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Day to Day Politics: Cunning bastards.

Saturday 25 March 2017

1 Why would the leader of a political party that is well down in the polls, with his own inadequate leadership under question and its mainstream policies seemingly hibernating for the upcoming winter, allow itself to get bogged down in arguments it cannot win. 18c and marriage equality are the two in question. Overwhelmingly the public supports the introduction of Gay Marriage and overwhelmingly they cannot see a reason to change 18c except for procedural matters. “No brainers” we call them.

It seems they have appointed Dutton (I have no understanding of why they wouldn’t use ‘The Fixer), the man who thought that $50 million was a good deal for settling two asylum seekers in Sri Lanka, to find another option for getting the legislation over the line.

An observation.

”Just because we are governed by clowns it doesn’t mean we have to laugh.”

Just why they think Dutton, once described as the worst Health Minister ever, and heartless Immigration Minister, might be capable of a solution outside of their existing policy of having a plebiscite to find out something we already know, is beyond me. And at a cost of around $160 million. Poll after poll shows two-thirds of the population supports marriage equality.

I have a solution for them, seriously, and I won’t charge a cent. Simply do what you were elected to do. Present the bill, vote on it, bury your pride, cop some flak for a few days and it’s all over. Better than giving the opposition a baseball bat to belt you with for the next two years.

Of course this would require the PM chancing his arm that one of the extreme right-wing religious screwballs in the party won’t take revenge later.

To say that some in the Coalition have an ideological obsession with 18c would be an understatement. Barnaby Joyce in a lengthy interview with Fairfax said there were only four in the party room who wanted changes made.

“This is an issue, it is an issue but I’ll be frank, it lives in the extremities of the bell curve. Where do you meet those people [who care about 18C]? At party meetings, they are absolutely blessed people and they are terribly politically involved and they have an intense interest in some of the minutiae of debate. They come into your office to rant and rave about it, all four of them.”

One’s first thought would be that they were completely outnumbered so why did it get approval. There must have been threats from one or all of the four to cross the floor.

The bill would remove “insult”, “offend” and “humiliate” from the prohibition on discriminatory speech and add ”harass”. Now even blind Freddy could see that it would weaken the law.

So these bigots may have cost the Coalition six seats at the next election just to satisfy its ideological obsession with an issue that has little relevance to the lives of most Australians. Of course the bill won’t pass the Senate but the damage has already been done.

If you were to read between the lines of the speech given by Arthur Sinodinos at the National Press Club he was saying in no uncertain terms that sticking to long-held ideological beliefs that are certain to change anyway might satisfy ones purity of conservative values but it might also cost you government. All to no avail.

There is in the community now that with 18c, the Republic, Marriage Equality and the Environment/Energy a belief that Turnbull has meekly surrendered to the right of his party. His conversion is complete. Through his effortless hypocrisy he is now owned lock stock and barrel by the zealots within the party.

Whilst I once held some hope that he might have the guts to break free from their vice-like grip I now concede that he is now entrenched in the far right. They have humiliated him and is now one of them.

Whilst the government has had a victory of sorts with the Childcare legislation is still has no narrative for what it has done, what it is doing and what it wants to do other than to keep Labor out of power.

It remains a divided rabble with a leader ready to backflip on major issues. A softening up of tax policy has begun and you can bet it will be axed in favour of buying some votes. They are being supported by The Australian and other Murdoch outlets. Take this grandiose nonsense for example from Paul Kelly.

”The Coalition parties have nailed their principles to the wall. They fight for them or they die.”

Principles? Please spare me.

Labor has them by the proverbials over the $50 billion tax cuts and the Fair work decision over Penalty Rates. We might even end up with personal tax cuts.

An observation.

”Politicians who change their minds aren’t necessarily seeing the light. They might just be feeling the heat.”

There are those on the extreme right doing their very best to blame immigration for all manner of things. The cost of housing and supply. Even traffic jams. Like minded and susceptible folk uninterested in the facts believe this rubbish.

Blaming and demonising minorities has been part and parcel of right-wing tactics for many years now and those believing they are not getting a fair go are the most susceptible.

In their desperation the Coalition put the blowtorch to Bill Shorten digging up all manner of dirt we have heard before. .

In the final Newspoll before last July’s election he recorded a net negative satisfaction rating of minus 15, but it did not stop him giving Malcolm Turnbull the fright of his life at the polls.

He has always been unpopular with the electorate and since the election nothing much has changed. And he did outperform Turnbull during the campaign. And remember during it the Prime Minister used the findings of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption to characterise shorten in the worst possible light. It didn’t work.

Jim Middleton put it this way in Thursday’s edition of The Monthly Today:

“The question remains whether voters are more concerned about Shorten’s past or their own future.”

2 Malcolm Turnbull’s Small Business Minister has charged taxpayers nearly $50,000 to stay in his wife’s Canberra apartment but has defended the spending by comparing his travel allowance to penalty rates.

Michael McCormack is the Small Business Minister in the Turnbull Government and is one of about 50 federal politicians who use their $273-a-night Canberra travel allowance to pay off a second home.

He defended the spending by comparing his travel allowance to penalty rates:

“I get a travel allowance, others get penalty rates – it’s part of the package.” As a minister he receives $313,500 PA.

What happened with that enquiry?

3 Which President said this?:

“I guess, I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not.”

Like father like son. Which President’s son tweeted this?:

”You have to be kidding me?!: Terror attacks are part of living in big city, says London Mayor Sadiq Khan.”

However, he neglected to mention that Mr Khan was noting that residents need to ”be prepared” for such attacks.

Yes, like father like son.

My thought for the day.

”We all toy with the idea of changing the world but never consider changing ourselves.”


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  1. Peter F

    John, on the question of Marriage equality: If the Coalition knew they would win, the vote would be over.

  2. Jaquix

    And there is Barrie Cassidy in his new spot on ABC breakfast adding to The Australian’s cheer squad, claiming Turnbull had a good week! Citing the Snowy announcement and childcare which he thought people would see as Malcolm “doing sonething”. Being masters of the boondoggle, theyve had the childcare one around for 6 months wasting everyones time, because of their callous tying it with cuts to other families. Only got thru because of significant concessions. The Snowy showpiece of spin was only a feasibility study announcenent. Barrie seemed to have forgotten the proposed emasculating of 18c, dubbed by Malcolm as “strengthening”. Imagine how many votes that is going to cost them. Into the Valley of Death rode the 500 (or was it 600?).

  3. Jaquix

    Barrie Cassidy also forgot to mention the inexplicable phenomenon of Dutton, long time vociferous opponent of marriage equality, popping up (a few days after castigating Alan Joyce of Qantas for daring to support it) with the brilliant idea of a postal plebescite, not compulsory, and of course not binding, Could it be that he got a fright to see the poll showing a swing against him of 9%, which would wipe him right out of his seat?

  4. Len Botterill

    At the end of the day, all we want are governments of any persuasion, to administer in the ongoing interests of the people. To govern without fear or favour, and to administer our assets by worlds best practice, delivering comparable returns that other countries expect for similar endeavours, and to display the care and compassion that is in our hearts, a trait that has attracted the admiration of the world for many decades.
    We expect this to be done with honesty and high fidelity, and that our elected politicians recognise that they have been accorded the honour and privilege of representing us, and that their total probity and dignity is required to discharge their obligations in good faith.

    Given that our politicians appear to be falling from these ideals on a semi-regular basis, l believe the current democratic system is manifestly broken and incapable of being adequately repaired, despite the majority of politicians being of good standing and intent.

    Accordingly, l am of the belief that greater oversight of politicians by ourselves is urgently required, and l would advocate for a change to a Direct Democracy system, rather than our current broken Representative Democracy system.

    A Direct Democracy system will allow ourselves, the electors, to vote individually and separately on major policies of a successful Party’s platform prior to implementation, so that, in effect, we become our own house of review.
    Further information on the Direct Democracy proposal can be found on the fb page of the Online Direct Democracy Party.

