Saturday, July 31, 2010

White Australia & Pauline's Shadow

     "The Ethnic Communities Council of Australia says both Labor and the Coalition are fear-mongering and causing migrants to feel marginalised."

     One could be excused for thinking the current election is pandering to policies similar to those of Pauline Hanson, perhaps a resurrection of the White Australia Policy.

From a little town in Wales, she came
To lead us to election.
A pommy refugee by boat,
Practised, now, in political invention.

He was born in London Town
Of Aussie folks, overseas.
Educated at Sydney's best
While practising politics with ease.

Yet, together they seek the bigot's vote
While "White Australia" gets rewrote!  

Friday, July 30, 2010

Back To The Past, Perhaps?

     There has been much discussion during today's electioneering regarding the National Broadband Network.  The government released details of enhanced plans for the roll out of the fibre optic infrastructure, together with updated maps relating to the project.  There was also repeated reminders of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's promise to dismantle the project , should he win the forthcoming election.

     Although this subject has been mentioned in these pages already, the issue is of such national importance that it is worthy of further comment.  This will probably not be the last time!

     During today's reporting, I was reminded (somehow??) of a much earlier telecommunication service.  During the 1950's, I lived with my parents and siblings in the Sydney suburb of Brighton le Sands.  We were blessed with a telephone, the number of which I have never forgotten.....

Sydney 'phone number, 1950's, LX6180;
Black baker-lite handset, pretty flash, LX6180.
"Long distance, please," calling out of town, "This is LX6180."
"What's that? Speak up!" Calling Brissie, long distance, you know.

Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter,
Google, Yahoo, Blogspot, Flikr,
Gmail, Hotmail - its email and quicker,
Phone the world - no cost - what a ripper!

Copper lines gone, fibre on the go,
Tony gets in, we're back to LX6180!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sex, Politics and Religion

Over the last couple of days, by far the most enchanting story to emerge from this election season has been the reported attempt by the Australia First Party to seduce the Australian Sex Party.

"Hello, is this the Australian Sex Party?
I'm from Australia First and would like to have a chat.
Could we meet for a cup of coffee
To talk a little, of this and that?"

"Now, perhaps we can discuss positions,
You know, how we could get together,
Share a little of how we can help
Each other be joined in this endeavour?"

Australia First then cried in shame,
Screwed by experts, themselves to blame!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Whisper, Whisper.............

     I am not a journalist! So, I guess it is a little cheeky of me to discuss the performance of journalists.  Nevertheless, since I and many of the rest of us read the work of journalists, some critical comment does not seem unreasonable.

     A highly respected member of the Canberra Press Gallery has recently raised two issues during questioning of Prime Minister Gillard.  Most of you will be aware of the matters to which I refer (links above).  These issues related to matters that any politician, depending on their allegiance at the time, would consider confidential.  So confidential, in fact, that it would be highly unlikely to elicit any revelation in response to questioning.

     The simple fact of the matter is that there was never any possibility of the "right" answer being provided.  Why? Simply because there is no proof on the public record capable of establishing the truth, or otherwise, of the matters raised.

     The highly respected journalist posed questions that may, or may not, have been sourced from reliable and verifiable information.  The journalist proffered no follow up question that could have suggested strong evidence supporting, what amounted to, allegations.

     I have no problem, whatsoever, with a politician being "outed" for misleading or inappropriate conduct.  There must, however, be verifiable proof when such allegations are made.  The posing of questions, in truth innuendoes, without the ability to provide evidence that turns innuendo into fact, is not only unprofessional, but also profoundly political.

     This style of behaviour, from persons of immense journalistic authority, serves only to lower the standard of an already mediocre election campaign.  It also deepens, further, the public distrust of a profession upon which we so heavily depend as protectors of our democracy.

Whisper, whisper, nod and wink,
Don't look now in case you blink,
While we're watching, waiting for the tip
That little leak, the subtle drip!

This is an election and anything is just,
Revealing a fault or a policy bust;
Any little thing, to hell with the truth,
Give me something that will hit the roof!

