, the government has allocated nearly $5 billion through measures hidden from public view, bypassing the senate. Experts now warn this may be illegal explains Karen Middleton.
    https://outline.com/yYkkJt
    Katharine Murphy says that given the Coalition’s unconscionable track record, it is very, very hard to assume the Morrison government will approach anything in climate change policy from a position of good faith.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/22/morrisons-roadmap-to-emissions-reduction-could-turn-out-to-be-pap-but-its-not-a-terrible-idea
    And Calla Wahlqvist writes that another adversarial royal commission risks repeating past recommendations without addressing the new element – climate change.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/22/will-we-learn-from-the-bushfire-summer-not-if-the-wrong-questions-are-asked
    Simon Holmes à Court declares that the government’s sudden passion for climate technology is newfound and insincere.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/21/the-governments-sudden-passion-for-climate-technology-is-newfound-and-insincere
    Domestic violence statistics in Australia are growing worse and our government must share the blame, writes John Wren in his weekly political roundup.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/wrens-week-the-australian-domestic-violence-epidemic,13621
    In a major step forward in the fight to combat the coronavirus disease, an Australian factory has started producing a test dose of a vaccine.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/australian-coronavirus-vaccine-goes-into-test-production-20200221-p5436l.html
    Mike Seccombe writes that while Chinese-owned businesses struggle through a downturn, questions remain about whether Australia’s coronavirus response stoked racist fear.
    https://outline.com/KXUtG8
    Meanwhile a South Korean church with a messianic leader was identified as a hotbed of coronavirus cases as the outbreak grows in parts of the country.
    https://www.theage.com.au/world/asia/most-of-south-korea-s-coronavirus-cases-linked-to-doomsday-sect-church-20200222-p543ad.html
    Ian Warden wants journos to take off the kid gloves and question Morrison over the influence of his Pentecostal beliefs on policy and (in)action. It’s a cracker.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6638040/putting-myself-in-the-pms-shoes-but-not-his-hawaiian-shirts/?cs=14258
    Adam Carey writes that the new principal of St Kevin’s College has promised students and parents his “door is always open” and said the students who spoke out about grooming had given the school a “mandate for change”. What say you Gerard and Andrew?
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/st-kevin-s-principal-says-courageous-boys-gave-mandate-for-change-20200221-p5437u.html
    St Kevin’s College, abuse and the language of pain.
    https://outline.com/AxDLvc
    The mismanagement of our bushfire crisis by the Liberal Government would have been avoided had Bill Shorten been elected, writes Emma Goldrick.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/how-the-bushfire-crisis-would-have-been-handled-under-a-shorten-government,13620
    The Great Barrier Reef could be about to experience its most widespread outbreak of mass coral bleaching ever seen, according to an analysis from the US government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/22/great-barrier-reef-could-face-most-extensive-coral-bleaching-ever-scientists-say
    A group of Labor MPs now fear the Labor leader’s move to set the long-term target has placed the party in a position of having climate goals, but no detailed plans on how to achieve them.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/labor-mps-concern-over-job-losses-from-2050-climate-target-20200221-p5434h.html
    The SMH editorial declares that the disabled must not pay the cost of hitting a budget surplus.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/disabled-must-not-pay-the-cost-of-hitting-a-budget-surplus-20200221-p5436y.html
    Adele Ferguson says that the scourge of wage fraud demands action – but she doesn’t sound too hopeful.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/scourge-of-wage-fraud-demands-action-20200220-p542wc.html
    Law professor Joanna Howe examines whether corporate wage underpayment is by accident or by design. This article describes many broken things.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/corporate-underpayments-is-it-by-accident-or-deliberate-20200220-p542k4.html
    As secretive Liberal Party donors line up for the privatisation of Australia’s visa processing, the deal has now been held up and may require new legislation to pass both houses of Parliament. Michael Sainsbury reports.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/weird-plan-for-billion-dollar-privatisation-of-australias-visa-system-hits-a-snag/
    According to Rick Morton experts in the aged-care sector warn that the government may reduce waiting lists for home-care programs by restricting their eligibility requirements, leaving thousands of older Australians in need. He says it may merely be an accounting trick.
    https://outline.com/fFJxBm
    Nick McKenzie uncovers yet more shady activity by our casino industry.
    https://www.theage.com.au/business/companies/crown-casino-hosted-organised-crime-target-as-he-built-a-gambling-empire-20200220-p542sa.html
    The quest to understand how a passenger train’s routine detour onto a siding became a death ride for its veteran driver and local pilot is focusing on three potential catalysts for catastrophe: track, speed and signals.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/vic/2020/02/21/track-switch-eyed-in-rail-tragedy/
    Moves by an ultra-Orthdox Jewish community in Israel to block the extradition of a principal accused of abusing students is harming the relationship. This is ultra-BS!
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/protection-of-alleged-rapist-strains-israel-australia-relationship-20200221-p5432g.html
    The Saturday Paper looks at the impacts of Holden’s demise.
    https://outline.com/FnmbVL
    Fergus Hunter tells us that the country’s chief health officers have advised the government there is a case to ease the ban subject to certain conditions.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/relaxation-of-travel-ban-looms-for-students-following-official-health-advice-20200221-p5436f.html
    Rod Meyer tells us how David Jones has turned its back on the suburbs and everyday shoppers and is placing all its hopes for the future on a group of increasingly ritzy urban stores.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/finance-news/2020/02/21/david-jones-stores-closing/
    Hundreds of public servants face months of uncertainty about their jobs because of a large backlog in processing promotion appeals arising from recent recruitment rounds.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6635752/promotion-review-backlog-leaves-hundreds-of-public-servants-in-limbo/?cs=14350
    According to David Scutt a Bernie Sanders victory could deliver a 180-degree reversal in US policy that will send shockwaves across markets.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/will-investors-feel-the-bern-another-us-political-shock-could-upend-global-markets-20200219-p542el.html

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Alan Moir



    Peter Broelman

    John Shakespeare


    Jim Pavlidis

    Jon Kudelka

    Matt Golding


    Mark David

    Johannes Leak still on the bandwagon.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/e278df87c7ecebef8743fcb56aef03e2?width=1024

    From the US













  10. Rick Morton on aged care –

    It seems to me the government wants to force old people into nursing homes. They have failed to keep up with demand for packages and now they want to dodge around that failure by making eligibility tougher. That means more oldies will have no alternative but to move into nursing homes with all the horrors that usually involves.

