I’m going to start out up front by saying I’m not an expert in political theory in any way shape or form. Having said that, I’ve travelled all over the world and seen and experienced many different cultures. I’ve watched and read the news from multiple sources on a daily basis and it seems to me entirely possible that what’s happening in Egypt today, Tunisia just recently, and perhaps some other Arab states in the near future, is the birth of real, genuine democracy for these countries. Continue Reading
Back when John Howard was PM, a federal program was put in place to supply religious chaplains to schools, paid for by the government. This funding has now been continued for the next two years, despite a national campaign to bring it to an end. It’s interesting that, in a country where 70% of the adult population says that religion is unimportant in their lives, the government is prepared to provide religious advisors to 100% of the nation’s school children. I have to ask, why?
They say a week is a long time in politics. Three weeks however, suddenly seems like a century. Yes, I know we had to wait for them to finish counting the votes – but the three independent MPs who are to decide the fate of Australia were perfectly able to complete all the discussions they needed while the counting was being done. So what’s the hold up? I know I’m not alone when I wonder whether all the attention these guys are getting is slowing them down a little. Bob Katter has become a national celebrity overnight. Usually, you have to make a sex tape to get this kind of attention!
For those of you living under a rock for the last four days (or living in the US, which can, on occasion, mean the same thing) Australia’s Federal election yielded a stunning and history-making ‘no result’. The buzzards are circling, there are a few rats deserting various sinking ships and sub-editors the country over have completely run out of headlines that successfully pun on the word ‘hung’ without saying exactly how well.
There’s a great story from the 2002 Winter Olympics – you may have heard of them? A wonderful skater by the name of Steven Bradbury won Australia’s first Winter gold medal when everybody else in his race was involved in a tumbling accident, leaving him to skate across the line in first place. At the time, he was referred to by some as the “Last Man Standing”.
I mention this story, Tony – may I call you Tony? – because there’s a little of the Steven Bradbury to your story, isn’t there? Continue Reading
I once went swimming at a surf beach in south-east Australia. A strong swimmer in the pool, my experience in surf was limited, but it was a hot day and I thought a little body surfing was in order. For the first fifteen minutes, it was great fun, but then an enormous wave smacked into me. Without having a chance to grab a breath, I was unceremoniously shoved under, rolled around and around in a maelstrom of black, sandy, foamy water until I had no idea which way was up and which down. With my lungs bursting for air, I lashed out with my feet, hoping they’d would find the sandy bottom and propel me to the surface. My head spinning, I shot upwards to the surface, gasping in a breath just in time.
Being made redundant from my job of six years felt horribly similar.
Refugees. Asylum seekers. Queue jumpers. Family values. Aussie battlers.
Pick the odd one out.
Answer? Queue jumpers. It’s the only one that is absent of an element Australians are actually world-famous for – compassion.