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. What a perfect excuse for not delivering the much promised budget surplus, circumstances outside our control, for which we bear no responsibility. Unlike bushfires or droughts which Australians expect the government to step in.

    Where is that $2 billion drought relief,
    or that $2 billion bushfire recovery
    or that $2 billion flood relief,
    gone to rorts everyone

  2. I think I just hijacked a book group that I just joined. I didn’t like the book, so I read the critiques, sped read it and remembered more detail than those who plodded dutifully through it

    I don’t think I have got the point of book group.

    • I was asked to join a book group. I refused, very politely, using the excuse i do not enjoy reading something because a group says I must.

      Life is too short to waste time reading books you don’t enjoy.

  3. How dare these people hold up a government lawyer’s dinner date?

    The whole thread is a good, non-legalese summary of what happened today in the Biloela Fmily court proceedings.

  4. The Senate has voted in favour of a motion to strip Bettina Arndt of her Australia Day award.

    That doesn’t mean tit will happen, it just means the Senate (except for 2 senators) thinks it should. It’s now up to the (allegedly) independent panel who chose recipients and the GG.

    The vote was 55 for, 2 against, with Hanson and her little buddy Roberts being the only votes against,

  5. Well he would, wouldn’t he?

    Michael McCormack granted an exemption to allow a live export ship to carry sheep to the Middle East despite the ship failing ventilation requirements – a move the RSPCA said put attempts to restore the reputation of Australia’s live export industry at risk.

    The transport minister granted the 34-year-old Kuwait-flagged livestock carrier Al Shuwaikh an exemption from new rules that came into force on 31 December prohibiting livestock from being transported on double-decked tiers.

    The exemption was granted against the advice of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

    The ship departed Fremantle on Friday bound for Oman with 64,000 sheep on board.

  6. On February 6, Antarctica recorded its hottest temperature when thermometers at the Esperanza Base on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula hit 18.3 degrees Celsius, a temperature comparable on the same day to the US city of Los Angeles.

    That high represented a 0.8-degree rise on the previous, recorded on March 24, 2015.

    While the high itself was not reason for panic, the following could be.

    Images released by NASA show that in just over a week, 10 centimetres of Eagle Island’s snowpack melted, equating to about 20 per cent of the island’s total seasonal snow accumulation, NASA’s Earth Observatory said.

    • That reminds me of a twitter sketch someone shared with me last year.

      Centrist: “Okay, so let’s have a balanced debate here. Rightist, what is your policy?”
      Rightist: “Our policy is to commit genocide against those we think are undesirable.”
      Centrist: “Okay, Leftist, what is your policy?”
      Leftist: “That’s disgusting! We want no genocide!”
      Centrist: “Fine. Rightist, can you compromise on this?”
      Rightist: “Okay, we can settle on only a little genocide.”
      Centrist: “Leftist, do you agree on this?”
      Leftist: “No! We want no genocide!”
      Centrist: “See, this is why nobody likes politics. So much for the tolerant left. Why can’t you just agree on a consensus?”
      Rightist: “Yeah, Lefty, why can’t you?”
      Leftist: [internal existential crisis]

