Please number your ballot paper randomly for the sake of democracy

You have to admire the way Julia has taken the logical next step from having policy entirely driven by focus groups to simply making setting up a focus group the actual policy. While I’m sure that 150 people picked randomly out of the phonebook will definitely be able to sort out climate change in no time, there is in fact a mechanism for gauging the will of the people which we like to call an “election” and it does seem a shame not to use it, considering all the trouble people go to putting up the voting booths.

At least we’re all quite clear that Tony definitely probably might or might not think god will sort climate change out anyway with one of those floods or something depending on the direction the wind’s blowing at the time.

Both sides so far: zero out of ten. Please try harder, some of this stuff is actually quite important.

The Weekend Australian, 24-25 July 2010

The Hobart Mercury, 24 July 2010

How to stop the boats

The Australian 9/7/2010

Apparently it is perfectly okay to have an irrational fear of boat people these days. I’m not the Prime Minister, or a psychologist, but I can’t help thinking that pandering to an irrational fear isn’t the best way of sorting it out. We aren’t being swamped by boat people. Most of them turn out to be legitimate refugees. The most efficient way of dealing with their claims would be to do it in Australia. Beating up on these incredibly vulnerable people will not do anything to stop the root cause of the problem, and to do so is (yes, I’m going to say it) downright unAustralian. Deep down I think we all know that we’re not going to stop people smuggling until there is a worldwide change in human nature, and I’m not holding my breath. While we’re waiting for world peace and an end to world poverty, perhaps some sort of regional or global formula for humanely, fairly and efficiently dealing with refugees wouldn’t be a bad idea at all (yes, the mythical queue!) however, again, breath holding is not advised. In the meantime, a little more of compassion and a little less xenophobia might help make the world a slightly better place, or failing that, some decent, brave leadership from politicians who really should know better wouldn’t go astray. …okay, I’m not holding my breath on that one either.

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somebody’s got to do it

The Australian June 4 2010

This cartoon accompanied a story about a record minimum wage increase of $26 a week (after a slightly less generous $0 per week last year) to the predictable chorus of “we’ll all be rooned” from the usual suspects.

Now as the reintroduction of slavery seems off the table at least until the Coalition gets back in, I’m sure there are strong economic arguments for not paying the poor bastards any more money. However, as the people making these arguments are probably earning more than $26 in the 5 or so minutes it takes for them to make the argument, it feels a little bit like there’s some sort of double standard at play, damn my bleeding heart.

Anyway, the cartoon was a bit wordy for a pocket, but it made me happy, so there.