Quizzically Musing

Watching the madness

Posts Tagged ‘Julia Gillard

What Stops a Nation? A Horse Race or an Airline?

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Tuesday is Melbourne Cup Day, the “Race That Stops A Nation”.  I don’t know why any more – most of the runners are not Australian horses!  Today, however, there is something much bigger stopping our nation: Qantas.  The national airline, the one that still calls Australia home!

Reading The Age, which is carrying several articles and a live Twitter feed, Qantas didn’t see fit to inform the Government of the plans to ground the airline.  Qantas gounding seen hurting airline and economy is one headline.

It came as an embarrassment for Prime Minister Julia Gillard who was hosting a  summit of Commonwealth leaders in the western city of Perth, 17 of them booked  to fly out on Sunday with Qantas.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/business/qantas-grounding-seen-hurting-airline-and-economy-20111030-1mq1g.html#ixzz1cDJC5gC0

This is big.  Not only are many of the Commonwealth leaders stranded, the impact on the Cup will be dramatic.

Who is at fault here?  I don’t know.  I’ve had my own issues to concentrate on of late and to be honest I’ve not been keeping up with the situation other than catch snatches of commentary on the radio whilst driving to work.

I DO know this is not good for our international reputation and I do know the government should have been keeping a closer eye on the situation.  To all those involved, perhaps it is time to find a common ground for the benefit of our nation.  I’m not suggesting the unions back down if their claims are valid (are they?) nor am I suggesting the airline cave in either.  I am suggesting there has to be a common ground you can all reach.

Reach it now, before we look too damn stupid on the global stage.  We have one of the world’s strongest, if not THE strongest, economies at the moment.  But we let this happen?  How did this happen?

Written by Robyn Dunphy

October 30, 2011 at 9:55 am

Tony Abbott – do not do it!

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Good grief, what politicians will do to win power.  One of the benefits of living in Australia, at least I believe it is still a benefit, is the right to criticise our politicians, even if we are of the same persuasion!

While Mr Abbott continued to condemn the Malaysia option, the carrot for him is that the proposed changes would ensure as prime minister he could send people to Nauru.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/abbott-muddies-water-on-boats-20110912-1k63e.html#ixzz1Xn2wbdfj

Furthermore:

A separate change would also ensure the minister could send children offshore without having to establish this was in their best interests.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/abbott-muddies-water-on-boats-20110912-1k63e.html#ixzz1Xn37Hz84

No.  Definitely not.

May I remind ALL politicians of the requirements of the International Refugee Convention as discussed by Michael Pearce: 

Withdrawal from Refugee Convention may be last resort

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/withdrawal-from-refugee-convention-may-be-last-resort-20110831-1jly1.html#ixzz1WhHoDtzt

At first I thought, “What? We can’t do that!” then I read the article. Michael takes an extremely pragmatic approach to the debate, together with presenting a fresh perspective.

Public policy in Australia seems to have reversed the legal position. The major parties and public opinion seem to say that we should refuse refuge to those who reach our shores and seek asylum because that denies refuge to those in the so-called queue. That is, we should abrogate an obligation which is legally binding on us so that we can comply with an imagined obligation by which we are not, in fact, bound.

Michael goes on to say (emphasis added):

This course will no doubt be very unpopular in some quarters and for good reason. It would signal to all that we, one of the richest countries in the world with enviable space and resources to spare, did not want to share with the bedraggled and desperate few who, by good fortune, wash up on our shores. But this is only to tell the truth about who and what we are as a people.

Would that more people listen to people like Michael.

Why this desire for off-shore processing?  What exactly does it achieve?  Why the desire to send unaccompanied children off-shore?  What does that achieve?

Chris Bowen needs to read some history. 