  7. Morning Dawn Patrollers

    The Australian government has activated its emergency response plan to an impending coronavirus pandemic, foreshadowing fever clinics, fast-tracked vaccines and severe pressure on hospitals, blood banks, medical supplies and mortuaries. Pretty scary reading, this.
    As we confront the emerging threat of coronavirus, xenophobia towards sufferers and their ethnicity is becoming more evident writes Dr Justin Koonin. He says we must avoid the AIDS-type hysteria.
    Shane Wright explains how Infrastructure Australia has urged federal and state governments to invest billions of dollars shoring up the country’s water supply, roads and telecommunications networks to protect them from national disasters and climate change. Another list for the Coalition to use for its own political advantage?
    Kate McClymont reports on more dirt revealed in the Eddie Obeid case.
    The Canberra Times editorial examines ASIO’s change of heart on the neo-nazi threat.
    Greg Brown reveals that Labor frontbencher Mark Dreyfus has used a meeting of Victorian Right MPs to take aim at Joel Fitzgibbon for freelancing on climate­ change policies, arguing it was doing damage to other right-wing members of the ALP.
    Gladys Berejiklian has ruled out privatising TAFE but foreshadowed the private sector playing a bigger role in delivering courses.
    The great fiscal rhetoric softening has begun says Shane Wright.
    And Phil Coorey writes that the Morrison government is bracing for the economy to contract in the first three months of this year but has ruled out any fiscal stimulus, after revealing the impact of the coronavirus will outstrip that of the summer of bushfires.
    Associate Professor of Constitutional Law Luke Beck says of the religious discrimination bill that Porter must either fix it or ditch it.
    Meanwhile the Royal Women’s Hospital has joined with state health services in condemning the religious freedom bill, arguing it prioritises religious views over patient health.
    The unlawful killing and “cruel treatment” of multiple civilians and prisoners by Australian special forces in Afghanistan is being investigated by the military watchdog, which says it is not examining misconduct that occurred in the heat of battle. So much for the scorn heaped upon the “left wing Fairfax and ABC” over their reporting!
    The SMH editorial believes that by putting some of the above matters on the public record it has helped reassure ADF members they would get a fair hearing.
    Dana McCauley writes that the peak bodies for aged care providers and older Australians have united to call for urgent action to address the overuse of psychotropic drugs, with residents’ families continuing to raise concerns about their loved ones three months after the royal commission’s interim report. (In many cases residents are now entering residential aged care already being prescribed benzos).
    10000 scientists, professors and university employees have signed a petition asking the sector’s default superannuation fund Unisuper to divest from fossil fuel producers.
    The federal government is spending up to $2m buying water from Queensland agribusiness Eastern Australia Agriculture in a bid to keep an internationally significant wetlands from dying, despite paying $80m to the same company three years ago for water rights for the same purpose. Anne Davies writes that Angas Taylor’s name comes up again.
    Nina Hendy explores the rising cost of living over the last decade.
    On the other side of the equation Ross Gittins looks at the benefits of 120 years of productivity improvement.
    The jobs market is nowhere near as good as you’ve heard, and it’s changing us writes Michael Keating.
    The government’s controversial cashless debit card scheme and other compulsory welfare income management programs are causing more harm than good, a new study has found. Luke Henriques-Gomes explains how those forced onto controversial income management have ‘overwhelming number’ of negative experiences
    The authors of such a study write that its finding is that compulsory income management is having a disabling, not an enabling, impact on many users’ lives and that as the policy has been extended, more and more Australians with no pre-existing problems have been caught up in its path.
    Caitlin Fitzsimons describes the opportunities for transition into retirement.
    It’s not our small carbon contribution that matters, it’s the disproportionate damage Australia will suffer in a warmer world writes Adrian Blundell-Wignall.
    On this subject Jennifer Hewett declares that business is 30 years ahead of the government.
    The Coalition wants to turn scientists into lapdogs – and muzzle climate research in the process says Paul Willis.
    Australia has been unable to deal with the issue of foreign interference because of its “embarrassingly” white political system, a researcher has claimed.
    The corporate watchdog, ASIC, slammed parts of the Federal Court’s now-famous ‘Wagyu beef and shiraz’ judgment as “fundamentally wrong” before a full court yesterday.
    Energy experts Frank Jotzo and John Wiseman tells us how the end of coal-fired power can be either managed or messy. They offer some sage advice.
    And right on cue Noel Towell reports that the owner of the giant Yallourn mine and power station in Victoria’s east says it has had one of its “most trying” years on record after its profits slumped by 50 per cent, or nearly $300 million. The dramatic collapse of Energy Australia’s earnings for 2019 was accompanied by rhetoric from the company about “decarbonising our power assets,” raising fears for the future of Yallourn which produces about 14 million tonnes of carbon pollution each year.
    Carbon pricing: it’s a proven way to reduce emissions but everyone’s too scared to mention it says the Grattan Institute’s Tony Wood.
    Paul Bongiorno says that Angus Taylor is playing funny business with the zero emissions target.
    The outbreak of coal-20 virus – which brings death and ill health to the community but not carriers – has significant implications for the health of all Australians and the international community. Writes David Shearman with tongue in cheek.,13625
    The telco sector will remain firmly in the regulator’s headlights this year, Rod Sims has promised, as he bounces back from a high-profile court loss to TPG and Vodafone last week.
    The Crown inquiry is starting to feel a lot like the Hayne royal commission says Elizabeth Knight.
    Nobody goes to work to be harassed or assaulted. The Weinstein case must be a shift in civil society norms too says the AFR’s editorial.
    Celebrity chef George Calombaris’s food empire collapsed owing its secured creditors $22.3m and having racked up a merry-go-round of intercompany loans totallin­g $17.8m, new documents reveal. How can one get so far into the clag before pulling the pin? This is criminial!
    Post-politics, Julia Gillard made a decision. The result is a model former prime minister of dignity and grace who has only risen in public esteem writes Troy Bramston.
    The AIMN describes the smirking arrogance of the LNP.
    The Morrison government has backed the opposition’s call for men’s rights activist Bettina Arndt to be stripped of her Order of Australia.
    Foxtel is reaching a threshold where it will have to decide if it wants to continue its proprietary pay-TV service, writes Paul Budde.,13629
    Victoria’s Waste Crime Prevention Inspectorate will target cowboys who amass huge quantities of toxic waste, as part of a $71 million crackdown.
    The publicity that engulfed St Kevin’s College last year and that was revisited on Four Corners last week is a reminder to us all about the need to continue to work at shaping school culture, and the ongoing challenges around gender relations for young people today writes the rector of Xavier College.
    Garry Linnell tells us that the wage theft excuses just don’t pass the pub test.
    Even as the US justice system faces a crisis of credibility because of the Trump administration’s handling of federal cases, Donald Trump has taken the unusual step of attacking two supreme court justices on Twitter and in remarks to the press.
    Here is a worthy nominee for “Arsehole of the Week”.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    David Pope

