Posts Tagged ‘Malcolm Turnbull’

It is all too confusing

April 30, 2017
img_0955

garden

It is all so confusing.
 Our Prime Minister Turnbull, while waving his hands up and down, waxes on the TV endlessly how on the world stage, we take prime position in being the  biggest and most successful MULTI Cultural nation in the world. We are a blend of many cultures, it seems. I knew when garlic made its entry into the Australian kitchen back in the late fifties and sixties,  Anglo-Australia would be in for an irreversible change if not doomed as well. Blame the Italians and Greeks for that.
Yet, at the same time but on a different day, Mr Turnbull is urging us to turn into a more nationalistic focussed citizen. A good and special type of Australian not found anywhere except perhaps in the bars of Kuta’s Bali… (Totally drunk and disorderly!) A unique Australian. We are urged to become aware and stand up for a more mono cultural identity.
In fact ‘Unique Australian Values’ is what we should be sticking up for. Migrants will have to do a test on those unique Australian values with a good knowledge and sound understanding of these.  There is no more mucking about with those that don’t want to blend in. I thought this new requirement was obliquely, but none the less pointedly aimed at the foreign Islamic migrants.
Mr Turnbull, our Prime minister is brutally resolute in trying to pick up those voters that have left the Liberal party and who have drifted into the warm bosom of Pauline Hanson’s  far right anti-Aboriginal, anti- Chinese and now anti- Muslim ‘One Nation Party.’ There is nothing wrong with Mr Turnbull also adding the word ‘terrorism’ or ‘Isis’ to his plea for us to become more Aussie.  It is not direct Muslim bashing, is it? It goes down well with some, who think that a bit of xenophobia thrown in this multi cultural soup, it can’t do any harm.
Turnbull talked about ‘respect for the law, tolerance, giving everybody a fair go.’ The aspiring migrant is given 4 years to brush up on Unique Australian Values in order to get permanent residency status. ‘It is something one has to ‘earn’, he said, looking a bit shifty. I am asking if there are many other countries that don’t have respect for the law or respect, treating people disrespectfully? Are we the sole owners of those traits? Is that what makes us so unique?
People that were first looking for their lost new paradigms are now herded into finding Unique Australian Values. I have taken up to shouting Oi,oi,oi late in the afternoon, and trying out my waltzing techniques listening to Waltzing Mathilda. I tell, you when it comes to waltzing around the joint, Helvi reckons I am a formidable maelstrom. Would smearing vegemite around this town help?  I have picked up a couple of good Australian traits from watching ‘Crocodile Dundee’ with that big knife many times. I would be most grateful if someone can show me other Australian Values that I can add.

A previous prime minister, John Howard felt that we should all be interested in cricket and a good intimate grounding in a famous race horse ‘Phar-Lap’, and learn English. While many managed to learn English and dutifully viewed Phar-lap’s pickled heart in a jar, it was the reverse with cricket. It is a game that for many remains a mystery. I must admit, I fall under that category and am surprised I haven’t been kicked out. Even so, during John Howards reign as a PM, it was all so simple and sweet. Thinking back it was much easier to become an Australian with Unique Values.

It is all so confusing now!

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The Hike back to Central Station from the State Library.

January 21, 2017

photoThe geranium

The sapping heat, a dreadful massacre in Melbourne plus the Inauguration of a new US President took its toll. Tweeting and Face Bookings took over. Some wondered if the US is now on the very precipice of a catastrophe. However, calm and serenity seems to have returned. . A sigh of relief washed over the entire US when Trump restrained himself enough not to grab anyone by the pussy during the inauguration. It was a moving performance!

We both also enjoyed a restorative sleep. It is odd how keen I used to be on sleeping in as a young man. Now that I can, it lost its appeal. Nothing worse than tossing around sleepless. They say, that the elderly often suffer from sleeplessness. Are we haunted by memories? Could we have done things differently? Many people, especially those that claim to be balanced, say that looking back is not for them. They bounce about and are forever jolly and welcoming what is yet to come. They never worry about events of the past and try and do things even better.

To me, it is irritating how some have this ability to for always show this abject positivity. They often lay claims and accept a non questioning and passive vision of a rosy world. The positivity is at times hard to swallow and it alarms me. Is it my age? According to Helvi it is not. “You have always been a complainer and an incurable Jeremiah. A prophet of doom. You have to cheer up and make the best of it.”

It is food for thought!

