Articles

The out-of-touch elite ...

Leunig, http://www.leunig.com.au/ used with permission
09.07.16 9:00 am

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Says it all ...

THE SATURDAY PAPER ...

How GetUp! boosted Labor … The GetUp! campaign was something unprecedented. It was by far the biggest, best-organised campaign run by an organisation not directly affiliated with a party. The organisation’s national director, Paul Oosting, quantifies the effort: “In total, our people had 40,218 phone conversations – not just calls, but conversations – with voters in marginal seats, lasting anywhere from five to 30 minutes. Total calling time was the 17,471 volunteer hours. That’s almost two years of donated time from our members.” The organisation concentrated its efforts on 12 seats: Bass, Dickson, Dawson, Macquarie, Macarthur, Deakin, Mayo, Cowper, Page, Braddon, Grey, Gilmore and, to a lesser extent, New England. In almost all cases, the swings against the government were far higher than the national average. The government lost Bass, Braddon, Macarthur, Macquarie and Mayo. …

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Writers | Lindsay Tuffin | Politics | National | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Satire | Society

NATIONAL, STATE: Lesson learned ...

Hans Willink*. Pic: of Hans Willink. First published July 8
09.07.16 5:59 am

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And so the election count continues. Who will form Government may be uncertain but sadly one result is very clear, my own. I have been well and truly trounced! I can understand why I was out polled on primary votes by the Sex Party 3:1, but a more bitter pill to swallow was being beaten by Pauline Hanson’s one nation 6:1, without her having run a campaign.

• Hans Willink in Comments: … At the start of the campaign, I emailed the Editors of all the major Tasmanian newspapers outlining the stark differences in advertising budgets between well resourced (at taxpayer expense) incumbent MPs and micro-parties/independents running their campaigns on the smell of an oily rag. I suggested that they publish a broad sheet the weekend before the election that reflected the ballot paper and included short descriptions, of equal size, in the candidates own words. Such a broadsheet would be similar to council ballot papers and appreciated by senior citizens in particular. The Mercury adopted the suggestion and I thank them for it. The Examiner and Advocate, on the other hand, merely saw the suggestion as just another opportunity to exploit, publishing the guide but charging exorbitant rates ($‘000s), thereby destroying the original intent to help create a level playing field with equal sized and free candidate descriptions. Many candidates, including myself could not afford to accept their avaricious offer. Lastly, neither the Examiner or the Advocate published a single word on the candidature of my Launceston based running mate, Jin-oh Choi, the only Tasmanian candidate of Asian descent (and indeed the only Australian candidate of Korean descent) in the election. For papers supposedly committed to independence and providing equal coverage, they clearly did not do so. 

MEANWHILE ... Woodchips ...

ABC: Woodchip exports to resume from Hobart waterfront, Government promises low truck traffic Includes pic of Peter Gutwein in Hi-Viz looking meaningful ... What the Libs and Greens say, TT Media HERE

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Writers | Hans Willink | Politics | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Media | Personal | Society

Rodney Pople’s Creative Mind ...

Lindsay Tuffin*
08.07.16 4:53 am

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I have a confession to make. I love Rodney Pople’s amazing art. The way he takes on established authority ... whether it be politics in Tassie or the power of established religion. Or the way he remembered Port Arthur ...

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Writers | Lindsay Tuffin | Politics | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Religion | Society

The NSW ban on greyhound racing ...

Lindsay Tuffin*. Pic: From Animals Australia's Facebook page ...
08.07.16 4:00 am

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Suzanne Cass, Stop Tasmanian Animal Cruelty, HERE: ‘This inquiry is a foregone conclusion’, Ms Cass continued. ‘Peter West is absolutely right in calling for it to be abandoned, and for the Tasmanian government to follow the lead of NSW and we salute him for that. We urge the community to contact the Premier, demanding that he show some humanity, follow the lead of Mike Baird and ban this so-called ‘sport’ now’.