The campaign stumbles toward the day
When the people, confused, might have their say!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stand Up, Stand Up....For What?

There is an evil in the air
As this election progresses.
An evil image of despair,
The innocent, it caresses.

It weaves its web of deep deceit
While breading on the hate,
That's born of fear and deep defeat,
The result of flawed debate.

The innocent, worn, defeated gather
To march toward their hell!

Monday, July 26, 2010

The 2010 Election - Week 1

This is the week that was!

A discourse on population became an immigration hoax,
While adding to the fear campaign over desperate folk in boats!
We heard about a deficit and the chance of growing debt,
Yet not too much of the GFC, or that it hasn't hit us, yet.
One Leader wants the NBN with web speed rated tops,
And the other will have a telephone, with calls through dear old POTS.

So, the first week ends without much ticker;
We're looking forward, but the fog is thicker.
Perhaps I'll go and just follow twitter!

GFC - Global Financial Crises
NBN - National Broadband Network
POTS - Plain Old Telephone Service

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Great Debate - Done and Dusted

So, the great debate is finished
And, perhaps, we're not quite so diminished
For having viewed and quietly listened
To the Leaders, newly christened,
In the tradition of election-time debate.

Of course, adjudicators must surely comment
And words will flow a-torrent,
Midst the muddle and confusion all about;
Whilst we, quite humble, beset with raging doubt,
Raise a glass and humbly stumble, toward our fate!

The Great Debate - Almost

"Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will tonight go head-to-head in the only televised debate of the election campaign.
The hour-long debate will be held at the National Press Club in Canberra with both leaders facing questions from a panel journalists after making a short opening statement."  ABC News

The Great Debate is almost here,
No doubt to enhance electoral cheer.
Will it inform, or perhaps enlighten,
Or will it work to dull and frighten
A people poised to place a vote,
A people ready to choose, or smote
Those who rule and demand more taxes
While punching "porkies" by email and faxes,
And drive us up the bleedin' wall?
Ah, we wait, excited, for our leaders to enthral!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Clunker Of An Idea

ABC News reports that Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, today announced plans to pay cash as an incentive for people to get rid of their old vehicles.

When making the announcement in Brisbane, Ms Gillard commented that "People will go to their car dealership they will negotiate, get the price that they can get for their new car, their rebate will be paid when their old car is scrapped," she said.
"The dealer will be responsible for doing that. We will have Aus Industry oversighting this."

They used to be called "rust buckets",
Now "clunker" is their name
And they are now, to one and all,
The new weapon in the climate game!

"If we get these clunkers off the road
And replaced with something new,
We'll reduce our carbon by huge amounts
(And boost new car sales, too!)."

And so, thus led by those without conviction,
We shuffle off toward extinction.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Gillard Climate Policy - Policy Free Zone

Prime Minister Gillard today announced her climate change policy for the forthcoming election.  I thought we were having an election to appoint our decision makers.  Now we add on an unelected committee of eager beavers to make "claytons" decisions our Parliament is to gutless to make.  Whoopee!
The Battler recommends this link as food for thought

A committee! That's what we'll do.
One hundred & fifty of our brave and true
Who will have twelve months to find an answer,
To come to grips with that carbon cancer.

Naturally, they'll report and recommend
While we, in Parliament, consider, then send
Our response to be reviewed
By "experts", with expertise imbued!

The people, shocked, in horror cried
And the world did nothing, while nature died!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Election Armistice - Another Fallen

Yesterday, the momentum of the Australian election campaign took a break.  By mutual consent, the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader paused their campaigns while they attended the funeral of Private Nathan Bewes, who was recently killed in Afghanistan.  This is a fairly recent tradition adopted by Australian political leaders.  It is to be commended,.

In the shadow of their humble grief
Joined by loss beyond belief
The people gather at the dawning
To remember, and do the mourning
For a life so freely given - we are beholden.

And the mighty came to share the caring
A day departed from campaign blaring
With a shoulder shared, a tear descending
Another day of tribal remembering
Of a life so freely given - or was it stolen?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Election 2010 - Homelessness A Neglected Issue? Not Many - Too Few!