  5. corvus boreus

    The chief cheerleaders of the whining clique droning endless complaints about the legal restrictions placed upon prejudicial vilification are not the uber-conservative politicians (although they do do whinge something awful on the subject).
    Rather, the main prima donnas throwing noisy tantrums demanding the dismantling of defenses against discrimination are the professional sledgers who turn tricks as press-titutes in Rupert Murdoch’s corrupt corporation, where their strident screeches for greater rights to express hateful bigotry are a constant and cacophonous chorus.
    Newscorp is driving the push to quash 18c, and the right wing pollies are mostly just dancing to the jerk of their strings.

  6. Ella Miller

    Mr. Lord, as always a piece that reflects our lived reality.
    It never ceases to amaze me , how the LNP try to reinvent our lived reality.
    The sad thing is that some of the voting public are swallowers of slogans and the BS put out by the MSM, they don’t realise that their lack of interest and hence ignorance gives the LNP strength in their paralysing stupidity.

    A statement made by our PM is at a later date ignored, denied , to convince us of the current held position..trying to change our collective understanding and memory. Can this be called reality control?

    They lie to us regularly. Does this mean that when a lie passes into history, it becomes a truth for the LNP?

    Having just read Animal farm by G. Orwell with my grandson, and now reading 1984…..I fear our democracy is in danger .
    I wonder if there is a way to get information out as to how Senators vote on each piece of legislation.
    Would this constant reminder help in remembering who we don’t want to vote for?

  7. Graeme Henchel

    In reality Turnbull had one window opportunity to reform the coalition and this was in the immediate aftermath of the demise of the Thug. He blew it, as we now know the right have a tight grip on his scrotum and he had compromised himself even before he took the leadership. Despite the periodic attempts by members of the gallery to give Shallow Mal a boost the trajectory as one way since January 2016. The double dissolution was supposed to be a masterstroke. Yeah, nah. The attack on Shorten heralded the return of Mal’s mojo. Yeah, nah. The energy security/anti renewables scare campaign is supposed put labor on the back foot. Yeah, nah.
    Shallow Mal has been in survival mode since before he even took the leadership. Gillard was hamstrung throughout her reign by the means of her ascendency, Shallow Mal is similarly afflicted. It will end in tears. But for some of us these will be tears of joy.

  8. Harquebus

    I support the changes to 18c and I am not bigot. I prefer to combat hatred and bigotry instead of hiding behind legislation and pretending that they don’t exist.

    I do not support gay marriage and I am not a homophobe. Rather that giving to the gay community, it takes away from the hetero couples who married with the understanding that it is a special relationship between a man and a woman only. Let the gays implement their own institution.

    Both of these issues are just unimportant distractions. I don’t know why J.L. keeps harping on about them. We have far more serious problems to deal with.


  9. jagman48

    Well then Harquebus you had better tell the LNP then that we have far more serious problems to deal with. After all this is what J.L was talking about.

  10. Harquebus

    With the LNP, these distractions are deliberate. I don’t think that this the case with J.L.

  11. Ella Miller

    Harquebus, ” I don’t know why J.L. keeps harping on about them .We have far more serious problems to deal with”

    I agree with the bit that “we have far more serious problems to deal with”

    BUT what you seemed to have overlooked is the fact that the LNP government DON’T seem to think that we have issues that are more important to deal with or to spend money on.

    Hence it is up to us to point out their “paralysing stupidity”

    Jaquix@ 6.47 am

    I too have noticed a change in OUR ABC..lately.
    iI used to look forward to the DRUM, The INSIDERS , and there appears to be a shift.
    I have no problems with differing opinions as long as there is a balance …the shift has sadly been to push more and more the LNP conservative views…
    It will be interesting to watch if this virus affects Q & A as well.
    It is OUR ABC , we pay for it ,and we need to protest to keep their political independence ..if there ever was such a thing.

  12. Kaye Lee

    And now we have that ignorant moron Pauline Hanson talking her idiiotic crap:

    “Let me put it in this analogy – we have a disease, we vaccinate ourselves against it,” she said on Friday.

    “Islam is a disease; we need to vaccinate ourselves against that.”

    Is there a vaccination to save us from James Ashby’s One Notion?

    The idea that this nasty, stupid woman has any power at all is frightening.

    Do Pauline’s repeated attacks on Muslims constitute harrassment because they are certainly offensive and insulting?

  13. lawrencewinder

    Does any one still read the OZ? Methinks their hysterical stridency this far out from an election only serves to mark just how desperate they are to obfuscate the Ruling Rabble’s total lack of publishable and discussion-worthy policy.

  14. Jack Straw

    Harquebus We know your thoughts on these issues.You are a man who is incapable of change in your behaviour and opinions and outlook.You are a broken record.You’re no different to Tony Abbott or John Howard with regards not reviewing your views and behaviour. Again you attack the man. It’s his opinion on the subjects he chooses.You have been kindly warned, scolded about this even if you do this meekly at times.You act like a rebellious naughty 10 year child.I am not sure why you feel you have such very little power in this world.Unless you have you have a wooden leg and look like the Elephant Man.I am not sure what the problems are? Mediation could be good. Go for walks and meet people. Cheers!

  15. Michael Taylor

    Both of these issues are just unimportant distractions. I don’t know why J.L. keeps harping on about them.

    Because they are important to John, and because they are important to our readers.

    Other things are important to John, our other authors, and our readers, and we write about them too. Climate change, a world class NBN, closing the offshore detention centres, the incompetence of the Turnbull Government and Trump’s America to name a handful. And we will keep writing about them.

    Harquebus, you don’t seem to like that. Ninety-nine per cent of our readers do. So guess who we intend to cater for?

  16. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, I almost choked when I heard Hanson say that. After telling us she is against vaccinations, she steps up and tells us we need to vaccinate ourselves.

    Oh, the delicious irony.

  17. Harquebus

    I agree with P.H. that we should stop Muslims from migrating to Australia. I am severely prejudiced against all religions and their practitioners.

    I have read the comments criticizing me and they have been noted.

    Thanks and cheers.

  18. Zathras

    I wonder what Hanson (and the media) would have said if the Westminster attacker wasn’t a radicalised individual but still christian Adrian Elms who had a grudge against the UK Government?

    He probably wouldn’t have been a terrorist – just a mentally ill individual.

    It’s moments like these that reactionary zealots like Hanson show their true colours.

    I wonder if vaccinating Australia against Islam would make us all autistic?

    Maybe we should be stopping the immigration of all christian priests too, for the safety of our children.

  19. Ella Miller

    Bob Catter said. on one of the tv channels….

    something like ..if you bring Muslims in to Australia they will not change they will be the same for generations to come.

    My question to BOB is …the English sent thieves and murderers to Australia in the beginning…does this then follow that Australians did not change..they stayed thieves and murderers for generations to come????

    There is no cure for the stupidity of the likes of Pauline Hanson and now it appears BOB Catter

  20. Michael Taylor

    I agree with P.H. that we should stop Muslims from migrating to Australia. I am severely prejudiced against all religions and their practitioners.

    So what you’re saying is that you’d stop Christians too?

  21. Ella Miller

    Sorry about spelling Katter and it was on SKY News.

  22. Roswell

    “I have read the comments criticising me and they have been noted”.

    And I have noted your criticism of me last night.

  23. Jack Straw

    John first point1 Why would the leader of a political party that is well down in the polls, with his own inadequate leadership under question and its mainstream policies seemingly hibernating for the upcoming winter, allow itself to get bogged down in arguments it cannot win. 18c and marriage equality are the two in question.

    Answer: Turnbull has become Abbott like.For him every day he is the leader he is winning.He’s playing politics 101.He playing Claytons politics with his own party.We are seeing the true Malcolm the cunning rat playing for himself. He’s doesn’t care if these proposals get up he’s playing for time.Malcolm is just a well educated used car salesman who’d sell his dog for a longer stay in power.

