Friday, December 23, 2011
Merry Christmas. Thanks to everyone who has read the blog posts and the cartoons over the course of the year - it's well over 50 posts now, which means I think I've been doing an average of one a week.
Thanks for the comments, the retweets and the shares - I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, Chanukah/Hannakah, Festivus or Kwanzaa, and if I don't post again until the new year, New Years Eve too.
Monday, December 19, 2011
''We will do again. Because we have nothing. If we are going to die, our responsibility will be with the Australian government.'' Mr Adine says he tried repeatedly though official channels in Kabul to apply to go to Australia as a refugee.
''They just sent me an email that I should apply in 2013 or 2014. I cannot … my life was in serious danger but nobody would answer me.''
"Australia's policy towards asylum seekers is unfair. Those who catch a boat to Australia are resettled quickly. Those who do not make it, or apply through official channels, are denied."
Monday, December 12, 2011
I intentionally didn't comment on the reshuffle rumours, because I've been wrong before (and I would have sid it was BS, to be honest), but I've quite enjoyed seeing everyone who was saying last week that it was nonsense covering it like they could see it all coming.
I guess this is Australia. Today.
Speaking of cards....
Saturday, December 10, 2011
This is partly inspired by the lack of Insiders over the holiday period, and partly inspired by this argument I had with Latika Bourke on Twitter the other night (click to enlarge)...
Friday, December 2, 2011
It's kind of a sad state of affairs when Mark Arbib's cowardly and hollow bet each way becomes ALP policy. Marriage equality is now the ALP platform, and it's essentially a given that it will also be destroyed by a conscience vote. We live in hope that it won't, but that hope is bruised and knows to flinch when anyone raises their hand.
The even sadder thing is that this is one of those issues where the individual beliefs of those in parliament would appear to be out of step with their electorates. A completely disproportionate amount of MPs state they believe "marriage is between a man and woman" and a similarly disproportionate number of MPs are regular church goers. I'm not saying these things are definitively analogous, but it does show that the personal views of our MPs are often out of step with their electorate - and that the views of the electorate (which polls have shown are consistently in favour of marriage equality by a considerable majority) will almost certainly not be reflected in a conscience vote.
Don't even get me started on offshore processing...
Speaking of religion and religious holidays... would you like to support the Frenzy and delight your relatives in the process?
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
I will start regularly updating again next week, but in the meantime, I have a piece on polling in this month's issue of The King's Tribune which you can read here (subscriptions are only $24 a quarter, and are well worth it - more art from me next month and you could win an iPad)!
I have also been working on some Dickhead Frenzy christmas cards, which should be ready to go this weekend. If you have friends, family or disturbed street individuals with an interest in politics, then these could be the cards for you!
These are just a sample of the five (click to enlarge):
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Matthew Archer, deputy chair of the Australian Monarchists' League (oh, what a crazy time of Pimms and perfectly poured tea they must have at their meetings) has said he didn't think the Queen would be offended, "No, not really I think she's a pretty tough lady."
It takes a tough old bean to withstand the indecency of a handshake and a bow. Thank God she's such a hardy one, it's a world full of misplaced bows and unfortunately lopsided curtsies out there.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
One man. Alone.
A pledge... IN BLOOD.
An unstoppable force. An immovable object. A question of strength.
CARBON PRICE II: THE BLOODENING.
Rated: Unrestricted (political warfare). Contains: Weaponised electricity. A controlled media.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
After reading through numerous great pieces such as this and this, I agree that Justice Bromberg definitely made the right decision both under law and in terms of balancing freedom of speech with protection from racial vilification.
However I can't help but feel this is exactly the punishment Bolt has been waiting for. Page one opinion pieces! Nation-wide coverage! Brandis stepping in to say the Coalition would revisit the law!
In the year of our Bolt.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Hewson: I ask the Prime Minister: if you are so confident about your view of Fightback, why will you not call an early election?
Keating: The answer is, mate, because I want to do you slowly. There has to be a bit of sport in this for all of us. In the psychological battle stakes, we are stripped down and ready to go. I want to see those ashen-faced performances; I want more of them. I want to be encouraged. I want to see you squirm out of this load of rubbish over a number of months. There will be no easy execution for you. You have perpetrated one of the great mischiefs on the Australian public with this thing, trying to rip away our social wage, trying to rip away the Australian values which we built in our society for over a century.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
I’m kind of a hypocrite I suppose. I’m that upsetting, and probably very Gen Y, combination of a staunch republican who loves the royal family.
I like looking at pictures of them in trashy gossip magazines. I’ve devoured movies like The Queen, The King’s Speech, Elizabeth, The Young Victoria – should I go on? Needless to say I watched the Royal Wedding, surrounded as it happens by my English born extended family. I don’t remember how it came up, but as I have a tendency to do at family gatherings, I set a fox among the hens by mentioning that I think Australia should become a republic.
