Anti-Technocrat Protests and Faux Anti-Fascist Outrage

There were protests in Melbourne this week, principally motivated by opposition to the technocratic pandemic bill proposed by the Andrews government, a proposed law with significant overreach, no sunset clause, no effective oversight by the Parliament (indeed, it represents an abdication of the Parliament’s duties), and limited (if any) right of review to the courts. …

Villainy in the novels of Alexander McCall Smith

I have been avidly reading the novels of Alexander McCall Smith for about twenty years, since I first discovered The Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency and avidly devoured the first four novels (all that was in the series at that time). McCall Smith is quite prolific, and has since then started two other major series, …

Cleveland Browns Merchandise

I can be quite the contrarian sometimes, particularly in relation to sports. I have written a few times over the past couple of years about my decision to become a Cleveland Browns fan, specifically based on their lack of success, which reminds me of my beloved Footscray (aka Western Bulldogs), who, prior to the current …

Beer Gardens of Melbourne

There was no bar on campus when I was an undergrad at Monash, which was probably a good thing, on sober reflection. Aside from not having the disposable income or the ability to hold copious quantities of beer or wine that I do now, I would occasionally wander north to the Nottinghill Hotel, affectionately known …

How Australia Should Deal With the Qatar Airport Incident

I was reminded this morning of the October 2020 incident at Qatar Airport where a number of Australian women were taken off a Qatar Airways plane and involuntarily subjected to invasive gynaecological searches when a reborn baby was found in the toilets at the airport terminal. The sorry story, if you need reminding, is here: …

The Problem With Crony Capitalism

Back in the 1980s, there were some committed communists in the UK who loyally voted for Maggie Thatcher’s Conservatives because they believed that her policies would cause the proletariat to achieve class consciousness and start a workers’ revolution. Perhaps they were ideologically pure in their faith in Marx (Commo, not Groucho), or perhaps they had …

The Perils Of Democracy In A Two Party System

Yesterday, I received my fortnightly edition of Newsweekly, and I found an ad in it by the DLP which caused me to pay even more attention than to the article written by a friend who regularly writes for them. Here is a link to the concerns raised by the DLP which caused them to draw …

Was Tim Smith Hexed or Drink Driving?

At some freshly reopened bar on Friday night, whilst sipping a glass of red, a colleague of mine said that he had gone to high school with someone who is now a member of the Victorian Parliament, the second generation of her family to proudly represent the Labor Party. He said that at school, she …

This year, people probably do need Halloween

This year, the second of the plague, I think the end (for now) of our lockdown has left people needing to cheer themselves up a bit. Which is why Halloween seems to have been celebrated a little more fully, even though it is a uniquely American tradition whose import to Australia still seems rather bizarre …

Being Grateful for First World Problems in a Time of Plague

I never cease to be grateful for living in Australia, rather than anywhere else, even in a time of plague. Americans might love their right to bear arms and all the rest of that, but just like in old school Westerns, the police do shoot back, and with very heavy firepower. Also, their police, for …