Posts Tagged ‘Gillard’

Sugar Tax? Yes, please.

January 28, 2019

Image result for sugar drinks

Even though Australia is one of the fattest countries in the world, it still obstinately refuses to seriously consider a tax on sugar including sugary drinks and sugary foods. Twenty eight countries so far have put a tax on sugar. Mexico, another country with enormously large people, introduced it in 2014. Seven US cities and several US states also introduced some form of penalty on sugar.

Anyone who has ever visited Australian shopping malls could not but have noticed the rapid increase in morbidly obese people. They also are getting younger. It is now not uncommon to see large swollen babies in prams being pushed by very obese parents. While there might be other contributing factors for this obesity epidemic, sugar certainly is one of them. Lack of exercise another one!

It is estimated the obesity problem is costing Australia 5.3 billion a year. Even a modest increase in the cost of sugar would return $ 500 million annually.

I could not have been prouder as a Dutch-born Australian than when Australia tackled and won a battle against the giants of the Cigarette and Tobacco industry. Australia was now leading the world. They gave us us a well deserved standing ovation. It was Julia Gillard and her minister, Nicola Roxon, who decided to  stand up for the health of its voters and won. It cost the Gillard Government almost 40 million to fight Phillip Morris.

Gillard and Roxon surely would have to be best politicians of all time. How many lives have they saved from the dreaded lung cancer? Why is this government so loath to follow suit? Thousands of people are getting diabetes of their addiction to sugar. The law to package cigarettes in Logo free and drab brown coloured packaging is helping to prevent and reduce smoking. Many countries including the European Union have followed Australia’s lead in controlling tobacco sales.

The same could be done with sugary drinks. Have them logo free and the liquid drab brown coloured. Put a tax on them equal to cigarettes and watch the shopping malls return to having a more svelte looking shopping crowd…

Of course there will always be large people around, and genetics, as with so much else, has a lot to do with that. This article is to do with the morbidly obese. People who are still walking around but are dying of obesity. Surely, a responsible government could follow so many countries that are now reaping the benefits of sugar tax and have a healthier population?

Sadly , our opposition, the Labor Party is opposed to a sugar tax and feel that personal choices should be made. But walking around, it is obvious that people’s healthy choices against the might of the sugar industry’s advertising might, fails miserably.



Obama and Gillards New Year resolutions. (Hope eternal)

December 24, 2012

imagesCA1K5Y8Mmassacre at Newtown US

The tasks ahead for Obama and Gillard.


The only way out, it seems, would be for Obama to go hard on the Gun toting and  bullet lobbing pro-kill-‘m Senators and NRA by saying ; Either do away with your lethal guns voluntary or, I’ll resign and let the nation make this choice for once and all. We go for another election with a change of the second amendment of the constitution. The second amendment has been given so many different interpretations; surely they can find one that will support changing this ‘bearing of arms” by all and sundry.

When the Amendment was first passed in law back in 1791 by James Madison guns were just guns which took time to load and fire, giving a fair chance of survival, while in 2012 guns are killers by just looking at them.  The founding fathers then sought to place trust in the power of ordered liberty of democratic government versus the anarchy of insurrectionists. Today, the cult by the manically adherence of the right to bear arms by the individualist has usurped the insurrectionist.

imagesboat people

The issues in Australia are not less problematic by our obsessing with asylum seekers. How fortunate or unfortunate that we have islands that we can ship them to. Those poor European countries are being entered by refugees on trains, boats, swimming ,walking and heaven knows what else, even in containers, ’refugees sans frontiers’, they could be called.  They enter by the tens of thousands, weekly. There are very few isolated European islands that boat people can be isolated on and forgotten about. The obstinacy by our politicians on having blown this up by the hysterical ‘border protection’ mantra is now costing hundreds of millions for just a few thousand.

At least most European countries have been canny enough that the might of the millions of refugees from war torn countries is best handled by, at least making the best of a bad thing, and treat them humanely and, after due process, let them work and pay tax. Howard’s refrain of “we will choose who come here and the method by which they come” could not possibly work there.

Neither does it work here. They come, no matter what obstacles are put into place, not even the risk of getting smashed against rocks deters the helpless refugee. They have nothing to lose. Some of the boat-people haters say, they are filthy rich which seems odd; why risk getting smashed onto rocks or drown from leaky unseaworthy boats?