    What other reason could there be?

    Then there’s this – government cuts to the public service have created this mess.

    Ex-PM&C boss Terry Moran says the delivery of public services is in a ‘hell of a mess’
    Mr Moran said the outsourcing of services in aged care, disability services, vocational education and training and employment services showed how heavily invested the federal government was in the outsourcing model.

    But as the aged care royal commission continues to highlight serious failings and shortcomings in the nation’s aged care system, the former PM&C head said the evidence showed that outsourcing was “just not working”.

    He warned, however, that because the outsourcing model had involved stripping departments of resources and expertise, they had little capacity to reintegrate service delivery functions.

    “The Commonwealth has found it very difficult to come to terms with [the failure of service delivery outsourcing], having dismantled all the apparatus it used to have to run some of these activities within the Australian Public Service,” Mr Moran said. “They are a little bit bereft.”

    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6626797/government-outsourcing-has-passed-high-water-mark-former-aps-chief/

    This government is making a hell of a mess of everything. It’s going to take decades to recover.

  11. After 10 hours of wrangling MS EXCEL I have hit the turps, both for relief and celebration , I nay be an excel
    maven 🙂 All of which means random music videos. First up, teh Chermans finally conquer Moscow . Rammstein rock out in front of a Yuge crowd in Moscow.

    • Note that they ,in Moscow, sing in German. They can sing in English and often do but thought it OK to sing in Cherman and the crowd sang along. Tells you something about Cherman-Russkiy relations these days.

  12. Chor der Hochschule & LJO Bremen Deutschland

    An insider joke from a computer game I have been playing for over a decade ,OMG cannot believe it has been so long. Anyway there was a bit of conversation in this game that went,as they say, “viral”. It was about talking about how great you were in the old days………………. “Then I took an arrow in the knee” 🙂 We all been there

  13. Some Maori Heavy Metal music with some ‘learnings’ attached. When the Maori Wars started in NZ the Maori,unlike most ‘natives’ the Pomgolian Empire attacked back then, had been conversant with warfare with guns for,in the Maori case, decades. All of which meant the Poms and those sent by various Australian States did nae have it all their own way by a very long shot.

    .

    The New Zealand Wars | The War Britain Lost:1
    The New Zealand Wars were a series of armed conflicts that took place in New Zealand from 1845 to 1872 between the New Zealand government and indigenous Māori. Up until the 1960s Europeans referred to them as the Māori wars, and historian James Belich was one of the first to refer to them as the “New Zealand wars” in his 1987 book The New Zealand wars and the Victorian interpretation of racial conflict.

    • Thanks for all the videos. I’ll play them it today. Fits perfectly with my plans – lolling around listening to music and doing not much else.

  14. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Paul Kelly begins this long contribution with “While the Morrison government is besieged by troubles, it faces a threat on three of its cherished claims — financial management, national security and Australian jobs — from the crisis of trust in its $80bn Attack-class submarine deal with the French.”
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/sub-partnership-is-taking-on-water/news-story/24af2769578590144acad357246ebf3a
    MPs are looking at ways to stop a sharp lift in the sale of illicit cigarettes that is being driven by organised criminals taking advantage of the increase in prices.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/organised-crime-licks-its-lips-as-tobacco-excise-set-to-hit-1-a-stick-20200222-p543ap.html
    We all could do without the village idiot Craig Kelly!
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/liberal-mp-craig-kelly-backs-advance-australia-s-climate-change-resources-in-classrooms-20200221-p54366.html
    Gladys Berejiklian reflectively writes on how this horrific bushfire season has changed her state forever.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/this-horrific-bushfire-season-has-changed-our-state-forever-20200222-p543b0.html
    Clay Lucas reports that a fund set up by the Morrison government that will pour almost $1 billion into transport projects in Victoria in seats held by the Liberal Party has been referred to the federal Auditor-General. The federal opposition says the spending looms as a fresh sports rorts scandal.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/congestion-busting-billions-referred-to-federal-auditor-general-20200221-p54381.html
    Tim Wilson and Jason Falinski pooh pooh Zali Steggall’s climate change bill.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/steggall-s-climate-change-bill-just-politics-as-usual-20200220-p542u5.html
    Getting to zero net emissions in 2050 is going to be tough – but Labor committing to it is a damn good thing says Greg Jericho. He concludes that doing nothing is not the answer – it is economic degradation.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/23/getting-to-zero-net-emissions-in-2050-is-going-to-be-tough-but-labor-committing-to-it-is-a-damn-good-thing
    Jacqui Maley thinks that we seem to have reached a strange spot in our public discourse where we have swapped meaningful debate for the amplification of voices and views we claim to despise.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/a-pernicious-online-bubble-is-suffocating-civilised-debate-20200221-p5434b.html
    Kaye Lee writes that there are multitudinous more deserving reasons why Scott Morrison might not want to look Australians in the eye than the oft-repeated talking point that he can’t predict what jobs will be around and what electricity will cost in three decades time.
    https://theaimn.com/scott-morrison-cant-look-australians-in-the-eye/
    Nine Media looks at the background to the St Kevin’s problem.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/st-kevin-s-grooming-scandal-the-organisation-moving-on-from-christian-brothers-dark-past-20200222-p543bg.html
    Meanwhile Three teachers, including the high-profile director of studies, are no longer employed at St Kevin’s College amid the furore over its leadership’s handling of a former coach’s grooming of a student.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/st-kevin-s-college-teachers-leave-school-20200222-p543d0.html
    And Debbie Cuthbertson explains how a damning study identifies 16 child sex abuse rings in Victorian Catholic Church. It found that clergy paedophile rings shared patterns of behaviour with criminal gangs, the Mafia, terrorist cells, corrupt police, drug dealers, money launderers and price-fixing cartels.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/study-identifies-16-child-sex-abuse-rings-in-victorian-catholic-church-20200215-p54158.html
    Cait Kelly explains the five biggest myths about domestic violence we need to stamp out now.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2020/02/22/domestic-violence-myths/
    As our country heats up, pyrocumulonimbus firestorms are becoming an increasingly frequent weather phenomenon, writes Nick Goldie.
    https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/rare-firestorm-weather-events-are-becoming-the-new-normal,13622
    Those who stressed and sacrificed repaying Centrelink debts they could not disprove under a scandal-hit scheme are yet to be offered refunds writes Luke Henriques-Gomes.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/23/welfare-recipients-true-cost-centrelink-robodebt
    A former whistleblower advocate has exposed the level of Trump’s corruption in the outcome of his impeachment trial, writes Dr Kim Sawyer.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/senator-grassley-reveals-the-extent-of-president-trumps-corruption,13619

    Cartoon Corner

    Matt Golding





    Sean Leahy in Queensland

    From the US





  15. “Tim Wilson and Jason Falinski pooh pooh Zali Steggall’s climate change bill”

    Well, of course they do. She’s an indie, (a Liberal indie on everything but climate change) and she’s a woman. Even worse, she pushed their mate Abbott out of parliament. Never underestimate the depths of anti-female feeling among the ranks of the government, Climate change is for the chaps to sort out, the girls can go back to the kitchen and make cups of tea, like good little Liberal women should.

