Scott Morrison – Why Michael Slater unloaded on Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison
While I have a horror of precious harbourside land being overly commercialised, I am broadly in favour of careful development, if it brings out much of that history previously hidden. There is no doubt that the island is a shining pearl of our heritage, and it is a delight to ramble about its environs through all the old buildings and even camp the night by the harbour. But if you stopped 1000 people in George Street and asked if they had ever been there, would you get one in a 100? And I have been there many times, and camped, but never seen any Indigenous aspect.
Carozzi insists that is the most important thing of all. “We want to reveal the Indigenous story,” he says, “which is in my view, as relevant as the naval history. But right now the Indigenous history is largely buried under the concrete platforms.“
The most interesting thing for me is that the island used to be a sacred meeting place for the Indigenous women of the Sydney basin – situated as it is, right on the nexus of the harbour and the Lane Cove and Parramatta Rivers. Its Indigenous name, Wareamah, “War” meaning women and ‘eamah’ meaning land, suggests its significance.
A 21st century version of the same, a place of wisdom and peace set aside for Sydney women to meet, would be really something, Joseph? “Leave it with me.“
As a mob, we Sydneysiders do big funerals extremely well – often managing to combine religious ritual with spontaneous warmth – and I have attended many such farewells for notable denizens over the years, with those for Sir Nicholas Shehadie and Des Renford being particular stand outs.
The funeral for Judy Baird on Monday in Manly was an exemplary exemplar. In the presence of the Prime Minister, the Premier and much of the NSW cabinet, the church and overflow hall rocked for a couple of hours with hymns, laughter and tears as whole battalions of Bairds – including former parliamentarian Bruce, the former premier Mike, and host of The Drum, Julia – attested to Judy Baird actually living out the Christian creed of helping others from prisoners to refugees to the poverty-stricken while also being married into public life and never faltering as the rock of the family.
Most compelling for me, on this one, was the scattering of the notables throughout the church, with no special seating reserved for any of them. The PM and his wife were squeezed in three rows from the back, while the Premier was somewhere slightly for’ard of that. Somehow, it felt both classless and classy at once, if that makes sense? And all up, in contemplation of Judy Baird’s life as we saw it at that funeral, the whole thing reminded me of the sentiment famously expressed by Jack Nicholson to Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets: “You make me want to be a better man.”
Apocrypha of the Week, 200 years after Napoleon died
In 1815, the Paris Moniteur newspaper reported Napoleon Bonaparte’s flight from exile on Elba and his return to power and glory:
March 9: The monster has escaped from the place of his banishment …
March 10: The Corsican ogre has landed at Cape Juan.
March 11: The tiger has shown himself at Gap. The troops are advancing on all sides to arrest his progress. He will conclude his miserable adventure by becoming a wanderer in the mountains …
March 12: The monster has actually advanced as far as Grenoble.
March 18: The usurper has ventured to approach within 60 hours’ march of the capital.
March 19: Bonaparte is advancing by forced marches, but it is impossible for him to reach Paris.
March 21: The Emperor Napoleon is at Fontainebleau.
March 22: Yesterday evening His Majesty the Emperor made his public entry and arrived at the Tuileries. Nothing can exceed the universal joy.
Quotes of the Week
“Prior to Donald becoming president, Rudy didn’t like Donald, and Donald certainly didn’t like Rudy. So, do I think Rudy will give up Donald in a heartbeat? Absolutely.” – Michael Cohen, one of Trump’s former lawyers, after Rudy Giuliani’s apartment was raided by the FBI this week. If Trump does end up in prison, I will take it all back. There is a God, and he is Great.
“Visitors to NSW Parliament House can take a step back in time this month, with the free exhibition The Queen’s Album showcasing incredible photographs of the state’s history from May 5 to 27.” – From a press release received this week. Not sure what particular history happened between May 5 and 27, but it sounds like a doozy!
“Have we really become a nation willing to let our citizens die overseas because we’re too chickenshit to bring them home and put them in quarantine, because we’re scared quarantine won’t work? Are we really that piss-weak now? #auspol.” @BrianMitchellMP Federal MP for Lyons, Tasmania.
“Welcome back to Planet Earth.” – SpaceX mission control radio to NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken after they splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule, completing the first manned mission of NASA’s commercial crew program.
“I’d be frustrated if I was [a supporter] in lockdown then something like this happened. Look I’ve got an understanding of that, I don’t have a leg to stand on. It was a lack of due diligence by me and follow up and should have known better, should have checked again before we’d gone. I just had a really expensive game of tennis during the week.” – Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley about a tennis match that he and his assistant Brenton Sanderson played with Alicia Molik, which led to the Magpies getting a $50,000 fine.
“Needless to say it’s been a little bit insane. I cannot stress enough how grateful I am because this is not the kind of thing built by one man, it’s truly an absolute army effort behind me.” – Alex Dekker, who started making a few meals for his sister, a first-year doctor working in coronavirus wards in Melbourne, who is now running a volunteer cooking organisation that this week handed out its 50,000th free meal to health workers and others in need.
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