    Matt Golding

    John Shakespeare

    Fiona Katauskas

    Sean Leahy

    Johannes Leak might be on the money with this one.

    From the US

  8. Poor Zali, so ignorant about what politicians really do –

    They are absent because –
    They all know Littleproud will have nothing worthwhile to say, even the members of the government know this.
    They don’t need to be in the House to hear his speech, they have live feed in their offices.
    They can read the Hansard of his speech whenever they want, or see a transcript.

    I get really fed up with the assumption our politicians are only “at work” when they are sitting in the Senate or the Reps. I’m sick of all those screams of “”They only worked for xx days last year” based only on sitting days.

    Politicians do not have to sit in whatever house they have been elected to all the time, every sitting day. They have other stuff to do – their real work. They look after electorate issues, they develop policy, they meet with whoever wants to see them, they decide what bills they will support. They do not just sit on their arses on green or red leather seats listening to boring speeches.

    We need to educate Australians on what it is their politicians actually do. Even Zali, now a politician herself, seems to have little idea.

  9. A short history of LNP corruption: When too much just isn’t enough

    It’s hard to keep a tab on the current deluge of corruption coming out of federal politics, and barely a day goes by where there isn’t a new report of malfeasance by the Liberal–National government.

    But there’s so much corruption being carried out by the government that it’s so hard to know where to start and, unfortunately for the public, it’s hard to know when it will all stop.

  10. Data retention scheme is being abused exactly as critics predicted

    A review of the Abbott government’s data retention scheme has shown it is being widely abused by scores of bodies around the country.
    A review of the mass surveillance scheme established by the Abbott government six years ago has revealed how it is being widely abused in ways voters were assured would never happen.

    The government’s data retention regime, which compels communications providers to retain personal information on service use by customers for two years, is currently the subject of a statutory review by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

  11. And they keep coming

    A club in Scott Morrison’s electorate was given $50,000 for a building that had already been built — and the Prime Minister’s office was told about it before he attended a media event at the ground.