Animals Australia HERE

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Writers | Lindsay Tuffin | Politics | National | State | Economy | Opinion | Personal | Society

Letters to my grandchildren (17)

Anton Clever*
07.07.16 12:56 pm

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Dear Chilliwops, If you hold fast to a positive attitude you can achieve a great deal in life.  Thinking positively about the challenges you face can lighten those challenges.

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Writers | Anton Clever | Personal | Society

Can the Liberals change on health?

Martyn Goddard* Pic*
07.07.16 5:00 am

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Well, at least he said it. Three days after a dismal election result, Malcolm Turnbull, faux-contrite, finally admitted that his party’s record on health might have had something to do with the result.

Crikey: Pssst, Abetz: GetUp is not a charity, does not care what you think GetUp donation’s aren’t tax-deductible, so you’ll have to try harder, Senator.

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Writers | Martyn Goddard | Politics | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Society

Is the King Island Scrubtit Tasmania’s canary in the coal mine?

Lyndall Rowley* First published July 4
06.07.16 6:30 am

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You might not know or even care about the King Island Scrubtit. I didn’t know it even existed until I came across a news article a few months ago about it being perilously close to extinction.

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Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Society

UK: lost, divided and alone

Le Monde diplomatique. Cartoon: Martyn Turner, Irish Times, used with permission
06.07.16 5:19 am

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The Brexit vote was an insurrectionary protest against neoliberalism, globalism and cultural contempt. It will break up the UK, and split England forever.

Read more HERE

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Politics | International | National | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Legal | Society

The Mayfair Gulag ...

Charles Wooley* Pic* First published July 5
06.07.16 4:40 am

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Human language started to develop in Africa 100,000 years ago. It changed our brains and our evolutionary fortunes and allowed the ascendancy of our frail and fractious species. Language became the currency of thought for good and bad. In the service of Shakespeare words re-imagined the whole world to delight and astound us. In the service of a spellbinding demagogue like Hitler, words brought out the very worst. Maybe despite the tedium of the election campaign it is a blessing we do not have great orators in Australian politics. When I was a kid in the middle of the last century, playground gibes and insults were usually met with immediate violence. But sometimes, gentler souls would retaliate by reciting, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me.”  …

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Writers | Charles Wooley | Politics | State | Economy | Education | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

STATE: How Hodgman, Gutwein and Ferguson lost the election ...

Martyn Goddard* Pics* First published July 4
05.07.16 5:29 am

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Nationally we have, most probably, a hung parliament with a minority government led for the moment by an angry and insecure Prime Minister. In Tasmania there is no such uncertainty. The Liberals were wiped out with massive swings.

Peter Martin, Economics Editor, The Age, Fairfax: Election 2016: ‘Mediscare’ campaign worked because voters were already scared Scare campaigns only work when they reinforce or add to what is already known.

Richard Ackland, Guardian: Even if they can form government, it will be a sour little victory for the Liberal party

• Dr Michael Powell in Comments: Andrew Nikolic is today in theatrical mode on Facebook. It was all lies and a GetUp! campaign that robbed him, but the man can’t count. Nikolic lost 10 000 votes on Saturday, a third of the vote he achieved in 2013. By anybody’s count that is staggering rejection. He made it a referendum on himself and lost. And by a greater swing than almost anywhere else in the country …

• Leo Schofield, AM, in Comments: Oh frabjous joy to see the so called Three Amigos clip-clopping towards the political sunset from which they emerged. The odious Whiteley, Mr Potato Head, media nymphomaniac leaping to contribute his two bob’s worth to any story that will give him three pennyworth’s of publicity. The even more odious Nikolic, he who was prepared to vanquish critics with threats to their livelihood. Whine he may do about Mediscare but the fact is that no single opposition issue can be responsible for a 10% defection. The candidate himself has to be seriously and comprehensive on the nose. Hutchison is a cipher and as useless as a wooden leg to a tap dancer. This trio of smug dunces were a disgrace to Tasmania and the citizens who fast tracked them to oblivion are to be commended for their perspicacity.

