May 19th 2018


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY The real cost of institutionalised child care

EDITORIAL AGL dismisses $250m bid for Liddell Power Station

GENDER POLITICS As Queensland transgenders birth certificates, 300 women quit UK Labour Party

CANBERRA OBSERVED No pressure on Malcolm to call election this year

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Can Greens regenerate, or are they mulch?

POLITICS Conservative shift in the Victorian Liberal Party

OPINION No fairytale ending from the Land of a Fair Go

LAW REFORM The Nordic Model: proven to curtail sex trafficking

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Committal hearing dismisses main serious charges against Cardinal Pell

GENDER AND ETHICS Transgenderism and the dissolution of identity

PHILOSOPHY The supercharged cheetah

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS One Belt, One Road: China's new empire

HUMOUR

MUSIC Business as usual: The sweet tinkle of falling coins

CINEMA Avengers: Last Flag Flying and Infinity War

BOOK REVIEW A hungry beast that ate up 4 million lives

BOOK REVIEW Skewed analysis of republic in crisis

POETRY

LETTERS

CANBERRA OBSERVED Bill Shorten's Budget-Reply speech: for what ails you

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Behind the U.S.-North Korea rapprochement

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POETRY




News Weekly, May 19, 2018

Seeing a Prominent Local Politician  in a Box at ‘Countess Maritza’, November, 1989 

How unpleasant to see you, almost marring our evening
A lightning conductor for disgust and rage
Perched like a sour, glum, egg-bound parrot
Above the lights and gaiety of the stage.

But it does nothing for Kalman’s gentle memory
To deign to notice your lugubrious presence at all
In this joyous November, when, altogether elsewhere
Thousands of hands tear down the Berlin Wall.

And when thousands of your kind in central Europe
Are pissing in their pants and looking for the time
To cut and run. The fact is you don’t matter
More than any other bit of superannuated slime.

We’ll not be bothered loathing you tonight
As you orbit the theatre like a grey, putrescent moon.
We’d rather watch the caped hussars and gipsies
Who may, with luck, be social realism soon.

It looks as if your kind won’t hang from lampposts,
And yet I’m left with some degree of trust
In the rightness of things, that they should live to see
All that defined their lives dissolve to dust.

And if I have mistaken your identity
In the theatre’s dim seating I apologise
To whoever has the bad luck to look like you.
But anyway, let’s turn and rest our eyes

On colours that seem tonight to swirl with triumph,
Beyond this stage and far beyond this place.
Where something thought felt lost is reappearing
Not just for us, but for the human race

And tonight we join the splendid counts and barons
With song and with champagne and ballroom lights
And tonight we think of those now elsewhere taking
The human spirit to retaken heights

Be they workers, students, shopkeepers or soldiers
As we hope they may have their Gipsy bands
Who are out in a new dawn in Earth’s old heartland
And may really have a new world in their hands.

And who, God knows, deserve some glad rejoicing
Whatever is to come. Where credit’s due
We’ll not inquire tonight. We’ll join the dancers now,
For we’re entitled to some dancing too.

And tonight we drink to Budapest and Prague,
And we look with clear real hope to a glad day
We never dreamed would come within our lifetimes,
And tonight, to quote from Kalman: “Gipsy, play!”

Hal G.P. Colebatch




























All you need to know about
the wider impact of transgenderism on society.
TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99


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April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm