31 Dec 2016

Has arrogance set the scene for the break-up of the UK?

An arrogant, ill-starred gamble for partisan advantage, the Conservatives have destroyed the very thing they supposedly stand for.
Image result for sailing ship Britannia
Britannia in rough seas.

The decline in respect for British institutions by the Conservatives has also been on full display.
First, not least was David Cameron’s willingness to risk the union’s survival.
Twice- 1st in the Scottish Independence referendum, and then, probably fatally, in the EU membership referendum(Brexit).
The Scottish National Party (SNP) leader and first minister of Scotland, have already signalled that in all likelihood they will call another referendum.
 2nd-The leaders of Sinn Fein, meanwhile, are calling for a referendum on Irish unification. In time, we will now quite probably witness the break-up of the UK .
In less time than many probably anticipate, the angry citizens who voted Leave EU in the hope of a change in circumstances will realise they have been sold a dodgy bill of goods in order to transfer power from one bunch of born to rule toffs to another.

Then you'll ask why you remain in low-wage jobs, why your children still can’t get on the housing ladder, why life remains insecure. And now you have no Europe to blame.
You'll inevitably look closer to home for their scapegoats. When that happens, Theresa May the new leader and prime minister will in the new year find that the ties that bind you all have stretched painfully thin.

The blind and total faith in trickle down economics and the market has led to people becoming consumer units, nothing more.

The result has been that the people will vote for whatever looks a little different eg. Brexit and Trump in America. Is this really the change that people are looking for, I doubt it.

Good ship UK, I wish you and all who sail in her, good luck and a safe trip, you sail into uncharted waters.
"May the force be with you".

If your lost Remember your always welcome in Australia.

29 Dec 2016

Prediction for 20I7

My thanks to the Weekly TimesImage result for queensland only map

QUEENSLAND calls a very early election and One Nation wins.

It immediately decides to “ Quexit”, building a great big wall on the borders and kicking out all the retired “Mexicans” living on the Gold Coast.

Pauline vows to bring jobs back by building a Big Thing in every Queensland town, starting with the Big Pauline at Ipswich.

Meanwhile, Ms Hanson calls on the Nats to give up on the Libs and merge to create a coalition called the One Nats Straya Oi Oi Oi Party with Barnaby Joyce as her deputy.

“It’d be the perfect marriage,” Pauline said. When asked his view Barnaby said, “I’d rather marry Johnny Depp.”

27 Dec 2016

To all you despondent Small “L”liberals, Labour centrists, social justice warriors and everyone out there.

Image result for no more mister nice guy cartoon

 Depressed by Donald Trump, Corey Bernadi and scared of the alt-right, here is my festive message: get off the ground, you wusses. Put down your gingerbread lattes, and put up your dukes.

Let us consult the wisdom of Sean Connery’s Malone in The Untouchables, and adapt it to our times. You want to get the alt-right?

Here’s how you get them. They pull a knife, you pull a gun. They send one of yours to the hospital, you send one of theirs to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way.

Before we proceed, and to avoid litigation, let me emphasise that I am speaking metaphorically. If you were by any chance planning to mark Boxing Day by going after a member of the far right with a spear, please don’t.

Its against the law, it will only complicate matters. It is also likely to give you indigestion after all those turkey sandwiches.

Still, in every other respect, it really is time to stop sobbing and toughen up for 2017.
Image result for RIP mister nice guy cartoon

20 Dec 2016

No growth, no repair. Wow! What a clever government?

Image result for tax the poor give to the rich cartoon
Edited version of Greg Jericho's article.
The Coalition has neither supported growth nor repaired the budget. When Labor “blew the budget deficit” to above 4% of GDP during the financial crisis, they could gain comfort in the knowledge that their policy choices meant Australia avoided recession and the unemployment rate peaked at 5.9%.

