Saturday, December 30, 2006
Friday, December 29, 2006
- Kaytlin and the Christmas tree
- Cameron and the Computer Game
- Christopher and Michelle and their niece, baby Sophie. Unbeknown to Michelle, Christmas day was the 3rd last day of her pregnancy. Their baby boy got so excited over the talk of figgy pud, that he came 8 weeks early.
- And finally, our niece Hayley....ahhhh...I'll just lie back here in my satin jammies!
I am lucky to have Grannie "Lottie" Sinclair as my gran, who likes a dram now and then. She's inclined to mix it with ginger beer or lemonade, so it was with this in mind that we bought her Sheep Dip, a blended whisky.
So here we are on Christmas Day 2006.
- Pic 1 - Don't turn your nose up at a blended malt!
- Pic 2 - It's all smiles at the old folk's home
- Pic 3 - Did you really buy me Sheep Dip?
- Pic 4 - Yes, we really did - and look what happens to you when you drink it!
Saturday, December 23, 2006
What I find funny is the Christmas tunes pumped through the stores here. And that's every store. Not just your Marks and Sparks, but your Pakistani corner shoppe and your local hairdressing/tanning/stick-on nail salon.
To qualify for going onto high rotation on radio or into the CD player, all a song must do to achieve Christm-arse repetition overload is to have the word "Christmas" in it. Innit.
A point in case - I was in the famous toy store, Hamley's of Oxford St London, when I heard The Pogues Fairytale In New York come over the in-store muzac system. Now this is a toy store. There are small children around.
And this is what they heard:
You're a punk
You're an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it's our last
In saying all of the above, I would much rather listen to The Pogues than "Do they know it's Christmas", Cliff Richard or that horrible boob tubette, Messiah Carey with her horrible horrible, evil song, All I Want for Christmas is You (to shut up). And here she is singing it live... uh! Just horrible!
I was always more of a Snoopy Tennis girl, but this reminds me of the eighties and just how slow computer games used to be. Bipp...bipp....bipp....move a bit to the right....bipp...bipp...bipp.....move a bit to the left....Deyooh!(Fire!)...Deyooh!... Deyooh!....bipp....bipp...move a bit to the centre.
So here's the game to play in those few days after Christmas when you've got nothing to do.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
It's been a fabulous year for us as we've settled into Glasgow, Scotland; caught up with old friends and made new ones, partied in the summer and got dreary in the winter as the darkness takes hold at 3pm :(
On the work front, I continue to have a love/hate relationship with the Transport and General Workers Union and Jock is settling in to his new job with the environmental carbon footprint software company IES.
More importantly, on the adventure front, we've caught up with friends, Cathy and Nick in Hong Kong, Jeremy and Neus in Catalonia Spain, Jamie and Jeannie in Belgium, Loree in Sweden and Ali's family in France. We've also welcomed lots of visitors to our little tenement flat.
Highlights of 2006 will include the many fantastic gigs we've been to, participating in the West End Festival dressed up as strawberries and sashaying down Byers Rd in front of 50,000 people, attending the Barcelona anti-war rally, falling in love with Provence, visiting old friends in London and relishing the Aberdeen snow.
Lowlights include having our stuff nicked at a music festival, the continuing war in Iraq, our local shop individually wrapping capsicums in plastic and missing our families.
Well be having Christmas with Grannie Sinclair and Aunty Hazel in Aberdeen but will be thinking of everyone back home.
Love to you all, and have a fabulous 2007 - we'll be seeing in the bells in St George's Square in Glasgow and to give you a little piece of Glaswegian Christmas cheer, check oot tha irn bru ad below! The end bit is where we'll be for new year! Cheerio!
Love Ali and Jock :)
Saturday, December 16, 2006
What a stunning innings! And here is a picture of Animal, who for the purposes of this blog entry will represent Gilchrist.
And aren't England SHIT? After being in the UK and seeing/hearing all the hype about the defence of the Ashes, here is Beaker, who represents the English cricket team.
And finally, here are Statler and Waldorf, who represent cricket commentators Geoffrey Boycott and that posh bloke on the BBC radio (Johnathan Agnew??). They aren't happy chappies...
Gallipoli from who's perspective? As a defining moment in Australia's history, it was an abject failure on our part....
War Historian C. Bean, writing from Gallipoli, Sydney Morning Herald, 17 May 2002
Don Watson has written a good summary on mateship - at its core, it's masculine. .. "we do need to recognise that the meaning of the word "mateship" is plainest when it describes the attachments and the needs of men struggling in a common cause".
