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The Independent Weekly
December 18 - January 7, 2010 hear say
This column is almost entirely
free of sex, claimed, denied or
none of our business. It also
tries to rise above the changing
climate of Liberals although, as
it will be revealed, this cannot be
We re interested in much more
sober forms of domination, such
as trying to govern ourselves.
Evidence suggests we re not very
good at it. However, it is time we
In our present stitched-up,
corporate, take-no-risks ways of
governance it may be unfashion-
able, but we really should go back
to those golden fin de siecle days
and think once more of making
Australia a republic.
Nothing much needs to change.
We could still have a prime
minister who says a special deal
on refugees is not a special deal on
refugees and, even though most
of us reckon he s right that our
gluttonous habits are mucking up
the climate, he could still not give us
the faintest idea of how he s trying
to fix it.
We still easily cope with an
Opposition Leader, whoever it
happens to be, even if he is driven
by a Right wing that reckons the
sullen climate is a Left-wing plot to
take over the world, no less.
We could still keep on throwing
money at the Global Financial
Crisis even though we ve had our
big triumph and really should start
to think more about saving money.
And we could keep on so binding
ourselves up managing every tiny
detail of everything that we don t
have much time left to do very much
Or among the States, we could
keep on finding new ways to
shrivel our freedom to beat threats
from anything from terrorists to
ordinary thugs. It is legitimate to
take it down to State level. After all,
if we re a republic, we won t have
a governor even though for years
here they ve stopped being exiled
foreign generals or remittance men.
Some of the recent chaps and ladies
in fact have been pretty decent to
Not having a governor won t stop
us pushing a shopping centre on
to mental health hospital grounds,
or confusing parks and "transport
oriented development", or
charging good money to dine with
our leaders, or kindly accepting
donations from thoughtful develop-
ers, or flustering about water, or
ruling through media minders, or
agreeing to push iron ore through
a sweet fishing port, or avoiding an
anti-corruption commission, or dis-
covering that the bushfire-menaced
Adelaide Hills Council area doesn t
collect green waste, or having an
alternative leader throwing away
an aura of good common sense to
think being whacked by a Taser is
No. With a republic we can still
Say goodbye to the Gov'na
Atkinson and Consumer
Affairs Minister Gail
Gago had us enthralled the
other day when they announced
"irresponsible liquor licensees
contributing to illegal and
unruly booze-driven behaviour
are warned to lift their game".
Unless they do, warn the
pair, they ll be nicked by new
powers proposed for police and
paddy-wacked by the Liquor
and Gaming Commissioner, Bill
These new powers include
emergency temporary shutdowns
of licensed venues. Which got us
wondering: wouldn t it have been
a good idea to have introduced
this before -- not after -- the
Night of the Long Drinks in the
parliamentary bar when boozy
Labor MPs plotted to overthrow
Then again, which parliamen-
tary staffer would be game to turn
off the taps? Oh, yes! There it is
in the ministers media release:
police would be empowered to
remove people who supply liquor
to drunk people.
Amid the mutters over ex-Carlton
and now-Brisbane Lions player
Brendan Fevola s drunken antics
comes news that
the cricket world
on the Indian
getting a little
demanded the immediate resigna-
tion of India s cricket coach, Gary
Kirsten, for "attacking the moral
fibre of the country" by encouraging
sex indulgence among the nation s
cricket players. Kirsten claimed it
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed says
India s youth looks up to the cricket
players as role models. He says that
if the national cricket team indulges
in undisciplined casual sex, it s
scary to imagine what the rest of the
country s youth will do.
"Moreover, in Hinduism, women
were revered," said Zed. "Kirsten
appears to be indirectly hinting the
team and resultantly others to use
women as a kind of gym equipment
to become fit as a pre-match prepara-
tion strategy to win the match."
Zed, president of Universal
Society of Hinduism, said ancient
Upanishads considered sex as
sacred, and sexual desire as only
partly physical. It was envisioned
as a spiritual force -- high octane,
creative, and pure energy.
Even so, various Hindu texts
describe sex as one of the six accom-
plishments, called shatsampat.