    ”We all toy with the idea of changing the world but never consider changing ourselves.”

    Harquebus take note. And me for that matter !

  24. John Lord

    H. Perhaps you missed the point that I was also voicing a view that the two things you mention reflect badly on his leadership. By association that makes them worthy of discussion. Suggest you look into the history of marriage a bit deeper.

  25. Harquebus

    Michael Taylor

    Perhaps I went a bit too far. Please accept my apologies, again.

    John Lord
    Have already done that.
    I appreciate you tolerating me.
    Thank you.


  26. Kyran

    “What happened with that enquiry?”
    Funny you should ask, Mr Lord. There was an article on the ABC website.

    “Paying politicians almost $280 a night to stay at a property owned by a relative passes the pub test, says Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.”

    “A review into the parliamentary entitlements system, instigated by former prime minister Tony Abbott, also backed the current system.
    It stated the current arrangements for overnight stay in Canberra were reasonable.
    “It also considers that how parliamentarians use the flat rate allowance to support their accommodation in Canberra is a matter for them,” it read.”

    “Mr Turnbull also stated there was no reason why former health minister Sussan Ley could not return to the frontbench.”

    Your reference to Arfur Seenodonors and his re-emergence as the voice of reason reminded me of how often he has been cited in various forums in recent times. Whilst these gits are best described as oafish, ignorant, brutish dullards, one should never forget that, at the end of each and every day, they are no more than ‘cunning bastards’.
    There have been rumours of a cabinet reshuffle after the budget. Notwithstanding that the ‘cabinet’ has been riddled with termites for more than three years now, what is the betting rate on Arfur, Suss and a heap of other failures being reinstated, now that they have served their penance for not breaking the rules? They, somehow, must guarantee Brandy safe passage out of the country.
    Remember Brandy? The ‘Bell’ enquiry released an interim report this week.

    “The Senate committee released its interim report on Wednesday night, blasting Senator Brandis’ lack of co-operation.”

    “It noted the failure of the attorney-general and officers of his department to provide responses to questions that would enable clear facts to be established regarding the Commonwealth’s actions.
    It also called on the Senate to reaffirm its commitment to the principles of ministerial responsibility and accountability.”

    Your thought for the day has been misinterpreted by our current government.
    They toy with us, and never dream of changing their world, let alone themselves. OK, let’s get back to 18C and miscellaneous distractions.
    Thank you Mr Lord and commenters. Take care

  27. Michael Taylor

    Harquebus, (you know I’m getting pissed off when I call you Harquebus instead of H’), I assume your “yes” was in response to my question as to whether you wanted Christians stopped from migrating to Australia too.

    If so, I take personal offence to this. My mother’s family were Lebanese Christians who came here via Syria as refugees.

  28. silkworm

    Just been watching ABC24 this morning, and the commentary from their political reporter was that Trumble has finally shown some spine in his principled stand on changes to 18c. Pfft.

  29. wam

    Labor has them by the proverbials over the $50 billion tax cuts and the Fair work decision over Penalty Rates. We might even end up with personal tax cuts. Wow lord, such a quip from the past, makes me think. Is billy gently massaging because I haven’t seen the hearts and minds following nor heard any squealing.
    Being a long term cruel cynic, meant I had no sympathy for the filial nick sherry but he was a sub-junior rorter when compared to the pollies of this century.
    When will it be time to look into the ‘it’s in the wife’s name’ rort?
    Why not limit the investment property negative gearing to one per person? Wouldn’t that send the pollies scurrying to find enough relatives to use???

    There is no need to stop muslims, just get muslim, christian and jewish women to come together and announce that they believe their god will not accept men who kill women and children into heaven.

    ‘In their desperation the Coalition put the blowtorch to Bill Shorten digging up all manner of dirt we have heard before’.

    ch9 had great delight in spreading nationally, the herald sun story, by announcing shorten had spent $20000 on ‘luxury’ clothing.

    ps IRONY? please explain

  30. Michael Taylor

    Just been watching ABC24 this morning, and the commentary from their political reporter was that Trumble has finally shown some spine in his principled stand on changes to 18c.


    Did they mention that Turnbull’s been blah blahing on that we’re not a racist country?

  31. Jack Straw

    Michael H gets so wound up he can’t separate his arguments as they all turn into a rant.I read that he’s a computer head.Maybe he needs to give his own mind a defrag. He’s against population growth and formalised religion. I am too.If he is so well educated; he doesn’t sell or articulate his message very well.

  32. stephengb2014

    I marvel at the consistent simplistic nature of your comments. Don’t you get tired of the same old rubbish you write.

    I do, please quote some references or provide evo6dence that you are not just talking out of the place that the sun don’t shine.

    Thank you

  33. Matters Not

    That comment came from Terry Barnes – described as a public policy consultant, and his former career in government included senior ministerial advisory roles in federal and Victorian government. Worked for Abbott. He’s a mouth for the Libs. Perhaps best known for advocating the GP co-payment.

    The budget’s $7 co-payment on bulk-billed GP and related pathology and radiology services is the health care equivalent of John Howard and Peter Costello’s campaign to introduce the Goods and Services Tax a decade and a half ago.

    Similar to the GST, the co-payment challenges long-established assumptions on the fundamental principles of Australia’s healthcare system and particularly its central institution, Medicare.

    Different to Howard’s great tax adventure, however, Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Government faces the trenchant parliamentary opposition of Labor and the Greens, powerful vested interests like the Australian Medical Association and, above all, is challenging the Australian public’s love affair with Medicare itself. While not everyone is bulk-billed, most Australians clearly believe that fairness demands that those who are poor and vulnerable are.

  34. Roswell

    No worries, Harquebus. Accepted.

  35. stephengb2014

    John Lord
    I must admit to looking fwd to your postings. Great stuff!

    I personnaly suspect that Turnbull was always a neoliberal adherent, he pretended to be a Liberal to get the gernsey (Leader of the LIBERALS). Then when Leader he discovered the Liberals were actually Conservatives, so they kicked him out for another conservative called Abbott who turned put to be extreme Right and a boso!

    Then Turnbull said oh! Perhaps I can get a gernsey by being conservative? And he did and got the gernsey again. Now this gernsey is the PM gernsey, so he is safer but as long as he toes the conservative, semi extreme, neoliberal agenda, of course he has always been a neoliberal, but at the time of his first Leadership foray, he did not know that the Liberals of Menzies were now conservatives and somewhat extremist and neoliberals to boot! (Menzies would turn in his grave at this lot of tossers!)

    Menzies was in power when John Manard Keynes was still vogue, Lewis Powell had not written his memo and the word neoliberal had not been invented. Hayak was up and coming and Milton Freidman was unheard.


  36. Keitha Granville

    “this is a special relationship between a man and a woman only”

    What a sanctimonious comment ! Human beings since their evolution have been continually changing, if we didn’t we would be living in the dark. To suggest that ONE institution of our society is absolutelysacrosanct and can NEVER be different is absurd. It is even MORE absurd that a PM made the change in the act to “man and woman” without asking. How dare you suggest that a small portion of the population have more rights than anyone else ? It is entirely a matter between two people, NO-ONE ELSE. Given that at least 75% of the current population are in favour of anyone being able to marry the person they love, it would seem that you and your special friends are in the minority.
    You and the rest of the dinosaurs in the LNP can go live on another island with all your bigotry, racism and intolerance, and leave the rest of us to live in harmony.

  37. Harquebus

    Michael Taylor
    I am sorry if that upsets you however, I stand by comment; atheists only. This is my opinion and no offense was meant.
    My mother was catholic immigrant but, that was then and this is now and she has moved on.

    “Baby, do you understand me now
    Sometimes I feel a little mad
    But don’t you know that no one alive
    Can always be an angel
    When things go wrong I seem to be bad
    But I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
    Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood”


  38. Jack Straw

    H What about Agnostics ?

