Posts Tagged ‘Manus’

The illogical and immoral Male.

March 12, 2019

 

Image result for Morrison and Dutton
Mr S. Morrison and Mr P. Dutton (reflecting on refugees)

 

Not even a Kafka or an Edgar Allan Poe could have thought up the idea of locking up thousands of innocent people in order to stop drownings of people desperate to escape murder and mayhem from their home country.  It just doesn’t make sense. No one wants people to drown, and the suggestion by Australia’s Prime Minister, Mr Scott Morrison, that those opposed to locking up refugees, now in their sixth year, will be responsible for new cases of drownings, is just too silly for words. It begs the question; are we still living in a world of science and rational thought? Or could it be that this is how the male mind works? I say this, as it seems to be the domain of mainly males that are attracted to illogical thoughts.  Things have gone haywire with Morrison, Dutton & Co.

It is perplexing how a country’s leader could ever have reached such an abominable stage whose thought processes must border on the mentally unstable. Some argue that, this Government’s action on the indefinite locking up of refugees on Manus and Nauru is particularly bad considering that our PM, Mr Morrison, proclaims to be a devout Christian. He belongs to a  Pentacostal church whose parishioners sometimes break out in a religeous fervor, and start speaking in tongues.

Some are claiming the opposite. It’s precisely the result of those adhering to the non-questioning and under the suppressive and superstitious shadows of religion and the subsequent irrationality of demons and retributive spirits, that causes those male politicians to behave in such an appalling way. In any case, the refugees are still going mad and as the years go by, the toll will rise, and even, when finally taken in by some other country, their trauma  will last.

Australia will stand condemned forever.

 

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door—
“‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
“‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
This it is and nothing more.”( Edgar Allan Poe)

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How 2019 might turn out.

January 2, 2019

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The house is in a scandalous way. The Hoover ‘Freedom’ will have to be re-charged and one of my first task will be to vacuum. I’ll start downstairs first.  My blood pressure this morning was a comfortable 109/73  with a reassuring beat of 82. With the relentless heatwave continuing, and our Government urging people to keep out an eye for dehydrated elderly, we have unlocked the front door in the forlorn hope someone younger will check on us. It would be a nice start of the new year getting my forehead wiped by a strapping young female athlete. With luck she might even do the vacuuming!

The certainties of 2019 will include the continuing march of China towards the new boy on the block of becoming the biggest economy. The poor US will dwindle in importance with an increasingly cranky blood thirsty President bullying the most vulnerable. Heaven knows what will happen. A dangerous country, and with that enormous arsenal of nuclear weapons too!

The remarkable thing of China is that they seem to continue growing in strength without resorting to warring everywhere or bombing the shit out of other countries. Australia would do well to swing over to Asia a bit more. After all, that’s were we are situated geographically. Perhaps teaching the Indonesian language to all school students would be a good move. Indonesia is closer to Australia than the distance between Sydney and Brisbane. Indonesia alone has a population almost the same as the US. And then there is China? Another super power on the rise is India.

We are fortunate of  being in the slipstream of those growing economies which could well rub off on our own economy.  I hold the forlorn dream that with a growing economy, a brave government will try to get more revenue in so that we can finally do something on a social level. Isn’t it finally time to increase the old age pension and the income for the unemployed? They are very low compared with most OECD countries. We can’t call ourselves a caring country if we can’t give the retired elderly a decent income.

Last but not least, it would be nice if those that kept refugee children and their parents in indefinite detention on hellish off-shore camps face an International Court of Justice. It is an international disgrace that hundreds of refugees are now facing their sixth year on Nauru and Manus islands in direct contradiction of international law that prohibits that.

Australia gets away with it because it is the only country that doesn’t have Bill of Rights.

Yes, it would be more than a bit of schadenfreude to see Dutton in front of a Court. I still get this nightmarish image of him each time I peel a potato.

Happy New Year again to all of you, my dear friends.

A potpourri of pre-Christmas events.

