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

    Bevan Shields tells us how the Italian coronavirus cases are surging and panic has set in across Europe. The Louvre has been closed.
    According to Matt Wade the coronavirus and bushfire emergencies could cut economic growth in NSW to the slowest rate in nearly three decades.
    The former chair of the Global Health Council talks about the mentality that left the world vulnerable to the Covid-19 epidemic and what can be done to minimise its effects
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    ‘Disgusting’ Asian markets selling bats are to blame for the coronavirus, according to multicultural affairs minister Jason Wood. But the former cop’s Facebook post has sparked condemnation from Labor, which has accused him of “fear mongering” when Australia should be trying to unite to fight the virus threat writes Sam Maiden. Wood never did strike me as being the sharpest tool in the shed.
    Michael Pascoe reasons that the RBA shouldn’t cut rates in the fight against coronavirus.
    Greg Jericho gives us the truth about budget surpluses. It’s revenue, not spending, that counts he says.
    The Communications Minister says content obligations need to be updated if local producers are to survive and thrive in the age of global streaming services.
    Shaun Carney explains how these aren’t the best of times for left-wing parties in large parts of the developed world. He looks at how Albanese is positioning Labor in these circumstances and warns that leaving the heavy lifting for later carries a lot of risks.
    Shane Wright explains how small and medium-sized businesses are expecting the summer’s bushfires to hit their bottom lines for the next year as higher costs, low customer confidence and disruptions to travel weigh on their ability to survive.
    Hundreds of farmers and small businesses have been left in limbo as bushfire relief payments slow to a crawl, with the Commonwealth and Berejiklian governments blaming each other for the delays.
    And Daren Gray writes that economists are saying federal stimulus measures worth up to tens of billions of dollars are needed economists say as they warn more Australian companies are likely to announce profit warnings due to coronavirus.
    Ross Gittins examines the drivers for Australia’s dismal productivity performance.
    Rob Harris reports that in a speech today Scott Morrison will force every Commonwealth agency to put greater value on buying recycled content as he foreshadows further government intervention to build a market for the nation’s waste sector ahead of a looming export ban.
    In a rather downbeat contribution Sean Kelly looks at Morrison’s response to the coronavirus issue and how he might handle climate change.
    Anthony Galloway writes that lenders missing out on lucrative green energy loan contracts have accused a Commonwealth body that injects billions of taxpayer dollars into renewable energy projects, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, of having a sweetheart deal with one company and locking others out of the market.
    Americans could hopefully rely on the federal government to provide accurate information about a global health emergency. Unfortunately, they can’t writes Matthew Knott.
    A second potential agent of a foreign power has been caught up by the government’s controversial register to counter foreign influence, as the Morrison government looks to beef up its national security laws.
    Law professor Beth Gaze opines that the exceptions for religious organisations in proposed in the latest religious discrimination bill are too wide.
    This guy has other ideas.
    Australia’s internet speeds continue to lag behind that of other nations, says Laurie Patton who declares that the NBN offering is not good enough for 21st Century Australia.,13647
    Peter Fitzsimons says that Jacinda Ardern was right to call out Morrison for deporting ‘Aussie’ Kiwis.
    Bryce Edwards says taking on Scott Morrison over deportees is a win-win strategy for Jacinda Ardern.
    Kaye Lee writes that the appalling behaviour of politicians must stop.
    In support of the release of her new book Sam Maiden tells us about the operations of Labor and Liberal dirt units.
    The SMH editorial says that practical proposals for reforming the criminal justice system to improve prospects for child sexual abuse complainants are both welcome and necessary.
    Unsurprisingly, Clive Palmer will fight fraud charges claiming they had “no merit”, were a “nonsense” and that the corporate watchdog was an “embarrassment”.
    Adele Ferguson reveals that Alinta Energy was sold to a Chinese company on the condition it protected its customers’ data but leaked documents reveal the privacy promise may have been broken.
    The Australian Financial Review attacked Senator Rex Patrick this week after Patrick attacked Energy Australia chief Catherine Tanna, suggesting she step down from the board of the Reserve Bank for running a company whose tax haven structure helped it pay zero tax on $30 billion of income. Michael West corrects the record.
    Royce Millar writes that the Andrews government is bracing for potentially damaging revelations and the possible naming of a senior government figure in connection to a controversial rezoning push in Melbourne’s south-east, when the anti-corruption watchdog resumes its hearings into the Casey land scandal on Monday.
    Trump’s comments on the spread of the virus have lent weight to the perception that he’s minimising the potential for harm in search of political gain. Here his remarks are fact checked.
    Poor Harvey!

