1. Jacaranda time!
Any way the jacarandas are out in Brisbane now, so the place is turning purple. This photo is near the lake in the grounds of the University of Queensland:
This site (not the best photography, but it’ll do) has some of the many places jacarandas can be seen in Brisbane, which is basically everywhere, including this jacaranda-inspired building I haven’t yet seen:
When I was young we had only annual exams at university, and jacaranda time marked the beginning of swot time. I usually waited until the flowers were falling, which happens with the early summer storms.
2. The tale of two men of God
Some were more than a little astonished when The Sydney Anglican Diocese Gave $1 Million To The “No” Campaign. That’s about same-sex marriage of course.
Then we had the response from the Anglican Dean of Brisbane, the reverend Dr Peter Catt in $1 million to oppose gay marriage: ‘Why do I persist with the Church?’
He worried about how:
LGBTQI+ people have been objectified, latent homophobia has been emboldened, lies have been peddled and many, many people have been hurt.
He also worried about Tony Abbott who “showed himself the intellectual equal of Malcolm Roberts”.
Then we had a response from Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies in Archbishop defends $1 million Anglican church donation to ‘No’ campaign. This is his worry:
- “Overseas experience indicates that same-sex marriage leads to government funding and recognition of charitable status being increasingly tied to “equality compliance”.
“Christian agencies overseas have been required by law to hire staff who do not support the Christian ethos of the organisation,” he said.
“Our Anglican bodies make a real difference to Australian lives, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
“Compare that with an investment of just one million dollars to help ensure that this vital work continues in the future.”
I’d better not say anything, because if I did I’d be saying that it obviously takes a bigot to be a good ‘Christian’.
3. Helen Dale has written a new book
You may remember Helen Dale, aka Helen Demidenko, who wrote the book The Hand That Signed the Paper.
Now she’s written a new book, or rather two, as she explains in ’I’ve written a book about Jesus’: Helen Dale explains new novel. That’s the OZ, and pay-walled, but if you google the title you may get it.
She became interested in Jesus, the man who was:
- belabouring the ancient world’s equivalent of bank tellers with a whip does not look like a pacifist to me.
Then there were his politics: socially conservative (he railed against divorce), redistributive, even socialist (he railed against the rich), egalitarian (he railed against the treatment of the poor). He wasn’t too impressed by the Great Satan of his day, the Roman empire, either. His Judaean contemporaries referred to the Roman Empire as ‘‘the kingdom of the wicked’’, whence the title of this book.
As a lawyer she is fascinated by the world the Romans built, socially, legally and everything else, and what has become of it. So she puts Jesus in modern industrial society. She says at the end:
- I am wary of attempts to distil books into a single theme, but if there is one thing that exercised my mind while writing Kingdom of the Wicked, it is the relationship of the two missionary monotheisms, Islam and Christianity, to science, technology and the Western use of a form of religious tolerance that a pagan Roman would recognise but for a long time was in abeyance in the West and elsewhere.
Rather than attempt to say how that relationship should work in so many words, I used fiction to explore my own confusions, doubts and concerns.
Kingdom of the Wicked – Rules has just been published, and Book II – Order will come out about next March. Here’s a bit about the book and about Helen.
4. Turnbull has lost the regions
In fact the only demographic where the LNP leads Labor on primary vote is in the 50+ age category. This must be worrying the bejesus out of them, and may account for some of their policy maneuvers.
Newspoll has done its quarterly summary of polls, which you should be able to find here. This is the main summary table:
Since the last election, overall the LNP’s vote has gone from 42.1% to 36, while Labor’s has improved from 34.7% to 37. The Greens are roughly the same at 10% while One Nation has moved from 1.3% to 8, and Other from 11.7 to 9.
In the non-capital cities the LNP has gone from 44.2 to 34, while Labor has moved from 30.8 to 36. The Greens again are roughly the same at 9, while ON has moved from 2.2 to 11, and Other from 16.4 to 10.
Leadership performance and Better PM results have not moved appreciably.
Essential Report’s latest also looks ugly for the LNP, trailing Labor 46-54. One Nation has eased in the last few weeks from 9 to 7.
Of interest, Essential has done a series of polls for state elections. In terms of TPP in NSW the LNP is ahead 51-49, but in Victoria it trails 46-54, in Queensland 47-53, in SA 48-52 and WA 46-54.
The really interesting ones are SA and Qld, where we have elections coming up. In SA the primary vote is Labor 37, Liberal 30, Xenophon 18, Other/Independent 10 and The Greens 6.
In Queensland we have Labor 35, the LNP 34, One Nation 13, the Greens 10, Other/Independent 6 and Katter 2.
In both cases it will be a seat-by-seat slug fest, with SA looking hung. Labor’s Palaszczuk has a chance, simply because the LNP can’t win alone and would have to accommodate One Nation. Essential report, in working out TPP used the last election split, which is almost certainly wrong, in part because we have moved to compulsory preferential voting.
Any way, I think what I said in We deserve better remains true. Fringe groups are having a disproportionate influence.