December 20, 2018

Last week we drove to Sydney to visit our daughter who was meant to visit us. Due to storm damage  the trains were delayed and the buses were not running, we thought it easier to drive to Sydney instead. Trains are often risky and even a rogue wombat can derail trains. I bet the old ‘fast-train’ service will be raised again now that an election is due soon, together with the perennial second Sydney airport.  It keeps us nice and docile. Gee, the French sure know how to get things moving. I like their spirit.

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This is our daughter and her youngest son, Max, who has reached that stage of being a teenager very drawn to languorousness.  This means he likes to adopt a seating arrangement between sitting and lying. He is Tom’s brother who is almost at the end of his Indonesian adventure and at present in Bali’s Ubud. Tom is 18 and now taken to sitting upright again.

The lunch was beautiful and included as a dessert a nice chunk of water melon ‘infused’ with mango gelato. This coming Christmas day she and both our Grandsons will be visiting us for a Christmas lunch with a possible stay over-night. Of course, that has the proviso the trains are running and that the wombats stay away from the rails.

The latest new’s item that really stunned me that for over 150 years a Tattersall club in Brisbane, Queensland, prohibiting women becoming members. They excluded women. Can you believe this? A vote was taken on the issue and the ban was lifted. Oh, Australia; where is your Santa list for moving forward?

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/brisbane-s-exclusive-tattersall-s-club-votes-to-allow-female-members-20181219-p50na1.html

The vote in favour of allowing women wasn’t all that overwhelming. It was mainly for financial reasons and not because it was so outrageously  misogynistic.

I wonder if the Republican issue will be dealt with soon? I suppose, we are waiting for the English queen to pass away. Another terrible sad bit of news is that the issue of refugees on Manus and Nauru will not be resolved before Christmas. When, oh when, will Australia be dragged in front of some court to face charges of crimes against humanity?

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-20/boy-raped-on-nauru-asylum-seeker-lawyers-claim/10632882

But, there is also good news. It seems that keeping pets helps to keep children healthy and possibly avoid getting infections. And…the more pets, the better!

A baby lying on the ground beside a small dog.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-12-20/pets-allergies-asthma-dogs-cats-immune-system-microbes/10630174

We are both now fitting in some more medical appointments as well. The medications we now ingest are keeping us alive as much as possible. This morning at 9am I was ordered to get in my underpants and take my valuables to the medical room and submit myself to a bone-density test. It was a remarkable experience. My feet were strapped in while laying on a hard surface in the horizontal position. ‘Just relax’, I was told by a female technician operating a sliding monitor taking images of my totally prostrated body. You know, when it was all over, I had trouble getting vertical again. The woman had to actually lift me up and prop me up a bit. The ignominy of ageing. It seems only yesterday we were skating and somersaulting about.

And now, look at it!

 

 

A peculiar lack of Empathy.

October 22, 2018

IMG_1163Violets etc

The new member of Parliament in the Federal seat of Wentworth is now Dr Kerryn Phelps.  She is an independent. A stunning victory whereby this seat held since Federation by the Liberals has changed for the first time overcoming a 19% majority held by the previous ex-Prime Mister, Malcolm Turnbull. He vacated the seat after he was turfed out by his own Government. He quickly left Australia for NYC.

Dr Kerryn Phelps was known for her strong stance on Same Sex Marriage with Wentworth being one of the most progressive pro SSM seats during last year’s referendum. She now wants the Government to take notice of climate change. The refusal to act on climate change is partly due because the right wing of the Liberals, including the present PM, Scott Morrison, don’t believe in climate change. The right wing of the Liberal party primarily believe in keeping the status quo. They like nothing better than sticking to burning coal and a fearless unrelenting punishments for off-shore held refugees.

The present Liberal-National party has lost their one seat majority. Things are going to be difficult to pass legislation with the independent cross benchers now holding the strings.

Dr Phelps promises to  use her independence to get the Government to take urgent action on climate change, and to bring the refugees home to Australia. At present they are held on off-shore islands; Manus, Nauru and Christmas Island. A petition signed by thousands of doctors presented to the Government is demanding that the children and their parents be allowed into Australia for processing. http://medicalrepublic.com.au/doctors-unite-drive-change-refugee-policy/17267

The Government might well have to be forced to take action on the refugees. The rumblings of international criticisms of our present policy on refugees are getting louder. The abhorrence on learning that children of ten are googling how to commit suicide, the sacking of all Medicine sans Frontier personal from Nauru is pointing out the cruelty of off-shore detention.

