Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2013

Thoughts (of very little worth) On Syria

I'm sitting in a courtyard on the University of Newcastle's main campus. It's a gorgeous day, unseasonably warm. This early, there are few students in the deck chairs and lounges strewn about the place. The sun is streaming through the trees that ring the campus. It's about as peaceful a scene as one could imagine, and I'm feeling pretty peaceful too; I've got a lecture on I'm looking forward to, then off to buy party supplies for BabyG's birthday; he's turning two, and presumably will need to be known as BoyG soon. Then, idly following links, I see this video from the BBC  of the aftermath of an incendiary bombing in Syria, and nothing is peaceful at all. I've been against Western military intervention in Syria. I couldn't see how bombing Syria could not add to the misery of its citizens, who have misery enough to bear. But you know what else they don't need? The opinions of a Western bleeding heart do-gooder who thinks she knows better

My Reply To Jaimie Abbott

Dear Ms Abbott, I'm sure you're looking forward to the upcoming election, where you are running as the Liberal candidate for Newcastle. I am too. For then, whether you win or lose, we can start to put you behind us. You're everywhere in this election campaign - billboards, coreflutes, at every damn community event, in shopping centres which aren't even in your electorate . I can't fault you for effort - if all you have to do is want it, you'd have the election in the bag. You even tried cozying up to The Greens in an attempt to get the preference deal that was the only way you can win, telling their candidate how much you two have in common - unfortunately or otherwise, they were too polite to tell you to go piss up a rope. I wonder how your rusted-on, Greens-loathing supporters would feel about that? So much for principles - I guess Tony Abbott isn't the only one who would sell his arse to get elected. It all came to naught anyhow when Mr Abbott announced t

The Lament of an Aspie Mama

It was the moment I knew I needed help. Baby G was engaged in one of his favourite activities...pulling DVDs off the shelf, taking the discs out of their cases and tossing them around. Typical toddler behaviour, and I should have reacted by firmly telling him we don't pull the DVDs down, and then finding some other activity as a distraction. But I didn't. Instead I was crouched on the floor with the palms of my hands pressed to the side of my head, making a strange sort of wailing noise, when DH found us. "What's going on out here?" he asked. "He's pulling out the DVDs, and I can't stop him, and...I don't understand why he's doing this" I replied in some minor anguish. And there it was; the moment when parenting and autism collided for me. I got through the small baby stage with its disruption of routine and unpredictability; I breastfed for 16 months despite that I'm not always too keen on being touched. I could do this, I thought,

The Most Important Election Issue No One's Talking About

From the "just when you thought people couldn't get any worse" files, yesterday I stumbled across an article about a woman pompously declaring that as none of the parties running for election had addressed her most crucial issue - health - to her satisfaction, she would be placing an informal vote at the upcoming election, handing in a blank ballot paper. She wouldn't give any party her vote because in her view, none of them deserved it. Goodness me. I suppose we shouldn't be surprised; considering the Liberal party have for years run the election slogan "It's about you", it was inevitable that we would see people treating voting not as a right and duty, but an activity to be completed only for their own pleasure. As ever I'm looking forward to voting myself, even though I haven't heard any of the parties put forward any policies addressing what I consider to be the most vital issue - job security. Oh, they say it's important and promise

Why Not Vote Greens?

Since the release of the ABC's  Vote Compass , where people can see how their political beliefs align with the positions of the parties running for the upcoming Federal Election, I've been seeing a common refrain on Twitter from those posting their results: "Funnily enough, I'm most closely aligned with the Greens - but I never vote Greens, only Labor." I've seen this sentiment before, and wondered why. Why do good, progressive, lefty people refuse to vote for the one parliamentary party that actually has consistent progressive policies? I think I've worked it out - it's a matter of perception and a misplaced pragmatism. Unfortunately neither do much good for the progressive cause in Australia, but that's what we've got. Many in Labor, many of their voters - and not a few of their opponents - see Labor as a left wing, progressive party. Compared to the Coalition, they sure are. But given the societal  shift to the right  of recent generations,

The Politics of the Shitkansen

Newcastle has been a Labor party stronghold pretty much forever - and people have been blaming all Newcastle's problems on this for about as long. "Sydney/Canberra takes us for granted, does nothing for Newcastle, because they know we'll always vote Labor. We need to kick them out to get anything done here!", so ran the thinking. Well, since the last NSW election, we've finally gotten the chance to put the theory to the test. For the first time the state electorate of Newcastle voted in a Liberal party representative, Tim Owen. And have things changed in Newcastle - the state issues of schools, hospitals, transport? Like fun they have, and nothing illustrates this better than the pitiful state of our rail link to Sydney, the notorious  Shitkansen . Look. Don't we deserve better than this? Filthy carriages thirty years old, appalling toilets, no food or beverages available; all that could be borne, I guess, if the train didn't take up to three hours to trav