As was mentioned previously, after noticing a prostrate sleeping man in front of the State Library, I went inside to present my ten books. The man behind the desk wore a uniform with a cap on which ‘State Library’ was written. He was surprised and I informed him of the two Literary awards. He accepted my books and assured me they would be presented to the right people. The State Library is a huge institution and is about far more than lending books. A photographic exhibition was on show. I noticed a huge portrait of our PM, Malcolm Turnbull which made me feel a bit uneasy. He had just managed to cut our pension and those of thousands of others, thousands had their whole pension cut. So much for those that saved up for ‘a rainy day.’

We both strolled around this lovely building. A man with a Coke in one hand and some food in the other, mumbled something while pointing somewhere. He looked normal but wasn’t. A security guard came and took him  gently by the hand ushering him outside. The man tried to come back inside but the guard prevented him. The man was clearly disturbed  mumbling while looking sane. But I wondered what would happen to this man next?

We both were having pangs of hunger and after the walk decided to slowly make our way to a very nice and air-conditioned shop ‘Myers’. Helvi felt her shoes were pinching her feet. Myers  has a very good shoe section. “It’s on the second floor.” Helvi stated firmly yet also optimistically.

We glided up the escalator and I soon found myself seated watching hordes of women trying on shoes. It was a wonderful and uplifting experience. I watched women looking at themselves while trying on new shoes. It was as if the shoe would transform them into stars again. They turned this way and that way. There is something very endearing about women enjoying themselves. Is it something that I could perhaps learn from?

But, the hunger only grew keener.

To be continued!

Take from the Poor and Give to the Rich.

January 10, 2017

imagesLoaves and fishes

The latest and most exciting new way of economics to hit Australia is the Government’s  novel way to re-vitalize the economy. Our PM  Mr. Malcolm Turnbull, a multimillionaire, had a flash of genius. Why not give the top-end of town much needed taxation relief with juicy superannuation concessions ?  The stroke of his insight did not stop there. He would also use the opportunity to pay for this by cutting back ‘entitlements’ to pensioners, the unemployed, the disabled and other unwanted flotsam washed on our shores of  previous care, consideration and communal empathy.

For some time now, any kind of ‘right’ has been transformed through careful manipulation by the media into an unnecessary ‘entitlement.’ Now there is the wonder of Western democracy, you can change almost anything. Rights now are unneeded ‘entitlements’ that we can’t claim to own anymore. The way to the future as determined by our Liberal National Government, in all its wisdom, is to demonise those that seek support from governments and with some deft manoeuvring, take away their previous rights and transform them into unneeded and bad entitlements.

The government has now taken away pensions  or reduced them away from the most needy. Unemployed are investigated and letters of demand send to return over-payments. There are no explanations of why our revered model of economics is constantly seeking ways to maximise profits by doing away with workers.  The way to profitable businesses is to employ less workers, preferably by paying them ever diminishing wages.  Combined with taxation cuts by successive governments given to the rich, the rows of those needing support is growing.

Increasingly, health and education are seen in the same light. We no longer can hope to see those as a ‘right’ of a country as a people that sees itself at the forefront of civilisation. Both Australia and the inventor of modern western democracy, the US, are falling behind in educating their young. Australia is way down the ladder in teaching language and math skills with the US  35th on the ladder. In Australia it is not much better.

So, where will we end up? Looking at Turnbull and Trump I am driven to despair. Once we are fattening the porkers and baconers of our societies and neglecting the vulnerable I suspect ‘Western Democracy’ is under threat.

Finally, here is one person’s view on the future of the US and I suspect this applies to Australia as well.

“Johan Galtung, a Nobel Peace Prize-nominated sociologist who predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union, warned that US global power will collapse under the Donald Trump administration.”

“The Norwegian professor at the University of Hawaii and Transcend Peace University is recognized as the ‘founding father’ of peace and conflict studies as a scientific discipline. He has made numerous accurate predictions of major world events, most notably the collapse of the Soviet Empire.”

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/us-power-will-decline-under-trump-says-futurist-who-predicted-soviet-collapse

Almost There

 

 

 

 

 

Royal Commission into Australia ( warning graphic images)

July 26, 2016

7659422-3x2-340x227Child detention

We went away for a few days, and all hell seems to have broken loose. An ABC ( Australian Broadcasting Commission) came out on television with a damning report on child detention centres in Australia. Within hours of our Prime Minister, Mr Malcolm Turnbull, having watched the program, he announced a Royal Commission. It would be held about the juvenile detention centres in the Northern Territory of Australia. Have a look at this link. Yet, those allegation with videos were known for a number of years

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-26/turnbull-calls-for-royal-commission-into-don-dale/7660164

Within hours experts on breaches of human rights are now clamouring for a Royal Commission to be a federal Commission instead of just a State issue. Abuse of children seems to be widespread. Royal Commissions held about systemic abuse seems to go on forever like ‘Days of our Lives’ or ‘Neighbours.’

