Not since the Federated Actors Guild launched a musical campaign against the AIDS virus in the movie Team America has a group of celebrities caused such a stink.
The decision of actors Cate Blanchett and Michael Caton to front advertisements supporting the Federal Government’s climate change policies has been denounced as a shocking act of impertinence by a pair of cashed-up lefties who have no right to enter the debate.
The attacks on the pair have been over the top and underscore the increasing shoutiness of modern discourse. On news and opinion websites (including the two I work for, The Punch and news.com.au) we have seen the usual procession of anonymous haters line the pair up over their supposedly unwelcome foray into publc policy arena.
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Now we are means-testing people for the right to have an opinion in television commercials, it seems that only those who struggle with absolute penury can speak for Australians.
Everyone else is tainted by the bias of success and salaries.
Billionaires can’t complain about higher taxes on super-profits; screen stars can’t complain about pollution.
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In 2010 Bishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa declared that the time had come, particularly for Africans, to stop the “wave of hate” and to stand up “against wrong”.
He was referring to the wrong to “gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people” who are “part of the African family” and who “are living in fear.”
This news from Africa would be bad enough. But the same fear extends far beyond that continent.
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Babies have a nasty habit of getting in the way of your career. Just ask Shelley Craft.
The host of Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show admitted in a weekend newspaper interview that she went back to work just two weeks after giving birth.
“There was no maternity leave,” she told the Sunday Telegraph. “Either I came back to work or someone else filled in for me.”
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When my parents arrived in the 1950s as ’10 pound Poms’, Australia was a brave new world. Their street in Melbourne’s Glen Waverley bustled with fellow European migrants eager to create a life for their families.
But while our neighbourhood was a snapshot of multicultural Europe there wasn’t a lot of mixing. My parents socialised with others from the old country while their Italian and Greek neighbours went to their own churches and started their own small businesses.
The ‘poms’ and ‘wogs’ in the street lived together quite happily, but separately.
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One day the Government may need to stage an intervention in Sydney’s plushest suburbs, Byron Bay’s glorious expanse, and the genteel landscape of the Adelaide Hills.
These are the places where some children’s lives are at risk because parents have entirely lost trust in governments, and are turning to some dodgy alternative sources of health information.
Studies by the Federal health department, CSIRO and the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance have shown that while overall Australia’s uptake of vaccination is good – mostly around 90 per cent for children - in certain regions the levels of conscientious objectors have soared, resulting in clusters of deadly diseases.
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Back by popular demand! Your chance to give us a piece of your mind.
Here at The Punch, we love reading your comments on our articles. But now we want your thoughts on the site too! Tell us what you like, what you loathe, what you want more of and what you just can’t stand. So fill out our quick survey, and we’ll be your bestest friend forever!
And just for all you rev-heads, on this day in 1927 the very last Model T Ford rolled off the assembly line in Michigan, USA. This little beauty was the first car to be mass produced on an assembly line and was arguably the most influential automobile in history. What’s been the most influential car in your life? The little MG that broke-down on first dates? Or maybe your beloved VW Beetle that you managed to fit 10 university students in?
Have a whinge or have or a laugh… right here, right now!
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Like a niggly married couple, Australia’s increasingly divided populace is having a big, dirty spat this morning. And just like parents split on how best to discipline a naughty child, the warring parties are united on the goal but divided on the methods employed to achieve it.
The goal we’re united on is the need to cut carbon emissions. Even the staunchest anthropogenic global warming denier would surely concede there are all sorts of benefits in cutting carbon emissions, not least cleaner air and the transition to smarter industries and renewable energy sources.
But thanks to the “Say Yes Australia” ad, made by a coalition of leftist groups and starring popular actors Michael Caton and Cate Blanchett, the carbon tax debate has been turned into the equivalent of a he says/she says marriage dispute. Or in this case, a we pay/they pay issue.
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Lindsay Tanner isn’t happy with the mainstream media’s treatment of politics and politicians. The mainstream media is lazy, superficial, biased, banal. It has a pack mentality and a short attention span. It cooks up or makes up stories, fails to correct errors, and can be easily conned. It is unwilling or unable to examine big ideas and serious policy debate.
As for social media, well, that’s just frivolous nonsense. All those people writing their silly tweets. And politicians shouldn’t have fun or show their lighter side. Costello dancing the Macarena – what was that about? Just stupid.
With his furrowed brow, his Brylcreemed widow’s peak and his dark and dated suits, Lindsay Tanner has long had the demeanour of someone who is 50 going on 75. It befits him to have authored such a grumpy and meandering book, Sideshow: Dumbing Down Democracy. This crotchety polemic combines random anecdotes from federal politics with haphazardly-selected quotes from professional haters of mainstream journalism to bolster his thesis that politics is stuffed, and that it’s (almost) all the media’s fault.
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The climate change debate has never been hotter, with family groups outraged that Cate Blanchett (among others) has thrown her not-particularly-substantial weight behind carbon pricing. Here, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition’s Anna Rose talks about the need for urgent action.
Sixteen-year-old Alana volunteers with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. When asked why, she tells the following story: “When I was 14 my brother was born. When I first saw him, I thought about his future and I almost couldn’t face it. I couldn’t bear to think about the world that he was going to grow up in to. So I decided to do something about it.”
Life is very different for young Australians today. Gone are the days when young people can plan our futures without factoring in an ominous shadow looming over our plans for our lives, careers and families. Not since the Cold War have young Australians faced a future so uncertain.
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