    Although guidelines for the sports grants program stated projects that had commenced works were ineligible, the Sans Souci Football Club facility — located in Mr Morrison’s electorate — was about to be opened by the local state MP when the Sport Minister decided to award it money.

    A spokesperson from the Prime Minister’s office (PMO) said the project had been assessed by Sport Australia as eligible and it was the responsibility of the applicants and Sport Australia to ensure projects met the criteria.

  12. Some Crikey articles are paywall free as part of their 20 years celebration

  13. The really dumb thing about the CrimeMinister bribing his electorate with sports rorts is that electorate (Cook) will keep on voting Liberal no matter what. Those voters don’t need bribing, they need brain transplants.

  14. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    John Hewson begins this contribution with, “Scott Morrison dismissed Anthony Albanese’s commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050 as “Bill Shorten 2.0”. Surely better than the Prime Minister’s effort – Tony Abbott 4.0. Then there’s the equation proposed by the Nationals’ senator Matt Canavan: net-zero emissions equals net-zero jobs. So, that would amount to no job losses, eh? Oh, the tyranny of all-too-simplistic slogans.”
    David Crowe tells us about Morrison being inundated with claims of crookedness over the sports rort issue.’
    As does Paul Karp.
    And apparently North Sydney can be classed as “regional” in order to get a grant!
    The preparations of many athletes for Tokyo 2020 have been thrown into disarray by the coronavirus, which is threatening the Olympics.
    In an excellent, measured contribution virologist Ian McKay tells us how to prepare for coronavirus pandemic should it hit here.
    And the SMH editorial says that as the threat of a coronavirus outbreak moves closer to Australia, citizens need to receive accurate information about the disease.
    Jess Irvine goes to our sensitivity to China’s economy.
    Greg Jericho writes that the Coalition is relying on a struggling domestic economy to see us through an international crisis. He includes some awful looking charts in this article.
    James Massola reports that diplomats in Jakarta are lobbying government officials over the fact that no cases of coronavirus have been reported in Indonesia. Seems a bit strange, huh!
    Sporting stadiums converted into quarantine camps, police guarding medical stockpiles and schools temporarily shut down are some of the actions authorities are prepared to take if Australia succumbs to a major coronavirus outbreak write Kate Aubusson and Melissa Cunningham.
    The peerless Michael Kirby writes that the religious ‘freedom’ bill will divide Australians, not unite us. He concludes by saying that “we are witnessing the rise of the religious right in the US. We can do without it in Australia. I do not believe that the average Australian – especially the “quiet Australian” – would want religious groups to exercise such powers here.”
    The Reserve Bank may be forced into an interest rate cut as early as next week to offset the growing financial fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.
    Mehreen Faruqi asserts that Peter Dutton’s response to a far-right threat shows how little has changed since Christchurch.
    Jennifer Duke reports that EnergyAustralia boss Catherine Tanna has been called an “international corporate tax dodger” over her company’s history of paying little to no tax and faces a call to resign from the Reserve Bank board. Rex Patrick is leading the charge.
    Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett has emerged as an unlikely champion for Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, declaring the current Nationals leader is “cut from the same cloth” as some of the party’s greats. WTF!!!!!
    Financial advisory firm EY has strongly dismissed explosive claims from Labor senator Deborah O’Neill that accused the company of gross worker exploitation, humiliation and inappropriate behaviour towards employees.
    According to London’s Daily Telegraph the global economy may be heading for some sort of “sudden stop” in supply chains, trade flows and tourism, more akin to the outbreak of the First World War than the Lehman or dotcom crises.
    In dealing with the coronavirus, Scotty From Marketing has all of a sudden decided that, not only must we do what the medical experts’ advise, we must also concentrate our scientific resources on combating the cause rather than just reacting to the crisis. Yet this same logic does not seem to apply to the existential threat posed by global heating says Kaye Lee.
    The Morrison government wants new technology to do the heavy lifting on climate change. They must be prepared to wear a lot of failure writes energy expert Matthew Warren.
    Australia can achieve a transition to net zero emissions by 2050 with known technologies, but the deployment of low emissions options will need to be accelerated significantly, according to new analysis by ClimateWorks Australia.
    After two decades of refusal to acknowledge the science of climate change, it has taken a national bushfire tragedy for policy-makers to wake-up writes John Iser with respect to the 2050 emissions target.,13633
    If Labor plans to keep its promise of emission reductions by 2050, serious action must be taken as time is running out, writes Professor John Quiggin.,13631
    Adrian Rollins reports that government departments and agencies have been targeted by criminal gangs and possibly state-sponsored actors in a sustained cyber attack amid warnings that the nation is falling behind in the race against escalating digital threats.
    Sally Whyte tells us how legislation forcing single parents from the parenting payment onto Newstart has saved the budget $5 billion over the last 13 years – a saving that has forced already poor families into poverty
    Nationals Queensland senator Susan McDonald has slammed a Productivity Commission report that’s called for an end to tax concessions in remote parts of Australia. The commission argues the context for remote area tax concessions has changed considerably since the first concession was introduced in 1945.
    Having dithered on real action to tackle global warming, some in the Coalition are now taking a keen interest in solving it — by going nuclear. Noel Wauchope investigates what’s behind the sudden push to overturn legislation prohibiting the exploration and mining of thorium and uranium and puts a definitive case against a nuclear industry in Australia.
    Isabelle Lane tells us that in a shock move, Telstra has announced that it will halve the speed of its fastest broadband internet plan on offer to the majority of NBN customers. She says this speaks volumes about the Coalition’s NBN. And it was accurately predicted!
    Paedophiles’ criminal history will be revealed to juries more frequently under law changes set to be introduced by the Victorian government.
    If Arndt knows what chivalry is, she’ll relinquish her Order of Australia writes Wendy Tuohy.
    Norfolk Island is experiencing a “dire” food shortage that has left supermarket shelves empty and residents resorting to ordering essentials via Australia Post. Residents on the island, which has not had a regular shipping service since November as there are no suitable ships to service the island, told The New Daily they had never seen food supplies get so low.