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Peter Broelman

    Matt Golding

    Mark David

    Glen Le Lievre

    John Spooner goes to China.

    From the US

  2. Australia now has a record number of underemployed workers, and total hours worked per person per month are also at an all-time low. Alan Austin reports on the latest jobs data ahead what many believe will be a dreadful week for the Government as a slew of economic data is about to be released and two-year bonds have just halved, hitting a record low yield of only 0.4 per cent.

    That sound you can’t hear is the mainstream media informing their listeners, viewers and readers about what is actually happening to the economy. Much to Australian’s misfortune.

  3. Yesterday Cormann tried to fake some support for Josh Frydenberg from alleged members of the Indian community.

    Unfortunately this stunt backfired.

    Cormann used identical letters from these people. Obviously his office had rushed out the PR stunt templates and did not bother to change a few words. The letters even included the same misspelling of Jim Chalmers’ name. To make things even worse, one of the letters was from Vasan Srinivasan, a Liberal Party member and former Liberal candidate.

    If you go through the whole thread you get some very interesting information on Mr Srinivasan.

    Now the joke is on Cormann. Not only was his fakery immediately discovered, but this genuine letter from the Australian Indian Diaspora.appeared not long after the fakes-

    No wonder conservatives hate Twitter!

    I wonder if Angus Taylor’s staff were involved in the fake letters?

  4. The sheer stupidity of some people is amazing.

    Would you give money to some random person who cold-called you with a get rich quick scheme?

    If you are dumb enough to fall for this scam then you really deserve to lose your money. I have no sympathy for those who allowed themselves to be conned, especially as they kept on giving more and more money to these scammers.

    ‘Swindled with bitcoin’: Australian victims count cost of online finance scam
    An estimated $100m has been wheedled out of people around the world in a crytocurrency scam run out of a Kiev call centre. We talk to four victims

  5. A Big Well Done to Sth Australia because when that law passed it also gave the vote to Aboriginal women. They lost it in 1902 but at least the State of Sth Australia did the right thing……………………….Did I mention South Australia was a year behind the Kiwis ? 😆

    • Crazy part of the 1902 laws was that it gave the right to vote to NZ “natives’ aka Maori but denied the right to vote to Aborigines