For Botters and Lachy (any
resemblance to the Premier s media
advisers Jill Bottrall and Lachlan
Parker is entirely in the mind of the
L: Time of good cheer, Botters.
B: What s to cheer about? I m
L: Hey ho, be happy! You ve monstered
enough reporters. The Boss is still the
B: That s something I guess.
L: And we re going to have a stey-hey-
B: I m gonna hit you
L: Hey ho! And a footbridge too!
B: That all we ve got to show for a
year? Oval and a bridge?
L: What about the ho-ho-hospital?
B: It s all just plans, Lachy.
L: Nice video fly-throughs. And one
less tram to worry about.
B: That s not a plan. That s a saving.
B: Politicians and pandas don t mix.
L: Botters, don t despair. Jezebel
seems to be on the back foot.
B: Isobel? Maybe. But do they still like
L: Massive popularity. Always on the
B: Poor choice of words, Lachy.
L: OK. Leading the state to massive
B: Must stop him saying massive.
L: What about the trip to Copenhagen?
B: Better than Coventry. But no one
L: Small fish, big pond?
B: More like tadpole. Anyway, we ve
avoided a scandal.
L: So far. And Hillster and Jay the
Weatherman are quiet.
B: Now you re cheering me up. But I
still don t trust em.
L: Trust? Who can you?
B: I love that RAA ad.
L: Hey, what say we pinch it!
B: For the election?
L: Yeah and we have the funny guy
saying: "Trust! Who can you?" And up
comes the Boss.
B: Looking like an insurance
L: Could be worse. I can see it: "Trust
him to protect South Australians."
B: "Insuring jobs for the people."
L: Well ours at least.
B: Now I m all cheered up. Happy
*Not based on a real story.
The immigrants have taken over!
Koalas used to be a favourite attrac-
tion at the Adelaide Zoo -- now things
are much more black and white. And
in Adelaide backyard gardens and
public parks, foreign plants and trees
clearly dominate over Aussie natives.
But the Adelaide Botanic Garden
is fighting back. Its new Australian
native garden features home-grown
plants exclusively, and demonstrates
why native gardens are suited for our
"Native plants are water-efficient,
fragrant, make low demands on our
fragile soils and adapt to heat and
sunlight," enthused Environment
Minister Jay Weatherill.
to that The common or garden belief that
mobile phones make working people s
lives more stressful is wrong, accord-
ing to research published this week.
Three academics studied 1083
Australians and found people using
mobiles the most did not feel more
pressed for time. Researchers said
mobile phones gave the users greater
flexibility about schedules.
The study was carried out by
Professor Michael Bittman and
Judith Brown from the University
of New England in Australia and
Professor Judy Wajcman from the
London School of Economics in the
UK. They report that people who used
mobiles most often at work and away
from the office felt no more stress than
If you d like more information,
call Professor Michael Bittman. His
mobile number is 0432 ... no, that
would be too cruel.
number's up A time of...
Panda v koala
an independent voice
Charles II: do we really want a third?
We ve had an email from a
man who describes himself
as "Honourable" Peter
Lewis. That would be the
former Liberal who pitched
his tent in the Labor camp
when it promised him the
thereby creating the Rann
"Honourable Peter Lewis
added you as a friend on
hi5," read the email. "We
need to confirm that you
know Honourable Peter
Lewis in order for you to be
friends on hi5."
We didn t know much
about hi5, which is like
Facebook or MySpace, so we
went to the site. Lucky we
did! A pop-up showed that
Hear say was the 10-mil-
lionth visitor and we were
in the draw to win $60,000.
Imagine the chances: one in
10 million. We haven t been
so fortunate since we got a
Copenhagen has come and
almost gone, but here in
the City of Churches the
funeral industry is in on the
action. Centennial Park is
now offering "carbon offset
But it still doesn t fix the
afterlife and the problem
of Hell always getting
hotter. All those poor souls
burning eternally without an
emissions trading scheme.
The other man's grass
is always greener
The old way: a traditional
cremation ceremony in Bali, left,
and a modern cremation oven,
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