The Government is now also finally heeding the offer from New-Zealand willing to take 150 refugees from Nauru. So far the Morrison and previous Turnbull Government have refused to consider this proposal.  They argue, that it would give the refugees a ‘back-door’ chance to visit Australia. However, the US has taken a couple of hundred refugees without this apparent condition being attached to their freedom from the Nauru hell-hole! Is it so much more difficult to come to Australia from the US as it is from New Zealand ? The mind boggles.

Where does this urge to keep punishing those vulnerable refugees come from? I found some observation by the Australian Author and academic,  Jill Kerr Conway enlightening. Jill Kerr Conway was the first woman to take the Presidency of the Smith College in the US. She found Australia to be lacking in appreciating women for top jobs and moved permanently to the US. She died a few months ago, aged 84. Her book, ‘The road from Coorain,’ is a masterpiece.

She seems to argue that the hundreds of  thousands of emigrants who left their European homelands to go to the US, Canada, and Australia, must have keenly felt the pains of being up-rooted  suffering aching alienation. The children of the great European migration made up for this loss by, in the US at least, making Hollywood the purveyor of happy endings. This convention was a comfort for those who might have felt or were unwilling to face the possibility that the journey was not worth the uprooting.

In Australia I always thought that the migrants made the best of it by going wildly overboard by the ‘own-home’ on ‘own block of land’ achievements. A peculiar Australian phenomenon. It seems to have calmed down lately. Many young people are happy to ditch this form of idealisation and are now happily renting.

In any case, not much seems to have been studied on how this migration has been part in forming the Australia psyche. How many have studied the history of how it felt like to be transported to Australia, by the convicts, or the children of men and women condemned to forced labor? Has this early convict start and continuation of it by those hundreds of thousands of migrants milling around the fore-shores and migrant camps given the foundation to this ‘muddling through’ within our own political milieu?

Again,  our Prime Minister Mr. Morrison has reiterated that if some of the refugees were to be transferred to New Zealand from Manus, its (New Zealand) Government must give an iron clad guaranty that none of them or their children, will ever be given or allowed a visa to Australia. Not even for a holiday.

Ignoring why refugees would even want to visit the land of their torturers, how insanely revengeful is this proposal? It shows how deliberate and wilful the utter degradation of refugees, so desired by some of our politicians, has become. What have the refugees done?

Let’s all hope Dr Phelps will help to make an end to this sad history and restore Australia’s world standing.

Where does the cruelty come from though?

 

Are these Australian values?

July 30, 2018

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-30/asylum-seeker-hamid-khazaei-coronial-inquest-death-preventable/10050512

The death of Iranian asylum seeker Hamid Khazaei.

 

” Coroner Terry Ryan found 24-year-old Mr Khazaei, who died in a Brisbane hospital in September 2014 after he contracted a leg infection in Manus Island detention centre, would have survived had his rapid deterioration been recognised.

Mr Khazaei suffered severe sepsis from a leg infection and was first moved to Port Moresby before being flown to Brisbane where nothing could be done to save his life.

Mr Ryan found the failures included not clearing Mr Khazaei for a timely medical transfer to a Port Moresby hospital from Manus Island, where the level of health care was “not commensurate with a clinic in remote Cape York”.

He found the Department of Home Affairs needed to enforce new policy that put the clinical needs of detainees first when medical transfers required the approval of Australian immigration officials.

Mr Ryan also called on the Federal Attorney-General to establish a new framework ensuring independent judicial investigations of deaths in Australia’s offshore detention system.

Mr Khazaei was pronounced brain dead at Brisbane’s Mater Hospital after a worsening systemic infection caused cardiac arrests at the Pacific International Hospital in Port Moresby.

