Dubbo Photo News & Dubbo Weekender

Columnists & Opinion

The cost of allowing power to come at all cost

When the President is ‘unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office’, Section 4 of the 25th Amendment of the United States Constitution allows the Vice President and a majority of heads of the executive departments to formally declare the Vice President as Acting President, and divest the President of all authority. Given the subnormal mental capacity of the current President, his incompetence, conflicts of interest, cronyism, and his ignorance of the rule…

Coronavirus brings an awakening for capitalism

Humans occupy the middle earth between the microscopic we cannot see and the cosmos we barely comprehend. For millennia this led us to attribute our existence to the supernatural and the unseen. Without an understanding of germ theory, plagues were seen as punishment for ungodliness or revenge from a warring neighbour. In the modern civilised world, it took a scientific understanding of microorganisms to give us the basic hygiene practices which provide the level of…

Holden’s Aussie demise was the inevitable result

The announcement that Holden was withdrawing from the Australian car market was presented by the media as a huge shock and the death of an Aussie icon, but it was a pragmatic and inevitable result that should have surprised no one. Up to the early 2000s, Holden was the number 1 brand in Australia, riding high on the back of Australia’s long term love of large cars. In 2003 it had over 40 per cent…

Male privilege continues to rear his ugly head

Male privilege took two forms recently that bears discussion. Students of the elite Catholic all boys school, St Kevin’s College in Melbourne, were filmed late last year performing loud and offensive sexist chants on a tram by a member of the public. The chants which denigrated women to the level of a male sexual conquest were sung loud and proud by the Year 10 and 11 boys whilst wearing their school uniforms. By entering the…

The year that was: It’s not how you play the game, it’s whether you win or lose

Here we are stumbling towards the finishing line of 2019, safe in the knowledge we went the whole year without a change of Prime Minister. That means it’s time for annual Dubbo Photo News/Weekender Winner and Loser Awards. The judges raked through a year of vainglorious political inertia, spoke quietly to many Quiet Australians, and found the following worthy award recipients: Winners: Tony Abbott – The long-time member for Warringah lost his job in the…

Rich pickings in a decade of commentary when history repeats

This year marks my 10th year of writing opinion pieces for the Dubbo Photo News and Dubbo Weekender. A couple of one-off articles I wrote in 2009 morphed into the Dubbo Photo News editor asking if I wanted to be part of a regular roster of writers for the proposed weekly magazine-style publication Dubbo Weekender. He thought I had the ability to string words together (he obviously hadn’t meet any of my high school English…

Australians beware, you’re under increasing surveillance

If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear. Since 9/11, this phrase has been regularly used by government in announcing and justifying increased public surveillance – both physically and digitally – in the war against terrorism. Law enforcement agencies around the world have been afforded increased powers to monitor the public by increasingly covert means; as technology drives us online, we leave a digital footprint that is ripe for surveillance, and laws…

Commission hands down a dose of reality

‘Reality TV’ – noun – formulaic and heavily edited television designed to cater for sheeple. ‘Sheeple’ – noun – people compared to sheep in being docile, foolish, and/or easily led – refer above. There is no product so far removed from its name and so readily lapped up by the public than reality TV. Cooking shows, home renovations, talent quests, soul mate searches and titillation fed to a public seemingly willing to let this entertainment…

Privatising our government assets is failing us

Has there ever been the privatisation of a government asset that has led to a benefit for the public? The definition of ‘benefit’ depends upon your perspective. Modern governments declare the privatisation of public assets and services as necessary to gain an efficiency dividend – that the free market and private enterprise perform more efficiently than a government-owned entity. The sale of a government asset will either be declared a necessary injection of funds into…

Economy versus ecosystem: can both be winners?

The preservation of our planet has been making news headlines recently, for both the right and wrong reasons. The Global Climate Strike movement founded by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg held rallies in towns and cities around the globe. From a couple of hundred participants here in Dubbo, to tens of thousands in cities such as Melbourne, Berlin and New York, the protesters made it known that they wanted to live in world where leaders focused…

Gathering to activate ‘quiet Australians’ raises questions

Conservatism American style came to Australia recently when Sydney played host to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Fashioned on the American model of gatherings of conservative politicians, activists, media pundits, Christian adherents and ‘free speech warriors’, the conference was billed as the largest gathering of conservatives in Australia. Several American conservative politicians jetted in to speak, along with pro-Brexiteer Nigel Farage, right-wing British activist Raheem Kassam, former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a brace…

Redemption story: That didn’t take long did it?

Eighteen months have not quite passed since the event described at the time as the “darkest day in Australian cricket” occurred – the captain and vice-captain of the Australian cricket team bringing the hallowed institution of cricket into disrepute by sanctioning cheating during a match in South Africa. Scarcely moments after the scandal broke, whilst Cricket Australia management were lamenting the damage to their media rights, the media were calling for the protagonists to be…