Interesting by-election in Sydney

I predicted around four weeks ago on Facebook that Dr Kerryn Phelps would win the Wentworth by-election, and repeated that on the Friday before the vote. Well, despite some doubts arising on Sunday, it’s now looking most likely: “The independent has reached what looks to be an unassailable lead, sending the government into minority. ”


The booth-by-booth result is interesting to me, having lived in or near the Wentworth electorate for quite a few years to 2010.

Looks to me that Scott Morrison running the Jerusalem embassy move up the flagpole on Tuesday 16 October had little effect one way or another on the electorate in Wentworth. There are indeed quite a few Jewish voters there, but the majority of really observant Jews among then would have pre-polled, as the vote fell on the Sabbath! So if the Liberals were angling for their votes, they wasted their time last Tuesday.

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Loving this Royal Tour

Totally unashamed to admit it! Thanks God we have the Windsors and not Donald…

Back in 2011 and before.

It’s them again!



You have to hand it to them: she’s 85 and he’s 90!

They didn’t visit The Gong this time, or Sydney – but The Illawarra Mercury decided to correct this oversight.


Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth made a surprise stop on her Australian tour yesterday, popping into her favourite coastal city.

Despite her disappointment at the closure of Janet’s Royalty Rooms late last month, the iconic monarch was adamant she would still find plenty of support – not to mention good times – in the Steel City.

Her Majesty’s royal carriage wound its way from Sydney Airport via the coastal route so the 85-year-old could take in the view from the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge.

The Queen’s grandsons may be known for their love of aerial hijinx, but yesterday it was Queen Elizabeth’s chance for some high adrenaline aerial sports.

She sky dived over North Wollongong beach…

Yes that didn’t happen, Virginia! But look back to 1954:



Related post: I haven’t been watching any of the Royal Wedding lead-up coverage.

Sick and tired of Pauline being sick and tired…

It’s one of her favourite phrases, isn’t it?

Bit of a stink in the last few days about what the government insists was an “error” in the Senate, that is supporting a motion “that it is OK to be white”.  Why this may not be OK is pretty bloody obvious, I would have thought, but you may care to see Business Insider on the subject: “But as it turns out, the exact phrase ‘It’s OK To Be White’ actually did have links to neo-Nazis – on several fronts.”

Pauline feels hard done by:

Ms Hanson says the backdown came after the government was “spooked”  by the Labor Party making connections between the motion and a Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi agenda.

“What a load of bloody hogwash!”

“This has got nothing to do with racism. This is about what is happening in our country.

“I’m white, and I’m proud of it….”

The other day I spooked a few friends on Facebook by publishing this selfie:


I commented: “This got recycled in Quadrant, and I wasted my pension buying it to see what my old Sydney Uni classmate [Dyson Heydon] (1962-3) had to say.” The item is in fact a year old. It is Tory as, of course, and includes this observation:

But for present purposes let us remember the opening words of the Imperial Act which brought our Constitution into being:

Whereas the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania, humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God, have agreed to unite in one indissoluble federal Commonwealth under the Crown…

Made me check and I found to my surprise this on the US Constitution:

Neither God or Jesus are mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. Nor are they mentioned in the Bill of Rights. Satan also doesn’t show up. Colin McGinn was on Bill Moyers special series on Faith and Reason on PBS last night and mentioned that God is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution.

So I checked this morning and could not find God or Jesus or any of his disciples, or for that matter Satan, in the U.S. Constitution. I guess I just never looked that closely before because to hear all the debate from the right wing evangelicals and Bush conservatives I could have sworn it had to be there somewhere or what was all the fanatical noise about – like “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance….

Passing on, back to Quadrant, you might note on that cover The Ideology of White-Hatred. “‘Whiteness’—according to our leftist intelligentsia—is both the cause and the consequence of world domination by a conspiratorial elite.” Surprise, surprise!

