I’m not that big on the big issues.
Sure, I like to keep myself informed about current events, and I try to make sure that I read the papers and watch the news and check out my daily news emails from time to time. Sometimes certain things catch my eye, and 2 of them have done so today.
Firstly from Crikey, I caught a portion of a speech from Senator Natasha Stott Despoja from last Thursday. It inspired me to go and grab the full speech from Hansard.
She is referring to fact that she, and other Democrat and Labor senators want the Senate to support universal access to sexual and reproductive health services, in the lead-up to next week’s 60th meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. This would be done via a motion posed by Democrats leader Lyn Allison to recognise that “access to sexual and reproductive health is also a critical strategy towards achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment”.
Here it is. It’s not your usual babble…
Senator STOTT DESPOJA – Well, I withdraw it then, Senator Boswell. But the point is that you of all people – through you, Mr Deputy President - know how to read a motion and an amended motion. So look at (a) to (d) in the Notice Paper and recognise the difference between that motion and the amended one. The so-called offensive words are in both. The version that we have before us is no more difficult to read. it is easier and it is not radically different. So in terms of precedence, if that is the best excuse that some senators give for denying formality or for even voting against
the suspension of standing orders, it is pretty pathetic.
One thing I do take from Senator Boswell’s speech is when he says that this is a test for the chamber. He is not kidding. This is the first. This is the flag. This is the first signal to some of us in this place, men and women, that this is what the next three years - potentially longer – are going to be about. It is about seeing everything through the prism of women’s rights, particularly women’s reproductive rights, and it is the first king hit. It is the first test for those of us who believe that men and women are equal and that women have the right to ‘sexual and reproductive health services’.They are the words that some blokes in this place today find offensive.
That is what we are voting on today: a basic statement of principle. And it is not about abortion on demand; it is about sexual and reproductive health services.
It is about things like prophylactics, condoms and all those other bad words that some people cannot cope with in this place. It is about issues like health
and poverty. This is what Senator Allison and I were talking about: how do we talk about alleviating poverty, honestly and realistically, without talking about
sexual and reproductive health – women’s health – not just in countries like ours but in the developing world?
If we are going to squirm at those words and squib on those issues then we are not good global citizens. And if that is the case then I want our Prime Minister to take that message to the UN next week and make it clear where Australia stands. I will be embarrassed - but I do not think it will be the case, because I know that the minister himself and the government, through the whip and through the coalition today, have indicated their support for this motion. Yes, they are supporting
it! So who does not support it? Who is defying their government on this? Who are the anachronistic, outdated conservative people in this place who will deny women their rights and indeed will not put forward positive, constructive ways of alleviating poverty, death, disease, AIDS, HIV – the works? Stand up and be counted now, gentlemen, because I am ready for this debate. If the next three years are going to be seen in
this prism whereby you are going to vote down a motion like this – a motion that is inoffensive, progressive, constructive and supported by government – bring on the fight, guys!
The motion to allow the Democrats’ motion go ahead without debate failed.
Fucking hell is the first thing I have to say.
Barring some intervention from some almighty spirit (religious or secular), the Ashes will be returning England tonight.
A sad day for Australian cricket?
The end of civilisation as we know it?
But what pisses me off is the poms. They want these Ashes. They want them BAD. They would go to almost any length to get them and now that they are close, they won’t get any sort of technicality like bad-light get in their way.
Last night for example, it was dark, sure. But so dark that they would be in danger of getting hurt? Surely not from the bowling of Michael Clarke and Shane Warne.
Sure, a Brett Lee bouncer in twilight could tickle a little, but I fail to see how a leg spinner that raps into your pads is going to leave a mark.
Ok, maybe it’s sour grapes, but Come on Umpires! We’ve had 5 tests of exciting cricket and you’re going to let it be decided like this??
The sight of Michael Vaughn virtually sprinting off the ground after being offered the light makes me want to punch the closest Englishman (apologies to any near by).
There’s wanting a decision to go yoachieveo help you acheieve a result, and then there’s pleading for a decision to go your way to make it easier for you to get your result the shortest and easiest way possible.
Bloody Whingeing Poms….