People hold Royal Commission in high regard but I am not so sure. Those commissions are nice little earners for the legal fraternities. I remember reading about Royal Commission back in the sixties in the mental health care and conditions of Callan Park, Sydney. As is common, recommendations were made, the lawyers got paid, but business as usual. It is just a kind of Tiger Balm or Cough Elixer to keep us quiet. I doubt that the mentally ill are treated any better today as when in the time when my brother was treated so terribly at Callan Park in the late fifties early sixties.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-26/timeline-of-voller’s-mistreatment-in-detention-centres/7661788

Never the less, I wish the Royal Commission would be extended to the treatment of our refugees at Manus and Nauru Islands detention centres. One can just imagine the horrors and desperations experienced when people burn themselves to death in order to get some attention. The dreadful rapes, abuse of children and the despair that those refugees will never be allowed to go anywhere except to Cambodia or back to the countries where they escaped from.

I am not sure if my father made a wise decision coming to Australia. I am ashamed.

Ps. My brother is in good care and still alive, but…in Holland.

Garlic Prawns, Grandsons, and a close encounter with the Prime Minister.

May 16, 2016
Australian PM. (second from left)

Australian PM. (second from left)

As foreshadowed in my previous post, the grandchildren were coming. They stayed with us last week-end. The weather promised was sunny and warm. It was going to be a good week-end. The eldest had broken his iPhone but the other one had just been granted a $30.- month pre-paid on his, compliments of grand-parents. The excuse was that it would allow him to be able to contact his parents. Always a blatant lie. According to a quick inspection to my access of the Wi-Fi download data on my own account, gigabits of games is what he really uses his iPhone for. He cunningly uses our Wi-Fi to connect his iPhone to.

A lot of successful week-ends depend on getting them away from the gadgets. Parents and grandparents are tested to the limits of their endurance faced with this modern phenomenon. Surely, it has to be possible to invent an electronic devise that would allow parents/ grandparents to stop and zap iPhones into the silent mode with the screen just showing rain pelting down gutters or perhaps long advertisements on the benefits of eating ‘easy oats.’

We try and lure them into bookshops. They can buy any book they like. Of course, the lure has to be sweetened with an afternoon movie. However, no books were chosen this time, but they still managed to see the movie. I forgot the name but is was a movie about a young person aspiring to greatness in sport and included Hugh Jackman. It might have been skiing. I will look it up and just put this one for a moment in ‘save draft’. Please, bear with me!

It was called ‘Eddie The Eagle.’ The boys thought it better than expected. At least no Bat Man or Shrek re-runs anymore. We do our best to try and instil a distaste for mashed potato Hollywood movies. After the danger of iPhones overload, the next problem to deal with is their enormous appetites. Despite movie watching and a general tendency to fiddle with devices ( when we are not nearby) it does not seem to lesson their need for food intake. However, both parents and us have been fortunate to have steered them into reasonable dietary habits.

Especially pleasing is that none seem to be particularly oriented towards sweets or sugar loads. They do drink those fruit sugar-loaded juices, but as for lollies, chocolate bars or sparkling soft drinks, they are not all that keen anymore. It might also be a result of the rather alarming media reports about sugar and salt and fat diets. Especially the eldest who seems to live of fruit and vegetables. However, they do make up for quantities. I know the score. Pancakes are now made to a height of about ten centimetres and are wobbling on the plate while I am cooking, threatening to collapse onto the kitchen floor. A compromise to some jam or golden syrup is made if they also allow a generous squeezing of lemon juice. Milo is looking upwards and in hope. He too knows the score.

The rack of lamb with totalling about 5 each (cutlets) and as for garlic prawns; half a kilo and that is just for garlic. I don’t know what the other cinema goers felt or smelt about that little delight? But, as always; all good things come to an end. Sunday afternoon was the time to drive them to the railway station where they would catch the train back to Sydney. After parking our car we took them to the ticket locket which was closed. You don’t get to buy train tickets anymore. That too has been gadgetized. You now swipe something in front of a pole and is called ‘Opal.’

