Goodbye Twitter, goodbye goodbye….

Been thinking about it. Set up a nest here:

But I hung on as there were still plenty of good tweets coming through. My use of Twitter however has always been minor. But then came the last straw:

So within minutes —

The deed done I visited and found confirmation abounding in what I saw!

And this appeared on my Mastodon feed.

And I find that if I really want I can go to Twitter to see what the good people I usually followed are up to, assuming of course they have not exited too!

One last exhibit: she had 6,984 followers on Twitter:

Reflections post-election, starting with Scomo’s tears

And I must start by thanking whatever gods that be for the FACT Australia has been witnessing a swift, smooth and PEACEFUL transfer of power. Not even the USA can boast that! Especially the USA since the Orange Sickness struck it!

I thank also our predecessors who have made for us from British roots and our own tradition an electoral system that deserves to be the envy of the world for its integrity and practicability.

I am going to do a different take on this.

I have annoyed some by not in the past going out of my way to demonise ScoMo. For example I have never spelled that with a U. Nor have I got overexcited about his religion.

Now it so happens that I have been in this church in Sutherland, or rather in the Assemblies of God church that preceded it. Ir was not called Horizon then and was much smaller and poorer, but the idea was the same. It was 1964 or 1965 I think, and I was still an Elder at Sutherland Presbyterian Church. Yes, another life. Fellow Elder and friend Robert Kennelly had been invited to preach there. He was aiming to become a Presbyterian minister, which eventually he did — but in the Presbyterian Reformed Church — which began in Sutherland just as I left the church.

From our point of view at the time the Pentecostals were more than a bit weird and theologically suss. But Bob accepted and I went along as moral support and to give him feedback on his sermon. Bob remains in my memory, along with Gwenda his wife, an esteeemed friend, as do Greg and Helen Fox who became key members of the PRC. Helen in fact later taught Latin at Sydney Girls High where I renewed acquaintance in the late 90s and early 2000s. A lovely and funny lady.

I was amused to discover where ScoMo’s church is. And it isn’t Hillsong by the way, though ScoMo’s connection with the Houstons was unwise.

Looking back at what I saw in the 60s and what I see in this story one thing does strike me. This church may be many things, some not so good, some no doubt fulfilling to its community. But I would call this a painfully naive kind of Christianity, and I suspect that is an issue with ScoMo. I also suspect, though he may not even be aware of it or would deny it vehemently, that aside from a certain emotional piety there is no great connection between the way he has acted as salesman and politician and anything profound in the religion. Heretical of me, but let me refer to another notably religious Prime Minister — Kevin Rudd. Again flawed (aren’t we all?) but his religion is far more sophisticated and intellectually and philosophically deeper than ScoMo’s.

OK, but to this story. Morrison’s behaviour here is well within what is normal in such a church as this, his emotions genuine — it must have been traumatic to come unstuck as much as he has in the 24 hours before this talk — and so I am not going to judge or criticise him. But it is also naive, Plucking Bible texts completely out of context because the wording seems to suit is common practice in many low church circles, not just in Pentecostalism. In my opinion it is a most undesirable way to use the Bible. As Cam Williamson, a wise Presbyterian minister at Sutherland in the 50s and early 60s used to say, a text without a context is a pretext.

But the truth is he looks and sounds like a broken man here. I am sure he will recover very quickly though.

And while ScoMo is many things, one rarely noted — and of course I may be completely wrong — is that he is, for 2022, incredibly naive and out of touch! Take his master work in his advertising days. Crass as!

Not that he was necessarily directly involved — though I suspect he would at least have approved them– the childish run of attack ads that characterised the Liberal Party campaign will go down in history as among the worst ever.

Amazingly irritating!

Idiotic and offensive

After the event the ABC’s great show Media Watch analysed the campaign’s media performances. The last minute or two introduce two of the most painfully idiotic takes you will ever see from — of course — the sheltered workshop called Sky After Dark.

Those final thoughts are the subject of some excellent analysis in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald.

The narrative according to a chorus of hardline Coalition MPs and columnists goes like this: the Morrison government positioned itself as “Labor-lite” – experimenting “with the poison of leftism”, according to South Australian Liberal Alex Antic – because it caved in on net-zero emissions, racked up budget deficits, abandoned “freedom” during the pandemic and shirked on fighting culture wars.

This shameless Marxist posture, say the critics, not only failed to placate voters in the Liberals’ traditional seats, those folks having long metamorphosed into Maoists and not for the turning, but alienated the party from “the Quiet Australians” and blue-collar battlers the party ought to regard as its real base.

In this construction, the battlers are less concerned about climate change than they are focused on cost-of-living pressures and whether their kids are being indoctrinated into radical doctrines at school. They seem curiously unconcerned about a minimum wage rise, however.

What really happened has been captured in some great cartoons, not least Cathy Wilcox:

AUSTRALIA HAS MOVED ON!