  39. Jack Straw

    People misjudge Agnostics. As people who sycophantly follow Richard Dawkins sayings that Agnostics “sit on the fence” but this is a misnomer. So even the Atheists become fundamentalists in their views just like ISIS “As “we are right you are wrong” type attitude. Agnostics simply say “we don’t know” but this Universe is quite an amazing place. In fact personally I think we are not supposed to know. And that is the beauty of it all. Just Be! and try to be good. Like Johhny Be Good.

  40. silkworm

    MN: “That comment came from Terry Barnes”

    Thanks MN. We’re talking about the guy with a head like a horse, right?

    I meant to catch his name but failed. It was also a little disingenuous of me to call him a reporter when in fact he was really just some kind of commentator, though his delivery did come across as authoritative.

    PS. Just checked him out on Google and you are right. It is Terry Barnes. I am also right. He does have the head of a horse (and its rear end too).

  41. silkworm

    Dawkins wrote in The God Delusion that he is a 6 on a scale of 1 to 7 of being an atheist. He is still open to changing his mind on the existence of a supernatural being if credible evidence is forthcoming, but so far, none has been.

  42. guest


    You come across as a negative and disgruntled old man. Some of your views are of the Right-wing kind, which might explain your negativity.

    For example, your comments @8.46am:

    You say you prefer to “combat hatred and bigotry instead of hiding behind legislation and pretending that they do not exist”. What do you mean by that? Do you wish for people who have been ‘harassed’ to deal with it themselves in some way other than legislation? Perhaps yell at the perpetrators very loudly? So, is there no need for legislation at all? (Even Turnbull has a newly worded piece of legislation about racism despite his claim that Oz is not a racist nation.) What do you want?

    You also say that SSM “takes away from the hetero couples”. This is an argument employed against SSM, but in fact SSM is not about hetero marriage and does not take away from hetero marriage. I suggest that the idea marriage is between only a man and a woman is a false claim (pace John Howard). If heteros feel their marriage is degraded by SSM then there is something wrong with their own marriage. Marriage is about love – and all this talk of grade A marriage and grade B marriage and marriage being about the procreation of children is a furphy.

    Later @9.33am you claim you are “severely prejudiced against religion” yet you favour a view of marriage which is promulgated by religion. Do you see some contradiction here?

  43. Michael Taylor

    Harquebus, I really am seething.

    According to you my family shouldn’t have been allowed in Australia because they were Catholics.

    Let me tell you a little story about them.

    They took off on foot from Damascus (with a group of extended family members), headed for Port Said in Egypt where my grandfather had relatives and from where they could catch a ship to Australia. Yes, by foot. It was the only mode of transport, and Port Said was 600 miles away.

    Along the way they were attacked by the Turks, but the worst thing they did was to steal everybody’s shoes. So they had to walk across the desert in bare feet. My mother liked people no matter what their nationality was – as long as they were honest and decent – but until the day she died forty years ago she hated the Turks with a vengeance. She could never forgive them for what they did.

    But they eventually arrived in Port Said. Well, those that survived did.

    It was my grandfather’s intention that he come to Australia first, find a job, save his money, then send over the rest of the family.

    Alas, he was not allowed to go to Australia. He was the wrong nationality.

    My mother tells me he was able to obtain a forged Greek passport, and off to Australi he sailed, and ended up near Karoonda in South Australia. It took him 12 long years to save all the money that was needed to pay for the rest of the family.

    After the ordeal they went through together to get to Port Said, only to be separated for 12 years after that, was, how can I say this, hard. But they set off from Syria to Australia and all the ordeals that accompanied it because they wanted to live in Australia.

    But you – if you had the choice – wouldn’t have let them in Australia because they had a religion. Nice. I’d now be living in Syria.

    I’m a very forgiving person but I just cannot accept what you said. It disgusts me more than I could ever say.

    I feel sick. I’m out of here.

  44. Terry2

    Earlier I posted Turnbull’s initial comments on the Fairwork Commissions ruling on Penalty Rates which, overall seem quite reasonable, as follows :

    On March 3 Turnbull sought to defuse the penalty rates issue and was reported as saying :

    “The Prime Minister indicated the Government would push the commission to phase in the penalty rate cuts over two to five years in bid to ensure workers were not worse off.

    Mr Turnbull said an element of modern awards was that any changes would not reduce the take-home pay of workers.

    One option was to have the commission make a take-home pay order that whittles back penalty rates at the same time as annual minimum wage increases are awarded.

    “The employee’s overall pay packet increases and offsets the phased-in reduction in penalty rates,” Mr Turnbull said.”

    Today, The weekend Australian reports :

    ” The Turnbull Government says the Fair Work Commission has no legal power to reduce the impact of Sunday penalty rate cuts through take-home pay orders, and refuses to express support for phasing in the reductions.”

    So what exactly is going on here, one report is in direct conflict with the other : is one false news ?

  45. Terry2


    I believe it was Dawkins who noted that there was more credible – and empirical – evidence of the existence of the tooth fairy than of a supreme, supernatural being.

  46. Harquebus


    Harassment which, might or might not be racially motivated, is a separate issue that, I would as I have done in the past, defend against.

    “it takes away from the hetero couples who married with the understanding that it is a special relationship between a man and a woman only.”
    Let’s keep it in context.

    If my view coincides with religious doctrine then, that is a coincidence and not a contradiction.


  47. Wayne Turner

    I’d say it’s NOT fake news.It’s that NoBalls Turnbull is flip flopping yet again.The more the BIASED and PATHETIC MSM prop him and this mob up,the more pathetic ALL involved look ie: NoBalls and the MSM.

  48. Kaye Lee

    “it takes away from the hetero couples who married with the understanding that it is a special relationship between a man and a woman only.”

    So it boils down to Lyle Shelton’s argument that, when he says he’s married, people won’t know he is straight? Is that what you are saying?

    Similar to those clubs who refuse to let women in because the men joined on the basis of no women allowed?

  49. John Lord

    Michael. You have every right to feel aggrieved by H. Thoughtless comment in my view. H, strange isn’t it that it might very well be gay marriage that saves the institution itself. Such is its decline.

  50. Roswell

    It was appalling whether Michael was aggrieved or not, in my opinion, John. Agree with you that it was a thoughtless comment. Sad bit was that he probably did put some thought into it. Sad (as Trump would say).

  51. guest

    While we might point out the failures of the Coalition government which Turnbull claims to have “leadership and money” in spades, the Right has its own list of “ruin in our nation” (Sheridan, 23/3/17).

    *imminent failure of Turnbull’s amendments to Section 18C – which Section (says Sheridan) has been a threat to “freedom of the press and freedom of speech”, the enemy of of which, he says, is the HRC.

    If speech is “free”, are there no restraints at all on what can be said or written? Critics of 18C have been unable to say what it is they want to say but cannot because of 18C.

    *identity politics – which Sheridan sees as being about community and not about citizenship. We see how community is ignored when the Aboriginal Legal Service was not allowed to offer views re 18C amendments.

    *the young no longer believe in democracy, they are being influenced by Left-wing university academics, even Australia Day is attacked. But Sheridan does not consider why. I myself remember a cartoon depicting bombs falling on Iraq, with the word ‘Democracy’ written on the sides. No criticism of democracy allowed?

    *inability to provide electricity supplies – Even though failures have occurred where renewables dominate and where coal-fired dominate, Sheridan espouses the view that coal is king, apparently. No mention at all of Climate Change; all his talk is abut economics and politics (the usual head-in-the-sand Coalition approach). So he sings the praises of the Adani mine proposal, despite the fact that its existence is strongly to be resisted with the fact that coal is in decline as indicated by both India and China. Investors in Adani will be left with stranded assets and rivers of tears.