    Cartoon Corner

    Alan Moir

    David Rowe

    What a superb effort from David Pope!

    Matt Golding

    John Shakespeare

    Dionne Gain

    Mark David

    Fiona Katauskas

    Glen Le Lievre

    I think this effort from Leak will backfire.

    From the US

  15. So North Sydney is definitely a regional area – according to the Mayor, Jilly Gibson.

    “I maintain [the pool] is a regional facility. It’s used by people from all over the state and throughout the country. We have a lot of international tourists coming through the turnstiles every day,” she said

    North Sydney, at first glance,does look a lot like your average regional town, or it might to a ditz of a female who clearly has never ventured further into “regional” NSW than Hornsby.

    You would be forgiven for believing this is either downtown Leeton or the Wagga Wagga CBD, it’s so easy to confuse a bustling metropolis with a country town, isn’t it. (Both towns missed out on sports grants, by the way.) Jilly has spent her entire adult life in the North Sydney LGA.

    Just to counter her daft argument – how many country towns host big state or national sporting events? A lot, including many of the towns who missed out on grants because they were not in marginal electorates.

    That idiotic remark attracted my attention to Jilly Gibson. Who knew the woman was so tangled up in controversy? What a can of worms I found!

    Here’s a scathing article from November last year, about Jilly and her rorting – a family trip to Melbourne, allegedly to look at pools.

    All in the family, North Sydney style

    Jilly used to be married to the late Mike Gibson, TV and radio host, until they divorced or separated or something around 2008. It was not her first marriage, her two daughters are from a previous relationship.

    Jilly says she is an independent, but she used to be a member of the Liberal Party and has allied herself with Liberal councillors. She once thought of running as Joe Hockey’s replacement for North Sydney.

    Jilly is no stranger to corrupt behaviour. A flick around the interwebs tells us she has been a controversial mayor, renowned for unethical behaviour. Not only has she managed to get her daughter onto council, her current partner, Dr Martin Williams, attends every council meeting and makes a habit of making loud interjections and abusing councillors he does not like, usually female councillors. Her other daughter has been busy signing submissions to council.

