1. An election is in the air
Strange things are starting to happen with a Qld state election due in October.
Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath proposed changes to the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) Act in state parliament that would carry a six-month jail term for people who published CCC allegations about political candidates during an election period.
The Government are saying that they were merely implementing a recommendation of the CCC, but given the time needed to pass it through the committee stages, there is no time to deal with it before the election.
However, they say they will not pursue the bill if re-elected.
Makes me think it was a shot across the bows in view of dirt the expected to be thrown.
Last week in Indooroopilly a light plane was seen with a banner, “A vote for Trad is a vote for Labor”.
Jackie Trad, you may recall, was Deputy Premier, Treasurer and a toe-cutter, until she was cut off at the knees by Premier Palaszczuk after surviving corruption allegations (just).
Katinka lives a stones throw away from us, and indeed, when a nipper, was taught by my good wife in pre-school. We’ve already had two flyers in our letterbox.
The report, in brief, is that there is no lack of self-esteem with Katinka and family. No lack of money, either.
I wish her well, and good life with her partner James and their dog, Leo, but not in parliament.
Many conservatives in Brisbane worry about being governed by farmers and provincials. The Greens flyer highlights that seven seats are winnable by them, so they are shooting for the balance of power. This also scares many conservative types in Brisbane. Labor under Beattie was seen as the best conservative government available. Palaszczuk has been there two terms now, so a hung parliament looks likely. I would tip an LNP government, with backing from Katter Australia Party, who will not have forgotten how badly they were treated by Palaszczuk after the last election by downgrading their entitlement to offices and support staff.
However, much can change, and politics in Qld often surprises.
2. 75 years since World War 2 ended
After Hitler died on 31 April 1945, Germany’s surrender was a rolling affair, ending about a week later:
At 02:41 on the morning of 7 May, at SHAEF headquarters in Reims, France, the Chief-of-Staff of the German Armed Forces High Command, General Alfred Jodl, signed an unconditional surrender document for all German forces to the Allies. General Franz Böhme announced the unconditional surrender of German troops in Norway on 7 May. It included the phrase “All forces under German control to cease active operations at 2301 hours Central European Time on May 8, 1945.” The next day, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel and other German OKW representatives travelled to Berlin, and shortly before midnight signed another document of unconditional surrender, again surrendering to all the Allied forces, this time in the presence of Marshal Georgi Zhukov and representatives of SHAEF.
Surrender was not in the Japanese playbook. However, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by atom bombs on August 6 and 9 respectively, so on 15 August Japan surrendered. Last Saturday Australia reflects on Victory in the Pacific 75 years after history’s deadliest conflict ended:
- More than 1 million Australians served in the armed forces during the war.
- About 40,000 of those servicemen and women never returned, either killed in battle or dying in captivity.
In 1940 Australia’s population was about 7 million.
As you know, I’m ancient, and was at school in 1945. I have memory of the teacher pointing to the Coral Sea on the map of the world next to my desk, telling us that the Japanese came that close to Australia yesterday.
Years later I found out that I must have misunderstood her, because the Battle of the Coral Sea took place on 4 to 8 May 1942.
No doubt it was yesterday three years earlier. Scared the bejesus out of me at the time.
The New Daily reports on new ways of making money out of anger and frustration generated by COVID-19.
In the US you can buy virus-looking piñatas, which you can smash to take out your frustrations:
For those, like me, who didn’t know, a piñata is:
a container often made of papier-mâché, pottery, or cloth; it is decorated, and filled with candy and then broken as part of a celebration.
Then there is Iceland:
- “Record your scream and we’ll release it in Iceland’s beautiful, wide-open spaces. And when you’re ready, come let it out for real. You’ll feel better, we promise.”
Psychologists are saying that if you make a habit of doing this, it is a really bad idea. I’ll leave you to read what they say – the video is rather different from the text.
In my experience, expressing anger as a beneficial form of release tends to be an American idea, but is quite widespread here too. It provides instant gratification, but does a lot of damage to others. Piñatas and screaming into the wilderness are meant to turn the exercise into fun without damaging other people.
The psychologists are saying, OK maybe once or twice, but as a standard response it harms you.
