The Four Corners revelations about treatment of children in Northern Territory detention centres understandably elicited massive community outrage. While condemnation has been almost universal, some have also been quick to point out that the violent mistreatment is not dissimilar to the abuse experienced by refugees in offshore detention.
The Northern Territory Youth Justice System has a sad irony to its name right now. The footage aired last night on the ABC bears no resemblance to justice. While I accept there may be some context missing from the video and the victims may be no angels, I just can’t see any context where this is acceptable. The revelations of abuse are profoundly shocking and upsetting to many Australians, myself included.
Turns out I’m a hypocrite. Who knew (all right put your hands down point made).
I have recently joined a fantastic running group called the Solemates which has been really motivating for continuing the process of regaining fitness after my injury. The big thing I am struggling with is the runs that are scheduled early in the morning or in awful weather.
We had one such event on a freezing Sunday morning and despite the weather I really wanted to go. I woke up early, threw on enough lycra to make a superhero costume and was in the car ready to go by 7. Well, I thought I was ready to go. The windscreen was solidly iced over and in the frigid air, it took a decent scrub of the windshield to get the ice off, water wasn’t cutting it.
I have to give credit where it is due and this week this puts me in an unusual position.
Since I started this website last year, I have drawn attention to several of the more stupid things Barnaby Joyce has said or done (obviously not everything stupid he says- who would have the time) so I have to admit to being genuinely surprised and impressed with his response to the furore around Islamic migration in the wake of the Nice attack.
I have explained why I feel that Pauline Hanson is stupid, divisive and embarrassing already, so I completely understand Murrandoo Yanner’s anger towards her this week. The aboriginal elder confronted Hanson when she attempted to enter an indigenous art fair with a Channel Nine news crew. In a loud outburst that was captured on video, Yanner labels Hanson intellectually dishonest, a racist and a redneck and explicitly calls her out for her treatment of Muslims.
Can I start by saying that being concerned about Islamic terrorism does not necessarily make you a racist. However it is also no excuse for making statements that further the efforts of the same terrorists you are scared of.
Sonia Kruger’s comments about stopping Muslim migration because she wants to feel safe surprised me for a couple of reasons. Firstly I am always surprised when Andrew Bolt’s verbal diarrhoea is a topic for conversation, as it amazes me that anyone reads his rubbish. So for a national program to think it is worthy of discussion was surprising in itself.
Steve Price is a living oxymoron.
Or maybe just a moron.
His dichotomous attempt to leap to the defence of McGuire and co showed why he is such a poor choice of panellist to discuss controversial issues. Eddie McGuire's lack of judgement has been the subject of much scrutiny recently and it was brought up again in connection to societal attitudes towards domestic violence. Pretty much epitomising the problem, Price immediately delivered a fairly revisionist history of the event before going on to almost trivialise the issue with an argument that loosely went, “It was blokes laughing at something they shouldn’t, but they apologised so its ok.” I paraphrased a little to save writing the whole transcript but that is a pretty close approximation.
I commented recently that it would be great if people cared as much as they do about the fate of refugees as they do the fate of pokemon, but this observation isn't limited to users of the Pokemon Go game. I could have said the same about many other things that border on national obsessions. But there is a bit more to say about the unbelievable response to the release of Pokemon Go.
Well that was cold and nasty, but I have to be thankful that I was one of the lucky ones. I left work on Tuesday night in almost horizontal freezing rain. Driving home, you could see bins strewn around the streets from the blasting wind. I wasn’t even in my street when I knew what I was coming home to. The street lights were out and I couldn’t see a single house with a light on.
I don’t disagree that Pauline Hanson’s policies are hateful, simplistic and stupid. That has been clearly and repeatedly demonstrated so I won’t belabour the point. And while I agree that it is a shame her bilious half-truths are given a voice in our national parliament, this shouldn’t have come as a surprise. It is also not the disaster some commentators are describing, as, despite picking up several senate seats, the One Nation party could have considerably less power than is being made out.
Forget mediscare- here is a scare campaign Australians should be really angry about.
I am certainly angry because I was one the ones who bought it.
The Chilcot report is a pretty damning assessment of the pretence behind the Iraq War. Having spent seven years examining evidence, the author is in as good a position as just about anyone to make judgements about our involvement in this conflict. And those judgements are scathing of the political leaders who overstated the threat to justify their war.
Well played Mike Baird, that is leadership.
I am no particular supporter or detractor of Mike Baird’s in general, but once in a while he draws my attention. I have made the mistake of underestimating his political resolve and courage once or twice before, but even having made that mistake in the past, I was still pretty shocked by his announcement yesterday that NSW would legislate to ban greyhound racing.
Leigh Sales is an experienced journalist who I have no doubt has had to manage many difficult situations during her career. As such she doesn’t need me to back her up in wake of the pathetic online sexual harassment she received in the lead up to the election. But I am talking about it anyway, because it makes me angry.
Ok I have hopefully done all my swearing about the rise in One Nation votes out loud so hopefully I can keep this polite. I don’t expect everyone to vote the same way and respect any vote made after the voter has taken the time to think about the issues that are important to them. But I have also commented that if you just let fear at exaggerated predictions of politicians manipulate you into acting unthinkingly and without verifying their words, that is a different story.
The sense of national schadenfreude was almost visceral last night and understandably so, but can we really be happy with the result. To loosely paraphrase Christopher Nolan, Malcolm Turnbull just got the (humiliating) election result he deserved, but not the one he needed. It leaves the dreaded hung parliament the prime minister warned as against as a likely outcome as preferences are being redistributed.