Leadership spill lacks obvious element

So the liberals voted and Australia has it’s fifth prime minister in as many years. Introducing Malcolm Turnbull, the output of the latest leadership spill.

Like all spills behind it, with more drama than an episode of Home and Away, the Australian public weren’t left disappointed. Last ditch phone calls assuring votes and media beat ups, the stage was set for fireworks (albeit dulled by statements of committment and “lets get to work”).

This all leaves me asking, was this the perfect leadership spill?

The short answer is no. It was a great spill but when dealing with inefficient leaders, I refuse to call it a leadership spill.

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Will this Prime Minister unite at least one party? Only time will tell.

Bali bullet holes

Bali, the long time holiday destination of choice for many Australians, is now being considered as public enemy number one by the same number.

It’s been well documented, so I don’t want to run through the details but it is situations like this that urged me to begin to write here.

Over a decade ago 9 young Australians unsuccessfully attempted to smuggle drugs into Indonesia. They knew the penalty and this morning, 2 of them received the maximum.

Andrew Chan  and Myuran Sukumaran now have Bali bullet holes in their chest.

Their lives lost, their families crushed and  international politics are mess. Despite this damage, I find the largest holes in my own community. It’s displayed ‘proudly’ on social media and justified by archaic law. “They knew the consequences” they say.

They did and more do now but at what cost is such a lack of compassion to our community?

Prison should never be about punishment but reform. If we are drawn into a heartless ‘do the crime pay the time’ system we are no better than the long lost operators of POW camps. And we know the horror they bring.

Yes, you may have guessed, #istandformercy but more steadfast, I stand for love. Let’s not be drawn into spiteful arguments but discuss the problem at it’s roots instead of face value.

Let’s find sense is the senseless together.

Life, and a prison system, without compassion is one of prejudice, hate and fear. Is this community?

Christmas is here … where are you?

Christmas lights have been on the horizon for a few months now; increasing in brightness as they edge slowly towards us. Their multi coloured brilliance filled us with hope and joy that many would now consider false.

Christmas is upon us. The world is in pain. Where are you?

From Sydney’s Martin Place to Ferguson and the Bronx, violence is flashing at each turn. From Pakistan to Cairns the lights of evil and pain shine brightly. And here we are, just a few days from Christmas.

Let’s celebrate love this Christmas.

Christmas come early

“There in the stores already” she was shocked, if not a little disgusted.

It was like she’d shown up for a sale, unintentionally skipped the line and was then was put out that eager shoppers who had lined up for hours were already in the store.

Christmas … how can the first signs of such a joyous season filled with disbelief and anger?

I admit, the gap between Easter and Christmas, the two defining Christian holidays seems to grow smaller each year. I also admit that may have something to do with my age and the inclusion of two small humans into my family unit.

Speaking of those small humans, aged four and two, they can’t wait for Christmas. The sooner the better and the longer it lasts, the better it will be. There’s something said for capturing the wonder our dear children hold.

I may be living in a dream but why aren’t we happy to see Christmas?

Think about it. Jesus was born. This is an epic time!

Forget the mass produced candy canes (which no one really likes but tolerates when taped to a corny Christmas card), advent calendars stuffed with preservative laden chocolates and canned snow marketers actually expect people to spray on their window regardless of the 35 degree heat during Australia’s December. The longer this stuff lines our shelf the larger our opportunity.

Embrace the cliches, welcome the carols … celebrate the life of Jesus for months not days!

Australia: Land of the fair gone

Australia is a young nation, it cannot be argued. You could even go as far as saying that we are still finding our feet.

A nation born of petty criminals dragged from old mother England against their will. Australia is known as the land downunder, a place to start again and where dreams come true. But can Australians still rely on their mates?

Is it now every man for himself?

Are we still the land of the fair go?

As a nation we voted in a political party who championed the phrase “stop the boats”, the divide between rich and poor inevitably expands and have you noticed how hard it’s become for how beloved charities to get people to donate or “help a mate out” as it may be.

Perry Como and The Jets sung “Love is what makes the world go round” but that was in 1958 and in America “the land of the free”. Fast forward forty-five years and it is my personal opinion that like most developed nations, Australia is ruled by greed.

Money is driving Australia and the ones who have it are at the wheel.

With what evidence can you make this claim you ask … Immigrants now face tougher conditions to enter the country and life for them is hardly ‘fair’ once they’re accepted, the cost of real estate and the financial benefits to investors are killing “the great Australian dream” and the backbone of our community (as I see them), teachers, are still not valued by Australian society.

Do I need to continue?