    *budget out of control – all the fault of the Senate. Remember, it was Turnbull’s hope to get a compliant Senate with his Double Dissolution. Failed badly. and Sheridan notes that finance ministers met in his wide travels – he is full of experience and knowledge – have told him with regard to tax avoiders, that they have found it impossible to compel ‘certain entities’ to pay taxes. We know who they mean by ‘certain entities’.

    *obeying the law is discretionary, in the case of unions akin to ‘street-fighting fascists’. Of course Sheridan would be enraged if lefties referred to the righties as ‘fascists’. Sheridan ignored how the Refugee Convention has been ignored and Manus has been used by the Coalition even when the NG government declared Manus as a detention centre to be ‘illegal and unconstitutional’. Things have been said about the Coalition’s immigration policy and its implementation by the UNHCR and Amnesty International. Much has also been said about Oz’s involvement in Iraq on the false claims of WMDs.

    Sheridan claims to be well-versed in all aspects of politics and Foreign Affairs, but his desperate rant here shows gaps in his subject matter and argument. He is desperate because the Coalition is in disarray and he looks for scape-goats elsewhere.

    It is interesting that one recent criticism of the ABC for alleged bias was that it was not so much its bias, but its choice of topics for discussion. We see here in Sheridan’s writing elements of Murdoch-speak, bias and deliberate omissions and Coalition self-serving obsessions.

  52. Mark Needham

    Jack Straw March 25, 2017 at 9:19 am
    “”Insert Name Here””We know your thoughts on these issues.You are a person who is incapable of change in your behaviour and opinions and outlook.You are a broken record.You’re no different to Tony Abbott or John Howard with regards not reviewing your views and behaviour. Again you attack the man. It’s his opinion on the subjects he chooses.You have been kindly warned, scolded about this even if you do this meekly at times.You act like a rebellious naughty 10 year child.I am not sure why you feel you have such very little power in this world.Unless you have you have a wooden leg and look like the Elephant Man.I am not sure what the problems are? Mediation could be good. Go for walks and meet people. Cheers!

    Dear Mr Straw, I have modified your comment , only a little, but ask for everyone to insert their name where indicated.

    Reckon we would all fit in perfectly, as much as we would like to protest otherwise.
    Oh, a cup of Tea, a Bex and a good lie down, helps me on most occassions.
    Mark Needham

  53. Kaye Lee

    “Oh, a cup of Tea, a Bex and a good lie down, helps me on most occassions.”

    It was billed as mothers little helper but “a cup of tea, a Bex and a good lie down” turned out to be a killer prescription and new research shows kidney cancers plunged after the pain killer was banned.

    Opinions change with new knowledge. Sadly, some people close their ears, preferring to stick to the old ways.

  54. Jaquix

    Harquebus is having a ball on this site. He disrupts the comnents with his inane “contribution”. He wouldn’t be missed.

  55. Harquebus

    I despise all religions and would prefer that Australia be an atheist country. I’m sorry if that offends anyone.
    The truth is, I would like to see an end to all immigration so, considering my anti theist and my anti immigration stances, how could I not agree with P.H. on this issue? In my opinion, it would be a step each in two right directions.

    Michael Taylor
    You have completely misunderstood me. I was only drawing a comparison between your parents and my mother who, survived the Dutch famine when one of her siblings didn’t. She no longer believes that shit so, now, I’m pleased to say, she is just an immigrant.
    Please do not take offense. I am only stating my honest opinions.


  56. Divergent Aussie

    Harquebus – You do realise that the world existed in perfect harmony with gay marriage prior to the 2004 amendment bill which outlawed it? “Schedule 1—Amendment of the Marriage Act
    1 Subsection 5(1)
    marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion
    of all others, voluntarily entered into for life. ”
    Thus, just like 18c, the coalition created one big mess over this issue. 18c has been around since 1995, I believe, but only became an issue when the bigots didn’t like it anymore.

  57. Mark Needham

    “Opinions change with new knowledge. Sadly, some people close their ears, preferring to stick to the old ways.”

    Will I never learn. Here I am believing that it was a “cute” thing to say, ie, mellow out. That I have never done it, is irrelevant, that I am prescribing it, possibly makes me a drug pusher……………..shite……why bother! Hey!

    Not being able to disagree with the main comment, you have had a shot, at an innocuous, offhand, meant to be funny, quip.
    Christ, I hope under 18c, I haven’t offended anyone. Then again, …
    A Bad Boy,
    Mark Needham

  58. Kaye Lee

    Mark, you never make a point so it is difficult to deal with the substance when there isn’t any but it was a useful way to illustrate how medical and scientific opinion change.


    “I would like to see an end to all immigration”

    You mean after your parents arrived? It was ok for them to come but not others? Were they atheists making them desirable migrants? Can’t you tolerate people with different beliefs to you? Why do they have less rights than bigots? Do they threaten you so much? You, the defender of free speech?

  59. Roswell

    You mean after your parents arrived? It was ok for them to come but not others? Were they atheists making them desirable migrants? Can’t you tolerate people with different beliefs to you? Why do they have less rights than bigots? Do they threaten you so much? You, the defender of free speech?

    Comment for the ages.

    Bingo, Kaye. Brilliant.

  60. Alan Baird

    Marriage schmarriage… I find it all pretty tedious. “If you want you can marry,” a certain pop singer sang before he ferociously joined up with Hard Right Islam. Or you can shack up with someone of whatever gender you prefer. I don’t mind people who are non-believers of whatever race, it’s the religious practitioners I find HEAVY going. They usually come pre-packed with a whole lot of irrational ideas. Usually they want populate like fury and subdue the earth as if instructed by their religion which they often have. Although some pretend to get along with each other, the vast majority have little truck with that, and often have “trouble” (or even plurals of “trouble”) with cousin franchises of their own religion. I could go on and tediously list all the “unpleasantness” that has gone on between the Tribes of Religion. but it would fill an encyclopaedia of many volumes. But of course, this has all happened because these people “misunderstood” their religion. Another escape clause. This time it’s not god who’s the barrister, it’s his acolytes. Bloody lawyers.
    PS. All the above negativity about the Murdoch presstitutes (a delightful term) is quite deserved and well called. You’d swear that his presstitutes really meant it. Weird or what? Yeah, just weird.

  61. John Lord

    “Why is it that religion assumes it has some bizarre ownership on people’s morality. To assume that an atheist is any less moral than someone religious is an absurdity”

  62. @RosemaryJ36

    I sometimes despair at the apparent lack of knowledge of history implied in many people’s views. The British, Spanish, Dutch (sorry! Netherlanders) and Portuguese as well as the French and Germans (I have proibably overlooked a few – sorry!), roamed around the globe, taking what they wanted from many places and leaving behind disease and religion.
    Our First People are the only ones who did not, in arriving here, displace existing populations. The rest came by transportation or migration or as refugees.
    The Aboriginal people have in many places absorbed the early Christian teachings into their Dreamtime, while migrants from a multitude of cultures have introduced a wide variety of beliefs. Slowly, increasing scientific knowledge may succeed in rendering it unnecessary for people to belief in a life after death in order to be able to endure their life on this planet. That is always assuming that we do not succeed in destroying this planet in the near future.
    At 81 I still hope that before I die people will come to their senses and realise that you do not need to believe in a god to appreciate that what is destroying the world is out and out selfishness and greed.
    We really need a revolution!

  63. Terry2


    The homophobia was at such a level in 2004 that not only was same sex marriage outlawed in Australia but Howard went one step further by inserting a new section to the Marriage Act :

    Insertion of section 88EA

    7. This item confirms that unions between same sex couples entered into in foreign countries will not be recognised as marriages in Australia.

    This, as far as I can see was only done out of malice and surprisingly Labor went along with it – very strange !

