Was it ScoMo or Hanson?

Who is responsible, Scott Morrison or Pauline Hanson?

Which of these Australian politicians is responsible for the destruction of yet more Australian wildlife?

Morrison and Hanson both handled wombats in recent years and now a large proportion of the nation’s wombats suffer from mange. Coincidence?

Mange is one of the biggest killers of wombats. The mange mite buries itself under the wombat’s skin triggering extreme itchiness which makes the wombat scratch, causing open wounds and scabs to form.  These become infected, the wombat loses condition, becomes dehydrated, malnourished and slowly dies. The good news is, it can be treated.

The Wombat Protection Society of Australia is working to eliminate that threat. WPSA is a national non-profit organisation created to raise awareness and money in order to provide wombats with immediate protection from harm. WPSA enhances quality of life, funds projects that develop and protect suitable habitat, and provides sanctuaries for Australian wombats.

Mange is considered to be the major health issue impacting wombat welfare. It is caused by the parasitic mite sarcoptes scabiei, and the society has brought attention and action to this issue by encouraging and supporting research and collaboration in the treatment and prevention of mange in both free living and in-care wombats.

Wombat conservation occurs throughout Australia but is carried out almost exclusively by volunteers. Very little government funding is provided to wombat protection groups, and Morrison and Hanson could change this; Morrison especially. Instead, both politicians exploited wombats for photo opportunities instead of substantially increasing funding for their protection.

The One Nation leader posed for a bizarre photo with a distressed wombat while campaigning. She straddled it before appearing to knee it in the back in a move that’s not even legal in the NRL or Super Rugby. That wombat is likely to be suffering a lot more than mange.

Morrison appears extremely uncomfortable handling the wombat during his photo opp, but one can’t expect a man to offer empathy to an animal if he can’t even offer it to humans.

Morrison and Hanson attract an equal amount of suspicion. Both are populist leaders more capable of slogans and photo opportunities than actual policy formation or genuine action. Both utilise racism and the gullibility of semi-literate Australians to maintain their power, and both have a terrible track record on issues of environmental sustainability during their terms.

So who gave the mange to Australia’s lovable native animals?

Was it Scott Morrison or Pauline Hanson?

Images: AAP, ABC

Your Exclusive Guide to the Candidates for Wentworth.

The joy and excitement of a federal election is upon us, and our letterboxes will soon overflow with messages and promises from candidates fighting to represent the good people of the Eastern Suburbs in the steam-cleaned halls of power.

The Beast used its exclusive access to sources within each campaign to put together this guide on what to look forward to until decision day.

Incumbent Dave Sharma remains our tremendous eastern representative. Turrramurra’s excellent ring-in used his teal emulating resume to boast of his truly enviable results in the HSC, and to distance himself from his own party.

Was the dependent independent distancing himself from the Coalition’s targeted electoral rorting or their toxic economic recovery which guarantees total environmental ruin? Was our Dave expunging from our minds Australia’s terrible extinction rates and Gladys’ treeless earth rampage, or his party’s efforts to tirelessly erase rape incidents occurring in the country’s erstwhile institutions?

Let’s not be too harsh on him though. Let’s cast our minds back to simpler times when the tragically erroneous romantic showed his tender, enduring respect for women by handing out tokenism epitomising roses.

But what of Dave’s opponents in the big dance?

Allegra Spender – Independent

Spender’s pamphlets will also lie on the blue spectrum and will cleverly differentiate her from other independents. Astute residents will notice a tendency to use upper case L throughout the Literature in recognition of the tradition of Wentworth. Before you accuse ALLegra of poor grammar though, remember that it also serves to differentiate her from our Dave.

Tim Murray – Labor

Murray’s pamphlet is still a blank piece of paper. He had initially opted for Labor red but feared accusations of communism from News Corp. Green was suggested until it was pointed out that Easts rugby fans maintain a healthy hatred of the Galloping Greens, before an eager volunteer suggested red and green to reflect the party’s policy stance and to appeal to Rabbitohs fans. Links to Anthony Albanese were then discussed, before a junior staffer suggested using black to further accentuate Albo’s weight loss. Ultimately, they will likely settle on grey to reflect the party’s convictions.

Dominic Wy Kanak – The Greens

The Greens are different. They will forego the traditional paper pamphlets, in order to avoid felling the remaining trees that Gladys didn’t prune before saying YES! They can’t afford a Tesla, so they will instead deliver messages with solar-powered red-winged parrots. Parrots that don’t get eaten by pet cats will deliver a policy outline painstakingly inscribed on the seaweed that washed up on our beaches during the recent storms. Residents are encouraged to reuse the seaweed. Sushi anyone?

