Monday, December 28, 2020

2021 awaits

It is 28 December, a Monday but the streets hereabouts are quiet as it is a public holiday. At 8am it is already warm, over 25C but it is overcast, threatening to rain and very humid. You can feel the predicted afternoon storms in the air.

Normally the sun would be shining and the beaches full but I haven't heard a single complaint. Last season's dreadful bushfires are still uppermost in our minds and we know we are lucky not to be mired in waves of virus. 

The political environment feels much like the weather, with storms building, still suppressed but increasingly volatile.

They say being resource rich is a recipe for unhappiness in this world as resource owners are so easily able to pay off those who want power while they pillage unrestrained. We have watched environmental destruction by unrestrained multinationals in developing countries and we watch it in Australia. 

How do we get our recalcitrant government to take climate action? They look away as our youth becomes depressed and suicidal. They look away as we loose our Great Barrier Reef. They have practised looking away for a long time as the Aboriginal community would attest. 

But pressure is building. Governments around the world are looking at our government with increasing distaste, and finally they are beginning to act on this distaste. This may be the only way we can be saved from ourselves. 

I found a large sheet of paper that didn't quite fit in the cupboard, so I took out my pencil to make a new years greeting picture.  This was who popped up on the page.

Happy 2021 everyone!


Monday, December 21, 2020

A NSW Christmas 2020

It's a couple of days until Christmas, but really, who would know? One of the effects of the pandemic is that it has messed with our internal measurement of time. Or at least, it has with mine. Time has flowed along with days overlapping, months disappearing and now suddenly, it is almost 25 December. I am making stollen so I know it really is Christmas. 

With a new Covid flare up, Sydney hovers on the edge of another lockdown. People are unsure what to make of the information provided by the NSW state government who seem just as keen to 'keep the economy going' as they are to beat the virus.  They are also being a bit secretive about how the virus escaped quarentine. We are suddenly discovering just how many people have been granted quarentine exemptions (the wealthy, LNP mates, Airline crews among others), and because of the secrecy,  people are making their own minds up. Perhaps a wealthy donor to the LNP Government? Perhaps a Hillsong mate of the PM? (The Hillsong religious sect suddenly has several cabinet members in Federal Parliament).  

Having a Premier whose integrity has been has been questioned by the Independent Commission Against Corruption but who refuses to step down doesn't help.

One thing NSW does have going for it is an excellent health department with a good contact tracing capability.  The chief health officer does look rather uncomfortable at the press briefings (which are invitation only, so no uncomfortable questions) so there is speculation at what is being hidden. After months of very clear and open communication from the Victorian Government (who allowed all journalists into press briefings and answered every question), NSW politicians are looking less than admirable.

Not only the NSW public, but other state governments have noticed the  deficits (like NSW refusal to mandate masks) and have quickly shut their own borders. NSW politicians are not happy, but they really only have themselves to blame. As a result of the closures people from other states are racing back to their home bases


 and many NSW families (including mine) looking forward to reunions with far flung members are having to change plans. Fingers crossed for the days ahead.