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Australia's stupid, pointless salute to traditional marriage

John Howard ruined my wedding.

Well, no, he didn't actually ruin it. But the former Prime Minister of Australia, three years after he was ousted from office, made a spiteful little interjection at my wedding, and the weddings of hundreds of thousands of other couples, just to rub it in that he's really, really into the traditional marriage of a man and a woman. 
Allow me to explain. In 2004, when the first governments around the world were beginning to allow for same sex couples to marry, John Howard, then Prime Minister of Australia and the moral custodian of all that's conservative and true, wanted to make damn sure that couldn't happen here. So he changed our marriage laws, which had previously relied on the English common law definition of marriage, and expressly spelled it out: marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life. Same sex marriages performed overseas were meanwhile expressly forbidden fro…

Attack of the 50ft clones: Tony Abbott in Newtown

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Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister, noted conservative thinker, and scion of the Northern Beaches ventured into Newtown last night:
Invigorating Q&A session with the Newtown Young Liberals on the merits of Western Civilisation last night. pic.twitter.com/f5WlRun6Rp — Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR) September 19, 2017 I mean sure, Newtown is the kind of place where a middle aged man with spiked yellow hair, wearing a three piece pink tartan suit and knee high buckled boots can ride down the street on a scooter pulled by his terrier at 11am and not raise any eyebrows, but the place is becoming rapidly gentrified. There must be some conservatives there, and they band together. That's fine. It's a diverse world.

Wait a minute. Let's take a look at that gathering again:


That's not a political party, that's a cult up to stage four of the indoctrination process (I bet the guy who dared take off his jacket was taken outside and beaten later on). Nowhere else in Australia…

Yes!

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The no campaign have employed skywriters over Sydney today.

I think this guy is better worth attention.

Facebook is not the real world (there's rainbows out there)

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Gah, the SSM plebiscite - or more specifically the debate over the plebiscite - is depressing and exhausting. It can be hard, when you look at the relentless string of comments on an article on say a major media outlet's Facebook page, saying that the whole Yes campaign on same sex marriage is a Marxist plot to brainwash children; that children brought up by same sex parents grow up depressed, obese and plagued by intractable ring around the collar; free speech is at risk; and, before the moderators can step in, if they do, vile slurs about same sex attracted people themselves.

And it can be tempting to see this as how people are thinking; to wander through the shops or catch a bus and wonder if your fellow citizens are harbouring such thoughts.
But they don't. Comments on Facebook do not represent the real world. In fact, the represent the loudest, angriest sliver of the people disconnected from the real world. In my totally unscientific research on this, there were local gov…

5 childrens' issues that need strong voices (that aren't voting no)

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So the expensive, unnecessary, non binding national plebiscite on marriage equality is underway. Other nations just legalise marriage equality, but not us; we have to have a national postal vote, with the accompanying noisy and worrying campaign, and for what? Politicians are still going to have a vote on it in Parliament once the ballots are in - the same vote they could be having right now.

Instead, the nation "get to have their say", except after a bitter and hurtful campaign the votes will just get put in a drawer or something, and politicians can still ignore the will of their electorate and vote however they like.

Talk to opponents of marriage equality though, and want you to know they're in no way bigoted or homophobic. They like gay people! They're just really worried about the kids. (Apart from that being able to marry won't affect the ability of gay couples to have children, and they're not depriving children of a mum and dad, unless they go around …

The big lumps fuelling Liddell

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I told you how the National party at their national conference on the weekend were determined that no one should think them in favour of renewable energy, with all the fear and suspicion of Lyle Shelton worrying people will think he's gay.

Not to be outdone, their Coalition government partners are working to show the universe what a great future there is in coal by trying to extend the working life of the ageing and increasingly obsolete coal fired Liddell power station in the upper Hunter Valley, long after its owner, AGL, was set to close the thing. 
Liddell has been working well below capacity for many years as it reaches the end of its working life and coal becomes an increasingly expensive and outmoded form of power generation. 

Any forward thinking government would be looking at cheaper, more efficient forms of energy generation, but the Libs are determined that AGL must be kept open if not sold as a going concern, with the head of AGL summoned to the PM's office for a d…

Bigger swings than anyone imagined in local government elections

Over the weekend, we had local government elections here in NSW, confusingly in some councils but not in others. I didn't get to vote - I was on the Central Coast when the City of Sydney had their poll and now I'm in Sydney, there was a Central Coast election I didn't get to have a go in (upgrade the ruddy roads up there, whoever you are that wins!). 
And it was bad news for the Liberal party:

As expected, the Liberal party suffered big swings to Labor and to an extent, the Greens. 

As counting continued on Sunday across 46 council districts, including 22 Sydney councils, early results showed voters had punished the Liberal party across the board, but surprisingly including deep into its Sydney heartland.

 "In the councils between Newcastle and Shellharbour the average swing to Labor currently stands at about 5.5 per cent," said psephologist Ben Raue.
And speaking of Newcastle, not a single Liberal was elected to the city council (although there is quite a traditio…