  64. Miriam English

    Harquebus, you say some monumentally stupid things sometimes. You’d think you’d have a little sense for logic if you truly are a computer programmer. The idea of preventing same-sex marriages so that bigots who want marriage to be only between a man and a woman don’t have their idea of marriage degraded is just plain ridiculous. They’ve already degraded marriage anyway, by making it about hate instead of love. Why on Earth would you want to protect the bigots? Oh, hang on… it’s probably because you’re one. You can pretend it is about honor when it’s really about protecting your bigotry.

    I can understand your dislike of immigration. Australia has very fragile ecosystems and more people mean more destruction, but we are caught in a bad situation. The world’s population is still expanding, and will continue to do so for two or three decades yet. If we don’t allow immigration we stagnate and the rest of the world will eventually force massive numbers to flood our country. Much better to control the flow in a way that can be managed to our and their advantage. And there are great cultural, scientific, and economic advantages to be gained from allowing fresh blood into Australia. They have been well documented so I won’t repeat them here.

    Stopping religious people from coming here is just plain stupid. Most importantly it will never happen, but by giving voice to such idiocy you encourage those who want a holy war against Mulsims.

    Saying that 18C buries racism behind the law is an imbecilic thing to say. What it does is gives us a tool to hit racists over the head. If it deters brain-dead racists from opening their stupid mouths, then good. They have less opportunity to infect others with their disease. The racists we need to deter the most are those who work for News Corpse. They can drive contagion to epidemic proportions. We need tools like 18C to isolate and contain such diseased individuals.

    Saying something offensive to people and saying “Sorry if you found it offense” is a moronic thing to do and reeks of fake apology.

    Sometimes Harquebus, I swear the comments you make indicate you have a brain problem that prevents you from learning. You should probably get that seen to by a doctor. You are frankly infuriating in your inability to learn sometimes.

  65. Miriam English

    Terry2, not that surprising. Labor has always had lots of Catholics among its ranks. They’ve always been more than happy to push their bigotry down other people’s throats.

  66. Miriam English

    Harquebus, you should indulge in a bit of careful self-examination. You say you’re anti-religion, yet so often when you open your mouth, out fly the words of a Christian extremist.

  67. Jack Straw

    Harquebus My mother was catholic immigrant but, that was then and this is now and she has moved on.

    Is she still with us or did she move somewhere, interstate or back overseas somewhere?

  68. Maeve Carney

    Coming into this a bit late but I have to comment. I’m not sure how SSM can take anything away from the traditional man/woman marriage. I am married, to a man, and have been for 25 years, 6 months and 13 days. When we married there was no talk about SSM at all and the traditional marriage was all there was. We chose to get married because we wanted to. We didn’t, for one moment, consider the man and woman only aspect of it. We married because we were in love and because we have the knowledge that we both intended to live together forever in love (and we are doing well so far). That was our reason and motivation for marriage. We both intended on having children but we never really considered marriage a prerequisite for a family, my parents certainly didn’t care either way.

    So I am really confused about why SSM can possibly affect or diminish someone else’s marriage? Were other people thinking,”Hey, I’m a man, you’re a woman, and since only a man and a woman can get married let’s do it”. Because if that’s why they married, then I could see a possible reason why they might not like SSM. But who marries for that dumb reason? Nobody. So this whole SSM diminishing traditional marriage is rubbish. Same sex people want to marry for the same reasons I did. Love.

  69. Kaye Lee

    Conservative politics and religion have a lot in common.

    Jesus called that future period “the renewal of all things.” At that time, he will restore humanity to the conditions that God originally intended. (Matthew 19:28, NIV) We will then enjoy

    A paradise earth with security and prosperity for all.—Isaiah 35:1; Micah 4:4.
    Work that is meaningful and satisfying.—Isaiah 65:21-23.
    The curing of all disease.—Isaiah 33:24.
    The reversal of aging.—Job 33:25.
    The resurrection of the dead.—John 5:28, 29.

    If we do “the will of God,” what he asks of us, we need not fear the end of the world. Instead, we can look forward to it.

    That would be so easy to paraphrase. Both require cutting out the “cancer of non-believers” first, and a hell of a lot of blind faith in promises of reward for the chosen ones.

  70. guest


    “The resurrection of the dead”. Is that a conservative policy?

    And what is “the will of God”? Are the conservatives doing “the will pf God”?

    I am sorry, Kaye, but I cannot see the connection between conservatives and Christianity, especially as far as it might apply to the Coalition. “Renewal of all things”? “A paradise on Earth”? “Work that is meaningful and satisfying”? “The curing of all disease”? “The reversal of aging”? etc. Really?

  71. Roswell

    It was satisfying to hear Turnbull get booed today when his mug came up on the big screen at the SCG. Of course, all PMs get booed, but nonetheless the passionate boos were a pleasure to hear.

    Some apologist – in a report I read somewhere – said they were booing the Chinese premier, who was seated next to Fizza.

    Crap. They were booing Turnbull. Sydney supporters wouldn’t know the Chinese premier if they sat next to him on the bus.

  72. Kaye Lee

    Resurrection of the dead.

    Stuart Robert was recently asking to be reinstated to the Ministry. Today I read he has been called to testify by the Corruption watchdog in Qld. He’ll probably be fine considering Arfur’s resurrection.

    The will of the IPA seems to have replaced god.

    We are promised ‘renewal’ every time they open their mouths pretty much – “jobs and growth”, “innovation”, cheap sustainable energy etc etc

    They think that meaningful satisfying “high-paying” work is how we address our financial woes – just go get a good job,

    Stashing a kazillion away in a Medical Research Fund to be doled out to lucky recipients will cure disease so it won’t matter that we have insufficient hospitals.

    Rich aged people will be fine….not so sure about aged pensioners though.

    It’s a flippant comparison but that was what was going through my mind.

  73. Miriam English

    Harquebus, have you noticed the way racist politicians and other high-profile dickheads cause a rash of hate crimes whenever they mouth off? It shows that removing the lid on racism causes it to blow up in our faces. I can argue til I’m blue in the face that racism is an infectious meme, while you say laws hide it, but in the end if we have race wars because racists morons aren’t held in check anymore who cares about definitions? We need laws that will stop these assholes from wrecking society.

    Your words (March 25, 2017 at 8:46 am): “Rather that giving to the gay community, it takes away from the hetero couples who married with the understanding that it is a special relationship between a man and a woman only.”
    Gay marriage “takes away” (diminishes) “from the hetero couples who married with the understanding that it is a special relationship between a man and a woman only” (bigots’ marriage).
    See? You did say it.

  74. Miriam English

    I know the phoney defense you’ll use for the same-sex marriage thing: that you’re not saying it actually diminishes their marriage, just that it does in the eyes of the bigots.

    Oh, that’s so much better. Let’s pander to bigots’ hateful and unreasonable attitudes by ensuring a tenth of the population remains second-class citizens and don’t get the legal protections the bigots have. Wonderful.

    But that’s not really what you said. Look more closely at your actual feelings on the subject and why you’d actually make such a statement. What makes you put it that way instead of the reverse? You have homophobia that you’ve hidden from yourself.

  75. silkworm

    On the many occasions that Jehovah’s Witnesses have come knocking on my door, they have struck me as the stupidest people I have ever met. There is absolutely no point in engaging with them.

  76. Terry2


    You are putting atheists into a box, a belief system as though atheist are just another branch of religion with a different take on belief.

    There is no atheism club ! Atheists are independent individuals and generally free-thinkers, they don’t preach or proselytize and they certainly don’t force their views or beliefs on others.

  77. Terry2

    Matters Not

    The recent events at the Royal Commission into institutional child abuse showed the Jehovah Witnesses very exposed when it came to reporting instances of child abuse : they haven’t actually reported any of the 1500 allegations to the police.

    They use the two witness rule before they will accept that an instance of abuse has occurred unless the perpetrator has confessed guilt.

    They use the bible selectively :

    Timothy 5:19: demands followers “do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses”.

    Matthew 18:16: that reads, among other things, “ … at the mouth of two or three witnesses every matter may be established”.

    This practice by the JW’s has covered up numerous instances of abuse over the years and we must feel for the victims who have no voice.