Natalie Dumer – United Australia Party.

Dumer also did away with pamphlets. Instead, Clive Palmer’s loyal servant will erect huge yellow billboards on everyone’s lawn with promises as big as the billboards themselves; promises she’ll never have to keep.  The billboards will make historically-inaccurate claims that previous prime ministers belonged to the current UAP, and will launch attacks on the mainstream parties that are far more vitriolic than any satirical article. She will also vow to Save Australia…from someone or something.

Enjoy the ride and the democracy sausage!

Image: Aditya Joshi

First published in The Beast magazine, May 2022.

Our Tremendous Eastern Representative.

Dave Sharma is our tremendous eastern representative, but how well do we really know him?

We recently discovered that he achieved truly enviable results in his HSC, but that was more than 25 years ago, and Dave’s kids are now closer to their HSC exams than he is. Boasting about a score of 100% is fine for about 6 months after year 12, but doing so in 2022 seems like a tawdry egotistical reminder.

To all of you kiddies out there who have no idea what this article is about, TER stands for Tertiary Entrance Rank, and this term was used in NSW instead of ‘ATAR’ in the olden days.

Dave’s exultation arrived in our letterboxes inside his teal emulating resume, which was strangely devoid of the Liberal party logo. Why did he choose to omit the logo?

Is it because of his party’s targeted electoral rorting?

Perhaps Dave is distancing himself from the Coalition’s total environmental ruin. He wants you to forget his fearless leader’s love affair with coal and the party’s determination to run coal-fired power stations for as long as possible. He wants you to forget the treeless earth rampage that earned Gladys the nickname Koala Killer, and to ignore his government’s ruling to remove project-specific approval under national environmental laws, which helps explain why Australia has the most inadequate climate policy among developed countries.

Official records indicate that our Dave and his colleagues also voted against efforts to reverse the terrible extinction rates of Australia’s native plants and animals.

Perhaps Turramurra’s excellent ring-in also wants you to forget his party’s plan for a toxic economic recovery from COVID-19, and the fact that he toed the party line on transferring entrapped refugees to the mainland for medical treatment.

The Liberal National Party has also been criticised for its treatment of Australian women. It has been suggested that some elements in the party have been tirelessly erasing rape incidents in parliament house from the minds of everyday Aussies, and that his own fearless leader reminded protesting women that they should be grateful they weren’t shot.

But let’s not be too harsh on our Dave. His tender, enduring respect for women was on full display at Bondi Junction station on International Women’s Day, but, alas, the tragically erroneous romantic was unfairly attacked for handing out tokenism epitomising roses. Poor Dave.

Dave was also there, alongside his LNP colleagues, when they formulated policies on funding cuts that made an Aussie tertiary education redundant, and he comprised the team which allocated peanuts to thespians, entertainers and roadies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There’s no better time than now to pay tribute to our tremendous eastern representative.

Image: Citizen’s Climate Lobby Australia

First published, in part, in The Beast magazine, April 2022.

Scott Morrison faces yet another attack.

Embattled Prime Minister Scott Morrison is under more pressure after an online petition was launched to remove him as no.1 ticket holder of the Cronulla Sharks rugby league team.

The petition is called New no.1 Sharks fan and is yet another sign that the leader of Australia is becoming less and less popular with the public, just as he is poised to announce a federal election.

Morrison has been no. 1 ticket holder of the club since 2016 and is a familiar sight at home games at Shark Park. He often appears in team colours during photo opportunities and has made himself so synonymous with the region that he earned the nickname LiarFromTheShire.

The petition is proposing that Morrison be removed from the role for a number of reasons. It claims that he is an imposter because he grew up in the Eastern Suburbs and only started supporting the club after moving to The Shire. It also claims that changing a footy team halfway through life is ‘UnAustralian’ and that he should be replaced in the role by someone who has a proven link to the club and has contributed meaningfully.

The petition is currently collecting signatures from the Australian public and will reportedly be sent to the Sharks if it attracts enough interest. Club bosses will then be asked to put the proposal to a vote, and let registered members decide if Morrison stays or goes.

Image: Craig Greenhill

Donald Trump is A False to be Reckoned With.

US President Donald Trump is a proven liar but is still a formidable force in US and international politics.

Trump started fabricating the truth as soon as he arrived in the oval office. He lied about the number of people who attended his inauguration and has lied ever since. No matter how much he lies, people still support him and vote for him.

Fake News

The most cunning trick Trump pulled was adopting the phrase Fake News. His uneducated, semi-literate and ignorant supporter base latched onto a catchy and easily-digested slogan which is designed to discredit any criticism of Trump or his actions.