What with all the celebrity spotting, chip and dip eating, and baby admiring going on, I don’t think I presented my best case for Australia that evening, and was significantly undermined by stopping to say “ooh, Posh and Becks do look lovely”, “is it a rule to wear hats?” and most damningly “Prince Harry is definitely my favourite”.
I’d like a do-over. Here are my arguments in favour of an Australian republic, counter-arguments directed at the ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ school of thought, along with appropriate disclaimers about how much I respect my family, their views, and our shared English heritage.
Arguments against a republic:
- If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.
Well, I think it IS broken. I don’t mean to say that the royal family are actively damaging the country, but I do think the idea of a family having the power to dismantle the government not only in their own country, but in mine, disturbing. Would they ever do it? Maybe not. But we update archaic laws all the time for our own peace of mind and to improve our system of government. Our currency wasn’t broken, but we changed it because it needed an update for a variety of reasons. This isn’t so different.
- It will be expensive.
There are many things worth doing that are expensive, that’s the rub with taxes you see. Hospitals are expensive, sporting events are expensive, the environment is expensive…royal nuptials are expensive. We do it anyway.
- We had a referendum and it failed, the people have spoken.
Firstly, this doesn’t change my view. Secondly, in the words of someone is who not one of my heroes, Sir Robert Menzies “to get an affirmative vote from the Australian people on a referendum proposal is one of the labours of Hercules”. Out of 44 referendums held as of 2010, only 8 have been carried. Changing our constitution is a big deal. The model must be right. And, sadly, the marketing must be better. Not as a sales pitch, but as an
explanation. The previous model was not clear.
- This country will go downhill if we lose the monarchy.
Why? Do we really have so little faith in our own governing that we think the loss of a symbolic, inherited monarch will change the nature of Australia? I certainly hope not.
- It’s part of our history.
Yes, it is. It will still be part of our history. A truly independent Australia will still have close ties with Britain, we will never forget the important role the Commonwealth has had in our history. Changing the future does not affect the past, you know, 'cos it’s in the past.
These are all arguments put forward during our wedding watching, they are arguments from smart and lovely people and I am not belittling them in any way. They are also arguments from people who have a very strong tie to our history and have every justification for that attachment. I just think they’re wrong. And I think we have to remember the fantastically broad variety of backgrounds that Australians now come from, not everyone still thinks of London as home.
Arguments in favour of a republic:
- The monarchy is not relevant to modern Australia.
Sorry, but they’re not. See note above about our backgrounds. My 15 year old cousin who DOES have an English parent pointed out an older lady in startling yellow and asked who she was during the wedding coverage. You see where this is going? It was the queen. After I told her this, she asked what her name was. And you know what? Why should she know? I don’t know the names of any other country’s monarchy. The limited role the monarchy play here should be over. It many ways it already is.
- My children.
No, I don’t have any, but when I do I want them to be able to aspire to be the head of state in their own country. Not just the political leader. But the figurehead, the person we believe exemplifies our values and can be a leader apart from other politicians.
Australia has a secular government. We are a nation of many faiths. Including the wishy washy agnostics which I call my people. So why do we have a family supposedly bestowed with the right to special treatment by one particular god held up above all others? I respect Christianity in its many forms but the church, any church, does not get to tell me who is my head of state.
This one is pretty well up for debate but I feel that we will not be truly respected until we are independent, not just by default, but by design. The Australian people need to see themselves as an independent, grown up country that does not, and will not, except even the possibility of a family from another country interfering in our sovereign affairs. Yes, this is a symbolic difference for the most part. Humanity should know by know that symbols are important. Just ask the royal family.
I like the royal family for the same reasons I like books and movies, both fiction and non-fiction. I like stories, and they have some great stories filled with humour and tragedy and bravery. I’m also fascinated by celebrity, like a lot of people I like to see people with lives, clothes and friends I could never afford. None of those things is enough to tie the royal family to a country they no longer need play a role in.
I know why we like to believe that the royal family are a good thing, believing in these things is nice. But can’t we believe in something Australian? Justifying something as ‘traditional’ is just another way of saying ‘we’ve done this for so long that we don’t really remember why’.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
So, what's the problem? Well, as Possum implied with his #mediaFAIL hashtag - the media has a lot to answer for in this. When the extent of coverage for politics most days these past weeks consisted of coverage of what a celebrity horse owner thinks of the PM's common attire, an interpretation of Bowen's new temporary visa policy by both Fairfax and News Ltd that can only really be described as binary (Howard or non-Howard), the release of the HIP data from the CSIRO getting a cursory enough glance just to pull out the "oh shit, the government's burning down houses" line to continue the narrative (the data itself actually doesn't, but anyway - covered well here by Possum himself), ongoing Behrendt horse-tweet coverage (critiqued best by Tony Martin at Scrivener's Fancy), etc. etc. And so on, and so it goes, to quote my good friend Bob Ellis.