Andrew James Whalan

Poet Blogger Writer

Tag: alp

Why Mark Latham Can’t Get It Right On Domestic Violence

Perhaps it really was a quiet news week. Apart, that is, from the Budget, Johnny Depp’s dogs, double-dipping mothers and the Rohingya refugee crisis. But perhaps with domestic violence in some of the news, Mark Latham decided to single dip and write another opinion column.

And he’s done it again. Or to use the academic expression, more research is required before a conclusion can be drawn.

As I waded through this column, looking for insight, I found it. But I had to ignore all the flim-flam frippery about Tim Watts, Peter Walsh, the ALP,¬† Government intervention, Parliamentarians Against Family Violence, Attila the Hun (some interesting juxtapositions there), Paul Keating, government intervention (again), until Latham finally, finally, at last, made his point. “This is an issue where politicians have struggled with their own behaviour, let alone found solutions for the rest of the country.” True. And I thought to myself, does he have a solution?

And he does. He diagnoses the root cause of domestic violence easily, simply and elegantly. But perhaps he’s been watching too much Struggle Street. The cause is self-evident. Poverty and unemployment. Wife bashing (as he calls it) can be solved by making the poor rich and giving them a job.

If I was a heavy-duty latte-sipper I would’ve spilled froth everywhere. But being a mere flat white drinker, I just skimmed the rest.

And my conclusion. Mark Latham does not know what he is talking about. His focus is too narrow. Domestic violence is wife bashing. But domestic violence is intimate partner violence.Domestic violence won’t be solved through fighting poverty and unemployment important as those issues are. Domestic violence would then have been solved as the rich and employed wouldn’t commit it. But domestic violence isn’t confined to class, or race or creed or sexual preference. A glib answer. A slick solution.

Domestic violence is an attitude.

And my advice. Don’t read the column. Don’t get mad at Mark. Talk to him about it. Talk to him about poverty and unemployment. Talk to him about the victims of domestic violence. Let him do his research and then draw his conclusions.

The Self Doubt of Greg Hunt

Hidden among the reaction to the first Australian Government Direct Action emissions abatement auctions is an interesting and revealing response from the relevant minister Greg Hunt.
To recap, the Direct Action scheme has spent 25% of the funds allocated to abate carbon. For that spend, it will  theoretically abate 15% of the required 5% emissions reduction. Both figures are far too low by world standards.
Hunt believes that the full target can be achieved in the timeframe. No-one else does.
Hunt has derided his critics as ALP stooges and exaggerated the price of carbon under the ALP government ($1300) without an accompanying explanation.
Typically, it seems, much like his colleagues he’s afraid of criticism and prepared to exaggerate. So there’s nothing to see here, just move along.
But it was Hunt’s recollection of his conversation with  John Connor of the Climate Institute  that was for me most revealing.
Hunt claimed they gave him  full approval. The Climate Institute clarified the conversation just stating they saw the process as transparent and the projects had potential
I wondered, “Why would Hunt do that?”
My surmise is that those are the words of a man driven by self-doubt.
His course should now be clear. Hunt should admit he needs a better plan. A real ETS. It would cure his self-doubt too.

Vale Gough Whitlam

Having heard the sad news of Gough Whitlam, it reminded me of this.

Many years ago I was asked to scrutineer (check the validity of votes cast as they were counted by the electoral officers) for a friend running for office.
Luckily as the son of two political parents, I learnt scrutineering at my mother’s knee.

In this case, my friend was one of two candidates for this office so the job was as easy as could be. But I had a pleasant surprise.

On one of the ballot papers, someone had neatly printed Whitlam,E. G. added a box and had filled in the number 1 leaving the other candidates blank.
On the day of his passing all I can do is agree!

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