I feel sorry for Chris Bowen. He tries to be, unconvincingly, unyieldingly hard like the rest, steely and feigning resentment against those more humane. His heart isn’t in it. Hopefully his wife will whisper kind words when he is tossing and turning during guilt ridden sleepless nights. He looks quickly sideways whenever he has to give an expected heartless comment about ‘deterrent’ or ‘no advantage’ to journalists. A shocking portfolio.

The opposition has no such trouble; full blown hatred against refugees comes fluently natural and so does their concrete determination to do all in their power drunkenness to show, and straight into the camera, unflinchingly, as much empathy as the ‘arbeit macht frei’ consortium some seventy years ago at Auschwitz.

Morrison’s, C. Pine’s and Abbott’s public resentment against refugees is genuine and without artifice. They all seem to have ‘against everything’ in their genes. The headmasters must have given them more than just the strap on their backsides.

Julia will have to consider, after getting re-elected and with a mandate, change our position, process all boat people on-shore, give them permission to work and pay tax. This world is different now. We can’t forever thump our noses at the most unfortunate and UNHCR.

The neighbours might talk.

The naughty F… Word.

February 19, 2012

The latest scandal shocking Australia is the revelation that a previous Prime Minister used words which, as far as I know, haven’t appeared on the ABC Drum as yet. Well, let me be the first. For those easily shocked, move outside your room and close the door. Lock up your children and keep away all girls under sixteen and /or unmarried women. The word, and here it comes……f u c k…….

Unbelievably, we are still here, undamaged and much the same as before that word. No sword or hell-fire has struck us down.  Open the doors and let in some fresh air. Phew!

We must all have heard on the news that our previous PM, Mr. Kevin Rudd has uttered swear words in front of a camera. Dear oh dear, what has the world come to? Saying those ‘unseemly’ words have always been a difficult issue, especially in Anglo countries. In the fifties and even sixties, swearing was common between men. But as far as doing it in front of a woman, it was definitely a no, no. Strange that swearing then was so delineated between the sexes. If swearing was vulgar, unseemly and a bad thing to use in our language, why was it perfectly alright between men but not in front of a woman? Of course now, 2012, women have heard those words and are very happy to swear amongst each other and in front of men as well.

Of course, those words such as fuck, cnut, ( see, even now I am cautious) dick, balls, tits and others have had some kind of liberation recently, they have been set free, unshackled by the conventions of a society which believed that those words should never be used except between men only and even then preferably only in pubs or factories. Never in polite company, and never in front of ‘ladies’. But, lately and especially on the television and… especially… on the ABC television, those ‘naughty’ words have become almost the norm. Who can forget the run those words enjoyed on Chris Lilley’s “Angry Boys” with the Dunt twins Daniel & Nathan Sims and their prison officer grandmother Gran.. And as recent as some weeks ago we were treated to the same words on the start of the TV series “The Straits” and before that with “The Slap”. We loved those series, lapped up all the words including the four letter ones.

Of course the king-hit of the four letter word usage, unrivalled anywhere ever, would have to be the BBC’s political TV comedy drama “The Thick of It”. I believe that the success of those series was very much if not entirely due to the exquisite use, and hence our enjoyments, of the expletives. The odd thing is that even though bad language is used in all those series, it isn’t actually offensive.  In fact, without the high level of bad language, the series would have been a lot less successful.

We claim that times have moved on, but have they?  The triviality of a person having used expletives still deemed to be newsworthy seems to prove that the issue of some words being less palatable than others still exists. It is worth noting that those feared swear words in the Anglo world usually consist of vulgar forms of naming genitals or sex while in the languages of Europe, swearing is mainly in the domain of religion, calling down the devil and eternal hell fire etc, seeking the gods to vent their fury on our enemy…Why is it that so many expletives in English have sexual connotations? There is a lot still there to ponder about.

The video uploaded on YouTube containing Kevin Rudd’s swearwords is now seen as being the final act and catalyst in a predicted forthcoming challenge to the leadership. It’s whispered to have come from both sides, those opposing Rudd to the leadership from the present government side together with those on the pro-Rudd side of politics. It is just proof that whatever happens in the next few weeks, those four letter words still contain a mighty punch. There are going to be some awful weeks ahead of us. Fuck!

The media, as ever, has been braying for a leadership spill ever since Rudd was removed. They must be swirling and jumping around like besotted dervishes in what is to come, a dance macabre if ever there was.