  6. Friendlyjordies’ latest is a response to a RWNJ youtuber that’s been attacking his videos about the bushfires.

  7. And one fifth of the amount they gave North Sydney pool.

  8. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Stimulus is only a matter of time writes David Crowe. He says the political about-face will be shameless. The party that flayed Labor for going into deficit during the global financial crisis is preparing to justify its own red ink by blaming trade wars, the drought, the bushfires and the virus.
    Peter Hartcher says that it’s no longer about preventing an Australian outbreak. Australia is now figuring out how to live with the COVID-19, rationing the virus to the capacity of the health system, preserving as much economic activity as reasonably possible in the process.
    Professor Benjamin Cowie says governments and health systems are getting ready for what will become a significant challenge, but other sectors need to plan too. This is quite an interesting and sobering read.
    Nine sport infrastructure projects were added to a spreadsheet of approved sports grants in the hours after the 2019 election had been called, Senate estimates was told last night. Oh my!
    ANAO executive director Brian Boyd told Senate estimates last night advised Estimates that between 8:46am and 12:43am on April 11 – by which point the election had been called and the government had gone into caretaker mode – that there were approvals for a further nine new projects sent to Sport Australia by the Minister’s office. Now THAT’s interesting!
    A rather pissed-off Michael Pascoe goes back over the maths on government grant rorts and stops counting after $1.1 billion.
    Anthony Galloway reports that the Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s close relationship with fintech firm RateSetter will be investigated by the federal government amid concerns other green energy lenders are missing out on lucrative contracts.
    Shane Wright turns to palaeontology to describe the budgetary and political situation the government finds itself in.
    John Durie writes that Australian business leaders are unanimous in rejecting the value of another rate cut at this stage and in response to the virus, saying lack of funding is not the issue.
    Paul Kelly says that the government seems to think the economy only has a coronavirus problem.
    Meanwhile coronavirus will slash 0.5 per cent off Australia’s economic growth this year according to new forecasts from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
    Coronavirus is the Coalition’s GFC – but will Morrison respond as Rudd did asks Greg Jericho.
    The Reserve Bank should hold off cutting interest rates on Tuesday and instead prepare the market for further easing, despite pressure building for co-ordinated central bank action to counter the coronavirus impact, economists say.
    Two health experts in The Washington Post write “ . . . our underlying deep-seated social and economic inequities are likely to create unique vulnerabilities here. Add to this the current political climate – with low trust in institutions, scepticism (even disdain) for science, the expansion of anti-immigration policies and “post-truth” narratives – and we may have a recipe for disaster.”
    In 2008, responding to the financial crisis, central banks helped avoid a Depression. Their ability to limit the economic fallout from the coronavirus is more limited writes Stephen Bartholomeusz.
    Australia now has a record number of underemployed workers, and total hours worked per person per month are also at an all-time low. Alan Austin reports on the latest jobs data ahead what many believe will be a dreadful week for the Government as a slew of economic data is about to be released and two-year bonds have just halved, hitting a record low yield of only 0.4 per cent.
    Phil Coorey writes that Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg like to assure us the economy will bounce back as soon as the coronavirus crisis passes. They are right. What they cannot predict is when that might be.
    Paul Karp explains how Labor has labelled a cabinet committee with just one permanent member – Scott Morrison – an “abuse of process” that enables Morrison to call meetings protected by cabinet confidentiality, even if no other cabinet members are present.
    Amanda Vanstone writes that the coronavirus issue has knocked a lot of paint off China’s image. She says it’s an humiliation of the highest order.
    Jennifer Duke reports that Paul Fletcher has been urging the ABC to consider selling its capital city offices in areas such as Sydney’s Ultimo and Melbourne’s Southbank and moving to “purpose-built” facilities elsewhere.
    Richard Denniss takes Frydenberg to task over his mocking of a wellbeing component in budgets.
    A swathe of highly indebted companies faces an incipient funding shock and risk being shut out of the capital markets as the COVID-19 epidemic mushrooms into a global crisis, Standard & Poor’s has warned.
    Domenic Powell tells us that heads of Australian supermarkets have warned the coronavirus could affect stock of chocolate biscuits and chips as suppliers struggle to obtain certain packaging from China.
    Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, who distinguished herself over the summer by suggesting “eco-terrorists” had started many of the nation’s calamitous bushfires, is now claiming ASIO is upsetting conservatives by warning about the rise of right-wing extremists. Tony Wright, like many of us, is singularly unimpressed by this scatterbrained senator.
    John Lord gives us his second part of his perspective on Pentecostalism.
    ASIO boss Mike Burgess has belatedly acknowledged that Right-wing extremism poses a threat to society — perhaps he might now tell us what he plans to do about it writes Mungo MacCallum.,13650
    The head of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority has issued an unusually pointed communique regarding NSW’s inaction on its water sharing plans.
    Nick Bonihady reports that the Governor-General will not use his power to unilaterally strip controversial sex therapist and commentator Bettina Arndt of her membership of the Order of Australia despite a bipartisan motion in Parliament calling for her to be expelled.
    The world may lose half its sandy beaches by 2100. It’s not too late to save most of them writes climate change professor John Church.
    Margret Court and her husband Barry have set up a consul for Burundi, a regime suspected of persecuting gay people.
    According to researcher Elena Campbell adolescent family violence is a growing problem – and the legal system is making it worse.
    Controversial changes to Sydney’s ferry services have been scrapped by the NSW government after a backlash to the plan from local communities and one of its own Liberal MPs.
    Thousands of migrants were trying to find a way across Turkey’s western border with Greece yesterday, after Turkey opened its side of the frontier to migrants and refugees to leave the country for Europe. This is not going to end well as Greece beefs up it border protection.
    Erdoğan is reaping what he sowed: Turkey is on the brink of disaster in Syria writes Simon Tisdall.
    Exit polls from Israel’s third election within a year suggested Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing allies are ahead but still one seat short of a parliamentary majority needed to form a government.
    Apple gets a provisional nomination for “Arseholes of the Week” by agreeing to pay up to $500m to settle litigation accusing it of quietly slowing down older iPhones as it launched new models, to induce owners to buy replacement phones or batteries.