Mr Ryan said his death occurred in the context of Australia’s policy of deterring asylum seeker arrivals by boat through offshore detention and highlighted the practical problems of ensuring adequate health care in remote tropical locations such as Manus Island.

“It would be possible to prevent further deaths by relocating asylum seekers to other places like Australia and New Zealand,” he said”

For how much longer will the Australian Government continue in the torture of hundreds of refugees, including over a hundred children? Those people have done no wrong. Australia continues to flaunt international law regarding refugees. A shameful period in Australian history. We insist on new migrants including refugees to adhere and understand Australian values before granting residency. But, does that include the torture of refugees including children?

The potato.

May 29, 2018
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Image result for peter dutton

 

The latest piece mentioning Dutton and his likeness to a potato was unfortunate. Each time I look at a potato I get this scary Dutton image. Horrible. And yet, when I see Dutton a potato appears. I thought the best way to get over this is to make a good potato bake. This dish is very simple. You need a good solid cast iron baking dish. We use a red enamelled Chasseur. It is very heavy. Even an empty Chasseur, one needs to be fit just to be able to put it in an oven. I hope when reaching the nineties I will be strong enough to continue using this great baking dish.  (I don’t want to be found lifeless at the bottom of my stove with a Cast iron Chasseur pot on top me.) Apart from a potato bake it is ideal for almost all slow cooking recipes, especially slow simmering curries.

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Anyway, thinly sliced raw potatoes are layered with a mixture of tinned tuna in between. For a garnish I mix fried garlic, lots of rosemary and anchovies. Also chopped up leek with a red capsicum. All this is tucked in between the layers of Dutton/Molan, sorry, potatoes. When the Chasseur is ready to put in the oven I fill it up with milk into which I have whisked a couple of eggs. Depending on how we feel, I might also top it up with pouring full cream.  Some grated parmesan cheese on top before you close the lid and bang it into the oven at about 160C for a bit more than an hour. Don’t use salt as the anchovies generally provide enough salt. Helvi likes her salt and an exception can be made for those with low blood pressure. Apparently, salt raises blood pressure which can be beneficial for those, who like Helvi, have low blood pressure.

At last night’s Q&A, a mate of Dutton was on the ABC’s panel. His name is Jim Molan. He also is wildly enthusiastic about keeping refugees ( including 113 children) detained indefinitely on Manus and Nauru.

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Jim Molan

It will take a lot of potato bakes to get over this strange turn that Australia has taken. Is it just a foolhardy sticking to one’s point of view, no matter how wrong this is? Are those Duttons and Molan’s unable to see the misery this is causing? How can they justify their point of view for years on end?

We used to say; ‘Fair crack of the whip.’ But, indefinite detention for people who have done no wrong, who have not been charged with any crime, are not getting a fair go or ‘fair crack of the whip’.

The reason that Dutton and Molan give for putting and keeping refugees in detention indefinitely is to prevent more refugees from drowning. In other words, the refugees are being used/ punished for not having drowned or as a punishment and warning for others trying to seek asylum by boat,  ‘we will also put you in detention.’ Seeking asylum is not illegal.

A court should try those two for committing crimes against humanity.

Q&A

The heat on Manus and Nauru.

May 26, 2018

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While a seventh man has now died on Manus island, the chorus of protests is growing. The aim of this Governments has always been never to let refugees into Australia that tried to come by boat. They conveniently forget that, unless of aboriginal ancestry, we all came by boat.

With the upcoming bi- election of several federal seats and a general election looming, The abominable way those refugees are being treated is now getting to a growing awareness of voters. Savvy politicians will try and take advantage of it. If not out of a softening of their stance or because of a pure humanitarian concern, but out of practical political awareness.

You can only sweep so much rubbish under the carpet. The news about the horrendous treatment by Australia about those refugees locked on Manus and Nauru now into their fifth year is being soaked up by many countries. It will damage our reputation for years to come. You cannot excuse trying to achieve an aim ( preventing boat people from seeking asylum) by punishing thousands by locking them up indefinately on foreign islands.

