For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Well, so says Newton’s Third Law and any number of derivative and inane pseudo-philosophers.
This week, scientists unveiled – in a sort of dance of the seven veils in which the latest one was quite gauzy – the glue that holds the universe together, the Higgs boson.
And as the universe started to make a little more sense, lo, it also started to make a lot less sense. It’s as though by pinpointing what stops the universe unravelling, we thereby kickstarted the unravelling process.
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Sophie Mirabella is copping it this morning because unlike Greg Combet (Clark Kent anybody?) she didn’t rush to the aid of Simon Sheikh when he collapsed next to her on the Q and A desk last night.
Visually it didn’t look great. As the Get Up! director slumped forward unconscious the Shadow Industry Minister appeared to recoil. It was certainly an odd moment. Climate Change Minister Combet, who was mid-sentence, expressed the confusion everyone would have felt when Sheikh (who is ok, thankfully) first connected head with desk. “I’m not quite sure what Simon’s doing there. Is he okay? I think… he’s not okay. Simon is not okay,” Combet said, before going to Sheikh’s aid.
Mirabella’s inaction was for a just a few short seconds, but from the reaction you would think the woman had poisoned the political activist’s glass of water.
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Sophie Mirabella is quite right to express dismay and disappointment at the recent findings of the Lowy Institute, that two out of five young people between the ages of 18 to 25 display ambivalence towards their democracy.
Without regular injections of fresh, competing and dissenting ideas within our political sphere, we could fall prey to societal stagnation. Worse, we risk the dismantling of the institutions that have kept us largely out of the strife that many other nations have been subject to over the last two centuries.
If we don’t much care about who runs the show and how they run it, we won’t much care when piece by piece, our voice is taken from us. In the words of economic historian, Niall Ferguson,: “We take freedom for granted and because of this, we don’t understand how incredibly vulnerable it is.”.
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Sophie Mirabella has had a big week here at The Punch. Her piece having a go at the Aussie copycat version of the Occupy Wall Street protests on Tuesday went off. Stephen Harrington returned fire on Wednesday, reminding us of her crack at journos for daring to criticise the anti-carbon tax protesters a couple of months back.
Mirabella’s got a knack for sparking a good old-fashioned political firestorm. She’s pretty much the Shadow Minister for Pushing The Boundaries. But she took the responsibilities of that portfolio a little too far on Tuesday evening and found herself shooting a spectacular political own goal.
Mirabella was expelled from the House for 24 hours after repeatedly refusing to heed her Liberal colleague Deputy Speaker Peter Slipper’s instruction to sit down. What made it so particularly spectacular was that government’s carbon tax package, something Mirabella is no fan of, was up for a tight final vote in those 24 hours. She might as well have voted for it. To commemorate this cock-up, the Punch presents a few of what we think are some of the worst (or best) political own goals.
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I was absolutely intrigued by Sophie Mirabella’s attack on the growing “Occupy Wall Street” movement yesterday. In case you missed it, she basically dismissed these peaceful protesters as nothing more than a bunch of angry, anti-capitalist losers, looking to place the cost of their own failings into the hands of others:
“…There’s a strange dichotomy about this movement. These “occupiers” want other people to earn less, while presumably they are supported by the Government or benevolent families so they can spend their days creating sanitation problems in the street rather than earning a living themselves.
“They want other people to pay for their “free” college education. They want to hold others to account for the way they believe the world has failed them. There is an underlying sense of entitlement that just jars with the “other people are greedy bastards” protest.
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If you want to gain an insight into the often distressingly abusive world of online political discussion, type the name Sophie Mirabella into Twitter or Google, and sit back and marvel at the stuff that has been written in the past 48 hours.
Mirabella is the Liberal member for the federal seat of Indi. The archly conservative Mirabella is one of those commendable politicians who leads with her chin. She has been a regular contributor to the The Punch, since its launch just over two years ago, and has never once complained about any of the often violently critical reader comments we publish under her pieces. She will go on programs such as Q and A knowing that the left-leaning Twitterati will be salivating in their share houses as they log in and saddle up to smash her to pieces, before she even opens her mouth.
Mirabella has been in the press this past two days over the revelation of a brewing court battle involving the death of a man forty years her senior with whom she had a relationship.
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