AFR: Whoever wins Tasmania will get its $150 million pork barrel … But there is one higher education promise that has no barrier in the way of implementation. That’s the $150 million Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he would give to the University of Tasmania to build new campuses in Launceston and Burnie. What reason is there to suppose this particular election promise is one that will stick? That’s because Labor promised it, too. So no matter which side of politics forms the next government Tasmania’s $150 million should sail through with bipartisan support …

Latest analysis from Dr Kevin Bonham ...

GetUp: There’s one election result that’s indisputable: people-power created massive political change.

• Greg James in Comments: … All of this is part of the mosaic. #26 argues that a deficit is bad. Yet, this is a time of low interest rates, this is the time to build infrastructure and accumulate debt, there is no better opportunity, would you have the government do it in a time of high interest rates? Immigration can solve the ageing population problem and this is what we should invest that money in, building roads and houses, hospitals and schools and generating real wealth …

Crikey: Pssst, Abetz: GetUp is not a charity, does not care what you think GetUp donation’s aren’t tax-deductible, so you’ll have to try harder, Senator.

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Writers | Martyn Goddard | Politics | National | State | Economy | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | Personal | Society

Tasmania leads the NATION ...

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ . Pic* Firsst published July 4
05.07.16 5:15 am

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Tasmania leads the nation, Saturday, in a clean sweep of Liberal-held lower house seats, which sees its three amigos, Eric Hutchinson, Andrew Nikolic and Brett Whiteley, sent packing. In the contest for Tasmania’s 12 Senate seats, the fates of sixth-listed Labor senator Lisa Singh and non-Abbott man listed fifth, Liberal senator Richard Colbeck, may take weeks to be finalised.

Bolshie Senate to one side and leaving the witch-hunt over illegal scare-mongering alone, Labor’s Brian Mitchell expresses something which, sadly is too easy for the complete, modern corporate statesman or party hack to overlook. It goes to the heart of Labor’s Tasmanian victory and may be one key to the post-Brexit Labor success across the nation. For Mitchell the result is, “Just an amazing feeling. I’m the son of a school cleaner, my mum cleaned schools, my dad was a factory hand, to think that their son is now in Federal Parliament; that’s the Labor story.”  …

Peter Martin, Economics Editor, The Age, Fairfax: Election 2016: ‘Mediscare’ campaign worked because voters were already scared Scare campaigns only work when they reinforce or add to what is already known.

Latest analysis from Dr Kevin Bonham ...

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Regulars | Urban Wronksi | Politics | National | State | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Media | Society

The outrage at the Australian government takeover of Norfolk Island

Chris Nobbs*, Norfolk Island. Pic*
05.07.16 4:55 am

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Norfolk Island: Letters marking the Australian Government Takeover The letters reproduced here were originally published in the Norfolk Island weekly newspaper The Norfolk Islander, on Saturday 2 July 2016. This was the day following the completion of a process carried through by the Australian Government and against the will of the majority of the Norfolk Island people, which stripped them of the limited form of self-government they had enjoyed as an external territory of Australia, and which incorporated them as a regional council area within the ambit of the state of New South Wales.

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Politics | International | National | Economy | Opinion | Legal | Society

FEDERAL Election 2016: Good Heavens ...

Lindsay Tuffin* Pic* First published July 3
05.07.16 4:45 am

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‘Politics is the art of the possible. Politics is how we decide who gets what. Politics influences how much you pay for interest on student loans and how easy or difficult it is to get financial aid. Politics is the process by which we govern ourselves. Politics is life, and all life is politics. Human beings, as essentially social animals, can never escape this.’ ( T.M. Sell, Politics and Power ).

Swept from power. No longer kingmakers ... Far-right Tasmanian Liberals, The Three Amigos Andrew Nikolic, Brett Whiteley, and Eric Hutchinson ( ABC: Election 2016; Labor Party claims three marginal Tasmanian seats ) were obliterated in a Labor landslide which has left the nation uncertain as to who will govern ( Mercury: 2016 Federal Election: Rolling coverage of the campaign, Day 55 ), ( Advocate: Federal Election 2016: Live coverage, polls & results ) ...