The seventh refugee to die (by jumping from a moving bus) is now being remembered by a memorial on Manus Island. Have a look.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-26/manus-island-refugees-remember-rohingya-man-who-died/9803314

Two of the bi-elections are in WA which are contested by Labor and the Greens only. The Greens are strongly opposed to our present abominable refugee policies and totally in favour of dealing with refugees on-shore in Australia. One wonders if Labor too now will soften their stance on refugees. If not, many might well vote for the greens.

New Zealand is also willing to take some of the refugees which the present Government is strongly opposing. It seems that our minister for immigration, Peter Dutton, hopes for all the refugees to slowly give up and die or follow the latest refugee, and commit suicide.

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Peter Dutton. Minister for immigration and Border Protection

A solid foundation for bullying.

March 1, 2018

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With a steady stream of  News on TV and newspapers about many forms of bullying inflicted on school students including the latest insights on’hazing parties’at our Sandstone and other prestigious universities one wonders where this stems from? While this might go on in other countries, I am not aware of it, and can only write about what happens here ‘today’ in our own neck of the woods.

http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/labor-tells-residential-colleges-to-clean-up-their-act/9494780

The Australian school systems, especially the more exclusive ‘Private school’s’ have a system whereby the school classes have captains, prefects or duxes appointed by the head master or mistress whose rules and penalties were the standards and to be obeyed without questioning or a recourse to a higher authority. The most likely reason for this is that many established rules of our societal norms have been inherited from the British. (Till this day our head of state is the English Queen). In schools cheating or letting down the other side is still considered more serious than failures of sensitivity. Stealing is still seen as the most serious failure.

In Australian schools, prowess at sport is extremely praiseworthy and excuses many breaches of rules and decorum. Bookishness and dislike for physical activities is disliked and even arouse suspicions of a certain moral darkness and even invites punishment or some form of disciplinary action for the slightest breach of the rules set by the school captains or prefects. A good rapping over the knuckles with a bamboo stick was the answer.

Hardiness is considered more important than sensitivity, let alone imagination. In boarding schools you get up at six, take a cold shower and run a mile before the classes assembled in uniformed solidarity. Woe those that had hidden a book under their pillow.

It isn’t’ just at schools that initiated the now well established nation-wide art of bullying. This was also the norm at many work places. After arrival in Australia I was amazed at the initiation practices imposed on young apprentices including myself, a cruel process of degrading the hapless victim, most times of a sexual nature, often overseen by the chortling foreman or factory manager. It was ‘the norm.’ A psychologist would rationalise and explain it by saying; ‘you give back what was given to you.’ This is at the very centre of what is now still so rampant in Australia. ‘We bully you to give back what we were given.’

It just doesn’t apply to schools or universities. Just look how our politicians behave, almost on a daily basis. And how does one explain the fact that refugees are now in their fifth year of deliberate and intentional detention on Nauru an Manus. While a small dribble of people have finally been allowed to settle in America, the majority are still stuck in endless limbo. A purer form of punishment and bullying would be hard to imagine.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-01/bullying-must-stop-pm-writes-to-schools-amid-university-hazing/9496150

Yet, our PM has now instructed his department to write to every headmaster to install programmes to alleviate bullying. But this is a hollow act, perhaps to make him look good and enhance his future election as a PM.  A better example would be to show kindness to the refugees still in detention. Admit that coming by boat to Australia escaping the mayhem of bombings in own countries is no crime.

Our PM would do better and do away with the overt British system of discipline and punishment above all else.

Show some kindness instead.

 

Does Australia attract ‘hard-line’ diplomats now?

February 11, 2018
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The appointment by America of Harry Harris as the ambassador for Australia is hardly something I would normally pay much attention to. Of late, community nurses and lymphatic drainage has been much more part of our world. Not a day goes by without a medical event. Even so, we try and keep up with the ‘real’ world. This morning we discovered through Barry Cassidy Insider program,  that the appointment of the Ambassador was welcomed with open arms by both the Libs and Labor. A warm bosom awaits Harry in ‘hard-line’ Australia.

