Posts Tagged ‘Parliament’

English Gramma(r) and sharing a banana.

January 3, 2019

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Is it true that todays bananas are getting bigger or am I shrinking, and the comparison is at fault? In any case, I now share the banana with Helvi. It is part of our morning ritual, as is our blood pressure measuring. This morning it was a nice 105 over 66 with a pulse of 82. I generally cut the banana with a large cleaver. Sometimes Helvi does it too but uses a smaller knife. After all that, we proceed with opening our pill boxes and take the first of a range of medications spaced out through the rest of the day. In between morning’s duties we sip coffee and tea between talk.

Part of my school education back in Holland was the learning of four languages. It was compulsory at that time for all students going through a high school. Learning English started at Primary school. After our family left Holland 1956, my school education stopped and since then my limited learning of world’s  language skills came through curiosity and reading. It was a case of self-educating and becoming an ‘autodidact’ as is sometimes called.

I was fascinated to read how the English language evolved. English is a typical product of illogicality. I remember as a schoolboy being annoyed that English words were not pronounced as they were written. It is baffling why the language lacks phonetics. Normal languages pronounce words as they are written, but of course, not in England.  The English language is just part of a culture steeped in Illogicality. Just listen to their parliament or Fawlty Towers. They are both the same. And then the circus of Brexit!

I was heartened to read in a book ‘The Lexicographer’s Dilemma, by Jack Lynch, that through the decades attempts were made to simplify English. George Bernard Shaw campaigned to make it more phonetic but with frustratingly little success. In 1906 the Simplified Spelling Board attempted to change the spelling of many words but it turned out even more complicated. Here below are just a few examples how this attempt made the English language even more strange and difficult.

autograf-autograph, biografy-biography, crum-crumb, dout-doubt, tung-tongue. etc

As one can see, the new way of spelling became even less rational. It added letters , mainly consonants, that are not used in speech. They remain unuttered and left unspoken. It is now totally out of the question to make English more phonetic with spelling reforms. We will just have to put up with an abundance of spelling mistakes that is common even amongst those having grown up with just English without the benefits knowing a second or third language.

English  despite it being a difficult and obstinate language, remains the world most spoken language. I like it for its complexities and nuances. It remains to be my favourite tongue. Yet, in my dreams I still speak Dutch.  That language hasn’t left but am unsure if expressing it would be now as fluent (or clumsy) as my English.

Who knows?

From Wiki; ” Phonetic, using a system of written symbols that represent speech sounds in a way that is very close to how they actually sound.”

 

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Scandinavia and the Sami people.

December 6, 2018
Image result for sami people
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-06/sami-parliament-example-for-australia-of-indigenous-voice/10586566
“How might an Indigenous voice to Parliament work? Here’s some ideas from Nordic nations.”
      By Joey Watson and Annabelle Quince for Rear Vision
The Sametinget sits

 

the right to decide

The aim of the Sami Parliament is to strengthen the political position of the Sami people, paving the way for them to develop their language, culture and society.

The plenary, the highest body in the Sami Parliament, has 39 representatives elected by direct vote from seven constituencies across Norway.

The representatives from the largest Sami party form a governing council and select a president.

Finland and Sweden

While the Norwegian Sami Parliament is the most prominent in Scandinavia, it was not the first.

The Sami political movement was born in Finland after World War Two.

 

 

Sex ist streng verboten in Parliament.

February 17, 2018

 

 

untitledpicasso

Picasso with Brigitte Bardot.

After our PM, Herr Malcolm Turnbull forbade sex between parliamentarians and staffers, the country has become eerily silent. People are now seen huddled together on street corners and many chemist shops in Canberra  have put up steel shutters. Shares in condom manufacturers have plummeted but the sale of gas masks have gone up. Ever since the rumors of sex between the Deputy Prime minister, Barnaby Joyce and one of his staffers came out in the open, the good people re-coiled in horror. How could a man so against Same Sex Marriage and a fighter for the sanctity of marriage (but only between a man and woman) so get off the rails bonking a staffer? Not just bonking but a babe on the way as well. Was it this same sex that led him so astray? I always wondered why Barnaby had such a red post conjugal face.

