Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lentil As Anything gets a pink slip of thanks

Abbotsford Convent pushing out Lentil as Anything. Wanting to get more rent. Is this all there is to it? Is a place that, as I understand it, lives on public benevolence for vaguely articulated notions of the wider good, going to shaft one of the most respected and original businesses in Australia, one that gives so much back by skilling up welfare recipients and refugees, so it can rake in some more moolah?

Is there more to it? Some hitherto undisclosed dispute?

If not I'm appalled. Why don't we just take the whole damn complex, sitting as it does in prime DINKy million dollar real estate land, give it to a developer with a mandate to go up 15 stories, and let the market completely speak for itself? If that's all it comes down to.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

'Abbott Failed Health' says Angela Shanahan

When a conservative columnist sums up an argument that should neuter Abbott's claim to Prime Ministership, any arguments he has with Rudd on health, and serve to demonstrate the emptyness of his strident self-serving attacks on Peter Garrett, it is worth savouring:

After all, a lot of people may remember that as health minister under John Howard, Abbott had a chance to fix hospitals and didn't.

That's it, that's all that ever needed to be said. The only problem seems to be that 'a lot' is far less than a crucial majority...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tony Abbott and the over-under estimation problem

Just a few days ago I sat with several of my left-of-centre brethren, discussing the state of play in Federal Politics. The general view was that Abbott is a good thing because he will not get elected. This optimism overestimates the polity as well as underestimating the man, who is clearly cunning, wiley, vicious, and not-stupid (I can't write that in the positive, I just can't).

And contrary to the painting of him as an ambition in search of policy, while this may be true at the level of fine detail he has clearly (as confirmed by Four Corners' unnerving portrait of the punching psychopath last night) held an immovable, focused hatred of most things socially progressive for decades.

And, while we're at it, Turnbull, who could just as easily have ended up in a different party, and who was not afraid of spineless expediency when it suited, was not the conviction-driven Judy to Abbott's poll-driven Punch. It is clear, based on the policy positions that have been adopted by the Liberal Party since the previous Malcolm left, that Abbott is the one in the party that complements his ideology.

All of which is an aside from my point(s). Despite disbelief on my side of politics, and probably true centrist liberals as well, the key bits of the polity, the people whose votes matter, are not as sensitive to small-minded meanness as we might like. They've shown that a cunning, flagrantly political animal with a mean streak and one foot firmly planted in the '50s can in fact embody all of the traits required for a successful and protracted streak in office.

I hope he's their Latham, as many predict. I just think my comrades should never, ever perform either of the acts of over-and-under estimation I've discussed here. Not in This Country. Not ever.

Abuse and Benediction

I can add absolutely nothing of value to this excellent post, from In a Strange Land, which draws the threads together on Tony Abbott's principal policy adviser and the endless circle of partial-apologia and obfuscation that seems to be the Church's approach to its rich history of producing and protecting abusers of children.

How this can still be going, now, on this issue, after so many cases...? Just a bit fcuking awful really.