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Monday Message Board

June 23rd, 2003

It’s time for the regular Monday Message Board when you have your chance to have your say on any topic whatsoever (as always, civilised discussion and no coarse language, please).

Although I begged off this job in my birthday message, I’ll probably end up doing a “state of the blogosphere” piece before too long, so any suggestions/opinions/predictions of imminent collapse will be of particular interest to me. But, as always, anything goes!

Update I wasn’t sure if there would be much interest in the new GG. But judging from the Message Board there’s heaps, including Rob Corr’s brush with fame.

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  1. malatesta
    June 23rd, 2003 at 10:00 | #1

    The Michael Jeffery appointment should get a 99.9% approval rating.

    Reading in the paper about him, and his origins in WA and particularly Wiluna, the query popped up – what will he say about indigenous Ozzies? Reading on, he addressed that one already.

    If he hates the degradation, the endemic rorting and the dreadful ghettoisation with the passion of Noel Pearson, Jeffery may find his conscience bids him to tread on some toes.

  2. Dave Ricardo
    June 23rd, 2003 at 10:01 | #2

    Let’s kick off with the new GG.

    No suspect clerics this time, I see. Whatever dirt is on the new GG, if there is any, will be military secrets, and so will be unlikely to see the light of day.

    A very sound choice.

  3. Homer Paxton
    June 23rd, 2003 at 10:40 | #3

    John,

    A couple of observations from a recent migrant to the bloggosphere.

    1) Why is there no other social conservatives around? There is no question the majority of Australians are of a social liberal view but this is almost a monopoly view on the blog.

    2) there is a terrible propensity to put opinion into boxes. Yes mainly ‘conservative’ bloggers do it but even sensible people such as Ken Parish get infected. A good example is the invasion of Iraq. The best paper on a ‘just war and Iraq’ came out of the Sydney Anglican diocese. It showed that there were no justifiable reasons to invade Iraq. Suddenly they (and I) went from being right wing christians to left wing activists merely because We disagreed with George .W.

    3) those who complain the loudest about bias have the same standards as the people they complain about. The Bunyip and ABC Watch are prime examples who I have found make the same errors as the ABC or SMH but neither have the guts to say they got it wrong!

    4)On the whole apart from a few exceptions the blogsite are enjoyable to read and sometimes badly contribute to. You, Jason, Robert, Tim Scott, Ken Etal although having different political points of view put your views usually with undue pejoratives and make people think.

    Thank you to all of you sometimes you agree on more than you think !!

  4. June 23rd, 2003 at 11:35 | #4

    I’m not happy about Jeffery. A few years ago, my parents were at a dinner hosted by the then Governor. Apparently, he’s a rude, condescending and downright obnoxious man. When the news broke yesterday, Mum told me to tell Dad, and predicted he’d be furious. He was.

  5. June 23rd, 2003 at 11:43 | #5

    heh, homer is right about the monopoly. he’s only one of the few people to call me a ‘postmodernist relativist’ or something along those lines.

  6. June 23rd, 2003 at 11:53 | #6

    oh for chrissake robert, he offended your family once at dinner and you’re not happy with him? who cares – how many australians will be having an intimate dinner with him except in a public capacity where he’ll have to be on best behaviour? private hypocrisy= public virtue

  7. cs
    June 23rd, 2003 at 12:57 | #7

    I dunno Jason, a “rude, condescending and downright obnoxious man” could spell trouble … which is another way of saying that it’s about time someone wrote a proper job description for this perk … if we’re not allowed to dump it altogether.

  8. Dave Ricardo
    June 23rd, 2003 at 13:25 | #8

    Hollingworth tried to be nicey nice to that paedophile priest, and look where it got him.

    Maybe obnoxious is what is required.

  9. June 23rd, 2003 at 14:19 | #9

    Jason, it wouldn’t have bothered me except he’s all over the news today promising to be a man of the people.

    I’m a bit concerned that the position has again been filled by a person whose career was in an insular, hierarchical, unaccountable institution (first the church, now the military). Although something similar can be said about the judiciary, at least their career progress is typically public.

  10. June 23rd, 2003 at 14:37 | #10

    “Private hypocrisy = public virtue”. Pull-eaze, Jason. I thought that we were talking about a job that required human decency; a quality which universally emanates from the inside/”private” outwards.

    My preferred synonym for upholding a facade of public virtue, then, is “hidden malignancy”.