Every time a rational commentator or journalist proved without doubt that one of Trump’s statements was a blatant lie – he retorted with the phrase Fake News. No matter how ridiculous Trump’s statements or claims, no matter how much undeniable evidence was presented to the public, he could deny the evidence with this phrase.

The slogan also allowed his supporters to avoid investigating or analysing news stories or issues in detail. It allowed them to shoot down or dismiss anyone who wanted to engage them in an intelligent discussion on an issue. It allowed Trump to therefore to rally his supporters through emotion and patriotism. It allowed his to run the country via Twitter.

Trump supporters were led to believe that fake news came from ‘them’, not from ‘us’.

If Trump called climate change fake news, the people accepted it as fake news. The slogan served as a rallying cry for his supporters. If Trump said the dangers of COVID-19 were fake news, his supporters accepted it as fake news, despite the country having the highest number of deaths in the world.

Outsiders and open minded Americans often find it hard to believe that so many people believe the president. But it is important to remember that it is impossible to develop critical literacy without possessing basic literacy. Across the United States, as in other developing countries such as Australia, literacy rates are falling. People don’t read and don’t value education, and lack the literacy skills necessary to discern between truth, bias and false claims. Conservative governments understand this and deliberately underfund public educational institutions in order to maintain poor literacy. An uneducated population is easier to control.

To be Reckoned With…

Trump is still powerful. His use of phrases such as Fake News and Make America Great Again have earned him enormous support. He will call upon his marketing prowess to run a convincing election campaign targeted cleverly at his demographic. Reports have emerged that mail boxes are being removed throughout the country to prevent people from casting postal votes in the lead up to the election, and who knows what he is doing behind the scenes.

It is dangerous to underestimate Trump. Hilary Clinton did it at the last election and paid the price. The world saw Trump as a joke and his candidacy as a side show, but he won the election. Satirists and comedians drew enormous value from his presence in the White House until they realised that he was creating the problems which plague the country today. Satirists also realised that Trump’s fact was more ridiculous than any of their fiction.

Rational people and sensible citizens must continue to fight against the lies and the false claims during the election in order to avoid another term with Trump.

Even if he loses the upcoming election, the damage he has done to the USA will take years to repair, and the country will be more divided than ever. The other section of his supporter base does not mind if this is the case.

Trump’s other supporter base is big business. Trump himself is a business man and analysts have suggested that he ran for office not just because he is a narcissist, but because he saw an opportunity to further his own business interests. Corporations are benefiting from Trump’s presidency. Ironically, they benefit from exploiting average Americans, by exploiting American workers – by exploiting Trump supporters.

If this cruel dichotomy was pointed out to Trump’s supporters, they would just say it is fake news.

Image: Washington Post

The Australian government will help pay for your next bicycle.

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The Australian government will contribute to the cost of a ‘Therapy Bike’ for Australian citizens in a push to improve the health of the nation.

The government announced the ‘Therapy Bike’ scheme during its campaign for the federal election, to be held on May 18, and boasted of the anticipated benefits of the new policy.

“The Therapy Bike policy is a major breakthrough for Australia,” boasted a government spokesperson.

“This exciting new initiative will allow every Australian to receive funding to help them purchase a bicycle, because bicycles have been proven to improve people’s physical, mental and emotional health.”

The scheme allows Australian citizens, of any age, to apply for a percentage of the total cost of a bicycle. Applications can be submitted for road bikes, mountain bikes, children’s or adult bikes – in fact any form of bicycle- and citizens will receive the funds once their application has been approved.

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The beaming spokesperson then outlined the motivation for the scheme in greater detail.

“There are so many reasons that we are proud to announce the Therapy Bike policy.”

“Regular use of a bicycle is known to increase outdoor exercise, improve one’s physical health, decrease peoples’ reliance on medication, reduce anxiety and stress, decrease levels of cholesterol and high blood pressure, increase enthusiasm and emotional well being, delay the ageing process and reduce the risk factors of heart disease, which is still Australia’s #1 killer.”

“Of course, this is on top if the other benefits of cycling, such as improved air quality and less pollution, less congestion and traffic, less road building and destruction of the natural environment and quieter, more peaceful urban spaces.”

The majority of Australians welcomed the scheme on social media, but some reminded the government that the initiative will only succeed if a network of bicycle paths is built throughout the country, to allow people to ride safely, especially those who ride to work.

Other respondents also suggested making public transport more user friendly for cyclists, by adopting bike-friendly practices already in use in places such as the Netherlands, Canada and Taiwan.

Australians, meanwhile, were encouraged to start searching for a new bike and wait for the applications to be available following the federal election.