Australian Government Election Day 2013

Village Square

I woke up this morning with a feeling of dread

My mind is hurting from all that was said

The worst insults I have known in many a year

What happened to those values that we hold so dear?

Care for those who are less well off

Positive solutions – not just for the toffs

Is it about ego, capitalism and personal gain?

Will they just bring more suffering and pain?

It could be so much worse, I know!

At least I can freely vote and come and go

Imagine if love, fairness and compassion ruled the day

I earnestly hope that one day we will find a way

cheers

Lorraine

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What a day!

West Australian June 2010From mid-morning until now (9:00pm) I have been captivated by the unfolding of yet another leadership challenge in the Australian political system. It went to a vote and former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd defeated the current Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, in a ballot for the leadership. The vote was 57 to 45.

I have never seen so much political analysis and speculation as the experts tried to fill in the time while the politicians were changing the landscape. I know many people will be pleased with the outcome and yet others will be very disappointed. I am inspired by the strength and courage of Julia Gillard and I believe she will be remembered as one of our greatest performers in Australian politics. I know some will disagree with me and I respect their right to do so.

I am grateful that I live in a democracy where these debates and differences can be dealt with without blood shed. I hope we can now reflect on the positive achievements of the past three years and move forward with strength.

cheers

Lorraine

 

Weekly writing challenge: The State of the Nation

English: Julia Gillard

English: Julia Gillard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

WordPress is encouraging bloggers to take on a divisive issue so I have decided to swim with the sharks on this one!

 

Our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard is doing it tough but I still support her government. Many don’t. Her opponents think she should resign and go away quietly. Julia is our first female Prime Minister. She challenged the former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, in a leadership ballot three years ago and she won. She has faced two more leadership ballots, the latest one being Thursday 21 March 13. A national election will be held later this year.

 

Julia has taken on some enormous challenges and I believe, has implemented significant legislation such as: a carbon pricing system; a new tax on the “Super” profits of mining companies; her team have managed to keep Australia out of recession and employment has increased under their leadership.

 

Criticism directed at our Prime Minister is very personal and her crimes include:

 

  • she has a “twang” in her voice made fun of by the media
  • she has a big nose
  • she is an atheist living in a de facto relationship (she doesn’t push her personal beliefs on to others)
  • some say she has a big bum (I am sure mine is probably bigger but we won’t go there!)

 

Why are these issues important? If she was a man, would these issues get any air play in Australia? I don’t think so.

 

I confess I don’t support her policy on asylum seekers and the decision to process them off shore. I have great compassion for people escaping their repressive and dangerous  countries and wanting a better life.

 

One cannot help but admire her inner strength against such incredible pressure and criticism. She is an inspiration along the lines of Maggie Thatcher but the other side of the political spectrum.

 

It is not my intention here to build a defense for Julia Gillard or to give an account of her government’s performance. I am trying to express my opinion and hopefully stimulate some debate about our Prime Minister and perhaps about women in leadership generally.

 

So, what do you think?

 

Lorraine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irreplaceable history is destroyed

Plinky Prompt: A place from your past or childhood, one that you’re fond of, is destroyed. How do you feel? Plinky prompt

In 2010 I was shocked to hear that a fire destroyed the Claremont Council Chambers and Library. I am linked to the building through a family connection. One of my Mum’s family  traced her father’s and my Grandfather’s (Arthur King) ancestry. I learned that Arthur’s father, James King, was the first Mayor of the City of Claremont in 1900. It turns out that I have lots of relatives in Western Australia that I didn’t know existed. My family is mostly in Victoria in the Eastern States.

My sisters and I visited the Chambers in 2006. I don’t believe they had changed much since 1900. We were able to find our Great Grandfather is some of the historical photos. The staff was very welcoming and accommodating. From there we went to see where they used to live on Stirling Highway. The original house still stands but is now used for business purposes.

So you can imagine my shock in hearing of the Chambers being destroyed. I haven’t been back to have a look at the damage. Hopefully they were able to salvage some of the history contained within its walls. See the story below…

Fire at Claremont Council Chambers

Any port in a storm

IMG_0016I found this ticket among my photos and had a chuckle at the memory of that night. My work colleague and I attended the function as we shared office space with the Small Business people plus we thought we should show our support. It was a formal affair so Chris and I had to find something suitable for the occasion. We both found lovely formal gowns at the right price. Their earlier life was in a Formal Wear Hire business and they were as good as new.

The food was great and there was plenty to drink – probably too much! We knew a lot of the people at the function as they were local business people – so generally a great atmosphere. We had a Local Shire Councillor at our table who was very tipsy. I wasn’t drinking so when the glasses of port were handed out he took mine for himself. That was fine by me, however… the next thing I saw was the contents of the glass flying in my direction down the front of my evening gown!

Who knows why he did such as silly thing. I was so amazed that I didn’t get angry. A lot of people around us were horrified. The night got a lot worse for our Councillor friend and he ended up on the front page of the West Australian newspaper the next day. It seems he continued his drinking spree after the function and took guests back to the Council Chambers and created some mayhem there.

Next day I had the Mayor on the phone wanting me to take action against the Councillor but I am not vindictive and couldn’t see the point. The said Councillor sent me a dozen long-stemmed red roses and offered to pay for the cleaning of my evening gown. I was happy with that outcome 🙂

cheers

Lorraine

Figure of a Woman (Before the Theater)

Figure of a Woman (Before the Theater) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Politics in Australia

Can anyone tell me who these men are? A clue – one of them is retiring from West Australian State Government in the near future?

If you can tell me who they ALL are, I will reblog one of your posts (your choice which one) on my blog!

Let the competition begin. Good luck!

cheers

Lorraine

Life wasn’t meant to be easy – who said that?