The train station staff were everywhere but not selling tickets. I stood my ground and the locket was opened. There was a kind of nervousness about. A tingling expectation or a bomb alert. Terrorism crossed my mind. Was the dreaded Mars Bar man lurking somewhere? No, the Prime Minister is on his way, someone said. Oh, the horror. Out of nowhere, a couple of tall blue suited men rushed by talking into their sleeves. Indeed followed by our new Prime minister, Mr Turnbull looking all suave and powdered. I flashed my own iPhone and managed to get a picture while he was posing with rail staff, arms around each other. He is the second from the left.

We went down some stairs where the train to Sydney was waiting. The PM followed us and jumped in the train sitting almost opposite our grandsons. Something they will remember forever. I do hope he will lose the election on the second of July. He is cutting education, health funding and is just another Abbott. Just because he catches a train with our grandsons hasn’t made him a forward and progressive man to lead a country.

Will Australia’s PM wash the feet of refugees on Manus and Nauru?

March 25, 2016
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Molenbeek

 

The terrorist attacks carried out in different countries have invariably been committed out by own nationals. In Australia too, the very few instances of ‘terrorism’ were carried out by Australians, as have been the terrorists attacks in France and now in Belgium by their National citizens. In Norway, it was a Norwegian.

For Malcolm Turnbull to blame the Belgium carnage onto refugees or slack Border Control is malicious and plain wrong. The Belgium Ambassador pointed this out very clearly. Turnbull was trying to make political gain out of the misery of others, fanning the flames of xenophobia.If anything, our government is guilty of terrorism. They have jailed refugees on Manus and Nauru without trial for no reason other than to prevent others  trying to escape the hell-holes of Middle Eastern wars. Of the 12000 refugees that Abbott promised to accept in Australia lst September only 26 have been accepted so far.

Canada promised to take 25 000.  I believe most of them have now been settled in Canada.

I think it would be nice if our Malcolm Turnbull in the spirit of Easter, made amends and anoint the feet of those people so badly wronged by him. It is never too late.

The refugees will forgive!

 

 

Light at the end of darkest tunnel in Australia’s history.

September 23, 2015

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-23/turnbull-says-changes-to-asylum-seeker-policy-will-be-considered/6799162

Australia’s asylum seeker policy ‘controversial’, changes will be considered: Malcolm Turnbull – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Australia’s asylum seeker policy ‘controversial’, changes will be considered: Malcolm TurnbullBy Susan McDonald

Posted 21 minutes agoWed 23 Sep 2015, 3:44pm

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he is concerned about the plight of asylum seekers in Australian-run detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island.

Mr Turnbull described the Government’s asylum seeker policy as controversial and challenging.

He told Sky News any changes to policy will be carefully considered.

“Our policies will change, all policies change but when we do make changes we’ll do so in a considered way and they will be made by the ministers, myself, [and] the Cabinet.”

More to come.

How sweet the fore-skin!

September 22, 2015
Our kitchen of 'give and take'

Our kitchen of ‘give and take’

The country was mesmerised. There was to be a ballot. Our Prime minister was to be challenged and it was on TV. We put on the kettle, settled on our divan and watched it all unfold. Scurrying politicians were seen running along the corridors of power at our Parliament.  The King rat at front, the V shaped tribe following. It was all at fever pitch, 54 to 44 in favour of the challenger Malcolm Turnbull. Abbott was seen afterwards followed by his tribe. Malcolm graciously praising Abbott about his past leadership but glowing at his own success.

It was as good as Shakespeare. A  human drama of huge proportions.  Oscar Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Goal also came to my mind.

” He did not wear his scarlet coat, For blood and wine are red, And blood and wine were on his hands When they found him with the dead, The poor dead …”

In front of our town-house we have two cane chairs on which we sit in the late afternoon, usually after all the house-hold chores have been done. We are in the habit of a glass of red and either talk a bit or just look out at the snippet of garden that is facing us at the front. Of course , ‘after all the household chores are done’ seems to suggest waxing of furniture, scrubbing the doorstep, peeling potatoes and polishing the silver. That’s just nonsense. It means hours of pouring over the computer, dragging a mouse across and wishing for the day to pass at greater speed so we can get to the wine-reward a bit quicker.

On the ABC Drum has been a raging debate on Female circumcision, or better known in its abbreviated form of FGM. ( female genital mutilation)  A flurry of responses by men defending or attacking the cutting of the fore-skin in men’s genitalia soon followed. So typical of men hijacking the debate. I was most guilty of it.

