Monthly Archives: January 2011

Hero and villain of the week: 29/1/11

Hero:  Another good week for heroes with the announcement of the Australian of the Year and a whole host of gongs recognising service in all its various forms. One name stood out for me among the many worthy recipients: Peter … Continue reading

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Women in politics: almost equal?

With the election, early this week, of Lara Giddings as Tasmanian Premier on the retirement of David Bartlett, Australia now has four women as heads of Australian governments. Four women leaders, all ALP, out of nine governments is a statistic … Continue reading

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Public language: can we have eloquent leaders again, please?

When, precisely, did public language become so bland? So full of cliches and spin? So bloody meaningless? And how is this affecting our public view of the language-manglers? Don Watson’s wonderful satire of bureaucraspeak, Weasel Words, summed up, from A … Continue reading

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Hero and villain of the week: 22/1/11

Hero: Two heroes this week, both cricketers and both Australians.  Shane Watson and Shaun Marsh dominated the first two matches of the One Day Internationals with centuries that set up their team for victory on both occasions.  Watson also backed … Continue reading

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Censoring literature – it won’t work

I don’t rightly remember when politically correct language started to be used in mainstream everyday life.  Its critics may sneer that it has made the language bland and taken us into an era of Orwellian newspeak, but gender neutral terms … Continue reading

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Jurassic Park: the reality show

They’re at it again.  The Jurassic Park wannabes are talking about cloning long-extinct prehistoric creatures because … well, because they can.  No better reason. I’ve worked with environmental scientists and solar energy physicists.  I count many scientists among my friends … Continue reading

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The politics of resilience

We’ve heard a lot about resilience in the last week or so, particularly in relation to communities and their capacity to regroup and rebuild after disasters.  Encapsulated in the words of Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, “the flood may break our … Continue reading

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