The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog


Wednesday 13 February 2008 at 7:03 pm

Whether you were celebrating or stumping up in the “I’m not sorry” camp, today does count as one of the most significant days in recent Australian history. It’s not often that Parliament admits to ever being wrong, nevermind offering remorse. And the Ruddster has yet again ticked an item off the left-o’-centre wishlist (right after dumping the Pacific Solution, too).

The speech was, I think, thoughtful and well-balanced, befitting an occasion this important. And Rudd’s delivery was impressive — he’s getting in to the role and doing the prime-ministerly thing very well.

Brendan Nelson, however, showed no such dignified charisma, even if his speech had crackly-voice moments that suggested he has emotions! I don’t actually think it was a bad speech (particularly given past Liberal policy) but it also wasn’t up to scratch for such an historically significant day.

The prize for not getting the significance, though, goes to ol’ Wilson Tuckey — who hilariously stood by yesterday’s welcome to country in the wings with arms crossed, and was equally standoffish today :-)

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It’s crucial that Parliament apologise! … or something?

Friday 1 February 2008 at 4:27 pm

Oh look, even the syndicated BBC cable TV news picked up on the story! Our Ruddster is going to be all symbolic, just like he was with the Kyoto Protocol, and deliver an apology to Aboriginal people.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is a long-overdue move, but making it the first official action of the new House of Reps strikes me as all symbolism and no substance. Wake me when they come up with an actual plan to fix service delivery and welfare programmes to help out Aboriginal people lacking education — and those frittering what cash they have on booze.

And on this matter of compensation. Aside from the fact that the Commonwealth is rich beyond anything in recent memory and can realistically afford it anyway, the fears (and demands) from different people are all pretty irrelevant if compo ends up as just another payment that’s not directed at improving life for indigenous Australians …

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The WA Nationals sink to new lows

Tuesday 7 August 2007 at 11:25 pm

Once upon a time, when the Coalition were in power and Labor in opposition, Parliament House in West Perth would (occasionally) host moments of real debate amidst the normal mud-slinging and childishness. And for a while after going into opposition, the Coalition were organised and vaguely competent and strong in their criticism … sometimes even with valid logic!

That, of course, was then. Nowadays the coalition is dissolved, the major partner is struggling to find relevance, and the best that the minor partner can do to influence policy decisions is to mount civil disobedience on a rather minuscule scale.

It’d be nice if the 2009 election isn’t a one-horse race, but I don’t have high hopes.

(And a nitpick to the news reports: WA already has two timezones, since the hundred-odd people living around Eucla unofficially set their clocks to UTC+8:45.)

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Loud nonsense emanating from State Parliament

Thursday 16 November 2006 at 9:35 pm

Today has been an insane day for me (albeit insane in a happy way!) but it seems I’ve got nothing on the kids in State Parliament: Aunty is reporting that the attempts by Godfather D’Orazio and “I wanna stay with the cool kids!” Birnie to introduce daylight saving have been delayed by the Libs in the Legislative Council. According to our ever-reliable Treasurer, this means the proposed start date for the first trial (December 3) is in jeopardy, as if it was ever a serious option.

Just in case the Tardis has landed near West Perth, thus encapsulating Parliament in a space-time ripple, I’d like to point out that December 3 is in two weeks.

I’m hostile to the idea of daylight saving, but even if I was in favour I’d still think it wildly irresponsible to demand that two million people change their clocks with an entire fortnight’s notice. Imagine if Transperth said “we’re changing the timetable for every service in two weeks”. Imagine if UWA said (during semester) “we’re shifting the time for every class in two weeks”. Imagine if a major hospital said “we’re rescheduling every appointment, and here’s two weeks’ notice”.

IMHO, Parliament should drop this ridiculous time-waster (pun intended!) and get back to the many real issues faced by the State. You know, things like the terrible state of mental health services across WA, or the gross shortage of transit guards for our trains, or the problems with education in some remote Aboriginal communities …

P.S. It’s scary how many people are saying “whaddya mean we’ve already had three referenda? Times have changed and the young people haven’t had a chance to have their say!”. By that logic, and given the current scuffle over WorkChoices, can we please have another referendum on the Incomes question? Or perhaps on secession from the Commonwealth? After all, young’uns like me didn’t get a chance to vote in those!

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