    Mike Cannon-Brookes, Co-chief executive, Atlassian, actually likes Zali’s bill. He knows a bit more about energy that Messrs Wilson and Falinski and he has come up with a brilliant scheme to get power into bushfire and flood affected areas that are still relying on generators and whatever other systems they can cobble together.

    You might have seen this, last week –

    Mike and Annie Cannon-Brookes pledge $12m to supply solar systems for disaster relief
    The billionaire couple want to provide ready-made solar and battery arrays to communities cut off from the power grid
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/19/mike-and-annie-cannon-brookes-pledge-12m-to-supply-solar-systems-for-disaster-relief

    I haven’t seen Messrs Wilson and Falinski come up with any plans to get power back into these communities. Maybe they just haven’t had the time to think up a plan or a “roadmap” yet, but as bitchy point-scoring and snarky comments seem to be their only talents I won’t hold my breath waiting.

    Here’s part of an RN interview Mike Cannon-Brooks did last week. It’s a shame he didn’t get a better interviewer.

    Here’s the full interview –
    https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/atlassian-co-founder-to-pledge-$12m-to-power-hit-towns/11982700

  16. I think this move to close some Centrelink offices is the first step in the government’s agenda to force everyone on social security onto the cashless debit card.

    They won’t need Centrelink offices when everyone is under the control of whatever mega-corporation the government chooses to run the card. Indue is about to finish their term, as admitted by Jacqui Lambie during fact-finding tour of card sites in WA and the NT. Soon the CDC will be handed over to the Big 4 banks to administer.

    We know the CrimeMinister wants a national rollout, starting with those under 30 years of age, then extending to everyone. The timeframe for this is said to be two years, again revealed by Jacqui Lambie.

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/national-rollout-of-cashless-welfare-card-will-make-life-harder-labor

  17. An unregistered lobbyist, a ministerial breach of the Lobbying Code of Conduct and a $2.6 million grant awarded during the election campaign minus pesky guidelines. Jommy Tee and Ronni Salt clear the pigs for take off.

    The deputy prime minister, Michael McCormack, struck a pre-election deal with an unregistered political lobbyist and former Howard Government adviser, Andrew Gibbs, for a $2.6 million airport upgrade ahead of the launch of the Regional Airports Program (RAP). McCormack’s direct intervention mirrors Senator Bridget McKenzie in using taxpayers’ money for electioneering. He also breached the Government’s Lobbying Code of Conduct.

    The $100 million airports program was announced in the pork-laden 2019-20 Budget, just ahead of the election. It provided grants to upgrade infrastructure and deliver improved aviation safety and access at regional airports.

    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/pigs-might-fly-electioneering-an-airport/

  18. Plans are in motion for a feature film based on an Iranian refugee’s award-winning book written while he was in detention on Manus Island.

    Production on the film based on Behrouz Boochani’s novel No Friend But The Mountains is slated to begin in mid-2021, production companies Sweetshop & Green, Aurora Films and Hoodlum Entertainment said in a joint statement.

    The film is intended to be shot mainly in Australia.

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/film-of-behrouz-boochani-s-novel-in-the-works

  19. This is a hoot –

    The CrimeMinister talking to a tiny audience at RAAF Base Tindal, his voice echoing in the huge, empty space, but still carrying on with a speech obviously intended for a big crowd.

    He refers to indigenous people present (there don’t seem to be any) and veterans (none of those there either)

    At one point the camera pans around and reveals just how few people bothered turning up. There’s Melissa Price, standing all by herself, hidden by a large RAAF banner, and some chap on the dais with the CrimeMinister, hidden by another banner.

    During the visit the base therapy dog, Mac, was forced to meet FauxMo. He managed to refrain from peeing on the prime ministerial shoe, much to the regret of many, I would think.

    The whole visit was not good news for FauxMo – he was given a very cool reception.

    There was no applause for the Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison as he walked into the Airman’s Mess at RAAF Base Tindal this morning despite bringing with him a billion dollar announcement.

    In fact, it was quite awkward.

    It was subdued as the nation’s leader was shown around the growing base with almost a dozen security guards blending into the large pack of media advisers, photographers and journalists.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    But before the announcements, before the meet and greets and before ScoMo checked out one of the old jets but refused to hop into the drivers seat, the PM tucked into a hearty breakfast with a hundred or so base personnel called in from their usual duties.

    It was there, as he walked in, he didn’t get much of a reception, and waiting a beat for an applause that was never coming he quickly headed to the nearest table to strike up a conversation

    https://www.katherinetimes.com.au/story/6643053/awkward-entree-for-pms-visit-to-tindal-today/

    (Do the incognito window trick to read the whole article)

  20. Past Time to Tell the Public: “It Will Probably Go Pandemic, and We Should All Prepare Now”

    We are starting to hear from experts and officials who now believe a COVID-19 pandemic is more and more likely. They want to use the “P word,” and also start talking more about what communities and individuals can and should do to prepare. On February 22, Australian virologist Ian Mackay asked us for our thoughts on this phase of COVID-19 risk communication.

    https://virologydownunder.com/past-time-to-tell-the-public-it-will-probably-go-pandemic-and-we-should-all-prepare-now/

  21. The WA branch of the RSL has overturned a ban on the performance of Welcome to Country ceremonies and the flying of the Aboriginal flag at Anzac and Remembrance Day services after a public backlash.