    Cartoon Corner

    Mark David

    David Rowe

    David Pope

    Dionne Gain

    Andrew Dyson

    Cathy Wilcox

    Matt Golding

    John Shakespeare

    Johannes Leak with an Israeli solution to Iran’s coronavirus situation. Complete with some racial stereotyping).

    From the US

  9. Nine sport infrastructure projects were added to a spreadsheet of approved sports grants in the hours after the 2019 election had been called, Senate estimates has been told.

    Earlier on Monday Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said former sports minister Bridget McKenzie was “unequivocal” that she hadn’t backdated an official briefing on the allocation of funds, but the audit office told senators that attachments to the brief had changed.

    Two emails sent to Sport Australia on April 11 with a briefing dated April 4 included attached spreadsheets that had been changed on April 10 and April 11.

    Evidence given late on Monday night from audit officials appears to show decisions were made on awarding grants after the caretaker period started.

    It was revealed two separate emails were sent to Sport Australia on April 11, each with a different spreadsheet reflecting different allocations of funds.

  10. Oh Noes!

    The coronavirus could affect supplies of chocolate biscuits and chips!

    What a disaster!

    Honestly, with all that’s going on now, with all the world’s experts only able to guess how the coronavirus might affect us, this is all the media thinks Australians should be worried about?

    I went to the supermarket on Sunday, there was no panic buying. The shelves were well stocked, no-one was buying large amounts of toilet paper or tinned food. No-one was wearing a mask. It was just a normal shopping trip for everyone who was there. The checkout staff were not talking about the virus, and they are always keen to gossip about big news.

    Maybe things are different in the big cities.

    I think the media are over-hyping the whole situation. They are encouraging panic buying.

    If there are no plastic trays for biscuits then manufacturers could ditch the plastic and just put their products in bags. They already do this for some varieties. So what if the chocolate gets chipped?

    • Does “a notional fund” just mean “a brainfart”?

      As usual, the CrimeMinister was lying through his teeth. Why would anyone believe anything he says.

  11. I don’t know what all the yammering about supermarkets running out of toilet paper is about.

    I just checked my favourite supermarket’s online ordering – they not only have plenty of toilet paper, a few brands are on special.

    That is not surprising – toilet paper is one of the few things we still make in Australia – we will not run out. because imports are down thanks to the coronavirus.

    • I hope we also have the paper to make toilet paper. I’m quite worried about Porter and Morrison’s biosecurity laws. I wouldn’t like them to start checking people in trains and their homes and finding they have some temperature then drag them to the quarantine. Anyway they worry me these two.

    • I worry they will use whatever laws they have to lock up anyone they don’t like on the excuse they have the virus.

      The PM and Porter, and Dutton as well, must be salivating at the thought of what they might be able to do.

  12. At last, he admits it –

    Morrison admits his office put forward Hillsong’s leader’s name
    Scott Morrison just admitted to Sydney radio 2GB that he put Hillsong leader Brian Houston’s name forward for the White House state dinner for the first time.

    Morrison referred to this as “gossip” for months and refused to answer this question. For months.

    Now he’s all *shrug emoji* over it

    He will make these admissions to a shockjock on 2GB, but will lie to parliament, dismissing what we all knew was true as “gossip”.

  13. Karma would be Trump getting the virus. Though I suppose they disinfect everything that comes anywhere near him. But with his age, obesity and lack of fitness he would need a lot of medical care. I doubt the experience would do much to give him any empathy.

    • The trouble with people who bully (like Trump and Morrison and their ilk) is that there is very little will actually “break” them because they are so caught up in themselves.

      Finding some way to restore confidence in an open, honest government that is not beholden to lobby groups or cartels, with a professional civil service that doesn’t find retirement income from helping corporations sleeze their way into government contracts, and politicians retreat to a quiet (and private) life when they retire, is starting to become the karma that I want for my country. (Wouldn’t do the USA much harm either.)

  14. Scott Morrison said that the government has stockpiled emergency supplies of corruption and mismanagment scandals that should last till the end of the Coronavirus outbreak.

