1. Washer’s lament – the end of deliberative democracy
Dr Mal Washer was a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives from October 1998 to August 2013. While he was there it is said he was doctor to the house, providing medical help and personal counselling to members of parliament.
When Waleed Aly and Scot Stevens spoke to Katharine Murphy about whether the Dutton insurrection was a symptom of how we do politics in Australia, she quoted Washer inter alia. She gave a three-part answer.
First, the major parties once represented stability to the electorate. Not any more. Rather the reverse. What happened is now hard-baked into the system. Continue reading Weekly salon 2/9
“This is a fight for the heart and the soul of the Liberal party,” says one moderate MP. “These people surrounding Dutton – these people are not Liberals, they are not conservatives, they are fucking reactionaries, and I have nothing but contempt for them.”
That comment came from the end of Katherine Murphy’s remarkable article Turnbull shows no mercy as warring Liberals tear out the party’s heart and soul. Continue reading A fight for the soul of the Liberal Party
The headline in the AFR was Leadership spill: ‘Someone threw a grenade in the swamp’ – CEOs recoil, raising the spectre of capital flight.
APA Group chief executive Mick McCormack, whose company owns gas pipelines and is building wind and solar farms in Queensland and WA, said it was disappointing after the government secured “broad agreement” on the National Energy Guarantee to see “politics blow it up, destroy it, crush it”.
Ed McManus, chief executive of wind farm operator Kiwi-owned Meridian Energy Australia and its retail arm Powershop, raised the spectre of international capital flight in response to the chaos in Canberra.
Continue reading CEOs recoil in horror at leadership spill
1. Dolly’s message
People all over the country were gutted when they heard that 14 year-old Amy Everett, known as “Dolly”, committed suicide after being bullied on social media. The father took to Facebook to suggest Dolly’s tormentors attend her memorial:
“Please come to our service and witness the complete devastation you have created,” he wrote on Sunday.
Dolly had been the face of Akubra hats back in 2009:
Continue reading Saturday salon 13/1
1. Peter Dutton did something useful
He banned Kent Heckenlively, the world’s ‘No 1 anti-vaxxer’, from visiting Australia for a lecture tour in December.
He said “it’s not in our national interest that he should come here.”
Free speech advocates may complain, but seriously, people can die from this madness. Continue reading Saturday salon 2/9
I don’t know about you but my impression is that the Turnbull government is a chaotic mess! TAaron Patrick at the Fin Review says this week’s Newspoll, again 53-47 TPP to Labor, makes Malcolm Turnbull look like Julia Gillard in Liberal drag. That’s five Newspolls in a row.
The Prime Minister is diligent, consensual and organised. But the government, without clear control of Parliament, struggles politically under a relentless attack from a ruthless Opposition Leader.
Sounds like 2013? It’s actually 2016. Continue reading A week to go, and what a mess!
I suspect that in 50 years time the best of Australian Aboriginal art will be seen as some of the most significant in the world during our time.
An exhibition of art by nine Aboriginal women, Marking the Infinite, is running at the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University, New Orleans. This is from the blurb: Continue reading Saturday salon 19/11
1. Midnight Oil to burn again
Midnight Oil, led by the former Hon. Peter Garrett, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Education, are returning to a high-ticket priced venue near you.
Simon Tatz says:
Once again, we’ll witness the gangly mantis, this time just plain old Pete Garrett, belt out songs condemning American military imperialism, condemning the loss of Indigenous land rights and noting that beds, as well as pink batts, keep burning. Continue reading Saturday salon 5/5 (late edition)
Actually, that doesn’t quite do justice to what has been going on in a series of incidents over the last little while.
Gabrielle Jackson did a piece for The Guardian Enough platitudes and excuses: here is the truth about this week of sexism. Amazingly, on the weekend before she wrote the article she herself was groped by a complete stranger sitting at the next table in a Sydney restaurant. Continue reading Men behaving badly