Although only in its early stages, our Federal election campaign does not appear to have made an issue of mental illness and homelessness.  Perhaps it is on the horizon, who knows?  One would hope so, for it is true that elections, generally, are magnets for the big ticket items, the wow factor, the sexy issue of the day.
Perhaps there is something, waiting in the shadows, to be announced down the track, by someone who cares.  Yet, there is no doubt that, in the eyes of some, this issue is one that doesn't attract votes.

A cry for help untended, a heartless act of folly!
The homeless and the helpless, hanging on by dubious thread,
The weary, wronged and beaten - defeated but not quite dead;
Those hidden by the system, to keep them out of view,
Their votes so unimportant, not many - too few!

And all their songs of melancholy
Waif-whisper, oh so pensive,
Slipping, quietly missed, by the oh so inattentive.
Wishing, waiting, wanting  - for notice, just on cue,
Alas, so unimportant, not many - too few!

Homelessness Australia
The Australian on Mental Health
AMA - Mental Health

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Boring Election

ABC News reported on Tuesday, 20 July, that the Australian Sex Party has accused the major parties of turning Australia into a "nanny" nation.

Boring! Bland and boring, that's what it is.
The campaign now a few days old,
Nothing ventured...nothing bold,
Just a spiel devoid of choice
No-one listening to the people's voice.

Please, give me a real policy, going forward,
One, just one, that stirs the blood,
Something more than slinging mud!
But wait, now listen, there's something hearty!
Please make welcome the Aussie Sex Party!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Abbott Bans Babies (Liberal Policy)

As the 2010 Australian election machine gets under way, Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, has reiterated Liberal Party policy to place a cap on population growth. Perhaps poor Tony hasn't thought of all the consequences.

"China has a one child policy
And we will allow one, too.
One for Mum, but none for Dad,
Ah, no more, ah, one must do.

Now, you know I am of Catholic faith,
Where reproduction strongly ranks,
So it is sad that I must say it, boys,
Snip, must shoot blanks!"

Thus spoke the Abbott at election,
His policy is to ban erection!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

How To Cope With An Election

The Australian Prime Minister today announced there would be an election on August 21.  What to do, what to do........

So, now we have an election,
Which begs some introspection
While we ponder on the choices,
To face the people's voices,
And we choose ourselves a leader by popular decree.

So now we'll face the barrage,
From the election planning garage;
Unless, we quietly do a bunk
To spend five weeks calmly drunk,
Twiddling by the beach and the never-ending sea!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Political Petulance - Aussie Style

During her recent speech and Q & A session at the National Press Club, new Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, was questioned on the events of the evening prior to her elevation to the position.  The culprit who leaked the alleged details of a meeting on that night is unknown, but there were only three people present.

"Mummy, mummy, she broke my toy!"
"Mummy, mummy, she doesn't care!"
"Mummy, mummy," cried the tearful boy,
"Now she's sitting in my favourite chair!"

Now, this little boy, a child of Christ,
Believed, full well, he'd be forgiven
When he took the knife and shunned advice
Deep in her back the blade was driven!

With a silent grin he bowed his head
And prayed his prayers beside his bed.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Battler's Thought For The Day - BLOODRUST

Australia will shortly be going to a Federal election.  Like all elections, there will "mumbo jumbo", chest-thumping, polling, polling and more polling.........

Our politicians test the water
By reading another poll,
And set their plans for "moving forward"
By this method, rather droll.

Brain-stupor with power-lust!

Policies drift from birth to death
While boxes, ticked, define the slaughter.
Ah! The ebb and flow of a nation's fortunes...
"The margin's thin. Do you think we oughta!"

Intestinal atrophy - bloodrust!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Spain - Number 1

My history is a little rusty
When one thinks of grand old Spain.
Yet I know there's much more to the story
Than pirates, Columbus and the Main.

Memory drifts through Armadas' great
And Conquistadors of old,
Of Inquisitions of ferocious zeal,
Of explorers brave and bold.