There were significant benefits from that particular budget deficit blowout. It should be noted that it was after these budget measures were taken that, in 2011, Australia achieved the coveted triple-A rating, with a stable outlook, from all three major ratings agencies.
Now, as 2016 draws to a close, GDP growth is stalling, the unemployment rate is stuck nearer 6% than 5%, underemployment is near record highs and wages growth has fallen to a record low.
These are the core reasons for the likely credit rating downgrade. Had fiscal policy been used to support growth ie. Infrastructure investment, the ratings agencies would have seen this as pro-growth strategy for the long term.
Had the budget been repaired, albeit it at the cost of growth, the rating agencies would have rewarded that strategy.

What innovative fiscal strategy have we seen, no innovation, no lateral thinking just the same old same old. Bleed the lowest hanging fruit, the unemployed, disabled and less fortunate.

And this will encourage growth. Come on pull the other one! Ideology must take a back seat, its time for logic.

Australia follows "The origin of trickle down economics" not good enough.

Image result for neanderthal economics
Based on an article by Rob Burgess

Growth from nowhere

Turnbull and Morrison's plan is pure pie-in-the sky. While it’s cutting back public spending, the private sector is expected to jump in and pick up the slack. No! This week’s figures show this is not happening. Employment growth was revised down again from 1.75 per cent to 1.25 per cent, which is below even the population growth rate of 1.4 per cent.

The government’s optimism is based on ‘Laffer curve’ economics, which says that if you cut taxes, the economy will grow so much that the government will reap even greater volumes of revenue.

That’s why the Turnbull government plans to give $50 billion in tax cuts to businesses over a decade – a plan that has a snowflake’s chance in hell of working in the current global and domestic economic environment.

Debt and deficit revisited

Finally there's a restating of the old ‘debt and deficit’ mantra with a touch of fear thrown in.

Federal net debt is approaching 19 per cent of GDP, which is very low by world standards.

With such a long string of budgets, and budget updates, showing downward revisions in GDP growth, jobs growth, inflation and so on, the government should be using debt wisely to breath some life into the economy.
Much as we may not love the guy, President-elect Donald Trump has promised a borrow-and-spend fiscal expansion.

That should, in theory, go hand in hand with more tax reform. But important debates around the GST or negative gearing reform have been shut down by the Turnbull government. Why? Its ideology driven, it has nothing to do with economics.

So borrow. It is a must. Time to reboot

The economic orthodoxies still being pushed by Morrison make even less sense in light of the promised infrastructure stimulus plans of President-elect Donald Trump.

On present settings, Mr Morrison will most likely face a worse economic and fiscal outlook in next May’s budget. The plan for ‘jobs and growth’ and a surplus of 2021/22 will look increasingly flimsy.

And this unpopular government will be left trying to explain why it can’t stimulate the economy, when voters of all stripes here and abroad start to put their jobs and household budgets ahead of promises of so called trickle-down prosperity.
Image result for trickle down economics cartoon

16 Dec 2016

A few tips to relieve the stress of hosting a Christmes lunch

Christmas:- Less Stress and No mess is the name of the game.

My thanks to Denise Cullen's article.

If you're hosting Christmas lunch this year, don't run yourself ragged by tackling a year's worth of cleaning and gardening in one fell swoop.

Invite your guests to regular working bees leading up to the big day or, better still, make their Christmas Day attendance contingent on their participation in said program. (As in, no work equals no lunch. No exceptions.)
It sounds harsh, but this hard-arse position might help wind down your guest list. Hey presto! Less cooking!(The aim, no cooking)

Remaining guests should be encouraged to bring a plate or two. A table groaning under the weight of multiple contributions might distract from the fact that you haven't cooked anything yourself.

Washing up, not a problem, no ones allowed to leave until they've washed everything they've eaten off.

Don't forget to farewell everyone by saying "Let's do it all again next year".

12 Dec 2016

Report time for the kids and..........................a Report, Yes mum and dad are assessed over the year.

Just a few more hurdles and then we can all relax

The end of the school year is in sight. Just a few more hurdles and then we can all relax; Christmas cards, candy canes and of course, end of year reports. But while most parents welcome an assessment of their kids' performance, they do not expect their own input to be evaluated.
But a school in the UK is changing that. As well as assessing their students, they are dishing out grades to mums and dads. Parents that are really involved in their kid's education are rewarded with an A, and parents that haven't done their bit get a measly D. It may as well be a slap in the face.
The school, Greasley Beauvale Primary in Nottinghamshire use criteria such as whether mums and dads have attended school events like plays and parent teacher evenings to decide on the grade


Political correctness gone mad?

