My wasn’t it smart of Campbell Newman to pull a snap election during the holiday season…
The Indonesian government is ready to execute two Australian citizens convicted of drug smuggling a decade ago. A candlelit vigil is currently underway in centres around Australia in support of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, however division remains whether the pair should be spared or face the consequences of their actions.
The following is an extract from an article by Garry Linnell recently published on the Sydney Morning Herald…
At some point in the next few weeks, Sukumaran and Chan will be taken out at dawn on a small Indonesian island, blindfolded and shot through the heart by a firing squad for their role in an ill-conceived and stupidly executed plot to import eight kilograms of heroin into Australia.
Who cannot empathise with the families of both men? Who wouldn’t be prepared to light a candle for all the suffering they have endured, and will continue to endure in the months and years to come? A mother is about to lose a son, brothers and sisters a loved sibling. They are entitled to mourn their loss for the rest of their lives. Many will never get over it.
[However] Sukumaran and Chan knew the penalty if they were caught. You cannot arrive anywhere in Indonesia without signs explicitly stating the consequences of importing and exporting drugs on Indonesian soil. It is Indonesian law.
You can argue that being young and stupid shouldn’t be cause for the death penalty. You can launch a sound and persuasive attack questioning the place of capital punishment in a modern civilised society. But the Bali nine controversy is equally about sovereign rights and the penalties imposed on those who decide to flout them.
If that eight kilograms of heroin had made it back to Australia, had been cut and filtered before being distributed on the streets of Sydney’s suburbs, it would have fetched millions of dollars for the drug ring’s architects.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of lives would have been affected.
Had they got away with it, would Sukumaran and Chan have gone on to lead simple lives filled with redemption and remorse? Would Sukumaran have discovered a latent gift for painting and devoted the rest of his life to teaching others to express themselves on a blank canvas?
Would Chan have surrendered his fortune, found God and spent the rest of his days selflessly extolling the Lord’s word and the benefits of a saintly existence?
Or would they, like so many others, have bought themselves a flashy home, driven a flashy car, expunged from their minds the damage their deeds may have caused so many others and gone on to reap the benefits and slap each on the back, still not quite believing they got away with such a ridiculous get-rich-quick scheme?
Light a candle for their families, by all means. Light a candle for the loss of two human lives that could have ended so differently.
But don’t light a candle for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan simply because they are about to be put to death by a sovereign nation following its law.
They took their chances and they lost.
He’s been a journalist for The Australian, an amateur boxer and a failed priest, but arguably Australia’s most aggressive politician will go down in the history books as one of the country’s most effective Opposition Leaders and most detested Prime Ministers.
From the moment he took office his popularity has been on a downward spiral. Almost immediately he set about reneging on iron-clad commitments he made just days before the election, with an ideological iron fist that would unleash spending cuts to health, education and public broadcasting.
The Federal Budget was a disaster, and alienated even the staunchest of Liberal supporters who joined a majority of Australians left reeling at its savage attacks on those who could least afford it.
Consistent polling shows Labor with a growing election winning lead and Tony Abbott’s “popularity” at gutter level since he became PM.
In fact the most recent ReachTel poll carried out after the courageous decision to bestow the Duke of Edinburgh with a Knighthood, has his popularity in unprecedented negative territory in ReachTel’s polling history.
Traditional supporters Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt have abandoned Abbott as has Rupert Murdoch.
It wasn’t that long ago that left-wing supporters were mocked for suggesting that billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch had a gratuitous and unwieldy influence in Australia’s political affairs, yet today this is no longer challenged.
The simple fact that the media, and we the Australian people, just accept this as the way things are is extraordinary.
Not even Murdoch is interested in saving his former poster boy anymore which signals the final death knell in Abbott’s brief tenure in the highest office in the land.
Nothing can save Abbott now and he will no doubt be remembered as Australia’s most despised and universally loathed Prime Ministers, a legacy he so richly deserves.
The following article was written by Jon Passant…
“Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.”
~ Prometheus in The Masque of Pandora (1875) by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The decision of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to make Prince Philip a knight is a masterstroke.
Like all royals, Philip is a parasite, a hangover from medieval times and the result of the incomplete English revolution. He is also racist, stupid, sexist, rude, idiotic and an elitist.
What a day too for the political genius Tony Abbott to announce yet another meaningless title for the man who has 33 of them already. Thirty three may be an overestimate. Or an underestimate.
Who’d bother counting when the list includes names like Extraordinary Commander of the Order of Military Merit or Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom?
Not to mention Knight Grand Cross with Chain of the Order of the Queen of Sheba.
“Among the more elaborate sounding decorations he has received are the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Condor of the Andes, from Bolivia; the Member of the Most Distinguished Order of Izzuddin, from the Maldives; the Knight of the Order of the Elephant, from Denmark; and from Ethiopia, the Knight Grand Cross with Chain of the Order of the Queen of Sheba.”
He has also been awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold by Belgium; and the Grand Cordon of the National Order of the Leopard by Zaire, which is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
So why not add Knight of the Order of Australia to the list of ridiculous titles?
Well, there are a number of reasons. One relates to Abbott’s political acumen or rather lack of it.