There needs to be a new common cause - that of preventing this ridiculous, outmoded, outdated "test" for new Australians. I'm sure John Howard will say that it's not the same as the white Australia policy of a hundred years ago.
But it is.
This time though, the "white" in this policy is the crisp white linen sheet of history, hiding the many true histories of Australia - the Aborginal frontier, the women's struggle, the migrant struggle, the pioneer myth.
History is written by the winners. Let's make sure that the other histories that forge our identity are spoken about and learned - by all of us. And let's not put this in a test.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Yup - we saw them again. Pendulum, our favourite drum n bass DJs from Scarborough Beach, Perth were playing in Aberdeen and then Glasgow. Meet Avril, my work colleague, who boogied with us to the tunes of Pendulum at the Glasgow School of Art, a Rennie Mackintosh designed building.
The Aberdeen gig was way too crowded, and Paul the DJ from Pendulum, said his MC almost fainted in the heat. When trying to explain what we were going to see to my Grannie, we told her it was like poetry being spoken in a sing song voice to the music being spun on records in the background. Hmmmm....
The Glasgow gig was much more fun, and here are the pics to show you.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Sunday, December 03, 2006
- Will Beazley stand at the next election, or will he retire?
- Will the class of '93 move to the back - Albanese, Swan and Smith?
- Will Gillard take Treasurer?
- What impact did the media, the ALP membership or members of parliament have on forcing the ballot?
- Will Howard stand at the next election and deny Costello the leadership?
- If Howard does retire, will there be a challenge on Costello and will it be Turnbull?
- And finally, will Howard call a snap election???????
I'll tune into Fran on RN at 7pm (dinner time here - it's been dark for 4 hours...) and listen to the latest. It's like the Ashes - I'm gonna go to bed just when the fun is beginning and have to read about it on baggygreen.com in the morning. Except the Federal ALP is more like saggyhasbeen.....
At this moment, I'm missing all my comrades to chew the fat over this current situation in the ALP.
And in unrelated news....I'm off to Sweden tomorrow to visit an old school friend, so it may be difficult to do blog entries between smorgasbords, looking for Stefan Edberg and visiting the IKEA store (click here to play the IKEA game). I'm thinking of bringing little stickers to put over the names of lamps, chairs and beds, so instead of saying "Nyklop" and "Semvik" they say "Narelle" and "Bruce".
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
- Rudd and Gillard win and the Class of 93 go to the back - that's Smith, Swan et al, and they just accept that it's not their turn to govern
- Everyone gets behind the dream team and we concentrate on the real enemy by coming up with an alternative vision for Australia which would include statements like - A world leader in new clean energies - to think of one....
- Beazley and Macklin (who?) win and, well, would Rudd have to step down from foreign affairs? He'd have to go to the back bench. So too would Gillard, because if Beazley didn't punish them for disloyalty then he'd be seen as a weak leader who can't control his party let alone the country.
God, what a mess. I think this is what happens when rather than have community people preselected for parliament, you have a succession of career politicians who started out as electoral officers from their days as student politicians.
I promise now to get behind whoever the leaders are and support them 100% so we can win the next election.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
For new comers, or first time marchers, it may be the inspiration needed to go forth and multiply the union membership. I doubt it. Rallies don't build union power. They may make us feel good, but they don't build union power when the strength of feeling is not there.
We need to be cleverer. We should be using micro-media like YouTube to get the message across, and do fun stunts like gathering people via sms and spontaneously doing something in busy shopping centres. We could get cool bands and get them to play for free, and have the Workers Beer Company sponsor the event. Or, we could organise around another issue, like the water crisis, to get people out.
Instead of having the impact it should have, the poorly-attended rallies will have Howard laughing all the way to the next election - particularly if the shenanigans don't stop in the ALP.
We need to rethink our strategy. This is a wake-up call.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
It's still hard to believe that the country I'm from and the country I'm choosing to live in right now are both at war with Iraq.
We all knew it would be a disaster. Some of us tried to stop it, and I'm comforted in the knowledge that the greatest number of people in history marched against the war.
But it wasn't enough. And I don't know what to do now. I feel complicit for doing nothing. What would it have taken to prevent the war? Closing the ports? Withdrawing our labour? Who would give up a week's pay to stop the war when the credit card is maxed out to pay for the big fuck-off 45inch high definition digital TV? We weren't even ready to move people to the position of withdrawing their labour.