Edited by SWT Read. My thanks to Annabelle Crabb

Political correctness is – it's now universally accepted in this country, or by anyone with a brain at least – out of control.
It's getting so you can't say anything to anyone, in case you "trigger" them or offend them. Even if what you're saying is true! That's the worst part. It's almost like there are some words and concepts that just drive some people into a blind fit of rage or offence, and render them completely incapable of engaging in a calm and rational discussion.
South Australian senator Cory Bernardi.Guess who's ranting.

Have there been a large number of bodies that have recommended an emissions intensity scheme? Yep sure have.
Is that essentially a baseline and credit scheme? Yep.
Will we look at that? Not on your nelly, because after less than a day of hollering, the Prime Minister himself climbed into his bullet-proof vehicle and drove out on to the battle field, determinedly flattening any suggestion the review would look at an "emissions intensity scheme" and reversing over it a few times for good measure, like a chook farmer eliminating a snake.
Frydenberg's crime? Mentioning an "emissions intensity scheme" at all, which as everyone knows is pretty much the same as an emissions trading scheme, which as everyone knows is pretty much the same as a carbon tax, which as everyone knows is pretty much the same as just openly shooting pensioners for no reason.

Joyce's NSW electorate gets $120m CEFC loan

Windfarm in Barnaby Joyce's NSW electorate gets $120m CEFC loan

Clean Energy Finance Corporation loan comes three months after minister slammed SA’s over-reliance on wind power
The new Sapphire windfarm will become the largest in NSW, powering 110,000 average homes and abating 600,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year.
Photograph: Martin Ollman/Getty Images

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has made a multi-million dollar loan for a new windfarm in Barnaby Joyce’s electorate.(surprise,surprise more pork barrelling) 

It comes three months after Joyce slammed the South Australian government’s over-reliance on wind power, and linked SA’s damaging September blackout on the state’s lack of coal-fired baseload power

Gillian Triggs is still holding on, and her reward is continuing torment | Mark Dreyfus | Opinion | The Guardian

The inability to handle criticism is always a sign of utmost weakness. That is as true for government as it is for people.

It’s why the hatred this government shows for independent statutory officers who question its authority should be especially troubling.

There have been several unedifying examples that have emerged over the past year alone. Just recall president of the Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs, former solicitor general Justin Gleeson, and former head of the department of agriculture Paul Grimes.

Today, Gillian Triggs will be called back to appear in front of coalition senators – the government having decided that seven-and-a-half hours of grilling at the last estimates hearing in October was insufficient. Who knows how long she will be subjected to belligerent questioning during today’s hearing.

Gillian Triggs to go as human rights chief, Turnbull confirms

Let’s not pretend here.

Triggs is not being recalled so that further facts of any matter can be established. It is simply another step in the coalition’s campaign, led by senators Ian MacDonald and Barry O’Sullivan, to harm her because they do not like what she stands for.

Gillian Triggs is still holding on, and her reward is continuing torment | Mark Dreyfus | Opinion | The Guardian:

'via Blog this'

9 Dec 2016

Real journalism versus non-journalism.

Image result for true journalism

Excerpt from an article by Denis Muller

Real journalism involves collecting and verifying facts before publishing them. It involves adherence to legal and ethical standards concerning due process at law, avoidance of wrongful harm, and respect for public taste.
It involves the unfashionable function of gatekeeping – call it editing.
It involves shining a light in dark places to reveal things that people in power want concealed. That is how we know, for instance, about sexual abuse of children by clergy, and about bad behaviour by the insurance arm of the Commonwealth Bank.
Journalism like this involves accumulating evidence to a standard of proof commensurate with the gravity of the wrongdoing. It is a complex exercise demanding skill and experience.
Yes, professional journalism has many flaws and neither the practitioners nor the media industry they work for are as accountable as they should be for the way they use their power. But there is some accountability, including some serious legal consequences.
Moreover, they operate in the open, with no cloak of anonymity to hide behind.