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said unaccompanied minors presented ”very emotional and difficult issues”. ”The overriding obligation is to say to parents, ‘Do not risk the lives of your children to get the prospect of a visa in Australia.’ ”

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/abbott-muddies-water-on-boats-20110912-1k63e.html#ixzz1Xn5AF2xs

Parents don’t send unaccompanied children in order to get a visa – they send them to save their lives.  What of all the unaccompanied children sent here from England many years ago?  Was that OK because they were English?  I actually work with a woman who is friends with a person who was sent by their parents to Australia to save that (then) child’s life in precisely the same way children are being sent now.  Unless Mr Bowen is totally oblivious to the realities of life, he knows in his heart if he were faced with the same decisions some of these parents are faced with he would do EXACTLY the same thing.  So would any parent.  Do not make glib comments in the media to try to paint parents as being in the wrong for trying to save their children.

Australia MUST remove the guardianship of these children from the position of Minister for Immigration.  It is hard to imagine a greater conflict of interest existing.  How this came about is beyond comprehension.

Written by Robyn Dunphy

September 13, 2011 at 11:23 am

The news is annoying me…

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I’ve been watching/reading the media and can’t really find anything to get my teeth into.  Maybe I’m just jet lagged still.

I am about over Charlie Sheen’s antics (isn’t everyone?).  Northwestern University’s Professor J. Michael Bailey arranged for the demonstration of a sex toy in a tutorial, causing quite a stir: in fact far too much of a stir when there are far more important things to worry about.  Too many police have searched through the details of the St Kilda young lady saga, so we are told.  This is surprising why?  Kevin Rudd is trying to rule the world or at least make sure he leaves a sizeable carbon footprint.

The unrest in the middle east continues and while this situation is of global importance and the loss of life terrible sad, it is not an issue I really want to delve into.  I was a little to close for comfort recently when protests started in Oman while I was in Qatar.  Seems I missed meeting up with Kevin in Abu Dhabi by a day.

I see an article about the Victorian Government allegedly blackmailing Melbourne University and decide I really do not want to know – someone else can take that on board.

Lady Gaga has, thankfully, taken legal action against the makers of breast milk ice cream, but only for the name – the ice cream will probably stay.

Will the media PLEASE stop referring to Julia’s partner as First Bloke?  I don’t care what side of politics any of us are on, this is our NATION we are talking about here and frankly I think we can come up with a better title that doesn’t make US all look like country yokels on the world stage. 

I’ll almost be glad when the real footy season starts – at least the front pages will be predictable, if nothing else.

Written by Robyn Dunphy

March 6, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Xenophobia

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As many readers may know, I have been out of the country visiting my husband.  This article is therefore several days old, but it was brought to my attention upon my return by themoleblogger.

Ross Gittins raises some very interesting points about the asylum seeker debate, looking specifically at the reactions of people and how those reactions can be manipulated by politicians and the media.

What we need are more members of the media speaking out clearly.  We need to acknowledge the problems and challenge the moral panic that seems to be gripping this country.  We need to find our humanity again.

Ross says, “…in their efforts to gratify and exploit public resentment of ”illegals”, governments of both colours have given the highest priority to preventing individual asylum seekers from telling their stories to the media. They must continue to be seen as monstrous invaders, never as flesh and blood.”

It is time we, the people, took a stand.  We must make it clear we will not be manipulated for political advantage.  Or are you happy to be a tool of unhumanity?  The choice is yours.

Written by Robyn Dunphy

March 3, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Who locked up the children?

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This article today runs with the opening phrase of “Julia Gillard locks up …” 

No, Julia Gillard doesn’t lock up anyone.  WE, the Australian citizens are locking up these children, just as we did under Howard (which the article also refers to).

Prime Ministers do not do these things personally.  Prime Ministers and parliaments (assuming we are indeed a democracy) are simply doing what WE, the citizens, ask them or tell them or let them do.  WE are personally responsible, every single one of us.  For WE give the power.

Time for us to voice our disapproval of what our representatives are doing in OUR name.

Written by Robyn Dunphy

January 30, 2011 at 11:05 am

Julia must decide!

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All I can say today is Julia Gillard must love Nick Riewoldt and the St Kilda FC this week.  Will she change her allegiance from the Bulldogs to St Kilda? After all, the media focus in Victoria (the Labor heartland, so we are told) has been shifted from such minor events as the Christmas Island tragedy to the saga of footballers having group sex.