Let me refer you to some of my old posts, the first from 2001!

In our school newsletter I had been running a series of articles dealing with racism, leading up to the International Day for the Elimination of Racism on March 21 2001. I received the following anonymous letter from a senior student. I would be interested in your responses. I would not normally publish an anonymous letter, but behind the anger and some serious misconceptions, I feel there is an intelligence that deserves respect. I have slightly abridged the letter, but kept true to the author’s views.

On March 2 2001 I received another very polite letter enclosing an American White Supremacist article taken from the Web, I have linked a counter-article by sociologist Caleb Rosado. Please consider….

The second, How Martin Krygier ambushed the Quadranters…, is from 2006.

There they all were on the 18th September celebrating Quadrant’s 50th anniversary, and there was Martin, son of magazine founder Richard Krygier, along with the venerable Dame Leonie Kramer, P P McGuinness (the current editor) and of course the sometimes dippy Duffy, all bent on lauding John Howard’s favourite magazine, in what may also be John Howard’s favourite radio show, with the possible exception of Alan Jones at breakfast on 2GB of course. And it was all going swimmingly until the last few minutes:

Michael Duffy: Martin, can I ask you the same question? Before 1989 Quadrant had a neat role, if you like, a very specific role. What is or ought its role to be? Or does it still have a role?

Martin Krygier: Here I’d part company with my colleagues on the panel. I think it has a very clear and enormously important role until 1989. The end of communism meant the end of an overarching enemy which was relevant at every political level. That meant that you could die and it wasn’t an ignoble thing to do, and that’s what happened with Encounter, or you could do something interestingly and individually different in a more complicated situation, and I believe that under Robert Manne that was being done. I think that more recently, in a way which is not completely as a result of recent trends, but I think that as a result of the culture…we’re a political culture that hunts in packs and there was a tendency once you’re sort of pushed to one side in popular polemics for Quadrant people to actually quite like the role of pariah and being the anti-pack pack. I think that that has continued with a vengeance over the Aboriginal issue and many other things in recent years and it has dismayed me and it’s why I’m not associated with Quadrant now. And I think that it’s…where things are complicated, where it could be that the opposite of a proper position is a foolish one, but that there are many possibilities, many complexities which one could explore, Quadrant seems to me to be a sort of radical simplifier which always finds somebody on the other side, whether they be politically correct (to use the phrase), to be contrarian with. And then people find themselves (or at least I find myself) forced between a pack and the anti-pack and not feeling particularly attracted to either. I think this spirit of dichotomies (I think often false dichotomies) has become dominant and I regret it.

Michael Duffy: We’ll have to leave it there but clearly things got a lot more complicated after 1989. Thanks very much to all of you for coming on the program.

Amen, Martin. But then I admired your 1997 Boyer Lectures too….

Australia: A D Hope

I was reminded of this recently while considering recent debates about Australia’s population.  I have posted it before — around ten years ago. Note also Friday Australian poem #3: A D Hope, “The Death of a Bird”.

I first saw him at Sydney University in 1964, already at that time a man with an enormous reputation as a poet, critic — he called Patrick White’s prose “verbal sludge” — and enemy, in most respects, of modernism, while really being thoroughly modern in content if not always in style. …

Hope seemed very old to me in 1964! To the young Australian poets of the “generation of ’68” he seemed not only old but positively archaic. I met him at a dinner at Sydney University in 1978; Professor Rob Eagleson was kind enough to sit me next to him. He was quite charming, for I have to admit I had been feeling somewhat over-awed. We talked about trains! I did however ask him what it was like being “studied” for the HSC. He told me that one day he had gone to his office at the ANU where he was a professor. Several teenagers were waiting for him. “You A D Hope? We’ve got to ‘do’ you. Your poems are too hard.” “Not at all,” he replied. “They are perfectly plain to me. Let me tell you all about them.” So he invited them in.

So here is A D Hope, Australia:

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