This is the kind of journalism that serves the public interest.
It follows that it is in the public interest that professional journalism and the media industry respond effectively to the current challenge to their institutional legitimacy. Basically, that means doing journalism to high ethical standards and putting the need to be right ahead of the need to be first.
This is not about elite journalism versus alternative journalism. It is about real journalism versus non-journalism.
"Alas real journalist are becoming an endangered species!

29 Nov 2016

Lies,lies and more lies:- Post-Truth?

Image result for would I lie to you cartoon
"Post-truth world. It’s rubbish, of course. It presumes truth ever ruled.

Some say that after the election of Donald Trump, who told lie after lie to snare the American presidency, people are not expected to tell the truth anymore. Excuse me there either entering politics or are politicians, we know they tell porkies all the time.

(porkies meaning, lies we expect to hear)

This is silly. Rich well-connected people have always been allowed to tell lies. How do you think most of them got to be so rich and well-connected?

And ordinary, everyday people are still expected to tell the truth.

It’s just that with the advent of the internet and social media, it’s never been easier for all kinds of people to tell lies and have them believed and spread − like a virus − by millions, or even billions, of ordinary, everyday people.

This makes some rich, well-connected people very nervous, because now anyone can lie. And so it should!

They are losing control of the narrative. They are losing elections.

Sudanese parents in Australia sending kids to school in Africa

Strange but true...
South Sudanese parents in Australia sending kids to school in Africa.
To avoid crime in Melbourne?

By Madeleine Morris
Yes South Sudanese parents in Australia are sending their children to boarding schools in Africa to escape rising youth crime rates.

South Sudanese parents in Australia sending kids to school in Africa to avoid crime
Concerned by rise in arrests of young people for carjackings, home invasions in Melbourne
Say there is too much freedom for children in Australia

Desperate parents say it is safer for their children to go to school in Kenya or Uganda than live in some Melbourne suburbs.

"It is very extreme, but there are many cases where that has really worked to the best of young people," said Kot Monoah, chair of the South Sudanese Community in Victoria.

The community has been rocked by a recent rise in arrests of its young people for carjacking and home invasions, and the emergence of the Apex gang, which is made up largely of South Sudanese youth.

Akec Mading sent her daughter and son to boarding school in Kampala after witnessing relatives' children get in trouble with the law and develop drug problems.

"I'm worried about the situation [for] kids here in Australia," she said.

28 Nov 2016

Fidel Castro presents some juicy conundrums

Image result for fidel castro cartoon
He demanded justice yet permitted injustice. 

As a historical figure, Fidel Castro presents some juicy conundrums: justice and injustice, revolution and state power, citizens’ rights and state authority, artistic freedom and restriction, high literacy rates and censorship, communist economics and private enterprise, socialism and tourism.

He clamoured for sovereignty of his people while encouraging citizens to betray neighbours for counter-revolutionary activities. He spoke of brotherhood and fellowship yet roused the rabble to abuse those who tried to leave, calling them gusanos – worms.

He spoke out against the oppression of the imperialistas yet remained sanguine about oppression in his own state. He railed against colonialism and imperialism yet did not denounce the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

He demanded justice yet permitted injustice. Nelson Mandela publicly thanked Castro for his support in the anti-apartheid struggles and yet Castro condemned many political prisoners to sentences similar to Mandela’s.

Some things are indisputable, he built a great health care system and provided a good education system(though a little biased).

27 Nov 2016

Mobile phones are killing us???? Or taking over????

Image result for phone head cartoon
Take your hand off it for a moment.
Written by S.W.T.Read
Based on an article by Garry Linnell

Please take your hand off it.
Hard to do, yes I know! The damn thing is the bane of my existence as well. It's like being the better half of an evil siamese twin. No matter where you go it's always with you, nagging, nudging, distracting and, even worse, playing with your mind.

