Barnett and Buswell are like Martin and Lewis

July 23, 2014
Troy Buswell is in the news again, this time over alleged hush money paid to a woman whose car he smashed into on that notorious night of drunkenness several months ago. Yet again, Premier Colin Barnett is exasperated by his friend's behaviour.

This time he's even come out and directly criticized the decision to offer the woman money. He's also expressed his frustration over the fact that Buswell hasn't personally paid for the damage to his ministerial car.

This ambivalent reaction is typical. It seems that every time Buswell screws up Barnett defends the former treasurer, asking for understanding or tolerance, when he's obviously mad as hell about the trouble he causes. Clear in Barnett's reaction to these scandals is a sense that he really cares about the younger, scandal prone -- but apparently very bright -- politician. In a way he's a bit like an older brother to him.

The strange dynamics of their relationship are a bit like those operating between Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Barnett is like the older, aloof, more assured Martin. And Buswell resembles the chaotic, exuberant Lewis.

I recall from some of their movies that characters played by Lewis were always getting into scrapes that the far more patient and cool Martin had to extricate him from -- although I'm not sure Lewis ever did anything as dangerously stupid as driving home drunk as a lord and leaving a long trail of real and ultimately political wreckage behind him!

Was removing Rolf Harris's plaques, paintings and music overly harsh?

July 22, 2014
The powers that be in Perth certainly didn't waste any time in ripping up that plaque in honour of Rolf Harris that had been nestled in the pavement of St Georges Terrace for several decades (photos below). And other local, interstate and even international organizations made similarly swift decisions regarding what to do with his various honours, paintings and music. 

Some people think that this response to the guilty verdict in his trial has been overly harsh. Take this opinion piece from To...

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Perth's traffic woes prove we're now in the big league

July 15, 2014
Lately the issue of transport in Perth has been dealt with repeatedly in the local media. Clearly, the relentless rise in the city's population has put considerable pressure on our roads, highways and public transport system.

It's something that I've been acutely aware of lately -- probably more so than many other residents -- because I don't have a car and get around solely using public transport. Also, having lived in Sydney for about eight years in two stints over the last fifteen, the chan...
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Mark McGowan's medical marijuana push a tactical error

July 6, 2014
Alannah MacTiernan isn't the only Labor politician moving alarmingly to the green left. There are clearly others in WA Labor who've been afflicted with this tendency, including the leader Mark McGowan. His endorsement of medical marijuana is a case in point.

I have no strong feelings about this proposed policy. If it helps people who are suffering, great. But he should remember that a big chunk of the population have a strong emotional reaction when it comes to the issue of drugs. It doesn't ...
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Dr Philip Nitschke's creepy pro-death crusade

July 4, 2014
Not surprised to learn that Dr Philip Nitschke is in hot water again over his passionate crusade for the right to die "with dignity". (I always think that phrase is kinda weird in and of itself, don't you?  Death is many things, but dignified is not one of them. I mean, how many humans live with dignity, let alone die with it?)

This latest scandal involves a Perth man called Nigel Brayley. In a dark space for various reasons, but certainly not terminally ill, he asked for Nitschke's assistance...
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Memories of Rolf Harris harder to remove than plaques and memorials

July 3, 2014
Like so many people I have been fascinated by the trial of former local hero Rolf Harris, long known as the Boy from Bassendean. Now that his sinister predation of young girls has been proven in a court of law, we all have to recalibrate our view of him.

Government and business organizations have to work out what to do with various plaques and memorials made in honour of the entertainer. After all these symbols don't just celebrate his work but his character as well. Now that this has been fou...
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Anti-shark cull threats end hook supply contract

June 28, 2014
The shark wars seem to be hotting up again now. Sure, there haven't been any major demos like there were during the summer. But that has much to do with the fact that in winter there's so much less beach-going. And with related risks not on the public's radar so much, there's less media attention. And it's that attention that the demonstrators crave more than anything. 

Still, there has been an interesting call in which a talkback caller told the Premier the"gloves were off". He then contradic...
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Alannah MacTiernan gets even greener with euthanasia push

June 25, 2014
There has been a lot of fervent internal debate about the direction that Labor is heading in. Much of this has been focused on the inordinate power that union heavies wield. There's another battle that's ideologically related to this, but tends to get less attention. And that's the tendency of some Labor pollies to go further and further to the Left, into wacky Greens territory. 

Alannah MacTiernan is the best example of this trend in this state. Not so long ago she was blathering about the he...
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McGowan's bikie slur against Buswell

April 30, 2014
There's no denying that politics is a blood sport and that anyone who wants to be treated with kid gloves should give the profession a wide berth. That said, there should be some standards.

For example, indulging in sledges that equate your political enemies with violent low life criminals is unbecoming. That's just what Labor Leader Mark McGowan has done to disgraced former State Treasurer Troy Buswell in an attack referring to the latter's recent behaviour in the aftermath of his disastrous ...
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Hopefully Senate Election will show clear support for LNP

April 5, 2014
Being in the Curtin Electorate, and living in Mosman Park, I nipped down to the charming art deco Memorial Hall to place my vote. Mossie Park is a real Liberal Party stronghold, given that it's generally a pretty well off and established suburb with lots of oldsters. (That said, there are chunks of it that are demographically the opposite of this, making it quite an intriguing locality.)

The atmosphere at the polling place was certainly very different to King St Newtown, where I voted a couple...
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