    On Friday, it was revealed RSLWA introduced a ban in response to some members taking issue with the Ode of Remembrance being translated and delivered in Noongar at last year’s Anzac dawn service in Fremantle.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-23/wa-rsl-backs-down-on-aboriginal-flag-welcome-to-country-ban/11992416

  22. This little black duck

    The WA branch of the RSL has overturned a ban on the performance of Welcome to Country ceremonies

    I have some sympathies for the WA RSL. Firstly because the day/event is about everyone ,this negates that. Secondly the “welcome to country” is a ceremony that was created in the 1970’s by local Aboriginal people in WA to mirror a Maori ceremony. Apart from the bullshit of cries of “cultural appropriation” 😆 , the bloody current model has drifted a long way from the original. Sure traditions can change but let’s not pretend it is some ancient ceremony.

    • tlbd

      Darn right there. My GG uncle who was an actual “Gallipoli ANZAC”, not that it meant much to me at the time, inculcated me with the original meaning of the “Lest We Forget” crapola. It was a message to never let such a pointless tragedy happen again and to remember who urged them on to go, the pollies and clergy. He was spewing, as I have been, that the very bustards who were responsible for it all,the pollies, have made themselves center stage of ANZAC commemorations. ‘Twas why he and his mates never attended official ceremonies but met for their own.

  23. I’ve been talking to an American friend over the weekend about the primaries. He seems keen on supporting Bernie Sanders, and was happy that he won so big in Nevada, making him very likely to be the nominee, but still, he knows what happened over in Britain a couple of months ago and both of us are a little worried about how it can go down. ESPECIALLY with the likely chance that those that worked for Boris Johnson’s victory will likely be moving their operations to America to ensure Trump wins.

    I’ve thought that Sanders appears to be a stronger individual than Corbyn. I remember Corbyn’s interview with Andrew Neil and thought that was his “stick a fork in him, he’s done.” moment. I think Sanders has a bit more mental agility than that to avoid a similar situation. Also, in Britain they had the Brexit situation which put Labour in a no-win scenario. The USA has no similar crisis, currently.

    And then there’s the “history repeating itself” thing, with Sanders reprising the role of George McGovern at the 1972 election, where he only won 1 state against Nixon. But all the other parameters have changed, as this article lays out fairly well.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/02/bernie-sanders-george-mcgovern/606883/

    We just concluded that it’s going to be a very close election overall, but we both hope that Sanders can go over the line against Trump.

  24. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Here’s Simon Benson’s take on the 51/49 Newspoll.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/newspoll-coalition-closes-gap-on-labor-anthony-albanese-slides/news-story/631e801497b1359db328efbcbe29a352
    And he writes that meeting climate change targets has for the first time emerged as a greater priority for voters than keeping energy prices down, with more people now also claiming they would be prepared to wear at least some cost to achieve it.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/newspoll-voters-deliver-verdict-on-bushfires-crisis/news-story/c1b975bc12a19fbdfbd75d162da9b299
    Sean Carney describes Morrison’s secret. That is don’t promise, or do, too much.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/morrison-s-secret-don-t-promise-or-do-too-much-20200220-p542sm.html
    Paul Karp reports that last Friday the Senate inquiry into sports rorts decided to call the head of the public service, Phil Gaetjens, and the former sport minister Bridget McKenzie. He belies that they are set to appear on 16 March.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/24/sports-rorts-inquiry-set-to-grill-bridget-mckenzie-and-phil-gaetjens
    Not only did it reek of corruption, but the sports rorts fiasco also failed to translate into votes for the Coalition Government, writes Steve Bishop.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/massive-failure-sports-rorts-didnt-improve-coalitions-fortunes,13623
    Tome Rabe reports that the head of the world’s largest coal port says it must transition away from the fossil fuel before it’s too late, but the NSW government is stopping it.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/state-deal-blocking-world-s-largest-coal-port-from-fossil-fuel-exit-20200221-p5433v.html
    Jennifer Duke writes that the Energy Security Board has reported that a huge spike in renewables has put the electricity grid under critical pressure at a time when mounting weather crises threaten to undermine the resiliency of the energy system.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/take-up-of-renewable-energy-bushfire-crisis-threatening-energy-grid-20200223-p543f3.html
    On the subject of climate change Bob Carr writes that boardrooms are strikingly ahead of Canberra.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/bushfires-push-business-on-to-the-front-foot-20200223-p543jv.html
    Getting to zero net emissions in 2050 is going to be tough – but Labor committing to it is a damn good thing declares Greg Jericho.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/23/getting-to-zero-net-emissions-in-2050-is-going-to-be-tough-but-labor-committing-to-it-is-a-damn-good-thing
    According to Rossleigh Brisbane Labor needs To come clean on its emissions target but the Liberals can go on being dirty!
    https://theaimn.com/labor-needs-to-come-clean-on-emissions-target-but-liberals-can-go-being-dirty/
    Andrew Leigh issues a call to rev up Australia’s stagnant economy. He reinforces his thoughts by stating that the world’s most complex economies are Japan, Switzerland and Korea. Australia ranks a disappointing 93rd. The three countries ahead of us are Morocco, Uganda, and Senegal.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6643934/we-need-to-rev-up-australias-stagnant-economy/?cs=14258
    Rosemary Jacob expounds on the long-term dangers of short-termism.
    https://theaimn.com/the-long-term-dangers-of-short-termism/
    Nick McKenzie reveals that a Crown Resorts vice-president authorised a junior casino staff member to wire $500,000 to a Melbourne drug trafficker, while Crown withheld details of the transaction from authorities for a year. It’s not looking good for the casino.
    https://www.theage.com.au/business/companies/crown-resorts-executive-authorises-transfer-to-drug-trafficker-20200220-p542ub.html
    An unregistered lobbyist, a ministerial breach of the Lobbying Code of Conduct and a $2.6 million grant awarded during the election campaign minus pesky guidelines. Jommy Tee and Ronni Salt clear the pigs for take off.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/pigs-might-fly-electioneering-an-airport/
    If Australia’s resources were taxed the way Norway’s are, we could secure the future of our schools writes Emma Dawson.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/24/if-australias-resources-were-taxed-the-way-norways-are-we-could-secure-the-future-of-our-schools
    The federal government will review tax barriers deterring businesses from paying workers employee shares, to lift participation in equity compensation schemes used by some of America’s most successful technology start-ups.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/employee-share-schemes-get-tax-review-20200221-p5435e
    Concerns have been raised about the poor condition and regulation of the Sydney to Melbourne rail network following the death of two drivers in last week’s XPT derailment explains Anna Patty.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/friend-of-train-driver-says-he-raised-concerns-about-poorly-maintained-rail-network-20200223-p543i4.html
    The union representing train drivers has blamed national regulations for the Wallan train derailment which killed two drivers.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/wallan-train-crash-could-have-been-avoided-rail-union-blames-national-track-authority-20200223-p543g2.html
    Sam Maiden reports that the Governor-General’s office has confirmed to The New Daily it has received correspondence calling for the honour bestowed to Betina Arndt to be rescinded and this will now be considered by the independent board that hands out the awards.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/02/24/bettina-arndt-david-hurley/
    Alan Joyce says his airline’s unmatched safety reputation positions it to negotiate a cut-price deal with Boeing for a new fleet of 737MAX aircraft when the grounded jet returns to the skies.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/qantas-sees-bargain-planes-at-end-of-737max-grounding-20200223-p543fo.html
    Ross Gittins bemoans the decision of the Federal Court to overturn the ACCC’s refusal to allow the merging of Vodafone and TTG. He says phone users have nothing to cheer about.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/phone-users-have-no-reason-to-cheer-accc-s-black-eye-20200223-p543gu.html
    In the wake of the 4 Corners story on St Kevin’s criminal lawyer Katrina Marson explains that there’s more to sex education than condoms on bananas.
    https://www.smh.com.au/education/more-to-sex-education-than-condoms-on-bananas-20200223-p543k5.html
    Adam Cary reports that the head of the Australian Catholic education sector says Catholic schools still need to do more to protect children from predators.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/catholic-schools-must-do-more-to-tackle-abuse-head-of-sector-says-20200223-p543js.html
    Christian Porter in an op-ed defends his religious discrimination bill saying that it is a powerful shield for all faiths. Others think it’s more like a sword!
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/religious-discrimination-bill-is-a-powerful-shield-for-all-faiths-20200221-p5431o.html
    Victoria’s big idea on mental health has lots of downside for Morrison’s Liberals writes Noel Towell.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/andrews-latest-big-idea-may-not-be-morrison-s-cup-of-tea-20200223-p543je.html
    Lames Massola explains how the two decades-long drama at the heart of Malaysian politics is reaching boiling point – again.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/has-the-canberra-disease-spread-to-malaysian-politics-20200224-p543l5.html
    Matthew Knott tells us that it’s time to stop underestimating Bernie Sanders, Democratic frontrunner.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/it-s-time-to-stop-underestimating-bernie-sanders-democratic-frontrunner-20200223-p543j1.html
    Latika Bourke reports that Boris Johnson is being warned by one of his former cabinet colleagues that he will go down in history as the prime minister who oversaw a moral failure and put the nation’s security at risk by greenlighting Huawei for Britain’s 5G network.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/a-moral-argument-boris-johnson-s-huawei-decision-worst-ever-made-20200223-p543ks.html
    Roy Greenslade reckons Boris Johnson is the ultimate purveyor of fake news.
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/feb/23/boris-johnson-is-the-ultimate-purveyor-of-fake-news
    The Guardian says no other Democrats can beat him at this point but still, the liberal establishment is struggling to come to terms with Sanders’ inevitable nomination
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/23/after-bernie-sanders-landslide-nevada-win-its-time-for-democrats-to-unite-behind-him
    And this guy, a flat earther, is nominated for “Idiot of the Week”.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/daredevil-dies-in-homemade-rocket-disaster-on-mission-to-prove-earth-is-flat-20200224-p543le.html

