How can you tell the difference between a newly-elected government and a party that’s been in power for nearly a decade?
A newly-elected government is happy to admit that things could be done better.
A classic case in point this week was the new Liberal Government in NSW switching off 38 speed cameras deemed to have no real safety benefit.
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A four year old kid’s party is the organisational equivalent of climbing Everest.
There are issues such as the theme, the venue and the cake. For the invitation alone thought must be given to colour, graphic, envelope size and font. And who to send the invitation to?
Organising D-Day could hardly have been more difficult.
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Would you like some gremolata on your osso bucco?” asked my mate Shane, as he served up Sunday lunch. Some what? Turns out, it’s a herby, zesty thing you sprinkle over your meat, and it’s delicious.
Problem is my 10-year friendship with Shane and Amanda is anchored in the knowledge that we’re culinary equals. We love a good nosh, but it’s the chat, music and – depending on wine consumption – a round of beach cricket that unites us.
So why was Shane upping the ante? (Fortunately, Amanda burnt the vegetables.)
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My darling Heather, I write to you at a time when I think I’ve never felt worse about politics. The idiots who now run the Liberal Party will drive me right round the bend. Their last move is to deny supply to the present government in the Senate. Now this is something that shocks me.
These words belong to former prime minister and founder of the Liberal Party, Sir RG (Bob) Menzies. History of course can provide a longer-run assessment of the bunker-busting tactics used to blast Gough Whitlam from office.
But whatever side you come down on, Malcolm Fraser was vindicated winning three subsequent elections (1975, 1977, and 1980, although not the double-D held just weeks after his 1974 missive under Billy Snedden’s leadership).
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Is it time for our libraries to get loud? For background music to joyfully sing out from loudspeakers while members flip through their favourite sections of their local institutions?
For mums to discuss bedtime books for their children over a well made latte (yep, you guessed it, with the sound of a library cafe’s coffee machine hissing along with their conversation).
For book club discussions to rise and fall with the passion of the group, for students’ laughter and cookie munching to be heard at study tables and whole conversations to be voiced within the libraries’ venerated walls.
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Sometimes you can meet a person and feel blessed. I don’t mean touched by the hand of God. I just mean you feel renewed, restored and pretty sure there’s goodness in the world. And that, in itself, is a blessing.
The man in question is the Reverend Dr Thomas Lane Butts Jr, aged 81, retired pastor of the Uniting Methodist Church in Monroe County, Alabama. His older brother was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. The Rev Butts was not.
He battled the Klan for years, but particularly in the 1950s, when Alabama and neighbouring Mississippi were the Klan heartlands. They had always been a presence, but had in recent years been sleeping lightly. Their cause was fully awoken as the Civil Rights movement began its fight in the south.
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A couple of weeks ago Ant Sharwood gave me a call and started talking about the Horn of Africa. He was pretty fired up, and talking about various types of excrement hitting various types of oscillating devices.
I was pretty distracted. There’d been a lot going on. That tax thing had just been announced, sharia law was in the news – you know, all the hot button stuff. Africa was not in the news. Well, it was, but back in the World section, the bit you don’t always manage to get to. That’s the hollow ring of self justification you can hear there, folks.
Anyhoo, Ant wrote this great piece. And he was right. The shit has really hit the fan, and it was a terrible surprise for many who probably should have seen it coming. Should have seen it coming for not just years, but decades.
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Inner-city Australia is getting an Italianate look, and it’s not from the overwhelming belief that eating on the footpath among exhaust fumes and bus queues is a badge of continental sophistication.
It’s the increasing presence of scooters. City centres are being Vespa-ised, Aprilia-cated, VMoto-ed, and not a little Piaggio-ified.
The striking response to rising petrol prices and clogged roads has been a growth in the scooter fleet which would be at home in Rome. During the first half of the year, scooters sales in Australia rose 14.3 per cent over the same period in 2010. That means nearly 6000 were sold, compared to just over 5000 in the first six months of last year.
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There’s a man drought in the city. Single girls outnumber single guys two to one, maybe even three to one. This is true because I’ve read the proclamations in countless articles, seen the stories on A Current Affair and watched in horror as hapless farmers take their pick of a hundred potential wives.
The odds are probably closer to five to one.
Being newly single and on the fast-track to 30 I know things are stacked in my favour. I can get dressed on my own, cook a balanced meal and my addiction to video games is mild… I can stop playing whenever I want. Really.
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There has been some debate over the last few days regarding how excited we should be that Cadel Evans won a bike race.
First things first… can’t we just enjoy the moment and soak up the celebrations before these arguments kick off?
His celebratory champagne had barely stopped fizzing before our collective joy was being rained upon.
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