Amazing Aussie teens have started a news channel — and score interviews with the leaders of the land!

Just look at this:

Yes the Prime Minister of Australia

Yes, the Leader of the Opposition and highly likely the next Prime Minister of Australia

And a typical news broadcast:

So? Well, the anchor is FOURTEEN YEARS OLD! And the political correspondent is THIRTEEN! See their web site.

Leonardo Puglisi is the founder, chief anchor & managing director of 6 News – anchoring our flagship bulletin every Sunday evening, along with other programs & breaking news coverage.

Leo formed 6 News as ‘HMV Local News’ on March 20, 2019, covering news from across Hawthorn & surrounding areas in Melbourne.

He has anchored the Sunday Evening bulletin since the very beginning, while also presenting other programs, live coverage, breaking news updates & reporting on-the-ground.

Leo lives in Melbourne & is currently in Year 9.

You might also look at Leonardo’s Twitter. And if you want to be really well-informed about how the Australian electoral system works — then let a teen find out from the horse’s mouth at the Australian Electoral Commission.

Leo — from his Instagram

6 News is not a one-man-band either! A whole team — average age 16 — has grown up around the site.

6 News was founded by Leonardo Puglisi in 2019 as HMV Local News, covering local news from across the Hawthorn District in Melbourne, with weekly news bulletins on our YouTube Channel.​

​But at the beginning of 2020, we rebranded as 6 News & moved to focusing on national & international stories, launching accounts on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, and uploading our original content on YouTube everyday.

​Young journalists soon joined our team from all over Australia & even in the US, making our team larger than some regional TV services & helping us bring you 24/7 coverage (read more here)

​Our mission isn’t to “take down” the already existing mainstream media or anything like that – it’s to bring you a genuine alternative, made possible by the younger generation.

​No matter your politics – and no matter your location – you will always find unbiased news from our reporters and uncensored views from our guests – right here, on 6 News.

And the result is amazingly good!

Yes, I also posted about Leo and 6 News in April: Who are these young people, eh? Who do they think they are? Do revisit that post.

Not everyone cheers though… As he says in that video. Just lately on Twitter — LANGUAGE ALERT!!!!

Being much more internet savvy than I am he of course also uses Nitter, whose existence also escaped me until just before writing this post!

You never know what these youngsters are up to on their phones, tablets or laptops, eh! And the fact check side of 6 News fascinates me. Here is a brilliant example:

Now for footy tipping

Sad, very sad….

An oldie moans — sick of people confusing Australian politics with American!

It began with this otherwise perfectly acceptable news item on Channel 10 yesterday.

I moaned about it on Facebook:

Not just to be picky and not just about this report. X Million Australians will NOT have voted for the next Prime Minister. We do NOT vote for a Prime Minister. This is not America. We do NOT have a Presidential Election! Grrrr….

X Million Australians WILL have voted however for their next local member of the House of Representatives. The outcome of the balance between parties in the House will determine whose party leader is the next Prime Minister.

So people who live in electorates where they currently have a government member representing them can change the government by voting out their current member. Many of us hope a lot of them do just that! And those of us (like me) in Opposition electorates need to make sure they stay that way!

Please, everyone, know what country you live in and how our system works!

Australia’s political system is based on the Westminster system used in Great Britain. See Australian Politics. There you will find this summary.

Key Features of the Westminster System

The essential features of the system are:

  • The Government is chosen by the democratically elected lower house. The government requires the continuing support of a majority of members of that chamber to stay in office.
  • The head of government is the Prime Minister, who leads a Cabinet which is responsible to the lower house.
  • A loyal Opposition exists, led by the leader of the party or parties with the second largest number of seats in the lower house.
  • constitutional monarch, if one exists, who is “above politics” and acts on the advice of the prime minister.
  • There is a career public service which impartially serves the government of the day.
  • The armed services are outside of politics and act on the instructions of the government.
  • The rule of law prevails, with an independent judiciary, subject to the Constitution.

We were taught the essence of that by around Grade 5 in Primary School. The continuous emphasis on leaders and the overwhelming impact of US politics have made many of us forget. That the whole focus of the media is on leaders does not help.

Leaders like Scott Morrison do not help when they adopt as a campaign line comparing his “experience” with Anthony Albanese’s “inexperience” — the whole “loose unit” attack on Albanese being but the latest instance. A very odd phrase too, I have to say.

When we contemplate the alternatives on offer, the idea that Anthony Albanese’s grasp or not of economics is actually a deciding factor is really a nonsense. The real question is whether a government he leads would have such a grasp? And I think when you consider his team the answer must be yes.

Have a look at the current Shadow Cabinet.

Shadow Treasurer: Dr Jim Chalmers MP

Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP

Take Andrew Leigh for example: PhD (Harvard University). BA(Hons) (University of Sydney). LLB(Hons) (University of Sydney). Professor of Economics at the Australian National University from 2004 to 2010. Principal Adviser at the Australian Treasury from 2008 to 2009.