    North Sydney Council has started the year much like it concluded the last.

    As this column pointed out in November, Mayor Jilly Gibson was scolded by independent investigators for not disclosing Alanya Drummond, appointed to a key advisory panel, was her daughter. Problem solved: Drummond is now an elected councillor.

    Then her other daughter, Maija Kernaghan, forgot to make disclosures on a development application that she was related to not one but two councillors. An oversight.

    Now North Sydney Council is being forced by the Office of Local Government to cut the number of electoral wards in its area from three to two.

    Gibson wants a north/south split, despite this plan dividing areas traditionally clustered together — like the North Sydney CBD. Put to residents, 107 of 174 responded in favour of the plan.

    But it seems North Sydney Council is again keeping it in the family. Writing in support of the change — according to confidential documents seen by this column — was Maija (Submission No. 9) and her husband (“submission content same as No. 9”) as well as Gibson’s partner Martin Williams and the partner of deputy mayor Stephen Barbour.

    That was enough for Gibson to declare a “vast majority” of residents supported the split, which council documents said was “recommended to the Council following consultation with the NSW Electoral Commission”. Who recommended it is not clear. “The NSW Electoral Commission does not recommend any particular option proposed by a council,” a spokeswoman told us

    This Twitter account is worth a look, if you are interested in the other adventures of Ms Gibson.

  16. From Dawn Patrol

    Isabelle Lane tells us that in a shock move, Telstra has announced that it will halve the speed of its fastest broadband internet plan on offer to the majority of NBN customers.

    Meanwhile in a country which decided to follow Australia’s NBN lead , before the Turnbull-Abbott arseholery, a demonstration of how easy upgrades are. Compare and contrast with the cost of substantial upgrades to what will be probably the most expensive ,in $ terms , fuck up made by a politician, in this case two.

    New Zealand to get 10 Gbps fibre to premises in 2020

    Chorus upgrades lasers

    Ultrafast Broadband fibre to the premises customers in New Zealand will get the option to buy symmetric 2 and 4 gigabit per second service next year, with an 8 Gbps option to follow, as broadband wholesaler Chorus upgrades its network.

    Chorus has trialled the XGS-PON, a 10 Gbps passive optical networking standard with a small set of customers this year, and will offer the product to retail service providers starting February
    thank you


  17. This satirical article amused me.

    Asked why exactly a hospital in inner-Sydney is apparently holding baboons captive, Dutton explained that it was a specific favour to him, as he had asked doctors if they could create a pack of winged monkeys to bounce around him with joy whenever he holds a press conference or threatens to murder a young girl’s dog.

  18. What we could have had, if Australian voters had brains.

    Makes me so cranky, thinking what this country could have been if not for the ATM government.

    • After listening to Seth Myers comments about Mike Bloomberg blocking progressive candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren I wonder if he is taking a leaf from the Clive Palmer playbook, throwing $80 million, mounting a candidate for every house of reps seat to direct preferences to the LNP all to make Shorten LOSE

  19. Ouch!

    Emergency services are at the scene of a serious crash between a train and a car at a level crossing at Mallala, north of Adelaide.

    The crash occurred just after 3:00pm, just south of the town, about 60 kilometres north of Adelaide.

    Police have closed the main Mallala to Two Wells Road to all traffic.

    Major Crash investigators are making their way to the scene.

    The Australian Rail Track Corporation said it was a Pacific National freight train heading from Perth to Melbourne.

    It said the crash happened at the Old Dublin Road level crossing, which has a stop sign rather than boom gates.

    More to come.

  20. Disgusting QT performance by Josh Frydenberg today.

    Josh is very quick to attack anyone he thinks guilty of allegedly anti-Semitic remarks, but he thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to mock followers of other religions.

    What a bleeping hypocrite!

    • Amy:

      He comes with an illustration, but is told to put it away.

      I know I have harped on about this, but it is really, really disappointing the treasurer is continuing with this attack. It’s been every day this week now, and it’s low. Because we know governments should be looking at the wellbeing of their people. It’s one of their main jobs. And there are plenty of examples of western nations, similar to our own, which have put out a statement, with the budget, listing how it applies to improving the welfare of the people.