I don’t presume to tell others how they should act, but I do not believe we are simply victims of whatever our emotions throw up. I do believe the we have choice about the kind of emotional life we would prefer to cultivate which can change the emotional reaction you experience from triggers which cause anger. See Emotional style: the concept and Compassion, empathy, feelings, emotion.
As an example, I used to become angry when other cars tailgated me. Now I just drive my ute from point A to point B within the speed limit, which is what I’m there for, and is all I can control.
If someone wants so drive so close to my butt, that is there choice. All I do is drive a bit slower, so the accident crash won’t be so bad when it happens. And make sure I turn off before home, so that they don’t know where I live.
Nevertheless, I find that even if I generally retain calm and equanimity, life can still throw up instances that get under your skin. On these occasions, I reflect and talk about it with those who understand me and will put up with me, to understand and learn how I may have contributed to the situation, and how I should act in the future.
Clinical depression is another matter, which I am not qualified to comment on.
Finally, I have a longer term objective to do an exploratory post on ‘mindfulness’. The term means so many different things to different people that it has become just another word for ‘meditation’. Where that leads is problematic, because I understand meditation itself is a Western concept with no equivalent in the language of the tradition it seeks to draw from.
4. Other stuff
We live in interesting times. I’ve just heard Scott Morrison, our fearless leader, say the nursing home care was fundamentally a health issue, which is a state matter.
Wrong, Scotty, residents of nursing homes are not meant to be sick, and when they are they should have access to hospitals.
There was a really good half hour How can we improve aged care? (ANC RN The Money), which reveals that our homes deliver on average 3 hours of staff/resident contact as against the OECD average of 4 hours. We pay staff 10 to 15% less than other professionals. Then there is a range of services which should be available where we underperform.
Our problem is that we just don’t care about oldies. Not as a society, we don’t. The government has been told. We need to double what we currently spend on the issue aged care, which almost inevitably means the rich will have to pay more as we run low on workers who pay taxes.
Our government is proposing to change the environment act (EPBC, I think) to make it easier to ignore the fate of endangered species. ABC RN’s Rear Vision tells of Threat of extinction—how Australia’s environment law failed. Again the government has been told.
On wilful destruction, we stand alone in the OECD it seems.
As a destroyer Dan Tehan is hard to beat. See Dan Tehan’s uni plan isn’t just cruel – it undermines Australia’s post-COVID recovery.
Greg Jericho tells us The Morrison government is trying to lock in a less equitable economy for years to come.
There is more but some of the older journos have been onto this lot from the start. Dennis Atkins can speak even more freely now that he has retired from the Courier Mail. See Scott Morrison shrinks from criticism but bathes in undeserved admiration.
Earlier Atkins asked Scott Morrison has ‘changed’. But has he really?
Michael Pascoe says No, the National Cabinet has not worked and is not working.
Frank Bongiorno is an academic rather than a journo, but he warned back in May Are we in Accord?:
So, we are to have another Accord? No, more like a festival of bad history, if some members of the commentariat have anything to do with it.
On Late Night Live Phillip Adams had a 40-minute chat with Kevin Rudd on the new low point in China-US relations.
Rudd is scared witless about what is going on in the South China Sea. He said the frequency of US sail-through events had increased out of sight. However, there are no rules about how this is done, no understanding with the Chinese about what happens if one boat runs into another. In the next three months, the sinking of an American ship would create a situation which could flare unpredicably.
However, should Biden win, the policy on China would not change to any degree. The main difference would be that American ‘containment’ of China would be more systematic and less erratic.
On the US election, Rudd had Trump down for a win, until the Ukraine plot to dig dirt on Biden was revealed. It was a watershed moment which would shift Republican votes into the anyone-except-Trump, even Biden camp, he said. So now it was too close to call.
The bottom line with Trump is that by openly knackering the post office, Trump had crossed a line. He said Republicans could overlook a lot, Gerrymandering and all, but now those with a brain would have to consider the fact that democracy had been broken.
There’s more, of course, but climate has not gone away. I’ve been watching ABC TV’s Fight for Planet A. It was fun to see Craig Reucassel literally chasing Scotty from Marketing along the beach. Scotty jumped over a wall and ran away.
It was not fun to see Charlie Veron show Reucassel what bleached coral reefs look like.
Dangerous climate change is here, now.