Our Obsession With U.S. Politics

For reasons attributed to the way my mind works, the 1950s children’s song ‘Nellie the Elephant’ has been in my head for months now. If the complete domination of the airwaves by the US election is getting you down, just sing this happy refrain: “Nellie the elephant packed her trunk and said goodbye to the circus, off she went with a trumpety trump – trump, trump, trump.” Yes, once heard never able to be un-heard.The song…

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When Campbell Newman lost his seat

Queensland heads to the polls tomorrow, four years and nine months after the historic defeat of Campbell Newman and the LNP Coalition. I thought it would be interesting and educational to revisit those restive times, when Campbell Newman became only the second sitting Premier since Federation to lose his seat. Mr Newman’s seat of Ashgrove was taken by Kate Jones, who ironically is quitting politics in 2020 to pursue other interests. The Tourism Minister’s last…

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Conspiracies, Daffodils and Tulips

In spring, as the poet said, a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of conspiracy. Wait! I just misquoted Alfred Tennyson and there’s a one in eight chance that someone under 34 will believe the quote is authentic. While the new season takes tentative steps towards summer (tulips and daffodils flowering), imported conspiracy theories have taken root in Australia. The media noticed; with The Australian, the New Daily, The Guardian and 60 Minutes among those…

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The return of capital punishment

In February, my attention was caught by a bizarre story about the Sri Lankan government advertising for two public executioners of “strong moral character”. I let it go at the time, as the topic seemed too morbid for FOMM readers. But that was before Donald Trump’s government last month re-introduced capital punishment in the US for Federal offences. People in Trump’s government have been lobbying to reintroduce capital punishment, last used in 2003. The main…

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