What the left hand doesn’t know

Last week, Friday the 13th, I intended to write about International Left Handers’ Day. Apparently it’s been a thing since 1976 – a clever way of making  people aware of this difference, at least once a year. Clearly the organisers of International Left Handers’ Day do not suffer from  Triskaidekaphobia, a fear of Friday the 13th. Phobias are an irrational fear of one or more of hundreds of strange things that induce panic attacks in…

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Older Australians an economic burden

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s much-reported speech, where he referred to my cohort (the over-65s) as ‘an economic time bomb’, should not be seen as random. The speech to the conservative think tank, the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), was deeply calculated. Frydenberg’s thesis is that older Australians should work longer and take up re-training to help facilitate a return to the work force, thus easing the country’s social security burden. Frydenberg was immediately…

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Get the kids off Nauru, maybe

We’ve been learning a protest song for our choir’s Christmas concert. Actually it is a plea for peace, the musical equivalent of a street march – “What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? Now.” John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Happy Xmas/War is Over starts by asking the universal question so many of us end up asking ourselves: “And so it is Christmas, and what have we done? Another year over, a new…

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Human Rights and Halloween

You always have to look for the silver lining; like the Queensland Parliament introducing a Human Rights Act on the same day (31st October) that people were walking the streets dressed as ghouls and zombies, reminding us that Christmas is just 55 days away. Christmas Island is just around the corner too – well, it’s precisely 1,550 kms north-west of Perth. But it is an Australian territory, unlike Nauru and Manus Island. I mention human…

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