Critical Comment

19. Jun, 2018

Afghanistan Social Support Network Survey

"Hi, we'd like to invite you to complete this online survey after your recent contact with our Special Forces Troops.

How did you contact us today?

Were you:

  • Laying in wait to ambush us?
  • Placing an IED inside a dog's carcass?
  • Firing at us while surrounded by a group of school kids?
  • Pretending to work with us in one of our bases?

 On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate the troops you shot at on the following attributes:

  • Gender balance including fluidity and expressions of individual gender identity 
  • Cultural diversity - did our unit members reflect the communities they serve, including yours
  • Politeness while being shot at
  • Adherence to OH&S and the other 1,098 policy statements designed to nail our soldiers somehow no matter what they do
  • Treating you with dignity during the contact while respecting your humanity and deep-seated cultural/religious need to kill us

Please answer yes or no to the following questions

  • Did our soldiers remove their boots before entering your booby-trapped hideout?
  • Did we respect your 5 daily prayer times by ceasing fire at the Muezzin's call?
  • Did we comply with your laws and customs about gay people?
  • Did we give you sufficient opportunity to enquire about our operational plans, policies and rules of engagement?
  • Were you given enough time to prepare your ambush of us?
  • Have we given you an easy way to complain about our troops and to tie them up in endless bullshit paperwork while you Allah uh-Akhbar away to your heart's content?

Thank you for choosing to attack us today, we hope you enjoyed the experience and look forward to serving you again when next you choose Jihad against the West.

 

**************

 

 

 

23. May, 2018

 

 

 

 

********

ENDS

29. Nov, 2017

For those of us dog lovers this is a delightful cliché – in my case one more enjoyed in the breach than actuality. Indeed, my two four-legged friends only get a meaty treat for brekkie. No, a dog’s dinner would perhaps be more apposite in my case. But I don’t have the courage to argue with the wisdom of the ages so let it stand - A Dog’s Breakfast.

I refer of course to politics in Australia. And no, this is not going to be a long diatribe. Perhaps more a short and pathos-filled lament.  

For those of you that might have noticed there was an election here in the land of the languid banana last weekend. I won’t bore you with it all. Suffice to say we’ve ended up with a bunch of politicians.

Bananalanders had Hobson’s choice – or should that be Buckley’s choice? The Liberal National Party is totally incompetent; the Australian Labor Party is wholly corrupt and the two other vanity parties are just that. So Queenslanders chose business as usual - corruption.

To give it a kinder name, let’s call it a dog’s breakfast. Only a couple of points are worth mentioning about the idiotic and gerrymandered outcome.

Queensland has only one house in its parliament. The upper house was abolished in 1922 by the Labor Government for political advantage. Queensland has been characterised by crooked and executive driven politics ever since.

The 2017 election was fought with a new compulsory preferential voting system ramrodded through Parliament in 2016 by the Labor Government for political advantage. Even the Labor Party’s mouthpiece the Australian Broadcasting Corporation looked askance at this blatant political manipulation.[1]

Add to the foregoing the totally skewed electoral system and you have a real – dog’s breakfast!

I must make a note on the quality of Queensland’s powerful intellects at the Queensland Electoral Commission. [2] The full result of counting a miniscule 2.5 million votes is going to take up to ten days! What on earth happened to computers?

Again on the Commission, I draw your attention to the following details from their website concerning the seats of Hinchinbrook and Gladstone respectively, as at this morning 1100hrs 29/11/17:  

Electors at Close of Roll:

33,488

Last Updated Date/Time:

26/11/2017  05:13:46 pm

Percentage of Roll Counted:   

77.67%

[3]

Electors at Close of Roll:

32,216

Last Updated Date/Time:

28/11/2017  04:29:19 pm

Percentage of Roll Counted:   

80.62%

[4]

What precisely are 05:13:46 pm and 04:29:19 pm? Confused? If they can’t tell the time can they count my vote?

Moving on however to a touch of sentiment, it looks very much as though my sitting member has been displaced by some populist spoiler from one of the vanity parties. Andrew Cripps MP is a decent man, I voted for him because he is a regular dinner party guest in my house. I am truly sorry to say: Goodbye Mr Cripps. I look forward to serving you good malt in the near future.  

But let me now move on from Bananaland to a matter of grave import that deserves everyone’s concern.

I make no secret of my serious scepticism of political parties and political elites. They are in my view a serious danger to true democratic expression. I hold the Labor Party in particular suspicion because of its totalitarian tendencies.

My view was amply vindicated yesterday.

The Australian ran the story that the Australian Labor Party has outrightly refused to allow its parliamentary members a conscience vote on proposed amendments to the revised marriage bill. This authoritarian edict flies in the face of a rump of Labor Party MPs and former members of the NO campaign who have expressed serious religious or personal objections on the matter.

“The agreement that we reached back at the last national conference was that there would continue to be a conscience vote on the question of marriage equality,” legal affairs spokesman Mr Dreyfus told Sky News.