The modern mobile phone has only been with us for little more than two decades but it has already become the first invention in more than 600 years that we carry with us everywhere.
An English professor of science and technology has pointed out, clothing and shoes were the first essentials of daily life and they were devised presumably very quickly.

However for something that has quickly become so ubiquitous and so necessary that a medical term – nomophobia – has been coined to describe the anxiety felt by a user who has lost their phone or is out of mobile range.

We still don't know with absolute certainty whether the device that has proved on countless occasions to be a life saver also has the ability to kill us.

Perhaps this is the first step towards turning us all into robots. First make us dependent then have them inserted into our bodies, like a drug we then feel as if we can't live without them, we are then programmed while we sleep.And then................

Enough, enough, they're only mobile phones aren't they?

10 Nov 2016

Here's what sealed America’s fate.

Naomi Klein
It was the rise of the Davos class that sealed America’s fate
Hillary Clinton’s embrace of neoliberalism was disastrous.
The only answer now is to take on the billionaires
‘Elite neoliberalism unleashed the Davos class. People such as Hillary and Bill Clinton are the toast of the Davos party. In truth, they threw the party.’ Photograph: Ruben Sprich/Reuters

They will blame James Comey and the FBI. They will blame voter suppression and racism. They will blame Bernie or bust and misogyny. They will blame third parties and independent candidates. They will blame the corporate media for giving him the platform, social media for being a bullhorn, and WikiLeaks for airing the laundry.

This leaves out the force most responsible for creating the nightmare in which we now find ourselves wide awake: neoliberalism. That worldview – fully embodied by Hillary Clinton and her machine – is no match for Trump-style extremism. The decision to run one against the other is what sealed our fate. If we learn nothing else, can we please learn from that mistake?

Here is what we need to understand: a hell of a lot of people are in pain. Under neoliberal policies of deregulation, privatisation, austerity and corporate trade, their living standards have declined precipitously. 
They have lost jobs. They have lost pensions. They have lost much of the safety net that used to make these losses less frightening. They see a future for their kids even worse than their precarious present.

At the same time, they have witnessed the rise of the Davos class, a hyper-connected network of banking and tech billionaires, elected leaders who are awfully cosy with those interests, and Hollywood celebrities who make the whole thing seem unbearably glamorous.

Success is a party to which they were not invited, and they know in their hearts that this rising wealth and power is somehow directly connected to their growing debts and powerlessness

America:- Good news!-- Assisted suicide now legal in some states after election.

In a particularly good piece of news for those still pinching themselves over the prospect of a Trump presidency, being able to take your life with the help of medical professionals is now legal in six states.
Colorado's Proposition 106 passed easily despite opposition from Catholic organizations, 9News reports. Patients deemed to have six months or less left to live will have the right to purchase medicine that will end their lives.
The Centennial State joins Oregon, Vermont, Montana, Washington and California in allowing assisted suicide.

8 Nov 2016

Have Australians been tortured? US of A election coverage should be banned.

Image result for Clinton versus Trump cartoon

Our Australian media has had an election in America that has kept on giving, its filled our screens with non stop coverage that has forced us to study the grass growing and the paint drying.
We have been forced to rediscover walking and talking.

Meanwhile back on TV:

Well, stab my arse with a certified Clinton cookie cutter (it’s a real thing), but turns out that Australian citizens have no entitlement to vote in this week’s US election. You wouldn't think so when we have been swamped by the TV coverage.

Not entitled to vote how come? Led by our national media establishment to believe we’d been finally formalized as a 51st state.

Local passions for Cookie Clinto have been so purple and there were everyday claims of her goodness. By this time I’d supposed it was now my right to scrawl cock’n’balls on a ballot. No, it was all our media hype.

During our own Federal election, which was long enough, it was no match for the mix of American deceits, many of our journalists declared that they were bored with ours. Now they can't find words to describe America's.

We have suffered such irritation in the prelude to Tuesday’s foreign election we are thinking of suing the media!

No one, save for the factious Andrew Blot, has argued for the ascendancy of Trump.
Dozens of commentators have been eager to declare themselves With Her.