    “We go through a hell of a lot of scandals as a government, so it was only prudent to stock up to last us through the coming months,” Mr Morrison said.

    The Prime Minister announced the scandals would run from run-of-the-mill misuse of government funds, all the way to one involving a staffer, a pineapple and a forty-four gallon drum of KY Jelly. “Barnaby’s in charge of that one,” he said.

  15. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Kate Aubusson reports that a woman in her 50s has become the third locally acquired case of coronavirus in Australia – a sign the virus has begun spreading in the Australian community. 40 Sydney hospital staff have been quarantined as a result.
    As the number of global coronavirus infections surged past 90,000, the US Federal Reserve made an emergency interest rate cut and financial policymakers from the world’s seven largest economies said they were “ready to act”.
    Chris Uhlmann goes to the history of pandemics and concludes that one of the obvious early lessons from this outbreak is that we are strategically exposed because our supply chains and our industries are far too dependent on a single nation, China. That has weakened the national immune system and there is no masking it.
    Scott Morrison wants the nation to trust him – but how can we after sports rorts wonders Katharine Murphy.
    Even financial markets aren’t buying the deluded idea that monetary policy is the best tool to fight the coronavirus. The Dow Jones was 800 points lower at 2pm in New York.
    Bevan Shields tells us that the army will be deployed to maintain law and order under a new British government plan to combat a coronavirus pandemic, amid new forecasts that one in five workers could be off sick at the peak of the outbreak. This makes sobering reading!
    Ross Gittins posits that there’s a good chance the reaction to the threat of the virus will do far more damage to the economy – and the livelihoods of the people who constitute it – than the damage it does to life and limb.
    For months Australian banks had been anticipating a fall in the cash rate. Last week they rightly braced for impact. On Tuesday afternoon when the Reserve Bank hit with a 25 basis point cut they were ready writes Elizabeth Knight who says they “took one for the team”.
    Recent political events in Canberra – notably the so-called “sports rorts” affair and the matter involving an allegedly doctored document emanating from Energy Minister Angus Taylor’s office – have once again turned the spotlight on the role of ministerial advisers and the vexed question of their accountability says Norm Abjorensen in an excellent contribution.
    Morrison has (finally) confirmed he asked the White House to invite Hillsong founder and his spiritual mentor Brian Houston to a state dinner in Washington last year. So what was his motive for these months of avoidance?
    And Sam Maiden tells us how Leigh Sales riled Scott Morrison with some ‘excessive secrecy’ questions.
    The Reserve Bank sits like the archer with just a single arrow left in their quiver and the enemy at the gate. Shane Wright says that what’s clear is that the onus is back on the Morrison government to do whatever it can to support the economy over the next weeks and months.
    The AFR’s editorial says that it is Morrison’s task to hold together the nation’s confidence.
    Philip Lowe has made his move and the banks – under pressure – have followed his lead. Now the pressure is on the government to ratchet up support for an economy struggling with the coronavirus writes Jennifer Hewett.
    The Reserve Bank of Australia has done what it can to cushion the economy from the outbreak of coronavirus. Now it is time for the federal government to step up declares the SMH editorial.
    And the Canberra Times editorial wonders if the rate cut and stimulus will save us.
    The RBA is trying to boost confidence but is running low on ammunition writes Adrian Rollins.
    Dana McCauley tells us that pharmacists have seized on the coronavirus outbreak to ramp up their campaign to take on more GP-like tasks, arguing they should be allowed to hand out common medicines without a prescription to ease the burden on doctors.
    Noel Towell reports that a team of economists in the Victorian Treasury Department say the future is not looking bright for wage growth as more people work part-time, and older people stay in the workforce longer.
    Nick Bonyhady writes that new rules (which started this week) requiring businesses to tell tens of thousands of Australian workers the maximum number of hours they can work without being underpaid have come into effect, but data shows many payroll administrators aren’t ready for the changes.
    Adele Ferguson loves this sort of stuff. She reports that Alinta Energy has been accused of pressuring audit giant EY into watering down an internal audit report into how it protects the personal information of its 1.1 million gas and electricity customers.
    The Morrison Government’s procrastination on technology is costing jobs, stifling innovation and stopping investment, as the massive cost of climate change disasters has already shown, writes Paul Budde.,13646
    Corporate law professor and former regulator Pamela Hanrahan has slammed the federal government’s “astonishing” plans to extend the Financial Accountability Regime beyond banks, insurers and super funds, warning that 53,000 small business owners could be in the firing line.
    Card giant Visa has cautioned Australian regulators against rules mandating how retailers process tap-and-go payments, questioning small businesses that claim processing credit payments costs more than debit.
    Christopher Knaus reveals that Stuart Robert has failed to declare ongoing links to a Gold Coast bowls club that he previously handed a $9,725 novelty cheque to in the lead-up to the election.
    This week, the Australian government claimed it does not owe welfare recipients a duty of care over the RoboDebt scandal. Only weeks before, documents revealed that the government had received legal advice that debts issued under the scheme were unlawful. Brett Flower tells us how we are living in dangerous times.
    Today’s GDP figures won’t tell us whether life is getting better – here’s what can explain two academics.
    Our politics has been institutionally corrupted by the pushers from the vested interests of the coal-burning industry and their suppliers, writes David Ritter.,13652
    Adam Carey reports that St Kevin’s College has announced a new whistleblower policy on the eve of a court case alleging its deputy principal blocked efforts to report child grooming.
    Britain is headed for the biggest fiscal stimulus since the early 2000s. If Johnson gets it right, the budget next week could both bolster his power and support the economy at a challenging time.
    AAP is Australian democracy’s safety net and its closure will affect us all bemoans Margaret Simons.
    The closure of AAP is yet another blow to public interest journalism in Australia writes Alexandra Wake.
    Michael West investigates Westpac’s capital raising which preceded revelations of the biggest breach of money laundering laws in Australian history and a tumbling share price.
    A former security guard left severely traumatised by the deadly riots at the Manus Island detention centre has taken her own life before her legal battle with the Australian government and G4S Australia reaches court – after writing a suicide note addressed to the Prime Minister.
    The summer bushfires added an extra $3m in emergency broadcasting costs to the ABC budget at a time the corporation had to absorb an ongoing annual budget cut of $105.9m, the managing director, David Anderson, has told a parliamentary committee.
    Greg Callaghan writes that her Burundi friendship reveals the sharp truth about Margaret Court who he accuses of being a promulgator of hate.
    Matthew Knott reports on how moderate Democrats are uniting behind Joe Biden.
    Former FBI director James Comey is throwing his support behind Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Comey tweeted on Tuesday that he voted in his first Democratic primary and he believes the country needs a candidate “who cares about all Americans and will restore decency, dignity to the office”.
    Americans are warming to socialism because capitalism has failed them.
    Today’s nomination for “Arseholes of the Week” goes to this disgusting couple.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Peter Broelman