  78. Jane

    Miriam English stop humiliating and insulting and bullying poor Harquebus.I’m crying in my Weeties with laughter.

  79. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    The two quotes are not even similar so, no. Once more you misinterpret and misquote me.

  80. Miriam English

    Jane 😀 yeah, I actually feel a bit bad about that. He made me so angry I lost my cool. I thought, how dare he say religious bigots should get to dictate the legal standing of same-sex couples! And how the hell can he not see the dangerous fire which racism ignites in society?

    Hard to believe an intelligent person can be so ridiculous sometimes. But he won’t change his mind. He’ll ignore it all (as he does in every discussion — population growth, doom, renewable energy…). My being angry at him especially won’t change his mind. Being angry tends to mess up discussions rather than progress them. And that’s on me.

    But one good thing came out of it: you had a chuckle with your brekky. I’m glad for that at least. 🙂

  81. jane

    Though, I feel he zero Emotional Intelligence.

  82. Athena

    Ah Harquebus is trotting out the argument of the smug married again. Interesting how all those folks concerned about gay marriage seldom give a rat’s posterior about tv shows like Married at First Sight, or hetero couples divorcing, or domestic violence. Special relationship my arse.

  83. Miriam English

    Harquebus, you say the two quotes are not similar. Do you mean the words in your original post and my quote of it (copy/pasted)? Or do you mean the two possible ways I’ve interpreted your statement are not similar to your original? If the latter perhaps you can clarify. I’m a relatively intelligent person, but I’m having great difficulty seeing a third possible interpretation.

    Can anybody else see a third possible explanation for his statement?
    “Rather than giving to the gay community, it takes away from the hetero couples who married with the understanding that it is a special relationship between a man and a woman only.”

    My interpretations are:
    1) That bigots should be allowed to exclude same-sex lovers from the legal and social benefits of marriage because their marriage is degraded by others’ same-sex love.
    2) That even if the bigots are wrong about gays diminishing marriage we should not upset their beliefs and should continue to deny same sex love its legal protections and social and economic advantages.

  84. helvityni

    By all means let everyone and anyone get married….

    After al, as Zsa Zsa Gabor said, marriage is just the first step to get divorced…

  85. Kaye Lee

    The idea that we should vote on whether all citizens have the same rights under the law is just ridiculous. There can be only two reasons for opposition to marriage equality – either you believe the patriarchal and very sexist religious idea that marriage is for purposes of procreation only, which makes no sense, or you are homophobic and just think it’s a bit icky, which also makes no sense.

    There is no credible argument to deny people the right to marry. Abolishing the institution altogether would be easier to justify.

    As Barnaby would say, enough talk, just get ‘er done.

  86. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    “how dare he say religious bigots should get to dictate the legal standing of same-sex couples!”
    I said no such thing and your interpretations, as usual, are wrong. Bigotry has absolutely nothing to do with it.

  87. Alan Baird

    Actual quotes from Jesus MUST be suspect. All this fabulous detail of actual WORDS from an obscure figure. Written about a coupla centuries later. Call me cynical but I get a strong feeling that very ordinary humans wrote that stuff with little input from whatever god or Jesus. Oh, and the very fact that the religious bigots among us react so ferociously against SSM is SO un-Jesus-like (as “reported”) and infinitely more Pharisee-like it’s ironic, but then again, ALL religious bigots have had an irony bypass, being latter-day Pharisees. A funny thing just occurred to me… ironic that Jesus exacted violence upon money-lenders (reportedly, but then again, a bit un-Jesus-like) but we now have very large assembly type churches unashamedly worshipping (and accumulating) obscene wealth. Ironic also that the party containing most religious bigots also have the BEST relationships with latter-day money lenders. Where IS that god when you want Him? Why doesn’t He react? It’s enough to try the patience of a saint, which I ain’t.

  88. Jack Straw

    Didn’t Zsa Zsa Gabor say Every time I leave a man, I keep his house

  89. Miriam English

    I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house.
    — Zsa Zsa Gabor

  90. Kaye Lee


    Do adulterers and divorced people “take away” from the couples who married with the understanding that it is “to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life?”

    …..or is it the case that what total strangers do has absolutely NO affect on other people’s marriages?

  91. guest


    you think you are being reasonable, but in fact you skate about, picking on this point or another and claiming you did not say this or that, denying that what people read you as saying is what you actually mean.

    So here. You might not have used the word ‘bigot’, but some people are reading some of your statements as being those of a ‘bigot’.

    A bigot is a person who holds a strong view with no logical reason for doing so. As Kaye says, “There is no credible argument to deny people the right to marry”.

    You have provided no credible reason to deny people the right to marry and you have spoken strongly against SSM. Is it possible that people rightly have the view that what you exhibit with regard to SSM is bigotry?

  92. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    That would depend on one’s point of view.

    I have only put forward a view that “several” hetero couples that I know have expressed to me and to which, I can empathize.


  93. Roswell

    I have only put forward a view that “several” hetero couples that I know have expressed to me and to which, I can empathize.

    And how many gat couples have you spoken to?

    I’ve spoken to lots, and I can empathise with them.

  94. guest

    Matters Not @10.37pm,

    Jehovahs Witnesses are a group who set out to evangelise the world with their own view of Christianity. They are intent on being one of the 144 000 who will rise to heaven. They are well indoctrinated in their beliefs. It is very hard to argue with them. And why bother? Just be civil and say no thanks.

    One belief has to do with the eating of blood, derive from the attitude to eating pork, which has health implications. So they refuse blood transfusions. It is their strong belief.

    But they have problems with their idea that Jesus is just a man because the orthodox view is that Christ is divine. Colossians 2:9 says: For in him (Christ) dwelleth all the fullness (Gk. pleroma) of the godhead bodily (Gk. somatikos).

    But even orthodox Christianity has its problems with the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. Did God the Creator come down to earth as a baby, and died, taking on the sins of the world and rose bodily into heaven? Is that the belief?

  95. Kaye Lee

    “That would depend on one’s point of view.”

    In 2015, there were 48,517 divorces granted in Australia.

    In 2015, civil celebrants performed 74.9% of all registered marriage ceremonies, an increase from 74.1% in 2014.

    Couples who lived together prior to marriage accounted for 81.0% of all marriages registered in 2015, an increase from the 79.4% recorded in 2014.

    Over one third of all marriages end in divorce lasting, on average, about 12 years.

    I have no statistics on adultery and choose not to look for any but you can all hazard a guess.

    If those people find that has “taken away” from their marriage, allowing SSM is hardly going to detract further now is it?

    Come on Harquebus…let this one go. Let people love who they want. Let them celebrate that how they choose. Let them have the same choices and legal rights we all enjoy. And stop fixating on their sex.

    PS guest, he had a name change to Holy Spirit (cause Ghost was too scary I spose.)

  96. Sam

    Speaking as someone who is still a regular church go-er. I have a friend who is an indie rock musician. She got married to her partner late last year. They are 2 of the sweetest and coolest women I’ve known and I couldn’t be happier for them.

    There is absolutely nothing to fear in two people of the same gender getting married.

    On another note, I’m glad they actually got something positive out of 2016, because that was a pretty ordinary year for most of us!

  97. Miriam English

    Good on you Sam. 🙂

  98. Harquebus

    There are no gay couples in this neighborhood mate so, no I have not.
    How do those gay couples feel about those who married with the traditional view having the value of the institution being, in their eyes, diminished? As I said, let the gays implement their own institution and then everyone will be happy.

    Kaye Lee
    I’m not stopping anyone and I couldn’t care less about other peoples divorces. I am stating my opinions.


  99. Miriam English

    Harquebus, naughty naughty. You’re rewriting history and deceiving yourself when you say to guest, “I have only put forward a view that ‘several’ hetero couples that I know have expressed to me and to which, I can empathize.”

