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The Right And The Right Side Of History!

An optimist sees the glass as half-full; A pessimist sees the glass as half-empty. Personally, I’m more concerned about whether there’s anything left in the bottle.

Every now and then, someone will talk about mankind’s current predicament and how we’re all going to hell and there’s no hope. Others will argue that we all need to band together and save the planet. Of course, there’s no need to save the planet. The planet’s just fine and it will be even better once humankind has eradicated itself and only the cockroaches and a few other species survive. (I’m making a rhetorical point so please don’t start a long complicated discussion about the role of biodiversity!)

While I agree that we need to start thinking about the long term future and not simply say, “She’ll be right”, I’m also aware that people have been predicting the destruction of the world since the first prophet said, “Can you pay me now, because settling next week won’t be possible unless there’s an afterlife?”

As we all digest the result of the marriage non-compulsory, non-binding survey, most people are speculating on the immediate future. I can’t help but think about the past and how the Right have been on the losing side of just about every progressive movement since the emperor was told the slaves are revolting… (Ok, ok, you can all do the punch line for yourselves!) I started to think back on some of the things that have happened in my lifetime. If you’re a certain age, I’m sure that you can make a pretty good list from civil rights legislation to the abolition of apartheid to the fact that Carlton haven’t won an AFL premiership this century. Long term, the Right seems on the losing side.

And while this isn’t the same sort of human rights issue, the Liberals’ position on “Red China” illustrates my point nicely. Way back in 1972, Gough Whiltam became the first Western leader to visit China. Labor’s policy was that “Red China” should be recognised and given a seat at the United Nations. That’s right. China’s seat was held by Formosa because it – not Communist China – was the “legitimate” government. The Liberals attacked Whitlam and stuck to their policy of non-recognition even after Nixon followed Whitlam’s lead by going to China. After losing in 1972, the Liberals quietly changed their policy and I don’t remember hearing anyone argue for its return. No, their opposition was quietly dropped and we all were just supposed to forget it about in much the same way we don’t bring up Uncle Eddie’s drunken dancing at his daughter’s wedding.

So it’s unfortunate that after the vote/survey that some people are attempting to argue that it’s “just a flesh wound”. Ok, I’ve read enough literature about the ways in which our brains work – or fail to work, in the case of many of our current government – not to expect that people with strong convictions won’t attempt to rationalise what happened. Lyle Shelton, for example, congratulated the “Yes” vote on their campaign, before pointing out that they’d been running it for many years, while the “No” campaign only started three months ago, so they had a lot of catching up to do. REALLY? I mean, what’s the man been doing for the past two years since this was first suggested?

Lyle went on to tell us that he’d continue the fight and that he hoped that one day people would see sense and reverse this decision. Does this mean that all the same sex marriages would be annulled? In the meantime, he hoped that this had alerted us to what was going on in schools and that we’d use it as opportunity to stop the radical LGBTI agenda being taught in schools. Now given that we were told that this wasn’t just a vote on marriage equality, it was also a vote on what our children were being asked to do in schools, surely the “Yes” vote is the green light for Safe Schools being made compulsory. Wasn’t that what they were telling us? Personally, I’m not sure. And if ask my year sevens to abandon their work on Ancient China because they’re going to be marked on their gender fluidity instead, I’m sure that they won’t be too impressed. However, it does seem disingenuous to tell us that we were voting about a program in schools, only to turn around and argue that the vote should have no effect when it comes to education.

Of course, the whole human rights thing is something that’s confused the Right for generations. From early times, they’ve thought that anyone who tried to stop them owning slaves was interfering with their basic property rights. And so it is with this latest affront to their right to decide who marries in this country and the circumstances under which they marry. While I can see that churches should have the right to decide that only people who follow their religion should be allowed to marry in their church; to me that’s much the same as saying you can’t enter my house unless you take off your shoes. They may be your shoes, but it’s my floor. However, there’s a major difference between that and the arguments about bakers and florists…

To try to take the emotion out of it – which is probably nearly impossible – but the whole absurdity about trying to legislate for imaginary bakers and florists is one of the most ludicrous situations I can remember. Let’s stop for a moment and ask ourselves, “Have we heard from any bakers or florists arguing for their religious freedoms to be protected?” And if any of you are suggesting that they’re too afraid to argue this for fear of a backlash and a boycott, what would enshrining it in legislation do? If Steve and Barry are refused service at Bigot Bakeries and they post this on Facebook, leading to an enormous loss of business, will the government legislate to make using Bigot Bakeries compulsory for everyone? Except the people they wish to exclude. How else will they protect their business from the fact that only a handful of people wish to go their and be questioned about whether the Georgie on the wedding cake is male or female?

