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…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

Ashgrove – The Narrowing!

As is usual with elections, there has been a lot of coverage on the personalities and the contest and not so much on the policies and issues.  Still, the unusual strategy the Liberal-Nationals have adopted of having their leader and proposed Premier campaigning from outside of Parliament has invited an even greater focus on Campbell…

Continue reading →

Back to the blog

Having had a couple of months break from this blog thing, I thought I’d have a go at trying to use a bit like I did when I first started it out back in 2004 – giving some occasional updates of things I’ve been doing. A few months ago I became Convenor of the Queensland…

Continue reading →