      Laughing about yoga poses, elements of eastern cultures and religions, and the idea of looking after the most vulnerable people in our society is not only juvenile, it shows contempt for large sections of the community the government claims to represent.

  21. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    The head of the World Health Organisation warned that it would be a “fatal mistake, quite literally” for any country to assume it would not be hit by the coronavirus, as markets plunged and the number of confirmed virus cases rose.
    Shane Wright and Eryk Bagshaw report that direct assistance to industries and parts of the country bearing the brunt of the financial fallout from coronavirus is being considered by the government amid warnings the outbreak could deliver a $6b hit to the economy.
    The London Telegraph proclaims that the US administration is taking an insane political gamble by pitting itself against its own virologists.
    And there’s a reason most presidents are cautious when mentioning the stock market. President Donald Trump is learning it the hard way this week says the New York Times.
    The coronavirus could wreak economic havoc on a scale not seen since the 2008 financial crisis, analysts have warned, amid mounting concern over the spread of the disease.
    Waleed Aly says it’s not merely the surplus that’s being tested here: it’s the government’s entire economic approach.
    Katharine Murphy reports that today Angus Taylor will signal plans to shift investment from wind and solar to hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, lithium and advanced livestock feed supplements, as part of a “bottom up” strategy to reduce emissions by 2050.
    David Crowe reckons Scott Morrison’s coronavirus response shows he’s learnt a lesson.
    This article from a couple of health experts looks at the “normalisation” of this strain of coronavirus.
    Nick Dyrenfurth, executive director of the John Curtin Research Centre, writes that spin is not a budget strategy or a jobs and wages policy. This is a cracker of an article.
    The Canberra Times editorial says that a revelation that legislation forcing single parents onto Newstart “saved” the budget $5 billion over the last 13 years highlights a long standing gender bias in the way welfare and pension entitlements have been managed.
    John Warhurst declares that we can put up with rorts at the margins from time to time, but when it becomes systemic we are all the losers. The erosion of ethical standards of fairness and equal treatment corrodes the whole system.
    Paul Karp reports that Sport Australia received the final list of projects to be given grants from the former sports minister Bridget McKenzie 17 minutes after the government entered the caretaker period and one day after it was sent to the prime minister’s office.
    Michelle Grattan finishes this contribution on Morrison’s latest 2050 position with “watch out for the messaging when the government turns its attention to electric cars. It will be a lot more positive than in the election campaign, when Labor’s commitment to them was, apparently, a threat to the Aussie weekend.”
    Travel arrangements are being thrown into doubt, and many are wondering whether it’s worth going overseas in the first place. What should you do if you’ve booked a trip?
    Scott Morrison now acknowledges that some stimulus measures will be required to deal with breakdown of supply chains and the decline in trade and tourism because of the virus outbreak writes Jennifer Hewett.
    Morrison will remain at arm’s length from his government’s controversial plan to outsource its visa processing system despite the resignation of his close ally from a consortium in the running for the $1 billion contract.
    Rob Harris tell us that a controversial bill to ban cash payments over $10,000 is poised to pass federal parliament despite bitter divisions within both major parties.
    Euan Black tells us that pressure is mounting on the federal government to lift Australia’s unemployment benefit amid signs the economy is doing worse than anticipated.
    High-ranking Nationals politicians have taken a shot at the National Farmers Federation’s climate policy, in a bid to defend their opposition to Labor’s policy of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
    Labor has accused the PM of ‘cooking the books’ with the timing of sports grants.
    Kaye Lee writes that watching the Senate inquiry into the sports rorts affair shows that the government has no understanding of what they have done wrong. They just don’t get it she says.
    Sam Maiden reports that Bettina Arndt’s legion of critics have been warned to back off by former Liberal Party president and the chair of the Order of Australia awards, Shane Stone, because “external pressure or lobbying” will not determine if her award is rescinded.
    The firm overseeing the rollout of Australia’s $51 billion taxpayer-funded national broadband network (NBN) has been slammed for lacking transparency and dodging public accountability reports Isabelle Lane.
    The comparative unemployment rates between Australia and New Zealand have been affecting migration, writes Abul Rizvi.,13635
    Michael West ranks Australia’s billionaires as taxpayers.
    The Victorian government has called for a major rethink of product design and reuse, joining the waste industry in a call for a national market for domestic recyclables.
    The cosy relationship between auditing firms and company directors is set to be disrupted with a parliamentary committee recommending corporations go to market for their audit every decade.
    Following the Federal Court’s recent rejection of the ABC’s appeal into the legalities of last year’s AFP raids on its Sydney offices, the Greens remain the party on the front foot pushing for greater press freedoms and protections for whistleblowers writes William Olson.,13634
    Sydney’s Newington College has said it is deeply ashamed of the criminal behaviour of some of its former staff members after several students reported allegations of sexual abuse this week following the death of a former junior school deputy headmaster.
    Michelle Pini writes that Scott Morrison spoke this week about the system failing Hannah Clarke and her children, that all levels of government and the judiciary need to reflect on this, and he promised to act.,13638
    No more public-private partnerships should be entered into for public hospitals in NSW, an inquiry into the troubled Northern Beaches Hospital has recommended.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Peter Broelman