Anyway, while Cory Bernardi attempts to show exactly how silly a human can be with his motions about such things as croissants in the Senate (I’m not kidding),and while a handful of Liberals try to prove that they too have limited brainpower by voting with him, the fact remains that the “Yes” vote won. And it even inspired Malcolm to try and sound all leader-like and tell us that it’d be legislated before Christmas. Whether that happens or not, the vote itself must be a great relief to those who are directly affected by it, even if there are those who manage to blather on about the rights of those who voted no. Strangely, the people saying this didn’t remind us that over half the population voted against them at the 2016 poll so maybe we better consider their rights. But hey, that’s politics isn’t it?


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  1. Ricardo29

    As an ageing and lifelong Carlton supporter I was disappointed to see the implication that the Blues might be ‘of the right’. Sure they appointed The Liberal Elliott as President some decades ago, but there were probably a lot of supporters like me who were aghast. And anyway, don’t write us off, our time is coming again as we finally seem to have a coach who understands his players.

  2. Michael Taylor

    A lifelong Carlton supporter! ?

    I never thought one ever existed. ?

  3. Joseph Carli

    Yes, Rossleigh…things have changed with this SSM decision..which I fully supported. Speaking for myself as a older Baby Boomer, I would say it draws an indelible line OVER THE TOP of what has passed in my life…A new generation steeped in the digital world of non-physical contact relationships via a more sophisticated internet will replace the crude and sometimes very rude “contact sport” of the human circus of intimate friendships and relationships.
    Almost ALL of those friends I knew and could discuss intimate things and thoughts with have gone or are now out of touch as we “surf” the facile and shallow yet alluringly attractive connections on the internet…One no longer really knows just what gender, age or even state of humanity one is “talking” to..
    Yes..things have changed..perhaps for the better..but certainly a generational line has been drawn..and I have to regretfully say I stand on the wrong side of that line..

    Here’s a bit of “old humanity”..

    Billy Guy wasn’t so much a mystery as an enigma…and that only because he spoke with such a thick Scottish accent that nobody could understand a word he said. Mark could claim that he knew him best, having spent a whole evening drinking with him, conversing with him while both were in an inebriated state..but when pressed to reveal the slightest bit of knowledge as to Billy’s occupation, place of origin, dreams or aspirations..even his favourite football team, Mark was completely dumbfounded.

    “But you spent the whole night there at the bar drinking and talking and slapping each other on the back!…Didn’t you learn anything?” his friends demanded.

    “Are you kidding??..with that brogue?..I’m buggered if I can remember what he said…and in the state we both were in, I’d be mighty surprised if’n he knew anything I was saying!” Mark tersely replied.

    So Billy Guy remains an enigma to this day. That is not to say that he looked mysterious, or had an interesting character…or an interesting job, for his clothes never betrayed any occupation above junior clerical or it could have been storeman…or electrician..the more “hands-on” trades like mechanic or builder would have been betrayed by a dirtier clothed countenance.

    But you would sometimes spot him walking down Wheatland Street of a darkening evening and climbing the “Guests Entrance” steps to go to his room on the second floor of the Seacliff Hotel , where he resided for more years than many of the wastrel clientele that drank there could remember. It was said that whenever the hotel changed ownership, Billy was traded in the sale as part of the “goods and chattels”.

    So far as anyone could recall, going by various patrons opinions, Billy Guy resided at that establishment for nigh on 30 years…with only one change of address..; from room 6 to room person did recall in a lucid spoken moment that Billy admitted to him that it was this lengthy stay that he believed created his drinking problem.

    The only ecstatic outburst witnessed from that nondescript character, that in turn betrayed his passion for the code of football known in the antipodes as : soccer..was a news clip showing “Celtic football club” winning the Scottish league back in the mid seventies sometime…

    “Yahgrahhhyergronnagriberrrrichaaaa !…” Billy shouted , or at least something that sounded like that, as he jumped onto the front bar shouting with both arms pumping up and down to every else’s dumbfounded amazement!! He soon regained his composure and with shamefaced excuses to Ron, the barman, climbed down to sit quietly again on his stool there in his usual place in the corner of the bar.

    To this day, I do not know in the slightest as to what happened to Billy Guy, and no one else seems to either…When the Seacliff Hotel was finally totally renovated and the old clientele evicted to cater for the Gen x’s and y’s taste in décor and amusement , Billy Guy evaporated back into the ether..

  4. Kaye Lee

    What an excellent argument Rossleigh. 58% of people voted against the Coalition at the last Federal election so we should get protection from their stupid decisions.

