Tag Archives: same sex marriage

Saturday salon 1/12

1. How not to run a party or a government

Malcolm Turnbull in announcing a royal commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, to be led by former High Court judge Kenneth Hayne, told us that the inquiry was entirely unnecessary, but the government was a couple of seats short and had effectively lost control of the agenda.

Chris Bowen, shadow treasurer, formally wrote to his counterpart Scott Morrison (AFR, pay-walled), saying that the inquiry was neither far-reaching enough nor adequately resourced, that there had been inadequate consultation over the terms of reference, plus the deliberate targeting of union-dominated industry superannuation funds – a political strategy which diminished its credibility. Continue reading Saturday salon 1/12

We deserve better

In recent times we have had a number of polls in which the Australian people have shown good sense, though not all the time, as we shall see. However, the politics we deserve better than the politics we get.

The latest Essential Report has found that support for same-sex marriage is now at 61-32 in favour, with Labor voters almost as positive as the Greens. Whether you go to church or not does seem to make a difference. The more people go to church the less positive they are.

Of those who voted, 64% say they voted ‘yes’, as against 30% ‘no’ and 6% prefer not to say. Continue reading We deserve better

Saturday salon 23/9

1. Same sex marriage campaign goes ape

All day yesterday I heard that a same-sex marriage campaigner planted one on Tony Abbott, with Abbott and all and sundry saying it’s emblematic of how the Yes campaign is being prosecuted.

Turns out that 38-year-old Hobart DJ Astro ‘Funknukl’ Labe reckons:

    he is a lone anarchist that “felt the need to headbutt Tony Abbott because I didn’t think it was an opportunity I’d get again”.

Continue reading Saturday salon 23/9

Saturday salon 26/8

1. Finished with sex, it’s time for reason

There are articles at the SMH, at the ABC, but the best was in the AFR (pay-walled).

The Australian Sex Party is being closed down to make way for the new Reason Party, in good time for the next federal election. Continue reading Saturday salon 26/8

Saturday salon 12/8

1. Made in Australia by the Turnbull government

The Liberal Party Has Overwhelmingly Decided To Keep Its Plebiscite Policy, so because the Senate again failed to pass the necessary legislation, we are off to a $122 million postal vote, which is really a voluntary survey to be conducted by the ABS, if the High Court lets them.

Except, we already know what the people think, because they’ve already been surveyed, and people who know about these things say that the proposed survey is incompetent as a survey, lacking proper sampling. Of course, the opponents of same sex-marriage see this as their best chance of getting a “no” vote and kicking the can down the road.

Peter FitzSimons asks, How did the Liberal Party get into such a mess? Continue reading Saturday salon 12/8

Saturday salon 12/11

1. Naomi Klein wins Sydney Peace Prize

From Green Left Weekly

    Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein accepted the 2016 Sydney Peace Prize on November 11, delivering a searing speech that reflected on Donald Trump’s presidential victory in the United States and the factors that allowed it to happen.

    “If there is a single overarching lesson in the Trump victory, perhaps it is this: Never, ever underestimate the power of hate, of direct appeals to power over the ‘other’ … especially during times of economic hardship,” said Klein, whose books include The Shock Doctrine and This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. Continue reading Saturday salon 12/11

Saturday salon 27/8

1. Fruit loop advises Trump on foreign policy

A few months ago Michele Bachmann joined Donald Trump’s Evangelical Executive Advisory Board. Now she says she is advising him on foreign affairs.

    Bachmann believes the September 11 attacks represented God’s judgment on America; President Obama and gay rights advocates are bringing about the End Times; homosexuality is “personal enslavement” and “part of Satan”; gay people want to change laws “so that adults will be able to freely prey on little children sexually”; and Obamacare death panels will literally kill people any day now.

    Her foreign policy ideas are driven by her belief that the Last Days have arrived.

Continue reading Saturday salon 27/8

Marriage equality plebiscite no certainty

    In modern Australia, no-one should have to justify their sexuality or their love to anyone else.

    And under Labor, instead of providing a taxpayer-funded platform for homophobia, Parliament will do its job and deliver marriage equality within 100 days.

That was what Bill Shorten said during the Facebook debate, and he’s repeated it since then. Continue reading Marriage equality plebiscite no certainty

Saturday salon 29/8

1. Away for a while

Four of the Bahnisch siblings and their partners have decided to meet up and invade Europe again. Back in 2008 it was the Rhine, this time the centre-piece is a trip down the Danube, if it has any water in it. I’ll be away from 8 September to 13 October.