This is news?  We didn’t actually know this already?  The Bombers might have finished down the ladder this year, but at least you always knew James Hird was never going to attract this kind of publicity.

Like an innumerable number of Victorians (if not Australians) I’ve seen the photo of Nick.  I can understand him demanding it be deleted at the time it was taken.  A) His facial expression is just plain weird; B) He “just got out of bed”, but in a very “unmanly” state as many men laughingly indicated within my hearing today and yesterday; C) Am I the only one who noticed he seems to be shaved in the nether regions?  I do agree most people sleep naked – who doesn’t?

There is much todo about where and when the photo was taken.  Should be simple enough to prove.  If I download a photo from my camera or my phone to my computer, a wealth of information is also transferred and easily accessed.  Here is a snip from my own computer.

Look at that – even records the aperture and focal length.  Surprise, surprise.

And the date taken:

A photo from a phone?  Not a problem!  Yes, I do indeed have a Nokia N97.

Let me make it very clear that if the young lady in question is telling the truth, I applaud her fortitude for fighting back.  I may well have questions about what a 16 year-old was doing cavorting with professional footballers, but I also know without a shadow of a doubt those footballers also have a responsibility to behave in a manner befitting their privileged status.  Group sex involving 16 year-olds is not responsible in any way, shape or form.

The fact this state, or this country, thinks this story is worthy of so much news coverage astounds me.    Let’s our politicians off the hook, doesn’t it?  Very convenient.

I read the AFL is “angry” with Channel 7.  The AFL may do well to remember the media is supposed to report openly and independently, not at the behest of a sporting fraternity.

There is so much about this whole thing that is so wrong.  From the actual events, the “he said, she said” aspect with no documented proof from either camp, the “pressure” supposedly being brought to bear on a media outlet for rights to televising games, to the totally unwarranted degree of media coverage when there are way more important things the media should be paying attention to.  Such as the treatment by the USA of an Australian citizen or the treatment of asylum seekers by Australians to name just two items of current importance.

Must be a slow news day.

I expect an annoucement any day that Julia has become St Kilda’s No. 1 ticket holder.

By the way – when exactly did Australia adopt American spelling?  Labour is Labour, not Labor, in Australia!

Written by Robyn Dunphy

December 22, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Who is in control?

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I’m a little confused, or a little innocent: which is it?

I read today that Julia Gillard is “in control” of her government.  Mark Latham has, apparently, been mouthing off again.  That prompted the “assurance”.  After Mark’s performance during the election campaign, that is hardly surprising, I suppose.  Chris Bowen has promoted Mark to the position of comedian.  How nice.

Now, I may be wrong, but I was always of the belief that our nation’s Prime Minister was in fact the leader of the party or coalition in government.  I was not aware it was a dictatorship and that one person was in control.  Strangely enough, I actually thought it was “our” government, not “her” government.  While I believe this was an unfortunate choice of words and nothing more, it did make me wonder a little.

I recall the election campaign: it was all about Abbott and Gillard.  As if we were actually having a USA-style Presidential election.  We weren’t, supposedly.

In this country we vote for our local representatives.  At least that is the plan.  I am wondering if we might get better government if we all returned to that basic principle of democracy.  Now we seem to vote first and foremost for a “party”.  I know nothing much about my local member.  Do you know anything about yours?  I contacted him once.  Never had a response.  Why would I bother again?  Would I vote for him?  Not likely! 

So given I don’t give a toss about my local member (I’m merely reciprocating),  do I just vote for the candidate for the other party?  Do I not vote at all?  Interesting questions we all have to face, I am sure.  Or, at least, those of us of voting age.

I’m still bothered by this use of the word “control”.  Is government really about keeping them all in line, like the crocodile formation we all walked to school in when I was a child? Making sure they don’t step out of line?  Our representatives are, presumably, mature, intelligent adults.  If not, why did we vote them in as our representatives?

I’m not sure I like this word “control”. 

Written by Robyn Dunphy

December 2, 2010 at 10:27 pm