Archive for June, 2011


Let Them Eat Cake

30 June 2011

One of the Sydney papers this week, bemoaning the rising cost of living, asked its readers what they were doing to tighten their belts.

First comment came from a woman who said that she no longer was able to buy frozen chips; she had to buy real potatoes and make them herself.  AND she only bought oysters at Christmas.

A number of the comments concerned the cost of tomatoes and one person said he hadn’t been able to afford strawberries for about 3 months.

I’d like to point out something to the strawberry/tomato moaners – it’s winter.  

And to the first woman, I’m finding it rather difficult to feel your pain. 


A Prediction

26 June 2011

My prediction is that businesses will close and there’ll be mass unemployment.

And what will cause this dire state of affairs?  Anything really that changes the status quo.

Introduce a mining tax?  Businesses will close and etc etc.

Plain packaging for cigarettes?  Businesses will close etc etc

A carbon tax?  Businesses blah blah.

Introduce betting limits on poker machines (fruit machines)?  Businesses blah blah blah.

Suspend the export of livestock?  Businesses will . . . . . well I think you’ve now got the picture. 

And this is just in the last few weeks.

All my life this has been the opposing side’s argument to any change.  The introduction of a minimum wage in the UK?  We’ll all be out of work. The banning of fox hunting?  Ditto.

I understand when Fringe Benefit Tax was introduced into Australia this was the argument used by its opponents.  Apparently loads of restaurants would close because nobody would be spending money on long business lunches.  Looking around Sydney now, it really doesn’t look as though it’s short of restaurants and cafes.

Businesses DO close and there is unemployment in some industries because working life changes all the time.  Jobs have disappeared in my working life time (shorthand/typists for example and who remembers comptometer operators?). But who would have thought that practically every home would have a computer and this new massive industry would be created? 

Henry Ford probably had rotten food thrown at him for daring to do something that would result in putting the cart makers out of business . . and the farriers.    

It’s used as an argument against change because it makes the proponents of the change look like heartless bastards who don’t care about people being jobless.  It uses usually shonky figures, often based on nothing but blind guesses,  put together by the opponents of the proposal.  I now take it all with a pinch of salt unless someone can actually provide me with proper research, produced by an independent party.

The rest is all emotional blackmail. 


A Fine Day

19 June 2011

No train trackworks and it was a fine, sunny day.  So more than 120 turned out for WWKIP Sydney at Customs House.  Some were even able to sit outside on the balcony and enjoy the winter sunshine.  Knitters came from far and wide across the State and we even had 3 visitors who’d made the trip across the Tasman (from Auckland).

All this was made possible by a terrific list of supporters this year from the giants (Australian Country Spinners) to the small hand-dyers.  Having the support of ACS and Better Homes and Gardens meant we were able to hold the event at Customs House.  ACS also donated yarn and Better Homes and Gardens made sure we had loads of magazines to give away.

The roll-call of supporters this year is long and varied (and listed in no particular order).  Thank you so much to all of you for your valued support and the great prizes you donated (I even won one!).

Prestige Yarns,  Biggan Design,  Jo SharpMorris & SonsAshford Handcrafts, Mosman NeedlecraftGreta’s Handcraft CentreYAY! For YarnKnitabulous YarnPrudence MapstoneCalico & IvyCelia’s BasketYarn WorkshopSarah DurrantGlenora Weaving & WoolCan Do BooksFibreworks, and  Orange Flower,  

And another big thank you to the volunteers who worked so hard to make it run smoothly.

And, of course, to Margot – without whom the whole event would not have been possible. 

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Two More Sleeps . . .

16 June 2011

To a wonderful day.

Yes, WWKIP Sydney is being held on Saturday and I think it’s going to be the biggest and the best so far.

Competitions, prize draws, give-aways . . . you name it.  In a wonderful venue overlooking the Harbour.  And it’s even going to stop raining I believe (it’s rained in Sydney for a week or so).

Look forward to seeing loads of you there from 1pm – 4pm at Barnet Long Room, Customs House, Circular Quay. 

If you’ve never been to one of these events before, do think about coming along.  Everyone is very welcome and you’ll be among friends.





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No Right To Free Speech If Your Name’s Richard Glover

13 June 2011

Last week I wrote a blog post about Richard Glover’s article in the Sydney Morning Herald about climate-change deniers.

In yesterday’s SMH, he tells us that his piece was picked up in America, widely circulated and the website received over 300,000 hits on his article.  And he received close to 3,000 emails, most of them abusive, including death threats and various details of how the writer would like to torture or rape him! 

What happened to the right of free speech in the Land of the Free?   Or does that right to freedom of speech just extend to being free to abuse whoever you wish and threaten them with death in various ghastly forms?

I even got a comment from one of those who feel this is just some massive conspiracy but as my personal well-being wasn’t threatened, I let it stay – I was called an idiot and gullible but I can live with that. 

Introducing a carbon tax in Australia isn’t proving dreadfully popular with a lot of the residents . . . but having said that, when I was campaigning at the last election, Kevin Rudd’s change of heart about introducing some sort of emissions trading scheme wasn’t very popular either.  Governments nowadays are obsessed with spin, with focus groups and with staying in power at all costs.  Why would our Government want to introduce something that may not win them a lot of votes unless they genuinely believe that this is the right and important action to take?   

And if the scientists are eventually proved wrong, so what?  We’ve cleaned up the environment, we’ve cut our electricity consumption, we’ve reduced our reliance on fossil fuels.   

Win/win situation as far as I’m concerned.


WWKIP 2011 Sydney

12 June 2011

WWKIP logo 2011_lg

At the end of March, I had to rush off to England because my mother was seriously ill.  Friends in Sydney were very kind and a number of them asked if there was anything they could do for me.  One got a lot more than she bargained for.  “Well, yes, now that you’re asking . . . any chance you’d like to organise WWKIP this year as I have no idea how long I’ll be away? ”  And, boy, did I pick the right person when I asked Margot.

So this year’s Sydney WWKIP is being held next Saturday 18th June at Customs House – yes, that wonderful building in Circular Quay opposite the ferry terminal.  It’s being supported by Australian Country Spinners who I imagine are the largest producers and wholesalers of yarn in the country.  The responses to requests for lovely knitting goodies has been quite extraordinary and later this week I’ll publish a list of the donors and the prizes they’ve donated.  If you were impressed with last year, you’re going to be totally overwhelmed this time.

It runs from 1pm – 4pm, coffee/tea/baked nibbles will be available, there are competitions, a raffle, door prizes.  Entry is free but bring a small amount of money if you’d like coffee or to buy a raffle ticket (all optional of course).  Other than that, just bring your knitting/crocheting, your friends, your good humour.

I’m really looking forward to it and I hope you all are too. 

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Bone-Headed Beliefs

5 June 2011

I already bang on, at length sometimes, about the stupidity, the heartlessness and plain downright immorality of politicians.  Then I follow that up with a swipe at those who would introduce religion into every part of the daily lives of those who don’t hold a belief in any sort of supernatural power. 

But I have never for some reason touched on the subject of the other scourge of our society which will have a far greater impact on the lives of all of us – those who believe that the whole climate change debate is some sort of left-wing conspiracy aided and abetted by tens of thousands of scientists around the world who just want to make life a little more difficult for us, while at the same time punishing big business for their audacity in making lots of money. 

Excellent article in the SMH this weekend from Richard Glover.   I particularly like his prediction that in years to come, the climate-change deniers will become  climate-change-denial-deniers.  “It wasn’t me, guv.  I agreed with it all along but what could I do?”.