There are tales, I know, of Spanish lust
To conquer far and near,
To be masters of the universe,
A power, bold, to fear.

Like all such tales, Spain rose and fell
From glorious wealth to bitter poor;
But in 2010 She rose again,
Number one, just read the football score!

2010 World Cup - Spain 1  Netherlands 0

Laurie Favelle, Canberra Australia 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Moved On!

I live in Canberra, the Australian capital.  It is the seat of our National Government and home to many national institutions.  It is a beautiful city and, as cities go, a great place to live.  It is known as "The Bush Capital" as the Australian bush encroaches to the very centre of the city.  It is this bushland, however, that provides shelter for the not so glossy resident.

These are real people.  I see them most days, or used to, until they.....Moved On!

He used to live on City Hill,
well, just to one side, actually.
Hidden deep in a cosy, bushy place
a few hundred meters from the Canberra Theatre.
A tarp for shelter
and a few bits of junk.
Not much more.
Maybe fortyish, hard to tell;
tall, thin, bedraggled - you know the look.
Haven't seen him for quite a while - not surprising.
Can't have "that" hanging around
when the "tutt-tutters" take in a show.
Moved on!

She might be forty something, too.
A handsome women, once.
Black as pitch
African, perhaps.
A supermarket trolley full of crap,
two suitcases and stuff.
Pushes her world across the bridge,
and back again.
From the shadows of Parliament
to retail paradise.
A return ticket to purgatory.
Missing of late..moved on!

I call him Jesus.
Tallish, well built,
with used-to-be blonde hair and beard
and used-to-be white clothes.
Fifty something.
He has a supermarket trolley, too,
piled high with his life.
From city outskirts to city centre
he wanders, with a passing nod at power.
Or he did...gone now...moved on!

Then there's "Carpet Top"!
Hair all matted, greasy,
under a crazy hat.
Tall, gaunt, haunted.
A battery radio for company,
different one every week, or so.
Plonks it in a doorway, music on
picking up butts.
Must have a camp near the city,
or he did.
Gone now...moved on!

And these silent ghosts,
of haunted folks,
reminders of discarded dreams,
float, quietly, across our vision
ignored, except for our derision.
Echoes of our nightmare screams!

Laurie Favelle, Canberra, July 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Miner's Dream

On the ABC's Lateline program in the late evening of July 7, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that she will not revive the government's Emission Trading Scheme until at least 2013. See

The previous week, she had announced changes to a proposed new mining tax

"Hey, Miner-Mates,
Get yerselves over here!
Boy, do I have a new tax for you."

"Oi! Prime Minister,
Do you think we're queer?
No new tax for us; what we have will do!"

"Now there, fellers
Don't be a mug!
My new tax plan you'll think is grand.
The answer is simple.
No, now don't stand and shrug!
Its a little trick called slight-of-hand."

So, with cut and paste she ducked and weaved,
A new mining tax designed to deceive,
With cut-a-bit here and tuck-a-bit there,
"Ah yes, this new tax is fare."

"OK, Miner-Mates, now listen up,
At this new plate I'll think you'll sup.
I've trimmed a little and changed the name,
But here's the important piece of the game.
You remember Kevin's old ETS,
The one that became a bit of a mess?
Well, here I grant you a miner's dream
No carbon price 'till 2013!"

Laurie Favelle, Canberra, 8 July 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Asylum Seeker - A Journey's End

On Tuesday, the Australian government announced a new policy on the handling of asylum seekers who attempt to come to Australia by illegally engaging people smugglers.  The Opposition and Greens also made statements on this subject.

Gently falling.
No panic now, no noise.
I hold her peaceful face
Against my breast,
My hand rests upon our unborn child.
This is our journey's end,
Our resting place,
Our release from war and fear.
My hand feels the gentlest kick, more

The cold embrace of an ocean tomb
Enfolds yet more within its womb,
While others gather to debate
How the lost will be dealt their fragile fate.

Laurie Favelle, Canberra 7 July 2010