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Showing posts from May, 2014

The Biggest Budget Lie

It seems almost redundant to be posting yet another article about the budget. The anger is unprecedented. People whom I've never seen say a word about politics on Facebook in years are venting their fury. But what is truly repulsive here is not so much what's in the budget itself - we knew the Coalition are a bag of dicks, and cuts to seniors' payments, a $7 payment to visit the doctor, and requiring those under 30 to wait six months before receiving unemployment benefits, along with a host of other, unannounced cruel cuts, should come as no surprise - but Joe Hockey's responses to criticism, showing that he is not merely out of touch with the effects of his changes, but displays a disdain for the poor and a disregard for the true state of the economy and job market bordering on sociopathy. 
This morning's interview with Chris Uhlman on ABC radio gave a dark look into the twisted recesses of Hockey's mind; a mind that is shared by most of the wealthy elite in Ab…

Tim Owen, ICAC and Where To Now For Newcastle

After being conspicuous by his absence for weeks, yesterday state MP for Newcastle, Tim Owen, announced in a statement to the media that he would not be contesting the 2015 election after learning that banned donors contributed to his 2011 election campaign. Mr Owen claimed he was unaware of these donations, describing himself as shocked and dismayed; he then left without answering questions.

Now, political candidates receive all sorts of finance, and a major party candidate like Mr Owen no doubt had a campaign manager who focused on such issues so he could concentrate on campaigning and thus may not be privy to the origin of ever dollar coming in. But what we are being asked to believe here is that Buildev, having openly offered a bribe to Labor candidate Jodi McKay with the aim of winning approval for a coal loader to be built in Newcastle Harbour, then secretly gave the money to Tim Owen's campaign and never said a word to him about it at the time or ever contacted him regarding…

Learning to Drive in Your 30s: The Horror Is Real

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The thing is, I always wanted to learn to drive.

I grew up in a regional area, and learning to drive was the right of passage. Losing your virginity? Forget it. In suburban NSW you could produce a thousand teen comedies about kids desperate to get their licence. It was all anyone talked about for the final couple of years of school. Of course I wanted in on it.

However, my father decided that teaching us kids to drive would be spoiling us. (Also spoiling us: paying for school excursions, orthodontia and optometry, HSC tuition, textbooks...basically anything that wasn't mandated by law). I had to sit blinking back tears as friend after friend recounted their driving successes, failures, and that sublime day when they got their Ps. I left home soon after, and that was that. I tried to put a brave face on it; driving was hopelessly suburban, bad for the environment, totally out of whack with the inner urban lifestyle I craved. Eventually I made it to the inner city, where driving would…

ICAC and How To Buy Newcastle

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As the ICAC hearings into government corruption in NSW continue, you have to wonder how much longer new Premier Mike Baird's government can remain tenable. Yes, we have fixed parliamentary terms in NSW, but as member after minister from the former premier on down "stands aside in light of these allegations" as they so delicately put it, surely he is obligated to call fresh elections to let the public have their say on a parliament that seems rotten on both sides? (Rarely have I been so proud to be a Green, the only party untainted by the whiff of corruption).

Funnily enough, the man who had so much to say about ICAC before last year's federal election has gone silent, denying it is his role to comment on a state matter and angrily refusing journalists' questions about it (one almost expected to hear Abbott to tell journalists to put their manners back in). Still, Abbott has enough problems of his own to worry about right now and maybe it would be churlish to kick …