If Yoda from Star Wars was asked about the Liberal Party, he might say, “The hypocrisy is strong in this one.”
Seriously, I would actually feel sorry for Christopher Pyne- if I’d seen any evidence that he or his Coalition colleagues could feel human emotions.
But this week’s drama is hard to comprehend. Pyne dared to admit (in private) that the LGBTI community should actually be entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples and a few days later there is pressure on Turnbull (and we know how resolutely our PM stands up to backbench pressure) to remove Pyne from the frontbench. It reminded me of several months ago when Josh Frydenberg had the effrontery to suggest the government might consider actually letting energy policy be informed by science and implement the ETS that had been recommended. He was quickly put back in his place, suitably chastised for making statements not in agreement with Coalition policy, just as Pyne appears to have been.
Courting controversy through offensive statements is no accident for Pauline Hanson. It is a deliberate strategy. Aside from her core constituency of racists and Islamaphobes, she has flirted with anti-vaccers, men’s rights activists and climate deniers among others by making statements that no reasonable politician would.
But even so, I was still surprised by her ignorant denigration of autistic students in parliament yesterday.
I remember being quite shocked and asking myself, “Did I really just read that?” To my autistic friends and former students let me say clearly, Hanson's appalling words speak volumes about her and those who vote for her, but are no reflection on you.
The issue of crowded, under-resourced classrooms in schools is a real one for teachers, especially when they include students with highly challenging behaviours. But conflating this issue with autism specifically was both weird and unnecessarily cruel.
I haven't been shy about criticising the Coalition for the way they have been failing us, but I won't give the ALP a free pass just because they are in opposition. I said in a recent post that the lesser of two evils is often way better than the alternative, but on some policy areas it really isn't much better at all.
Considering how quickly they are simultaneously trashing our economy, our climate and our international reputation, I can’t wait to see the back of this government. And it would be great if our political landscape was simple enough that I could say (whilst I actually vote independent) I preference Labor ahead of Liberal because I agree with Labor’s policies. But like many things, the truth is more complicated than that.
I wonder what elite female athletes are making of the various dragged out pay disputes in a number of high profile men’s sports, including AFL, NRL and cricket.
Having made that comment, I am going to focus on men’s sports in this article (arguably following the lead of advertisers, administrators and broadcasters), and will add my thoughts on the pay discrepancy around women’s sports in a separate article.
I instinctively support the players when I hear about these kinds of disputes. They are the ones we pay to watch after all. But after thinking about it a little more deeply, I am not sure that is really as compelling an argument as we might assume for why they should receive a larger proportion of the revenue.
Has anyone else noticed that our budget-conscious government never hands out millions of dollars for no reason (unless it is to the coal industry)?
So how can our government’s agreement to pay 70 million dollars compensation to the detainees of Manus Island (and another 20 million to the lawyers that represented them) be anything other than an admission of guilt and mistreatment?
I had an interesting conversation with someone recently that started when they commented that they wouldn’t argue with someone who they thought was “too smart for them.” This is not the only incarnation I have seen of people with a lack of confidence in their own intelligence so, fully aware of the inherent irony of this post (it is like the old joke, “Get confident, stupid”), I thought I would have a go at tackling this type of thinking.
Being able to think for yourself and decide your own opinions is one of the privileges of being alive and in Australian society we are lucky enough to also have the right to publicly express that opinion (but not to hypocritically expect others not to challenge us). It would be a shame to waste such a gift by slavishly conforming to the opinions of those we think of as more intelligent, knowledgeable or educated (as Tony Abbott’s Rhodes Scholarship proves, there is a big difference between intelligence and education). There is no shortage of people out there actively trying to dictate your opinion according to their own agenda (as I am doing right now), so it is pretty important you think carefully about things that are important to you, so that you aren’t manipulated by others (hello, News Corp).
Okay I am using the title a little facetiously as it isn’t the kind of thing you would usually find in my writing, but I do want to write about inspiration today.
My friends Maddie and Jill (aka Mumma Bear) are running their first marathon next week. It is pretty damn awesome! I went for a run with them on Saturday and got excited and inspired all over again.
I don’t follow British politics too closely, but was happy for Jeremy Corbyn after his party’s unexpected resurgence in last week’s election. In the last few years, the poor guy has endured treasonous white-anting from within his own party and some of the most viciously partisan coverage from the right wing press, who loudly proclaimed him an unelectable terrorist sympathiser.
I'm not sure if GetUp's #DumpDutton campaign is going to have the effect we would like.
Don't get me wrong, I loathe Dutton for his lack of integrity or basic decency. He is an apt figurehead for much of what is wrong with Australian politics. I would love to see him gone, but I'm just not so sure about this campaign's efficacy. GetUp's proud declaration that they will target him creates the ironic situation where the Minister for Immigration- a man who has made a name for himself through bullying, intimidating and abusing the disempowered- the chance to claim he is being unfairly targeted and appeal for our sympathy. It seems that with the media's current standard of unthinking 'journalism,' even the most privileged bully can try to play the victim (as Pauline Hanson often demonstrates). And it can work too because the Australian public loves an underdog- as long as they are white, obviously.