The newspapers are full of it and are not letting up. Massacres in Syria and Florida are thrown aside as mere pulp and is not making a dent in it. The ‘affaire’ and its details is keeping this whole nation occupied,  is soothing down even the promise of Tax concessions to the business world or Dutton’s ever popular and vigilant Border Control, stoking fear of terrorism stalking our suburban streets.

The ban on sex by Turnbull has given the subject a new lease of life. The Labor Party are rubbing their hands together. What a gift, and the longer it lasts the more dividends this story will pay. The deputy PM has dug in his heels, and surprisingly gave a sound rebuff to his master, Mr Turnbull.

There is still a lot of life in this story left. Bonking is very well established and despite laws against it and raised eyebrows, it always finds a way to a coupling in one way or other. If truth be known, there would be very few that haven’t done it. Of course in Barnaby’s case one would have thought him to show less hypocrisy, but… Let those without any sin cast the first stone etc. (John 8:7, viz.)

Why doesn’t the Parliament building in Canberra have a special space for the hard-working parliamentarians to get some light relief? A rest and recreation space, or in plain terms;  A bonking Bunker.

 

Is Australia captive to inane trivia?

November 14, 2017

imagesssm

There is a cake and pie shop in Bowral named ‘The Gumnut.’ On its front window it has a very impressive lists of ribbons of yearly ‘best pie or best cake’ of the year won at Sydney’s yearly agricultural show called ‘The Easter Show.’ We often in our daily walk stop to have a coffee and a pie. I still succumb to a ribbon or award winning meaty one but Helvi prefers the vegetable pie with roast pumpkin and sun-dried tomato. Each to their own.

Tomorrow at 10am all TV and radio Stations will broadcast the results of the $120,000,000,- postal vote on SSM. With all that is going, some Ministers and Parliamentarians will try and throw sand over the issue by putting up their own bills safe-guarding religious beliefs or matters of conscience. It is generally predicted through polls that the SSM will get a healthy 60% Yes vote and a 40% No vote outcome.

Many on the extreme right, will under the pretext of protecting religious or conscientious views try and make things more difficult than they are. Some politicians are using the example of cake makers forced to sell wedding-cakes to Gay or Lesbian couples against their conscience or religious beliefs. Can you believe it?  For some time now this cake selling has been popping up almost daily in adult right-wing Parliamentarians seriously rambling on about it on the TV.

One particular Minister gets red in the face about the prospect of SS couples being sold a same sex wedding cake. It gets worse. ‘What about those renting out wedding cars or those celebrants whose beliefs might run against SSM? And so it goes on.

And, while 15000 scientists are warning time is running out for the world to be spared the collapse of our ecology, Australia talks about wedding cakes to SS couples. Are shops at present sussing out homosexual couples and refusing to sell them vanilla slices? I don’t think so. I often see openly gay people munching away on cakes or sausage rolls. Who cares? Why would shops refuse to make a wedding cake just because it might get eaten by people born with a difference. What next. Stop selling cakes to people with beards or with blue eyes?

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-14/climate-scientists-issue-dire-environmental-warning/9147334

Yet, not much about the plight of hundreds of asylum seekers now after two weeks without urgent provisions of food, water and toilets on Manus island. Sometimes during my mind’s meanderings I wonder what my father would make of present day Australia. We used to be progressive and forward looking but now have sunk to inane and silliness. Who would have thought that wedding cakes would be discussed while at the same time being tolerant of untold cruelty to refugees?

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/thousands-rally-in-melbourne-in-support-of-manus-island-asylum-seekers-20171104-gzevx0.html

The importance of being a ‘Parliamentary Whip.’

February 15, 2015
Lovely tangle of green

Lovely tangle of green

One never stops learning. Years have gone by and yet I never stood still even once to contemplate the job of ‘whips’. Of course, I know what a whip is. It swishes and is used to round up cattle in cowboy movies It was very popular during the years we watched Bonanza. In agricultural shows here in Australia one can see whip cracking events and competition by lithesome cowboy girls in boots and tight shorts. In some countries a whip is used to inflict punishments.

We hardly got over the week loaded with the Government preventing spills and soft motions that were still fresh in our minds. The linoleum clad corridors of power still slippery with the aftermath when we got hit with a sacking of the Chief Whip. The Imodium that all parliamentarians were put on hardly had time to do its job. Abbott was hoping against all odd it would reduce the amount of stool.There were some signs the motions were getting more solid and some ministers were seen confidently striding along and even smiling. But out of the blue came Tony Abbott’s announcement the Chief Whip was sacked. Com-motion came back running.