    You make it sound so innocent and harmless, when you actually said earlier “I do not support gay marriage… Let the gays implement their own institution.”

    You’re not just putting forward other people’s views and being understanding of them. You assert the right of bigots to stop same-sex marriage because it “takes away” from hetero marriage.

  100. jimhaz

    [I do not support gay marriage and I am not a homophobe. Rather that giving to the gay community, it takes away from the hetero couples who married with the understanding that it is a special relationship between a man and a woman only. Let the gays implement their own institution]

    That used to be my view. For half a dozen years of so now, I’ve supported same sex marriage.

    The thing is hetero couples don’t really lose and even if they do, it should be very minor or even childish. It is not something they really should feel resentful about.

    SSM isn’t really that much about the marriage, but a call for full legal acceptance, so that full societal acceptance occurs. It would be a licence to be codified as an equal human being. This has much more emotional value than what the other side would imagine they would lose.

    I would however be against any extension of this to force by law religious organisations to conduct SSM marriages.

    On 18C I’m a bit of flip flopper. In quieter times I would certainly want the wording changed, as it has the potential to become too restrictive. I will always act to offend the religious by my rejection of their beliefs, and in some cases practices, and with muslims there is a racial issue involved, and I do not want research and media reporting on racial issues to be limited by PCism being a resulting side affect. Nations do have personalities, which means that racial groupings, do think a little differently. The best solutions come when the most truth, the most accurate representation of the realities of the situation, is known. For example, if say aboriginal or lebanese higher (or more violent) crime and anger problems, are not statistically recognised, due to offense, it could be harder to reach the right solutions, not just in the public mind, but in academia where well considered views might be created.

    Perhaps the reason I don’t argue for the change is the nature of the conservative leadership, the manner in which they think and communicate is pretty appalling. One cannot trust those who would use the newfound freedom. The 2nd reason is that the legislation just does not appear to have been misused in a negative way. Hanson for example can say what she likes to a point and it is reported by the press. The 3rd reason is the question of whether the increase in freedom to be nasty would end up resulting in an overall benefit or have negative long term results. I’m not seeing more pluses than minuses. As 18C is just within the racial domain, not religious, our cultural issues would be better ironed out by a slow and steady process, not by loudmouths running amok.

    I read this quote the other day and it flipped me back from a temporary position of “it should be changed because it is technically wrong”, to leaving the act as it is.

    “People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use”

    Soren Kierkegaard

    At the least the act s it is causes more people to think more about what they might say, which won’t be the case with full freedom. Just as the rise of the internet has led to more social aggression, opening that up legally in an ‘uppity’ country like Oz, or any other OECD country with invasive levels of immigration, might divide far more than the positive off blocking the acceptance of irrational and thus offensive or backward traditions. Changing 18C as a cure might be worse than its current real or imagined disease. It would be snake oil medicine, or perhaps lubricant for snaketongues. Racial issues that require government solutions can be dealt with more in the background, such as the Middle Eastern Crime gang policing.

  101. Miriam English

    Harquebus, I’m sure it sounds reasonable to you to tell the gays to go start their own institution. You know it isn’t that simple. It would be ages before any such institution was accepted by life insurance companies, banks, hospitals, accountants, and the law.

    It’s like saying “Sure, I’m filthy rich and I control a string of banks and shopping centers. If you poor people have a problem with that you’re free to start up your own currency. Of course, it won’t be accepted by my banks and shopping centers, so screw you.”

  102. Deanna Jones

    I’m pretty sure Harquebus says these idiotic things for attention. It sure works for him.

    The straights do a damned fine job of diminishing their own institution, what with all the ways in which it is commodified these days. The Ashley-Maddison club being one (a special system for straight married people to hook up with each other and have affairs), and as already mentioned, the many reality tv shows like married at first sight, farmer wants a wife etc. and don’t get me started on family violence. I’ve never heard a straight person actually respond when the existence of those things is raised.

    Even without those things, from what I can tell from observing the few hetero couples that I know, the institution that is apparently so sacred, is based on delusion and is not personally appealing to me. But, it’s the principle of it. It is against the law to discriminate against a person based on their sexual orientation, and that is exactly what the marriage act does, and for some of my friends it is very important to them that they be allowed to marry.

    Every year thousands of straights turn up to Mardi Gras. We let them into our world but they think nothing of shutting us out of theirs.

    And sorry for the F bomb moderators, but Harquebus you are a f*cking disgrace.

  103. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    I am not going to respond anymore to your comments that attribute bigotry to my comments. That is a misinterpretation on your part.
    I see no contradiction in the two quotes that you cite and stand by them.

    In regards to gay marriage, my view is with the minority and it is unlikely that it will prevail so, time to move on. There are more important matters that need to be addressed.


  104. Terry2

    The coalition are chalking up another victory . From 30 June they will remove the Deficit Tax Levy – imposed in 2014 on salary earners of $180,000 and over – which as the name implies was imposed to whittle down the country’s deficit and then be removed.

    Job Done !

    Oh, wait a minute in 2014, the deficit was $11bn, it is now $37bn.

    If, like me you are not an economist and you wonder why the levy is being removed when the deficit has more than tripled don’t ask Scott Morrison because he doesn’t know either. Joe Hockey imposed the levy so we could ask Joe.

    Joe, hello, Joe are you there………….?

  105. Alan Baird

    On a lighter note, years ago I used to live in a house-type place with a front door where JWs could knock or press the ding-dong. I was retired and time was not of the essence. I found the best way to put them off took a little extra time first time but they willingly stayed away after that but it didn’t imply physical violence, quite the reverse. I would welcome them in and tell them that I was MUCH more likely to convert them than vice versa. I took the subject they raised and exhaustively trashed their chain of causation & “lawyer” type “reasoning” about god, his “rules” etc. In this case it was concern for the hereafter. We went through “grace”, heaven and all the wonderful religious side issues they raised. I rigorously chased every rabbit down its burrow and constantly brought them back to the subject when ever they tried to shilly-shally. They gave up in the end and said they had to go but I implored them to stay as I was only just beginning to get into my stride. They always went by after that, poor lambs (of god). Good clean fun and I didn’t even have a glass of lubricant to make me expansive. Must go.

  106. Miriam English

    Alan, that does sound like fun. 😀 I wish I’d been there to enjoy it.

    I love Julia Sweeney’s hilarious talk “Letting Go of God”. She is an atheist who was raised Catholic. In part of her wonderful talk she relates the tale of when some nice young Mormon boys visited to convert her. It has me laughing every time I hear it. There are couple of videos on YouTube. They’re basically the same words and a bit more than 2 wonderful hours long. (live standup performance) (just audio from the CD)

  107. Terry2


    …..force by law religious organisations to conduct SSM marriages.

    Just to be clear, the notion of marriage equality has never contemplated religious organisations , ministers or clergy being obliged to officiate at religious marriage ceremonies for same sex couples : the changes only affect the federal Marriage Act which, due to the changes introduced in 2004 outlawed same sex marriage.

    Nothing to do with religion, all about equality !

  108. Alan Baird

    Somewhere up above (in this pass the parcel commentary) was a remark (Guest?) about the spectacularly biased record of News Very Ltd. There are times when Rupie’s minions outdo themselves though. On The Drum yesterday one of Rupie’s female presstitutes was lecturing the rest of the panel about the bias everywhere except in Murdoch publications. I call that true “chutzpah”, the insouciant declaration of the reverse of truth. Not a peep from the rest of the panel. They had been chosen wisely as they all kept their mouths shut. Didn’t even do one of those explosive suppressed giggle-snorts that come from amongst the pews upon a loud fart in the cathedral. Po faced they were. The lecture went on about how News just sticks to the facts and nothing else whereas others constantly give opinions. I’m sure Josef Goebbels would have hired her on the spot. I’m always telling you the Right have had an irony bypass and Rupie’s are examples par excellence.
    They all kept dead straight faces and the caravan moved on….

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