This time I think it best for the blog to lie fallow. John D has been busy doing good works, and there are no other active bloggers to keep the site going.

I’m expecting my posting to taper in the coming week. We’ll see.

2. National Reform Summit

I think the idea may have come from former Labor minister Craig Emerson and Nick Cater, the Director of the Menzies Research Centre. The National Reform Summit was sponsored by The Australian, The Australian Financial Review and KPMG and everyone that mattered was there – business groups, community groups, the unions, addressing all manner of social and economic issues, and apparently reaching furious agreement.

Laura Tingle says the key question is now how the debate now feeds back into politics. My feeling is that the ideological fissures will again reappear as we get back to sound bites and point scoring.

Joe Hockey said we can’t go into the future looking out of the window od a Holden Commodore. I’d just like a government with its hands on the wheel. Hockey said consumers will lead the way.

Martin Parkinson said we are sleepwaliking into a real mess if we don’t get a grip.

Roy Green and John Hamilton Howard tell us what we need to do to ensure Australia remains an innovative nation.

3. Border Force farce

I couldn’t believe what seemed to be going on. Something called Border Force. People who looked like cops. Stopping people at random on the street to see whether their visa was in order!

Here’s an explanation:

    In July, the Australian customs and border protection merged with the department of immigration and border protection and launched the Australian border force, whose officers have substantially greater powers than either customs or immigration officials. They are permitted to carry guns and have powers to detain.

    Under the Migration Act, an authorised officer can ask for information from someone the officer “knows or reasonably suspects is a non-citizen”.

    The information can include evidence of being a lawful non-citizen and personal identity papers. The person must comply with the request within a time period “specified by the officer”.

    If the officer “knows or reasonably suspects” the person is an unlawful non-citizen the officer must detain that person.

In effect the immigration system was being militarised.

Any way it seems to have stopped before it started.

4. Visigoths sack Rome

That was 1600 years ago on 24 August:

    Tuesday marks the 1,600th anniversary of one of the turning points of European history – the first sack of Imperial Rome by an army of Visigoths, northern European barbarian tribesmen, led by a general called Alaric.

    It was the first time in 800 years that Rome had been successfully invaded. The event had reverberations around the Mediterranean.

It must have seemed like the end of the world at the time.

5. Gillard supports same sex marriage equality

Gillard has been getting a bit of a razz for saying that she now supports same sex marriage. A bit bloody late, they say.

Actually she’s repeating what she said in her book some time ago. Her position has been misunderstood, by people who either don’t listen or hear only what they want to hear. There is a statement in the link, but let me try again.

Gillard as a young feminist saw the institution of marriage as hopelessly patriarchal and wanted it nixed in favour of civil unions. She would do nothing to support the institution.

She has come to realise that history has spoken. The institution of marriage will endure and even be cherished. That being the case she now recognises that it should be open to all.

She has been seen as strangely conservative, or sucking up to conservative interests, whereas she was actually more radical than most.

Introduction to Saturday salon

Because of the way the blog currently presents posts on the home page I think it’s better to remove the introductory material to a different place. For new readers, here’s the rationale for this space.


An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.

For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.

The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.

Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.

The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:

    The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.

Same-sex marriage: a matter of equal rights

Dennis Atkins has written an opinion piece in the Courier Mail on US Supreme Court judge Justice Anthony Kennedy’s “coherent, comprehensive and cogent” majority judgement on same-sex marriage. The judge reasons and writes beautifully:

Saturday salon 4/7

1. Antediluvian senator Abetz against gay marriage

Eric Abetz on gay marriage:

    Conservative cabinet minister Eric Abetz says Australia should not legalise gay marriage because no Asian country has adopted marriage equality.

    And Senator Abetz says legalising gay marriage would lead to polyamory and argues issue should be rejected out of hand because Opposition Leader Bill Shorten supports change.

Continue reading Saturday salon 4/7

Saturday salon 30/5

1. Hockey in a tangle over tampons

On Q&A Hockey was asked by a young woman why pads and tampons should carry a GST while “condoms, lubricants, sunscreen and nicotine patches are all tax-free”. Of course economic orthodoxy says they should all be taxed, but Hockey agreed with her and has undertaken to put the matter to the states. Continue reading Saturday salon 30/5