On Invasion Day (officially known as Australia Day) ‘our’ Prime Minister recognises Prince Philip for, let me guess, his services to Aboriginal Australians among others.
Here is just one example of that caring sharing approach of the Parasite Prince.
He posed this question to Aboriginal leader William Brin during a visit to the Aboriginal Cultural Park in Queensland, 2002:
‘Do you still throw spears at each other?’
Yep, a totally appropriate award on this most racist of days.
Not only that but the knighthood, and the Englishness of its recipient, undermines the theme of ultra-patriotism and ‘Australianness’ the bourgeois have manufactured around Invasion Day in the last few decades as a distraction from their neoliberal attacks.
The gaffes of the Parasite Prince are well known. The Independent listed 90 of them on his 90th birthday.
Of course they aren’t gaffes. They reflect the bigoted, biased, blinkered views of the British (and Australian) elite about themselves and the rest of us, their ‘inferiors.’
Abbott, by appointing the parasite Prince as a knight of the order of Australia, also shows how he too is a member of the elite, out of touch with ordinary Australians who not only overwhelmingly want a Republic but also despise Philip.
Even his own side, people like Adam Giles, conservative Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, have ridiculed the knighthood, saying that it was Australia Day, ‘we’re not a bunch of tossers, let’s get it right.’
About the only people Abbott will keep happy with this are the Monarchists. They will be rattling their pearls and drinking their top shelf port or whisky to celebrate, all 3 of them.
Speaking of port, unlike Menzies, Abbott doesn’t drink port. So rather than becoming Lord of the Cinque Ports he is perhaps aiming to become Lord of the Sank Beers.
I think Abbott knows that politically he is a dead man walking and has decided to release his inner reactionary.
That may well explain the enquiry into workplace relations (code for bringing back the highly unpopular vote losing Work Choices) which at least most of the ruling class want.
But knighthoods, and one for Philistine Phil? Seriously?
No sensible member of the Australian ruling class sees that as in any way desirable or defensible and it destroys the ‘we are all in this Budget fixing together’ lie they are trying to promulgate.
This latest blunder, one of such magnitude, shows how isolated from and toxic to the public Abbott is and may see him soon rolled.
How much longer can the Liberals hang on to and with this buffoon? How much longer will the ruling class put up with their idiot?
Not much longer I suspect.
Welcome to Rostrum, our occasional thread where you can talk about anything you like.
Tea. Many people swear by its apparent “health benefits,” but I remain unconvinced.
The topic invariably comes up towards the demise of a dinner party. Now I’m not really much of a dessert person, but when it’s offered towards the end of a meal I usually politely decline and wave my goblet in the air hinting that I’d rather settle for a refill of red wine.
“I’ll just stick to the red thanks,” just in case the signal goes unnoticed, often deliberatly I suspect as the hosts make a dash for the kitchen.
Dessert tends to spoil red wine as far as as I’m concerned, so I find that it’s best avoided. Just like tea and coffee, which hosts typically offer as an indication that the evening is drawing to a close, or that they’d prefer it to.
But imagine my surprise when on one particular occasion our host recoiled in horror saying “What, don’t you believe in tea?”
It was an odd question I thought, and naturally I assumed it was simply a diversionary tactic to avoid opening yet another bottle of red, or an indication that they don’t necessarily approve of what I like to call myself these days – “a red wine enthusiast,” or both (most probably).
I thought about this for a moment, which probably seemed like an eternity at the time, but one of the things I’ve learned over time is that if you’ve drank the best part of two or three bottles of red, it’s probably best to pause for a moment before responding to a question that seems slightly ridiculous.
Now it’s not that I actually don’t like tea. I have been known to drink it, occasionally, on weekends for example. But to ask someone why they don’t believe in tea strikes me as just plain weird.
I mean, it’s not like I have this view that tea has some sort of grand master plan that I remain philosophically and fundamentally opposed to, but to suggest that I don’t believe in tea is like implying that it has this hidden agenda, and the individual posing the question isn’t so much concerned about your hydration levels but rather more interested in whether you’re standing for it or against it.
I mean tea, really?
Thanks for the kind messages of support, so it looks like I’m going to stick around, yet another Farnham episode (how embarrassment).
Just one thing I ought to let you know, and I know some of you won’t agree with this decision, but well that’s life. Egg is no longer welcome to participate on this blog. I think I’ve been more than patient with egg, and despite multiple requests to refrain from derailing unrelated threads with climate change denialist BS egg persists in doing so.
The beginning to 2015 hasn’t been kind to me on a number of levels, and on top of that, running a blog that attempts to take a light-hearted poke at politics only to have it persistently derailed by one serial offender with their own pet agenda just got to me in the end.
So anyhow, that’s the state of play.
Maybe we can all begin the new year afresh, and without some of the personal nastiness that seems to have emerged in the last few months.
I started this blog because I thought it would be fun (with a few of you usual suspects – you know who you are!).
If it’s no longer fun, then I cant see the point in continuing, but if we are ALL prepared to give it a crack, then I am too…. (And let’s face it, with the Abbott govt, and Bill Shorten’s Zingers, there’s no shortage of material to work with)…