A Total Mess ... What Dr Kevin Bonham says ... This post follows the post-count for the Tasmanian Senate race.  I warn that it is complex and around Wonk Factor 4/5 at this stage.  The Tasmanian Senate race is complicated by the state’s high below-the-line voting rates and especially by the below-the-line voter rebellions against the preselection demotions of Lisa Singh to sixth on the Labor ticket and Richard Colbeck to fifth on the Coalition ticket.  … Comment if you wish on Dr Bonham’s website HERE

• Dr Michael Powell in Comments: … Mr Nikolic became a deliberately polarising figure and consciously turned the election into a referendum on himself and his style of politics. The result was resounding rejection. The “Mirabella political rule” dictates the price you pay for becoming the issue. There is one sobering political message. Politicians are there to serve all electors of whatever persuasion, to allow voice to all their concerns and to tolerate even their more annoying gripes.  …

• Mike Bolan in Comments: The recent ‘election’ and media hype raise the question of “Why are we so obsessed with marionette political figures like Malcolm, Bill and Tony when, given the serious threats of climate and political instability, our entire country and the fates of those within it should be our focus”? We seem to have reverted to a Punch and Judy show approach to the decisions that will affect our health, wealth and lives …

… Phil na Champassak in Comments: A pox on all your houses. Enter Hamlet: something is rotten in the state of ... A general malaise in the Australian polity won the election last night. Our politicians just don’t grasp the fact that voters are sick to death of the current political system whereby they are hounded prior to an election by high profile politicians and their local members, and promised lots of pork on fork, and then once the election is over, there is virtually no longer any contact with the flock for another three years, and the pork may or may not be forthcoming … 

Great headline in Suntas: Adios Amigos!

Latest analysis from Dr Kevin Bonham ...

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Writers | Lindsay Tuffin | Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Society

THE VERDICT: Federal Election 2016

Lindsay Tuffin*. Pic*
02.07.16 5:46 am

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There’s only one place to go on Election Night. The website of the nation’s foremost psephologist, the peerless Dr Kevin Bonham, HERE. Kevin’s already done a pre-poll roundup: Final poll and campaign roundup, HERE

• Ed: This item is now open for comment ... that is, general comment … Comments relating specifically to Dr Bonham will not be published; other than on his website, HERE

AND ...

• If you have pics of polling booths, election posters etc, whack ‘em to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

• John Hawkins in Comments: I think that it would be safe to say that Abetz has cost the Liberals government in Australia with the loss of at least three seats in Tasmania. Why? Abetz Number one on the Senate ticket a serious turnoff for many in the electorate. Abetz as the senior Liberal not allowing any women candidates. A Liberal Party in the thrall of the extreme right under Abetz and Nikolic. Well done Tasmania ... Humpty Dumpty has fallen off the wall of blue.

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Writers | Lindsay Tuffin | Politics | National | State | Economy | Editor's Choice | Personal | Society

First Day, July: A celebration of the Tarkine ...

Nicole Anderson* All pics: Nicole Anderson. First published July 1
02.07.16 5:30 am

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First Day, July: A celebration of the Tarkine ...

• Peter Adams in Comments: Beautiful photographs. It’s hard to imagine that such a place exists on this earth. It’s harder, yet, to imagine that our federal and state governments don’t want to protect it …

• Lyndall Rowley in Comments: Nicole.  I’m stunned.  The vistas are so beautiful; but those trees and their immediate setting… layer upon layer of life with each tree providing a minute landscape of its own. Speechless. Thank you for sharing the images. Someone should arrange for the key political players to visit the Tarkine and see what you’ve shown us. Because, once experienced, I don’t see how anyone could possibly consider this place unworthy and condone any destruction or disturbance.

