Why political parties can spam without penalty

I should feel miffed, being one of the 14.4 million Australian mobile phone owners who did not receive an unsolicited text message from the political party led by the aspiring Member for Herbert, Clive Palmer. Some of my Facebook friends, and even those not on Facebook, let the world know in no uncertain terms what they thought of receiving an unsolicited text from the United Australia Party (UAP), previously known as Palmer United Party (PUP)….

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Ten days in Aotearoa

As the doors swished open at Brisbane International Airport and I walked out into 35 degrees and a dusty, smoky atmosphere, I very briefly wished I hadn’t left Aotearoa behind. How I love the mellifluous way that Maori word trips off the tongue – Ao-tea-ro-a. The Maori language uses vowels more than we do in English and it also uses them in combinations. The language has fewer consonants, preferring the use of Wh to replace…

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People without lists are listless

Someone (possibly one of my lecturers), once said: ‘People without lists are listless’ – perhaps an observation on my then lack of motivation. Decades later, I went in search of the origins of this quote and came up empty, although there are many other pithy quotes about the universal ‘to-do’ list. Author Mary Roach, who has many opinions about lists, says that by making a list of things to be done, she loses “that vague,…

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Six Prime Ministers and a potato class action

As the dry winter fades away, ushering in a hot and bushfire-prone spring and summer, here’s some sober reflections on ‘Single-use Prime Ministers’. I borrowed the single-use mention from a clever meme doing the rounds on social media, where, I might say in defence of the humble Kipfler, Sebago and Desiree, potatoes continue to be openly defamed. It might not be long before we see headlines where Tryhard & Associates, no win-no fee, mount a…

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