Same Things Haven’t Changed

This blog has been dormant (and  mostly offline) for well over a year.  The last entry was just before the federal election, and addressed the growing humanitarian crisis in the Australian government controlled offshore detention centres. Sadly, this grotesque exercise in deliberately torturing innocent vulnerable people is now far worse, with an hundreds of refugees…

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A diverse, positive country is a strong country

If you ever need a clear, succinct outline of just how crucial migration and multiculturalism has been to Australia’s success – and just how damaging it has been when the country has succumbed to divisive leadership that sought to cause division by attacking this – read George Megalogenis’ book Australia’s Second Chance. The potential for…

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A progressive Senator in Northern Queensland?

When I nominated for the pre-selection ballot amongst party members for the Greens Senate ticket in Queensland in mid-2015, it was specifically only for the number 2 spot, as I wanted to be clear I was not seeking to challenge Larissa Waters who has done an excellent job since being elected as the first Greens…

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First, Do No Harm

I must have given hundreds of talks and speeches of various types over the last twenty years on the issue of refugees and people seeking asylum – and written plenty of pieces on the topic (not least on this blog).  Last weekend I was speaking to a group of inspiring young medical students at Griffith…

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Democrat stalwart dies

The role of the Australian Democrats as a political force is beginning to recede into history. It is now over six years since the party ceased having representation in the federal Parliament. But I am keen that the very positive legacy of the party is not forgotten and nor should those people who made a…

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The Liberal’s compulsion to turn public assets into private wealth – and get the public to help fund the process

The LNP in Queensland have been softening up the public for a privatisation binge pretty much from the day they got elected in 2012. In recent times, they’ve kindly made the public pay millions for a prolonged wide-ranging advertising campaign – badly disguised as a pretend consultation process called Strong Choices. Naturally, any input from…

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Political donations: buying influence and outcomes.

The furore in New South Wales over developers and resource companies seeking to buy influence through political donations has died down a bit as focus has turned to the federal Budget. Whilst no one is linking Budget decisions to specific donations, it is pretty obvious the Coalition has brought down a Budget which favours many…

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On War and Remembrance

Since I took up studying teaching, all that half-silly/half-sinister commentary that happens from time to time alleging Australia’s school children are having their brains filled with left-wing propaganda – especially when it comes to history – has become a bit more directly relevant for me. Although it’s pretty clear that fact-free fumigating by some random…

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More on Senate Preferences

Pirate Party

The possibility of people getting elected to the Senate with virtually no public support has been greater coverage, with a piece in today’s SMH and Antony Green letting fly about it on the ABC this morning. http://youtu.be/xT7t8Xt7qms Given this is how the Senate voting system works, it’s probably idealistic to hope that people wouldn’t try…

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Former Trade Minister highlights common cruelty to pigs

There was a great piece today by outgoing MP and former Cabinet Minister Craig Emerson on the enormous suffering experienced by many pigs in factory farm environments which is very common in Australia (and elsewhere). http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/no-excuse-for-beastly-behaviour-towards-pigs/story-e6frg6zo-1226674775633 Even though I strongly agree with him, there is often a part of me when I read something like…

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