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Politics | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Society

Renewable energy is big news in regional electorates across Australia

Dan Cass* Australia Institute. Pic: of Andrew Nikolic, MP for Bass. First published July 1.
02.07.16 5:15 am

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National polling commissioned by The Australia Institute showed that a staggering 71% of voters say would consider voting for a party that supported distributed small-scale solar and storage.

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Politics | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Society

The Vatican does ... and we should stop it

Dr Francesca Collins. Pic: of Francesca Collins. First published July 1
02.07.16 5:00 am

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The Australian Sex Party has released its 2016 Federal election video and, as usual, it’s provocative. Set to the tune of Willy Wonka’s Candy Man, the ‘Vatican Can’ clearly has the Catholic Church in its sights. Why would anyone want to target the Catholic Church, or any religious organisation, that does such great charitable work as feeding the poor, caring for the sick, and giving people meaning and solace in this world of suffering? Dr Francesca Collins, Australian Sex Party candidate for the Senate in Tasmania, explains ...

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Politics | National | Economy | Opinion | Religion | Society

It’s up to all of us

Scott MacInnes* Pic: of Mahatma Ghandi. First published June 29
02.07.16 4:35 am

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… We know intuitively that something is seriously wrong but feel so overwhelmed by it all that we either flee into vehement denial (“There really isn’t a problem.”), defensiveness (“It’s not my fault.“), blame (“It’s the governments and the big corporations.”), moral indignation (“It’s all those other insensitive, greedy bastards.”), self-righteousness (“I’m entitled to my indulgent lifestyle. I work hard and deserve it.”), avoidance (“I haven’t got time to deal with this now.”), displacement (“It’s somebody else’s problem” - Douglas Adams’ SEP); helplessness (“There’s nothing I as an individual can do about it.”), imperfect solution excuses (“If there is not a perfect solution, then we are entitled to do nothing.”); resort to magical thinking (“There’s sure to be a technological magic wand just around the corner. God/science will save us.”); fatalism (“It’s too late, we’re all already doomed.”); and/or, finally, collapse into paralysis (“It’s just all too hard and I cannot deal with it.”).

The result is that we deny, avoid or disavow reality. And what is so alarming is that our current culture relentlessly encourages us in this. Rather than performing its traditional critical function of helping us understand, face and deal creatively and constructively with reality, the prevailing dominant culture actively undermines our capacity to do so. …

… We see footage of world poverty on the news and in charity advertising all the time but somehow we find ways to disavow the reality of it and our deepest feelings about it. In doing so, we create a dislocation in our inner world. We cut ourselves off from that part of us that instinctively does care. To deal with the anxiety of that loss of integrity, we have to fool ourselves that we don’t really need to worry about this problem and the prevailing culture of uncare subtly supports us in this.  …

• Bob Hawkins in Comments: Thanks Scott. Wise words. From my “It’s too late, we’re all already doomed” perspective, I find myself “if only-ing”. Ghandi offers us a way. Sadly his words address a life form (in the shape of the monster that is its whole) without the mindfulness even to slow in its destructive course and contemplate his advice.

• Lyndall Rowley in Comments: Magnificent piece of writing Scott. Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! I would, however, add one more concern to the five already listed - ‘Population’.  In my opinion, the major driver and underlying cause of the majority of concerns is unsustainable population growth. We must face up to this stark and complex self-inflicted reality. Having accepted in full your cri de coeur and urgent need for a collective (even societal global) mind-shift & action, I would then sincerely and respectfully ask the most difficult question of all: HOW?

• Michael Dello-Iacovo in Comments: … As Jeffrey Sachs has argued in his great book The End of Poverty, developing nations just isn’t as corrupt as people think they are. He has more points and data to back that up, but I’ll just defer to him here. The point is that, while money donated to charities working in foreign nations might be misused sometimes, they are used well most of the time and lead to vast improvements in living conditions and wellbeing for people. This sort of risk should encourage us to use independent analysers of charity like GiveWell to make sure our foreign aid budget and personal donations are having as much impact as possible, rather than shying away from foreign aid altogether. …

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Writers | Scott MacInnes | Politics | International | National | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

How well do you know the new Senate Candidates ... ?