    Simon Letch

    John Shakespeare

    Matt Golding

    Andrew Dyson

    Fiona Katauskas

    Glen Le Lievre

    Alan Moir

    Johannes Leak

    From the US

    • Have heard that Nine & News want to starve out The Guardian.
      The regional newspapers are collateral damage

    • It seems fairly obvious from the response of the Royal Australian Navy to the bushfire evacuations that it needs another option for saving coastal residents and visitors – particularly after the way it had difficulty in responding to the evacuation of Mallacoota. That is not an adverse reflection on the navy but rather on the shortcomings of its equipment.

      The navy should have in its fleet at least one large, high-speed wave-piercing catamaran of the kind built by Incat in Tasmania or Austal in Perth. The RAN chartered one such vessel of 1250 tonnes displacement in June 1999, and commissioned her as the HMAS Jervis Bay.

      The Jervis Bay was used as a fast troop and equipment transport, becoming the first large catamaran to enter naval service. She operated from Australia in support of the INTERFET peacekeeping taskforce in East Timor until May 2001, when she was decommissioned and returned to the builder. During her service the vessel received very positive reviews and was affectionately nicknamed the “Dili Express”

      (The Dili Express is now owned by Condor Ferries. Renamed HSC Condor Rapide she carries 670 passengers and 200 cars between the Channel Islands and Saint Malo).

