A home girt by sea… and one that is not.

Well, it has to be done. On Tuesday, next week, I will be flying out to Awestruck-and-failure for a 3 week stint. My junior attachment will be participating in something called World Scholars, an academic forum involving children from 50 countries. The event is being held in the Melbourne Convention Centre form the 18th to 21st of August. Continue reading “A home girt by sea… and one that is not.”

Festival of Chariots

Ratha Yatra, Brisbane style

When I saw the headline in the local paper, I thought we must have done something rather well if we’d achieved such an exalted status.   But no, nothing to do with us.   Just an annual event that’s been running for about 5,000 years or so.   And even for the past 5 years in Brissie, I find.

It’s a celebration within Hinduism which has caught on in many cities around the world, possibly because of the Beatles’ early fascination with Krishna, and a jolly good thing it has, in my ‘umble opinion.   You can look it up in Wiki, or on this local site.

Unlike many other religions, which are so often associated the screaming of dire imprecations and much frothing at the mouth, Hinduism likes to look on the sunny side of the street, so notice that everyone is smiling broadly, and entering into the spirit of the thing.   Which seems magically to make pulling a four-ton chariot a pleasant task.   Good on ’em!   Here’s the article in the Brisbane Times which caught my eye.

Boadicea is in Japan for a while, but she’ll be back soon.   I hope.

Australia has finally gone bonkers

. . . well Turnbull has, at least

By Prime Ministerial edict, from today no Government Minister (of either gender) may engage in sexual relations (of any type) with any member of his/her departmental staff (of whatever persuasion – LBGTWXYZ etc) at pain of being removed from his/her Ministry.

Please note that we are not talking about minors here (that has been legally verboten for decades) or disadvantaged or disabled staff (which is equally a no-no).

We are, apparently, most concerned about hierarchical ‘duty of care’, which quite reasonably worries that the boss might use job sanctions to pressurise the junior.

But between fully consenting – nay, enthusiastic – adults of sound mind with no positive or negative sanctions involved, it’s anachronistic, invasive bullying of the worst kind.

Presumably Australia is now aspiring to become the fourth Islamic Reich – “ve have vays of making you celibate!”

Or something.  😎

Where’s Ron’s mate Phil Slocombe when you need him?

You Huns! Accepting defeat with grace ain’t your bag, eh?

Lewis caught up with Nico and passed him on the final circuit but Nico didn’t like it, caused a little prang and kept on driving with a damaged car. The stewards penalised him, not Lewis.

German fans then booed Lewis on the podium.

And today it will be the yellow-clad Aussies’ turn to show decorum on Centre Court when their potty-mouthed hero meets Andy. Will Nick manage it? Cliff-hanging stuff.

Same Topic (Politics) – Different Venue (Oz)

In case no-one knows, today Oz is going to the Polls. It’s a bit different from the UK.

Polling Day is always a Saturday, the polls open at 8.00 am and shut at 6.00 pm and voting is compulsory – fines apply for not voting – and every polling station has a sausage sizzle (no fines apply for not buying or eating the same). Continue reading “Same Topic (Politics) – Different Venue (Oz)”

Pragmatic Modern Politics

The Chariot seems recently to have become obsessed with the politics of failure.   The UK, the EUSSR, the slimmed-down USSR and the USA (which should be discreetly sectioned for its own safety) are all failing or already failed, yet they are an almost inevitable topic of debate on these pages.   Thanks for some cuddly canine relief, Araminta.

Now I realise that many of you have been blinkered by your local media, but please broaden your horizons a smidgen.   The only region of the globe that is currently a rapidly growing economic powerhouse is the Asia-Pacific.   China may be taking a slight breather right now, but it’s a big bugger and getting bigger and better all the time.   Have you looked at India recently?   Getting ready to overtake China in most KPIs India is – goodness gracious me!

Indonesia has begun to drag itself up by its bootstraps, and as a result is on the verge of joining the big-boy’s club.   Many smaller nations in the region are also doing their best to achieve economic take-off while they watch, possibly with a sprinkling of schadenfreude, the old failures in the West bickering about nothing and doing less.

Where stands Australia in all this?

Very comfortably, thank you.  We survived the GFC better than any other nation, we have a wealth of goods and services for sale (at sensible prices) and we’ve lately developed the knack of being the guy who sets up and brings to fruition several very large, very popular trade agreements.

We don’t try to bully other nations – we can’t, they’re bigger than us – we’ve stopped lecturing them about how they should become more Western and are making it clear that we now see ourselves as Asian-Pacific folks.

We have a foreign minister with the ability to take the UN by the scruff of the neck and make it do things in days rather than years.   And she does it with a smile that has even elected dictators wriggling with delight.   Julie Bishop, for the temporarily bewildered.   I shan’t post a piccie lest you guys have instant conniptions.

OK, Austrayia has its problems, we’re not perfect.   But we’re not far off, and we look forwards, not back.   Have a squiz at some Aussie media and see for yourselves.