“The Labor Party has never seen it as necessary to have individual positions adopted. These are matters that we can and do argue out in the federal Labor Party, in the caucus, through the mechanisms of our national conference, and I’m confident we will be able to do that again.’[5]

Thank you Mr Drefus. Succinctly and sickeningly said! Nothing before the Party Comrade!

This is the road to totalitarianism: those who control the party control thought and action. No room for individual conscience, moral questioning or religious qualms. All for the Party - the Party is All.

It is indeed rare to see this rigid discipline so blatantly and publicly expressed.

Well up yours Mr Dreyfus! And take your party of automatons with you. My ideal of politics might be chaotic, but at least it's open and at least it's free.

Now talking about my political ideals and the dog’s breakfast ….

…………

 

 



[1] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-21/compulsory-prefential-voting-returns-qld-parliament-passes-bill/7348172

[2] https://results.ecq.qld.gov.au/elections/state/State2017/results/summary.html

[3] https://results.ecq.qld.gov.au/elections/state/State2017/results/district35.html

 [4] https://results.ecq.qld.gov.au/elections/state/State2017/results/district28.html

[5] The Australian 28 November 2017

 

18. Nov, 2017

Last night I had the occasion to attend a ‘high school graduation’. I have always found the expression a misnomer – leaving school is not a graduation – it just means that you’ve stayed the distance and reached the age to leave school – Period.

However the annual event is always eagerly anticipated and last night’s scrolled through with the usual predictable mix of pomp and tedium. The ceremony was replete with freshly scrubbed ‘young things’ in expensive dresses, pimply youths in ill-fitting suits and proud families at round tables littered with bottles of cheap wine. The evening was choreographed and ministered over by the ‘Year Twelve Coordinator’ and the head master – oops - the Principal, both of whom were equally guilty of some of the most anodyne piffle I have heard since graduation twelve months ago.

Listening through their insipid drivel gave me cause and time to contemplate the state of our contemporary education and the intellectual quality of the young minds that have suffered it.

The educator in chief provided a homily to his soon to be released charges on the qualities he looks for in his staff. A capacity for hard work, respect for each other and for the students, the ability to contribute to the overall development of the students and to the school and so forth ad nauseam. Not one mention did he make of academic excellence or teaching ability!

Indeed, one grim-faced and black-gowned young thing, on being presented her graduation certificate, observed that ‘cynicism’ was the greatest outcome of her school years! Perhaps she didn’t know what the word meant.

I have long-lamented my views on the decline of many school standards – particularly concerning the curriculum, teacher and dress standards, discipline, physical training and, significantly, the competitive edge. I have often aired my views on those many teachers who are little more than scruffy variants of the layabouts they are teaching. Of course, I am sometimes guilty of hyperbole. But the essence of my point remains.

Last night I put my views to silent test. I considered the substance of the occasion. I considered a good place to start would be the chief teacher or Principal. His oratorical skills were passable. The content of his oration was clichéd, its import vacuous and its inspirational quality zero. Thinking back this morning I cannot recall anything he said that gave me cause for thought.

The year coordinator looked and sounded as though she had herself left school last year and was trying very hard to be everybody’s friend. Her oratorical skills were again, passable but what she said was immediately forgettable.

The Valedictory Address was shared, presumably, by the Head Boy and Girl. It was a most unfortunate, cliché ridden bromide punctuated by obligatory expressions of thanks and totally wanting of substance. If indeed it was written by the students, it reflected poorly on their education.

The highlight of the evening was a video cum Power-Point presentation, set to music, of the year in retrospect. This was poignant – I experience a certain sadness watching innocence waiting to walk abroad.

I wish them all the very best.

I might also add – the evening’s printed programme included a Parents Role Call!

Education? Amen to that.

……………….

15. Nov, 2017

Herewith the latest act in the long-running Australian political farce – The Dunny – now featuring in his first major role ….. Who the [expletive deleted] is Fraser Anning?  I hear you ask. And may you well!

Fraser Anning is final proof that Australian’s couldn’t find a bedroom in a knocking shop. Fraser Anning is living proof that Australians are not worthy to be blessed with the opportunity to participate in politics.

That Australians have allowed our politicians to tinker with a perfectly good constitution to the extent that one person can be elected to the Senate, the highest representative house in Australia, on just nineteen [19] votes, stands as damning testament to us all.  

In the name of Good Henry, what sort of perpetual political joke is this? Our politics is worse than the worst of the many dreadful Australian television reality shows. We are a laughing stock around the world, unfit to grace the stage of international democratic discourse.

Fraser Anning! Having been installed – note ‘installed’ not ‘elected’ – the clown defected within hours of being sworn in from the very party he was meant to be representing on his nineteen votes! You Beauty Blue!

We are a stupid people. We get served shit and accept it. Anzacs; bronzed Aussies; sporting champions; rugged individualists; egalitarians; fair go; mateship – Bullshit!

We are a cowed, apathetic, lazy, intellectually numb and tattooed bunch of bogans who wouldn’t know if we were being pleasured by a woolly bull.

I shall not revise my opinion until we show some spirit in pulling ourselves out of this political slough.

And for those that don’t understand my language: a) – you prove my point, and b) – use a dictionary: Bullshit starts with the letter ‘B’.

…………………….