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Peter Broelman

    Matt Golding



    Glen Le Lievre

    Where in the hell is The Australian’s John Spooner coming from?
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/a8e4033a998a1c93b5e8177dda0fd2b5?width=1024

    From the US



  25. Quote of the week –

    “We are an island nation that knows absolutely bugger all about ships and ports.”
    Craig Carmody, chief executive, Port of Newcastle
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/state-deal-blocking-world-s-largest-coal-port-from-fossil-fuel-exit-20200221-p5433v.html

    Everyone – except the NSW government, coal mining companies and Coalition voters – knows the port of Newcastle has to prepare for the time when thermal coal is no longer needed. If Albo gets his wish and the Carmichael mines (not just the Adani mine) open and flood what market remains with a glut of thermal coal then Newcastle will find its coal export business ruined long before that fifteen year timeframe is up.

    The decline in the value of coal is already happening, there’s a world glut of thermal coal which is going to hit Australia’s economy hard over the next few years. The Federal government has been warned about this but does nothing. Instead they want more coal mines.

    Carmody is right to be worried. This is from October last year –

    Region’s mines face global ‘headwinds’ over the next two years, says Office of the Chief Economist forecast

    Hunter coal mines are competing in an “oversupplied” global market that will see Australia’s thermal coal export earnings slump from $26 billion in 2018-19 to a projected $18 billion by 2020-21, says a two-year forecast by the Federal Government’s Office of the Chief Economist.

    A new Federal Government forecast says Australia’s thermal coal export earnings will drop from $26 billion in 2018-19 to $18 billion by 2020-21, despite export volumes remaining roughly the same.

    The big drop is despite the amount of Australian thermal coal exports remaining roughly the same, and is a result of a sharp decline in coal prices due to oversupply – from $US105 per tonne in 2018 to an expected $US72 per tonne by 2021 – and a decline in contracts as importers take advantage of cheaper spot prices, the forecast said.

    Office of the Chief Economist acting division head David Turvey warned of “headwinds” facing both the thermal and coking coal sectors as “weak overall demand is expected to keep prices subdued” over the next two years.

    And a leading Australian analyst warned the Hunter will feel the consequences of those “headwinds” in the form of job losses

    https://www.hunterrenewal.org.au/region_s_mines_face_global_headwinds_over_the_next_two_years_says_office_of_the_chief_economist_forecast

    I don’t think Newcastle has fifteen years to plan that transition to a container port.

  26. I think Newcastle has to expect no exports to India in 2023
    China has already stopped Australian coal into the industrial north, i think Tianjin, and threaten to restrict Australian coal further
    There is still Indonesia

    You have to admire the shortsighted idiots who signed the agreement in 2015

  27. Barnaby Joyce, who abandoned the Senate for what he hopes will be a lifetime seat in the Reps, wants to see more rural senators in parliament. He wants to change the way senators are elected.

