Tamil Tigers roar no more

According to the Sri Lankan government the Tamil terrorists are finished. The military leader of the terrorists is dead. This is welcome news for the Sri Lankans who have endured so much suffering at the hands of the Tamils. We shall see in the fullness of time whether this claim is true. For the time being, however, the Sri Lankans are jubilant.

So how was this victory achieved? Not by negotiations, not by being told to make friends with the Tamils and certainly not by giving in to their threats of further terrorism.

The victory was achieved by military force. Sadly, many Tamil civilians were displaced and many were killed. Thousands in fact. What is very noticeable, but not surprising, is the lack of protest from the rest of the world about the military tactics used by the Sri Lankan army.

Is Sri Lanka going to be admonished in the U.N? Are there protests in universities and on the streets of the Western World against the killing of thousands of Tamils? Amazing isn’t it, how there is one rule for the rest of the world and another for Israel.

If Israel decides to defend itself against 4000 missiles being launched against it, then Israel is wrong. Sanctions are called for. The UN throws a fit because Israel has had enough of suicide attacks. What a double standard this is!

My advice to Israel is to do whatever it has to do to ensure that its citizens can live in safety. I also believe that no matter what Israel does, and it certainly does everything possible to ensure that it is careful in its reprisals, it will always be regarded as the aggressor.

It should, therefore, act responsibly to protect itself. This should be done ethically because it is a civilised nation which allows everyone to vote in elections, even Palestinians who can elect their own representatives to the Knesset (Israeli parliament). But I strongly believe that Israel should do whatever it needs to do in the face of bigotry and concerted activities by left-wingers and Arab militants who are in cahoots because they want the destruction of the state of Israel. Why supposed freedom-loving lefties can join those who are against personal freedom and women’s rights used to intrigue me.

I have now stopped being intrigued by the question of two opposites working in unison. In my opinion, these two diametrically opposed ideologies are brought together by anti-semitism. It’s as simple as that. It’s not about Palestinians or Middle East Peace Processes. It’s about hatred. Why this is so no longer interests me. All I know is that Israel should look after its own people in the face of reprehensible racial prejudice and give less of a damn about what its enemies think and say.

Please Mr Rudd, go directly to the UN now! “do not Pass, Go!”

I am so irritated by Kevin Rudd’s latest outburst about the Coalition wanting to get rid of Medicare. I simply can’t understand how Malcolm Turnbull’s statement that in an ideal, yes, ideal world everyone would have private health care, can be translated by Kevin Rudd to mean that Medicare should be abolished.

Isn’t it obvious that private health care has more benefits in that one can have dental cover etc. That is what Turnbull means. Private Health Insurance means not having to wait for two years to have a hip replacement, for example. And certainly that would be the case in an ideal world. Ask anyone if he would rather have private health care and he would say yes. The problem is affordability and that is why Medicare exists for those who can’t afford private cover. Nowhere does Turnbull say he wants to get rid of Medicare.

It’s beginning to sound as if Kevin Rudd is becoming hysterical.

I have a sensible suggestion for Kevin. Please go to the UN right now. Having heard Lindsay Tanner speak about the economy on Q and A last night, I am more and more convinced that he would be ideal as our Prime Minister. He is intelligent, down-to Earth and talented. There’s something very Australian about him. He answers questions without going round in circles and he refuses to spin. What a contrast to Joe Hockey from the Coalition who said nothing much but said it often.

Mr Tanner is a breath of fresh air in a government that stinks from the BS. And Rudd’s outburst today goes to show that we cannot expect anything but more slogans and spin from this Prime Minister.

Malcolm Turnbull’s Budget Speech

Just when I had given up on the Leader of the Opposition, Malcolm Turnbull made a surprisingly good speech to parliament in response to Wayne Swan’s budget speech.

To put it mildly, Turnbull has been quite disappointing as a Leader of the Opposition. He was terrible at commenting on government policies and was sadly lacking in sensible suggestions as to what the Opposition has to offer instead.

Last night, however, we witnessed a barrister at work. He spoke well and he had some excellent suggestions about small business. He is correct in claiming that the recovery depends on small business having more confidence to invest. That is where the government’s budget failed. There was hardly any mention of this most important part of the economy in Swan’s budget speech and that was a lapse in judgement on Labor’s part.