“The 1975 Australian constitutional crisis (sometimes called “the Dismissal“) has been described as the greatest political crisis and constitutional crisis in Australia’s history. It culminated on 11 November 1975 with the removal of the Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam  (elected in 1972) of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), by Governor-General Sir John Kerr. Kerr then appointed the Leader of the Opposition, Malcolm Fraser, as caretakerPrime Minister. When the Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, went to seek the Governor General’s approval for an election, the Governor General instead dismissed him as Prime Minister, and shortly thereafter installed Malcolm Fraser in his place. Though Kerr, who died in 1991, continues to be reviled in some quarters, Whitlam and Fraser later reconciled.”

Gough Whitlam

Gough Whitlam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was 18 in 1972 and voted for the first time.  It was an exciting time in politics in Australia. The Australian Labor Party had been out in the wilderness since Prime Minister Ben Chifley was defeated by the Liberals in 1949! Gough Whitlam was elected as Prime Minister and leader of the Australian Labor Party after a landslide victory.

Today’s blog is not about history though! It is about people and how we perceive them with the limited knowledge available to us at the time. I, and thousands of others, hated John Kerr and Malcolm Fraser for bringing down the elected Government of the day. Even at 18 I could see a great injustice against our democratic rights to have the party we voted for to remain in office. Great offense was caused and outrage ensued. Passions were ignited! Malcolm Fraser spoke like the “upper classes” and we believed he “was born with a silver spoon in his mouth”! He is remembered for his use of the phrase “Life wasn’t meant to be easy”. Our reaction was… “What does he know about the working classes – his life appeared to be very easy indeed!” It has been fascinating to see the retired Malcolm Fraser in action. It seems that a lot of our hatred of the man was misdirected. It is said that he is one of the most misunderstood  Prime Ministers in our history. Today he speaks out about the harsh treatment of refugees and is often on the side of the disadvantaged in the community and against the views of the big L liberals. It just goes to show that we only see what we want to see in a person. Perhaps memoirs offer an opportunity to tell the story of the misunderstood or, less kindly, it is the opportunity to rewrite history in a different light. Skip forward now to 2012 and today I am reading “Malcolm Fraser, The Political Memoirs” by Malcolm Fraser and Margaret Simons. I still find it hard to warm to the man but I feel I can better understand his side of the story and elements of his personality (or some would say, lack there-of). He was incredibly shy and not good in social interaction or in finding friends. This was seen as arrogance and snobbery.

We mustn’t be too quick to judge our fellow men and women.

Lorraine

Should Alan Jones be taken off air at radio 2GB

 

English: Julia Gillard

English: Julia Gillard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alan Jones, talk back radio host, has greatly offended many people in Australia today in a Mitt Romney style blunder. He was speaking to a group of  young Liberals (conservatives) and attacked our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard not knowing his speech was secretly being recorded. Many of you will know that her parents were hard working people who moved to Australia from Wales for a better life for their children. Their daughter, Julia, won the highest office in Australia by becoming our first female Prime Minister.

Have your say in this poll

thanks

Lorraine

 

Alan Jones – a bridge too far

English: Julia Gillard

English: Julia Gillard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alan Jones, talk back radio host, has greatly offended many people in Australia today in a Mitt Romney style blunder. He was speaking to a group of  young Liberals (conservatives) and attacked our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard not knowing his speech was secretly being recorded. Many of you will know that her parents were hard working people who moved to Australia from Wales for a better life for their children. Their daughter, Julia, won the highest office in Australia by becoming our first female Prime Minister.

Alan Jones used the recent death of Mr Gillard, a gentle, lovable soul who is his daughter’s inspiration, for a political purpose by stating that the Prime Minister’s father died of shame of his daughter. Jones has been controversial in the past but this time he has really gone too far. Most of us have experienced the loss of someone we love. We grieve for them in our own personal way and get on with life as best as we can. For Jones’ to use his death to gain political points n(or whatever perverse reason) is really below the belt.

I for one, will not support any company that sponsors Jones – who works for 2GB radio in Sydney. Some sponsors  have already withdrawn their sponsorship and I will be watching to see which ones don’t and I will be happy to provide the company names on my blog and anywhere else I can get a hearing.

It is not about whether we support Julia Gillard or not as our Prime Minister (I do). She has copped it from misogynists from day one – her dress style, her voice, her humble beginnings. It is time that women and men stood up for fairness in this country that is supposedly about giving everyone “a fair go”.

Lorraine

My Collections – coins, stamps, postcards, publications…

Why do we bother to collect things? They end up in boxes or suitcases and stored in garages. Who will want them when I am gone?

I decided today to go through my collections, write some blogs about them, and then maybe send them on their way, to a good home, if I can find one interested in taking them on. Sometimes collections have to be around for a few generations before they are of much value – assuming their value increases with age.

So, my collections include the following:

  • stamps from all over world and mostly 20th Century
  • postcards from all over the world. I also have some special edition ones that came in books eg James Dean
  • miniature, fine china tea sets – I am not in a hurry to let go of them yet
  • coins from various parts of the world. I also have a good collection of Australian coins before we went decimal on the “14th February 1966″as ditty reminded us hundreds of time 🙂
  • last, but not least, I have a small collection of newspapers/magazines and I will share them with you today.

  Melbourne Herald 1956

Melbourne Herald 1956English Women's Weekly 1946                                                                                                                                                                  English Women’s Weekly 1946

Melbourne Sun 1962

The West Australian 1 January 2000

The Melbourne Sun 1956                                                                                                                                                      The West Australian 1 January 2000

                                                                                           The West Australian June 2010 – our first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard West Australian June 2010

Cheers for now

Lorraine