Happy New Year to everyone and best wishes for 2016.
As you’re aware, I haven’t published anything here at LibertyGibbert for the last six months. I am undergoing a bit of a career change, and have been tied up with study for much of that time. I have also made good on the commitment I made after the 2013 bushfires, and a good deal of my time is now devoted to community-based volunteer work. One thing on top of another, and blogging has been for me very much a third-order priority.
I thought I might have another go at it this year, but with a somewhat different direction. I have little interest in writing any more about politics, which is the same old human venality, year in and year out. Similarly, writing any more about Global Warming would be a bit like maintaining a fixation with the Y2K bug. I may do something at some stage should the mood take me. But really, there are so many writers who cover these subjects so much better than I ever could, that I feel as though anything I add would be superfluous.
Four hours ago, Australian nationals Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the ringleaders of the heroin-smuggling syndicate known as the “Bali Nine”, were executed by firing squad on Nusakambangan Island in Indonesia. A ten-year-long media feeding frenzy might now finally come to a halt.
Just a quick conversation starter while I’m out the back cutting wood. The UK general election, to be held in ten days’ time, could be a watershed in western politics, not just the British variety. Or it could be yet another business-as-usual fizzer.
…or, depending on your viewpoint, the right to freedom of association, the right to be a bigot, or the right to uphold the principles of religion.
At first glance, it looks straightforward enough. Mike Pence, the Governor of the State of Indiana, is reported to have watered down a bill that would have protected Christian businesses from being forced to provide services which ran counter to their religious principles. The example most frequently cited is Christian bakeries and florists being forced to supply gay weddings.
I have heard some great speeches in my time. Some years ago, I posted on this blog Ronald Reagan’s 1964 speech supporting Republican Presidential nominee Barry Goldwater. I was personally present at the steps of the Sydney Opera House in 1986 to hear Pope John Paul the Great, and four years later to hear Nelson Mandela speak to the Australian people as a free man. In 1997, along with millions around the world, I watched with sadness as Earl Spencer eulogized his recently-deceased sister.
Reporting on the Australian Labor government’s palace coup in 2013 was both instructive for me and jolly good fun. Fun, because I personally loathed many of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd administration’s policies and could not wait for them to be booted out of office. Changing leaders only months out from a federal election all but guaranteed they would be fired by the people in short order. Instructive, because it has made plain that the balance of our system of government has tilted markedly in the past half century.
I’m still neck-deep in work at the moment, and might not have time for anything lengthy till the end of the month. But here are some conversation starters, the main issues of the last two months which you are at liberty to pick up on or not. Continue reading →
Sorry I’ve been AWOL folks, but there hasn’t been any time to scratch my nose, let alone blog. I’m involved in a sort of side project that has ballooned, and looks set to become my new full-time career when it’s complete in a year’s time.
Anyway, I’m off on holidays as of today. I have a couple of half-completed articles that I may get around to finishing at my leisure, so if you’d like to be notified when they come out then subscribe to this site if you haven’t done so already.
In the meantime, may you and yours have a very merry Christmas and a New Year filled with joy, prosperity and freedom.