On 24 November 2007, the Australian Body Politic had a Heart/Brain transplant. So far, it seems the patient is making a good recovery, but we shall monitor progress. As of 31 December 2007, the patient has been moved out of "Intensive Care".
There was a period of uncertainty, under Kevin Rudd, and then Julia Gillard. On 14 September 2010 Julia Gillard was sworn in as Prime Minister, by the Governor General.
Gone is the famous: "Love to Grow: Grow to Love" motto I used have as my signature block.
It might return one day.
However, we face Council selling off bits of Public Parks all around the Wingecarribee Shire. The NSW Government is destroying our Rivers and Aquifers either through their own work (SCA) or by allowing the Coal Miners to do it, while accepting huge Part 3A payments. Wollongong Council is revealed to be as corrupt as we always felt it was. Shellharbour Council is even less amenable to environmental concerns than Wollongong (and that is saying something). NSW Labor Party politicians in the Illawarra region are said to have accepted "campaign donations" from developers (Can that be true, Matt?, David?,Noreen?)
So I have changed my signature block.
THE NSW GOVERNMENT AND THE WINGECARRIBEE SHIRE COUNCIL ARE SCREWING US OVER..........REMEMBER THIS: "BY BEING QUIET AND POLITE WE ALLOW OURSELVES TO BE IGNORED"
Crikey has a sensitive report on Brendan Nelson's position as Leader of the Opposition (he gets that job as Leader of the Liberal Party, in case you cannot remember. There is another Party in there too somewhere, but don't worry about that.) Anyway, I digress.
Crikey starts off by reporting that Tony Abbott had dinner with the Director of the Liberal Party, Brian Loughnane, last night. Following on the Apology, one can only assume they were dining on Nelson Stew. Poor Brendan. Supposedly a human being resides within his thin skin. Rumour has it that deep down he is a sensitive soul. But he is answerable to Nick Minchin, etc. Nick in turn has to deal with the real bad-arse dudes in the Party. Ironbar Tuckey made a point of attending hte opening prayers, and then leaving. My local Member (Alby Schultz) didn't turn up. I await a response from Alby to confirm that he really had double-booked himself, and chose a more important event than the first day of business in the new Parliament.
Anyway, that is the scene inside the Liberal Party. A rag-tag bunch of misanthropes, who feel aggrieved that they are no longer in office, and in Tony Abbott's case, are deeply hurt that they are now lost somewhere down the pecking order on Shadow Ministers and "also-rans". So there might have been a little Schadenfreude sauce on Tony Abbott's plate last of Sweet-and-Sour at "The Chairman and Yip", last night, in Canberra.
And so, back to Dr Nelson's speech on "The Apology". As Crikey reports today:
Without a trace of irony, Nelson told MPs in his speech in reply: "Now knowing who you are is the source of deep, scarring sorrows, the real meaning of which can be known only to those who have endured it." The former medico and ALP activist from Tasmania could have been talking about himself.
I have this afternoon sent an urgent email to Mr Alby Schultz, MP, Member for Hume. It reads as follows:
Dear Mr Schultz
As a constituent of yours, (from Robertson), I would be grateful if you could confirm the accuracy of a report on the Sydney Morning Herald website today (Wednesday), by Annabel Crabb that you were absent from the House during the speeches by the Prime Minister and your own party Leader, Dr Nelson, relating to the "Apology". If that is not correct you might wish to correct the record.
Ms Crabb's Article is entitled: Ancient tensions fail to mar apology.
"Wilson Tuckey arrived early, shouted the Lord's Prayer with his colleagues, then disappeared. Liberal colleagues Alby Schultz, Don Randall and Sophie Mirabella were absent for the apology."
I don't care how loudly Mr Tuckey responded to the Lord's Prayer, but I do care about your absence.
If this report is true, then I am totally dismayed, indeed disgusted. There are surely few matters of business more pressing than the first item of business on the first day of normal Parliamentary Sessions. And this sitting day has been scheduled for some considerable time.
I am forwarding this email to Ms Gash, Senator Heffernan and to Ms Pru Goward, Member for Goulburn in the NSW Legislative Assembly. I have also copied it privately to a number of my friends who are all your constituents, in the newly redistributed seat of Hume. In the past, we have been well served by the Member for Gilmore, Ms Joanna Gash. Even though some of us might have had various differences of opinion with Ms Gash - at least she never failed to represent us in Parliament.
I would hate to think that our level of representation has plummeted so dramatically, on the first regular sitting day, that you have discovered other things which are more important than being in Parliament for Item 1 on the business paper, for the first regular sitting day of the new session of Parliament.
I wonder if you would like to comment, please?
For the sake of completing the record, I would intend to copy your reply to the original distribution - so everybody knows what the real situation is regarding your reported absence from the House of Representatives chamber this morning.
Wednesday 13 February 20084:53 PM
PO Box 158 Robertson NSW 2577
Missingham Pde, Robertson NSW 2577
Enrolled voter in the Electorate of Hume, and in the NSW seat of Goulburn.