I feel sad :(
And now the UK Labour Government is thinking of renewing Trident, the Nuclear Submarine. What for? War's changed. Australia and the UK, as nation states, are at war with Iraq, a nation state, but a state divided. So we're not actually at war with Iraq. We're at war with insurgents. You can't nuke insurgents without nuking thousands of ordinary folk. And we're also at war with Terror. You can't nuke Terror. It's a noun.
Ooohh, excuse us Iran, but you're not allowed nukes. In the meantime though, we're going to spend a million squillion gadzillion pounds to build a nuclear sub that we'll never use, instead of spending the money on being clever about the ice caps melting.
And by the way, can you help us clean up the mess we've made in Iraq coz you're the closest.
The only Trident I want to see is the one on my stir fry.....
I commit to encouraging people to participate in democracy again.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Leonard Nimox singing!
My feeling is that England is so rubbish is because the Aussie crowd are chanting "Warnie's shagged your missus" whenever an Englishman goes near the boundary and it's quite possibly true.
It's just such a drubbing. It's not even close. It's like Australia Vs the Dumbleyung Under 12's. And Ponting not allowing the follow on, well, the English may as well just put paper cuts between their fingers and sprinkle with lemon juice.
Hope the next test is closer - for the good of the game and so I don't have to listen to the wingeing on BBC Radio 4.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
I think we need Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd. I'm not saying Gillard and Rudd are perfect, but I think they could make a great team and get some spark happening in the Caucus.
Wayne Swan, Stephen Smith, Anthony Albanese, Jagga Jagga forgotten her name but she's the deputy leader which shows you how much of an impact she has on me... Jenny....it's coming back.....Jenny.....fuck, I even did a fundraiser for her in '94 for the Dorothy Tangney Dinner, I can't remember her last name..... Macklin!!!! ...there it is.. Jenny Macklin. Right, well, all of them, including Beazley should move to the back and Peter Garrett and friends should shuffle down the front.
Imagine the team - Julia in Health, Kevin for Foreign Affairs and either of those two as leader (Kev speaks Mandarin which would be great for our relationship with the world's next super power), Garrett for Environment Minister, along with ministers such as Penny Wong, Jenni George and other talented younger potlicians - I don't know enough about Craig Emerson or Chris Bowen to comment....are they the next Labor factional warriors?
Swan, Smith and Beazley have to come to terms with the fact that it just wasn't their time to govern and for the good of the party, and the country, they should join Rogan Josh in a pasture in Capel.
It's tiring when you're an activist running around for months organising your polling booth and spreading the Labor message when in your heart of hearts, you just don't believe in the team.
I will always believe in the Labor Party. I am a true believer, but I also truly believe, that unless some miracle happens between now and the next election, we can't win under Beazley without the team united. And the reason for this is that the activists on the ground generally don't believe it. It all seems like a big boys school yard and it seems like it's been going on for years.
Either unify and sort it out or go to the back bench.
On another matter, David Cameron, Tory Leader here in the UK said "ladder of opportunity" the other day on radio. What a horrible bunch of memories that brought up!
(Pic: Remember to say "Rove McManus, Rove McManus, Rove McManus"....."Karl Rove")
Monday, November 20, 2006
It will eventually make its way onto our car the next time we drive it, which hasn't been since our trip to Loch Tay over a week and a half ago.....
I love the Guardian. It is a visual and cognitive feast.
Friday, November 17, 2006
Friedman's brand of "individual freedom above all else" in economics and monetary policy suits the rulers, the owners and the employers. His view that the State should not have control over wages equals a race to the bottom for low paid workers. No one has the "individual right" to decide someone else's economic fate in the name of freedom of choice.
Friedman may have been seen as a genius, and had influence over many a US president, but there was a major flaw in his economic argument regarding "if you allow the individual the freedom to have full responsibility for himself and his actions, this will lead to a higher moral climate in society." That flaw is the real world. In the real world, (most) economic power corrupts.
In fact, it's possible that Friedman's biggest influence has been the notion of "freedom loving nations" - a term that Bush likes to use regularly, and what "freedom loving" actually delivers, is an impingement on someone else's freedoms.... such as "free trade" actually meaning "farm subsidies".
If you want to find out more about freedom loving people and their economic viewpoints, click here.
I'm NOT being ironic this time......
