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Browsing Archive: July, 2014

Is Colin Barnett as arrogant as his detractors claim?

Posted by Matt Hayden on Thursday, July 31, 2014,
Every politician seems to develop a public persona over time. Sometimes it corresponds strongly to his actual personality. But at other times it's very distant. 

Take the nerdy uncle persona of Kevin Rudd. He was always seen as a bit of a dag, but a brainy guy who sincerely had the nations's best interests at heart. He was astonishingly popular for quite some time. Remember how often he was mobbed at shopping centres by people desperate to take selfies with him? 

But slowly his true character e...
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Will PIAF's giant puppets for Anzac subvert the dominant paradigm?

Posted by Matt Hayden on Saturday, July 26, 2014,
There's a proposed Perth International Arts Festival production that sounds very intriguing. It will be part of the Anzac Centenary commemorations and will feature some giant puppets expertly crafted by Frenchmen.

Now, this sounds extremely unusual. Don't know about you, but the first thing that comes to my mind when someone says "giant puppet" is stupid shouty bolshie protest. I also think: crap creations that don't look remotely like the eeevil hate figures they're meant to represent (namely...
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Barnett and Buswell are like Martin and Lewis

Posted by Matt Hayden on Wednesday, 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...
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Was removing Rolf Harris's plaques, paintings and music overly harsh?

Posted by Matt Hayden on Tuesday, 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

Posted by Matt Hayden on Tuesday, 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

Posted by Matt Hayden on Sunday, 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

Posted by Matt Hayden on Friday, 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

Posted by Matt Hayden on Thursday, 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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Good books about and set in Perth and Fremantle
Line of Sight
When War Came to Fremantle
The Devil's Garden
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