Many were flabbergasted, why go through another bout of turmoil? My question is more about; what is a Whip? How can a person be a whip? There is not just one whip, no the government has many whips. I asked but only got vague answers. It is always like that, never a clear explanation. One answer was, that they organise the business of governing. Yes, understood by why are they whips? Ah well, that’s how it is. Infuriating! Surely one just does not conjure up a word. Could they just as likely be called cheeses, bicycles or book-ends? Why Whips and Chief Whip? The Chief Whip was sacked as not having been seen to inform the PM Abbott of some kind of Back Bench turmoil. He was sacked as revenge for all the motions the week before. A House of Charlatans.I can look up Chief Whips and no doubt it relates to some form of English Charles Dickens role of pomp and ceremony including yeomen and unemployed crofters.

My mum was always amused that some cheeses were called ‘tasty cheese’. Do people buy cheese that is not tasty, she would query? Is there a cheese called un-tasty? Today, after sixty years, there is still cheese named ‘tasty’. Could you imagine the French trying to sell cheese as ‘tasty’? I might as well go on, seeing I am in full flight; of mentioning the cricket much hallowed price of winning ‘the ashes’. I have asked, but never got a clear answer. Are the ashes an urn containing the remnants of a famous cricketer passed away many years ago? Are they ashes of stumps or old cricket bats? WTF are those ashes? Has anyone checked if the urn or vase, cup, actually holds ashes?

The same question years ago when Australia still had the Imperial coinage. A penny was denoted with a D. Two pennies were two d, not two p. I asked and asked but no one knew. That’s just how it is, was the usual answer. Yes, but Why? I got my answer from a dictionary. It is related to denary. Yes, but why not call it a denary then, instead of penny. Denary= calculated in tens. But,,, but…there were twelve pennies in a shilling not ten.Incredulous silence.

I gave up. No answer.

Rattling Sabres and Victa’s

October 3, 2014

photo Chiminea

“We had this hysteria a few weeks ago when hundreds of police came swooping down on a few that were supposed to be heading towards wiping Australia of the map. There were photos of men with hands tied behind their backs, sitting on suburban nature strips surrounded by masked menacing looking men with guns handy.

Soon after jets were scrambling towards the middle East and the whole country petrified of swords and sounds of manic mid-night cackling by deranged Islamic fanatics. And since then? Niente, niks, rien, nothing, nichts.

The same as ever, queuing in traffic, gas-bills being paid, the cabbage in the fridge, the rattle of the Victa lawnmower at week-ends.

And now… this unholy cabinet united in involving us in yet another war”. Good sense has now taken leave with charlatans, foxtrotting generals, and palm readers in control.

It is now time to put on the sausages. There is nothing like taking stock, reflect on folly, indulge in purple prose, escape in flights of fancy and light the newest barbeque. We have bought one of those Mexican chimineas. A biscuit glazed clay bulbous pot on steel stand with embossed iguanas on the outside. Helvi and I, like true Mexican tribesmen used to, sit around and contemplate while baste the sausage, bung in the prawns, imbibe a Shiraz.

“Can you try not fall asleep when I am talking to you G, or, if you do, I’ll go upstairs to the putor”. “Sorry dear, I am just looking at the flames of the fire,”and relishing your latest post on suggesting putting a Burqa on Abbott, seeing all his decisions are now cloaked in secrecy.” ” I thought it was so apt.” “Don’t pull the flattering one on me, you’re eyes were closed.” “I know you so well.” ” So do I.” “I think the sausages are ready now, can you get the plates?” “Yes dear. Any tom sauce?” “No tom sauce for you G”, it is bad stuff.” “Is it? I am still here!” “Yes, you are telling me.” Sigh!

Domestic bliss around the clay iguana pot.

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The silliness of the debate on burqas and Parliamentary security. I can just imagine the upcoming debate on fanatic Santas riding on reindeer, hiding their true faces. God knows what evil lurks behind those beards and red robes. How did they ever infiltrate our lovely sun-kissed country and culture. Did they sneak in on rickety boats? What are their evil aims and why have kiddies in their laps?

There is a lot there!