richard.obrien's blog

The Devil You Know

Once upon a time:

The devil you knew was superstition, the devil you didn't was reason.

The devil you knew was conjecture, the devil you didn't was knowledge.

The devil you knew was trepidation, the devil you didn't was discovery.

The devil you knew was tyranny, the devil you didn't was democracy.

The devil you knew was slavery, the devil you didn't was freedom.

The devil you knew was a woman in her place, the devil you didn't was a woman fulfilling her potential.

The devil you knew was segregation, the devil you didn't was inclusion.

A Hanson Reward

Why shouldn't we condemn Pauline Hanson as just another ignorant racist? Well because all the other ignorant racists didn't cost us $1.2 million this election.


Under election rules, the Australian Electoral Commission pays parties and candidates $2.62 for every first-preference vote they get in each state or division in which they attract more than 4% of the vote.

Three Years of Governance

Today Malcolm Turnbull returned to the prime minister's office to commence another three years of insipid, dishonest, manipulative, underhanded, discriminatory, narrow-minded, economically inept and socially irresponsible government on the back of three previous years of incompetent, second-rate government.

Also on the this day, one hundred years ago, Edward Gough Whitlam was born.

Here is what he achieved in just under three years:

No Regrets

“I defend the decision that I took. I don’t resile from it. I don’t believe it was the wrong decision.”
- John Howard

So just to clarify:

In 2003 John Howard made a decision to go to war based on flawed evidence and inadequate planning.

A war that the majority of Australians did not support.

A war that was not sanctioned by the United Nations.

A war that did not produce any evidence of the weapons program that was used to justify the invasion.

Malcolm Turnbull, a Who's Not Who of Prime Ministers.

Malcolm Turnbull was born in Sydney in 1954. He did not grow up in poverty, with a dissability, in a remote community, the victim of domestic violence, or reliant on any number of government services. He was not a fee paying student at university or person in debt to the government for his law degree.

Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister in September 2015, on the basis of not being Tony Abbott. The Coalition's flagging popularity improved and Turnbull began to open up a lead as preferred PM, on the basis of not being Bill Shorten.

A Glossary of Minor Parties

The names of political parties can sometimes be misleading - the Liberals aren't very liberal, the Nationals only represent rural constituents, the Labor party aren't American, and the Greens are the same colour as the rest of us - so here is a hastily researched list of all minor political parties registered for the 2016 election.

Okay it's a bit long but so is the bloody Senate ballot paper. Happy voting.

Clear Economic Plans

"Our clear economic plan is more essential than ever as we enter this period of uncertainty in global markets following the British vote to leave the European Union."

- Malcolm Turnbull

That clear economic plan has increased the deficit by $33 billion in two and a half years and seen Australia go backward in terms of wealth, productivity, jobs growth and trade.

Equivalent Statistics

"Frankly people of strong religious views, they have been subjected to quite dreadful hate speech and bigotry as well...I know it from personal experience, having been exposed to that sort of hatred and bigotry for the views I've taken, from others who have a different view to me."
- Scott Morrison, responding to Penny Wong's comments on hate speech directed towards LGBTI people.

Dear Scott

Thanks to hate speech and bigotry from, among others, conservative Christians like yourself, LGBTI people in Australia are:

Parakeelia – An economic success story

Who are Parakeelia?

Parakeelia Pty Ltd was established in 1989 by then Liberal Party treasurer, Ron Walker. Its address is the federal Liberal Party headquarters in Canberra. The company directors are federal Liberal Party director Tony Nutt and party president Richard Alston.

Parakeelia produces only one product, a software program called Feedback, which compiles data on constituents and allows MPs to profile and target undecided voters, while ignoring the decided ones. The program is sold exclusively to Liberal MPs. The ALP uses a similar program called Campaign Central.

Christensen Turtle under threat

Voters in the North Queensland electorate of Dawson are being asked to donate to the Eco Barge Clean Seas Turtle sanctuary to help rescue the now endangered Christensen turtle. The Christensen turtle, which some political scientists say could be extinct after July 2, is a slow moving and dim-witted reptile, struggling to survive in the modern political environment.


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