    Barnaby Joyce is sick of most senators being from capital cities and has a plan to change that.

    The Nationals backbencher has introduced a private member’s bill to parliament which would split each state into six regions – like mega-electorates – that each vote for two senators.

    “This is something that is so important,” he told the lower house on Monday. “We need for our Senate to have a constituency and to have the capacity to represent a geographic area.”

    Joyce said that in most instances, 11-out-of-12 senators came from capital cities. He also pointed out that New York had two senators, while Adelaide had 11.

    “We need to make sure that as the seats get bigger and bigger and bigger in the House of Representatives in regional areas, that this is offset by the capacity to get more Senate representation.”

    Under the plan – which was seconded by independent MP Bob Katter – no region could be bigger than 30 per cent of the state’s landmass and the capital city would be confined to a single region.

    Joyce said this would also help to improve indigenous representation in parliament.

    The backbencher, who recently launched a failed bid to reclaim the Nationals leadership, said the proposal would not warrant a change to the Constitution. It was up to the parliament to change how senators were elected.

    Senate president Scott Ryan was quick to shoot down Mr Joyce’s idea after he floated it last year.

    “The current Senate is actually very reflective of the national vote despite the differences in state populations,” Ryan said. “But this proposal would destroy that.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2020/feb/24/coalition-reignites-climate-war-over-labors-emissions-policy-politics-live?page=with:block-5e5324cf8f086a28115b1347#liveblog-navigation

    So he wants more high-quality Nats in the Senate, people like Sportsrorter McKenzie, Coalhead Canavan and three other females I bet you have never heard of. That’s it – five Senators from the Nats, none of them worth a brass razoo as far as talent goes, all totally useless and in at least two cases downright corrupt. And Barnaby wants more of them.
    https://nationals.org.au/our-team/

    • The voting system that Joyce proposes would be the same one of the Victorian Legislative Council from 1950-2002, and the WA Legislative Council from 1965-1989. Both of which were dominated by conservatives and only dismantled to proportional representation under Labor governments. Victorian Labor only gained a majority once in all those years and that was in their landslide election of 2002. WA Labor never had a majority.

      So of course he would want the Senate to look like they did.

  28. Passed without amendments, although Labor tried to get an amendment up.

    https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22legislation%2Fbillhome%2Fr6413%22

  29. Oh noes, Gerard is gorn. Now who is going to be able to tell you about any extremely tenuous link between some event and the wharfies’ war time strike or something Manzies did circa 1951 ?

    • Little Gerry wasn’t even born, let alone a twinkle, when the wharfies’ WW2 strike happened. He would have been at best 6 years’ old in 1951.

      In other words, he is a confabulator of convenience.

  30. Fiona

    Gerard will have filled himself with the tales told by Santamaria about the eeeevil commies and godless unionists. After all he did write…

    Although I would be intrigued to know just what it was in the files mentioned as part of a review of the book that saw the falling out.

    “…………….rather, it is an account of Santamaria through the eyes of a former colleague.

    Henderson’s falling out with the man and the organisation came after Santamaria gave him most of his files on the Catholic Social Studies Movement – the forerunner of the National Civic Council – which played a key role in the 1955 Labor Party split. When Henderson wrote a more critical account than Santamaria expected, they parted ways, leaving a legacy of distrust and occasional exchanges in the media. Henderson then embarked on a career in conservative politics, working as chief of staff for John Howard in 1984–86 …………..

  31. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. Sorry it’s a bit late – there was quite a lot on offer today.