Hans Willink, Senate candidate Tasmania for Science Party. Pic: of Hans Willink First published July 1
02.07.16 4:30 am

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How well do you know the new Senate Candidates at the election on Saturday?  How well do you know the incumbents?  Can you even name the incumbents?  As we approach the home straight I will provide some insights into my background that may guide you to either vote for me, or place me at number 58 on the Senate ticket (or should I say at 57, as I think most TT readers have already selected their number 58th favourite).

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Politics | National | Economy | Opinion | Personal | Society

The Tasmanian Government Needs to Fund More Housing for Ex-Prisoners

Kate Dewar* Pic: of Ellendale valley. First published July 2
02.07.16 4:15 am

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A window broken by rocks and tomatoes splattered on the porch. This was the recent manifestation of tensions in the Southern Tasmanian town of Ellendale, sparked over the housing of two convicted paedophiles within the rural community.

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Politics | National | State | Economy | Opinion | Society

Running the Gauntlet at the AEC ...

Garry Stannus* All pics by Garry Stannus. First published July 1
02.07.16 4:00 am

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Party supporters and placards appeared to be allowed inside the building where citizens are coming to cast pre-poll votes. Our pre-polling voters run the gauntlet ...

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Politics | National | Economy | Opinion | Society

Why Norfolk Island is not an Australian country town

Chris Nobbs, Norfolk Island. Pic*
02.07.16 4:00 am

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It has been said by Australian politicians and others arguing in favour of the current “transition”, that Norfolk Island is “no different from an Australian country town”. There are at least four good reasons why this is not so. Let’s look at them.

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Politics | International | National | Economy | Opinion | Personal | Society

Comment 24 on, Can the Liberals change on health?

John Hawkins, Chudleigh. Pic: of Andrew Nikolic from his Facebook page
01.07.16 2:10 pm

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Comment 24 on Can the Liberals change on health, HERE  The largest financial political promise to Tasmania over the pre election period was the $150 million to UTAS to pay for a new campus at Inveresk.

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3 comments

Jo Cox ... and the Language of Hate ...

Harriet Binet* Pic* First published June 30
01.07.16 5:45 am

Image for Jo Cox ... and the Language of Hate ...

… In a BBC interview Brendan spoke about the increasing tribalism of politics, the coarsening of language and tendency to play to peoples’ fears rather than better natures. These were sentiments echoed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel who warned, in the wake of Jo’s death, about the dangers of divisive language, saying that “exaggeration and radicalisation of language did not help foster an atmosphere of respect.” In Australia we too need to bring into sharper focus the language of public and political discourse. Language matters and words have consequences. Rhetoric which promotes fear or prejudice provides succour to those harbouring extremist or prejudicial views. The embers of hate are fanned by hateful and violent language.  …

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Politics | International | National | State | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Personal | Society | Tribute

Everyone rejoice, Manus Island is ‘open and free’!

John Martinkus* Pic* First published June 30
30.06.16 5:30 am

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Didn’t you hear Julie Bishop? Manus Island is open and free! Asylum seekers rejoice! Foreign correspondent John Martinkus reports that nothing could be further than the truth.

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Politics | International | National | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | Personal | Society

Images Leaked of Super Trawler Kills as Government Cover-up Deepens

Rebecca Hubbard*, Nobby Clark* Media Release
30.06.16 5:20 am

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The Stop the Trawler Alliance have received troubling images from an informant who claims to be a crew member of the Geelong Star, who for the first time, is leaking to the public images of a whale shark which has been at the centre of a Freedom of Information battle with government since March

• Luigi Brown in Comments: More protected species kills; secrecy and cover-ups; AFMA intransigence; government silence. Is anybody surprised by this?

