We’ll need a huge crowd to stop war against Iran

I’m not good with crowds – not since the early days of journalism in Toowoomba when I under-reported numbers at the annual Carnival of Flowers parade. “Next time check with the police,” I was told and mostly continued to do so, on occasions when crowds gathered for newsworthy events. It is not always a given that members of the constabulary will give you an accurate-enough figure of crowds. Police under-estimated by 50% or so the…

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Take me to your leader – the quest continues

Imagine a flying saucer lands in your back yard and an alien (drooling or not) alights. “Take me to your leader,” it telepathically commands, as it is from an advanced civilisation, intent upon savings ours. “Aw yeah, mate.” (pointing). “That’s our leader over there, the one in the striped designer shirt, mingling with the homeless folk.” If you dig around on the Internet long enough you’ll find lists of world leaders people would rather not…

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Dawe, Morrow and Gessen – Satire and The Rise Of Populism

Actor/satirist Bryan Dawe has such a low-key, laconic approach to ‘giving a talk’ that the journalistic instinct to take notes deserted me. Dawe is the surviving half of the satirical act Clarke & Dawe, but he is much more than that. He told the audience at Griffith University’s Integrity 20 Summit that when it came to political satire, he and John Clarke had never been short of material over 25 years of producing their weekly…

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Great wall of Mexico

There are precedents for President Donald Trump’s plan to build, or complete a 3,208 kilometre wall between Mexico and the US. The Australian outback features not one but two barrier fences, sprawling the length and breadth of the country. A tour guide took us on a sunset tour out to the ‘dog fence’ near Coober Pedy in 2014. The South Australian section of the 5,531km fence which runs from the SA border to Queensland is…

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