Saturday, July 31, 2010

it's on

"Your guilty conscience may force you to vote Democratic,
but deep down inside you secretly long for a cold-hearted Republican
to lower taxes, brutalise criminals
and rule you like a king"

Thanks Bob. Never a truer word have been spoken. Here in old Awhstrahlia, instead of having Democrats and Republicans we have The Australian Labor Party and the Liberal Party.

Traditionally, the Liberal Party is the party of fat and well being. I think they would say they pride themselves on keeping the books balanced, on making sure homes gets a double garage and that middle class Australians pay as little tax as possible, including by cutting public services (read: health and education). The Liberal Party is who Australia turns to when it's feeling a little cold and hungry. When it's not sure what's around the corner, and how we're going to pay for it.

The Australian Labour Party on the other hand plays to what, most of us, feel is just. Notable ALP victories in my life time include Gough Whitlam, who came to power in 1972 as Australians were sick of bigoted foreign policy that had got us caught up in the Vietnam War (and gave us the best campaign slogan ever).

Whitlam also began Australian's on the road to Reconciliation when he famously poured sand into the hand of Vincent Lingiari -a Gurindji man's - hand, starting the ball rolling for land rights and native title. He also laid the foundations for our current system of accessible health care and legal aid.

Unfortunately Whitlam was especially bad at balancing the books and was dismissed from power by the Governor General on Armistice Day 1975.

Labor Prime Ministers have continued in his footsteps, with commitments (real or spin) to health, education, diversity and human rights. They've taken other steps towards reconciliation, most notably Paul Keating's marvelous Redfern Address

and Kevin Rudd's Apology speech.

Kevin 07 rode into power as most Australians were sick of putting our tired, sick and huddled masses into off-shore detention centers. We were sick of licking some foreign arses, while blowing the shit out of others. We were sick of climate change sceptics, misogyny and Wallabies tracksuits.

And here we are three years later, and once again the ALP has shot itself in the foot. Despite a strong start, and amazingly managing to handle the GFC extraordinarily well, it's made poor taxation decisions and partaken in infighting in an election year.


and now, with a new leader, they've adopted policies that make it difficult to tell the parties about. It's not so much a case of "he said, she said", but "what she said".

At least I get to host the greatest of traditions: the election night party. So we can drink beer and watch the ABC while Antony Green crunches the numbers.

I'm cooking pork.

And we started with Bob. Maybe another Bob's in with a chance this time?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

catch up

So, aside from eating my own hair and dreaming of star wars pancake moulds, what the hell I have I been up to?

1. Thesis
Going slowly, but at least it's going. I was supposed to review my lit review this weekend on the basis in a change in question. mmmmmm... that's probably not going to happen, but I WILL finish my ethics application. Need to get a police check to go with it. Hopefully they don't know about any of the stuff I got up to in my 20s.....

2. Staying Warm
Or not. It's been fucking cold. I know weather is the most boring blog topic possible, but it's been so cold it's been the constant topic of conversation with all. My office thermometer reads 7 degrees when I arrive in the morning, and I shiver for the rest. This does have a connection with point 1, as it's just too cold to work in my home study in the evenings. My fingers don't work on the keyboard. Good excuse I think.

3. Sleeping
What better to do when it's cold and you don't want to study than sleep. mmmmmm.... sleep

4. Simpsons
When you're not sleeping you can watch the Simpson's 20th anniversary season on DVD.

5. Hate your job
Since going part time recently, I have realised just how much I hate my job. Or maybe I just hate working. Yes, that seems more the point. So while watching the Simpsons between naps I think of ways to not work. This has probably been the least successful of my recent ventures, as it will see me back in my cold, heartless office tomorrow.

6. Eating
Lots. Last night it was Indian style roast beef (not for the Hindus) and Bulgarian pepper and feta toast. Odd combination. One of the cooks is Bulgarian. They other just likes roast beef. Today I've had bacon and egg rolls at the farmers market, come home with rabbit to braise and am out tonight for curry and too much red wine, I would hazard a guess.

7. Football
Finally, but not least, talking about the football. I have watched very little of it, as it's just been too cold for 4.30am kick offs. But working with a range of Europeans and South East Asians (not to mention the Brits), it's been a hot topic of conversation. I need one of those looser t-shirts that says 'I support France and anyone playing Germany', so even though Les Bleus didn't make it past the group stage - in spectacular style - German's out of the grand final, and that makes me happy. Will do my best to get up this morning and watch Spain and the Netherlands fight it out. Smart money's on Spain. But I have a soft spot for the little orange warriors.

Interesting point that I once read somewhere. When you have a tendency to travel the world as much as I do you realise that carrots can come in many colours: orange, yellow, white, purple. Although they all pretty much taste the same. But at one point or another the Dutch were producing almost all of Europe's carrots. And naturally they preferred orange, which is why in the west we only have orange carrots.

True or not, I don't know. But it's a good story.