The same-sex marriage postal survey is almost upon us. For some, the consequences of this vote will be life-changing. It’s obviously despicable that our government has outsourced responsibility for its people’s of civil liberties to an opinion poll. But since they have, decent Australians must do everything we can to fight for the human rights of some of our most vulnerable citizens: evangelical Christians who work in the wedding industry.
Content note: This piece includes graphic discussion of suicide and reference to abuse
Just as I said I wouldn’t, I forgot them, and their stories got tangled up with all the other distant horrors. In May, last year, two young refugees under Australian care set themselves on fire. Omid Masoumali, an 23 year old held in indefinite detention on Nauru, doused his body in petrol and burnt himself alive. Three days later Hodan Yasin, a 21 year old Somali woman, also set herself alight. Unlike Masoumali, she survived; with burns covering seventy per cent of her body. She lost several fingers in the blaze.
Consider a notebook. Thick parchment, licked yellow by salty air, and brown ink in a grand loopy hand. It sits in the cabin of one James Cook, and specifies, in no uncertain terms, that a “discovered” land may only be claimed in the name of the King under one of two conditions – that it is unoccupied, or “with the Consent of the Natives.” But Cooky’s a boisterous sort, raised on Magellan and St George, and when they’re there and obviously not consenting he decides to seize it anyway with oratory and lead, notebook and orders be damned. This means that even under British law at the time the invasion of Australia was illegal. Continue reading “Consider a Notebook”
Content Note: The following piece contains reference to mental illness and suicide
A fortnight ago, the Weekend Australian published a profile of Jeff Kennett so glowing you’d be forgiven for thinking he wrote it himself. The obsequious puff-piece gushed about the resigning chair of Beyondblue, citing the “indefatigable can-do spirit hard-wired in his soul” and painting him as a maverick saviour of the anguished and bereft.
The anguished and bereft might beg to differ. While there’s no doubt Beyondblue has done internationally groundbreaking work to destigmatise and alleviate mental illness in Australia, this is largely in spite, not because, of the organisation’s public face. As Kennett steps down after sixteen years with the charity, it’s only fair that we acknowledge his generous advocacy. But let’s also not forget the tireless work he’s done throughout his career to champion forces that contribute to and exacerbate mental illness on a mass scale.
There’s worse news every day.
Thursday, 15th of September: in her maiden speech to the Senate, Pauline Hanson declares that Australia is “in danger of being swamped by Muslims”.
Sunday, 18th of September: speaking to a forum of European conservatives, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott describes the influx of refugees to Europe from “Middle East and Africa” as a “peaceful invasion”.
Wednesday, 21st of September: an Essential poll of 1000 people suggests that 49% of Australians want to ban the migration of people of people of the Islamic faith to Australia. A further 11% aren’t sure either way. If the poll is accurate, those of us who oppose such a measure are in the minority.
What a wild ride it’s been. And although this roller coaster campaign hurtles to its thrilling conclusion, the zany gaffes and nail-biting drama will be with us forever. Who could forget Malcolm’s cold? Or Tanya Plibersek’s game changing snafu in week two, when she accidentally said “good morning” at 12:17pm? Or the unforgettable moment in week four when Matthias Cormann’s leg got caught in a rotating door and was mangled from the knee down?
Continue reading “2016 Senate Guide: The Cooked-O-Meter”
Jaundiced schlockmonger Donald Trump could be the next Emperor of Freedomland and everyone is all in a tizzy. But has anyone noticed that this racist demagogue has qualities in common with the only other racist demagogue anyone can be bothered remembering? Amazingly, nobody has ever thought to compare Trump with Hitler. Until now! These quotes are from either the Moustachioed Menace or Orange Boy – see if you can guess which belongs to whom!
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Bligh Halifax Rameses Turnbull has struck out at claims that his policies unfairly disadvantage millennials, arguing that they unfairly disadvantage all generations other than his own.
“Of course our policies aren’t some kind of attack on young people,” the PM announced to a press conference held in his negatively-geared harbourside hedge maze, “We’re committed to reducing living standards for all non-key demographics.”
Continue reading “PM says policies don’t target millennials: also hurt elderly, children, the unborn”
There are questions that cleave nations, the junctures where the paths of history fork.
Who has the right to vote? Is this is our war to fight? Should above the line Senate voting change from a group ticket preference system to an optional preferential system wherein voters are instructed to number a non-mandatory minimum of six boxes above the line while the mandatory minimum of 90% numbered boxes below the line is replaced with a non-mandatory nominal minimum of twelve numbered boxes and an unwritten mandatory minimum of six numbered boxes which will act as a savings provision for those who confuse the below the line and above the line voting instructions as well as some changes to the mechanism of election night ballot counting for the sake of expediency and thrift, or not?
Thank goodness we finally have a Prime Minister who respects our intelligence.
Just two months into the Pax Malcolma and the onioniverous antics of our erstwhile overlord seem a lifetime ago. I can barely even remember that time Tony Abbott said baby seals deserved to be clubbed. Or tried to legalise witch-burning on the grounds it would benefit small business. Or went to the NATO summit wearing nothing but a novelty Australian flag bucket hat because Barnaby Joyce dared him too.
That dark age is behind us and Australia now is in a safe pair of hands. Safe, supple, strong hands. Dry, warm, well-manicured hands. Hands that probably couldn’t strangle a man to death, but could pay an assassin to do it for them, but wouldn’t because they’re too gentlemanly. Continue reading “The Good Emperor”