Thursday, October 11, 2007

Buck passing is making us all ill...

Despite the fact that everybody everywhere is sick and tired of buck passing and blame shifting in politics, it seems to be all we are getting at the moment. In particular, the growing mountain of evidence to indicate that public hospitals are failing to provide the standard of care we should be entitled to expect is still being ignored by the NSW government. When pushed on the subject the Premier and the Health Minister will invariably cry poor and accuse the Commonwealth of starving them of funds. The Commonwealth, on the other hand, insists that they have paid every penny of the funds agreed to by the states, and that the states have failed to manage the health system effectively. The fact is they are both right. However, the claim by the states is a dummy pass. Whatever funds they have available, it is the responsibility of the states to DO something. The real problem is that instead of addressing the issues we have got more finger pointing and buck passing than ever before. And until the NSW Government recognizes that the massive Area Health Services bureaucracy is part of the problem no amount of additional funding is actually going to fix it. It’s clearly wrong to blame John Howard for the failure of our public hospitals, but things have reached the point where there is an expectation that he should fix it. Meanwhile, workchoices has disappeared from the front page… co-incidence? Or clever politics?

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Shock! Balls seen in football dressing room!

I’m not sure how many people have seen the video footage of Michael Robertson in his birthday suit in the Manly dressing room after the grand final. It might be easier to ask how many people have not seen it, such is the power of the internet. There is absolutely no doubt that the exposure was completely accidental, and Michael Robertson had no idea he was on camera. The incident does raise more than one question though. Firstly, in our pursuit of better and better coverage of sporting events, have we gone too far with cameras and microphones intruding into places that would once have been out of bounds. Secondly, once the image was accidentally captured, the fact is that one individual decided that it would be funny to upload the video onto the internet. Has that individual gone too far? Was it appropriate that he has lost his job? And while many will see the funny side, the entire affair has been terribly embarrassing for Manly, and Mr. Robertson. For my money, I don’t understand why anybody would be shocked or surprised to see a naked bloke in the dressing room after a footy match. For heaven’s sake, what do you expect? Michael Robertson and the Manly Club have absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about, and even the cameraman can be forgiven for not noticing what was happening in the background. If we are so worried about this sort of thing getting seen the answer is simple… keep the cameras out of the shed. Now, that’s not hard is it?

What are your thoughts? Click the link to post your comments.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Capital punishment... will it hurt Kevin Rudd?

Kevin Rudd and his Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Robert McClelland have decided to take a stand opposing capital punishment in Asia. While Australia has officially opposed the death penalty for quite some time, there have been times in recent years when our government has quietly chosen not to voice that opposition. In particular, Australian authorities have given the silent nod of approval for the execution of the Bali bombers, and also of Saddam Hussein. As a matter of principle the opposition is right. If you don’t oppose the death penalty with 100% consistency, then you cannot claim to truly oppose it. For many people, the fate of the Bali bombers is nothing less than they deserve, and some Australians will probably be offended by the suggestion that they be spared. What might also be unsettling for some is the fact that this Friday is the 5th anniversary of the first Bali bombing. So, is Kevin Rudd risking a voter backlash over his Foreign Affairs spokesman's stand opposing the execution of the Bali bombers? Not on your life! Mr. Rudd has quickly moved to distance himself from Mr. McClelland's remarks. But ultimately, if you truly oppose capital punishment, there is no other position available.

What do you think?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Pole Dancing for Beginners

The sexualisation of children has been of increasing concern to the community for some time now. There has been much debate about teenage fashion models, about the clothing marketed to teenage and even pre-teenage girls, and about the example set by role models in popular music such as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Now there’s an interesting pair of women… one of them tragically off the rails, the other reveling in her success. But what they both have in common is something that has become known as “Raunch Culture”. Until now, there has been a cloud of ambiguity around the whole debate. What some might see as sexy, others might see as sweet and innocent. But now the debate has reached a whole new level with the latest craze being pole dancing. There is absolutely no ambiguity about pole dancing. It comes fully loaded with all the sexual connotations of a buck’s night at the strip club, whether you like it or not. Now it’s all very well for adults to have a bit of fun, and good luck to them, but there is something truly disturbing about the idea of teaching seven year old girls how to pole dance. What’s more disturbing is the handful of parents who seem to think it’s a good idea.

What do you think?