I am strongly in favour of LGBTI rights and have been quick to condemn hate speech in the past, but I am a little bemused by the furore over Margaret Court. I certainly haven’t changed my unequivocal views on marriage equality, but just how shocking or newsworthy is it really that a Christian pastor in her 70s holds outdated views around homosexuality? I doubt she is the only one.
I get that she is a (rapidly tarnishing) sporting icon with a stadium named after her (at least for now), but she is also 74 and much like Dawn Fraser's outburst a few years ago- it is important to remember her views are a product of a different generation. Adding her Christian faith, is it really much of a surprise she is on the wrong side of history?
If last year could have been characterised as the year of fake news what do we make of this year? Perhaps the year of non-news.
I actually wrote about my disappointment with what our news media considered newsworthy last year, but the problem seems to be getting worse. And we, the consumers, have to take responsibility for our part.
If you don’t think it is fair to call the budget a “Labor lite’ version, maybe you would settle for ‘Labor zero.’ This does not ignore in any way the slew of unconscionable measures that accompany the sudden resurgence of spending on health and education, but there certainly looks to be a deliberate effort to reduce the differentiation between Liberal and Labor in several areas. It is also a pretty obvious departure from the last three budgets that focused on cuts to services and seemed to be largely crafted for the benefit of Coalition shareholders (you can call them political donors if you prefer, but the term shareholder seems more accurate to me).
Budget time is not like Christmas, where everyone gets something they want. It is just the time where the government announces how it will tweak its expenditure and revenue processes. There will always be people who feel they have missed out. Remembering how far to the right the ALP has moved in recent decades, anyone claiming that a Labor budget doesn't make cuts or miss anyone out is being revisionist.
Well, it’s now just a few days away from the biggest physical challenge of my life to date. A few people have asked me in the last week whether I am nervous. In truth I’m looking at nervous in the rear view mirror and it is pretty distant.
I am scared.
There are so many ways things could go wrong. And as much as I accept the occasional failure as an inevitable consequence of challenging myself, I will be devastated if I don’t complete this.