    Katharine Murphy details the outcomes of the latest Essential poll.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/25/essential-poll-a-majority-of-coalition-voters-support-a-net-zero-emissions-target-for-2050
    Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, has said that there is “a strong possibility of a pandemic” which had “increased in recent days”.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/experts-warn-of-global-coronavirus-pandemic-and-local-sport-cancellations-20200224-p543u0.html
    David Crowe writes that a pledge signed by a Coalition government is conveniently forgotten when Scott Morrison is trying to paint Anthony Albanese as an economic wrecker.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/zero-commonsense-in-net-zero-parliamentary-debate-20200224-p543vc.html
    And the SMH editorial says that the ALP has committed to a sensible, responsible target for carbon emissions but the Coalition is spurning bipartisanship in favour of political opportunism.
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/coalition-must-follow-albanese-on-target-of-net-zero-by-2050-20200224-p543v9.html
    Craig Emerson says net zero in 2050 can be done.
    https://www.afr.com/policy/energy-and-climate/net-zero-in-2050-can-be-done-20200224-p543nv
    Katharine Murphy tells us that Scott Morrison has acknowledged there are “costs associated with climate change” but has declined to spell out what 3C heating would do to job creation and economic growth in Australia.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/24/morrison-admits-there-are-climate-costs-but-wont-say-what-3c-heating-would-do-to-economy
    “Australia is the poster-child for irresponsibility on climate change” laments Christiana Figueres, former head of The UN Framework Convention On Climate Change. A key architect of the 2015 Paris Agreement, Dr Figueres is currently in Australia on a speaking tour. She deplores our PM’s latest “technology target” stunt writes David Tyler.
    https://theaimn.com/morrisons-government-a-poster-child-for-irresponsibility-on-climate/
    Labor’s climate policy is too little, too late. We must run faster to win the race writes Professor Will Steffan.
    https://theconversation.com/labors-climate-policy-is-too-little-too-late-we-must-run-faster-to-win-the-race-132263
    Phil Coorey writes about the intra-Coalition stoush over 50% by 2050 climate change action policy.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/libs-and-nats-split-over-2050-emissions-strategy-20200224-p543m7
    Christopher Knaus reveals that a cluster of evangelical churches with strong links to West Australian Liberals have won almost $40,000 in grants in the past four months through a federal scheme.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/25/wa-churches-with-liberal-links-win-grants-of-almost-40000-in-four-months
    ASIO boss Mike Burgess has raised concern about the growing threat of right-wing extremism, saying small cells were regularly meeting in suburbs across Australia to salute Nazi flags, inspect weapons and train in combat.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/sleeper-agent-operated-in-australia-for-years-before-asio-caught-him-20200224-p543ug.html
    ASIO has revealed it uncovered a “sleeper” agent running a major spy ring and providing logistical and financial support for ­foreign agents engaged in intelligence-gathering missions and harassing dissidents in Australia reports Simon Benson.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/asio-uncovers-sleeper-agent-running-major-spy-ring-in-australia/news-story/c7596007fd50cbbc2c0a600776563c0b
    Nick Bonyhady says that Wang Xining, the deputy head of China’s embassy in Australia, made a clear misstep during his TV appearance. Will he be recalled for a stint at a retraining camp after that effort?
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/chinese-embassy-official-faces-hard-questions-on-q-a-20200224-p543y4.html
    Greg Jericho writes that in the past year underemployment has risen, destroying any hope of improved wages growth. But while the overall rate of underemployment remains a major concern, the experience for older workers highlights how the problem has changed and has gone from one mostly applied to younger workers to one that those nearing retirement are dealing with more than ever before.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2020/feb/25/older-wiser-but-underemployed-no-longer-can-it-be-treated-with-indifference
    Mike Foley reports that top scientists are saying that for Australia to honour the Paris Agreement and limit global warming to less than two degrees, the country must reach net zero emissions before 2050.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/australia-must-hit-net-zero-by-2050-to-meet-paris-scientists-20200224-p543ss.html
    Professor of food sustainability, Niall Blair, explains how a net zero emissions future provides a great opportunity for farmers.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/a-net-zero-emissions-future-provides-a-great-opportunity-for-farmers-20200224-p543pc.html
    Peter Hartcher writes on Big Tech firms of Apple, Google’s owner Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook who have had almost a quarter-century to run amok. He describes these companies as “creepy” and looks at what governments are doing to counter them.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/taming-the-creepy-tech-titans-20200224-p543p7.html
    Michelle Grattan examines the Betina Arndt stoush.
    https://theconversation.com/view-from-the-hill-conundrum-for-order-of-australian-council-over-bettina-arndts-award-132361
    The Australian sharemarket is set to dive again this morning as Wall Street and European markets tumbled with investors fleeing for safety. At the moment the futures are down 178 points after yesterday’s 165 points drop.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/the-asx-set-to-plunge-as-virus-panic-grips-global-markets-20200225-p543yt.html
    And Stephen Bartholomeusz contends that the coronavirus could have a bigger impact on the global economy than initially anticipated and burst the equities bubble. He says it could “blow up” the US market.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/is-the-coronavirus-the-black-swan-event-that-blows-up-the-us-market-20200224-p543qh.html
    Rob Harris tells us that major financial institutions will have to show the industry regulator (APRA) how prepared they are for climate-related financial risk, including estimating the potential impacts from the global transition to a low-carbon economy.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/big-banks-and-super-funds-to-face-climate-change-risk-checks-20200224-p543w8.html
    Anthony Klan reveals plans by Scott Morrison and Angus Taylor to deliver power plants across the nation are in disarray; the $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund has not materialised, green bank investment has shuddered to a halt and the $300 million fund at the heart of the National Hydrogen Strategy has vanished. This is Part III of an investigation into the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/coalition-struggles-to-push-coal-and-gas-into-clean-energy-finance-corp/
    Michael Pascoe examines the parlous state of Seven West Media. He says there is a new buyer in the wings.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/finance-news/2020/02/24/pascoe-seven-west-media-itv/
    False economic doctrines that refuse to die apply in Australia as much as the U.S., with equal impact, writes Alan Austin.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/tax-cuts-and-other-zombie-notions-practised-by-the-coalition,13627
    The tragic death of four people at Dreamworld exposed a slack safety culture which the coroner says can be sheeted home to the board of directors. But there is little in-depth explanation of how this occurred the AFR tells us.
    https://www.afr.com/chanticleer/dreamworld-s-missing-accountability-20200224-p543vy
    Jennifer Duke reports that businesses that failed to pay staff superannuation have been given a free pass after the government secured support for its amnesty plan following months of uncertainty. She says the new rules apply retrospectively and the amnesty will expire six months after the bill gets royal assent. Businesses that fail to come forward during the amnesty will face the full penalty, typically at least the amount of the super guarantee owed and in serious cases double the unpaid funds.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/businesses-given-free-pass-on-unpaid-superannuation-20200224-p543rz.html
    Dave Donovan writes that a scandal of megalithic proportions has blown up in Queensland, with critics asking why the State Government is so desperate to knock down or massively reduce a huge dam it built itself, less than 15 years ago.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/exclusive-queensland-government-damns-the-paradise-dam,13628
    Dana McCauley tells us that unions and employers have joined forces to fight against the Morrison government’s religious freedom bill, warning it will lead to conflict in workplaces.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/unions-and-employers-join-forces-to-oppose-religious-freedom-bill-20200224-p543tf.html
    One million Victorian households across 46 councils will have four new bins next year, in the state’s ‘biggest recycling overhaul’.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/victorians-to-get-cash-for-bottles-scheme-20200224-p543ms.html
    The Morrison Government is gambling with public health as the China travel ban is partially lifted, writes Tarric Brooker.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/morrison-government-fails-to-stop-boats-despite-coronavirus,13626
    A levy on new buildings in the centre of Sydney will be tripled, amounting to millions of dollars for high-rise towers, under a plan to raise up to $43 million a year for parks, paving and other public infrastructure.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/levy-for-developers-tripled-on-new-buildings-in-sydney-s-cbd-20200219-p5429m.html
    Meanwhile the NSW Opposition will introduce legislation to ban property developers and real estate agents from serving as councillors, in an attempt to wedge the Liberal Party, which is split on the issue.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/nsw-labor-revives-push-to-ban-property-developers-on-local-councils-20200224-p543pv.html
    NSW Rural Fire Service chief Shane Fitzsimmons has cancelled a planned address at a Liberal Party event amid questions over political neutrality and potential conflicts of interest. He was advertised as speaking at a Liberal Party branch event on Monday night in Environment Minister Matt Kean’s electorate about the “genesis” of the NSW bushfires, fuel loads and climate change. Hmm.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/nsw-fire-chief-cancels-planned-liberal-party-address-20200224-p543vt.html
    Christopher Knaus reports that the Coalition ignored warnings from the Country Women’s Association before setting up a drought-assistance scheme that compels farmers to attend public events in their small communities to ask for $500 vouchers.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/24/coalition-ignored-warnings-from-country-womens-association-on-delivering-drought-relief-funds
    In devastating news the conservative commentator and ABC critic Gerard Henderson has been dropped by the revamped ABC Insiders program hosted by David Speers.
    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/feb/24/conservative-commentator-gerard-henderson-dropped-from-abcs-insiders-program
    According to the London Telegraph the Democrats’ failure to say a definitive “no” to the far-Left has paved the way for a socialist nominee, just as Republican tolerance of racism ushered Trump in.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/bernie-sanders-could-be-the-democrats-trump-card-20200224-p543qs.html
    The American media elite has learned nothing from 2016 and it will only get worse declares Jessa Crispin.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/24/us-media-elite-newspapers-television-trump-sanders
    Now it’s Harvey Weinstein’s turn to go down!
    https://www.theage.com.au/world/north-america/harvey-weinstein-found-guilty-in-landmark-sexual-assault-trial-20200225-p543yl.html