Harry is known for his ‘hard-line’ approach to China. I would have thought that a ‘diplomat’ and ‘hard-line’ were a bit of a contradiction. But, not anymore it seems.  ‘Hard-line’ is very much in and with the Jim Molan as a new senator, also known for fondness of ‘hard-line’, many politicians are scrambling to be at the forefront of ‘hard-liners’. I fear the day both Harry and Jim will meet up. Can we expect more wars and pyrotechnical devices raining down on hapless populations in sandy regions? I think Harry had something to say about China’s sandy diplomacy referring to islands being used by China to build airfields. Not an unreasonable response seeing Asia is surrounded by the US military might.

I don’t know where this fondness for allowing extremism into our political arena comes from. I do admit not knowing anything about both those men. They might well be very nice and honourable. On our ABC ‘The Drum’ I once experienced Jim Molan giving vent to his rather harsh opinion of refugees, especially the survivors of boat people now locked in indefinite detention on Manus and Nauru. He seemed to have a very ruthless and, in my mind, a cold and heartless view, on how to deal with refugees. Recently he posted extreme right anti Islam videos on his blog. It all went through without too much upheaval. I reckon Dutton was heartened by it all. He too is a hard liner.

I so wish Australia would be kinder to China. I don’t notice the Chinese are trying to culturally impose on us. I don’t see the Chinese equivalent of KFC, or Big Quarter Pounder MacDonald’s plastered all over the place. Instead I notice that sometimes the top HSC students often feature students from Eastern backgrounds.

On top of that, I prefer a nice Chop Suey over a foot long Subway.

Read here about Harry. China’s Foe, Australia’s friend.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australia-s-friend-china-s-foe-new-us-ambassador-harry-harris

 

 

Is the battery permanently flat?

November 10, 2017

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One of life’s more perplexing events took place last Wednesday. The day started positive. The toast was just perfect with no burnt edges but warm enough for the butter to melt within, allowing the cheese to nestle itself in all its hollows and grooves.

The previous couple of weeks, things were far from comfortable. I caught a nasty flu. If a good diet prevents getting colds or nasty flu, I am almost prepared to believe the contrary, eating fresh fruit and different vegetables daily might well be the reason for getting sick. I am just kidding, the reason probably is found in doctors’ waiting rooms often being warrens for the viruses. Helvi had a cataract removed and I had to renew my thyroid prescription. The multiple visits to waiting rooms was asking for trouble. I just knew it. Helvi just now is recovering as well.

Each Wednesday morning is one of my my  weekly bowling appointment. Perhaps the flu virus was caught there. You just don’t know through whose hands those bowls have travelled. Each Sunday evening is the other bowling event. Again, with both being played indoors at Returned Soldier’s Clubs. The flu viruses must be having a ball spreading havoc.

Last Wednesday I played well and on leaving the club was given a nice compliment by another player. I like compliments and somewhat jauntily jumped in the car ready to drive home and have lunch. But, as I turned the key, the engine remained eerily silent. It did not kick over. Modern cars have complicated electrical systems. I thought that perhaps I wasn’t following correct procedure. This car has a computer screen and usually gives written commands.  Nothing appeared on the screen.

I phoned up my National Road and Motor Association and within half an hour was helped out by a mechanic who told me that the battery was not only flat but finished and proceeded with giving me a print-out of the faulty battery’s output. He advised me to go to the nearest dealer and get a new battery. I did this and as the car is under warranty got a new battery for free. I got home at least two hours after my bowling event had finished and was ravenous for sustenance. I almost relented and succumbed to a Big Macdonald’s, but resisted heroically. Heaven only knows what germs thrive in those fast food establishments with snotty kids slobbering all over the joint.

Aren’t we fortunate though to replace the occasional battery? It is different in our Government. We seem to be in a permanent state of flat battery. Nothing gets done. The ennui of nothingness is paralysing Australia. The only thing happening is a permanent lurching from one crisis to another.  The refugees on Manus and the problem of their permanent detention seems unsolvable and intractable by this inert Government in finding a solution. And all those Parliamentarians popping up with dual Nationality? Each evening we watch the news to see who is next to having another nationality. Isn’t it a hoot?

Australia has a flat battery and that is not good.