  5. Peter F

    Ross, I don’t really know where to start in congratulating you, but here it is: ‘only people who follow their religion should be allowed to marry in their church;’. If the churches introduced a policy that only those who actually go to the church can be married there, they would not be in ‘business ‘. Same goes for funerals. If they want to hide from a charge of hypocrisy they should stick to their own ‘ to the exclusion of all others’, to coin a phrase.

  6. Peter F

    Ross, the recent vote reflecting endless polls might have already had unexpected consequences. ( It was, after all a Coalition proposal).

    Dutton has announced that Refugees will be allowed to accept the offer from NZ. What’s the bet that they have actually registered the poll results indicating what the Australian population wants: decent treatment for refugees.

    I will not comment on possible election polling.

  7. Rossleigh

    Ricardo29, I would have used Melbourne as the example but after the way they missed the finals this year, I thought that was too cruel to point out that they haven’t won a premiership since before I could kick a football!

  8. auntyuta

    The “Yes” vote ” inspired Malcolm to try and sound all leader-like and tell us that it’d be legislated before Christmas. Whether that happens or not, the vote itself must be a great relief to those who are directly affected by it, even if there are those who manage to blather on about the rights of those who voted no. . . . ”

    I am sorry, I just cannot understand how the “rights” of “No” voters should be in any way affected. And what about the “rights” of people who refused to vote in a silly survey like this one?

    Why did the politicians not have the guts to vote for what the people wanted without a stupid and costly survey like this. Did they not know what the people wanted without any of these survey results? I think they should have known that the “No” voters are clearly in a minority even not counting the voters who abstained. Still, it appears that the “No” voters still do not want to give up convincing other people that marriage equality is not the right thing. When are they going to accept that they are in a minority? Is it just all politicking?

  9. guest

    “the right side of history”

    One might well ask what that means. As far as i can tell, it means that over time the truth emerges. It might take a while, but it happens.

    Take for example the view of human sexuality expressed a couple of thousand years ago. It has held sway for all that time – and is still strongly held by some, despite the evidence of reality which showed it was wrong. Even the findings of psychologists have not swayed the religious stalwarts; nor have the examples of those of faith who have “come out” to reveal their sexual reality.

    We see the same thing with the idea of creation, which is believed by some to be an event which occurred 6000 years ago. Some of the faith would say it happened “aeons” ago and would align it with 13B years, but need the presence of a god to ratify their faith. Scientist have a different explanation.

    With regard to climate change, there are those who claim climate scientists are merely creating a “faith” called climate science which gives them some kind of reason to take over the world.

    That climate science is denied at all is surprising when one looks at its history. For example, Naomi Klein (2017) points out that scientists at ExxonMobil reported in the 1970s the “general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels”.

    “He [James Black] also wrote that ‘man has a time window of five to 10 years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical’.”

    Despite this, ExxonMobil has spent $30m on using think tanks to spread doubt. It is now currently under investigation for these alleged deceptions.

    Meanwhile, 19 countries have signed to do away with coal. Australia has not. The Canada tar sands have proven to be disastrous. The Adani mine in Qld is surely not going to happen.

    How long can conservative Australia keep its collective head in the sand?

  10. Möbius Ecko

    Peter F, did you read Dutton’s provision on allowing NZ and PNG to directly negotiate on the refugees?

    If NZ and PNG does that it will jeopardize the relationship between those countries and Australia.

    “They would have to think about their relationship with Australia and what impact it would have,” he said.

    “They’d have to think that through, and we’d have to think that through.”

    Unbelievable. Because they want to fairly treat asylum seekers, he’s threatening to diminish or cut relations with two nations Australia has long standing relationships.

    It’s a feeble bluff, but it does demonstrate the amount of power Dutton believes he wields in government.

  11. Olivia Manor

    As a child spending my holidays in an Italian village the priest refused to marry anyone who wasn’t seen regularly in his church, or baptise their children. Here in Australia, when I got married, I had to get special permission not only to marry in another parish, but also to marry a non Catholic. As for getting a divorce, you would be excommunicated. Same if you were a member of the Communist Part or discoverd to be gay or had had a child out of wedlock! Things may be a bit different these days, maybe, but to bleat about religious freedoms when all it means is the right to discriminate against anyone who doesn’t agree with their agenda, is breathtakingly hypocritical!

  12. Michael Taylor

    OMG! Did Dutton say that? He really is marooned from reality.

  13. Peter F

    Now we hear that a NP Senator has been given hope that the rapid dealing with the equal opportunity bill has set a precedent for his proposal to introduce a bill to set up a Royal Commission into the banks. Where will it end?

