Bob’s yer uncle

Waleed Ally smuggled a thought bubble past the subbies:

Forget a president – here’s another idea.

It’s not all bad news though; the opening sentence probably resulted in an almond chai decaf latte being spat out in a chi chi Mosman café this morning; So, republicanism is now a minority position in Australia.

Put Peter Fitzsimons’ therapist on danger money, baby.

He then proceeds to state the bleedin’ obvious for several hundred repetitive and tautologous words, which he helpfully summarised early on in the piece, to save bored readers time:

…..a huge number found something appealing in it, even when the public relations were terrible. That’s true even with the absurdity of Australia having a foreign head of state, determined by hereditary rules.

Yes Waleed, people are irrational about the Monarchy. Also, the prospect of “President Rudd” or “First Lady Lisa Wilkinson” probably scares the living daylights out of them.

His answer though? You’re going to love it, it’s a doozy:

What if, instead of a monarch or a president, we had an Australian Elder? That is, a recognised Indigenous elder, appointed as our head of state for life.

Genius.

Can anyone see any potential problems with this? Beuller? Bruce Pascoe? Anyone?

Also, appointed by whom?

God?

Surely not The King?

Also, slightly controversial question; if we could poll the 24 million Australians, how many would be able to name even one recognised Indigenous elder?

Not a famous sports star or TV presenter, but “elder”, with all the inferred gravitas that noun contains.

We could even call our Elder “Uncle” or “Aunty”. And when our Aunty dies, deep rituals of mourning would already exist, ready for us to embrace as a nation.

He’s “thinking past the sale” here, we haven’t been able to think of an example anyone’s heard of yet.

Also, a teensy-weensy task of a communication exercise is required to let the rest of the world know that Australia will now be using “Uncle” in a different context to the two globally accepted norms of (1) parental sibling, or (2) “friend of Mum’s who often comes over when Dad is out”.

This though, is the ultimate in race-baiting projection:

Obviously, this office is racially closed. But so is the monarchy, which is always going to be white…

Which is another way of saying Prince George will be prevented from marrying anyone outside his race if he should wish to do so.

Scenario-play that through for a moment; let’s say in 2035, he’s been publicly dating an intelligent, beautiful, famous Nigerian heiress for a couple of years. Does anyone actually think he’s not going to be able to marry her? Or, that when it’s his turn to take the throne, there will be a law passed preventing the couple becoming King and Queen?

Waleed has the superpower of being able to see future racism from over decade away. That’s impressive.

Ultimately, as Waleed concludes:

It’s rough, and not fully thought through, I admit.

No shit, Sherlock?

(Uncle) Bill’s Opinon

Let replace an illogical tradition that’s evolved over a thousand years in to one the majority of people agree works well enough for them, with a newly invented illogical tradition and hope everything will go ok.

Alternatively, let’s focus our time and resources to crack on with doing something useful like inventing practical fusion energy generation or high speed mass transit or somethin’.

Cor baby that’s really free

Man assaulted in the street and subsequently arrested after shouting, “Andrew, you’re a sick old man” at Prince Andrew.

The report is silent on what happened to his attackers.

That’s probably ok though, shouting at someone at their mother’s funeral is beyond the pale and should have the full force of the law applied as a consequence.

Similarly, it’s right that this woman, arrested for holding a sign saying, “Abolish the Monarchy”, should face the legal consequences.

What about this one, then?

Man required to give details to police after holding a blank piece of paper at the Queen’s coffin procession.

Are we happy with these police interventions?

Which one was the overreach of the state, in your view, and why?

Bill’s Opinion

The slippery slope fallacy may be a logical mistake, but one can slide a long way before the descent is halted.

All three of these examples are unacceptable restrictions of freedom of speech and expression.

In the UK, the legal standard restricting free speech used to be “grossly offensive” – repeatedly posting pornographic images to somebody, for example.

Now, the standard has not only been reduced to merely offensive, but there doesn’t need to be an identified victim of the offensiveness either.

From nearly 21 years ago:

……why do they hate us? They hate what we see right here in this
chamber – a democratically elected government. Their leaders are
self-appointed. They hate our freedoms – our freedom of religion, our freedom of
speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.

I’m not convinced.

It’s all relative

….as they say in Tasmania.

Some data points for your amusement:

NSW is going to switch to weekly reporting for the Covid numbers. Because we’re living with Covid now, pandemic over, etc.

Mary Ward is “health reporter”, apparently.

Not a particularly curious health reporter, though.

If she was just a little interested, she might look back at some ancient history. Remember, something something, those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Today’s statistics that we are so sanguine about that we can switch to weekly summaries for;

21 dead with/of Covid yesterday. Tragic, but not many really, in the scheme of things. I’m sure you, like all of us, are glad we’re over the dark days of the pandemic when people were just dropping all around us.

Oh, here’s something interesting I found in a history book, from nearly a year ago:

We were shitting the bed because five people died in a day with/of Covid. Screenshot below in case it gets memoryholed:

Bill’s Opinion

Shall we just play “let’s pretend” that the last couple of years didn’t happen or that it was all justified?

Yes, let’s do that.

O Lord, help me to be pure

but not yet.

Saint Augustine

Many years ago, I was on a plane about to depart the airport in Lagos (the one in Nigeria, not Portugal).

Sharing the row of seats with me was my colleague, Ricky (not his real name) and an elderly Nigerian woman to whom I’d yet to be introduced.

Some background to Ricky; he was also Nigerian, living and working in London. In his spare time he was a lay preacher at a (very) large Christian church in a converted warehouse in North London.

He didn’t miss an opportunity to remind you of this fact. Think about the most annoying vegan you’ve ever met, then stick a copy of The New Testament in their hand.

Prior to take off, I introduced myself to the old lady and politely asked where she was headed.

Geneva

Oh lovely, do you have family there?

No, I have a serious medical condition and my family have saved up to pay for me to be treated by the worlds best surgeon for that condition”

At which point, spying an opportunity to talk about his favourite subject, Ricky usurped the conversation:

“I’m a pastor, I am qualified in prayer and the laying of hands. Would you like to pray with me for a cure?”

Oh yes, I’d like that very much”.

There then followed five tediously long minutes of Performative Christianity with several references to scripture and a grand finale with the claim, through faith, Ricky had cured the old lady of the, presumably, terminal cancer or whatever it was she was going to have removed.

“Oh, thank you so much”, responded the old dear.

No walhala”, Ricky modestly replied in the vernacular.

Curious, I enquired whether she believed she was now cured.

Oh yes

“What, fully cured?”

Yes, I believe in the power of prayer

“Well, the plane doors haven’t closed, there’s still time to leave the plane and save your family a lot of money in medical bills”

No, I think I’ll still go and see the surgeon”

Bill’s Opinion

I’m constantly reminded of this memory whenever I see people, presumably already with the benefit of four shots of a vaccine that prevents them catching and being made sick from Covid, walking around in public wearing non-surgical grade masks.

Now Jesus he came in a vision
And offered you redemption from sin
I’m not sayin’ that I don’t believe you
But are you sure that it really was him
I’ve been told that it could’ve been blue cheese
Or the meal that we ate down the road

I’m a young man at odds with the Bible
But I don’t pretend faith never works
When we’re down on our knees
Prayin’ at the bus stop

Hallelujah