Sunday 22 October 2023

A Little Bragging.


To help de-escalate the Gaza crisis António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary General, has pleaded for:
  1. Release of hostages.
  2. Ceasefire.
  3. Humanitarian access to Gaza, so that essential supplies of food, water, medicine, and fuel are delivered immediately.
That sounds reasonable to me. More importantly, Australian organisations, ranging from the ACTU to charities – independently of the UN – were already asking the Albanese Government to lobby “like-minded” nations for something like that. So, I wasn’t surprised when last week two UN Security Council members proposed draft resolutions reflecting similar requests.

A week ago today, on Monday 16th, the Russian Federation submitted to the SC a draft resolution calling for “a humanitarian ceasefire, release of all hostages, aid access, and safe evacuation of civilians”.

To be approved such proposals need no less than nine votes from the 15 SC members (ten non-permanent members[*], plus the five permanent members with veto power: China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States).

Four countries voted against the draft (France, Japan, the UK, and the US – unsurprisingly) and six abstained (Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, Ghana, Malta, and Switzerland). With only five votes (China, Gabon, Mozambique, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates) the proposal was rejected.

Thursday 12 October 2023

The Looming Genocide? (Updated).

Part of a museum exhibit in Rwanda about the country's genocide [A]

Over-use of a word leads to it losing meaning. Think of “neoliberalism”. More recently no current affairs show goes by without the word “trauma” being heard.

Thursday 28 September 2023

Karma (Updated).

But… but… but… we know that there is no such a thing as a Ukrainian Nazi. It’s an impossibility. It’s been scientifically proven that something in Ukrainian DNA makes them inborn anti-Nazi, democrats, liberals.

Besides, President Goloborodko is Jewish, people!

Justin Trudeau and this bloke, Anthony Rota, are fools playing into Putin’s hand. They are falling for conspiracy theories. Ask ABC journos.

Sunday 24 September 2023

Ms Wong goes to New York.

God, I admire Penny Wong. I honestly do.

If you have heard her speaking before the UN General Assembly recently you know why. If you haven’t, just look at her. Listen to her.

The climate threat … Kiribati, Tuvalu and Marshall Islands are only a few metres above sea level … Many developing countries are rightly frustrated … Approaching climate tipping points … We must demand more from permanent members [of the UN’s Security Council], including constraints on the use of the veto …

Powerful words.

Her forte is the dispassionate, almost academic, speech. Articulate, something extremely uncommon among Australian politicians, her clear diction and the earnestness, calmness and self-confidence with which she speaks as she addresses her audience reminds one of a wise, experienced teacher.

Well, I suppose with enough practice and effort (in my case perhaps with a lot more practice and effort than most others), one could acquire, in some measure, some of Wong’s skills.

But there is something in Wong’s public speaking I can’t imagine ever achieving, no matter how hard I tried. It’s something that I believe one has to be born with and I wasn’t born with it. It’s a limitation in my character.