Memoir reveals the heart of @RobOakeshott1: review by @SandraC81413369

ROB Oakeshott’s recently published memoir is an entertaining and insightful recollection of his vital role in giving supply and confidence to the minority Labor Government, and his part in the progress of major legislation between 2010 and 2013. His push for parliamentary and education reform and a price on carbon during this period will be familiar to many readers, but his book also sheds light on the less well known details of the negotiations behind the agreement with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the workings of the 43rd Parliament while Oakeshott served as Independent Member for the NSW electorate of Lyne. He finds some answers with the voice and growing influence of the new media. Integral to […]

History always repeats: @FrBower comments on conflict in #Gaza

Image sourced via social media When David the Bethlehemite went out to meet Goliath of Gath, neither of them could have possibly imagined that 3000 years later the same scenario would still be playing out on the very ground where they fought their famous battle. It is not my intention to take sides in this human tragedy, there are plenty willing to do that. To be honest there is fault and virtue in both camps. I do realise that by not taking sides I remain open to attack on both flanks. I would, however, rather put more energy into observation than judgement. Although amongst the youngest of the Baby Boomers, I […]

Selling out ethical journalism: @journlaw on @theage secret recordings #springst

[clear] It is a sad day when senior political figures steal a journalist’s recording device and destroy its contents, as we have been told happened at this year’s Victorian Labor conference. But it is an even sadder day when we hear a major newspaper – The Age – justifying a senior reporter secretly recording their conversations with sources. That newspaper’s editorial thundered at the state opposition leader: “Here is a lesson in the law, Mr Andrews: it is not illegal in this state to record people without their consent if you are a party to the call.” The journalist involved – The Sunday Age’s state political editor Farrah Tomazin – went […]

The shadowy underbelly of Australia’s fair go: @FrBower comments on #racism

“I am not a racist! But…” We have all heard it and many of us have said it, but what does it mean? Australians are, for the most part, a pretty decent lot. We love the larrikin, the underdog and the idea of a fair go. However, just as there is always another side to the individual there is also another side to a nation. There is always the dark underbelly. Carl Jung, one of the founders of modern psychology, called this “the shadow”. We see it all the time, what we hate most in others is often what we are trying so strenuously to deny in ourselves. What is […]

Senate Bingo! The @sarah_capper column

A whole new class of players joined the Upper House this month, and with a record number of cross-benchers – 18, including the Greens – there will be deals-a-plenty and the “spin cycle” on overdrive. Cards will be kept close to chests; cards will be put out on the table; and, as the last week has shown, cards will just as quickly be taken away. While PUP leader Clive Palmer appeals to pensioners by saying he will block the Government’s $7 GP co-payment, so that “those ladies” can “have their chocolate and go to the cinema”, let’s crunch the critical numbers with a round of ‘Senate Bingo’. [Insert archaic rolling wheel of bingo […]

Seaspray Victoria campaigners #lockthegate: @CounterActOz reports

The little room was overflowing so we moved. Packed up chairs and shuffled them into the basketball auditorium. It was a pretty good turnout for a tiny town like Seaspray, Victoria – population 300. As we sat there – the basketball court festooned with Australian flags – I wondered how many of these kinds of meetings have happened across the country. Small country townspeople with little involvement previously in politics having to meet. Dealing with the idea of being arrested for defending their farms. The group seemed intrigued and partly in shock as I started talking about direct action. I told them what it involved and about how quickly we would need to be ready […]

A son’s endless political conversation with activist elder @GrattonWilson, AO MSc 1929-2014: @BenGrant58

  “A couple of weeks back one of my sons dropped by for a few days and introduced me to Twitter,” wrote Gratton Wilson in his debut article for No Fibs. “Turned out it was like taking on a new job,” he observed. In the three years since, this scientist and activist, who died on June 7, 2014, garnered a devoted following for his clear arguments and common sense on climate change, compassion for asylum seekers and progressive politics. Along the way he put many noses out of joint. Job well done, it could be said. Desperate asylum seekers all over the world will never stop getting on to leaky boats. […]

A week’s public debate on women: Sarah Capper review

by Sarah Capper 20 June 2013 A week in the life of an Australian woman, courtesy of public discourse, the news and media commentary. Tuesday 11 June Catch the late news. The first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard has given a speech to a fundraising group in Sydney called ‘Women for Gillard’ in which she warns of a change in government come September, and how “we are going to make a big decision as a nation. It’s a decision about whether, once again, we will banish women’s voices from political life.” Think about this and consider the change from having the current government which, along with a female PM, has a record […]