    The word I think that Robert might be (unconsciously) looking for, to describe the new GG, is “prig”. Of which John Kerr was the exemplar, BTW.

  11. June 23rd, 2003 at 15:11 | #11

    I feel a meme about to spread…

  12. June 23rd, 2003 at 15:36 | #12

    The job of GG doesn’t require decency. You need to know the prime minister (to get the appointment) and do what he says (because that’s the job). You could just give the job to the current PM’s eldest son and it wouldn’t affect Australia in any meaningful way.

    Who cares who the governor general is?

  13. June 23rd, 2003 at 16:31 | #13

    In the interest of balance, Gareth mentioned elsewhere that his parents have watched the footy with the G-G, and he was a decent guy.

  14. June 23rd, 2003 at 18:49 | #14

    Robert lashes out at the Army:
    “insular, hierarchical, unaccountable institution”
    “Insular” and “hierarchical” the Army may be, so is Collingwood Football Club, but unaccountable? Are you suggesting Sen Hill is delinquent in his portfolio?

    Pte. Strocchi

  15. cs
    June 23rd, 2003 at 20:15 | #15

    Appointing a military man as any nation’s head of state is not a good look, particulularly in current climes. Although better than a cleric, its not much better. Civilians only should be a rule.

  16. dsquared
    June 23rd, 2003 at 21:21 | #16

    Y’know, I’ve toured the Australian blogosphere this morning and I can’t find a single mention of the rugby match played at the weekend. Did you guys not see the game or something? Was it only on pay-perview?

    Look away now if you’ve videoed it and are hoping to watch it this evening, but the score was 25-14. To England.

    I just thought that there might be a little more widespread discussion of such a cracking rugby football match.

    dd

  17. wmb
    June 23rd, 2003 at 21:33 | #17

    The ABC today reports that:

    “Australia’s next governor-general says he expects to publicly discuss his views on a range of issues, but will not say anything that is politically controversial.”

    He will I expect find this easier said than done, especially for someone without political experience, except paradoxically his terms as Governor of WA.

    He then was reported as saying that:

    “I think I will be able to talk on issues and principles and values and standards and that sort of thing quite comfortably as governor-general”, and:

    “I think the governor-general can to a degree inform debate in that sense and I see that as a role.”

    I suggest that principles, values and standards are always implicitly, and often explicitly part of the public dialogue and public debate of a democracy. Informing debate, is a political action, I would think, by definition.

    Not that I have the answers in terms of formally prescribing the boundaries of permitted discourse for the Governor-General, or for that matter the Head of State, except that I think, the Prime Minister – who ever occupies that role – will judge what the Governor-General can and cannot say. Notwithstanding the fact, given the nature of the appointment, the currrent prime minister has already done so.

    It is a curious position for a democratic citizen to be in, and to hold.

  18. John
    June 23rd, 2003 at 21:39 | #18

    dsquared, you missed Ken Parish who seems to have some clue about this event.

    The only sports regularly covered on this blog are Australian Rules and basketball. While an English victory in any sporting event is news, a win over Australia in either of these would signal the end of life as we know it.

  19. June 24th, 2003 at 13:54 | #19

    dsquared, Australians lose interest in games when they don’t win them…

  20. dsquared
    June 24th, 2003 at 17:49 | #20

    I have a mate who works in Sydney, who tries to avoid being in the office after major UK/Aus sporting confrontations. His summary is “if they’ve won, they’re unbearable, and if they’ve lost, they’re *absolutely* unbearable”.

  21. Mark
    June 24th, 2003 at 22:21 | #21

    Regarding the GG:

    Instead of GGs saying “I intend to be a man of the people, blah blah blah” it would be much better to have someone who says “I intend to sit in the background and act as a constitutional safeguard. If, at the end of six years, no-one can tell you my name I will regard my time in the position as being successful.”

    That’s all the position is about – the constitution can’t cope with anything else.

  22. Mark
    June 24th, 2003 at 22:32 | #22

    And regarding the rugby, I’ve been living in England these last couple of years, and I cannot see that Australia will be able to cope with the complete game that England can turn on at the moment – it’ll be an England/NZ final I think.

    The game on Saturday was great – especially from the perspective of a sometime prop forward. Jonny Wilkinson was required to operate only at 60% capacity. In a tough game when he turns the dial up to full, I think even an in-form Australia will be blown away.

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