      These large catamarans are capable of carrying heavy loads, military vehicles, and up to 500 fully equipped troops. They are excellent for supporting disaster relief operations. And they can achieve high speeds (up to 48 knots) to get them quickly to where they need to be to be. Their shallow draft means they can get close to shore and enter small coastal ports. They also have a useful range of 1900 kilometres.

      Where the HMAS Choules took more than a day and a half to chug its way to Mallacoota, an Incat or Austal catamaran could have been there from Sydney in a few hours. The Choules took 1000 evacuees in one lift, but a large catamaran could have taken more than that in an emergency lift and, because of its high speed and shallow draft, taken the evacuees to a closer coastal port for a much quicker turnaround.

      At the same time, it could also have delivered large quantities of relief supplies to coastal communities in need.

      The foreign aid potential for use of these vessels is huge, with recent natural disasters in the Philippines, various Pacific islands, and PNG all being situations where such a vessel would have been invaluable.

      Both Incat and Austal have world-leading technology in this field and both supply foreign navies as well as producing commercial variants for a world market. The US Navy was so impressed by the Jervis Bay that it encouraged Austal to set up in the US.

      Austal is now the sole supplier of this class of vessel to the US Navy at a cost of less than $250 million each. (We could have 18 of them for the cost of one of our already obsolete new Attack-class submarines.)

  16. Katharine Murphy asks how can we trust the CrimeMinister after sports rorts.

    It’s taken that to shake her trust? Really?

    After his appalling record of shonkery and shitfuckery it took sports rorts to make her realise this loon cannot be trusted?

    Take a look at his career pre-politics. He was booted out of every job he held. That tells us something about both his trustworthiness and his total incompetence.

    He lied to get himself into parliament.

    As Minister for Immigration he refused to talk about anything Border Farce were doing, he came up with “on-water matters” as a reason for his secrecy. Asylum seekers and refugees died on ghis watch, some were murdered, yet he never offered any explanations and the murderers went unpunished.

    As Treasurer he presided over further slides in Australia’s economy, he was too incompetent to be able to reverse HoiJo’s disasters yet he kept on lying about the government’s allegedly superior economic management.

    Since he has been PM he has lied to us every day. Whenever he speaks he lies. That’s all we get from him – dishonest spin and lies.

    Only rusted-on Liberal voters could say they have any trust in this liar, and polls show even they are beginning to waiver.

    And yet Murpharoo writes us a whole long article on why we cannot trust the CrimeMinister NOW. Where has she been since September 2013? Or since 2007, when he wormed his way into Liberal pre-selection for Cook? Under a rock?

    As a leading political journalist she should know all about the CrimeMinister’s past activities, including his doings before he entered parliament. Why has it taken so long for her to realise this leader cannot be trusted?

  17. Kirsdarke, thank you for posting that article re Trump.

    The details of his brutality are very chilling. ‘Numb’ is a good word to describe the effect of reading about it.

    Some years ago I was involved with a group of people, mainly public servants from several states, who were victims of long-term and escalating organisational thuggery at the hands of ‘bosses’ one, or sometimes two, levels above them – the powerful versus the powerless.

    Not unlike Trump’s victims, they were broken in spirit until they were forced out of their positions. The psychological damage stayed with them for many years – for some it will likely stay with them for decades, ie for life. Lives ruined. The effect on family and friends is also considerable.

    The most criminally toxic behaviour of those bosses wouldn’t have come anywhere near the savage and gleeful manipulations of the stable genius.

  18. Does anyone associated with this government ever tell the truth? Or do they only stop lying when there is absolutely no alternative?

    “Incorrect evidence” means he lied. Deliberately, in an attempt to hide the truth.

    And this –

    PMO helped Sport Australia prepare for today’s hearing
    Richard Colebeck acknowledges that staff from the prime minister’s office were at the meeting yesterday with Sport Australia to prepare for today’s appearance

    Just making sure everyone had their lies co-ordinated, I suppose. .

    • And the Prime Liar indulges in some more lies in an attempt to cover his arse –

      Morrison rejects grants ‘misinformation’

      Scott Morrison has sensationally claimed millions of dollars in government grants were never meant for regional areas.

      The prime minister swatted away questions about $10 million given to the North Sydney Olympic swimming pool on Sydney Harbour under the regional program.

      “This is one of the bits of misinformation that are out there,” Mr Morrison told 2GB radio.