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    David Pope

    Matt Golding



    John Shakespeare

    Johannes Leak must think it’s close to appraisal time.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/d6f43e64edcd3dc81b7da431f13049da?width=1024

    From the US








  32. The Oz-

    ASIO has revealed it uncovered a “sleeper” agent running a major spy ring and providing logistical and financial support for ­foreign agents engaged in intelligence-gathering missions and harassing dissidents in Australia

    Honestly, who cares. We have had spy rings operating in Australia for as long as white people have lived here -spies for the French, spies for the Russians, English spies, American spies, Chinese spies and who knows who else.

    Why is this suddenly news? It’s just a beat-up, another spruiking of “keeping Australia safe”, this time safe from spies and terrorists.

    Apparently the spies and foreign agents are OK if they are OUR foreign agents though.

    It was only last week we heard (for the second time) that Tony Abbott had been offered a similar job as an “agent of foreign influence” and no-one said a word.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/02/tony-abbott-says-he-was-asked-to-register-as-a-foreign-influencer-before-cpac

    The first time this news hit the headlines was back in November last year and again, nothing was said.

    Tony Abbott says he was asked to register as a ‘foreign influencer’ before CPAC
    Christian Porter says request was not an effective enforcement of Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/02/tony-abbott-says-he-was-asked-to-register-as-a-foreign-influencer-before-cpac

    So it’s perfectly OK with the Australian media to have an ultra-useless RWNJ running around trying to influence whoever he can to be more right-wing, but an unnamed spy ring from an unnamed country is worth a hyperventilating “we can’t tell you anything but ASIO caught a spy” headline.

    Isn’t it great to know ASIO is working hard to keep us all safe. (Said with a strong amount of sarcasm.)

  33. Liberal MP and devout evangelical Ian Goodenough is in a spot of bother over grants made to churches which support him.

    WA churches with Liberal links win grants of almost $40,000 in four months
    Churches win funding through program that allocates grants only to organisations formally invited by local federal MP

    A cluster of evangelical churches with strong links to West Australian Liberals have won almost $40,000 in grants in the past four months through a federal scheme.

    The churches won funding through the Stronger Communities program, which allocates grants only to organisations that have been formally invited by the local federal MP.

    The True North church, in Perth’s northern suburbs, was awarded $11,000 in November to upgrade its kitchen. The church sits in the federal division of Moore, held for the Liberals by Ian Goodenough.

    Goodenough has separate ties to the church, and has posted about attending its Sunday services and his decade-long associations with its pastors.

    He has previously confirmed that the church’s members had joined the Liberal party and were helping to “support me and the Liberal party”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/25/wa-churches-with-liberal-links-win-grants-of-almost-40000-in-four-months

    It’snot the first time Goodenough’s links to the True North Church have got him into trouble. The church, along with other evangelical and Pentecostal churches, has been trying to take over the WA Liberals for some time.

    January 2019 –
    WA Libs’ evangelicals likened to ‘a cancer’ by Federal MP who says they are close to a complete ‘takeover’
    https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/religion-and-belief/wa-libs-evangelicals-likened-to-a-cancer-by-federal-mp-who-says-they-are-close-to-a-complete-takeover-ng-b881070135z

    True North Church is affiliated with the Church of Christ, almost as loopy a lot as the Pentecostals.

  34. Some good news, for a change-

    Equinor abandons plans to drill for oil in Great Australian Bight

    Norwegian company Equinor has become the third major fossil fuel producer to abandon plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight.

    The company said it had concluded that its exploration drilling plan was “not commercially competitive” compared with other exploration opportunities.

    In December, Equinor was granted environmental approval to drill 372 kilometres south of the Nullarbor coastline, despite protests from environmentalists.

    BP abandoned plans to drill the bight in 2016, with Chevron following suit in 2017.

    Equninor said it made its decision after a “holistic review of its exploration portfolio”.

    “We will engage with the federal and state authorities regarding our decision to discontinue the exploration program,” the company’s manager for Australia, Jone Stangeland, said in a statement.

    “We hold an exploration permit offshore Western Australia and will maintain other ongoing interests and activities in Australia.”

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-25/equinor-abandons-plan-to-drill-for-oil-in-great-australian-bight/11997910

  35. The Guardian today has 2 related articles
    Older, wiser but underemployed: no longer can it be treated with indifference https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2020/feb/25/older-wiser-but-underemployed-no-longer-can-it-be-treated-with-indifference

    Austerity blamed for life expectancy stalling for first time in century
    Landmark England review says policy causing unprecedented damage to health and life chances
    How deprivation in the north has led to a health crisis
    . . . . .
    Real cuts to people’s incomes are damaging the nation’s health for the long term. Not only are lifespans stalling, but people are living for more years in poor health.
    . . . . .
    Voters in the new Tory-held seats can expect to live for 60.9 years in good health life, fewer than in both the long-held Tory seats (65 years) and the Labour seats (61.4 years).
    . . . . .
    the worsening of our health cannot be written off as the fault of individuals for living unhealthy lives. Their straitened circumstances and poor life chances are to blame. His institute’s work has established that healthy lives depend on early child development, education, employment and working conditions, an adequate income, and a healthy and sustainable community in which to live and work.
    . . . .
    Life expectancy is also actually falling among the poorest 10% of women in Yorkshire and the Humber region, and in the north-east of England . . . . but benefit cuts that push single mothers into poorly-paid, part-time jobs – in which they have to juggle families and work– may take their toll.


    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/feb/24/austerity-blamed-for-life-expectancy-stalling-for-first-time-in-century

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