  14. diannaart

    …last time St Kilda won a premiership was so far back I don’t even remember (1966)… have no idea what my support for the Saints has to do with anything, just don’t mention the Grand final of 2010…

  15. jimhaz

    [How long can conservative Australia keep its collective head in the sand?]

    Forever, I’m afraid. Conservatives will not abandon or be truthful about what gives them status.

    There is something within our human natures that would appear to lead us forever towards 50/50 politically. I call it the status game. Like sexuality, the status game is intrinsically linked as a driver to practically everything we make strategic decisions on.

    It is called ego – an ego needs opposition as the ego evolved from competition for resources. It also created the many insanities that stem from where one perceives they should be in the status hierarchy, whether perceptions of envy or entitlement to control or make use of others (abuse). We even do this status game at a country level – hence our interest in international sport for example.

    I make the assumption that the origin of this problem resides in our primate foundation, wherein only high status males reproduced.

    Conservatives will continue for ever as they have a social structure that from the bottom up maintains these predators. A major aspect of the seeking of power in any social arena or is that the resulting higher status valuation by the masses provides the circumstances for abuse of those of lower status – we see this in play at present with the Hollowood sexual abuse situations arising at present, that everyone has known has existed forever. Even the clearcut abuser of everything he can, Trump, was elected due to status reasons – he is seen as a powerful ape by many of lower status.

    Status issues also prevent us from acting on problems such as global warming. If you listen to the cons, they are concerned that if we are progressive, our relative economic status will fall behind those whom we compete for staus with.

    Human, All too Animal…is what we are.

  16. diannaart


    wherein only high status males reproduced

    Only the males reproduced….. that’s amazing.

    I do know some species of fish can change sex…

  17. Terry2

    The Australian Government will provide an estimated $546.3 million in total aid to PNG in 2017-18. This will include an estimated $478.7 million in bilateral funding to PNG managed by DFAT.

    When Peter Dutton says that :

    “They would have to think about their relationship with Australia and what impact it would have, they’d have to think that through, and we’d have to think that through.” he is aiming a barb at the PNG government and our aid program.

    Dutton is amazing, PNG has bent over backwards to assist and accommodate him and when PNG, their courts, the United Nations , the international community and New Zealand are saying enough is enough, he threatens the PNG aid program.

    He appears to want this stand-off to continue right up to the next election at which time he will hype it up for purely cynical political reasons.

  18. Terry2

    On a slightly different tack :

    The restaurant and cafe industry has dropped its bid to cut Sunday penalty rates after failing to provide evidence that the cuts would create jobs.
    The employer group Restaurant and Catering Industrial was due to be heard in the Fair Work Commission on Thursday over its application to cut rates from 150 per cent to 125 per cent.
    But in a last-minute decision, the employer group delivered a statement that it would not proceed.

    Facts and the truth can be so annoying, can’t they ?

  19. jimhaz

    [Only the males reproduced….. that’s amazing]

    I meant this sort of situation

    “Primates, as (mostly) group living animals tend to form what are known as “dominance hierarchies”. Animals higher in the hierarchy tend to displace lower ranked individuals from resources (mates, space, food). They tend to have higher reproductive success (either by mating more often, or by having more resources to invest in their offspring). The hierarchy is not fixed and depends on a number of changing factors (age, sex, aggression, intelligence perhaps), and may also depend on the support of others”

  20. Max Gross

    Leave Uncle Eddie alone! Otherwise, a terrific article and right on the money!


    Olivia Manor. ‘the right to discriminate against anyone who doesn’t agree with their agenda, is breathtakingly hypocritical!’ No, its just fcking evil! But then, I believe nearly all religions are inherently evil as nearly every religion portends to be the right one and holds that all the other religions are wrong. They are implicitly intolerant and discriminatory. When one group seeking to proliferate their view of the world believes they are right to the exclusion of all others, intolerant and evil deeds necessarily follow. History shows that. Religion should be banned, it is the scourge of humanity.


    Ricardo29. ‘As an ageing and lifelong Carlton supporter I was disappointed to see the implication that the Blues might be ‘of the right’.’ I am another. Blues have not traditionally been the rich club. In the beginnings, Fitzroy were the richies and Carlton residents were their maids and servants. Collingwood were poorer than everyone not just carltonians. And remember the Blues stood in loyalty to Collingwood when they moved to the VFL from the VFA and paid Collingwood’s license to enter the VFL. Blues would not enter the VFL from the VFA without Collingwood. Now the eastern suburbs Hawthorne have more money and supporters than just about everyone

  23. diannaart

    St Kilda has always been the club for progressives.