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
The hallmarks of an ali b protest....giant dress-ups to make a point! We're protesting about Tesco selling strawberries from a supplier who exploits workers, particularly those from Eastern Europe. The security guard did not like it when I questioned the law regarding shopping with a giant strawberry when we went to Tesco's. These protests happened around the UK and I'm pleased to report that meetings have been ongoing with the suppliers and the supermarkets about ethical trading.
I don't think "Cornwall Pastie" should actually be there in the syntax of this poem, but I couldn't help it and it reminded me of the Miami Bakehouse.....the only reason one would stop in Mandurah. If only it was drive thru..... Oh how I miss the cajun chicken pies on the way to Bunghole.
For UK readers - Norm Marlborough..(pictured) was a Minister in the WA Carpenter Government but he and his mate Brian Burke, ex Premier, put Beryl Morgan, ex Busselton Shire Prez, (A Tory!) on the South West Development Commission Board and furthermore, it is alleged, possibly did something somewhat dodgy, it is alleged, with some Busselton Shire Councillors, allegedly, regarding a proposed development at Canal Rocks (pictured and lookin' bewdiful mate).
Sunday, November 12, 2006
This is our new camper - Ford Escort 55. It's been decked out inside with carpet, red curtains and a little stove. Here we are on the banks of Loch Tay in the north of Scotland on its maiden camping journey. It was fucken freezing....('scuse language, but sometimes, only fuck will do...)
I really love this pic of Jock too. He's eating home made bread for breakfast and wearing a beanie made out of possum fur. They're vermin in NZ you know....
And yes, they are fuzzy dice hanging from the mirror in the front.
The drive through Scotland's autumn scenery was divine.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Interestingly, there aren't that many differences. Both are martyrs because of an evil empire that stole from its people, but the main difference is that the one on the left came down as a staged media propaganda exercise, and the one on the right simply got rusty and fell over because people were too busy watching the opiate of the masses instead of going to the original opiate on a Sunday. The local townsfolk decided they'd moved on, and instead of fixing it, they spent the cash on a bit of a knees-up for the Belgian Frère Grand TV show finale..... OR
And to be fair, there is another difference. If you look closely, you'll see that Saddam was pulled down by a large cable and pully system. Jesus, however, clearly got in the way of the mad professor, when in flying fox style, he knocked him over as the lightening bolt struck, so Micheal J. Fox had enough power to generate the flux capacitor in order to send him and the Delorean home to 1985.
Okay and now back to Rumsfeld....
From the Washington Post
Bush acknowledged that the election showed that many Americans are "frustrated" with the lack of progress in Iraq. "I am too," he said. "I wish this had gone faster. So does Secretary Rumsfeld. But the reality is that it's a tough fight. And we're going to win the fight. And I truly believe the only way we won't win is if we leave before the job is done."
See "You Idiot" in blog archives for more spin!
It was on this day, in 1970, that Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie's "The Goodies", went to air on BBC.
Bless the carrot underpants, giant kittens, dinosaurs, Rolf Harrises, Ecky Thumps and Loch Ness Monsters. And bless the speeded up footage - it's sooooo much funnier in double time....
An Od(di)e to the Goodies, By ali b
They're coming to get you!
Mum's coming to get you!
The dinner's ready!
The Goodies are on
The Goodies are on
6 o'clock ABC
River Thames to
The Goodies are on!
Pleeee-ease can we watch
Just five more minutes
Make you fart
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
You are like, well out of order. So, given that you think women are pieces of meat and to be objectified, I'd like you to meet Meat Cyborg. She's right up your alley-cat.
Mufti - hide behind your closed doors in the safety of your house of prayer, just like that fat old magistrate hid behind his bench, to say that women who wear short skirts deserve to get raped.
This is not about what religion you are, this is about women being human beings first. Religious leaders of all flavours objectify and blame women.
And it doesn't make it any better by saying you were only referring to prostitutes either.
I'll leave you with this thought...
"In passing, also, I would like to say that the first time Adam had a chance he laid the blame on a woman."
—Nancy Astor (the first MP in the House of Commons..)