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Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

A Big Week for Boy-Men

Steve Biddulph* Pic* First published June 27
30.06.16 5:15 am

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We have to get more light into the messed up world of manhood, writes Steve Biddulph

… The problem created by “boy-men” - fully grown men in large bodies, and sometimes in powerful positions, yet with the emotional development of three year-olds - begs for proper understanding.  This small, yet resistant rump of damaged males have so much capacity to do harm that we cannot ignore them any more … 

• Gordon Bradbury in Comments: Good article Mr Biddulph. And I agree entirely. Everyday I witness men behaving badly. Men in positions of power, trust and authority. Being a father to 2 young men (and having very limited parenting skills myself), I am acutely aware of the broken dysfunctional “system” in which families operate. Parenting as a real skill is completely ignored (save by a few people such as Mr Biddulph). Communication and relationship skills are also completely ignored in our education system. Emotional intelligence? What’s that? If we think the current generation of male leaders are bad just wait 20 years. The cult of the ego-driven male has only just begun! The one ray of hope is that social media and the growing power of women will head this disaster off before its too late. There are very few men who seem able or willing to call the problem.

• Bob Hawkins in Comments: When I was a mid-teenage lower-working-class lad, I was given two brief bits of advice from my parents, who probably were shyly doing their best at modern-day (early 1950s) sex education. As if she were confiding a secret, Mum whispered: “Son, always treat every girl as if she was a lady.” Never another word from her on the subject. About the same time, with Mum not around, Dad said: “Son, never go further than she’ll let you.” He said no more. At the time, it sounded like a contradiction. More than 60 years on, I thank both those poorly educated people for their wisdom. Thanks Mum, thanks Dad. At least I had a pretty good idea about what was right and what was wrong. Must be why I ended up in the Far East as a virgin soldier.

• Rossi in Comments: What can we expect from “sports people” when cynical adults have made a lucrative industry (and religion) out of what are essentially children’s games of playing with inflated balls?  Maintaining the complete suspension of credibility undermines any integrity they might show.  It’s not in their interests for the players and audience members to actually grow up - in a world of bread and circuses.

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21 comments

Politics | National | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | History | Media | Personal | Society

Brexit ...

Martyn Turner, Irish Times, used with permission. First published June 29
30.06.16 5:00 am

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Martyn Turner, Irish Times, used with permission

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Politics | International | National | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Personal | Satire | Society

POKIES: What the Candidates reckon ...

Pat Caplice*, Facebook modrator, Rein in The Pokies. First published June 29
30.06.16 4:30 am

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Host Leon Compton sought the candidates’ thoughts about the fact that each adult around them in the shopping centre lost, statistically, $700 each year to The Pokies and that reform wouldn’t occur as the parties were effectively bought by The Pokies lobby.

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Politics | National | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Legal | Society

The destructive madness of hospital funding

Martyn Goddard* Pic* First published June 26
30.06.16 4:00 am

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The number of patients being treated in Tasmania’s public hospitals is set to fall for the first time in almost a decade. The yawning gap between funding and actual costs make that inevitable. Next year, nominal funding given to the hospitals for the direct treatment of patients will rise by 0.9 per cent and over the four years of the forward estimates by 3.7 per cent. But costs are rising much faster. Just to stay where we are, with the number of patients rising by their usual long-term average, costs will outstrip funding by $92 million next year and $367 million over four years. By 2019-20, the hospitals will have to trim their costs by 30 per cent. And because years of cuts under Labor and Liberal governments have already pushed the system to breaking point, no fat is left. There will be no alternative to cutting staff and treating fewer patients …

EARLIER today on Tasmanian Times ...

The AMA’s attack on Liberal policy ...

• Andrew Ricketts in Comments: … Remember Malcolm said in essence we should not have slogans thrust at us. “We need advocacy, not slogans,” he said. Now it seems the Liberals see slogans as either a strength or an inalienable right but this is surely their Achilles heel. What is next: exciting stability? Malcolm’s slogan statement was surely an indication of what he considered to be important - the avoidance of trivial slogans? Can we now believe and trust him? Can we trust him over Medicare and our health system? …

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Writers | Martyn Goddard | Politics | National | State | Economy | Health | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Society