      “When I announced the program, I didn’t say it was for regional areas, it was for areas right across the country.

      “That was a piece of information that was provided incorrectly by the department, that it only applied to regional areas.”

      The $150 million scheme, announced weeks before the federal election last year, was originally designed to build female change rooms and upgrade community swimming pools in rural and regional areas

  19. He’s still lying –

    Does the CrimeMinister think we are all stupid? Does he really think we can’t remember what happened just one month ago?

    Here’s a report from the day Ms McKenzie resigned.

    Embattled McKenzie resigns from federal cabinet over ‘sports rorts’ affair

    The report found Senator McKenzie, the former sports minister, had breached ministerial standards by failing to declare she was a member of the Wangaratta Clay Target Club before awarding it $36,000 for a new toilet block under the grants program in February 2019.

    In a statement, Senator McKenzie said she had always taken her role as a minister “very seriously” and she understood the community expected parliamentarians to abide by the highest standards.

    She said she accepted the Prime Minister and Cabinet report and maintained that “at no time did my membership of shooting sports clubs influence my decision making”.

    “However, I acknowledge that my failure to declare my memberships in a timely manner constituted a breach of the Prime Minister’s Ministerial Standards,” Senator McKenzie said

  20. Professor Timothy Snyder being interviewed on Christine Amanpour

    Is America heading towards tyranny, with a serve to Facebook alogrithms

  21. I admit that I’m not feeling great about the results of today’s primaries in the US. There’s every chance that neither Biden or Sanders will get a majority, meaning a contested convention, meaning the superdelegates will likely overwhelmingly back Biden, and if they do that, Sanders might run as a third party candidate as a final “get stuffed” to the Democratic party and hand the election to Trump.

    • I fear your analysis is correct and it would be a total shame!disaster for trump to get a second term because of some old man’s ego

  22. Also I see a lot of “waah, young people just don’t want to vote, so they shouldn’t complain when older people vote for a different candidate” rhetoric out there in the US media.

    I think that’s incredibly unfair, because in the USA, most older people are retired and can find plenty of time on a Tuesday to go to a voting place. Meanwhile most younger people are working 8 to 12-hour shifts so they can afford their rent and if they ask for any time off, they’re fired and lose their health insurance or even their homes.

    So even at the very start of this gruelling process of a US presidential election, progressive young people are put pretty far back in their advantage.

    And I think in November this will come home to the advantage of Trump as his legion of 60 million mostly well-off, elderly deplorables* show up to vote for him while Democrats just bitch at each other the whole time.

    *(I’m talking demographics here, I don’t mean to imply that all elderly people would vote for Trump. #Notallboomers I guess.)

    • I think you are right.

      My question is why is it only septuagenarians who are running? No matter who gets elected POTUS is likely to die in office, most likely from a heart attack or a stroke.

      Three old men in their mid to late seventies – what a choice. I wouldn’t vote for any of them.

  23. @Leone

    I think this is the result of long term planning in the Republican party, back from 2008.

    At that election, they faced complete and utter defeat. The Democrats held the House, won a supermajority in the Senate, and also won the Presidency. So they had to plan their comeback.

    In the 2010 midterm election, they managed to win back the House.

    Of course in 2012 they were up against Obama again and couldn’t mass an opposition against him, so they took that loss but planned again.

    In the 2014 midterm election, they won the Senate. And in the 2016 election, they won the trifecta back, (but thankfully not a supermajority).

    In doing so, the Republicans and their allies in the media managed to kill off the careers of around a thousand talented young early-term Democratic politicians, leaving us with what we see today.

    So that’s how they’ve shaped this field so comprehensively. The only viable Democrats left are ancient, because they’ve defeated so many younger ones in the past decade.

    • Yes. It’s a disgusting situation.

      I just cannot get my head around all these old men trying to be president. It’s not ageism on my part – I’m 74. It’s just I realise how advancing age messes with your health and capabilities. The US isn’t electing the president of a Rotary Club or a small-town gardening club, they re electing a world leader, I cannot for the life of me see what these aged chaps have to offer.

      Biden confused his sister with his wife today, on camera. If his wife had not corrected him he would never have realised. Sanders has heart problems and really should be taking things easy, not racing around the country campaigning. We all know too much about Trump’s health and mental issues.

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