Love ali b
Rise up women of Australia...Rise up! Let's put Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali out to pasture along with Fred Nile and Alan Jones. They would love to play with Meat Cyborg in a paddock far away when no-one's looking.... She's got firm thighs and doesn't talk back.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I want to believe Kim Beazley's comments to the ACTU congress that the Labor Party is the party of collective bargaining. After all the dithering, and so many in the party's bunker believing workers in unions are just another lobbying "interest" group, I really really want to believe he is genuine. For if behind closed doors, his inner circle is snickering and saying what a good job the unions are doing with the Your Rights At Work campaign, and that'll get us over the line at the next election, all he needs to do is blame a hostile Senate for not helping pass laws that protect workers rights.
The reality is, the only thing that will protect workers' rights, is workers standing together and collectively bargaining. It doesn't matter what the industrial instrument is. If workers collectively bargain, and collectively bargain across sectors, then that is what will even the balance between employer power and workers' power.
I've just been through an amazing four-week campaign for union recognition in a low cost airline company here in the UK. The company brought in the Burke Group - a US union-busting organisation that prides itself in a 96% success rate on winning a ballot in the employers' favour.
So it's the company and Burke Vs 350 mostly young cabin crew. The ballot is counted next week and it's been labour intensive, taking us away from other union campaigns. But this is about sewing up the sector and winning recognition for the right to bargain.
So Beazley's idea about a secret recognition vote is an interesting one. In the UK, if union members lose the ballot, you're union's out for three years. Nasty.
I'm interested to see what the response to Beazley's idea is about voting in a secret ballot if the employer refuses to bargain in good faith.
We now just need to openly have faith in Beazley that he seriously believes that the Labor Party is the party of collective bargaining and can take this as a major party platform to the next election.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
"I want to be remembered for being honest, for sticking to my principles"
"Um, here am I, giving a speech..... about politics and principle and philosophy and life, and my shoes got the headlines, which I always thought was a bit bizarre."
See you later Tasha...your doc martens will be missed, but you and your party gave us the GST and I'm still angry about it.
I know you threatened to cross the floor when it came to books but you still were part of the team that gave us GST on barbecue chicken...no, that was only pieces of bbq chicken. A whole cooked bbq chook didn't attract the GST, likewise a whole uncooked chook. A piece of chicken, uncooked and bought at the butchers was GST free, a piece of cooked chook in a box bought at a drive thru was GST and a chicken Mrs Mac's attracted the tax. I think.....
I've got myelf in a pickle now trying to understand it. Lucky you stuck to your principles though. A tax on knowledge! Shame on you John Howard and Meg "but you promised you wouldn't fuck it up Mr Costello" Lees!
You were the youngest woman elected to the Senate at the age of 12 and a half, so you can still come back once the kids have grown up. Maybe by then, the Democrats will be totally dead and you can join the Labor Party. You can run on a ticket with your child while they're still guild president of Adelaide uni....
Good luck Tash. Just make sure your seat doesn't go to a Lib. To see an ode to Tash by Alexei Sayle, click here
The War on Terror
They think of next
Which noun to get the red coats marching?
King George’s men come marching,
The War on Terror is here
Twot-twot had they heard it?
The suicide bombs ring clear
Twot-twot in their ivory distance
Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down through the ribbon of highways, and over on the Hill
The NeoCons came driving,
The NeoCons look to refining. The oil shall be theirs.
Twot-twot in the people’s silence! Twot-twot in the people’s rights.
Our global march comes nearer! We will organise in the night.
Our eyes grow wide for a moment, we click on one last link!
Our fingers move on the mouse pad
Click away on the notebook’s mouse pad
Click to the online protest
The War on Terror is fear.
by ali b
Apologies to Alfred Noyes
(I'm being ironic...)
Saturday, October 21, 2006
I have joined the iPod generation. It really is an amazing machine.
But.... The cacophony of tinny sounds eminating from the earphones of fellow passengers on
I didn't go the whole hog with the 60 gig though - the nano does me fine and it still has more memory than the computer my dad bought in 1987.
Apple has just announced a new iPod with proceeds going to the Aids effort in
Whilst you may not hear the outcome, other passengers will. Keeping tabs on your noise pollution is polite. There's nothing you can do about the nose pollution, but if you control it properly, others will think it was the old bloke sitting next to you.
Resist the urge to air guitar down the aisle of the train.
During morning peak hour, when everyone is silent and contemplating doing their bit to pay the tax man, I frequently feel the need to dance up and doon the aisle singing "do iiiiiit.....take your mama out all night" in a high pitched voice. One day I just might.
Be prepared incase a mugger spots your white earphones. Keep an old walkman in your pocket with a Culture Club tape in it and hand it over if ever the need arises.