Everything that Labor talked about had to do with the future and yet the financial crisis is happening right now. Increasing the pension is good but it won’t increase spending to a great extent. Helping small business would gain immediate results and that’s why Turnbull’s ideas were impressive.

As for the increased tax on cigarettes, that was a good idea too and it would have demonstrated that the Government was willing to attack an industry that is killing thousands of people each year. It’s what the Health Minister should have suggested if she cared for the well-being of Australians.

So full marks to Turnbull for his speech last night and the one he made at lunchtime today as well. We needed to know what the Opposition would suggest in response instead of just hearing criticism about the Government. That sort of whining is very annoying and gets the Opposition nowhere. Concrete alternatives are what we want to hear.

Kevin Rudd’s ambition to be Secretary-General of the UN

Ever since I met Prime Minister Rudd in Brisbane, I have suspected that he doesn’t really want to remain a big fish in a small pond, the small pond, being Australia. I have often alluded to his ambition post- Prime Ministership and on March 9 of this year I expressed my views on this topic.

So it was pleasing to read in this morning’s “The Australian” newspaper that Greg Sheridan, whom I admire greatly, also holds that view . What prompts me to comment on this is Greg’s claim at the end of his opinion piece “You heard it here first.” That’s not quite true.

Swan brings down the budget. Big Yawn…

The past two weeks we have been fed morsels about the coming Federal Budget. The Government leaked the information it wanted to leak and then refused to speculate about what was in it. Very strange terminology indeed when there was no need for speculation since the the details of the budget were already known to the Labor politicians who had been involved in forming it.

We, the ordinary public, could speculate to our heart’s content but it would make not a skerrick of difference to the fait accompli which Treasurer Wayne Swan and his fellow teasers held in their hot little hands.

Came the night of the budget announcement and we were served spin. Slogan after slogan about stimulus and infrastructure sounded just like Rudd’s election droning. This went on for about twenty boring minutes and then a few general comments were made about Education, Hospitals and an increase in pensions but what I remember most was something that sounded like an announcement from the Department of Main Roads.

Everything is shovel-ready, Mr Swan told us. All we need are some people to be prepared to dig. They will come from the ranks of the unemployed, apparently. Can you really see Generation Y getting out of bed before noon to go build hundreds of roads across our vast continent? This is the generation that refuses to mix its own alcoholic drinks. Too much like hard work.

We sat through the whole thing waiting to hear if self-funded retirees were going to be thrashed again after having their Private Health Care rebate reduced. And how about the Health Card? Well, it wasn’t until the next day that some details came out in the newspaper about that.

I guess we are typical of the WIIFM population of Australia, no better, no worse. We wanted to know how all this would impact on our lives. What’s in it for me is what it’s all about. What will happen in the year 2050 will not impact on us personally and besides, I don’t believe that anyone has a clue about how the world will look in forty years’ time. They couldn’t predict this recession even weeks before it happened. So what makes the government and all those experts think they can do any better now?

To Autumn and all that rot

I did something yesterday that I haven’t done for a long time and no, I’m not referring to housework. That one is still on my agenda.

Yesterday, I picked up Keats in search of that ode about Autumn. Retirees will recognise the one about a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. Younger folk will not, because they don’t study poetry anymore. Why, they wouldn’t even know what a Keat is. I believe it’s been replaced by SMS and twittering styles.

Anyhow, I found that poem about Autumn because I felt like waxing lyrical about this most perfect of seasons in Melbourne. We are fortunate in this glorious city to have four seasons which makes me and Vivaldi very happy indeed. My previous home was in Queensland which had only two seasons, hot and humid and less so.

In Melbourne, however, there are four seasons and although I don’t think so much of Summer and Winter, I know they won’t last forever. And then we will have Spring and my favourite, which is Autumn. It’s been a long time since I saw what the Americans aptly describe as Fall, because the trees around here are shedding their golden and burnished leaves.

When I gaze out of my large picture window and see those magnificent trees giving up their leaves so that they can be reborn in Spring (Good Grief, did I just write that?). You see, it has me in a thrall.

The days are cool but not too cool for strolling in the streets. The nights are brisk and make a doona so comforting. I prepare osso bucco in my slow cooker. T’is the season for thick soups. We enjoy hot chocolate in the evenings. The sun rises later and so do we.

Of course, I could have kept with the times and said Autumn is GR8 but somehow it doesn’t do it for me.