    Matt Golding

    Simon Letch

    Jim Pavlidis

    Johannes Leak in full flight.

    From the US

  22. “David Crowe reckons Scott Morrison’s coronavirus response shows he’s learnt a lesson.”

    Has he really?

    I doubt it.

    All he has learnt is not to nick off to Hawaii with his family to keep them safe from The Plague. It’s possible he might head for Antarctica, so far the only continent that has not seen a case of coronavirus.

    I do not feel at all confident our government can handle even the smallest crisis, let alone a possible pandemic. The CrimeMinister is not showing he has learnt a thing, he’s actually doing a pretty good impersonation of Chicken Little.

    He is clearly rattled. Yesterday in his presser he used the word “pandemic” three times in one sentence. It seems he has learnt one thing – a new word. His blathering at that presser did not inspire confidence. Neither did the squeaking from Grunt, who has to be the worst health minister this country has ever seen.

    The CrimeMinister eventually stopped blathering about pandemics and started blathering about his “plan”. Exactly what that plan contained was never revealed, it was just “trust me, I have a plan”. We know it does not include stopping interstate travel, or screening all incoming international travellers though, because he admitted that.

    • My feelings are that he’ll delegate most responsibilities to the States. And is he going to spend as he says for the foreign students? Or is he just talking and trying to be doing something?

  23. Succinct

  24. Shane Wright and Eryk Bagshaw report that direct assistance to industries and parts of the country bearing the brunt of the financial fallout from coronavirus is being considered by the government amid warnings the outbreak could deliver a $6b hit to the economy.

    Spivs, Coalition maaaates , the government and “direct assistance” a match made in heaven.

  25. Blatant (and exceptionally weak) attempt at arse-covering –

    The Shovel is onto the “regional” pools thing –

    Government Approves Grant To Build New Opera House In North Sydney, For Benefit Of Rural Australians
    The electorate of North Sydney will receive a $300 million grant to build a replica Sydney Opera House on the opposite side of the harbour, in order to make the architectural icon more accessible for regional and remote Australians.

    Announcing the grant, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the initiative was about removing barriers for people who didn’t live in Sydney.

    “If you’re from Tamworth or Dubbo, it’s a very long way to Circular Quay. That’s why we’re building another Opera House in the very heart of country NSW – across the bridge in Milson’s point”.

    He noted that the new facility would be walking distance from Australia’s largest regional swimming pool –‘The North Sydney Olympic Swimming Pool’ – and rural Australia’s most famous amusement park, Luna Park.

    “Anyone who says that rural Australia misses out on government spending clearly hasn’t been to North Sydney. We’re creating a real regional hub here,” he said.

    The new regional Opera House won’t actually host any live events, but will contain 40,000 female change rooms and a shooting range

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