Archive for March, 2014


Another Great Quote

31 March 2014

In the last few months, car manufacturers in Australia have announced closures (as cars are cheaper to make in other countries), and Qantas is sacking about 5,000 workers (and putting a lot of their work “offshore”.)

Our Deputy Labor Leader, Tanya Plibersek, put it very well yesterday I thought when she stated that when Tony Abbott had announced before the election that he would create a million jobs, it was assumed that at least some of these jobs would be in Australia.



Historical Hysteria

30 March 2014

Apparently large numbers of complaints are being received by the company behind “Noah”, the new film with Russell Crowe, from people who claim that the film isn’t factually correct.

In the common parlance, WTF? 

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that there are people out there who believe that the Bible is a history text book.  But I AM surprised that they know how to write a letter or send an email.  



29 March 2014

Over the last few weeks in Australia, we’ve been watching with growing horror the evidence presented to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, as a stream of people attempt to justify the blind eye they turned to obvious abuse of children, or worse still how they actively covered up crimes committed by members of their staff.  For a couple of weeks, we had the Salvation Army trying to excuse the behaviour of some of their Officers and their total lack of action over the known activities of some of these people.

And then we got the Catholic Church, including getting Cardinal Pell into the box.  He’s leaving Australia shortly to take a post in Rome, overseeing the Church’s vast wealth.  And it would appear from the evidence we heard this week that he has a fair bit of experience in that field.

The Sydney Archdiocese alone (ie NOT the whole of Australia) has assets of $1.2 BILLION, of which about $300 MILLION is in cash.  Obviously this raises questions about why they spent about $1 million fighting a legal case against an abuse victim rather than pay him $100,000.  But it also raises questions to me about why we, the Australian taxpayer, are funding ANY of their activities.  Why can’t the Catholic Church pay for its own schools for instance? 

I’ve been told a few times that all Australians pay into the system and therefore if they choose to have their children educated at a private or religious school, it’s only fair that some of the money they have contributed be given to those schools.  I pay local rates and part of those go to the funding of a free (and very good) library service.  If I choose to not use that service but buy all my books from booksellers, should I expect that the Government provide funding to Dymocks or Amazon?  If I want to drive my car rather than catch the train, should I be receiving a subsidy to run my car as I’m not availing myself of the public transport system?

And don’t tell me that if everyone left the private education sector and went into the public one, it would collapse under the strain.  It would have a lot more money than it has now, for a start.  And if that’s the argument, we could also argue that private car use should be Government-subsidised so that the entire population doesn’t elect to use the public system.

Utter nonsense, all of it.  And incredibly expensive nonsense at that.



A Cure- All?

28 March 2014

We knitters already know that knitting is VERY therapeutic.  But now a study has proved that it’s very helpful when dealing with depression or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

However, I don’t know what the young women in the picture are actually doing with those needles but knitting it ain’t!




A Proud Aussie

27 March 2014

New South Wales is second only to Nevada as the most gambling machine-packed state in the world, according to a new report discussed here.

Wow – doesn’t that make you proud to be Australian?


Knitting is KNITTING

26 March 2014

Why is the word “knitting” used as a generic term for anything that involves yarn or thread?  We all seem to have heard stories of someone being asked about their knitting and when they’ve pointed out what they’re actually doing is crocheting, the response is often “but it’s the same thing”. 

There are items for sale in retail shops online clearly marked as “Knitted scarf” or whatever.  No they’re not – they’re crocheted. 

The now infamous example was in the television series Call The Midwife, when the nurses decided to knit a baby blanket for their colleague’s new baby.  We saw them all sitting around knitting away.  Then they presented her with the blanket – which was crocheted.  There was such a hullabaloo among knitters that the Producer of the show had to go onto BBC Radio to apologise.

Just because wool is used, this DOES NOT make it knitting.  We don’t ask someone with a surtboard where he does his sailing.


“An Orwellian Parallel Reality” **

25 March 2014

As you’ve probably gathered I’m not that keen on “offshore processing” of refugees and asylum seekers (I don’t even like the word “processing” denoting as it does slabs of meat). 

PNG Justice David Cannings instigated an enquiry into the human rights of the people being held in the detention centre there, including taking journalists last week to have a look around the place (and strangely it resembles in no way the paradise that Julie Bishop was raving about to John Humphreys on the BBC a couple of weeks ago). 

The Australian Government and the PNG Government have now decided to close this enquiry, believing that it serves no purpose.  No, it probably doesn’t.  If their human rights are found to have been breached, I don’t suppose anyone was going to do anything about it.

We are a huge country, with a high per capita income and a small population.   The number of people who have applied for asylum or refugee status here in the last few years wouldn’t fill a football stadium.  One third of the residents of Papua New Guinea on the other hand live on less than US$1.25 a day.  And we expect this country to take more people – for which I assume we’re paying them handsomely (or why would they even consider it?). 

My husband mentioned last week that everything about this Government is Orwellian.  And now the Guardian agrees with him. 

** Thank you Michelle Grattan of the Guardian for the lovely phrase.