Race and religion, the pro and anti fore-skin defenders, it all came to fruition in over  two hundred responses so far. The story was written about the practise of female mutilation in some sections of the community. A court case is ongoing at the moment of two little girls allegedly having undergone this practise. Two doctors have testified that no mutilation could be detected. The defence is arguing  that the operation was  ritualistic and did not  include any cutting.

Hereby my contribution to the debate  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-22/ferrari-fgm-in-australia/6794278

“Circumcision on the male is a cruel practise. The foreskin is meant to give increased pleasure during sexual congress by facilitating the penis to move freely up and down protecting it from a too vigorous thrusting.
To take that away diminishes the intensity felt during sex.

Of course, when men get old and reflect (while nodding in a comfy chair at the ‘Fair Haven’ retirement home)) on all that relentless up and down moving, might well come to the conclusion; is that what it has all been about? Is this what has driven me?

Was it all worth it?”

Fore-skin is raising its ugly head at this hour of 7.30 in the morning. Isn’t there something else you can write about? Well, yes but there has to be something else besides Abbott. We had two years of shade and darkness. People need to have a letting off steam. I can’t wait for the afternoon and getting outside on our cane chairs. Bask a little in spring sun. A glass of Shiraz and partner

. A hoorah on life. What’s wrong with that?

The latest! A tumultuous night.

September 14, 2015

photoflooded river

It had to happen. A new Prime Minister for Australia. He is Malcolm Turnbull. A rich man who doesn’t need the job but whose whole adult life has been driven to become a PM of Australia. An ex-banker and  top notch legal eagle married to woman whose family  is famous and highly regarded. If Australia had royalty, the late Robert Hughes of the Fatal Shores and world’s best known art critic and his QC brother Tom Hughes would both be Emperors. Our new PM’s wife is Lucy Turnbull daughter of Tom Hughes. She was Sydney’s Lord Mayor during 2003/2004. It is of course one of the oddities of our language and  culture that a Lord can be a woman. It is no wonder things about the English lend themselves to great TV comedy. Of course a female Lord is balanced by a male worker in a hospital  called a sister or even, if of a higher order, Matron!

No matter what, last night’s drama was played out on TV. Millions settled on their couches after about 4pm and followed the show. The world of Twitter and face-book went in overdrive. A secret ballot ( the second within six months) was taken after all the Liberal MP’s, ministers, backbencher et all filed into Parliament House. It was great drama. The triumphant Malcolm duly appeared as the victor on TV and gave it his best not to look too smug, giving due praise to the vanquished Tony Abbott whose whole life had also been geared to become a PM. He did, but was unable to see out his first term as PM. Not a good rapport card!

It seems he was unable to shake off his perceived brilliance as opposition leader and for two years as PM remained as if in opposition while being PM, continuously attacking his opposition and failing badly to come up with anything  in the area of making policies. He was famous for three word slogans;  The perennial ‘stopping the boats’, ‘stopping  carbon tax’, ‘leaders not leaners’ and of course, ‘ jobs and growth.’ Of course, the Westminster system thrives on adversity and invites attacking in ‘holding to account’ much more than seeking consensus. He had great trouble resisting doing things on his own bat. The bizarre Knighthood to Prince Phillip was a huge blunder.

No matter what, as a human being he must be hurting badly. His ambition to be seen as a good PM now denied. He too worked towards that his whole life. He failed in becoming a Jesuit priest but overcame by entering politics.  Of course, he did manage to get to the top job but his defeat last night an unimaginable and undignified knock-out blow.  He would know as an ex boxer.  In leading one has to take the people with you. That was something he failed in. He kept making ‘captain’s calls’ and when there was a spill and secret ballot six months ago promised to be inclusive. He said and I quote “today is the first day of a new and more inclusive Government”. As the weeks went on, things went bad. Costly helicopter flights to private functions. All and sundry dipping into allowances, hiring limousines and whooping it up in overseas first class travel with spouses in tow.

It is strange, but the present state of our Strata- adventure seemed a bit like last night’s political drama. The people were not taken in consideration. A decision to spend $40.000,- was a captain’s call by a single person if ever there was. Of course the spending  of owner’s money without them knowing anything about that was ludicrous. How did anyone think they could get away with it? I had a call yesterday and spoke with the NSW’s Fair Trade and was reassured that an new meeting has to be held and that all owners have to be informed of a decision to consider painting. After that, if the majority approve, the sinking fund has to have the funds to pay for it, either by waiting or raising a special levy. Oddly enough, The dept. of Fair Trading  named as Strata Manager  someone I never heard off. Is there now a new manager? What happened to the old one?

We shall see.