The team then just might be better qualified than the current government, where the current Treasurer is at real risk of not being re-elected, and so many team members are under various clouds and many hidden from the public gaze lately. You know who I mean.

Well that is enough political moaning — but then, everyone is doing it at the moment. I will leave you with a great cartoon that captures perfectly some of the recent weirdness. It is by the wonderful David Pope.

Who are these young people, eh? Who do they think they are?

As was sung long ago by a contemporary of mine… And now being ripped off by some bloody youngsters… Well, I guess they might have talent…

I am referring to this young feller in particular though, whose existence had completely escaped me — until a few days ago. Mind you, he isn’t even 15 yet, and in this shot he is maybe 13… And already at it. This is taken from New Zealand News!

Back even 50 years ago I was one of many English teachers who — in my case while still sharing Shakespeare, Keats or Dickens with my students, and the wonders of the language in grammar, syntax, usage and etymology — hated splitting sentences with long participial phrases like that last one! Sorry, where was I? Oh yes. ….incorporated media study as part of the core of English studies, an extension of the concept of literacy, along with critical literacy, essential in any education today.

Some may recall a certain Barry Dwyer in that regard.

It was common practice in my English classes from the 1970s on, refined of course over time, to examine the various genres of media and where possible to practise them. We wrote radio, TV and film scripts, having looked at real examples. We wrote real estate copy, tourist brochures, sports reports. We produced newspapers. One class wrote a soap opera! We did content analysis of newspapers, of TV news. We looked at how advertising worked. We considered such things as layout, use of colour. We sussed out target audiences by examining the content of newspapers, magazines and TV current affairs. We considered media ownership. In one class we had the boss of the local TV station come and talk to us…

And we read “Macbeth” and Chaucer even…

We learned to ask of anything we saw or read: WHO is saying WHAT, to WHOM, WHEN, WHERE, WHY and HOW?

If any of you were in any of my classes you will remember some of that….

And here comes this 13-14 year old doing it better… As I noted on Facebook:

This amazing kid! 13 when this was made. I am in awe. The tips he gives on media literacy are absolutely spot on!

If he were in my Year 8 or 9 class and I was still teaching, I think I would just retire to the back row and hand him the chalk! A bit like I sometimes did when I had Dr Dave (David Smith) when he was in Year 10 in my English class!

Except this kid may be even more remarkable!

Not everyone cheers though… As he says in that video. Just lately on Twitter — LANGUAGE ALERT!!!!

Being much more internet savvy than I am he of course also uses Nitter, whose existence also escaped me until just before writing this post!

You never know what these youngsters are up to on their phones, tablets or laptops, eh! And the fact check side of 6 News fascinates me. Here is a brilliant example:

Skewered!

On the 6 News web site you will find many more fact checks.

So who is he? What is 6 News? Who works with him? See Teen reporters Leonardo Puglisi and Roman Mackinnon interview Prime Minister Scott Morrison for 6 News for an account of the interview that brought him to my attention in the last few days.

6 News is an online news outlet created by Leonardo three years ago when he was still in primary school.

“I’ve been presenting every single Sunday for over three years,” Leonardo said.

“I loved editing videos for school projects, and I loved public speaking – so what better place to do all that than in journalism.”

But his passion for presenting the news started at an even earlier age, while watching Ian Henderson on ABC News.

“There’s home video of me watching the ABC in a highchair, and I still remember watching his final bulletin a few years ago,” he said.

The initial audience of 6 News were the team’s grandparents and schoolmates, but over time it grew.

“The amount of people who really want to see independent and unbiased journalism from some people in high school and university astounds me,” he said.

“I’m proud to say we never resorted to clickbait or blatant lies, and we never will.”

Here he is on ABC’s The Drum:

And on Today:

On Facebook I said of the ScoMo interview:

Adult journos could learn from these teens! Being polite and not jumping in, while also being very persistent, can lead to the interviewee revealing perhaps more about himself than he realises!

I do note that the elementary point about Hillsong is correctly made here.

And Leo writes on Crikey this weekend:

Regardless of what he said, the fact that the leader of the country spent 20 minutes speaking to journalists aged 13 (Roman) and 14 (me) is, for me at least, extraordinary. I honestly feared it wouldn’t happen at first, after we were told the PM had to push back the interview by about 30 minutes. I had even taken the day off from school, so the interview not happening would have been devastating. Of course, it did. And the rest, as they say, is history.

People have said the PM “bullied” me. People accused him of mocking me, and even drinking alcohol during the interview (it was water). I don’t believe he bullied or patronised me. He and his team treated us with respect, were polite, and did not make us out to be “silly kid journalists”. So on that point, credit where credit’s due.

Now, let’s see if the opposition leader will give us a go.

Over to you, Albo! Be in it!

And here is one of the really early ones: 17 January 2020. He would have been 12!