  24. Andrew J. Smith

    I agree Diannaart, and the Jewish team, but the Socceroos according to a thespian, are Australia’s best example of our diversity in the performance arts 🙂

  25. Glenn Barry

    With the Gubmint now in minority in the house of reps…
    Recetly I saw an interview with Cathy McGowan, one of the independents guaranteeing support for the Gubmint on supply and not participating in a motion of no confidence – in that interview she stated that she was under considerable pressure form her constituents on the plight of those on Manus and Nauru. She also stated that she was in frequent and fruitful discussions with Dutton.

    One wonders if she will tolerate the manipulation that Dutton is perpetrating against the refugees for much longer, especially with the NZ Ardern Government putting their solution front and centre so prominently…

    Perhaps her discussions will bear actual fruit very soon

  26. diannaart

    Andrew J Smith

    Indeed. I think your thespian’s comment on the Socceroos as performance art has provided me with the epiphany I required to create some appreciation of the round ball game. I sometimes despair of my own Victorian parochialism. 😛

    @Glenn Barry

    Hoping Cathy McGowan can bring about some aid for Dutton’s pawns.

  27. Ballarat

    Oppose : totally agree with you on religion.Though there are many sheeple lining up to be lead somewhere.

  28. wam

    “In 1972, the Liberals quietly changed their policy and I don’t remember hearing anyone argue for its return. No, their opposition was quietly dropped and we all were just supposed to forget it about in much the same way we don’t bring up Uncle Eddie’s drunken dancing at his daughter’s wedding.”
    That is the cross labor chooses to bear.

    Remember the rabbott’s debt panic aired daily on sunrise and today and on 7, 9, 10 and 2 newscasts plus 24/7 on the new ABC 24? Day after day on talkback and in every paper?
    Every day the media asked the rabbott’s inane questions of labor. Every day gillard or swan tried to simplify the complex answers which raised other inane questions repeated over and over.

    Even after the disastrous 2013 rabbott win, the labor blame continues. The loonies seize a chance to embarrass shorten and vote to double the debt which the lnp proceed to accomplish still with labor’s AAA.

    All with hardly a peep out of labor or a question for the media to ask to return the embarrassments which hid the gillard achievements.

    Billy and the girl just hoping that the media will be affected by osmosis to ask the questions labor should be driving them to ask even the most basic doubled the debt and spent it on ??? 50b to france? unlimited billions to spain, korea and the septics??

    So it’s unfortunate that after the vote/survey that some people are attempting to argue that it’s “just a flesh wound”.
    ”the theme started as EQUALITY then was hijacked by the extremists provoked by the nastiness of the no and it became homophobic.
    The picture of a fearful congregation prayer in front of the rabbott/pell graffiti and the christian homophobic propaganda fills facebook

    just a flesh wound

    ”the theme started as EQUALITY then was hijacked by the extremists provoked by the nastiness of the no and it became homophobic

    The nasty sick ‘no’ politicians have no idea of the trauma they have caused. Not just to the yes people but to the no.

    How sad is this post from one of my ex-students from the early 80s?

    “Is it true they going to put up people at Tennant Creek Congress with Clever healing hands for the sick. Hearing this from one of the health workers. AnyIhing can happen now because Satan rules now. All the bad things has already taken place. look how far, Same Sex been approve, Holloween has been set to celebrate e and many other’s had been approve by Australia folks.
    Its going to be worsened. You’ll see Rape has already started from a small a town more yet.
    I wander if your souls are safe too and your kids please start praying for protection too, through our Lord Jesus Christ”

    god said yes xxx and so did jesus. these are true fair decisions so do not worry

    The devil said yes, Mr Moir, so watch out what happens to good old Oz next!

    ps michael I understand ricardo is 17 years old so lifetime has less than a year to run before he can think for himself and support a real club. then senility sets in and he will revert to the silver tails?

    pps dianaart the saints have a chance for a new start now the last of the naked groupie boys has gone.

    pps a full house for the rugby last night but I doubt if the tv audience stayed past the samoan version of the haka.


    Ballarrat. “.Though there are many sheeple lining up to be lead somewhere.” yes. including those poor deluded souls who put their faith in ‘the saints’.

  30. Ballarat

    Oppose ” Who’s your favorite Carlton player of all time?

  31. diannaart


    Oh, I did catch the New Zealand V Tonga performance – confirming round ball-game’s art cred. And, yes, only ever bother watching the haka.


  32. Faye Cox

    And Fitzroy my club was murdered by the A.F.L. We were never the “richies”. May all Victorian Clubs rot in hell. So there.

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