Category Archives: Politics


To be, or not to be – that is the question                                                  Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer                                                          The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune                                                  Or take up arms against a sea of troubles                                                      And by opposing them – to die. (Hamlet, Act 111)

As the arbiter of good taste and of Australian culture the ABC has constantantly referred to ‘partner’ rather than husband and wife despite some 60% of those eligible being married, not partnered. By logic the term partner or partnership has thus become acceptable and the term ‘partnership equality’ can become legally equivalent but not interchangeable with ‘marriage equality’ since there is no gender equivalence. The term ‘partnership equality’ for same sex couples should be supported, since the vocabulary used by the ABC is already in place. Biologically and legally a wife can only be a woman and a husband can only be a man and by universal convention their union is one of marriage.

To MarryTo Partner

The heat and rhetoric created by the postal vote is rational since it impacts on a core value of global society, but for Australia it is irrational due to the numbers involved. Based on the 2011 Census, there were 33,700 homosexual couples in Australia, i.e. 67,400 citizens – about 0.3% in a population of 24 million. Same sex couples represent about 1% of all couples in Australia. (Australian Social Trends 4102.0, July 2013, ABS) The most recent census would show an increase.

For the ‘No’ vote, this is a Hamlet problem as younger generations arise and established verities are cast aside. It matters not that present day well-being and freedoms are the product of strife and discipline of yesteryear. In this brave new world it is natural to construct new words or new definitions: the danger for society is where will this stop, particularly in a less democratic order. At the national level, will a ‘Yes’ vote for ‘partnership equality’ improve or will there be an indefineable weakening of our culture? In view of the ABC’s persistent use of ‘partner’, it is reasonable to assume that, under law, partnership and marriage should be treated equally but are not the same and never will be.



The Australian Government has polarised the nation, fostered bad blood, divided families, abrogated its responsibility and wasted more than $100 million. The Government has created a burlesque of a serious Parliamentary Debate.

Current Affairs Flash Points
John Hill

The Plebiscite & Marriage Equality. October 2016-2

Australian Politician?
This Promise will win Votes

PREAMBLE  It must be rare in the annals of democracy that a political elite abrogates its right to govern the people. With those with whom I have discussed the plebiscite issue this constitutes a serious dereliction of parliamentary responsibility.

BACKGROUND  It appears likely the plebiscite was intended to protect Liberal party figures from a public affirmation of their faith and/or their opposition to marriage equality. The trumpeted upside was the  ‘people’ would decide. For a minority of Liberal conservatives the plebiscite would remove the embarrassment of a parliamentary debate and the possibility, that like the Disciple Peter, they would dishonour their faith before the ‘cock crowed twice’. (The Drum, 28January 2016)

Within the Australian electorate there is majority support for marriage reform as illustrated by a survey that showed Coalition 58%, Labor79% and Greens 97%. (SMH, 3 July 2016) Quoting this majority opinion the Australian Marriage Council has excoriated the plan to spend $160 million on a  plebiscite. In view of these survey results, it is inexplicable why a rump of Liberal parliamentarians oppose a parliamentary vote unless it is by reason of their faith or conservative dogma to the detriment of sectarian democracy.

BROKEN PROMISES  Much has been made by Government Ministers that an election promise of the Liberal party was a plebiscite. Honour is all unless there is a darker reason.

Below is an incomplete list of broken promises or identified untruthful statements attributed to Liberal party spokespersons since 2013. These are:–no cuts to disability pensions, monitoring Indigenous school attendance, no deals with the Greens to raise debt ceiling, funding cuts to ABC and SBS, no subsidies to coal or agriculture industries, cancellation of whaling/customs vessel, funding  to NGOs, tow back of asylum boats, ensuring open and accountable government and the list goes on. (Alan Austin, Independent Australia, 8 February 2016)

A recent broken promise and an example of smoke and mirrors are:– (The Australian, 9 May 2016)

  • changes to superannuation arrangements
  • a dissimulation to the South Australian electorate on submarine construction. Until 2019 at the earliest work will only involve design and planning not construction jobs.

There must be something special about this promise for a plebiscite. Either there is a desire to keep faith with the electorate – unlikely, review the above – or, the Australian people are witnessing a small number of conservative Liberal party members absolve themselves of their parliamentary responsibility because of faith in an imagined reality and/or dogma. Many of the above broken promises involve budget constraints or electoral ‘pork barreling’, strangely despite the worsening national debt, there is no desire to cancel an unnecessary $160 million plebiscite expenditure, admittedly only an incremental amount in the overall national debt.  This is not helping the trend in the light of a recent  warning by the Credit Rating Agency, Standard and Poor, who have placed Australia on a downgrade watch. (AFR, 7 July 2016)

REQUIEM  Australia aspires to be a modern open secular democracy. By not permitting a parliamentary debate and jeopardising the AAA credit rating, is it possible the religious inhibitions of a few are being forced onto the many?

Are we worthy of the anthem?



Backpackers and Backsliders June 2016

Backsliders and Backpackers

BREXIT  Calais Refugee Camps


Backpackers and Backsliders

Australia has a serious youth unemployment problem. For 2008, the 15 – 24 age group numbered 300,000  young people, that is, a 14 % unemployment rate. (Source Youth Unemployment in Australia, Dr Patrick Carvalho, November 2015)


Young Australians
Young Australians

Backpacker working visas granted during 2012 – 13  were 249,000. These young people found employment picking fruit, working on farms, hotel cleaning, in bars and restaurants. (Source Department of Immigration,  August 2013) There is now one backpacker for every Year 12 school leaver. (Source Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University)

I was recently in a packing shed in central New South Wales, Korean backpackers  were efficiently working. I asked why no Australian young people were in the mix. The owner snorted  and stated he would not employ young Australians for several reasons from laziness to unreliability.


Backpacker Work
Backpacker Employment, Backer Work

Our Australian culture still suffers from the legacy of ‘Loss of Empire’. We, as a nation, must come to terms with the fact that there must be young Australians in our midst who will  remain ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water: aspirations for degrees and diplomas for some will remain pipe dreams and our political elite must face reality. The above ideas will be dealt with in more detail later. Contribution on this issue would be welcome. A variation on crowd funding!


BREXIT  Calais Refugee Camps


Calais Camp
Calais Asylum Camp

A ‘boil’ barely mentioned but might be painfully ‘lanced’ is the international boundary between Britain and France, nominally in the middle of the English Channel. Currently, France assists Britain by placing the boundary on the seaward side of Calais – Britain pays millions of pounds a year for this service. There are now rumbles from the French Government that this cosy arrangement may be reviewed. There is now a possibility that the refugee camps containing some 18,000 displaced persons could be transferred to ‘This blessed plot, this realm, this England (Richard II). In recent months, France has foiled 37,000 attempts by migrants to reach the shores of Kent. ( and BBC News) Martello Towers and the ghosts of The Few and Francis Drake will be unable to repel this new invasion. This might become an unimagined  consequence of the ‘Leave’ faction.


Police and Refugees
Police and Refugees