I won’t … but the question is still being asked and the discussion will undoubtedly flow. If you’re keen to listen and take part Wesley Mission are holding a discussion panel 20 March 2014, tickets are $20 and available here.

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Breast feeding. Natural, healthy and apparently offensive!?

What’s the downside of your TV show rating so high? Sunrise host, David Koch, found it out last week … people hear what you say.

In response to a news story of a mother being asked to be more discreet while breastfeeding her child in public, Koch said ‘fair enough’

“I totally agree with breastfeeding in public but I think you have to be a bit classy about it.” David Koch

Other hosts on the popular Australian breakfast show were suitably shocked at his support, so too was the mother in question.

If, Liana Webster wasn’t angry enough when asked by lifeguards at her local swimming pool to “be more discreet while breastfeeding her child”, public support of the lifeguard’s actions have pushed her over the edge.

Worse still for Sunrise and Koch, Liana isn’t alone. The ‘twitter-verse’ lit up…and it was good to see that it wasn’t all women.

Jonathan Brown @JB_AU:Let’s face it men. If our anatomy required us to breast feed this discussion wouldn’t even be happening #breastfeeding

I can only guess Sunrise’s PR department didn’t have time to brief Koch, because he too, took to twitter to back up his comments.

david koch @kochie_online: But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect breast feeding in public is done discreetly. I think that’s just a common courtesy to others

Mothers and breastfeeding advocates joined a Facebook group, ”Sunrise Nurse-In”, to promote both public breastfeeding and a protest of sorts; a live mass feeding on the show. How’s that for public!

This posting, the nurse-in or any further debate isn’t about David Koch or anyone else foolish enough to ask a breastfeeding mother to cover up, it’s about the issue, women and parenting. If a mother feels comfortable feeding in public, let her be. Being a new Mum is hard enough without judgement!

It’s about far more than breast feeding. The outrage caused by such a small comment shows how much our society has sexualised women. With the number of people supporting the call for women to cover up growing as fast, if not faster than those opposing the call, I think it’s fair to say community considers women a sexual objects.

@Goodgoogs, said it best…

Zoey Martin @goodgoogs: If you see something indiscreet in a woman breastfeeding you are looking too hard.

I repeat, this isn’t a hate campaign against David Koch, but some advice for men who want to knock breast feeding mothers … sleep three hours a night for four months and put your nipples in a vice 6 times a day before you open your mouth.

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Chivalry’s not dead…but it’s very ill

“Chivalry’s not dead, it’s on the couch where I made her sleep” Hilltop Hoods

If my opinions were controlled by popular society, it would be clear from the Hilltop Hoods quote above that I believed chivalry to be dead, buried and decomposing as I write. But my opinions are by now means controlled by popular society and I believe chivalry to be alive, albeit a little sick.

Chivalry defined | idealization of the qualities bravery, courtesy, honour, and gallantry toward women

When I want to view societal traits I never hesitate to jump on public transport. With large members of the public crammed into metal boxes, jostling together with the twists and bumps of the network. When patience wears thin and frustration is close to boiling point…you’re sure to find honest human reactions.

So I wait at my station, fellow commuters by my side. The train comes to a halt and the doors slide open. Men and women alike jostle to get to their seats and only a few (that of which I am one) remain standing. The chivalry count, as I like to call it, today is 3 women left standing and 8 men sitting.

Whilst men not giving their seat up to people whom seem totally capable of holding their own bodyweight is not a major issue, it does give an indication to their intentions.  You will notice on the New York subway heir-achy of seating list below that the man definitely comes after the woman!

• Disabled elderly person
• Elderly woman
• Disabled person
• Pregnant woman
• Elderly man
• Middle-aged woman
• Young-ish woman
• Middle aged man
• Child under 10 (any gender)
• Tween (any gender)
• Young-ish man
• Teenager (any gender)

Whilst, I hope my views on public transport are reflected in wider community, I fear they are. What’s more, I fear the generation following ours will not know chivalry as a concept, let alone a way to act. Please note, I am not basing all my thoughts around one trip on public transport but using it an example.

Chivalry originated with the knights don’t let the modern man kill it off.

Men, respect women and treat them as such. Give a seat up, hold a door open and if it’s cold offer your jacket. Ignore what society says and does and do what you know if right. Man up and be a chivalrous knight.

Women, don’t expect it of men but thank them when they act. Don’t throw their offers back in their face, not every chivalrous act is a pick up line, they are only trying to do what is right. I am sorry not all men act the way we should but I won’t give up trying.

Show young boys just how to act so they know from a young age how to approach women and how to engage.

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