Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Prime Ministry

  1. Edmund Barton
  2. Alfred Deakin
  3. Chris Watson
  4. George Reid
  5. Andrew Fisher
  6. Joseph Cook
  7. Billy Hughes
  8. Stanley Bruce
  9. James Scullin
  10. Joseph Lyons
  11. Earle Page
  12. Robert Menzies
  13. Arthur Fadden
  14. John Curtin
  15. Francis Forde
  16. Ben Chifley
  17. Harold Holt
  18. John McEwan
  19. John Gorton
  20. William McMahon
  21. Gough Whitlam
  22. Malcolm Fraser
  23. Bob Hawke
  24. Paul Keating
  25. John Howard
  26. ?

My list of all the Australian leaders since federation is this side of idiosyncratic, as is my wont. If you want a more conventional listing and biography, there are plenty of sites. Type in 'australian prime ministers' and you're away.

A couple of notes however: I have omitted knighthoods since a quick scan down the list reveals just how arbitrary these are. The very average Billy McMahon received a knighthood but Fraser, who has busied himself with high level charity work in his later years, has not. And Labor leaders, working class heroes to many, traditionally eschew royal patronage. Then, too, there are a number of instances in which a Prime Minister gets a second bite at the cherry after someone else has filled the role in the intervening years, making the chronological ordering misleading.

And I doubt anyone can get away with mentioning the Australian nation without giving the obligatory nod to Henry Parkes.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

the dope

In among all of goodies dished out to keep the Coalition in power (aided and abetted by 'Bomber' Beazley, who bombs every production he's been in)is this item under Health

$20 million National Cannabis Control and Prevention Centre

I guess this centre will be sincerely interested in the following information quoted from a message board:

Cannabis has never been truly illegal. The only reason that prohibition of Cannabis persists in the U.S. is because people are generally ignorant of the plant's true value.

Cannabis is the only common seed with three essential fatty acids in proper proportion for long-term consumption. This is significant because 75 % of the diseases that are likely to kill us are caused by fat degeneration at the cellular level. Eating Cannabis seed can prevent, successfully treat and sometimes cure many serious illnesses.

Moral accountability for inducing scarcity of a unique and essential food resource does not exist in a free government. In addition, Cannabis is the best available source of vegetable protein on Earth. There are no laws that supercede the Natural right to eat.

Consider the effect of Cannabis prohibition in threatening global food security , as the UN has no research in progress to study the benefits of Cannabis cultivation for any reason. The credibility of the Food & Agriculture Organization is effectively cancelled, by their failure to recognize the unique and essential character of this vital organic rotational resource.

As far as 'marijuana' is concerned, in 1988, after a four year study, DEA Judge Francis Young identified it as "the safest therapeutically active substance known to man." In the 1920s Cannabis was used to successfully treat and cure alcoholism and other serious addictions.

but, in case they're not, and the government is just planning to interfere in the private lives of Australians for their own agenda, I have a few suggestions as to how this twenty million might be better spent, on something other than weed

Monday, May 01, 2006

Deck Aid

I couldn't have said it better myself. Of course, like a lot of 'head in the clouds' bards that plague the land, I have written my own rants against our government. It's hard not to; such a large target.
And my great aunt asks me if I vote Liberal.

I feel more at peace with my soul than I did ten years ago. But that has nothing to do with JWH. I had done the peace marches, the anti-nuclear demonstrations; I'd daubed chalk outlines on Hiroshima Day. Though we were contantly warned of the calcifying of commitment that came with age, I now know I would always succumb. After all, I am in a different space again. To pretend otherwise would be wretched.

I think that there'll always be a place for protest art, but I won't necessarily be making it. One of the odd enduring lessons of Midnight Oil's popularity is just how little effect the passion and compassion has on a slab of society. And if that audience are busy forgetting the words to Short Memory what chance the pub band with a political conscience and a couple of support slots to its credit?

The best political statement you can make as an artist is not to censor an impulse. Now, this does sort the sheep from the goats. Meaningless vulgarity is as likely as a naked insight into something deeper, depending on the artist. We end up tolerating the offhand offence in order to experience the profound profane.

It's not a bad trade-off.